Task of a Poet

“To hear never-heard sounds, To see never-seen colors and shapes, To try to understand the imperceptible Power pervading the world; To fly and find pure ethereal substances That are not of matter But of that invisible soul pervading reality. To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul; To be a lantern in the…

Family Histories: Kin Types by Luanne Castle

By combining a passion for family history with my creative writing, I felt able to—for a brief moment—inhabit the lives of women and men from previous generations and imagine how their stories felt to them.

A Mother Who Read to Me

The Reading Mother by Strickland Gillilan I had a mother who read to me Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea, Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth, “Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath. I had a Mother who read me lays Of ancient and gallant and golden days; Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe, Which every…

Country accomodations

He went by sleep that drowsy route To the surmising Inn At day break to begin his race Or ever to remain Emily Dickinson                     Save Save

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Let not ambition mock their useful toil, Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile The short and simple annals of the poor. Nor you, ye proud, impute to those the fault, If memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise, Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault, The pealing…

Into the dusk of the East, Gray with the coming of night, This may we know at least– After the night comes light! Over the mariners’ graves, Grim in the depths below, Buoyantly breasting the waves, Into the East we go. On to a distant strand, Wonderful, far, unseen, On to a stranger land, Skimming…

ART: Uplands And Sky by Adrian Stokes

Rise, O my soul, with thy desires to heaven, And with divinest contemplation use Thy time where time’s eternity is given, And let vain thoughts no more thy thoughts abuse; But down in darkness let them lie: So live thy better, let thy worse thoughts die! –Sir Walter Raleigh.

Poet, Novelist, Diplomat & Friend: Henry van Dyke

Once upon a time there lived on a Saratoga hillside surrounded by lakes a tragic little family of wealth and privilege. Spencer and Katrina Trask lost every child they ever produced, but gathered countless friends, many of whom were artists and poets drawn to the couple’s generosity and toughness in the face of Job-like losses,…

Poet: Paul Laurence Dunbar

He Had His Dream He had his dream, and all through life, Worked up to it through toil and strife. Afloat fore’er before his eyes, It colored for him all his skies: The storm-cloud dark Above his bark, The calm and listless vault of blue Took on its hopeful hue, It tinctured every passing beam…

Books I’ve Known And Loved

When Harriet Hanson Robinson explained to her busy (and presumably happy) single friend that she felt sorry for her  because she wasn’t married and could not  be a complete woman there was no hint of bitchiness. Harriet was a contented creature of her time. In my early feminist days I would have found this hard…

Summer in the South by Paul Laurence Dunbar

SUMMER IN THE SOUTH The oriole sings in the greening grove As if he were half-way waiting, The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green, Timid, and hesitating. The rain comes down in a torrent sweep And the nights smell warm and pinety, The garden thrives, but the tender shoots Are yellow-green and tiny. Then…