Habit of mind: when I walk or snowshoe in the falling snow, or watch it descend from inside, lines from snow poems I love come to me. Inevitably, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The Snowstorm”––first line tells us, the storm is “Announced by all the trumpets of the sky”.
In just a couple of weeks, thousands from the literary world will descend upon hotels, bookstores, and eateries in Washington, D.C. for the annual conference of The Association of Writers & Writing Programs.
To the extent that music was part of my childhood, I grew up predominantly on a mismatched diet of twelfth-century lute music (mom’s) and dueling banjos (dad’s).
In early winter, the grass in North America still retains a cast of its autumn green, but after a few nights of deep freeze have killed the last of the ticks and fleas, the green turns greenish-grey. It’s then I begin remembering Thomas Hardy’s moving, highly-compressed and resonant sixteen-liner, “Neutral Tones.”
Reading a writer’s posthumous diary is a guilty undertaking—absorbing words I was never meant to see, glimpsing the private corners of a mind I was never meant to explore.