Tag Archives: Emerson

On Eloquence*

I don’t subscribe entirely to the notion that there is nothing new to say under the sun.  Though the human predicament hasn’t changed much in the last ten thousand years – we suffer ourselves to be born, navigate through a … Continue reading

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Yays & Nays: Making Love and Meaning Out of Nothing at All*

When SKG asked me to participate in this panel (or, rather, when I volunteered), I was pretty sure I knew what I was going to talk about. Early in my career here, at Suffolk, I was told there was no difference, … Continue reading

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On Faith, Not-Faith, Poetry & Death*

A poet is constantly in a state of reassessment as long as he desires to be a vital presence, whether on the page or in the world.   So I have continuously and obsessively turned the object, the diamond of poetry, … Continue reading

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On an “Original Relation to the Universe”

“Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?” –from Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson On a short walk this morning†, I noticed that ghostly day-moon above me and began to think of those wonderful Stevens’ poems, where … Continue reading

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On Poetry & Change

I fear that I’m not a very good friend sometimes.  I can be thoughtless and absentminded, and even when I think to call the people I love–and I do love them–the phone seems suddenly to weigh ten tons, and I … Continue reading

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On the Lowly

A.R. Ammons’ poem “Still” reminds us that nothing in the world is lowly, and that everything is in “surfeit of glory.”  And finally he concludes that even the most seemingly lowly things, from beggars to ticks, are “magnificent with being.” … Continue reading

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On Little Songs & Lyrics to Genji

Next month, S4N Books releases my first full-length collection of poems, Little Songs & Lyrics to Genji.  Actually, the book contains not one full-length collection, but two long sequences.  The first, “Little Songs,” is a series of sonnet-like poems presented … Continue reading

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On “Can Creative Writing Be Taught?”

This week in the New Yorker Louis Menand reviews a book called The Program Era by Marc McGurl.  According to Menand, the book attempts to make the argument – and I’m simplifying here – that the proliferation of creative writing programs has not only affected the way we write … Continue reading

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The Dead Don’t Sing

I was feeling pretty awful the other day.  It was the 17th.  I know that because I picked up my Book of Common Prayer, turned to the psalm reading in the psalter for the 17th day, and read psalm 88. … Continue reading

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On Greatness

There seems to be an anxiety felt by the Baby Boomer generation that the world, when they have gone, will cease to be.  It must be a consequence of their belief that the world, before they entered it, didn’t exist. … Continue reading

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