• Backward Miracle

    Every once in a while, we need prose, not poetry, says the poet. We need just the vessel with the wine and nothing more. We need a single loaf and the single fish and that is all.

  • Not Many Wise, Not Many Noble

    Inside the ‘museum’ was a pile of artifacts — four-hundred-year-old Bibles, sacred heart pictures, a reproduction of the shroud of Turin, old motorcycles, more dinosaurs, and a neon sign that read: “Jesus Saves.”

  • What’s In A Translation?

    Every year when I read the Iliad with my students, I pick up a new translation. I laugh out loud with delight when I read fresh characterizations of old characters. Odysseus described as a complicated man or Agamemnon as a drunkard. I love it when ancient heroes or villains shout contemporary phrases. "You’re both whining," says Nestor to Agamemnon and Achilles. Did ancient Greeks whine? Of course they did. Then of course I love comparing translations and seeing how translators grasp the tragedy of the poem.

  • On the Importance of Forgetting

    Most attention in our culture is given to the importance of remembering. But it turns out that forgetting can be just as important. The inability to forget can be as destructive as the inability to remember.