Osip Mandelstam, “Cathedral, Empty”

Cathedral, Empty (from A Burning Boat) Osip Mandelstam (tr. Christian Wiman) When light, failing, Falling Through stained glass, Liquefies The long grass At the feet of christ, I crawl diabolical To the foot of the cross To sip the infinite Tenderness Distilled From destroyed Hearts: An air of thriving Hopelessness Like a lone cypress Holding […]

Continue reading →

Annabel Banks, “Recognition”

Recognition (from Eunoia Review) Annabel Banks I’d told you that my brain can’t capture faces, leaves me blank and reaching without context clues, some shade of hair or hat, so you waved. Thank you. It gives me a lift. Some cog connects to give pleasure from looking at one who said I looked a pleasure, […]

Continue reading →

Seamus Heaney, “Field of Vision”

Field of Vision Seamus Heaney I remember this woman who sat for years In a wheelchair, looking straight ahead Out the window at sycamore trees unleafing And leafing at the far end of the lane. Straight out past the TV in the corner, The stunted, agitated hawthorn bush, The same small calves with their backs […]

Continue reading →

ACTC Conference Paper on Seamus Heaney

In Atlanta, thinking a lot about presentation, being clear, letting the depth of the things I read speak for itself. Not being in the way of the text is the most difficult thing, as it ironically requires one to step forth and be clear about what one understands and doesn’t understand. Here’s the link to […]

Continue reading →

Kay Ryan, “New Rooms”

New Rooms (from Poetry) Kay Ryan The mind must set itself up wherever it goes and it would be most convenient to impose its old rooms — just tack them up like an interior tent. Oh but the new holes aren’t where the windows went. Comment: I’d like to think myself open-minded. Not a mind […]

Continue reading →

Wislawa Szymborska, “Example”

for Monika Example (from The Drugstore Notebook) Wislawa Szymborska (tr. Clare Cavanagh & Stanislaw Baranczak) A gale stripped all the leaves from the trees last night except for one leaf left to sway solo on a naked branch. With this example Violence demonstrates that yes of course – it likes its little joke from time […]

Continue reading →

Kay Ryan, “All You Did”

All You Did (from Poetry) Kay Ryan There doesn’t seem to be a crack. A higher pin cannot be set. Nor can you go back. You hadn’t even known the face was vertical. All you did was walk into a room. The tipping up from flat was gradual, you must assume. Comment: Ambition, guilt, and […]

Continue reading →

“Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye,” at the Kimbell Museum of Art, Fort Worth TX

Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye an exhibition at the Kimbell Museum of Art, Fort Worth, TX. November 8, 2015 – February 14, 2016 Exhibition website I It is somewhat unsettling that a painter as accomplished as Caillebotte critiques two artistic virtues: the desire for order and one’s intensity of focus. Both are considered emblematic of […]

Continue reading →