Empson: The Heart of Standing

Butterfly Drawing by Jim Crump

Butterfly Drawing by Jim Crump

 

 

The language problem but you have to try.

Some solid ground for lying could she show?

The heart of standing is you cannot fly.

– A stanza from Aubade (1937) by William Empson


Basho & The Old Pond

Old pond

Frog jumps

Sound

–Basho

images

 


A Woman of Bangkok: Epigraph

Louis MacNeice

Louis MacNeice

The sunlight on the garden

Hardens and grows cold.

We cannot catch the minutes

Within its nets of gold.

When all is told

We cannot ask for pardon.

The opening stanza of “The Sunlight On The Garden,” a poem by Louis MacNeice, used as the epigraph on Chapter I of A Woman of Bangkok by Jack Reynolds.


The Dewdrop World: Issa’s Classic Poem

Haiku written by Issa in his own calligraphy.

Haiku poems by Issa in his own calligraphy.

“The world of dew

is the world of dew.

And yet, and yet –”

Kobayashi Issa, 1763-1827

 


Haiku By Issa, (1763–1827)

IMG_2114

Natural Circles, iPhone photograph by Roy Hamric

 

Mosquito at my ear –

does it think

I’m deaf?


James Fenton’s Paean to Mexico

Christopher Hitchens, James Fenton, Martin Amis, Paris 1979

Christopher Hitchens, James Fenton, Martin Amis, Paris 1979

Here is a beautiful prose poem by James Fenton on Mexico that celebrates attention to place, while also offering a primer on how to ignite creativity – always a solitary exercise. A friend reminds me of the story of Fenton riding on the top of a North Vietnamese army tank that breached the gates of the Presidential Palace during the fall of Saigon in 1975. Has any great poet had such a  send-off story to mark the eve of their career? His experience in Vietnam and Cambodia from summer 1973 form sections of All the Wrong Places (1988), a collection of essays.


Ralph Waldo Emerson: Give All To Love

Unknown

 

The first stanza of Emerson’s Give All To Love:

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-fame,
Plans, credit and the Muse —
Nothing refuse.


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