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Jennifer Michael Hecht
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Thanks David - that's lovely to hear and yes, it is a moving tribute. And Desmond, Amazon will be fine. I await my photograph, but the negativity is as but dust. Also: Yowza you know a lot about Irish myth! I especially like Norse-berserker. Jennifer
Well, glad you guys worked that out. I was going to stay out of it, but not happy. I put in some time writing that little essay on the Wandering Aengus (why? no money in it. no pleasant comments usually. just a desire to talk about the verse in my head, and a hope for at least imagined community) and the only response was a paragraph of curses in my inbox. I am an established philosopher and poet, a mother of two, (I should add broke and struggling public intellectual) and that is not how one speaks to me. Interestingly, my new poetry book Who Said tells how curses strike me. Why not buy a copy so we can put this unpleasantness behind us?
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Dear Bleaders! So a poem is in my head today, and I thought of you. The Song of Wandering Aengus - W. B. Yeats I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout. When I had laid it on the floor I went to blow the fire a-flame, But something rustled on the floor,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Dear Bleaders, So good to talk to you again! Much have I traveled in the realms of gold - though not overland, nor by sea. Just Brooklyn and the realms of gold. Still, many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. A coupla times I felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He star'd at the Pacific — and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise —... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Dear Bleaders, Hope you holiweeked nicely, fattened up for the frost. I never really took down my garden from this summer, I’ll wait for a warm day and try to turn it all over. It's looking a like a tomato’s idea of a haunted house. I was getting gorgeous tomatoes as late as October but then what Keats said happened, Autumn set budding more and still more, later flowers for the bees, until they thought warm days would never cease, for summer as o’erbrimmed their clammy cells. So there are a lot of green tomatoes out there in various forms... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
love this. It's so good, and twisted.
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Fancy Dog, here for no reason. Dear Bleaders, I find it hard to believe that, down that long road, *nobody* said it would be easy. I think someone’s given me a hard wrong on that account. I was gonna say bum steer, but despite the fun of saying bum, and thinking steer: I don’t know what a bum steer is. Wait, I’ll google. Back. It’s about steering a boat backwards requiring a lookout at one end shouting info to the guy on the other end (who does the actual steering) via a bucket train of informing shouters. It went wrong... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Dear Bleaders! It's been about six months since my last post - I've been super busy getting my two new books to press. They both came out last month and it's been very exciting - and sometimes a lot to handle. More on that soon. Right now I want to introduce you to a wonderful young poet who I met when he was in the MFA Program at the New School, Tommy Pico. His poetry is great; he grew up on the rez and writes movingly about it; he's been a community builder in poetry, starting reading series, putting out... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Dear Bleaders, It is going to storm here soon, it’s not due until tonight, but the wind is already doing weird things to the leaves. I'm hoping my little garden withstands it. Here's a photo of my bean stalks yearning up the white fence I gave them, and in the background the first crop of tomatoes. Here’s a great poem for you. It takes you into something secret. It’s by Marilyn Nelson from her The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems. She's also got a great new New and Selected called Faster Than Light. Lonely Eagles for Daniel “Chappie”... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Dearest Bleaders, Weather service says we’re in for a mini-heat-wave in my neck of the brick – temps in the 90s. Right now a warm cloud has settled on the ground and wets us down. I’ve got the proofs of my two new books to correct at the same time, tricky balance, so I thought I’d set it all down and say hi to you. Also, there are tiny black flies on my heirloom tomato plants, but none on the cherries nor the beefsteak. I am spritzing them with soap and water – the interweb says it will help. Today... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Dear Bleaders, White sky out there seemed to call for this poem by Timothy Donnelly, of the wonderful Twenty-Seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit and The Cloud Corporation. Epitaph by His Own Hand From the morning he started peeling his first potato he felt like he'd been peeling potatoes for eternity- all that fell about his ankles like clouds' inky shadows smudged across pastures of an afterlife clearly put farther away from him the harder he worked for it. -Timothy Donnelly It's true! Potato peelings look like clouds. Or rather like the shadows of clouds. Every time you... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Dear Bleaders, Well when it remembers to rain it certainly remembers how to do it! It’s been storming off and on here in the spring of early-twenty first century Brooklyn and just now the birds are whistling hosannas to the sun. This is the fourth iteration of my newfangled blog here at BAP; the old fang, long in the tooth, deep in the truth, was about poets equally established, Dickinson, Bishop, and Szymborska, Keats, Yeats, and Stevens; the new fangs, familiar with fresher truth and bluer truth, are poets of my age, era-wise; wise beyond error. I pick the poem... