Because reason is inadequate.


A visual dictionary:



Penelope Lively

"Beliefs are relative.  Our connection with reality is always tenuous.  I do not know by what magic a picture appears on my television screen, or how a crystal chip has apparently infinite capacities.  I accept, simply.  And yet I am by nature sceptical -- a questioner, a doubter, an instinctive agnostic.  In the frozen stone of the cathedrals of Europe there co-exist the Apostles, Christ and Mary, lambs, fish, gryphons, dragons, sea-serpents and the faces of men with leaves for hair.  I approve of that liberality of mind."  -- Penelope Lively


When Poets Gather

When poets gather in the wood, (no stage, no schmooze, no selling of books), beautiful things happen.

photos Laurie James and Alan Wartes


What a different result one gets by changing the metaphor!
 George Eliot

The summer's coming to a close



Lucille Clifton

the times
it is hard to remain human on a day
when birds perch weeping
in the trees and the squirrel eyes
do not look away but the dog ones do
in pity.
another child has killed a child
and i catch myself relieved that they are
white and i might understand except
that i am tired of understanding.
if these
alphabets could speak their own tongue
it would be all symbol surely;
the cat would hunch across the long table
and that would mean time is catching up,
and the spindle fish would run to ground
and that would mean the end is coming
and the grains of dust would gather themselves
along the streets and spell out
these too are your children   this too is your child.  


Matthew Buckley Smith

"By ‘voice’ I don’t mean the sound breath makes when passing through the organ of the larynx. I mean the sound language makes when passing through the organ of the memory."

An extraordinary essay exploring the subtleties of voice:

Smartish Pace


The difficulty is not to write, but to write what you mean.   -  RLS


Ode to the Elders

On definitions

define, from the French, de finis', to set limitations


A new poem of mine appears in this month's New Criterion:

New Criterion