Archive for the ‘Literary’ Category

Empathy 101

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

“If there is any great secret to success in life,

 it is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place

and see things from his point of view as well as your own.” Henry Ford 

As I worked on a poetry presentation this week, I realized that the the ideas I am presenting are not limited to writing — they are, in fact, InSpiritry ideas worth sharing! The workshop I have been developing is a lesson for poets about persona poems. For the uninitiated, the persona of a poem is the person speaking to the reader. In some persona poems the writer assumes an identity other than their own.  That persona can be another person, an animal, a place, even something inanimate. In a persona poem, an alternate point of view means using an intentionally different way of speaking, to become that other voice. Enough about literary technique, though; back to my original reason for this post.   

What drew me to widen my considerations about writing persona poems was my assertion that “persona poems compel us to consider how it feels to be someone else.” (more…)

A Great Place to Read

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

“No matter how busy you are, you must find time to read. ” Confucius

Ahhh, time to read…

For most of us, our schedules make finding time to read a challenge, even though we know how good it feels to settle in with a good book or magazine.

To add to the challenge, many of us who are particular about what we read are also partial to where we read. Our choices of the perfect places to read can be as personal and unique as choosing which books to pull from the shelf. We might translate the wisdom of Confucius as: No matter how busy you are, you must find a place to read! 

So where do you prefer to commune with words: (more…)

Who Is Blameless?

Monday, February 4th, 2008

These days, whatever your nationality or political leaning, it’s easy to feel a sense of despondency about the condition of our world.

  • American leaders blame Arab extremists.
  • Arabs accuse the West.
  • The Jews fault the Muslims.
  • Iran suspects Christians.
  • Democrats indict Republicans.
  • Republicans blame China.
  • China complains about American liberals.
  • Liberals point to Conservatives.
  • Christian conservatives say it’s God’s will.

In our fear and anger, we all demand action, but when it’s time for action, we ask indignantly,

Who me? What can I do? (more…)

Bookwoman and Others Like Her

Friday, December 7th, 2007

store logo

“I suddenly wanted something to read about women,

but I couldn’t find anything.”

Poet Judy Grahn


In Austin, Texas, on the corner of 12th and Lamar, there is a small shop that, for years, has been one of the sanctuary places in my life. Its bright storefront display promotes a wide variety of items:  feminist biographies, environmental photojournalism, insightful children’s books, progressive political commentary and gifts promoting peace. Entering customers, especially women, are welcomed home. Behind the counter sits owner, Susan Post, an unassuming woman with eyes as soft as her voice. When asked, she will speak of her unwavering dedication to feminism and her heart for writers. The shop I speak of is Book-woman, one of only a handful of independent feminist bookstores in the country and the only one in Texas.  A store devoted to improving women’s lives–what better way to live out a Passion for the Greater Good? (more…)

A Hundred Ways

Monday, August 6th, 2007

There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Jelaluddin Balkhi (Rumi)

The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Imagine yourself so filled with gratitude and joy that you feel compelled to kneel–to kneel!–and kiss the very ground on which you stand, to thank God/Nature/Life for the pleasure and priviledge of living! Now imagine a hundred ways to express that joy!