It’s been a year since Nobel laureate and Irish poet Seamus Heaney passed away. His publishers are releasing a final collection of his poetry in November. In The Irish Independent, a brief retrospective on Heaney’s legacy, which includes his wife’s unique way of expressing her gratitude to his friends. You could also read Trent Morris’s tribute to Heaney for The Millions.
Despite several irate comments regarding the article from New Hampshire residents, pointing out correctly that most of that wine bought in New Hampshire is most likely consumed in bordering states and by vacationers from as far as Canada passing through who can’t resist our low prices, there’s no doubt in my mind that the consumption of wine has gone up in the forty-one years since I’ve settled in New Hampshire. Once the state allowed the selling of wines not just in its own liquor stores, but in supermarkets, small groceries, filling stations, and even in drug stores, it became clear that the locals too were drinking wine. My other piece of evidence comes from our town dump, where the empty wine bottles are separated into their own bins and into which I take a peek every week while dropping my own empties. What became obvious over the years is not just the increase in quantity, but the improved quality of the wines that are being drunk. Since I associate wine with good life and civilization, knowing that everyone from the old Greek and Romans to our Founding Fathers drank it too, Benjamin Franklin even claiming that wine is a proof that God loves us, I find this to be a most felicitous development.
I have tried them all,
The cotton, the nylon,
absorbing water, rolling in sand,
sticky flakes of broken glass.
We all drown in the end.
Fifty years ago, Frank O’Hara released Lunch Poems, a collection of remarkably informal poetry that rebuked the more academic verse of his day. As a tribute, Dwight Garner writes about the importance of the book in the Times, arguing that O’Hara’s grasp of the zeitgeist is the reason he appeared on Mad Men. For more on the poet’s legacy, take a look at Christopher Richards on O’Hara’s lessons for being gay.
I’m always inspired because I’m alive. It’s a gift to be able to do this. I don’t need outside inspiration. I need time. And if, and when, I get it, I use it. It would scare me to have all day long to write. I need pockets of time, spaces where it is tempting to write before the clock strikes the end. That’s where poems are born for me, when time is so compressed that the idea sparks out.
If only you could paraphrase
how his yellows are. Spread flat
on your bed some eighteenth
century map of
Saint Kitts. What else is there
but ornamentation? My beard like
wheat. Like how the
cabbage palms seem unevenly hacked
It should go without saying that no one goes into poetry for money.
Poetry makes us children again.