History, Literature, Poetry

“A damsel with a dulcimer”

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round; And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here… Continue reading “A damsel with a dulcimer”

Poetry, Quote of the Day

On Karma

Longfellow called it "Retribution" Though the mills of God grind slowly, Yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience he stands waiting, With exactness grinds he all. I've seen this play out more times than can could possibly be accounted for by chance. As someone else--Thomas Fuller, maybe--said: As virtue is its own reward, so… Continue reading On Karma

Literature, Poetry, Quote of the Day

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

She’s the ultimate femme fatale. And it’s one of the oldest stories in the world. The Beautiful Lady Without Pity. (No, for those of you with only rudimentary French, the title doesn't mean The Beautiful Lady Who Never Says Thank You.) The subject of my second-favorite poem by John Keats, which was written in 1819, when Keats was… Continue reading La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Literature, Poetry, Writing

Hot Dish on Haiku

Serendipity! I've recently been re-reading Pattiann Rogers. Her poems are stuffed full of brilliant observations about the physical and metaphysical world. Penned by a gifted writer chock-a-block with scientific knowledge of the natural world, Rogers' work has  a distinct kinship to haiku. But haiku it is not. This set me to thinking about what distinguishes… Continue reading Hot Dish on Haiku