To Imagine Excellence

From the December 2017 Print Edition

Let Us Watch Richard Wilbur:A Biographical Studyby robert bagg and mary bagguniversity of massachusetts, 392 pages, $32.95 Richard Wilbur died peacefully, surrounded by family, on October 14. Though he had a full life, he did not receive the Nobel Prize or the biography that he deserved. . . . . Continue Reading »

Scops and Skalds

From the Aug/Sept 2015 Print Edition

Becoming a Poet in Anglo-Saxon England
 by emily thornbury
 cambridge, 338 pages, $99 My years of mandatory Latin began when I was eleven. Almost immediately I hated the language more than the mandatory tie and jacket that made me an easy target for bullying on the six public buses I rode each . . . . Continue Reading »

Japanese Maple in January

From the January 2013 Print Edition

All spring she brushed aside my arguments that it was cheaper and would make more sense to fill the yard with hardy Yankee stock. She bought her maple, junked the chain-link fence, and tried to start a lawn; our crabby flock of grackles grew too fat on seed to quarrel. While masons tamed the mud . . . . Continue Reading »

Farewell, Mr. Wizard

From the November 2011 Print Edition

I conjure NBC in black-and-white. You drop dry ice in water; fog is rising. You sell us Celsius and Fahrenheit. I lose you in a cloud of advertising” Winston, Esso, Zenith, Mr. Clean, those thirty-second breaks for Ovaltine” then smile at Bunsen burners and balloons, more ropes and . . . . Continue Reading »

No Man’s Island

From the November 2009 Print Edition

for JFK Jr. A strip of violet quivers in the haze— a near-mirage above the furrowed grays and blues of Vineyard Sound, an afterthought of windworn scrub the military bought and then abandoned. Peace returned except for sea retaking shoreline. Surf has swept away most tools of combat, but in dense . . . . Continue Reading »