Category Archives: Poetry

One Art: Letters

Years ago, I bought a copy of One Art: Letters for my husband. How many years? I’m not sure: it came out in 1994, but it was probably not quite so long ago as that. Ten years ago? Twelve? Anyway, he … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Poetry | 17 Comments

Life at Grasmere and Reading Other People’s Diaries

Several years ago, I subscribed to RSS feeds for the diaries of Samuel Pepys and George Orwell. At the time, it seemed like a brilliant idea. The feeds updated on dates recorded in their diaries with the entry for that … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry | 27 Comments

Retreat Reading

I just returned from a weekend on retreat at the monastery of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was a remarkable weekend, filled with time for prayer and reflection—and all the quiet I could want. … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion | 4 Comments

Ariel: The Restored Edition

In high school, I loved reading poetry. I had lots of poetry anthologies and old textbooks, and I would read from them all the time, often aloud, loving the way the words felt as they spilled out of my mouth … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | 10 Comments

Poetry and the Age

I was reading Poetry and the Age the other day while my students were taking a test here in France. The room was quiet, pens busily at work, and suddenly, into the silence I dropped a helpless, delighted laugh. My … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Poetry, Short Stories/Essays | 8 Comments


When Lonnie Collins Motion (Lo Co Motion) was 7 years old, his parents died in a house fire. Now, four years later, he is living with his foster mother Miss Edna and learning to write poetry with encouragement from his … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction, Poetry | 3 Comments

The Aeneid, Books 7-12

My last post about the Aeneid mentioned that I found it both familiar and strange: episodes like the attack of the Harpies or the tour of the Underworld that I already knew from other sources, finally here in the original. … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Poetry | 3 Comments

The Aeneid, Books 1-6

Well, it’s the end of August, and the Aeneid is the last entry in My Big Fat Greek and Roman Summer. (That sounded better in my head. Wet Hot Greek and Roman Summer? 500 Days of Greek and Roman Summer? Okay, I may … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Poetry | 9 Comments

The Odyssey: Books 13-24

Halfway through the Odyssey, Odysseus is done with his long journey home: the Phaeacians have brought him back to Ithaca at last, safe and sound and loaded down with treasure. But the main problem of the book is left to … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Poetry | 9 Comments

The Odyssey, Books 1-12

I am about to say something so staggeringly obvious that you will immediately click away and go visit some other, smarter blogger: when you finally read a classic, you usually find out what that classic is actually about, and what it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Poetry | 10 Comments