“She is ever fair…”

“She is ever fair, and never proud / Hath tongue at will and yet is never loud”

a fellow student’s verse sketch of the 16-year-old Emily Dickinson.

I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson — the exhibition runs through May 28 — there’s still time!

If you happen to live/be in New York, stop by The Morgan Library & Museum (225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY 10016. Just a short walk from Grand Central and Penn Station.)

Don’t miss.


Ouch! Sharp-tongued

The Paris Review delves into Anna Akhmatova’s sarcasm.

Here’s my attempt at translating the epigram:

Could to create like Dante Beatrice seek, 
Would Laura’s ardent verses cause a riot? 
A woman, I taught women how to speak… 
But, Lord, how could I ever keep them quiet!

The Russian original:

Могла ли Биче словно Дант творить,
Или Лаура жар любви восславить? 
Я научила женщин говорить… 
Но, Боже, как их замолчать заставить!



“About suffering they were never wrong”

David Lehman’s essay on W.H. Auden’s ekphrastic poem.

“I teach poetry in the graduate writing program of the New School in New York,” says David Lehman, “A favorite prompt of mine is to read “Musée des Beaux Arts” and other poems about paintings. Then I suggest that the students visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and write about Brueghel’s sublime depiction of summer, “The Harvesters.” Try it—not in competition with Auden (you can’t win), but with Auden’s marvelous poem as your model.”

My two cents:

Don’t be intimidated by “you can’t win.” Try itnot in competition with anybody, except perhaps yourself. Go ahead, and write your own marvelous poem.


The essay was featured in The Wall Street Journal, Review, Sat/Sun, May 14-15, 2016.


“…Come; let’s treat our memories

To a slow, autumn afternoon

Drip-dripping from the golden trees

Like honey from a giant spoon…”

— Janet Martin

Head over to the Porch. You’re in for a treat.


image credit: Janet Martin