Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Rachel Hadas: Humble Herb is Rival to Prozac

The little notebook, its pages an eye-ease greenish tint, with my staggering penciled captions labeling every blessed thing, each flower picked and pressed and taped down to the page, contains more than specimens of wildflowers from a Vermont meadow. It encloses the first summer I remember.

September 18, 2021 · 5 Comments

Rachel Hadas: What do the classics teach us about hope?

How do we weather this welter of bad news? How do we adapt?

September 12, 2021 · 3 Comments

Rachel Hadas: Lessons of Poetry

It is easier to lecture about the time and place of a book, the culture that produced it, the special historical or linguistic problems involved in it. It is harder…to face the book as a masterpiece and to help the student understand why it is a masterpiece….

August 22, 2021 · 4 Comments

Deborah DeNicola: The Death of Socrates

Even the guards listened in
as he taught his eternal lesson,
how to live like a moral human. Politics
back then—as now—rampant, wretched corruption,
a den of sociopaths in sheep’s clothing.

July 22, 2021 · 3 Comments

Rachel Hadas: Lyric Leap

lacuna, hiatus, sidebar,
sudden swerve, and you are far
along already toward surprise.

June 21, 2021 · 1 Comment

Rachel Hadas: Fingernails

Vanessa Redgrave thought whatever
separates life and death
is tiny as the sliver of a fingernail.

May 19, 2021 · 2 Comments

Rachel Hadas: The Mothers on the Wall

Young men stamping; clouds of dust their feet
Stir up; the gleaming weapons and the heat –
the women, poised and fearful, gazing down
as the squadron marches out of town

April 19, 2021 · Leave a comment

Rachel Hadas: Holding on to hope is hard, even with the pandemic’s end in sight – wisdom from poets through the ages

As we begin to glimpse what might be the beginning of the end of the pandemic, what does hope mean? It’s hard not to sense the presence of hope, but how do we think of it?

March 23, 2021 · 2 Comments

Rachel Hadas: Camilla

Our newborn granddaughter is named Camilla
from Aeneid VII’s warrior maiden,
the speedy runner, skimming over wheat,
scouring the ocean, keeping her feet dry.

March 14, 2021 · 3 Comments

Rachel Hadas: Screen and Dream

It wasn’t a dream, but the experience was dreamlike: across the computer screen, one day last week, a photograph of my father, sent by some well-meaning distant acquaintance, flashed without warning. In this black-and-white photo, Moses Hadas is sitting at the desk in his office…

March 4, 2021 · Leave a comment

Rachel Hadas: Trying to Get to School

But making my way from A to B
could not be managed easily.
Locked courtyard, blocked alleys, a high wall –
I had to cross or climb them all.

February 8, 2021 · 1 Comment

Rachel Hadas: Tiger Stripes

Caught in a beam of morning sun,
massive transitions are going on,
each nation and each generation
vying for who will take possession
of the Hotel Anxiety

January 21, 2021 · 1 Comment

Rachel Hadas: Shouldering

The students’ questions pound relentlessly.
Dream father, bird of omen, oh tell me –
the lost, the hungry, the abandoned – who
will take care of them?

January 4, 2021 · 6 Comments

Rachel Hadas: February 29, 2020

An extra day, an ordinary day,
predictable even in being extraordinary –
a bonus day in the old dispensation
we couldn’t guess was close to termination.
When did we start to sense the great subtraction?

December 14, 2020 · 2 Comments

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