Giving thanks for poets and poetry
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Photo of a tree against the sky, leaves changing colour with autumn
Photo by me, taken earlier this week in Cambridge, MA
Dear you,

I don't know about you, but poetry has been saving me, this week. Joy Harjo and Jericho Brown. Louise Glück (who just won the Nobel) and Lianne La Havas.

And also, the poetry of Jo Anna's beautiful Invocation, of Ari Felix's horoscopes (however you feel about astrology, her love letters are stunning, powerful, and rich with meaning regardless), of Stacy-Marie Ishmael's email newsletters.

Poetry saves me again and again, especially during times when my own words fail me, when time seems thin and crowded, when my attention span won't cooperate for longer than a few minutes, when everything is an urgent cacaphony, or when nothing seems to matter.

This year, poetry has felt more necessary than ever. As Joy Harjo writes, "it was impossible to make it through the tragedy without poetry. What are we without winds becoming words?"

Poetry brings me home to the sensual joy of language, to the depth of meaning in small moments, to the dark ironies and stark cruelty and raw hope of life. I'm grateful for all of it.

What's keeping you afloat these days? What comforts and discomforts you in ways that make you feel alive? I'm listening if you'd like to share.

I dreamed all of this I told her, you, me, and Paris — 
it was impossible to make it through the tragedy
without poetry. What are we without winds becoming words?
Becoming old children born to children born to sing us into
love. Another level of love, beyond the neighbor’s holiday light
display proclaiming goodwill to all men who have lost their way in the dark
as they tried to find the car door, the bottle hidden behind the seat, reason
to keep on going past all the times they failed at sharing love, love.

– excerpted from "Becoming Seventy" by Joy Harjo.

Recommended inputs

A research project in my home town gave 50 homeless people $7,500 cash, and it turns out that does a world of good (and saves the government money). The MacArthur Foundation announced their 2020 "genius" grant recipients, and as usual, reading through the fellows' profiles is an absolute joy. I know there's probably no way to convince you that I enjoyed this profile of Lenny Kravitz for the text, but I genuinely did -- especially the part where he talks about tending to his crops and his family's bush medicine traditions. The data scientist exposing US white supremacists. (Emily Gorcenski is a treasure.) "The recession unleashed by the pandemic is sidelining hundreds of thousands of women and wiping out the hard-fought gains they made in the workplace over the past few years."


Season six of Schitt's Creek is on Netflix, so I just assume that's what all of us are watching this week.

Quarantine self-reg

If, like me, you still have gobsmacking quantities of apples and want to make something with them that looks gorgeous but isn't actually all that demanding? This apple-caramel tart is here to make your dreams come true. 

One last thing…

(Source: arcaneloquence on Tumblr)

Know someone who might enjoy this newsletter? Pass it on. I also love hearing your feedback – just hit reply and let me know what you think.

Stay curious –


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