June 2012

Don't Chase

"'If we don't chase things — sometimes the things following us can catch up.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Emily Climbs

"'If you run after a man he'll run away. It's instinct. We have to run when anything chases us.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Magic for Marigold

"Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death. Time — when pursued like a bandit — will heave like one; always remaining one county or room ahead of you, changing its name and hair color to elude you, slipping out the back door of the motel just as you're banging through the lobby with your newest search warrant, leaving only a burning cigarette in the ashtray to taunt you. At some point you have to stop because it won't. You have to admit that you can't catch it. That you're not supposed to catch it. At some point, as Richard keeps telling me, you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you." -Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

On Happiness #37

"Very gently and quietly, almost as if it were the blood singing in her veins, or the water of the stream running over stones, Rachel became conscious of a new feeling within her. She wondered for a moment what it was, and then said to herself, with a little surprise at recognising in her own person so famous a thing:
'This is happiness, I suppose.'" -Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out


"'Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.'" -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Cleon: Thou art like the harpy,
Which, to betray, dost, with thine angel's face,
Seize with thine eagle's talons. -William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre

"…I don't want to be this body anymore
That holds all the betrayal of the universe
Its tissues bluing all day into a blue-black
Blood balloon
One day all that blood will be dark and grey
I want to be an unearthly body instead of this one
I want to be a body that is free of dreams
The imagination
I never wanted the imagination within my legs and arms anyway…" -Dorothea Lasky,
                                                                                              "The Body"

On Love #33

"In that I loved you, Love, I worshipped you;
In that I worshipped well, I sacrificed.
All of most worth I bound and burnt and slew:
Old peaceful lives; frail flowers; firm friends; and Christ.

I slew all falser loves; I slew all true,
That I might nothing love but your truth, Boy.
Fair fame I cast away as bridegrooms do
Their wedding garments in their haste of joy.

But when I fell upon your sandalled feet,
You laughed; you loosed away my lips; you rose.
I heard the singing of your wings' retreat;
Far-flown, I watched you flush the Olympian snows,
Beyond my hoping. Starkly I returned
To stare upon the ash of all I burned." -Wilfred Owen, "To Eros"

Graduate School: MFA

Random Musing
So I began the rather terrifying process of applying to MFA programs in poetry this past November.  I didn't have too much faith in my prospects of getting in anywhere - MFA programs have notoriously low acceptance rates - but I was fortunate enough to be accepted to four of the nine programs I applied to.  Let me tell you, there was a ridiculous amount of celebrating after each of those letters/emails arrived.  Lots of tiramisu.

Ahem, anyhow, in the end, after weighing the various pros and cons of these programs, I decided on where I'm going to be this fall: Oregon State University. That's right, I'll be a beaver come September.   Not nearly as cool a mascot as the wolverines, but it'll do.

OSU's program is excellent (despite sharing the whole "OSU" thing with Ohio State); I'll be working alongside very talented individuals and it actually fully funds each of its MFA candidates for the full two years.  I was lucky enough to receive a diversity fellowship from the school as well that literally doubles my original stipend for this upcoming year.  So on top of receiving my MFA at a great school - getting to work almost exclusively on my poetry for two years - I won't have any financial worries.  It's really ridiculously ideal.

I will be sad to leave Ann Arbor for Corvallis, OR though.  I've really grown to love my college town.  This is why, quite a long while ago, I mentioned already being homesick for Ann Arbor - knowing you have to leave somewhere makes you all the more fond of it.  This move to the west coast is going to be a very big change.  I've never lived anywhere but Michigan my whole life.  Here's hoping it's a good one though.

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