There will be no poem at today’s inauguration. The tradition began at Kennedy’s inauguration with a poem by Robert Frost. I know it’s not an unbroken tradition. Not every president since Kennedy has had an inaugural poet. But this one feels conspicuous. I’m not surprised that there isn’t an inaugural poet. Who would agree to … More What to Do When There’s No Inaugural Poem?
This Wednesday will mark the 127th year after Gerard Manley Hopkins’s death. His final poem, “To R.B.” was written in the last few months of his life and sent to his friend, the Poet Laureate, Robert Bridges. Taking up Horace’s pregnancy metaphor of a poet holding a poem back for nine years, Hopkins’s final apology … More Hopkins’s Final Poem
What is a poet? There are the laureates recognized by the crown. The few who gather a community or a following around them. Or at least those who have been published. But what about the poets who had nothing? What about the opium addicts, the unpublished, and the unread? What about all those musty manuscripts … More 5 Poetic Failures Part 1
I was reminded recently of the Poet Laureate’s project, La Casa de Colores. It’s this wonderful idea of gathering so many voices together on a single theme. I keep meaning to contribute but haven’t yet. Looking at it again, I was struck by Herrera’s voice: Hello everyone and welcome to La Casa de Colores, my … More La Casa de Colores
I used to think the power of words was inexhaustible, That how we said the world was how it was, and how it would be. I used to imagine that word-sway and word-thunder Would silence the Silence and all that, That worlds were the Word, That language could lead us inexplicably to grace, As though … More I Still Do
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week’s post is our TBR summer list. Let’s start off with honesty. I don’t think that I’m going to read ten books this summer. The strange thing after starting grad school is in some ways I read less. Don’t get me wrong, … More Top Ten Books I Naively Suggest I Might Read this Summer
I was excited last summer when I heard that Charles Wright would become the Poet Laureate of the United States. I am drawn to the way he meditates on the weather and the change of seasons as though they are life-giving texts and discerns meaning about himself and his mortality. He translates the language of … More “All Things Come from Splendor”: The Poet Laureate Charles Wright