Poet’s Corner

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.

Poet’s Corner

Standing in Light

How do you like to go up in a swing, Up in the air so blue? Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a…

On This Ship, You’ll Fly

What shall I give my children? who are poor, Who are adjudged the leastwise of the land, Who are my sweetest lepers, who demand No velvet…

Engaging the World

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.      Since we began Engaging…

Open Mind, Open Heart

Every day we’re overwhelmed by too much stimuli and by the knowledge of terrible things — from daily gun violence, to climate change, to the most…

What We Bring to Bear

Winters in Seattle aren’t my best time any year, and lately this one has felt grim. Rain, of course, short flat cold days, and we’ve had…

Trying to Listen, Learning to Speak

If someone listens, deeply, you’ve been heard, which helps you absorb it, and you can lay it at the feet of the right god. — Anne…

A Rumination on Images, Loss, and the Strange Comfort of Silence

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…

Lucie Brock-Broido’s Giraffe

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.


A Light Exists in Spring

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period –
When March is scarcely here
— Emily Dickinson

Mind of Winter

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.