Poet and Scholar Annie Finch in Conversation


A poet’s poet, Annie Finch is known for her original blending of formalist and free verse styles in her poems, and her activism on behalf of other poets, particularly women. With all her degrees from Stanford and Yale, and her rich literary and scholarly ancestry, Finch is far from elitist, promoting the literary voices of […]

Marianne Moore’s Poem “I Like a Horse. . .”


Obstinacy as Hedge against Feelings of Nothingness Is Marianne Moore’s poem a war poem in disguise? Horses are beautiful, sleek, graceful. Mules are obstinate and onerous–and useful. As a personality the poet Marianne Moore was nothing if not pragmatic; I’ve always liked Moore’s meditative poem on human and animal obstinacy, on inflexibility as means of […]

Dog Poems by Cleopatra Mathis

Cleopatra Mathis’s marvelous Book of Dog (Sarabande Books, 2012) really is a book of dog poems. The book has three parts: “Canis” [wild dogs], concerns the painful end of a marriage; the second, most interesting title section, itself a series of numbered poems, explores animal and dog consciousness; and “Essential Tremor,” the third, refers to […]

Notes on a Week with the Frost Place

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Notes on My Week at the Frost Place, Franconia, New Hampshire, August through August 9, 2014. Here I am at the Frost Place near Franconia, New Hampshire deep into poetry with a few dozen other participants. A kind of low-key Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference with Patrick Donnelly as the organizer. Donnelly gave his talk last […]

Wordsworth’s Westminster Bridge ––Urban Beauty Then & Now

I recently reread Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed on Westminster Bridge,” written in 1802, and memorized the poem so I could share it with a friend on our walks along Pt. Isabel on the San Francisco Bay, with its clear view of other bridges–both the Gold Gate and the new, sparkling Bay Bridge across the water. Reciting […]

Two Poems from A.R.Ammons’ Brink Road

Two Poems from A.R. Ammons’ Brink Road “. . . as for writing, why, it’s like walking, you aren’t working but you aren’t doing nothing:” –A.R. Ammons (“Summer Place”) The poem “Play” is another of A.R. Ammons’ gems, this one from his book Brink Road (1996), which follows his more famous book Garbage, written in […]