William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Reading’

The Day I Photographed Lincoln

Immersed as I have been in the humble, candid, beautifully written memoirs and letters of the great Civil War generals Grant and Sherman, it would be odd indeed if this old poem of mine did not come to mind. And then there is the biographical, historical masterwork by Carl Sandburg, the six-volume Abraham Lincoln, given us in two parts: the two-volume Prairie Years, and the four-volume War Years. Sandburg, born […]

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The Long Way to Goose Lake

The long way to Goose Lake on a bright frosty morning, birds in the sun over a field of stubble. Or is it your grandfather’s face? Yes, it is, he has returned. No, he hasn’t, he never departed. Yes, you are in his lap and you feel his warmth. And the birds are his thoughts, they are everything he remembers, they are songs of old times never quite ended, only […]

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Moving Books Around

Jonathan Swift 1812-1813

At the moment there’s scarcely room here to sit, leave alone exercise free movement of my elbows. And while this is only a slight exaggeration, I’d best make no sudden moves, or I might topple the tall stacks of books everywhere around me, as the room is in a state of turmoil brought on by my decision to add two more tall bookcases, despite the fact that there’s no obvious […]

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A Bedtime Story

Certainly you must like the idea of being a page held fast by a child’s soft thumb, and plied by a mind untried by no trial or grief beyond ordinary hunger and thirst, no fear, no loss, no doubt, or question of worth. Or would you rather be the child you think, you remember, you are, you were? Both, I’m sure.   A Bedtime Story Read it again, Daddy. I […]

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Weightless Wait

If we judge the depth of a poem only by the number of words or lines it contains, we will surely do the same when we read a woman, child, or man; such a waste it is, when we hurry to the end.   Weightless Wait A lacy maple, now orange, red, and yellow, is dropping leaves. Tiny birds arrive. Weightless. Wait. More leaves fall. Brushstrokes. Worn out shoes. A […]

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