Years Ago

Blogging Party: European Vacation

  Thank you, thank you, to my many blogging friends who bring Europe to me! I'm proudly American, but I lived in Germany and went to school there, and had the chance to get around Europe. So my loyalties are divided. The USA has abundant natural resources, stunning landscapes and an almost crazy amount of… Continue reading Blogging Party: European Vacation

Tracy Lee Karner
Poetry

Insight into The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

In response to Richard Gilbert's suggestion that I tell the story behind the story of my book (which is about, among other things, "becoming a writer"), I've been writing a series on poetry's influence on my development. Poetry was my first love. And although poetry is no longer my one and only literary infatuation, I… Continue reading Insight into The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

Tracy Lee Karner
Poetry

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

Poetry

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

Tracy Lee Karner
Poetry

How to love poetry: true confessions about my affair

Oh, poetry, my first love, it may seem I have abandoned you. I've strayed to memoirs, essays, novels, and (gasp) even cookbooks, but you, I promise, will always remain first in my heart. You taught me nearly everything I know about the power of language. The history of my relationship to poetry...  Decades ago, I… Continue reading How to love poetry: true confessions about my affair

Tracy Lee Karner
Writing

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… Continue reading What writing instructors should pass on to their students

Writing

10 things writers are made of

If little boys are made of-- snakes; snails; puppy dog tails... Then, what are writers made of?  hope? the visible and invisible creatures that traverse the woodlands' borders? creativity? the fading spots of fawns? Maybe. But I think what writers are actually made of is: So what are writers made of?  ancestors, and atoms; events, and… Continue reading 10 things writers are made of