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Posts Tagged ‘Peggy Rosenthal’

Race Relations: A Personal History

By Peggy RosenthalJanuary 15, 2018

It is Martin Luther King Day, and I muse about how my relation to African-Americans has been shaped over the years. When I was a child, my father would sometimes take me into work with him on Saturdays. He was a physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he ran a research lab (with…

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Invisible Man

By Peggy RosenthalJanuary 9, 2018

What made me pick up Ralph Ellison’s classic 1952 novel, Invisible Man? Had I ever even read it before? I don’t think so, and when I recently noticed a reference to it somewhere, I immediately thought: now is the time. To refresh your memories: the novel is narrated by a nameless protagonist, a young black…

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Poetry Friday: “Meditation on Soteriology”

By Karen An-Hwei LeeDecember 15, 2017

Karen An-Hwei Lee lays out her poem “Meditation on Soteriology” so that it looks at first like prose. But you don’t have to read far before you see the wild conjunction of images as poetry. “Paradises of flora and flame,” for instance, takes us aback, since we’d expect to read “flora and fauna.” Similarly with…

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Poetry Friday: “Scale”

By Chelsea WagenaarDecember 1, 2017

As I read and re-read this poem, I enjoy noticing exactly when I’ve realized that it’s about the speaker’s pregnancy. If I know that “linea nigra” in the second verse is the dark line that appears on a pregnant belly from belly button downwards, then I’ve already caught on. If I don’t know this, I…

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Poetry Friday: “Speculation: Along the Way”

By Scott CairnsNovember 3, 2017

Did you ever try finding words for the experience of prayer? Or for the sense of mysterious contact with the divine? That’s what Scott Cairns is attempting in “Speculation: Along the Way.” He tries out a metaphor of a distant thunderstorm — which might however be within. “Might” is in fact a key word in…

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The Poetry of Richard Wilbur

By Peggy RosenthalNovember 2, 2017

I don’t remember when I first starting reading Richard Wilbur’s poetry. But his death on October 14th, at age ninety-six, has returned me to my favorites among his immense output of poems. At the top of my list, indeed one of my favorite of all twentieth century poems, is the magical “Love Calls Us to…

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The Best in Bedtime Reading

By Peggy RosenthalOctober 23, 2017

A therapist I once went to for help with insomnia advised me: “Stop reading a novel at bedtime; it stimulates the mind.” When I recounted this to my wise sister who knows me well, she protested: “No! A novel takes you out of yourself; that’s just what you want before trying to go to sleep.”…

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Richard Osler’s Hyaena Season

By Peggy RosenthalOctober 3, 2017

We’ve all suffered wounds in some way. If not the physical wounds of war or other violence, then the psychic wounds of broken relationships. We struggle against the evil both within ourselves and outside in the world. Richard Osler’s new poetry collection, Hyaena Season, fearlessly probes all these wounds, all this evil. Let’s take the…

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Poetry Friday: “Underwhelmed”

By Jeffrey ThomsonSeptember 29, 2017

Put on your hiking books and grab your compass, magnifying glass, and shovel: this poem is taking you on an exploratory adventure. What the poem is tracking down is  the manifold concepts in the word “under.” Some of the poem’s “unders” are recognizable: like “under the splay-handed palms,“ “under the coral’s forest of horn,” “under…

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Poetry Friday: “Medieval Miniatures: Entry into Jerusalem”

By Dan MurphySeptember 15, 2017

Dan Murphy has written a series of poems inspired by medieval miniatures: those marvelously detailed paintings crammed full with colorful life. In this poem, Murphy uses the miniature of Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem to multiply images for our human need to reach for the beyond. I love the variety of these images: someone climbing a…

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