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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Poetry Friday: Lord of the hopeless also dear

By Shane McCraeApril 19, 2019

Lord of the hopeless also dear     Hat-Soak Pole-in-the-Canal and Red-Tie Father     Son And Holy Ghost not     in that order break The rottenness of those who torture one Of Thy least wrath-deserving exiles me Not     wholly undeserving     no     but some And isn’t it the some that counts with Thee O     Gondola also as the trees pass…

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The Place of the Imagination in Spiritual Experience

By Richard ChessApril 8, 2019

Does the imagination play a role in spiritual experience, I asked. How about in religious experience? On a Thursday morning late in the semester, a dozen undergraduates–honors students–and I gathered in a circle in the Laurel Forum, a room with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves along one wall, another wall all windows opening onto the campus quad. A…

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Revelations: An Interview with Poet Ruben Quesada

By Cassidy HallMarch 26, 2019

…Christ was never more than a man nailed to across but from him I learned that an entire lifefits into a person’s palm like a book of poemslike an executioner’s hammer now at thirty fiveI have learned confession won’t save me… Ruben Quesada is the author of Next Extinct Mammal and Exiled from the Throne…

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Remembering W.S. Merwin: Poet of Disappearance

By Peggy RosenthalMarch 18, 2019

On March 15, acclaimed American poet W.S. Merwin died at age 91. Merwin wrote in other genres as well: four prose books, three plays, and twenty volumes of translations of poetry. But it’s for his own poetry that he has long been celebrated. In the 1960s, his poems against the Vietnam War brought him wide…

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Poetry Friday: “Leeks”

By Richard SpilmanJanuary 18, 2019

Richard Spilman’s poem “Leeks” also sits with surprise after expectation, with renewal after a long hibernation of disappointment.

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Mary Oliver: The Gift of the Word Despair

By Allison Backous TroyJanuary 17, 2019

“Tell me of despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.” I was in college when I first encountered Mary Oliver. It was in a daily email sent out by one of my philosophy professors. I don’t remember what we had been talking about; maybe we were reading Plato, or Parker Palmer, who said once…

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Poetry Friday: “Rusted Chain”

By ImageNovember 30, 2018

Each element in Haven’s poem returns to the visual of childhood games, like hopscotch or tic-tac-toe. The image of boxes containing “Xs and Os” haunts the poem, creating a pattern that compartmentalizes our speaker’s reckoning with the past. This reckoning is “a tally where no one / should ever win.” The poem speaks to a…

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200 Posts in a Decade of Blogging: Part 1

By Peggy RosenthalOctober 22, 2018

This is my 200th post for Good Letters. There’s something about round-number occasions, isn’t there? They move us to reflection, which is what this anniversary has done for me. I’m recalling how Good Letters got started, and how our blog has developed since then. Late in 2008, several of us who’d been connected with Image…

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Poetry Friday: “Walking on Water in Venice”

By Jean JanzenOctober 19, 2018

Anyone who’s visited a city far from daily familiars—surrounded by new language, customs, landscapes, and cuisine—knows how the senses seem on high alert, including our acknowledgment that we inhabit a physical body attempting to maneuver all of the above with grace and even confidence. Here, Jean Janzen’s speaker revisits a romanticized location known for its…

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Poetry Friday: “Lord, Sky”

By Betsy ShollOctober 12, 2018

The compelling narrative of “Lord, Sky,” set during the time of an election, is also sheer poetry. The writer repeats diction (“light,” “sky,” “moon,” “grin”) and layers language (“heaven,” “rainbow,” “stars,” “night,” “midnight”) to invite us “little trees of heaven / stuck in concrete” to pay heed to the world above and around us, to…

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