Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quotation : Marianne Moore

Sympathizing with an experiment, we yet need not venerate the result.

The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore (Penguin, 1987), p. 586

Friday, November 20, 2009


A poem by Seamus Heaney.

Via Steven Riddle's excellent blog A Momentary Taste of Being.

Dialogue on a bus

(By "girl" be it understood to mean "young college-age woman")

Girl #1: So what's your ethnicity?

Girl #2: I'm Brazilian.

Girl #1: Brazilian! I knew you were either Greek or Brazilian the first time I saw you. You're so pretty.

Girl #2: Thank you! And I knew you were Asian the first time I saw you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The IHOP coffee incident, September 1997

You told a funny story
(Hilarious, not gory)
And it was mandatory
    To spew my coffee-quaff.
To Heather I say "Brava!"
Volcanoes belching lava
Can't beat my burst of java
    That time you made me lauff.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


A lot of people take the term free verse literally, with the result that there is more bad free verse written today than one can easily shake a stick at. Most of it hopes to recommend itself by deploying vaguely surrealistic images in unmetered colloquial idiom to urge acceptable opinions: that sex is a fine thing, that accurate perception is better than dull, that youth is probably a nicer condition than age, that there is more to things than their appearances; as well as that Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were war criminals, that the C.I.A. is a menace, that corporations are corrupt, that contemporary history seems "entropic," and that women get a dirty deal. All very true and welcome. Yet what is lamentably missing is the art that makes poems re-readable once we have fathomed what they "say."

Paul Fussell, Poetic Meter & Poetic Form, revised edition (New York: Random House, 1979), p. 88