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Showing posts from March, 2008

Wendell Berry: A Sure Horizon

Wendell Berry is a critical thinker who has written over 27 books of poetry, many novels and numerous essays. His interests are many and wide. He lives on a 120 acre farm in northern Kentucky and types his letters on an old typewriter. One of those letters hangs framed in my lakeside cottage. The letter was graciously written to encourage my creative writing students. The text of the letter is found in the entry posted below.

Mr. Berry advocates and practices sustainable farming and is a critic of American technological arrogance. He has written, "The time will soon come when we will not be able to remember the horrors of September 11 without remembering also the unquestioning technological and economic optimism that ended on that day. This optimism rested on the proposition that we were living in a 'new world order' and a 'new economy' that would 'grow' on and on, bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would be 'unprecedented' ".…

Wendell Berry: The Writer's Obligation

The following letter was written by the extraordinary Wendell Berry to my former writing students at Millersburg Military Institute (which closed in 2006). I 'm making it public for the first time, in celebration of the first year anniversary of this blog!

Alice C. Linsley
March 2008

                                                           February 22, 2005
Dear Friends,

Your teacher, Ms. Linsley, has written to tell me about your writing class, and to ask if I might have something encouraging to say to you. This is an assignment that I take seriously, and I have been asking myself what you should hear, at this time in your lives, from an older writer.

The thought that I keep returning to is this: By taking up the study of writing now, you are assuming consciously, probably for the first time in your lives, a responsibility for our language. What is that responsibility? I think it is to make words mean what they say. It is to keep our language capable of telling the truth. W…

One Year Anniversary!

Today marks the first year of Students Publish Here!

I thank the readers and contributors for making this a successful first year. One young student, whose work is published here, asked about the students and was surprised to learn that they range in age from 6 to 70. That's as it should be! Writing is a craft we refine throughout our lives.

The success of this blog depends largely on readers telling others about it. Do you know a young person who has written a good poem, essay or short story? Why not tell them about Students Publish Here? I'm always looking for new writings, especially from students who have never had anything published before. Seeing your work in print for the first time can be transformative. It grabs you and shakes you into awareness of the power of words. For most people that first publication leads to a second, and a third. It can bring focus to peoples' lives, be they young or old. So spread the word about Students Publish Here!

Again I thank you, dear…

O let me rise!

LORD, who createdst man in wealth and store,

Though foolishly he lost the same,

Decaying more and more,

Till he became Most poore:

With thee O let me rise As larks, harmoniously,

And sing this day thy victories:

Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did beginne:

And still with sicknesses and shame Thou didst so punish sinne,

That I became Most thinne.

With thee Let me combine,

And feel this day thy victorie:

For, if I imp my wing on thine,

Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

--George Herbert (1593-1633)

Happy Easter!

This poem was written by Piper Todd, age 6. Piper also drew the picture of the rabbit surrounded by Easter eggs.

Bunny Joy

Sunny day Easter egg hunt
behind the school
where children and parents
with smiling faces
find surprises
pet soft bunny fur
and flopping ears.
Easter is great and good
Easter joy is for everyone.

Acrostic for Hannah Mulliken

In an acrostic poem the initial or ending letters form a word or phrase. To the right appears an acrostic which spells and describes the lemur.

Here is another. What does it spell?


Jovanni, Grade 4

This was written by one of our friends, Ed Pacht, a poet from New Hampshire:

Acrostic for an Author

Hidden in an obscure home.
Anonymous, the true king waits.
Not knowing what his destiny will be,
Nor the mighty throne that shall be his;
And unaware that greatness marks his soul,
Humility is his royal vesture.

Many seek to rule his kingdom,
Under false impression of their worth,
Little knowing that their aim is folly,
Little knowing that there stands among them,
Innocently thinking he is but a child,
Kay the king to whom belongs the sword that
Even mighty men cannot take up and wield.
Now he does, and now begins his reign.

ed pacht
March 14, 2008

The Boy and the Jewel that Made Him King

The Boy and the Jewel that Made Him King

Hannah Mulliken
Grade 6

It was a frosty Christmas morning in Londontown many years ago. The snow was quickly falling, snowballs whizzed by and a nippy wind blew fiercely against the shutters of the old stone church. Despite the weather, the whole congregation still gathered inside, intrigued at what the renowned wizard, Merlin was telling them about the rightful heir to the throne.

Sorrowfully, many years ago, King Rinus perished in battle, leaving an orphaned baby in the hands of an evil counselor. Because the infant was endangered, Merlin rescued him and gave him to Sir Ector, who named him Kay. Now, eighteen years later, Kay was as unprepared as everyone for the astounding secret Merlin was to reveal.

As the people huddled in the drafty church, there suddenly came an earsplitting crash outdoors, shaking the entire church building! Curious, the people rushed outside. Across the churchyard an impeccable rainbow of colors burst from a massive jewel,…

The One Year Mark is Fast Approaching!

March 26, 2008 marks the one year anniversary of Students Publish Here! On that day I will publish a letter written by Wendell Berry to my creative writing students, in which he sets out his philosophy of writing. You don't want to miss it! Here are a few lines from that letter:

"By taking up the study of writing now, you are assuming consciously, probably for the first time in your lives, a responsibility for our language."

"The first obligation of a writer is to tell the truth -- or to come as near to telling it as is humanly possible."

"As you learn to judge what you read, you will learn also to judge, and so improve, what you write."

Introducing a Talented Young Writer

Let's Go to the Fair
Hannah Mulliken, Grade 6

Come and go to the fair with me;
today's the day there is no fee;

We'll have a lot of fun on the carosel;
and eat lot's of sweets with caramel;

The weather is nice and the skies are clear;
don't be afraid, there is nothing to fear;

I am waiting and the fair is too;
so, ta ta for now... I hope you'll be there too!

