Saturday, February 10, 2018

Silly as Praxilla


We've lost everything Greek poet Praxilla wrote expect a brief fragment mentioned by Zenobius to explain the phrase "silly as Praxilla." The line is Adonis' answer when asked in the underworld what the most beautiful thing he left on earth was. 

Finest of all the things I have left is the light of the sun, / Next to that the brilliant stars and the face of the moon, / Cucumbers in their season, too, and apples and pears.

Apparently placing cucumbers and pears next to the light of the sun is what made made Praxilla silly In this depth of winter, missing the sun and the season of cucumbers, I don't find her the least bit silly.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Blanket Me

I've been writing about sculptor Leah Waldo's work for a reading next week at The Scarab Club. Her recent work deals with ideas of guardianship -- totem, amulet, dovecote, obelisk. The idea has split in a dozen ways for me, giving rise to drafts for more poems than I could ever have hoped to finish in the two months we've been collaborating. This week, it's struck me in the Hundred Waters song Blanket Me. "A dense phrase," Leah says about the refrain. And a complicated wish too. But it's a beautiful one too and a lovely song.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Dog Days

It's hard to see home clearly. I travel during the summer most years and it gives me perspective and fresh vision that I can carry home. Traveling through Greek literature gave me a window into my own backyard in this after Alcaeus poem about my old cottage in Whitmore Lake. The Michigan Poet published it as a poster. Reading it now makes me miss my cottage and long for summer and finishing every evening with a swim in Horseshoe. 


Silly as Praxilla

We've lost everything Greek poet Praxilla wrote expect a brief fragment mentioned by Zenobius to explain the phrase "silly as...