William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Letters’

Letters

Late each evening, the male towhee comes out from the rhododendron for one last look at the world and a little something to eat before bed. He is done singing for the day, and still mindful of the nest. Under the lilac, he finds something that intrigues him in the moss, and starts scratching like a chicken. The motion propels him forward several inches, then he hops back and pecks […]

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May Day

I’m still reading Vincent’s letters, and will be for quite some time. I continue with Thoreau’s journal, a fourteen-volume project. I’m about fifty pages into William Wetmore Story and His Friends, from Letters, Diaries, and Recollections, by Henry James, published in two volumes in 1904. I’ve begun the Library of America edition of John Muir’s nature writings. And I’ve just finished at Home with Disquiet, a wonderful new collection of […]

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A Mighty Wind Is

Yesterday evening, I learned something: to finish reading The Letters of Henry Adams is to want to read his books all over again; and it is to want to read the lives and letters of his friends. April 7, 2020   A Mighty Wind Is A mighty wind is thrashing the firs. Yesterday, the crows were busy gathering wood for their nests. When the wind dies down, they will resume. […]

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Blind Fishermen

Early morning. Fresh air, dark clouds, robin-song. And I ask myself — In this paradise, if I am not ready to die, have I ever really lived? March 25, 2020   Blind Fishermen It’s been so long — I think of writing you today. Do you think of writing me? — And do you wonder what to say? So many letters set out this way — Like little rafts at […]

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Dear Theo

It is perhaps not that strange in these virus times, to want to hurry and read something before I die — and yet there it is — the thought arrives unbidden — and so I set it down, not knowing whether it is prescient or the result of a life-long habit of fictionalizing my existence. The book in question consists of three volumes, and contains the letters of Vincent Van […]

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Troonk and Hamph

Among other things, in his journal entry for May 25, 1852, Thoreau mentions hearing the first troonk of a bullfrog — a lovely word, although I have for years spelled the sound hamph — this based on my recurring basso profondo imitation of bullfrogs heard while drifting with my father in his twelve-foot aluminum boat down California’s Kings River, in that lazy stretch below the town of Reedley where it […]

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Letters, Journals, and Poems

This afternoon I finished reading the third volume of Thoreau’s journal — the third of fourteen, as published in 1906 by Houghton Mifflin and Company. And I am set to begin The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, after reading the introduction for the fourth or fifth time early this morning. As with Whitman, I continue my habit of reading aloud — except in the case of The Letters of Henry […]

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That We Write Each Other

I make no distinction between our online and flesh experience; wherever we are, whatever we are doing, this is the room we are in; this is our meal between us; this is our joy, and pain, and grief, and doubt.   That We Write Each Other That we write each other in this way fulfills a very old promise. And the promise is this: that those of us not met […]

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Love Letter to the Universe

A letter arrives which you eagerly answer. But the sender needs no reply. So you turn the words you have written. And you burn them on the other side.   Love Letter to the Universe I was going to write this letter a century ago, but I wasn’t born yet, so I didn’t. I had to wait instead. Finally, when my impatience got the best of me, I was born, […]

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First Kiss

This has been a winter of books, and the kind of simple earthly pleasures that are priceless and free — a winter of clouds and ice and sun, of forest paths and waterfalls, of vanilla pages and chamomile grass and moss — a winter of Blake, Thoreau, and Don Quixote, of diaries and letters, and of all that lasts beyond its past and lights the present tense. And it’s not […]

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