On Writing

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That sinister rope at the end of the trope reveals Charles Simic’s dark sensibility. Shutterstock

Talking Ordinary: from Simic to Farrell

Where Robert Frost might write a few lines soundly cut from the solid old tree of language and delivered in his mellifluous White Mountain voice, The way a crow Shook down on me The dust of snow From a…
ecowaltz/flickr

On poetry and pain

There are several ways into the book Shaping the Fractured Self: poetry of chronic illness and pain, edited by Heather Taylor Johnson. And there are many uses it might serve in the multiple worlds of poetry…
The Bartlett Head (Aphrodite) at The MIT Museum 1978, white light transmission hologram Kenneth Lu/flickr

A hologram of light and love

I have been editing the unfinished book of a poet friend who died after a too-brief fight with cancer. She kept writing until she could no longer think clearly about what she wanted in her poems. I was…

On the life of an adjective

Adjectives have always been out there, mobs of them pressing on the outside walls, their faces against the windows, their shoulders at the doors. They just want to be inside close to all the nouns that…
Otto Magus

On imagery in poetry

One thing bursts out of another. Christine Brooke-Rose, in A Grammar of Metaphor (1958), called it the genitive link. When Ballarat regional poet Nathan Curnow begins his poem The Lighthouse with, nuns…