Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Negligent Blogger Returns, Hang-Doggedly

I have been a bad blogger. Too many things have happened to try and compress and recapitulate them here. Suffice to say: life moves pretty fast. Summer is here, which means: good weather, good people, good poems. That triumvirate hasn't left much time for blogging, but I'm doing what I can to stay plugged in with you amazing folks. Onwards.

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I am not perfectly certain what our forefathers understood by “the pursuit of happiness.” Of the friends whom I’ve asked for an opinion, the majority have taken that phrase to mean the pursuit of self-realization, or of a full humane life. Some darker-minded people, however, have translated “happiness” as material well-being, or as the freedom to do as you damn please. I can’t adjudicate the matter, but even if the darker-minded people are right, we are entitled to ennoble the phrase and adapt it to the present purpose. I’m going to say a few things about the ways in which poetry might be seen as pursuing happiness.

Richard Wilbur on poetry and happiness over at Shenadoah, from a lecture he delivered in 1969

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Killer first line of the moment:

"Oil drunk,"

from Henry Hughes' "Skeleton Pirates of America"
(Moist Meridian, Mammoth Books, 2009)

I was lucky to share a cabin with Henry for the last few days at Fishtrap, when I came down from the rural Outpost workshop. He's a great guy, and a damn fine poet. Plus, he caught a ginormous fish while we were up there.

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A really nice exploration by David Orr of both Ammons (wonderful) work and what it means to be living a life hundreds of miles from home soil.

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Righteousness.

1 comment:

Stephen Page said...

Interesting blog. I think I'll come back and hang out sometimes.