Nov 21 2013

One Place, Two Stories, at the Edge of the Saugatuck Dunes

I'd been to the woods for my daily hike. Back behind the wheel of the car, my body felt strong and capable—I can climb hills in the sand, quickly. I know these unmapped trails as well as—no, better—than the back of either hand. Flooded with fresh oxygen and touched on all sides by whatever it is that leaves release, I was hardly winded and not sore at all. I was, as they say, in the zone: high on endorphins and good air. Perhaps because I'd carried a bit of my woods habit of attentiveness Read more [...]

Oct 26 2011

W.S. Merwin on Imagination and Nature

One of the themes of W. S. Merwin's reading/talk/performance a couple of weeks ago was imagination. "Not living by imagination is killing us," he said, and went on to connect nature and imagination, saying exactly this: "Nature is imagination." I've been thinking about this as I've been rereading W. C. Williams's  "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower," a poem that is just as full of abstractions (love, death) as things, but which offers finger and Read more [...]

Oct 18 2011

W.S. Merwin in Chicago

Not handfuls, but hundreds, lined up early in the corridor of the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago, October 6, to await poet W. S. Merwin's 6 p.m. reading. My family and I were lucky to be in the audience, fifth row center. Merwin is 84, but his presentation--nearly two hours long--showed tremendous stamina, vitality, and, of course, the irresistible (to me) sensibility he's developed after decades of devotion to poetry and the land. During the extensive remarks he made between Read more [...]