Poetry

How poetry ignited a long-term online friendship: a conversation with Violet Nesdoly

  Are you interested in writing poetry, and connecting with other writers? Are you wondering whether there are any benefits to writing and reading poems? To explore these questions, I’m inviting you to eavesdrop on my long, virtual conversation with Violet Nesdoly, as we cyber-talk (or, more accurately, as we type back and forth) about …

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Tracy Lee Karner

Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey: my love affair with poetry, part 3

Wordsworth was twenty-eight years old when he composed Lines in 1798. 190 years later, I was twenty-eight when I first read his poem, and immortality touched me. I had tried repeatedly to appreciate Wordsworth’s poems. I trudged through them only because they had been assigned and I was a dutiful student. But I found his poems difficult …

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Sleeping in the Forest: my love affair with poetry, part 2

One of the first contemporary poems I loved was Sleeping in the Forest, by Mary Oliver. To adequately love a poem, you must prepare its dwelling place; memorize it. Revisit it frequently. When I found the poem (late 1980’s): Reading that poem (which is under copyright and not legally available online) felt like meditation to me. It felt …

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Tracy Lee Karner

What writing instructors should pass on to their students

For you skimmers, here is the bulleted list right up front– 9 principles I learned from a great writing instructor: Don’t be in a hurry to be published. Love learning; read copiously. Especially love literature. Memorize poems. Don’t take yourself or your writing too seriously. Take the acquisition of wisdom seriously–live decently, courageously, and well. Trust; you …

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Tracy Lee Karner

Easter Morning

I’ve been told that repeating the same ritual twice makes it a tradition. Today we visited Conimicut Point in Rhode Island, making it our new tradition to spend Easter listening to the crash of waves. Here’s the poem I wrote when we spent Easter morning in Rockport, Massachusetts. Toward Daylight We face the sun we cannot …

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