All the rolling wheels that contradict Death! Thoughts on Tomas Tranströmer’s Selected Poems

Tomas Tranströmer’s Nobel Prize-winning collection, Selected Poems, discusses big concepts– God, heaven, existence– but does it through small, specific objects and simple words. With vivid imagery and scientific precision , Tranströmer brings the infinitude of uncertainty back to the familiar and natural. After reading Selected Poems, I felt like I had experienced enough of Tranströmer’s beautiful poetry that I could, … Continue reading All the rolling wheels that contradict Death! Thoughts on Tomas Tranströmer’s Selected Poems

Sappho!

“You write poetry?” Klaus asked.He had read a lot about poets but had never met one.“Just a little bit,” Isadora said modestly. “I write poems down in this notebook. It’s an interest of mine.”“Sappho!” Sunny shrieked, which meant something like, “I’d be very pleased to hear a poem of yours!” ― Lemony Snicket, The Austere Academy Continue reading Sappho!

Finding Focus Day 1: Jonathan Franzen’s Computer

Three summers ago, novelist Jonathan Franzen was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. One of the things I will never forget from the feature article on Franzen, written by Lev Grossman and published on August 12, 2010, is when Franzen mentions what he did with his computer. Grossman writes: Because Franzen believes you can’t write serious … Continue reading Finding Focus Day 1: Jonathan Franzen’s Computer

How Playing Scrabble Made Me A Better Writer

When I started playing Scrabble, I mistakenly thought it was a game about spelling and vocabulary. I never did very well, because I was more concerned with spelling fancy words than positioning my tiles effectively. But then I had an epiphany: Scrabble wasn’t really about spelling; it was about strategic arrangement. Being good at spelling … Continue reading How Playing Scrabble Made Me A Better Writer

Characters as Translations: Thoughts on Cathy Park Hong’s Dance Dance Revolution

Cathy Park Hong’s collection of poetry, Dance Dance Revolution, is a linguistic masterpiece.  Narrated by an Historian who is transcribing the words of a Guide in the Desert, an invented resort city, the narrative goes from English to Korean to Spanish to Latin.  It explores the borders that exist in countries and in minds.  It expands the … Continue reading Characters as Translations: Thoughts on Cathy Park Hong’s Dance Dance Revolution