Monthly Archives: January 2014

“Whoever you are come travel with me. Traveling with me you find what never tires.”

The poem continues: “The earth never tires.  The earth is rude, silent incomprehensible at first. . . be not discouraged, keep on. . . there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.”  I once wrote these words on my kitchen … Continue reading

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“No one was coming toward the house yet, but things wouldn’t stay the way they were much longer.”

When Ann Beattie met John Updike, he said “You figured out how to write an entirely different kind of story.” Her stories were “the” stories my English department discussed in the 1980s because they were so  revolutionary.  T. Coraghessan Boyle wrote in the New … Continue reading

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“Terror and beauty are woven into the fringes of things both great and small.”

Surely the first test of  wonderful writing is whether it can recaptivate the reader who returns a second, third, or fourth time.  Annie Dillard’s essay “Seeing” passes that test. For her, seeing leads to understanding, which can then lead to transformation.  Her closing lines describe being moved … Continue reading

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“. . . Heaven may be only the mind’s fear of the wonders it imagines. . .”

If you read only one poem today (or this week, or this month), let it be “Ancestral Lights” by Deborah Digges. Here is more of the sentence that the quotation comes from: “And though I know now that heaven may … Continue reading

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“His strong point [was] his odd ability to fall feetfirst into the little pocket of someone else’s world for those few seconds.”

My favorite book of 2013 is about three grown-up siblings and their families, all of whom have one important thing in common: they aren’t where they wanted to be.  They don’t feel at home in the choices that they’ve made. What’s … Continue reading

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