Je regrette, but it's true. I play favorites among my children. No, not those children. My poetry children. What's weird is, often a published author's favorite poems are not ones that ever saw the light of poetry-published day in a journal or magazine. You will not find them on the book's acknowledgment page, in other words. … Continue reading The No-No of Playing Favorites
So your book is listed on amazon. Ho-hum. The same is true for 4,609,398,623,211 other books. Where the rubber really hits the road is when your book sits on a bookstore shelf. We're talking prime real estate, many dots beyond com, between Barnes and his distinguished brother, Noble, say, or between some Mom and some … Continue reading My Book Finds Precious Real Estate
One of the most enjoyable aspects of publishing a first book of poetry is--what else?--readers, but less obviously, it's readers' reactions to poems. Here's irony. Reading a lot about poetry, I often come across comments from experts, critics, and even other poets, spreading rumors like, "When writing poetry, you should never write about nature because … Continue reading What? I Can’t Write About This?
In the "Things I Never Thought I'd Write" Department, we have this: Today Garrison Keillor read one of my poems on his nationally-syndicated program, The Writer's Almanac. Yep. The very same Writer's Almanac I've listened to on the radio and read on-line countless times. The poem, "Snapper," tells the simple story of a snapping turtle … Continue reading Garrison Keillor Reads One of My Poems
In my last post, I shared a Czeslaw Milosz poem that seems to have echoes in many other works by many other poets. Anyone who has studied or simply read deeply of literature and mythology knows that writers' fascination with life and death leads to thoughts of the world's curious indifference to us. Yes, we … Continue reading Indifference–a Most Unexpected Angle
Many words--even simple ones--hold multiple meanings. Add connotative undertones to their pedigree and they grow even more fascinating. The word "indifferent" is such a word. Seemingly simple, there's more to it than meets the eye as I'll show in this post and the next. That's one reason why I chose to name my book The … Continue reading Czeslaw Milosz on the Indifferent World
*But if you did and took it, you'd probably be in first place thanks to this sneak preview. Nota bene: This quiz is for experts--that is, anyone who has ever read a poem (ANY poem, even "Roses Are Red--Still"). Having read The Indifferent World itself is not a requirement. It only helps a little, I … Continue reading You Won’t Find This Quiz on Goodreads*
"Ekphrasis" is a Greek word meaning "description." In poetry, it conjures a poem describing a painting or sculpture. Using the adjective form, we get "ekphrastic poetry," and although I have not written about a painting or a sculpture, I have written about a photograph. Is this "ekphrastic poetry"? Durned if I know. I suppose strict … Continue reading Ekphrastic Poetry (of a Sort)