Category Archives: poetry

Facing dismissal, distinguished teacher resigns after reciting lurid Allan Ginsburg poem in class

David Olio, a Connecticut high-school English teacher, has resigned rather than face being fired after reading a racy Allen Ginsburg poem to his class.  Olio not only teaches AP (Advanced Placement) English, but won Connecticut’s highest award for teaching excellence. You can read the poem,  “Please Master,” here.  There’s no doubt that it’s salacious, but it’s also likely […]

Google Doodle celebrates Langston Hughes

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life of Langston Hughes (1902-1967), author and poet, who would have been 113 years old today had he lived. The Doodle is especially good today—animated, and with music. You can see it by either clicking on the screenshot below, or, if that doesn’t work for non-USers, watch the YouTube video […]

Poems from a boy who didn’t grow up

I’ve just learned that there will be no internet where I’m staying for the next 11 days, so, barring a fortuitous Starbucks or any establishment with free internet, you won’t hear from me for a while. I’ve asked my emissaries to keep things going as best they can, so keep the faith. And here’s the […]

I saw a bunny!

It is about 20ºF this morning (-7°C), the squirrels are tucked into their nests, and, as I walked to work in the dark, a bunny (Sylvilagus floridanus)  ran across my path. The iPhone picture I took in darkness (too far away for the flash to have much effect) shows a glowing eye on an otherwise unidentifiable lump: It […]

It’s Dylan Thomas’s 100th birthday

How could I not realize that the several articles on Dylan Thomas that appeared over the last few days weren’t just a coincidence? In fact, they weren’t: had he lived, Thomas would be 100 years old today (and the day is already over in Wales). As it is, Thomas made it only to the age of 39, having drunk […]

Coco’s new bed

Reader Darrelle Ernst brightened my day with an email about his sybaritic cat Coco, which looks to be a Burmese: My wife and I have a prized bowl, hand carved from a single piece of marble by an Italian artisan, that we bought years ago. When our children were born we stored the bowl to keep it safe. […]

We wercynn scopes thrym gefrunon, hu se bard ellen fremede!

by Greg Mayer Ireland provided a large share of the great literature in English of the late 19th and 20th centuries– Joyce, Yeats, Beckett, Shaw, Wilde, O’Casey, Synge– a share out of proportion to it’s size. Last week, one of its most recent bright literary lights, Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), died in Dublin at the age […]

Caturday felids: A sad poem about Polish cats

Most Caturday felids are upbeat, but this one is a bit sad. Cats, after all, are part of life, and life isn’t all beer and skittles. Below I’ve reposted an animated Google doodle that appeared, as far as I know, only on the Polish Google site (July 2). It was in honor of  the 90th anniversary […]


Matthew Cobb has pointed me to a wonderful website called “WTF, Evolution?“, in which photos of nature’s oddities are given funny captions.  It shows that if you were present when the first replicator formed, and asked to guess what creatures would evolve, you’d never even get close to things like the pig-nosed frog (see it: […]


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