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Literary Passages

This category contains 23 posts

Three Wise Monkeys of Sacred Stable in Nikko, Japan

The Three Wise Monkeys get all the attention, but the famous panel of “See/Hear/Speak No Evil” is just one of eight carved scenes depicting the arc of life.  In any case, the monkeys are incorporated into the outer face of an Edo-era stable because they were thought to protect the animals inside. The stable sits […]

Haiku: Two Sets of Questions

Five Haiku Questions: Child Who offers haiku To whom when a child outlives Her two parents What child listens to Elders without resistance An opposite pole Where did the story slip loose now coated with ash And altered by time When will memories Become blossoms like faces Sunning together Why can’t I hear you In […]

Freefalling from One Book to Another

How do you choose which book to read next? I’ve noticed some fine threads that take me from one book to another, and lately the choices haven’t been determined by my book group’s selection. Well, that’s not true. A couple months ago I read Louise Erdrich’s The Round House because my book club was reading […]

Edna St. Vincent Millay Meets Jack London

  Things have a way of converging. Today I stumbled across this essay about Edna St. Vincent Millay. Last week I had returned to her book of poetry, concentrating on the sonnets. Yesterday we visited the ‘Beauty Ranch’ of Jack London (b. 1876) a contemporary of Millay’s (b. 1892), more or less.  London and Millay […]

Sonnet 4: Brubeck’s Gone

Brubeck’s gone now or missing _ a beat Brief as any backward glance _ disguised With inhaled pause words like ‘Oui’ _ replete As a thought caught, considered _ surmised.   Riding an updraft in five _ four time Like a finch that bobs and floats _ between Nine quick wingbeats, a suspense _ sublime […]