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« Yet Do I Marvel : Black Iconic Poets Of The 20th Century [by Ed Toney] | Main | The Palpable Presence of Time: David Lehman on Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" »

November 15, 2013


Thank you, Molly, for a wonderful blog week.

Thank you, Molly for this fine series and for the reminders to play. I get too damn serious about making art, even in multiplicity with the self, and too often think," The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king."

Sometimes I need to go back to my own earlier works and remember that I got there, yes, often, by playing. And that yes, we'll each be "Beautiful, Soon Enough."

One earlier example, a "look inside" in this book:

Again, many thanks for the reminders in this series you've so playfully done,


I am awed to have a comment from Black Belt Sestina Maestro James Cummins! Thank you for reading these posts--you are the only man who has dared to respond to these girly collaborations. Bravo, bravo, JC....

Defining "play" is so important. I was too serious as a child, and as an adult I've had to teach myself to be more playful. I thought if I couldn't do something perfectly, then I shouldn't attempt. Ha. Now I have tried my hand at making journals. I often take found art (magazine ads, poems from books that are falling apart) and combine them with my handmade journals. What I've stumbled upon is this -- that collaborating with someone else's art when creating mine is advantageous just for the process. If something lovely evolves, that's great. If not, I've still played; I've still interacted in a way that helps me see my world in a different way, and it's always worth the time and energy put in.

From Helen Tzagoloff,

Poet and memoirist Helen Tzagoloff emailed me with these comments, and I'm posting them for her.

"I have found class exercise collaborations, where each participant writes a sentence below the sentence of the previous poet, fun and inspiring. After obtaining a copy of the exercise and contemplating it, I have on several occasions, gone on to write a poem of my own, the subject of which would not have occurred to me without this exercise.
I have also collaborated with an artist from Brazil who had expressed a wish to illustrate some of my poems."

Tzagoloff's journey from Russia to New York City and life as an American poet is utterly fascinating--a collaboration between two selves, the girl and the woman, the Russian-born and the American bred, the sensualist and the intellectual. I hope that memoir gets published soon!

Molly Peacock (for Helen Tzagoloff)

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Best American Poetry Web ad3
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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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