Dawn Chorus

Every morning since the time changed

I have woken to the dawn chorus

And even before it sounded, I dreamed of it

Loud, unbelievably loud, shameless, raucous


And once I rose and twitched the curtains apart

Expecting the birds to be pressing in fright

Against the pane like passengers

But the garden was empty and it was night


Not a slither of light at the horizon

Still the birds were bawling through the mists

Terrible, invisible

A million small evangelists


How they sing: as if each had pecked up a smoldering coal

Their throats singed and swollen with song

In dissonance as befits the dark world

Where only travelers and the sleepless belong


                                                           ~ Sasha Dugdale


Marcel Rieder (1862-1942)

Marcel Rieder (1862-1942)


It is too early for white boughs, too late

For snows.  From out the hedge the wind lets fall

A few last flakes, ragged and delicate.

Down the stripped roads the maples start their small,

Soft, ’wildering fires.  Stained are the meadow stalks

A rich and deepening red.  The willow tree

Is woolly.  In deserted garden-walks

The lean bush crouching hints old royalty,

Feels some June stir in the sharp air and knows

Soon ’twill leap up and show the world a rose. 


                ~ From “Mid-March” by Lizette Woodworth Reese


"Blumenstauden im Wannseegarten" by Max Liebermann, 1919

“Blumenstauden im Wannseegarten” by Max Liebermann, 1919

Tin House is currently reading for its themed Fall 2014 issue and is looking for fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and interviews that address the issue of tribalism.  For this issue, the magazine is interested in but not limited to the creation of ad hoc families and communities; tribal formation based on class, race, and geography or through the vehicles of art, music, and sport; life after exclusion from a tribe; tribalism and conflict in the Middle East, Africa, India, Russia, and other regions; and virtual tribes.  The online submission deadline is April 15.

Prose submissions should not exceed 10,000 words, and poetry submissions should not exceed five poems.  Multiple submissions are not accepted and will be returned unread.  Simultaneous submissions are permitted; however, only previously unpublished work will be considered for publication.  Since its creation in 1999, Tin House has been committed to showcasing the work of an undiscovered author or poet in every issue.

For more information and to submit online, visit the website at http://www.tinhouse.com/magazine/submission-guidelines.html.




Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.


~ Nathaniel Hawthorne


"Beauty and the Butterfly" by Vittorio Matteo Corcos, 1933

“Beauty and the Butterfly” by Vittorio Matteo Corcos, 1933


The day is fresh-washed and fair, and there is a smell of tulips and narcissus in the air.

     The sunshine pours in at the bath-room window and bores through the water in the bath-tub in lathes and planes of greenish-white.  It cleaves the water into flaws like a jewel, and cracks it to bright light.

     Little spots of sunshine lie on the surface of the water and dance, dance, and their reflections wobble deliciously over the ceiling; a stir of my finger sets them whirring, reeling.  I move a foot, and the planes of light in the water jar.  I lie back and laugh, and let the green-white water, the sun-flawed beryl water, flow over me.  The day is almost too bright to bear, the green water covers me from the too bright day.  I will lie here awhile and play with the water and the sun spots.  The sky is blue and high.  A crow flaps by the window, and there is a whiff of tulips and narcissus in the air.


~ Amy Lowell, from The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell, 1955


"Le Bain" by Alfred Stevens (1823-1906)

“Le Bain” by Alfred Stevens (1823-1906)

The John Fowles Center for Creative Writing at Chapman University promotes and advances the discipline of creative writing in all its aspects: fiction, poetry, drama, creative nonfiction, and film.  Now into its second decade, the Center invites a distinguished group of national and international writers to participate in its annual spring reading series, giving students and the community the opportunity to be exposed to and gain a greater appreciation for cultural and societal diversity in literature.

To kick off the 2014 series, German poet, researcher, lingua-artist, musician, and editor Michael Lentz will be reading excerpts from his work on Monday, March 3.

Lentz is the author of numerous books of prose and poetry, including Atmen Ordnung Abgrund. Frankfurter Poetikvorlesungen (2013), Textleben. Essays (2010), Offene Unruh. 100 Liebesgedichte (2010), Pazifik. Exil. Roman (2007), Liebeserklärung. Roman (2003), Aller Ding. Gedichte (2003), Muttersterben. Prosa (2002), Ende gut. Sprechakte (2001), Oder. Prosa (1998), and Neue Anagramme (1998). He has also written a number of articles on the theory and history of sound poetry and is the recipient of various literary awards and prizes, including the Walter-Hasenclever-Preis in 2012.

The reading will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Henley Reading Room of Leatherby Library.  Admission is free and open to the public.  For more information about this event or other speakers in the 2014 reading series, visit the website at http://www.chapman.edu/wilkinson/research-centers/john-fowles-center.



The Cats Will Know

Rain will fall again

on your smooth pavement,

a light rain like

a breath or a step.

The breeze and the dawn

will flourish again

when you return,

as if beneath your step.

Between flowers and sills

the cats will know. 


The cats will know,

face of springtime;

and the light rain

and the hyacinth dawn

that wrench the heart of him

who hopes no more for you –

they are the sad smile

you smile by yourself.


There will be other days,

other voices and renewals.

Face of springtime,

we will suffer at daybreak.


~ From “The Cats Will Know” by Cesare Pavese, translated by Geoffrey Brock


Arthur Heyer (1872 - 1931)

Arthur Heyer (1872 – 1931)


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