…summer’s lease hath all too short a date
June 21, 2012
On the summer solstice in 1982, we moved from D.C. to Brooklyn, on the summer solstice in 1991, from New Jersey to Atlanta, and on the summer solstice in 2003, from Atlanta to Manhattan. This solstice, I plan to stand still (or sit somewhere cool if possible) and read, beginning with Mary Ruefle’s “Someone Reading a Book is a Sign of Order in the World”
and continuing with…
A something in a summer’s day,
As sIow her flambeaux burn away,
Which solemnizes me.
A something in a summer’s noon, –
An azure depth, a wordless tune,
And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright,
I clap my hands to see;
Then veil my too inspecting face,
Lest such a subtle, shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me.
The wizard-fingers never rest,
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes its narrow bed;
Still rears the East her amber flag,
Guides still the sun along the crag
His caravan of red,
Like flowers that heard the tale of dews,
But never deemed the dripping prize
Awaited their low brows;
Or bees, that thought the summer’s name
Some rumor of delirium
No summer could for them;
Or Arctic creature, dimly stirred
By tropic hint, — some travelled bird
Imported to the wood;
Or wind’s bright signal to the ear,
Making that homely and severe,
Contented, known, before
The heaven unexpected came,
To lives that thought their worshipping
A too presumptuous psalm.
A few excellent reads from the last three weeks teaching at New School’s Summer Writers Colony.
Lucette Lagnado. The Arrogant Years: One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn
Tracy K. Smith. Life on Mars.
Kevin Young. The Grey Album
And things to come from the students in my nonfiction writing workshop… Thanks for a terrific three weeks, folks.