Tag: travel

  • Tendrils, connections, & kindness in publishing

    Tendrils, connections, & kindness in publishing

    We arrived in Virginia yesterday to a home landscape that’s lusher and more humid. This morning I went to the weekly farmer’s market and the produce has changed: zucchini, beets, and cherry tomatoes are edging out the strawberries, delicate greens, and scapes. My son and I took a walk after and found vines extending tendrils […]

  • Listening to Iceland

    Iceland’s landscape is gorgeous, but its soundscape is striking, too. I expected to hear crashing breakers and waterfalls, but I forgot there would be a million unfamiliar bird calls. I spotted oystercatchers, terns, gulls, fulmers, eider ducks, redwings, and sandpipers, but more often I heard screeches, warbles, clicks, and chattering from birds I couldn’t see, […]

  • Celebration & consolation

    This morning I thought with a start: does “console” mean with-alone? It doesn’t, it turns out. According to the OED, it comes from the Latin con- (with) + sōlārī (to solace, soothe). We used to say “consolate” until Dryden, Pope, and others shortened it. But I like my pretend etymology, too. There’s inwardness to mourning, but it’s also […]

  • Learning, unlearning, and #AWP21

    You know the way somebody makes a remark and it clangs in you, your body vibrating with recognition? A friend recently told me that she’s learned a lot over the past year about what she needs to be happy. Yes. I’ve had other lesson years: for instance, I learned during my long-ago stint as department […]

  • Fuzzy at the edges

    Meet our new kitten, Ursula! We brought her home from the SPCA yesterday and she’s charming everyone in the house (except our other cats, who are scared to death of her tiny rambunctious self). I thought of titling this post Cranky Poet Goes Soft, because that’s basically the mood around here, although I can’t entirely […]

  • There isn’t a train I wouldn’t take

    We just returned from the last of a summer of endless road-trips. This one was definitely the saddest: my husband and his sister buried their mother’s ashes this weekend in her family plot in Pittsburgh. That’s Judy, above. Her obituary gives you the basics of her impressive career: after she and my father-in-law divorced in the […]

  • Tough Guide to the Field Guide to the End of the World

    Just a postcard here from the end of a very tough term–a cheery note from amid the ruins to show off some good work my students just completed. The last book my composition class read was Jeannine Hall Gailey’s excellent new collection, Field Guide to the End of the World. For a final writing assignment after a […]

  • Let us hold hands and look

    In a Bath Teashop, by John Betjeman “Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another — Let us hold hands and look.” She such a very ordinary little woman; He such a thumping crook; But both, for a moment, little lower than the angels In the teashop’s ingle-nook. I have it on […]

  • Lines Composed in Bath a Few Days After Visiting Tintern Abbey

    Lines Composed in Bath a Few Days After Visiting Tintern Abbey and Also Nottingham, Coleford, Netheravon, and Miscellaneous Places Viewed Accidentally Because We Forgot to Reserve a Car with Sat-Nav and Had No Map. June 22, 2015. Twenty-six years have passed!–two advanced degrees, two mortgages, two beauteous teens raised to height if not to wisdom […]

  • Travel dictionaries

         That’s how it goes some days,      don’t you reckon.      You wander the streets of a city      that’s no longer your own.      You look at a map      and all the words are in German.      You ask a stranger      where the hills have gone      and he bursts out […]