Category Archives: Poetry

Jonah — Biblical Story Made Modern

Today, the gleaming towers of Las Vegas have eclipsed the great American desert of southern Nevada. Author Joshua Max Feldman remembers an older, more primitive time in the epigraph of his novel The Book of Jonah: —and Jonah saw in … Continue reading

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Judy Blunt–Leaving Home, Braking Clean

Breaking clean is never easy. Memoirist and poet Judy Blunt described it this way: I left Phillips County with a new divorce and an old car, with three scared kids and some clothes piled in back. We followed the sun … Continue reading

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Anne Carson: The Return of Geryon

Once upon a time in Erytheia, an island off the west coast of what we now call Spain, there lived a monster who had a valuable herd of red cattle. The monster was called Geryon by the ancient Greek poets: … Continue reading

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Rowling– A Celebrity Falls In London’s Mayfair

It was a dark and stormy night (for it is in London that our scene lies)— the supermodel Lula Landry lies dead on the sidewalk below the balcony of her luxurious Mayfair apartment: Photographers stood massed behind barriers patrolled by … Continue reading

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Seamus Heaney: Twenty dollars — marked down to $7.50.

Like so many books of poetry, my copy of Station Island by Seamus Heaney had found its way to the remainder table of a bookstore. I Opened the thin volume to the first poem, and read to myself: There we … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo At Carto’s Library

A salute to National Poetry Writing Month, especially those fearless writers who wrote a poem every day in April. On the last day of April, I present my first poem ever: I am comfortable here In this room of books … Continue reading

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The Robber Barons—High-speed Rail in California

Where are the poets when you need them? Won’t some poet sing the praises of this beautiful new train? On July 7, 2012 the California Senate approved a bill authorizing construction of a 130-mile stretch of the high-speed rail down … Continue reading

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Illustrated Tales of Nations—German Cigarette Cards

The Chinese Nightingale is an illustrated folk tale set in ancient China. The charming story is included in Tales of the Nations (Märchen der Völker), illustrations and stories produced as part of a German cigarette advertising promotion just before WWII. … Continue reading

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Toni Morrison— Home, A Memorial to Civil Rights and The Korean War

Frank Money’s home is in rural Georgia, a small town just South of Atlanta. Home is the new novel by Nobel and Pulitzer winner Toni Morrison that tells Frank’s story. As the novel begins, Frank is speaking to the author … Continue reading

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Love, Murder and Ritual Execution: Atwood and Homer Telling the Tale

Odysseus’ boat riding the waves of Penelope’s flowing hair, illustration by Sarah Burgess Cherry. Once upon a time, in the tiny island kingdom of Ithaca off the coast of Greece, Penelope ruled while her husband Odysseus was away: first he … Continue reading

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