Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

I read, therefore I am

Picking up where we left off last year, here is a list of the eighty-two books I read in 2013. Like the days themselves, what a comfort, joy, and challenge they have been.


Thy sayings sweet,
The which, as modern usage lasts,
Shall make their very ink-marks dear to us.


The Complete Works of Shakespeare
Volumes VIII, IX, X
(Ten Volumes)
by William Shakespeare

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
by Thomas de Quincey

The History of Gil Blas of Santillana
(Three Volumes)
by Alain René le Sage

The Irresponsibles
by Archibald MacLeish

More Poems
by A.E. Housman

Six Moral Tales from Jules Laforgue
by Jules Laforgue

The Decameron
by Giovanni Boccaccio

Peter Ibbetson
by George du Maurier

Riders to the Sea
by J.M. Synge

The Garden of Epicurus
by Anatole France

Paolo & Francesca
by Stephen Phillips

Ellen Terry & Bernard Shaw: A Correspondence
by Ellen Terry and George Bernard Shaw

As They Seemed to Me
by Ugo Ojetti

An Anthology of American Poetry: Lyric America, 1630-1930
Including Supplement, 1930-1935
Edited by Alfred Kreymborg

A Japanese Nightingale
by Onoto Watanna (Winnifred Eaton)

Poems You Ought to Know
Edited by Elia W. Peattie

Boswell’s London Journal, 1762-1763
by James Boswell

The History of Mr. John Decastro
and His Brother Bat, Commonly Called Old Crab,
the merry matter written by John Mathers,
the grave by a Solid Gentleman
(Two Volumes)
by Anonymous

The Memoirs and Anecdotes of the Count de Ségur
by Count Louis-Philippe de Ségur

Astrophel & Stella
by Sir Philip Sidney

Exemplary Novels of Cervantes
by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

The Three Musketeers
by Alexandre Dumas

A Sentimental Journey Through France & Italy
With Selections from the Journals, Sermons & Correspondence
of Laurence Sterne
by Laurence Sterne

The Poet at the Breakfast-Table
by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ballad of Beau Brocade and Other Poems of the XVIIIth Century
by Austin Dobson

bride of sorrows: a prose poem in 14 stanzas
by Paulette Turcotte

The Works of James Russell Lowell
(Eleven Volumes)
by James Russell Lowell

The Shadow on the Dial and Other Essays
by Ambrose Bierce

Marked Men: Poems by Joseph Hutchison
by Joseph Hutchison

The Works of Aretino
by Pietro Aretino
(Two Volumes)

Venus in Furs
by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

Painted Veils
by James Huneker

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt,
Prince of Adventurers and the Most Indomitable of Lovers
by Giacomo Casanova
(Two Volumes)

Charles Dickens, The Last of the Great Men
(Charles Dickens: A Critical Study)
by G.K. Chesterton

Life and Art by Thomas Hardy:
Essays, Notes, and Letters Collected for the First Time
by Thomas Hardy

The Penn Country and The Chilterns
by Ralph M. Robinson

The Autobiography of Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury
With Introduction, Notes, Appendices, and a Continuation of the Life
by Sidney L. Lee

Four Comedies
by Carlo Goldoni

The Quest of Great Celtic Mystery and other stories
by Jonathan Chant


(Twenty Volumes)


Madame Chrysanthème
by Pierre Loti

The Red Lily
by Anatole France

Fromont and Risler
by Alphonse Daudet

by Paul Bourget

A Romance of Youth
by François Coppée

An “Attic” Philosopher
by Émile Souvestre

A Woodland Queen
by André Theuriet

Monsieur de Camors
by Octave Feuillet

by Madame Blanc (Marie Thérèse Bentzon)

by Charles de Bernard

by Alfred de Vigny
(Two Volumes)

The Confession of a Child of the Century
by Alfred de Musset

Monsieur, Madame, and Bébé
by Gustave Droz

The Ink-Stain
by René Bazin

The Abbé Constantin
by Ludovic Halévy

Serge Panine
by Georges Ohnet

by Hector Malot

Prince Zilah
by Jules Clarétie

by Phillipe de Massa


She Stoops to Conquer; or, The Mistakes of a Night
by Oliver Goldsmith

Cyrano de Bergerac
by Edmond Rostand

The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter’s Tale
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Eugénie Grandet
by Honoré de Balzac

Marius the Epicurean: His Sensations and Ideas
by Walter Pater
(two volumes)

Dante. Purg. XXVI. 112-114

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Snow in the churchyard
and you

giving your old black coat
to a stranger frozen

and still

its weight
on his shoulders

known only to him

his wings showing

his joy


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The gift was a word

I don’t remember the year.
But I was quite small.

The gift was a word.
I’m unwrapping it still.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

When object warms the hand it loves

When object warms the hand it loves
and hand the heart it holds,

by eye is said what tongue conceals
of love that ever flows,

in peace a song past marble rows
a name no haste reveals,

to find below those wings above,
as winter comes, and winter goes.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

I remember one

I remember one, a snowflake
it might have been,

turned out to be
a child’s hand

melting in my own,
as winter coaxed

the last leaf

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The year it’s been, the life it is

Stake your claim
and fertile be thy bones

a passing train
soon gone

your hat
in the wind

a place
by the road

your face
a field

to loving

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Were I the bird
you seek

far out
upon a limb

with the grace
to plead

no sweeter way
to end

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Canvas 331

The greatest fiction is the face:
true in each detail,
yet impossible
to trace.

Canvas 331

December 10, 2013

[click to enlarge]

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Canvas 329

Canvas 329

December 8, 2013

[click to enlarge]

There is a difference

There is a difference between cold, the visitor,
and cold, the companion.

The visitor wears fine clothes
and knocks before entering.

The companion is present always,
and confesses our end.

Such a faithful friend, yet,
we would abandon him.

But we shall not speak of death
this bright winter dawn.

We shall not, for something, or someone,
is making a sound.

Our gaze on the door, our hand
to the knob.

If out must be in, then in
must be out.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

She bestowed candles

She bestowed candles on the statues
and lit them well.

“Winter, my soul. Behold.”

It was a song, and as she sang it,
the candles burned low.

“Soon. Very soon. Soon, she will know.”

The statues grew cold. But oh,
how they loved her. They loved her so well.

Friday, December 6, 2013


And you in your long black coat,
talked about by crows:

You in the way a child looks out
upon the stones in rows:

You in haste who turn about,
surprised by what you know:

Is this the name you’re looking for,
the one that is your own?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Canvas 328

Canvas 328

December 5, 2013

[click to enlarge]

The rain, a hand through it

The rain, a hand through it,
the mist, a veil — as if memory were arriving
and departing at the same time, and thereby
leaving its firm imprint — a face? — no,
something far more real than that: love?
yes, love — else why the chill,
and the fever it leaves

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Timo e basilico

What better way to learn Italian than reading about food
prepared by a dear friend and favorite artist?

Congratulations, Laura,
on your beautiful new blog,


One last apple, still frightened by its dream of teeth.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Faint light, still palm

I’m not sure yet what this means, but I like the way it sounds;
of course, sound, too, is part of what it means.





Sunday, December 1, 2013

Monsieur, Madame, et Bébé

My Dear Droz :

Now surely you must see,
that if a man can weep over words
written a hundred fifty years ago,
there is hope for us


The French Immortals,
Vol. XIV

Winter flight

When, restless as any other,
she forsakes that statue
too old and cold
to march,

where will
that poor soul be?

And what, then, of we?