Field

Articles from No. 91, Fall

Alphabets
IA shadow his father makes with joined handsAnd thumbs and fingers nibbles on the wallLike a rabbit's head. He understandsHe will understand more when he goes to school.Then he draws smoke with chalk the whole first week,Then draws the forked stick that...
At Home
Tesarska Street, LjubljanaOpportunities aren't lacking: I only have to step through the backgate,into a suburban garden under a small canopy. A peony nods to meknowingly. Here you are again, you will stare at me and wrinkleyour brow like a lull before...
Author, Author
The snow came circlingdown like the midnight white clad womandancing with her dog as I stooddreaming of her beautiful arms, the half-shellalabaster of them tuliped above heras she stepped and turned and the dogran, circling, mad happiness itselfand Pirandello...
Electric Light
Candle grease congealed, dark-streaked with wick-soot.Rucked alps from above. The smashed thumbnailof that ancient mangled thumb was puckered pearl,moonlit quartz, a bleached and littered Cumae.In the first house where I saw electric lightshe sat with...
Fluent at Their Task
While much of Seamus Heaney's lyric poetry attends to the ancient and modem history, the politics and anguish, of Ireland's Troubles, "Clearances" seems to me the capstone of his writing out of the homeliness of his rural Catholic childhood in County...
Horizon Keep
In Act 3, Scene 4 of Hamlet, Queen Gertrude-blind to the sudden apparition of the Ghost-exclaims in wonder at her son's terrified countenance:...as the sleeping soldiers in th' alarm,Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,Starts up and stands on end.Excrement...
Luisa Casati, Fountain Dress (1921)
The absolute decay of everythingwhere I brim and pool itwhere I leak and trickle itin these icy skirts, these tinkling jewelswhere I am molested by light, by refulgence,I am smiling I am shaking freeI am a hive of brittle quiveringsladders climb me in...
On Heaney's "Postscript"
Heaney's "Postscript" opens casually, notationally, like a reminder to self (so I have always read the "you") to make a point of looking carefully at a particular landscape. It's a decidedly athletic sentence, though, in its being sustained for eleven...
Saint Kevin, Saint Blackbird
Certain poems have inside them the source of all poems. I've thought this, and probably said it many times. Because it is these I love instinctively, pretty much automatically, poems I read and reread. They share their bounty and radiate wildly or so...
Seamus Heaney: A Field Symposium
When we lost Seamus Heaney at the end of August 2013, the sense of bereavement, which was also a sense of celebration for a life's accomplishment, was global. This Irish poet, translator, and playwright was a beloved figure, not least because he handled...
Seamus Heaney: Artful Voyeur
Research into the matter has come to show that Seamus Heaney's facts about the bog people he wrote about in North (1975), his most powerful book about the Irish "troubles," were mostly wrong. In "Punishment," he writes about a young girl executed for...
The Bubble
The airtight interiorwags in the turbulence as I flip throughsome glossy tourismtrying to forget my body's obedienceto gravity's lawand its longing to fall, miles and milesabove western sky.Would fall faster, faster than leafletshauled from a hulldeclaring...
The Commands
The child taught the dog stayby staying herself, in the dark garden,and the dog imitated her.The child taught the dog fetchby pushing a twig with her nose.She taught the dog comeby appearing out of the pines(there were only two pinesand she had to bribe...
The Fall
She disappeared, and left me dark.-Paradise Lost1Small rain on the lake,its glacial blue. Last at the tailof a continental range.1 followed you until the trailgrew too arduous to climbwithout a stick. All rockalong the border of two countrieswhose only...
The Middle Distance
Birdie, it's always Autumnwherever you are& What's-her-name is orbitingour block with a facemade for winter. She circlesand loses form as the hoursturn to tallies on our wall.The glowering wind has stuffedthe ash in its pocketsas I wait here patientlyfor...
Why It's Important We Not Talk Too Much about How Long Ago the Past Was
The pope says, "Hi." The pope is a people person. Well,that's good. It's important to say hi, and it's importantto be a people person. It's not critical or anything, but importantnonetheless. Other popes are other ways. Used to be,there was a lot of...
Women of the Plain: IV
The wind above the glaciers that rushed from the desertcomes, barely cooled, to worry the tall pine tree's branches.When everything is in labor, how can you sleep, howcan you die?On the slow supple waters, the black boats, the flat boats,tomorrow nudged...
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