The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

December 19, 2013

December 19, 2004

Christian Wiman is an editor of Poetry, the premier literary magazine in America. He is a poet himself, and is included in the book Quote Poet Unquote: Contemporary Quotations on Poets and Poetry which Dennis O'Driscoll edited (2008). Wiman's piece is an essay which first appeared in the Chicago Tribune, December 19, 2004. In it he says," A good poem can freeze experience even as it releases and enlarges it, the words utterly intact but ramifying, like a bell that troubles the air long after its sound has stopped." That may be, but as a definition of poetry Wiman's quote fails, since there are other situations besides poetry which can produce such a freezing of experience.

Christian Wiman co-edited the anthology The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of "Poetry" Magazine (2012). One of the poems included is by Charles Bukowski. Here is an excerpt of the poem "A Not so Good Night in the San Pedro of the World":

It is unlikely a good poem is in me
tonight ...
as one of my cats, a beautiful white with strange markings
sleeps in the bathroom.

Wiman's memoir My Bright Abyss, appeared in 2013.

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