Tag: middle age

  • Change of (literary) life

    It’s fall, 2015. I’m on sabbatical. My mother is direly ill with what turns out to be lymphoma. I’m mourning my daughter’s departure for college and worrying about her experience there; my son, new to high school, faints in a clinic and is diagnosed with pneumonia. My own body is going haywire, perimenopausally. Amid doctor […]

  • Birthday-head

    Should I wear the top hat or tiara while teaching Yeats tomorrow? Poe thinks it’s a stupid question. People keep asking me how I feel about turning fifty tomorrow. One answer is: lucky. I’m back in the swing of teaching after a difficult summer, and I find it as rewarding as ever. My spouse and […]

  • Repress the year, but read the books

    Countdowns and confetti: bah humbug. By New Year’s Eve, I’m tired of festivity. Middle age has clearly settled in, because I now regularly find myself closing out the year by binge-reading. December is always a good month for catching up on The Year’s Big Poetry Books. My university library orders the US National Book Award […]

  • Poetry by the Sea, Pt. 2: Seams showing

    “I’ve quit hoarding,” Kimiko Hahn said at her reading, “and now collect myself.” I, on the other hand, was hoarding good lines–hers was one of many I collected last week in a little notebook bound with blue thread. My tattered Moleskin is beginning to fill with quotes and drafts and lists and spiral doodles–and I […]

  • Elephant blessing

    On Sunday afternoon I took a bubble bath–I know, tough life–during which I was visited by an apparition. My spouse and kids say I overheated myself, and I did emerge flushed bright-red and a little dizzy, but I swear I spent that half-hour with an elephant made of bubbles. This wasn’t just a heap of […]