Babel’s Artifacts Reminds Me

Babel’s Artifacts” by Scott Cairn caught my eye on Plumepoetry.com— I love “nattering tribe” and I like the in-in-and-back moves the rhythm makes.

Seeing this poem reminded me that I have on my shelf and really liked, years ago when I read it, his book Philokalia. Frequently the poems are quite engaged with the spiritual/religious, but they’re lovely poems that even heathens like me can get into (though presumably those who know their Bible better will get out of him even more). Like his poem “Nous” for example.

He’s good at the long sentence and its movement down lines, at which I would like to be better in my own work.

I like his wry-ness, like at the start of “Musee”

The old masters? Seldom wrong about anything,
never quite able to admit it when they were.

Flipping through at the poems with turned-down corners I think again, yeah, I think I like this poet. I think, again, yeah, why do I do anything except read? (And then I remember I haven’t watched this week’s episode of The Americans yet and revise—it’s all in the revising—and think, why I do anything except read and watch, and am happy it’s just now started to be the weekend…)

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