Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The place where Winter lives

These days as I walk the dogs, some of the lyrics from Joni Mitchell's Urge for Going create an earworm.
Now the warriors of winter
They gave a cold triumphant shout
At least we're not suffering from a Polar Vortex. Then it would be really, really cold, instead of just really cold. The dogs have started hobbling and limping from freezing paws, and I'm doing my best to avoid falling on my ass in case my paws slip on the icy strips in the road. And other places east of us have it worse.

North America freezes

I can only believe that this pattern is attributable to bad karma, no doubt brought on by climate deniers and Keystone XL supporters. I can almost hear the weather gods saying "They don't believe humans are warming the atmosphere? OK, fine!

This blog and some other projects I'm working on are motivated by my interest in the relationship between writing (poetry and literature and ...) and place. One of my favorite bloggers, from one of my favorite places, has edited an anthology of Vermont fiction. I'm planning on getting a copy. You might want one too. And, so that Minnesota doesn't feel unloved here on My Minnesota, note that Milkweed Editions has a similar volume by Minnesota writers. It's not clear if all those stories are set in Minnesota. I can see my stack of unread books is likely to grow. There are worse vices.

The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain

By Wallace Stevens 

There it was, word for word,
The poem that took the place of a mountain.

He breathed its oxygen,
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.

It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go to in his own direction,

How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,

For the outlook that would be right,
Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion:

The exact rock where his inexactnesses
Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged,

Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea,
Recognize his unique and solitary home.


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