We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident…Once You Read Them

One of the most famous lines in Thomas Jefferson's start-the-presses Declaration of Independence is "We hold these truths to be self-evident." OK, let's not get political and note any ironies about what follows ("...that all men are created equal") because you know and I know that inequality is as big in the Age of Trump …

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Leviathan (Or, My Summer Reading List)

There's an old saying, now out of style in our "Supersize me!" society," that goes like this: "My eyes were bigger than my stomach." It means the food looked damn good, so you ordered (bought, cooked, helped yourself to) all of it and then couldn't finish it. The equivalent for readers? "My summer reading ambitions …

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The Importance of Imagery in “Sit and Write” Poems

There are ekphrastic poems, yes, where you write about another painter's vision on canvas, but what about your own vision when you're just hanging out in a favorite spot? That's the premise of what I call a "Sit and Write" poem---one that puts your description skills to the test. For example, I give you Charles …

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Dear Marie and Naomi: Want to Read Some Poems?

Every year, the National Poetry Series out of Princeton (I hear they have a college) stages an open competition for outstanding poetry manuscripts. To enter, it costs 30 bucks, and the submission period takes place from New Year's Day to the end of February. Though I've never entered, one thing that I like about the …

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“The General, Big-Bearded Arrogance of Certainty.” And Then There’s Poetry.

As a subscriber to Poetry, I admit to enjoying the essays in the back section as much as or, some months, more than the poetry up front. I'm still safe at the plate, however, as the essays are about poetry. The May issue features Poetry's well-advised fourth installment of exchanges with England's estimable Poetry Review. …

Continue reading “The General, Big-Bearded Arrogance of Certainty.” And Then There’s Poetry.