What Groundhog Day Means to Poets

When the movie Groundhog Day was released in 1993, it received mixed reviews. Since then, however, the film has been embraced by many as a dark-horse (woodchuck?) comedy with serious undertones. It's even been embraced by Buddhists, who see TV weatherman Phil Connors's repeating day as a metaphor for reincarnation and striving to try, try, try again …

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Scoring an MFA in 10,000 Hours

And again. From the beginning, maestro! Remember the Maine! And, better still, remember Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000-hour rule," which states that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in anything will lift you to professional status. Of course, that claim has since been debunked, but pretty-sounding studies (and the power of repetition) give anything legs, even since-disproven rules, …

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Poetry Myth or Truth? You’d Be Surprised.

Myth or Truth? Buying a poetry collection in the Kindle version may save you money, but it's just not the same experience as reading the poems in book form. Truth: Based on wide-ranging experience (once), I found that trying to read poems on an electronic device was an antiseptic experience at best, one which took …

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A Brief New Year’s Message (2019 Vintage)

Just like that, another year gone. Here's weird: I just reread last year's New Year's post and nothing, I mean nothing, seems dated, so you can ignore the "Best by Such and Such Date" imprint on it (and don't you just love ignoring stuff?). What does the heartiness of a year-old post proves? Once more, in the …

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Random Thoughts, December Edition

With the Winter Solstice now securely in the rearview mirror, people can take good cheer: The days are getting longer! (Not that anyone notices at this hectic time of year.) Here in New England, the Solstice was celebrated with sheets of rain and pillowcases of wind, temps in the 60s Fahrenheit. All fore of our …

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Random Thoughts for October: Scary Times

These days, there is nothing United about the States of America. No surprise, given ours is a god of irony. It is dangerous reading the newspapers, indeed. If you believe in freedom of the press (the First and Foremost Amendment), you put your money where your mouth is and subscribe to a newspaper or two. …

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A Certain, Lovely Ghostliness

There is more poetry in autumn than summer, it would seem. Traveling from the congested highways of an overcrowded Commonwealth to the quiet shorelines of a Maine lake proves as much. Last night we arrived to high winds and whitecaps. This morning I arise to clear, Canadian air, sun, calm. That coupled with the possibility …

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Random Thoughts: September Edition

Humidity has made New England its home these past few weeks. The eviction notices don't appear to be working. According to translators Kazuaki Tanahashi and Peter Levitt, the famous Cold Mountain poems appear to have been written by more than one person over time. Is that as shocking as Shakespeare wasn't written by Shakespeare? Not …

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September Streams of Consciousness…

September? Already? School in session? Already? What a mockery that last day of summer (Sept. 22nd) will make of you (when it gets here). You, who've presided over summer's funeral prematurely. Do the words "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated" not mean anything to you? And what are you doing on book review …

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News Flash: Poetry Matters Again!

The September 2018 issue of The Atlantic --- a bit briny as usual --- just beached itself in my mailbox and lo, there was a feature article on poetry in it! What's more, it's headline proclaimed ("Dewey Wins!"-like) "How Poetry Came to Matter Again." Which means, in case you haven't been paying attention, that poetry hasn't …

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