Category Archives: Poetry

John Ciardi, “About Rivers and Toes”

This is a poem I really like. John Ciardi, who was quite figure in mid-century American letters, went to the same college I did (Tufts). Many years ago, I came across a little book of his poetry (Someone Could Win … Continue reading

Posted in Boston, Education, Poetry, Rivers, Trees & Flowers, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lauro de Bosis’ Gesture

From George Garrett’s “A Wreath for Garibaldi,” Kenyon Review 23 (1961) 487-88: It is hard for me to know how I feel about Lauro di Bosis. I suffer from mixed feelings. He was a well-to-do, handsome, and sensitive young poet. … Continue reading

Posted in Emblems, Italy, Military, Poetry, Rome, Statues & Monuments | Leave a comment

Good and faithful servant

A much-reproduced picture from the recent funerary ceremonies for George H.W. Bush shows the former President’s service dog, Sully, lying before his master’s casket. It’s hard not to choke up a little seeing Sully, the very soul of to-the-last fidelity. … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Bible, Cemeteries & Funerals, Dogs, Emblems, Military, Poetry, Statues & Monuments, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

No middle way out of the waste land?

I just love the March 6, 1950 cover of Time magazine, which depicts T.S. Eliot poised between a cross over his left shoulde, and a martini (or is it a grail?) on his right. The caption below reads, “No middle … Continue reading

Posted in England, Language & Etymology, Poetry, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Gassed”: My Thoughts and Another’s, Unknown

John Singer Sargent’s Gassed (1919)– I’ve seen it twice, last fall at the Frist’s WWI & American Art exhibit and, more memorably, in 2012 at the Imperial War Museum in London. The Olympics were on, and service men and women … Continue reading

Posted in Cemeteries & Funerals, Classics, England, Military, Poetry, Sports & Games, Time | Leave a comment

Their Ancient, Glittering Eyes: Prefatory Remarks for the Alderson-Tillinghast Inaugural Lecture

Many thanks to all of you for being here today, a day I have long been awaiting, because it is the day when I finally get to express my deep gratitude to the University and its benefactors, and particularly to … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Pontius Pilate, Sewanee, Time | Leave a comment

Pulvis et Umbra

A final shot from Mine 21, a beautiful image of miners’ headlamps which flicker like stars about to go out. Nos ubi decidimus quo pater Aeneas, quo dives Tullus et Ancus, pulvis et umbra sumus. –Horace, Odes 4.7.14-16 When we … Continue reading

Posted in Cemeteries & Funerals, Classics, Mythology, Poetry, Tennessee, The South, Time | Leave a comment