Monthly Archives: June 2016

Monday’s Verse 6/27/2016

Dear readers,

If you think I am going to make an anagram for "Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea," well then… you’re going to have to wait until I can recline on a couch with a glass of Bushmills and a notepad, which may take a couple days. Nonetheless, Anne Finch (1661-1720) was from an esteemed Hampshire family, and served in the court of Charles II. There she benefited from the inflluence of other women poets such as Sarah Churchill and Anne Killigrew. There she met the 5th Earl of Winchilsea, Heneage Finch, who courted her. The couple’s steadfast support of James II made for an exciting early part of the marriage, which survived James’ deposition and the installation of William and Mary. They lost their government posts, but Anne’s interest in writing took off. Her work not only copied and mastered the established forms, but participated in the movements of her day, with novel vocabulary and metaphysical preoccupations.

Today’s poem celebrates 2 long-time MVers, long-time friends themselves, who happened to meet quite by serendipity in Orlando over the weekend! -ed.


Eph. What Friendship is, Ardelia show.

Ard. ’Tis to love, as I love you.

Eph. This account, so short (tho’ kind)

Suits not my inquiring mind.

Therefore farther now repeat:

What is Friendship when complete?

Ard. ’Tis to share all joy and grief;

’Tis to lend all due relief

From the tongue, the heart, the hand;

’Tis to mortgage house and land;

For a friend be sold a slave;

’Tis to die upon a grave,

If a friend therein do lie.

Eph. This indeed, tho’ carried high,

This, tho’ more than e’er was done

Underneath the rolling sun,

This has all been said before.

Can Ardelia say no more?

Ard. Words indeed no more can show:

But ’tis to love, as I love you.

Monday’s Verse 6/20/2016

Dear readers,

I was hoping to find something on a father theme, and somehow this morning I knew I’d find it in my book of Timothy Murphy poems, my only book of Timothy Murphy poems, the only thing I have that gives me any scrap of information about Timothy Murphy, about whom I know almost nothing save the year of his birth, 1951. It’s hard to say if he’s an Irish poet or an American poet, though apparently he’s a midwestern American poet. But what I mean is, there are poems of his that draw directly on Yeats (that, in fact, make punning use of Yeats’s titles and themes), and this poem seems directly related, not once or twice removed, to Seamus Heaney’s bog poems. Perhaps it’s that word "hummock." It’s no heartfelt father’s day poem the way Billy Collins’s "The Lanyard" is for moms, but talks to me about how certain things are born, and then might grow up to be barely recognizable. Enjoy,



Last night I sought the lost scout in my dreams.
After a twilight slog
I found him in a bog
sobbing amid a maze of braided streams.

Bloodied by leeches, maddened by the buzz
of deerflies round his ears,
and half-blinded by tears,
the lad had no notion where he was–

yards from a hummock which two pathways crossed.
His small hand holds me fast
though thirty years have passed
and I confuse the searcher with the lost.


Monday’s Verse 6/13/2016

Dear readers,

You may have seen the following poem recited live last night. I saw it described as a sonnet, so I attempted to give it line breaks that make it look like one. We dedicate it to everyone the author, Lin-Manuel Miranda, seemed to invoke in his emotional reading. And I’ve given it a provisional title. -mjl.


When senseless acts of tragedy
remind us that nothing here is promised
this show is proof
that history remembers

we live through times
when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall and light
from dying embers

remembrances that hope
and love last longer–
and love is love is love is love is love is love is love
cannot be killed or swept aside

I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story;
now fill the world with music, love and pride.