Last week, I published this photo of my bulletin board, which is packed away somewhere. O, how I miss it.
It occurs to me that you can’t actually read many of the notes or quotes on the board from the photo, so here is what they are / say:
“no matter what
regardless of what others think
until you learn it better
until you die” –Hope Clark
Cheat sheet for considering a poem (blue index card):
narrative (if any)
syntax / line
sound / rhythm
emotion –> what’s at stake? tension / complexity
what does this poem value?
what version of paradise does it reveal?
what are its thresholds and how does it cross them?
Random sticker of a buffalo courtesy of my youngest (“Mom, do you want this sticker of a buffalo for your bulletin board?” “Errrr…, yes, of course! Thank you!”)
“How much better is silence; the the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here forever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.” –Virginia Woolf, The Waves
“I don’t know what’s meant by Know thyself, which seems to ask a window to look at a window. I aspire to know when best to walk, or eat, which music I need, and how to keep myself sitting as I am now, stubbornly enraptured with doing practically nothing.” –James Richardson
When you are fooled by something else, the damage will not be so big. But when you are fooled by yourself, it is fatal.” –Shunkyu Suzuki
Cheat sheet on TONES (my list of tones a poem might take, short and partial)
detached (Emily D., Louise G.)
frat boy (Bob H.) (with my apologies)
“Every line should be a station of the cross.” –Charles Wright
“Protect your inner life…” etc. –Jane Kenyon
“Art undoes the damage of haste. It’s what everything else isn’t.” –Theodore Roethke
“Life, by definition, is not an intrusion.” –Sarah Ruhl
Each day comes with 86,400 seconds. Tick tock.
[Emily staring at me]
“The bad news is that you’re falling through air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” –Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Cheat sheet on METAPHOR — Steven Dobyns
metaphor consists of — object, image
image: “like a house where the witch has just stopped dancing.” (Asian Figures, W.S. Merwin, trans.)
The best metaphors have images that are open-ended, that could have additional meaning each time it’s considered.
[Postcard of Bonnard’s “The Almond Tree in Blossom”]
[(most recent) Rejection from The Southern Review]
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” –Anaïs Nin
“I find myself longing for one living word
To last among a thousand dead ones—
Home—” –David Biespiel
[Notes from my faculty mentor on things to look for in Frances Levinston’s work–things he thinks I’m working on: capaciousness and simplicity; highlighting a major metaphor]
“I will not give up and neither will you.” –poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi, possibly the most inspiring voice on Facebook
“One learns to play the harp by playing.” –Aristotle
Quote from a Good Earth tea bag: “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.” –Isadora Duncan
“Walk on air against your better judgement.” –Seamus Heaney’s epitaph (and a line from one of his poems, I believe, but most of my books are packed away so I can’t confirm).
“For there are the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.” –Rilke
[Self-Portrait on a Small Blue Square by Middle Child. Or Eldest Child. I can’t remember. That’s the kind of mom I am.]