Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
So, what happened? Life, in no particular order. I remain busy at my day job. The county and state budget news depresses me and everyone else. I have been teaching my composition class at Hope--in fact the last class-day of the spring semester is today. Next fall I will be teaching a poetry class. Yes!
Life in general was--and remains--complicated by the affairs of multiple deaths-in-the-family. Add to the list Marcia's father, Hugh Kennedy, who died last month.
In December. we went to New York for Hannah's graduation. She is currently living in Brooklyn, writing for the New York Post, and working on an interesting novel. Yes, I was disappointed not to go to the AWP Conference. I will definitely be in Chicago, which is only a short train-ride away.
I have re-revised my hummingbird manuscript--in fact, most of my free time has been devoted to my manuscript, and I think it is a strong piece of work. If you are a publisher and want to see my wonderful, interesting ms., let me know. I also have a bunch of poems circulating among the journals.
The kids are happy and doing well in their new school--West Michigan Academy of Arts & Academics. Oh, and we have a new dog--Zoey--a most interesting rescue-dog case, who has worked her way into the family. I will post a photo of her.
It was a long winter and spring has been cold, wet and miserable. Here's to a warm and sunny summer.
I have read my way through War & Peace, in twenty minute-to-an-hour increments. I have some empathy for "Napoleon in rags / and the language that he used."
Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1850)
by Paul Delaroche
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
A Thought After Attempting to Discuss The Brooklyn Bridge
A Poem for My English 113 Class
M. DEGAS TEACHES ART AND SCIENCE AT DURFEE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL--DETROIT, 1942
By Philip Levine
He made a line on the blackboard,
one bold stroke from right to left
diagonally downward and stood back
to ask, looking as always at no one
in particular, "What have I done?"
From the back of the room Freddie
shouted, "You've broken a piece
of chalk." M. Degas did not smile.
"What have I done?" he repeated.
The most intellectual students
looked down to study their desks
except for Gertrude Bimmler, who raised
her hand before she spoke. "M. Degas,
you have created the hypotenuse
of an isosceles triangle." Degas mused.
Everyone knew that Gertrude could not
be incorrect. "It is possible,"
Louis Warshowsky added precisely,
"that you have begun to represent
the roof of a barn." I remember
that it was exactly twenty minutes
past eleven, and I thought at worst
this would go on another forty
minutes. It was early April,
the snow had all but melted on
the playgrounds, the elms and maples
bordering the cracked walks shivered
in the new winds, and I believed
that before I knew it I'd be
swaggering to the candy store
for a Milky Way. M. Degas
pursed his lips, and the room
stilled until the long hand
of the clock moved to twenty one
as though in complicity with Gertrude,
who added confidently, "You've begun
to separate the dark from the dark."
I looked back for help, but now
the trees bucked and quaked, and I
knew this could go on forever.
Monday, November 01, 2010
Congratulations to Heather Sellers on the publication of You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know (Riverhead Books, 2010), and all the wonderful attention the book has been getting from The New York Times Book Review, Poets & Writers, Good Morning, America, Oprah Magazine, and elsewhere.
That's two best sellers by members of the Hope College English Department within the last year!