A Poet Reminisces: Essays After Eighty

I have always liked poetry and poets, in particular, because of their sensitivity to human experience. One poet I like a lot is Donald Hall, a giant among contemporary American poets, although he’s given up the craft, or as he puts it, since “poetry abandoned him.” Hall is now 85. Let me assure you, while the tropes may not come as easily as before, his … Continue reading A Poet Reminisces: Essays After Eighty

Brian Williams Remembers What He Disremembered

There you go again, Twitter folks! Turning on the light to bang those damn cockroaches scuddling down the wall. You can’t do that, people! Not to NBC News anchor, Brian Williams. Is everything just fair game to you guys? Doesn’t show much gratitude to a man who’s spent his life getting at the truth. And I really resent your making me into a dumb ass … Continue reading Brian Williams Remembers What He Disremembered

Winter Discontent: Dickinson’s “There’s a certain Slant of light”

I’m sitting here in our sunroom, looking out this afternoon on our backyard, smothered with frost. We had our first snow cover a week ago, which came early to Kentucky. I’m a warm weather lover, and while those around me complain about heat, I say, more is better. You’d think coming from New England, I’d be more tolerant of snow and ice and lashing wind, … Continue reading Winter Discontent: Dickinson’s “There’s a certain Slant of light”

Traits we should all want

I saw a recent piece in the Huffington Post, called “7 Habits of Natural Leaders,” and found it riveting. You don’t necessarily have to be in a leadership position, however, to benefit from making these attributes staples of your everyday life. I’ll list them and give my own take on each of the attributes: 1.  They dare to fail: I was a prof for nearly … Continue reading Traits we should all want

A lingering malice that kills

To be happy in life comes down to feeling good about yourself. It isn’t about money, popularity, power, or other commonly assumed indicators of success. In fact, these may actually be forms of over compensation, masking our sense of unworthiness or inferiority. Unfortunately, most of us think we have to earn our self respect by proving ourselves worthy in ways others will approve. Consequently, we … Continue reading A lingering malice that kills

Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard: Still timely and eloquent

I finally got hold of the late Peter Matthiessen’s classic, The Snow Leopard, after a several week delay at Amazon, which was out of it. I had never read Matthiessen before, even though I knew he was a fervent lover of nature. He began writing the book back in 1972, essentially a daily journal, shortly after the death of his wife, Deborah, from cancer. It … Continue reading Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard: Still timely and eloquent

Climate Change: Can we win the fight?

We just celebrated Earth Day on April 22, an annual fête of huge importance for those of us wanting to increase the public’s awareness of the challenge of climate change, and our substantial human contribution to it, and ways we might fight it. It’s an important time for us in another way, too, as this yearly outpouring of Green advocacy transcending borders buoys up our … Continue reading Climate Change: Can we win the fight?

Peter Matthiessen: Homegoing

We lost a great writer, Peter Matthiessen, this past weekend. A co-founder of the renowned Paris Review and author of thirty-three books, both fiction and non-fiction, his supreme subject was Nature and, sadly, Man’s pervasive impact upon it: Species appear, and left behind by a changing earth, they disappear forever, and there is a certain solace in the inexorable. But until man, the highest predator, … Continue reading Peter Matthiessen: Homegoing

Artemis Cooper’s Fermor Biography: A Great Read

I just finished Artemis Cooper’s splendid biography (Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure). Fermor, who died in 2011 at age 96,  is widely regarded as the foremost travel writer of the last century–ever observant, never boring, blessed with diligent recall, and unexcelled with metaphor.  When you read Fermor, you’re getting not only description, but history and art amid the first stirrings of fascism in pre-World War … Continue reading Artemis Cooper’s Fermor Biography: A Great Read

A Woman for all Seasons: Ruth Bader Ginsberg

I’ve been thinking a lot about her these days, surprising myself, since I knew her simply as a fact stored away in my memory for so many years.   Diminutive at just five feet and weighing only one hundred pounds, her small face accentuated by her landmark over sized glasses, there isn’t anything visible to recommend her apart from a flinty chin suggesting determination.  Just goes … Continue reading A Woman for all Seasons: Ruth Bader Ginsberg