Poet Gregory Orr; a brief excerpt from a recent “On Being” interview…..

Today another day

“Today, Another Day” by Kathleen M. Dlugos; oil on paper

 

“……But a person in crisis, an individual in crisis, is someone who has been bowled over by some kind of crisis. And what poetry says to us is, you know what? Turn your confusion, turn your world into words. Take it outside yourself, into language. And poetry says, I’m going to meet you halfway. You just bring me your chaos. I’ll bring you all sorts of ordering principles. I’ll bring you story; if you want sonnets, I’ll bring you sonnets. What we’re going to do is, we’re going to let your crisis shine through this ordering principle.”

To read the complete ON BEING with Krista Tippett interview transcript, go to Shaping Grief with Language.

 

 

Further details on artist and educator Kathleen M. Dlugos can be found here.

Gregory Orr taught English at the University of Virginia from 1975 to 2019 and founded its Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing. His books of prose include The BlessingPoetry as Survival, and A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry. He is the author of over 10 books of poetry including How Beautiful The Beloved, and a forthcoming collection, The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write.

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Untitled: 6/2/19

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Reading W.S. Merwin (1927-2019)

Poet W.S. Merwin died yesterday, March 15, 2019, at his home in Hawaii.  Poet, translator, environmentalist, memoirist, conservator of land, language, human imagination.  Soul.  A poem from his book The Shadow of Sirius (2009, Copper Canyon Press):

Just This

When I think of the patience I have had

back in the dark before I remember

or knew it was night until the light came

all at once at the speed it was born to

with all the time in the world to fly through

not concerned about ever arriving

and then the gathering of the first stars

unhurried in their flowering spaces

and far into the story the planets

cooling slowly and the ages of rain

then the seas starting to bear memory

the gaze of the first cell at its waking

how did this haste begin this little time

at any time this reading by lightning

scarcely a word this nothing this heaven

View fr. I-91 North, Connecticut; Nov. 22, 2017

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Retro-Update – Looking Back to Pages from a Handmade Book, c. 2014

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(MPW collage on left; cut-out from old (OLD!) Art News on right)

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(xerox litho on left; collage on right)

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(on the left: carved wooden head from a fetish figure, Bakongo tribe, Congo; fr.The Art of Central Africa, pub. 1967.  MPW drawing on the right.)

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Re-Reading C.D. Wright, 10:30 p.m.

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“. . . That the poems we snatch from the language must bear the habit of our thinking.

That their arrangement strengthens the authority on which each separate line is laid.

That they extend the line into perpetuity.

That they enlarge the circle.

That they awaken the dreamer.  That they awaken the schemer.

That they rectify the names.

That they draw not conclusions but further qualify doubt.  . . . .”

(p. 39; fr. The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in St. Roch, the Big Box Store, the Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All; pub. 2016, Copper Canyon Press)

 

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Thinking about Wallace Stevens….

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     “What is the poet’s subject?  It is his sense of the world.  The truth is that a man’s (one’s) sense of the world dictates his subjects to him, and that this sense is derived from his personality, his temperament, over which he has little control and possibly none, except superficially.  It is not a literary problem.  It’s the problem of his mind and nerves.  These sayings are another form of the saying that “Poets are born, not made”.  A poet writes of twilight because he shrinks from noonday.” (WS)

(image: mpw)

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