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« NaPoWriMo Day #12 | Main | On Not Knowing with Ron and Sandra (by Jenny Factor) »

April 13, 2012


The value of being little... Or lost or less, yes. I'm thinking of the voice that arrives from our vulnerabilities. The wisdom which arrives from such consequence, as Phillips points out.

Hi Joe! Thank you for this. Do you mean Carl Phillips? If you have a moment, please tell us more...

I hope your students realize how lucky they are to have you as their teacher. I certainly feel lucky this week!

Laura, I feel the *exact* same way about you!

Lovely, J. I was reminded, too, of David Wagoner's poem ("Walt Whitman Bathing"
maybe? I can't quite pull up the title) which looks at Walt bathing in the woods
after a stroke. Wonderful poem, one of my favorites of his.

Dear Jenny--

What a wonderful post.

I loved that panel, too -- a great way to launch the AWP. I'm glad to have the text of this poem in front of me. In my notes I kept this other exchange involving Yehoshua November, at the end of the Q & A, when the moderator, with audience and panel help, was identifying sources for the lines from the cento with which she had opened the panel:

Moderator: "Who wrote, 'to unite the language of the living with the silence of the dead'?"

YN: "Dolly Parton?'

Moderator: "Close! -- Elie Wiesel."


oh that's priceless! Thank you so much for sharing that!

Jim, thank you! You've turned me onto a wonderful new poem. Here's the link to "Walt Whitman, Bathing" for others who might be interested:

and a few excerpts....

"After his stroke, he would walk into the woods
On sunny days and take off all his clothes
Slowly, one plain shoe
And one plain sock at a time, his good right hand
As gentle as a mother’s, and bathe himself
In a pond while murmuring...."

and then,
"Meanwhile, he would examine
The postures of wildflowers,
The workings of small leaves, holding them close
To his pale eyes while mumbling inaudibly.
He would dress then, helping
His left side with his right as patiently
As he might have dressed the wounded or the dead.
And would lead himself toward home like a dear companion."

I love how it ends in self-compassion, very appropriate indeed to the November poem. thank you for writing, Jim


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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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