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Susan Stinson

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August 20th, 2009

10:46 am: Red Light Green Light
Hey! My friend Sally Bellerose had a poem in the paper yesterday. Lesléa Newman, who is currently Northampton's Poet Laureate, has been picking poems to run all year. I've got an uncredited cameo in poem, using the word "bike" in a broad sense that doesn't mean two wheels. I love this poem!

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June 21st, 2009

03:25 pm: Feast
Last night, my friends made a Midsummer's Night feast. We had mussels and chorizo in wine, homemade bread to sop up the sauce. Bluefish on turnip greens and scallions. Asparagus. Chocolate rhubarb cobbler. It was a truly generous meal, and when the things that were making a couple of us sad and lethargic made their presence felt, my friend went and got his Shakespeare, which was his grandmother's, and read Puck's speech at the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumb'red here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call.
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.


Then we stood at the screen door and watched the fireflies flicker at the dark end of the yard, where they don't mow. They were many and bright, even in rain.

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03:13 pm: Ariel's Song
Full fathom five thy father lies;
              Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes:
              Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
                              Ding-dong.
    Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

Wliliam Shakespeare

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February 15th, 2009

05:48 pm: Bird/Window

  • I was going to skip dancing this morning, but my body wanted to do it, so I jumped on my trike and went downtown. I liked shaking, liked the drummers, liked rolling around on the floor and kicking my legs in the air, walking my feet up the heated pipes along the wall. Okay, maybe I really am a hippie. I was singing "The Age of Aquarious" as I pedaled away.

  • I rode to State Street Fruit to get a ticket for a poetry performance, then read about Dickens and mesmerism at the bagel place.

  • The big poetry show was at the Academy of Music. There were slam poets I enjoyed, but the deep heart of it, for me, was Richard Wilbur. I got to hear him read poems I love, including this one.

    In which he says to his daughter, who is working on a story, about writing:


    It is always a matter, my darling,
    Of life or death, as I had forgotten.



    I'm needing nerve, focus, and flexibility. There are so many ways to keep getting there: movement, poetry and community among them.



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January 16th, 2009

12:12 pm: Poem for the Inauguration
This is a poem I've just written, which I plan to read at the open poetry reading at the Yellow Sofa in Northampton Tuesday, 1/20/09. The reading starts at 6:30 pm.

Read more...Collapse )

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January 9th, 2009

10:05 am: The Price of Gleaming
A poem by Mark Doty, which I have loved for a long time, has been used in a very ugly way. He's blogged about it here.

And, this morning, Mark posted a link to a fine post about the situation in the New Yorker blog, which included links to both the poem itself and to a gorgeous, illuminating essay by Mark about the writing of it.

All this has brought me back to his work (which wasn't hard, his amazing Fire to Fire: new and selected poems is one of those books that I keep sitting on the top of my filing cabinet behind me, so that I can easily reach it if I need to read poetry that will help wake up my language and clear my mind). I think that spending time with Mark's poetry is something that creates change in this chaotic world, or at least in the reader, in me. It's a good moment for that, for sure.

A while ago, I syndicated Mark's blog on lj, so if you'd like to read his posts on your friendslist, you can add it here.

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October 15th, 2008

12:59 pm: Hayden Carruth
Poet Hayden Carruth died September 30. He was eighty-seven.

In 1970, he edited an anthology, The Voice That Is Great Within Us: American Poetry of the Twentieth Century, which was my introduction to reading poetry for pleasure when it was assigned in the first poetry workshop I ever took, my first semester in college, fall of 1979.

Here's a picture of my copy, and some poems.Read more...Collapse )

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June 19th, 2008

10:38 am: "If you think about it, it turns into words"
Thought isn't words, not for everybody, but I love work of Ruth Stone. Here's one of her poems:

Always on the Train



Well, okay, and, Thomas Lux:

Render, Render

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March 12th, 2008

08:51 am: The missing pages of the sea
Pillow by Li-Young Lee

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December 27th, 2007

09:59 am: Poem towards work
Liminal Devotional

for omnia secula saeculorum...

Whereupon in service
go you or I, refrained against the light,
the show-through of texts upon the page,
geographies of stanza shape: these hymns
we broadcast in times less bright,
work as ozone, as
ultra-violet


John Kinsella


Ah, and happy birthday, amarama!

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