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Looking for More Great Reads? Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Stay in Touch Sign up. We are experiencing technical difficulties. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9: I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here.

The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. You can read my full CV here. Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo.

I hope you'll be in touch. Related Posts 5 Comments alice b fogel June 9, at Is that painting meaningless? Of course not everyone would agree, but I think that painting tells us that we can experience the painfully incomprehensible and the joy of being, simultaneously. And I love being reminded of that truth. My personal challenge as a poet is to learn how far I can push syntax and language and form into surprise and change while still serving the world of meaningful feeling. Thanks for a stirring morning read, Michelle.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses Alice and Jeff.

I interpret his interview with The Drunken Boat as a statement against the nihilism that is often inherent in postmodernist criticism and writing particularly in academic circles. To argue for the usefulness of poetry, as Orr does in his work, is to swim against the mainstream of contemporary critical theory.

Language poets argue that language dictates meaning rather than the other way around. The last thing I want is to get into a debate about language poetry, but Orr clearly places himself in the other camp of poetry. Are there poets out there who push the boundaries of language to the edge, without losing the thread of meaning. Do we see it as nihilism or do we see it as a blank slate of possibility much as a Zen practitioner would?

Mirrors of the air. But there are some viewers who look at these same works of art and see nothing. From their perspective, Rauschenberg is communicating zilch. Cage is an interesting case in point. But I must confess that I find some of his poetry quite challenging.


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To what resonates with us? As you so eloquently point out, that threshold is going to be different for each and every one of us. It may be well known, but it was new to me. W ith his new book, River Inside the River: Poems , Gregory Orr set a high bar for himself.

The Sunday Poem : Gregory Orr's River Inside the River - Gwarlingo

Gregory Orr Photo by Tricia Orr. I was sick and scared.


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It seemed Likely I would die there. I read his nightingale ode— How he rose above his woes. The poem was my ladder: This poem illustrates how intoxicating the natural world was to Dickinson. Luckily the house she chose to sequester herself inside, in the latter part of her life, was set on large grounds. There she and her family grew an abundance of produce and flowers; all the better for this little tippler.

Dickinson is at her aphoristic best in poems like this, where she shines a light on the complexities of human desire.

Everything you need to write a poem (and how it can save a life) - Daniel Tysdal - TEDxUTSC

Interestingly, though Dickinson did not seek publication — her father disdained Women of Letters — this poem was published anonymously in an anthology called A Masque of Poets. By turning her back on notoriety Dickinson may have been trying to protect her good name.

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Or perhaps she feared editorial input because she had already been stung. So the abandon of this celebrated Dickinson love poem is not out of place and can be read for what it is: The poem has the trademark up-note ending, so that the reader must guess where the breakdown leads to — the heaven of well-being, or the hell of continued mental anguish.

There is a theory that Dickinson, like her nephew Ned, was epileptic; she definitely suffered eye trouble and, as we know, she had agoraphobic tendencies. Any of these, or just plain old depression, might have sparked this poem. The narrator may be nobody but she makes herself somebody with that capital N.

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Here is another poem about notoriety and the public eye. This is one that appealed hugely to me as a child for its cheekiness and for that unexpected frog. This is my favourite Emily Dickinson poem. Its warmth and positivity speak to my gut every time. Was she qualifying hope in some private way?