Pretty things and practical advice.
Boy, were we wrong. It only took 6 days to show us what a train wreck 2021 could be. The attack on our Capitol was a historical low point for American democracy.
Covid-19 continues to rage, and nurses are dropping out of the profession because they are burned out. It doesn’t help that most of the patients that they are seeing are ones who chose not to take the most important step to protect themselves from contracting the disease—getting the free vaccine. People with other health issues are having to wait because Covid patients are using up all the resources including hospital beds, ICUs, and oxygen. That doesn’t seem fair.
In my neck of the woods, schools reopened six weeks ago, and soon they’ll resume all over the country. But are they safe? At least 1000 schools in 35 states have already closed due to Covid outbreaks. I don’t understand how people can be against students being required to wear masks. Yes, it’s not ideal for learning, but neither is illness. How many children will die before parents take the threat of disease seriously? I’m so glad that Greg and I are retired. I would resign if I were still teaching. In fact, that’s what many teachers are doing.
After twenty years, the United States military is out of Afghanistan, and it’s a disaster. I was one of the people who thought it was a good idea to go in, and a good idea to get out. Arguably, there may never have been the possibility of a positive outcome, but it still hurts to see the Taliban take over and ISIS pop out of their hidey hole.
Wildfires and floods continue to devastate our country and the world. Hurricanes pound the Caribbean and the southern and eastern US. Homes, businesses, and countrysides destroyed.
Passengers are beating up flight attendants. Flying hasn’t been fun for a long time, but now it’s a total nightmare.
We all want things to get back to normal, but we’re pushing it, and that doesn’t work. I bet that the combination of Labor Day get-togethers and school openings cause another spike in new Covid cases.
One thing that impressed me in March of 2020 was the outpouring of help that I witnessed in my community and throughout the country. While some people are continuing to be there for others, I now see a general lack of willingness on the part of many to be inconvenienced for one more second. That makes me want to just stay in my bubble, away from the barbaric hordes of rights-demanders.
I’m longing for 2021 to be over. Surely 2022 has to be better than this, right?
I am so glad I own this book. I bought it ten years ago, and just got around to reading it.
I was already familiar with the work of Billy Collins, Robert Frost, and William Carlos Williams, and knew the names of several more of the poets laureate, but most of them were new to me.
The book is arranged starting with W.S. Merwin, who held the office in 2010 when the book was published, and working backward to Joseph Auslander, the original consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress (which the position was called until 1986). Each poet’s section begins with a quote about his or her work, then a short biography, and then some representative poems. One feature of the biographies is that they list prominent awards won by the poets. I will be collecting some of the books that won Pulitzers.
Much of the poetry in the anthology is of the caliber that I aspire to. Many poems delighted me with their images and wordplay. But some did not move me, and I confess that some I did not understand at all (probably my shortcoming, not the poets’). I liked the more recent poet laureates the best. Nevertheless, I intend to reread this 716-page book often. I suspect my enjoyment of it will increase with time.
I honestly don’t want to go to the trouble of obtaining permissions to reprint poems from the book; but here are links to some of my favorites:
The Poets Laureate Anthology is a great collection of poems. If you are a serious lover of American poetry, this book is a must for your shelf.