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Dear Bleaders, Blue skies, pink cherry trees, yellow and red tulips, new-green leaves. As your correspondent from Brooklyn I report that all this color is exploding on the usual grey of asphalt and slate, dark blush of brick and brick-shade paint. In a matter of days the magical Magicicadas will be here. These are the 17 year cicadas – who we haven’t seen since “the Macarena” was the top of the pops – and they will be creeping out of the ground in the millions on the East Coast, sometimes 1.5 million an acre. The nymphs crawling out of the... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Dear Bleaders, How’re things? By me they’re pretty good. The sun, of late, has brightened my cold dark heart a bit, let a little light into the eternal dungeon of the winter's mind. I’ve got some seeds and seedlings into our patch of dirt: broccoli, tomatoes, scallions, basil, eggplant, corn, and I’m looking forward to the tending as much as the eventual harvest. Today is chilly and dim with laden clouds, but for the gardener, rain takes on a sweeter threat. I’m offering today a poem by Mark Bibbins whose fabulous books are Sky Lounge and The Dance of No... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
Dearest Bleaders, I’ve been away so long! Been tending a few other fireplaces, to wit, I’ve got two books coming out in the fall; also changes in husband’s work has given me more time alone with my kids, now seven and eight, which, of course, leaves less time alone with words. To be scathingly honest it might be truer to say I simply couldn’t get my blogging fire lit of late, but look now, I’ve got a spark and some tinder, and hope for smoke. My idea is to return to the blog but with a new focus: poems I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Dear Bleaders, Well the top news is the warm sun has a chilled breeze these mornings and the sprites and delights are back at school. Everyone’s summers were something, busy or quiet, no one’s summer was exactly like anyone else’s. Presumably as long as you noticed some of yours it was as much of hot days as was needful. Here's us fishing in Prospect Park. We talked about Bishop’s “One Art” in class last week, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master” how she smiles and smiles and lies. The art of losing is doable, but it doesn’t even... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Dear Bleaders, We’ve got a white sky here, no snow on the ground, but the air so cold the leaves all look ashen green which somehow comes off looking like another shade of sky-white. A silver shade of jade. This great earth is going to roll from this end of March to the other and the sky is going to wisp into blue and the sun is going to start batting us around her bright spots. I am a purveyor of fine doubt but this I can guarantee you. Things are going going going here and that is good. If... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Dear Bleaders, I’m sure lots of people reading this blog know we lost a staggeringly great poet, Wisława Szymborska, a few weeks ago. It was Feb 1; she was 88. I can’t help giving us this one of her poems right now. Museum Here are plates with no appetite. And wedding rings, but the requited love has been gone now for some three hundred years. Here’s a fan–where is the maiden’s blush? Here are swords–where is the ire? Nor will the lute sound at the twilight hour. Since eternity was out of stock, ten thousand aging things have been amassed... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Dear Bleaders, The sun came out today. Blue sky and small white clouds. I don’t care, being human is such a poke in the eye. I throw myself out there though and I’m much better. I know in my guts nothing will help but I remember as a dry fact that sun and nature can jigger the register. And it’s true. Weather this warm on the first of February is all wrong but it feels so right. My tree art is painting pictures with its spinning and is casting constellations of sun dots tripling over everything. The circles of light... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Dear Bleaders, Last week I wrote to you. The post started, “I don’t know how I’m going to get the gumption or gusto to write this post.” Then cursor blink. I blinked back. Today I wrote this post, this paragraph being a post-post prolog. This time as you can see I wrote the post, but still I sat blinking at it, mulling should I post it. I show up just to say Hi, but once I start writing it comes out a bit, I’m gonna say depressed, and I’m not exactly, or I don’t feel like being publically, so I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Dear Bleaders, I've told you guys before about how Christopher Hitchens borrowed a mite too liberally from my book Doubt: A History, though he cited a lot he definitely did not give credit when it was most painfully due. (I made all that plain in an otherwise extremely positive review of the book and we had some electronic chat about it and suffice to say the man liked my work and just hadn't quite realized how much was indeed mine, i.e. original research and ideas). I'd mostly forgiven him by then and I'd forgiven him entirely upon hearing his diagnoses.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks Stacey -- means the world to me. And your additional notions now seem too important to leave out of the central discussion. Love the image of the dance recital being wonderful but alas forgettable until one or two moments when the dancers leap out of the ordinary and do something so lovely it imbeds itself in our mind's eye for an extraordinarily long time, as if they leapt right into our heads. As for feasts, my memory is already paring things down to the pecan pie with home-made whipped cream. xoxox Thanks again for writing. xoxo jmh
Dearest Bleaders, Okay I thought I was done but I need to do a little more. Essay Part One. Allow me to put two more bits of notion into our meditation on the rule of bliss and its opposite, the swing-and-the-miss (and solitude, and its opposing number too) (which for me, right now, is you). Note the first is the excerpt from Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journal commonly, wonderfully offered in tandem with Will’s poem. Read it like you have been staring hungry too long a tin of grav lox missing its key, and then entered the theater to deliver it as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
How about Excess? I love that one terribly.
Has anyone claimed "Finish These Sentences?"