Author: Alan

  • Life, to be sure

    Jon pointed me years ago to this nearly perfect poem by A.E. Houseman: by A.E. Houseman Here dead lie we because we did not choose To live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; But young men think it is, and we were young. I […]

  • Lexicographic

    I had the greatest lexicographic moment of my life when I looked up the word ‘cromlech’ after reading this poem. The Cromlech by Louis MacNeice From trivia of froth and pollen White tufts in the rabbit warren And every minute like a thicket Nicked and dropped, nicked and dropped, Extracters and abstracters ask What emerges, […]

  • Though it is not Spring

    I am a huge fan of MacNeice now. Read this poem out loud. He is a poet who has such a mastery over sounds that I often care very little about his themes – though they are nothing to sneeze at, either. (It is almost embarrasing to love a poem so much that has “sunshine” […]

  • The Poet of Ceder St.

    Never mind the long silence, I have enjoyed Hoke’s posts and thoughts on Nietzsche. I plan to take some time with him and his solitudes and renunciations. I have recently been spending some evenings with a fine poet named Warren Carrier, father of Wintry-Minded Ethan. Conversations with him have inspired me to try again to […]

  • epic verse

    Words uttered by Heidi after she has begrudgingly agreed to lend her husband a pen: Goodbye noble pen! Ah me, your purchase was bitterness! Why did I, with such dutiful care, select you from among the many inscribers of ink that rested in their caps upon the shelf? If only you could live out your […]

  • Long Winded

    Mike’s posting of the Masters poem “Silence” made up my mind to post this Nemerov poem that I just encountered. Life Cycle of Common Man by Howard Nemerov Roughly figured, this man of moderate habits, This average consumer of the middle class, Consumed in the course of his average life span Just under half a […]

  • Nancy Willard

    For You, Who Didn’t Know by Nancy Willard At four A.M. I dreamed myself on that beach where we’ll take you after you’re born. I woke in a wave of blood. Lying in the back seat of a nervous Chevy I counted the traffic lights, lonely as planets. Starlings stirred in the robes of Justice […]

  • Forget it

    Here are two poems on a related theme. If I have already put up the Bishop poem before, I apologize. First, Billy Collins: Forgetfulness by Billy Collins The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel which suddenly becomes one you […]

  • A long swat

    Brian’s post about the early bird, lovely post that it was, left a small, very nasal fly inside my head who has been buzzing away, demanding a good swatting. This little essay is meant to be a rolled up piece of paper with which to do away with him. Brian began by pointing out that […]

  • Nemerov’s Sweeper

    The Sweeper of Ways by Howard Nemerov All day, a small mild Negro man with a broom Sweeps up the leaves that fall along the paths. He carries his head to one side, looking down At his leaves, at his broom like a windy beard Curled with the sweeping habit. Over him High haughty trees, […]