Journal

A Forum for Diary Entries, Essays, Poetry, News, and Reviews

An Analysis of the Sonnet as a Form of Poetic Expression

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43 How Do I Love Thee, are both paeans addressed to a beloved figure. Formally they share the same fourteen iambic pentameter line structure that is fundamental to the sonnet. They differ, however, in that each has its own prescribed rhyming scheme, Shakespeare’s being unique to him and Browning’s modeled of that of the Italian poet Petrarch, who is best known for his Canzoniere (c. 1351–53), a sonnet sequence in praise of a woman he calls Laura. This journal posting is an analysis of the sonnet as a form of poetic expression within the parameters of each of these formats. It concludes with a sonnet written by me in the Petrarchan mode.   READ MORE >


The Wind in the Willows

Name your pick of the best children’s book ever written, and you might say Alice in Wonderland or Stuart Little by E. B. White. No one will argue with you about either in terms of 1) its immortality as a literary classic and 2) its timeless appeal to readers irrespective of their chronological age. In my ongoing housecleaning campaign this past week I found on a dusty bookshelf another book that strikes both of these chords: The Wind in the Willows. READ MORE >


Hill Country Journal

As the owner of a 979-acre ranch that I have loved ever since my father purchased it in 1942 as a weekend and holiday home in the Texas Hill Country, on all of my trips there over the more that fifty years that I have called myself a New Yorker I have carried back home with me a bucket filled with re-lived childhood memories as well as present happiness. For the past twenty of these years my visits to the ranch have offered me, in addition to a stage for the playback of scenes from my nature-loving youth, an opportunity to focus on land stewardship protocols to further the biodiversity and scenic beauty that the ranch is currently demonstrating as a role model for a new generation of Texas Hill Country ranch owners. The days I have just spent there from October 5-October 11 in the company of my daughter Lisa and son David, who will jointly inherit the ranch some day, have been centered on furthering these heirs’ knowledge of, and ongoing commitment to, the principles practiced and routine projects undertaken by our ranch manager Scott Gardener, who is an environmental scientist as well as a conscientious caretaker. READ MORE >


The Life and Times of Garth Fergusson, Poet

Back in 1976, when the vision of a restored and well-managed Central Park was still a pipe dream, its chief workforce consisted of a few random volunteers and a group of summer interns assigned duties to help improve its horticultural welfare. One of them, Garth Fergusson, became a lifelong friend of mine as well as my daughter Lisa’s and son David’s. You might call Garth a born poet, which is how I think of him. Recently he sent me his most recent series of poems, which are thematically centered on the Covid pandemic. They are copied here in this draft journal posting, which is prefaced with the following brief biography that I asked him to write. READ MORE >


Budding Poets in the Park

When I look back on the summer of 1976 my sentiments are ones of great happiness when I recollect the group of high school students who had been selected by a member of the administration of the high school they attended to sign up for a summer-jobs-for-youth program offered by Central Park Task Force. Their chief duty was to perform useful menial chores such as weeding shrub beds, painting benches, and shoveling silt from the park’s muddy water bodies.  Unusual, but especially memorable for me was the fact that on their work breaks their supervisor conducted a poetry workshop that encouraged them to express in free verse their observations about what they were discovering in their immediate surroundings. READ MORE >


Central Park Conservancy 40th Anniversary

For the past thirty-eight years in the first week in May the Central Park Conservancy’s Women’s Committee has hosted the Frederick Law Olmsted Award Luncheon in the park’s Conservatory Garden. In the same venue in September 2021 a special anniversary party was held to celebrate the Conservancy’s birth in 1980, which was for me an event filled with pride and nostalgia. READ MORE >


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A Forum for
Diary Entries, Essays, Poetry, News, and Reviews


JOURNAL ARCHIVE

DIARY

Hill Country Journal

Budding Poets in the Park

Central Park Conservancy 40th Anniversary

Nine-Eleven Remembered

ESSAY

An Analysis of the Sonnet as a Form of Poetic Expression

POETRY

The Life and Times of Garth Fergusson, Poet

NEWS

Writing the City

REVIEWS

The Wind in the Willows