Poet’s Corner is our new column devoted to poetry; a point of refuge in the online world where those who believe in the transformative power of language can come for contemplation and renewal. In pondering a name for this column, we remembered Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey, and, in NYC, St. John of the Divine Cathedral’s American Poets Corner. These sacred spaces in the physical world offer a palpable retreat from the bustle of the everyday; they are places where silence and only the most luminous and considered of words hold sway. We are drawn to this connection because we believe poetry can be a kind of sacred vocation as well as a contemplative encounter.
A few weeks ago, a cousin sent me a photograph from the memorial dinner we had held after my father died, celebrating his life. It’s a…
Not long after I learned that one of my most fiercely-adored poets, Lucie Brock-Broido, had died at the age of only 61, I read one of her recent poems in The New Yorker. During the course of reading it, my sense of time shifted from the comfortably temporal to something with no consoling limits. This is not an unusual reaction for me when I read Lucie’s poems, an instinctive recognition of something’s absolute rightness even as I feel immersed in the new and strange, the previously impossible.
During these slow, cold winter months, the raw quickenings of Spring that I look so forward to each year can begin to seem more like a fever dream than an inevitability. Recently, a lonely inner chill slowed me to a still point of sorrow and depression, from which I’m now emerging.