Blog in Review: Happy Halloween! 10/31/16

Not feeling well today. Errand running got pushed back, as did job hunting and even reading. All I did was say hi to a few people and skim a poem or two.

The only saving grace is that I can showcase a few things written over the past couple of weeks. The figure of Antaeus features in a few of Seamus Heaney’s poems; he points to the idea that mankind, in its very inception, feels like it conquered something, feels like it progressed. Heaney’s meditation on myth makes me jealous, for I wish I could get as much out of a story as he does. Seamus Heaney, “Antaeus.”

I spent a bit of time thinking about how Kay Ryan and Emily Dickinson deal with failure, death, and loss. Kay Ryan’s “Erratic Facts” struck me as especially powerful. She renders so vividly how in the midst of grief, we initially only see a cold, hard world. How we can, little by little, learn to see beyond. Dickinson, of course, takes no prisoners in fighting the illusions that threaten her mindfulness. Emily Dickinson, “As if the Sea should part.”

The secondary literature I am reading in order to try and better understand Heaney is rewarding. Michael Cavanagh’s review of his volume Seeing Things brought even more richness to a volume of poetry I’ve read. Still, it’s also a joy to discover new poetry, an absolute privilege to be treated to it as soon as I open facebook or twitter. George Szirtes has given me that privilege, and I urge you to read his “Travel Notes.”

I wanted a copy of Robert Creeley’s most recent “Selected Poems,” but it was $25 at the bookstore. Creeley intrigues me because I feel like I’m learning so much about writing itself while I read his experiments with form through the years. I read a bunch of his poems from Poetry magazine, put together some ideas on an epigram of his. Robert Creeley, “The Puritan Ethos.”

Finally, a workshop I held over the weekend went very well, and I thought I should document some of the things discussed. Hopefully it might be useful.

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