Hannah has written a fine short story which will appear here on Friday, March 14. You don't want to miss it! - Editor


The snow finally stopped here in central Kentucky! In my area we had an accumulation of between 10 and 12 inches. The state trucks plowed the snow into a heap at the mouth of my drive, so my car sits idle until the thaw. Today the sun is shining and the blanket of undisturbed snow around the lake is brilliant white. I thought that I would post some poems about snow, as this certainly will be the last (we hope) of the winter storms.

Winter's Alliteration
Justin Clements, Grade 10

Frail relationships are made firm
when flurries fly.
Families form
when frost falls.
Neighborhoods forget
distances, fences and yards
watching children frolic
in winter's frigid fantasy.

(Justin was one of my gifted creative writing students at Millersburg Military Institute before it closed.)

SuzAnne Cole

November fields - snow
flakes drifting down to cover
the last ripe pumpkins

(Published in Suraga-Baiku Literary Festival Anthology, 1999)

Snow in March
Melanie Bartelt

Errant snowflakes cling
To black slumbering br…

Ed Pacht Captures Mickey Blue Eyes

Mickey Blue Eyes is an astoundingly beautiful and personable female husky who obviously owns the novelist K. Spirito and accompanies her and her husband to many of their public presentations. On December 10, 2007, K Spirito was reading from her novels at the Conway Library. Mickey Blue Eyes was watching as passages about a dog were read. In his poem My Party, Ed Pacht captures the dog's evident excitement.

My Party
Ed Pacht

She's reading about a dog.
I'm a dog.
Look at me.
It's my party.
Isn't it?
Isn't it?
All those people -
they see me -
why not pet me?
It's my party.
Isn't it?
Isn't it?
Isn't it?
This poem comes from Ed's chapbook titled Among the Bards, copyright 2008. Available from
Ed Pacht
223 Wyandotte Falls
Rochester NH 03867
$5.00 from Ed or $6.00 USA postpaid or in shops.

Another Look at Sayers' "Lost Tools of Learning"

In the essay that follows, Hope E. Rapson, recounts her journey from student to teacher. In retrospect, she sees how she personally benefited from a Classical Education.

I read The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers first as a university student. It made me appreciate that my family had provided me with a classical education in spite of the fact that at twenty-two years of age, I had attended twenty-two different public schools. My grandmother, schooled through the Trivium by missionary parents in India in the late 1880’s, graduated with her Master’s Degree in English Literature and Christian Theology at the age of twenty. A contemporary and admirer of Dorothy Sayers, she strongly advocated and practiced its philosophy of education as a college literature professor, an ordained minister, parent, and grandparent. She truly embraced the goal of education---“to teach men how to learn for themselves.” In my “Poll-Parrot” or grammar years, I was primarily under the care and tutelage…

The Writer's Journal

Alice C. Linsley

The journal is a writer's constant companion. With pen and paper at hand, the writer is able to save scraps, poetic pieces, and tidbits of thoughts that might otherwise be forgotten.

The writer's journal reveals recurring personal themes. Looking back at entries over many years, I find my mind has often been preoccupied by images and questions concerning authority.  A person in a uniform intrigues me: a policeman, a firefighter, a medical professional in a white gown. What is it about a uniform? Looking back through my journals I find many characters who wear uniforms - soldiers, doctors, clergy, etc.

I have sketches of plots involving conflict between corrupt people in power and those who have true spiritual authority. To this day, my mind is captivated by the struggle between worldly power and God's sovereignty.

If you write, you should keep a journal. Reading it later can speak to you about things in your consciousness that should be explored. This is …

Ed Pacht, Another New Hampshire Poet

In the following poem, Ed Pacht responds to his friend’s description of a dream he had of being with his late wife in the heavenlies, listening to music he was composing for “O, How a Rose e’er Blooming …”

The Rose
Ed Pacht

A rose,
red rose,
with blood that shall be shed,
a rose amid the thorns,
whose wounds shall soon bring pain,
a rose that blossoms brightly,
whose radiance fills the earth,
a rose that springs from ancient soil,
that grows upon a timeless branch,
and rests upon a golden throne,
while brilliant beings sing its praise

Ed Pacht on Poetry as a Calling

"Poetry is a calling. As a Christian, I consider it a sacred calling, an expression of something other than earthly. I consider this true even when, as is the case in most of these poems, the subject matter is not religious at all.

A poem represents a stepping aside from ordinariness, a suspension of the usual way of thinking, an entrance into a realm of words that point to what is beyond words. I find this to be true even in the mos…

Raymond Foss, New Hampshire Poet

In the Hushed Choir Loft
Raymond A. Foss

In the dark of the empty sanctuary
he toiled, alone, refining his skill
preparing himself,
by drill and practice
to become a servant, an instrument
God’s hands on the organ’s keys
God’s voice in the purity of the notes
coaxed from the pipes in the chancel
to be ready on Sunday, in worship, in public
to share, to proclaim his praise
to minister in His church
through his playing
of the familiar hymns
so others too would know God
feel Him, as he surely does
through his faithful service

(Of Hyung-Kyu Yi, practicing alone May 25, 2006)

Raymond A. Foss (1960) was born in Westfield, MA, the oldest of five children. After moving to Claremont, NH at 16, he attended the University of New Hampshire, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1982 and a Master of Public Administration in 1984. He graduated from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 2004. His law practice focuses mainly on special education and family law matters.

Raymond started writing poetry while serving o…