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January 14, 2021


One of the lessons I took from “Babette’s Feast,” a short story by Isak Dinesen, is the magical effect good food can have on the consumer. The twelve dinner guests that gather around the table to eat Babette’s sumptuous meal are elevated in thought and speech by the superb cuisine. Old wounds are healed, unrequited love is acknowledged, petty gossip is forgotten. Good food affects my psyche too—like a sunbreak after days of gray skies. A simple preparation of asparagus mimosa elevates my mood. A rich dish like osso buco satisfies my soul. A perfect risotto makes me incredibly happy. I don’t know why. I only know it is so.

—Susan Knox, “Sustenance A to Z,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Winter 2020, “Food and Memory”

January 5, 2021

from The Rhythm of It, by Anita Sullivan

Poets have always walked the world with their ears extended like antennae, sifting the air for poetic snippets. They know the basic rhythms by heart, but need a constant supply of new images and ideas to pour into these rhythm patterns. . . . The only catch is that poems have a mind of their own. Each time we try to marry a rhythm pattern to a set of words that seems to fit, the pattern is either smitten or not by the supplicants. If not, we can’t look to meter or rhyme to bail us out; we have to put on our boots and go back out onto the land, like a bridegroom becoming worthy of his ideal bride.

—Anita Sullivan, The Rhythm of It