Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Dear diary,

One of many collage decorations for Thaliad by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
Being a post for inquisitive souls eager to know the secrets of a writer's Saturday...

Rose up entirely too early in order to let out Susquehanna the dog, who was the mighty source of a river of barks. So I stayed up and made dozens of cookies for the track meet sale.

On the agenda for this bright Saturday: choir practice; singing at a funeral for a sweet lady (lots of hymns, plus John Rutter's Clare College piece, "A Clare Benediction," for an anthem); invitational track meet, and a formidable To Do list. Am hoping for a smidge of writing time somewhere, as I have been writing a good many shortish poems (alas, my life is too crowded at this juncture to start the novel I have in mind, or to write a long poem--and life takes precedence over art, there being no art at all without life), plus maybe a wee but magically-invigorating catnap. Neither Hanna nor my three children appear to have any faith in the power of sleep, at least at the usual hours. Only the cats are on my side in the matter of sleep.

Birds are tweedling, the new leaves are transparent and sparkling with dew in the sunshine, and the sky is a cloudless blue. It's hard to believe in the reign of death and funerals this morning, though easy to believe in song.

Addendum: A funeral mass for someone who has lived a life in service to others is a beautiful thing--then there is no need for false praise but for simple truth. How sweet that is.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.