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Archive for July, 2008

Lingyuan said, “When you cut and polish a stone, as you grind and rub you do not see it decreasing, yet with time it will be worn away. When you plant a tree and take care of it, you do not see it increase, but in time it gets big.

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“Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint.” Jane Austen

Lately I’ve been immersing myself in the life and works of Jane Austen (1775-1817). I’ve just finished Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park. Pride and Prejudice is next. She finished all four books during a productive period of her life between 1811 and 1815 when she was in her mid-30s. She died at 41 of what was believed to be Addison’s disease.

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Traveling Together

If we are separated I will
try to wait for you
on your side of things

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The Workman’s Apprentice (self-portrait),
c. 1925, by Georges Rouault.

“I am obedient. Just about anybody can be a rebel: it is a much more difficult undertaking to obey silently the dictates of one’s soul and to spend one’s life looking for the truest means to express one’s temperament and talents.” Georges Rouault (1871-1958 )

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The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

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I heard a lecture recently by the poet Nance Van Winckel on a series of poems that concern conception. The poet envisions the place of his making. The writer goes back to the moment of origin. In the series of poems on this subject, the poet gives birth to his parents again.

I Go Back to May 1937

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, (more…)

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