Yearly Archives: 2017

The Bigness of Small Poems – # 35 in a Series – To Grieve, Yet Credit Marvels – Gelman, Berger & Heaney

  “The Deluded” hope fails us often grief never. that’s why some think that known grief is better than unknown grief. They believe that hope is illusion. They are deluded by grief. Juan Gelman (1930-2014) from Unthinkable Tenderness: Selected Poems, ed, and trans. Joan Lindgren, Berkeley University of California Press, 1977 Many years ago riding […]

What’s in a Hyphen – Poet Anne Michaels Tells Us

Later, What I Saw There – After Reading Anne Michael’s ‘All WE SAW’ — for Anne Michaels Sometimes, a skipping stone on water, my eye skips off pages of poems and does not enter in. Sometimes,  a mistake then, I shut the book. Say it’s too hard. But sometimes, later, I go back and force […]

The Bigness of Small Poems # 34 in a Series – Winter Solstice – Winter Poems by Sarah, MacLeod, Lane, Crozier

  Solstice A sly gift it is, that on the year’s shortest day, the sun stays longest in this house – extends the wand of its slow slant and distant squint farthest into the long depths of our wintry rooms – to touch with tremulous light, interior places it has not lit before. Robyn Sarah […]

A Tribute to John Berger (1926-2017) – The Laid-On Blacks Are All Man Made

I’m writing on the paper with black ink. And blacks (as distinct from dark greys, dark blues or greens or browns) have acquired more weight, are heavier. Other colours flare or recede or penetrate but blacks look as though they have been deposited. Laid on top of. And this connects with their weight. The black […]

Difficult Gifts – Jane Hirschfield’s Shining White Bull

Each Moment a White Bull Steps Shining into the World If the gods bring to you a strange and frightening creature, accept the gift as if it were one you had chosen. Say the accustomed prayers, oil the hooves well, caress the small ears with praise. Have the new halter of woven silver embedded with […]

Three Poetic Riffs on Courage – Part Three – Jan Zwicky

  COURAGE And now you know that it won’t turn out as it should that what you did was not enough, that ignorance, old evil, is enforced and willed, and loved, that it is used to manufacture madness, that it is the aphrodisiac of power the crutch of lassitude, you an ordinary heart, just functional, […]

Three Poetic Riffs on Courage – Part Two – Jack Gilbert

The Abnormal Is Not Courage The Poles rode out from Warsaw against the German tanks on horses. Rode knowing, in sunlight, with sabers. A magnitude of beauty that allows me no peace. And yet this poem would lessen that day. Question the bravery. Say it’s not courage. Call it passion. Would say courage isn’t that. […]

Three Poetic Riffs on Courage – Part One – Jane Mead

World of Made and Unmade from Section III * * * How will you spend your courage, her life asks my life No courage spent of bloodshot/gunshot/taproot/eye. How will you spend your courage, how will you spend your life. Bloodshot, gunshot, taproot, eye— and the mind on its slow push through the world— * * […]

A Reflection for Remembrance Day – Three Poets – Owen, Crozier and Amichai

The Parable of the Old Man and the Young So Abram rose, and clave the wood and went, And took the fire with him, and a knife. And as they sojourned both of them together, Isac the first born spake and said, My Father, Behold the preparations, fire and iron, But where the lamb for […]

Fierce Grace – The Debut Poetry Collection of Susan Alexander

PRAYER Unexpected day, cold and grey. Only the daffodils like fallen shards of sun glow among the ferns. Wide-eyed at the lawn’s edge, they coax us out of doors. We come barefoot in wet grass, hugging ourselves in thin pajamas. Who has not seen their green shoots pierce thin snow? I don’t have within me […]