Month: June 2012

Poking around the past

  Peoples Drug by Sean Enright     Now it’s the Oracle skyscraper but it was Peoples Drugstore back when I bought Raisinets, lighter fluid and label-makers, just a low building next to the pioneer-woman statue, silent stone town founder, a child gathered in her skirt folds, bonnet cinched tight, her birdlike chin, her stovepipe […]

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For love and brain cell regeneration

After my last post about the value of memorizing poetry, a reader requested a list of great poems to memorize for the summer.         My list is short:  the greatest poem to memorize for the summer is a poem you love.   Love is why children memorize Mother Goose rhymes.  Love is […]

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Summer fling with Wordsworth

I’m an Anglophile.  I like repression, I suppose, depth under calm facades.  My favorite writers—Austen, Dickens, Penelope Fitzgerald, Jane Gardam, David Mitchell, Barbara Pym, Andrea Levy to name a few—have always been Brits, and now my favorite education secretary—if one can admit to such pedantic tastes—is English as well.   British education secretary Michael Gove […]

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Reciting and resuscitating old poems

If you think, as I sometimes do when a particularly arcane poem shows up in my inbox courtesy of the Academy of American Poets’ poem-a-day feature, that poetry is written by and for the same kind of people who prefer wasabi truffles to straightforward chocolate caramels; or if you think that classic poetry has as […]

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