Six Poems about Fathers That Aren’t Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”

Before I say anything else, let me make it clear that this post’s headline does NOT mean that I think there is anything wrong with “Those Winter Sundays.” On the contrary, Hayden was a genius and that poem is one of the greats. And because it’s so great, it’s starting to become over-familiar. For this list, I wanted to branch out into a few less famous poems, and highlight some modern work that I think is interesting along the way. Sounds OK? Good, let’s begin.

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National Poetry Month 2018

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. In case you didn’t know, April was National Poetry Month in the States. This year, same as last, I decided to celebrate by posting a different poem every day on Twitter. My post collecting all of last year’s poems got a great response, so here I am again withContinue reading “National Poetry Month 2018”

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“Glanmore Sonnets, X” by Seamus Heaney

I dreamt we slept in a moss in Donegal
On turf banks under blankets, with our faces
Exposed all night in a wetting drizzle,
Pallid as the dripping sapling birches.
Lorenzo and Jessica in a cold climate.
Diarmuid and Grainne waiting to be found.
Darkly asperged and censed, we were laid out
Like breathing effigies on a raised ground.
And in that dream I dreamt—how like you this?—
Our first night years ago in that hotel
When you came with your deliberate kiss
To raise us towards the lovely and painful
Covenants of flesh; our separateness;
The respite in our dewy dreaming faces.

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The Poets List

I’m always surprised at the ease with which some book bloggers can choose favorites. I find it very difficult to choose just one favorite book, or even one favorite prose writer among the dozens that I read often. Favorite poets, though, is another kettle of fish. After hearing one BookTuber talk about her favorite novel,Continue reading “The Poets List”

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Bookish Links — November 2017

This month, classics professor Emily Wilson became the first woman to translate Homer’s Odyssey into English. This New York Times piece on the new perspective she brings to the text is fascinating. And speaking of women translators, here, ten of them discuss the women translators whose work they most admire. In this essay from Lit Hub,Continue reading “Bookish Links — November 2017”

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Authors on Authors

Long, long ago, not long after I started this blog, I published a list of favorite authors of mine and the authors whom they had pointed to as influences on their work. It was just lists of names, nothing more than that. So today, I’d like to update and expand on some of those entries, guided by the words of the writers themselves.

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Bookish Links — October 2017

By now, you’ve probably heard about Jill Bialosky’s memoir Poetry Will Save Your Life, for which she “borrowed” paragraphs from several other sources. By far, the best take on this whole debacle has come from Talya Zax at Forward. (HT: A. M. Juster) “Poetry is another level of complexity—communities creating a higher level of meaningContinue reading “Bookish Links — October 2017”

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Six Poets Who Actually Give Good Readings

There’s a long-standing stereotype in the poetry world that says that poets always give terrible readings of their own work. And while this generalization does bear out for some poets (looking at you, Eliot), this is by no means the rule for all. On the contrary, I’ve found quite a few poets who not onlyContinue reading “Six Poets Who Actually Give Good Readings”

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“Personal Helicon” by Seamus Heaney

Today, on the fourth anniversary of Seamus Heaney’s death, I thought I’d share this recording of a reading he gave in New York in 1971, and in particular his reading of one of my favorite poems of his, “Personal Helicon.” “Personal Helicon” by Seamus Heaney for Michael Longley As a child, they could not keepContinue reading ““Personal Helicon” by Seamus Heaney”

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Book Review: Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney by Dennis O’Driscoll

As far as I know, there exists no full-length biography of Seamus Heaney. I thought that was an odd omission for the world’s biographers to make, until I heard about this book, a marathon series of interviews covering the entirety of Heaney’s life and career, from early childhood to the publication of what was then his latest book, District and Circle.

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National Poetry Month Wrap-Up

April, in case you didn’t know, was National Poetry Month. I’m afraid I only remembered that on March 31, so I didn’t have time to prepare much in the way of poetry-related blog posts. So instead, I decided to tweet a poem every day in April. Here’s the full list: April 1: “The Windhover” byContinue reading “National Poetry Month Wrap-Up”

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Bookish Links — March 2017

It’s the last day of Reading Ireland Month, so this month’s installment of “Bookish Links” is going to include only links about Irish books and writers. First off, there’s the official Reading Ireland Month link-up, which you can check out here. Here, Seamus Heaney’s daughter Catherine writes for The Guardian about the famous photograph ofContinue reading “Bookish Links — March 2017”

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Is this just fantasy?

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