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Our 2010 is not about The Desperate Housescribes.  It’s about All of You.  You keep us energized, inspired and motivated to write.  We thank you.  Fiercely.  Vastly. Utterly.


We also take our nourishment from a passel of poets ~ Ted Kooser, Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Naomi Shihab Nye, William Carlos Williams, Maxine Kumin, Stanley Kunitz, Nikki Giovani, Donald Hall, Lucille Clifton, e e cummings, Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, Gwendolyn Brooks…. just to name a few.

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W.S. Merwin, the 17th Poet Laureate 2010-2011, is one of them.  Yes, he’s wise. But he’s on my Fave list because he’s tossed out punctuation. He says it ‘staples the poem to the page’. He wants the hearing of the poem to be like spoken language. Here’s a recent punctuation-free poem from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book,  The Shadow of Sirius. Read it aloud.

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A Momentary Creed

I believe in the ordinary day
that is here at this moment and is me

I do not see it going its own way
but I never saw how it came to me

it extends beyond whatever I may
think I know and all that is real to me

it is the present that it bears away
where has it gone when it has gone from me

there is no place I know outside today
except for the unknown all around me

the only presence that appears to stay
everything that I call mine it lent me

even the way that I believe the day
for as long as it is here and is me

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May 2011 bring you the gift of ordinary days.

Toni 12/31/10

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 For the curious, here's a list of the 24 poets and 1 astronaut (?) portrayed in the linocut:
First row  Alfred, Lord Tennyson - Robert Browning - Walt Whitman - William Butler Yeats
 - Gertrude Stein
Second row  Robert Frost - Carl Sandburg - Wallace Stevens
 - J.D. - T. S. Eliot
 Third row Edna St. Vincent Millay - Neil Armstrong - e e cummings -
Langston Hughes - W. H. Auden
 Fourth row Randall Jarrell - John Berryman - Dylan Thomas -
 Gwendolyn Brooks - Philip Larkin
 Fifth row Gregory Corso - Allen Ginsberg - Anne Sexton
- Sylvia Plath - Frank O'Hara

4 thoughts on “HOWDY 2011!

  1. This year The Edna Project woke my ears and heart up to what people are talking about when they use the phrase “the music of poetry.” I wrote about it on the blog and that gave me another opportunity to enjoy it again, and again, and to talk with others about it. It was a gift just as this blog project is a gift… a gift for me. Yes, it’s a gift for me and I’m just tickled pink about it. Remember when you were a Senior in high school and your favorite teacher towards the end of the year would give you an unlimited hall pass? You could wander at will and just have a gay old time yucking it up and feeling free to soak up whatever happened with no fear of The Law coming down on you? You savored the early Spring sun in that out of the way courtyard? You had an early lunch in the corner of the team sports small cafeteria? Well, maybe not, but remember WISHING you had a this-will-get-you-out-of-jail-at-anytime hall pass? In a way, the blog is like that pass. It’s a window that help me relish the ordinary because I’m awake to it.
    Patty
    1-1-11 (somehow this date with all its ones or “I”s is a perfect date for making it all about me. (as a middle child in a big family this sort of talk borders on blasphemy; it’s just not something I got used to as a kid.)

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    1. Hi Marc, the woodcut I posted is my absolute favorite of all time. So glad you saw it on our site and gave me some oars to paddle over to Fiji Island. It doesn’t appear to be tropical, uninhabited or uncharted but it’s my kind of Paradise. Thank you!
      Toni

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