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“……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 Blessing, Poetry 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.
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):
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