Tag Archives: wilderness

The Grace and Restraint of Michael Hicks’ “Family Tree”

Anthology Poet Highlight 35/82: Michael Hicks, “Family Tree“ [Audio clip: view full post to listen] (My reading of “Family Tree”) In “Family Tree,” Michael’s lines are achingly sparse, haiku-like, even. I find in them a seductive grace and restraint that at once fills me and leaves me wanting. Take, for example, his first section, “Adam” (quoted above). As I read… Read more »

Between Michael Hicks and Me: “Family Tree” Remix

In which I respond to and remix the first section of Michael Hicks’ poem, “Family Tree.” Scales hoarse as secrets whispered between lovers at dusk, a serpent—and not  a serpent—licks at Adam’s  dreams, tasting his flesh  to test what knowledge  had infused the first man in  Father’s quickening sigh.  Adam hears voices  from deep in the serpent’s  caress, hears a… Read more »

“This Was When”: Matthew James Babcock’s “Moose Remembered”

"Moose in the Neighbor's Yard"

Anthology Poet Highlight 33/82: Matthew James Babcock, “Moose Remembered” (scroll down) [Audio clip: view full post to listen] (Matthew’s reading of “Moose Remembered” [from Terrain.org]) This poem features a moose, but it’s about memory: the redemption of past experience. “This was when,” the poet begins, speaking to his wife, I presume, about a Saturday morning earlier in their marriage when… Read more »

The Flesh is Charged with the Grandeur of God: On Elaine Christensen’s “Sermon on Manchac Swamp”

Anthology Poet Highlight 30/82: Elaine Wright Christensen, “Sermon On Manchac Swamp” Ah, “[t]he world is charged with the grandeur of God. / It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; / It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil / Crushed.” So Hopkins, for whom “nature is never spent.” For whom creation is a living fountain of… Read more »

The Urge and Urge and Urge of Danny Nelson’s “Creation”

Anthology Poet Highlight 28/82: Danny Nelson, “Creation” Danny’s “Creation” revises the Old Testament’s opening text. As such, it delves deeply into the “procreant urge of creation,” a phrase straight out of Whitman. Indeed, in Danny’s poem, as in Whitman and, I would argue, most poetry, I find this “Urge and urge and urge, / Always the procreant urge of the… Read more »

Contemplating the Sharpness of God’s Gaze: Marie Brian’s “Spindrift”

Anthology Poet Highlight 21/82: Marie Brian, “Spindrift“ When I first read “Spindrift,” it caught me off-guard. The first thing that struck me first about the poem is its (Emily) Dickinsonian style: seemingly random, mid-sentence capitalizations, the hyphens, the brevity. The tone, however, is a bit more hopeful, more reverent as the poet’s mind reaches through the sea spray, contemplating redemption,… Read more »

Alex Caldiero’s “Seeing a Body”: The Shape Sound Makes

Anthology Poet Highlight 20/82: Alex Caldiero, “Seeing a Body” This poem, which I’ve taken to calling “Seeing a Body” for ease of reference, melds performance and content in order to compel an awareness of the body’s connection to the earth and to language and sound—even to compel an awareness of the body’s connection to the earth and to tradition through… Read more »

We Shall Not Cease: Darlene Young’s “How Long”

Anthology Poet Highlight 19/82: Darlene Young, “How Long“ Humanity’s stories are often filled with desire for something more, with homesickness, a wanderlust that leads characters to leave home and to enter the wilderness—whether physical, psychological, or emotional—in search of true belonging, something they’re never quite able to find. This yearning and its subsequent lack of fulfillment are illustrated well by… Read more »

An “Evening Drive” through the Nature of Language with Patricia Karamesines

Anthology Poet Highlight 16/82: Patricia Karamesines, “Evening Drive“ The lyric quality of “Evening Drive” pulls me into the narrative, placing me in the (rhetorical) vehicle beside the poet and her companion as they drive down a springing lane, both traversing the same landscape, through seeing it through different eyes. Such is the nature of language—and the language of nature, for… Read more »