• David Whyte,  Events & news,  Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Musuem,  Poetry

    Finding our way back home

    “This is the bright home in which I live, this is where I ask my friends to come.” ~David Whyte “Home” is a small but expansive word. What does it really mean to make a home, to feel at home, or to be at home with oneself? At the same time, the buildings we call home reflect who we are, which is why inviting people inside our homes is an intimate gesture that extends beyond basic hospitality. My mother had a gift for creating beautiful homes, and I inherited her appreciation of the domestic arts. In a nursing facility near the end of her life, she was confined to a wheelchair and talked constantly…

  • Billy Collins,  Poetry,  relationships

    A random still life, an everyday love poem

    Then all the moments of the past began to line up behind that moment.” — Billy Collins Billy Collins sees art in the ordinary acts of daily life. In “This Much I Do Remember,” Collins recalls a tender moment that most couples can relate to: the leisurely hour at the dinner table after a good meal has been shared. The woman he’s addressing in this poem is his wife of many years. I fight tears every time I read this piece. It deftly underscores the familiar comfort of a long marriage, reminding me of my own. As Collins wisely points out, the simple, everyday moments we share are the foundation of…

  • Just for writers,  Poetry,  Writing advice

    Working from home

    “Let her have a chair, her shadeless lamp, the table.” — Jane Hirshfield, “The Poet” The pandemic has changed the way most of us work. Today, “working from home” is no longer just a temporary option for parents of young kids. More than ever, we all need a safe workspace where we can be productive and creative — whether it’s the kitchen table, a home office in the guest room, or a studio in the basement. The following poem is another favorite of mine, reminding me of my early years of motherhood and the challenges of starting a writing career at home. (I scheduled my deadlines around nap time or…

  • approval seeking,  David Whyte,  Poetry

    “Sweet Darkness”

    “You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in.” — David Whyte Sometimes the right poem can work life-changing magic. And sometimes it all depends on what you’re going through when you read it. David Whyte’s “Sweet Darkness” is one such poem for me. Revisiting it today, I am struck this time by the sheer power of its last three lines. This heart-stopping poem is an invitation to stop wasting our time on futile distractions — and a clarion call to discover the real work that we were meant to do…. SWEET DARKNESSBy David Whyte When your eyes are tiredthe world is tired also. When your vision has…

  • Just for writers,  Poetry,  the challenges of being original

    How to find your voice: “The Journey”

    “And there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own.” — Mary Oliver In my workshops, we often discuss the importance of finding or developing our own creative voices. It’s never easy. Every day, we are bombarded by a cacophony of inner critics, cultural norms, and religious and political pundits — not to mention all the mindless white noise generated by social media. We have to pull back and listen deeply to hear our own truth. Otherwise, we’re simply mimicking others when we speak, write, or design our lives.   Mary Oliver’s “The Journey” gives us a new map. It’s one of my favorite poems about living…