The Most Charming, Most “Natural” French Poet You’ve Never Heard Of

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Her name was Marceline Desbordes-Valmore. Born just before French Revolution, she lived at a time of great upheaval and hardship. However, like the best poets, she was able to spin her suffering into beauty, into poetry that still strikes the heart today. I discovered her while reading a little pocket book, sensibly titled French Poetry, several … Read more…

A Poem for the Season of Exaltation: Zhukovsky’s “The Lark”

A Poem for the Season of Exaltation: Vasily Zhukovsky's "The Lark"

I confess I’m not much into spring poetry. The idea that spring is the season of poets is a super-cliché, and in my case, it’s not all that accurate. For me, fall and winter are the poetic seasons. They’re the times of introspection and reflection — of turning inward. Spring and summer are the seasons … Read more…

Audio Poem: Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Neighbor God”

In a small red purse in my bag, I keep a prayer card of the Holy Face. I’ve carried it with me for over a year now. Whenever I look at it, it pulls me down out of vanity, into the earth, into the darkness of the tomb where Christ’s body awaits the dawn and the rolling … Read more…

A Poem for When You’re About Ready to Give Up

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Much like “Bog,” this is an oldie, because at the moment I have nothing else. Honestly. That’s the primary reason. But bear with me, because there’s another reason, this one rather less humiliating. This is a poem about change … about things ending and beginning, and the scary stage in between. It’s a concept I’m half-battling, half-drowning … Read more…