Category Archives: writers

The Writing Life

Three Score and Ten

Found This Poem New Year’s Day

A charming little poem, nostalgic, resonant. The purple ink stain feels like a bit of time travel.

Un Enfant Veut Répondre

Un enfant veut répondre
Il a levé le doigt
Dans une vieille école
Qui n’existe plus.
La neige a fondu sous les bancs
Il fait chaud comme à l’écurie
Et l’instituteur
A souligné tous les verbes à la craie bleue.
L’enfant qui veut répondre
Fait claquer ses doigts
Tachés d’encre violette
Dans la vieille école
Qui n’existe plus.

– Paul Vincensini

And an 1870 New Year’s Day Scene

Updike

Hail and farewell to John Updike. Like many American readers of a certain age, I had a complex response to his abundant oeuvre, often dazzled, sometimes contentious. His short stories will always be important to me; probably because we can be so deeply affected by what we encounter early on. Updike and The New Yorker were among the lifelines I found and clung to as an intellectually isolated teenager in Worcester, Massachusetts.