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Posts Tagged ‘Peggy Rosenthal’

Alleluia for the Easter Season

By Peggy RosenthalMay 24, 2017

I used to find Easter a letdown. Lent is so full of the self-improvement activities of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I typically add a midday prayer to my usual Morning and Evening Prayer. I decide what organizations I want to give alms to: a different one each week of Lent. And fasting: not from food…

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Poetry Friday: “The Spirit of Promise”

By Daniel DonaghyMay 19, 2017

Memories can make good material for poetry. In “The Spirit of Promise,” Daniel Donaghy is remembering his Catholic childhood in the particular church that he’s now re-visiting. At first the poet’s memories are negative: “my grade-school nuns shaking // their heads at me”; the priest “putting down his Chesterfield / to tell me how many…

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Quartet for J. Robert Oppenheimer

By Peggy RosenthalMay 10, 2017

What would you think of a biography of a famous person written in the form of a poem? I don’t mean just a portrait of the person: Stephanie Strickland did this (masterfully) in her The Red Virgin: A Poem of Simone Weil. No, I mean a full, chronological biography—birth to death and reputation beyond—complete with…

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Poetry Friday: “The Aging Maria”

By Judith Ortiz CoferMay 5, 2017

The prose poem is a challenging genre. After all, what distinguishes “plain prose” from “prose poetry”? Here, in Judith Ortiz Cofer’s “The Aging Maria,” I’d say it’s, first, the liberty with sentence structure. Take the opening sentence: in a prose work we’d say it’s too long, stretches in too many directions. But here, each phrase…

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Poetry Friday: “Sewing Box”

By Murray BodoApril 21, 2017

We don’t think enough—or at least I don’t—about how objects can contain memory. But Murray Bodo’s poem “Sewing Box” shows us how: in this box in which memory is literally contained. Each of the four stanzas takes us deeper into the box. At first it’s just “the busy / sewing box I’d organize on visits…

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Praying the Art of Sean Scully: The Match of Prose and Visual Art

By Peggy RosenthalApril 17, 2017

When I finished reading Paul Anel’s article on the chapel art of Sean Scully, in the current issue of Image (#91), I was moved to close my eyes in prayer. It wasn’t verbal prayer. It was a sitting within a sense of the sacred. Both Scully’s art and Anel’s graced account of it had drawn me…

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Heisenberg and the A-Bomb: Just Say No

By Peggy RosenthalMarch 27, 2017

I read through the article breathlessly, astonished at the moral implications of what I was learning. When I got to the end, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, trying to begin to take in the import of what I’d just read. The article was “The Private Heisenberg and the Absent Bomb,” by Thomas Powers,…

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Poetry Friday: “In Tandem”

By Fred MarchantMarch 17, 2017

Here is a poem that takes aim at our clichés about aging and death. It does so with subtle cleverness, by putting “in tandem” an old spruce tree and the nursing home resident to whom the poem is addressed. Though there’s no stanza break, the poem divides into two parts, each of nine lines. The…

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Poetry Friday: “Grief Daybook: A Love Supreme”

By Carol Ann DavisMarch 10, 2017

It’s fairly common for a poem to be inspired by (or be in conversation with) a famous painting. Less often, though, do we find poems engaging with a musical work. Yet that’s just what happens in Carol Davis’s poem “Grief Daybook: A Love Supreme.” Fans of the brilliant jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane will…

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Poetry Friday: “Ghazal: Woman at the Well”

By Carolyne WrightMarch 3, 2017

I’ve always found the ghazal form intriguing. Its couplets, all discrete, are linked by  a phrase repeated in each couplet’s second line. The changes rung on this repeated phrase are where much of a ghazal’s action takes place. In “Ghazal: Woman at the Well,” Carolyne Wright takes “the woman at the well” as her repeated phrase—the…

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