Wednesday, July 23, 2014


It seems my sense of loss and longing and loneliness always connects to looking west, to the setting sun, the long shadows coming from that direction. This is a connection made during my childhood on the Iowa farm, and it continues to this day as I look west from the big red house in Fairwater. Always something to do with the far horizon and with the disappearance of the sun.

By contrast, dawn - with its own glow and long shadow, its own horizon - suggests possibility, fullness, some rich refreshment of the spirit. Same sun, same sense of horizon, but in the other direction.

Then, too, it is autumn which invokes in me longing, loss, and loneliness, a whole season of sundown.

And it is out of this loss and longing and loneliness that my poetry arises, I think. As poets we need the solitude, but we also need the hunger for what is lost or what lies just beyond our reach. A rich lyricism may rise from loneliness, engendered by our trying to find beauty wherever it might be seen in our lives.

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