“Fire and Ice”–A Poem by Robert Frost


Fire and Ice

by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

(Art by Sharmilla Thapar)

“The Place Where We Are Right”–A Poem by Yehuda Amichai


The Place Where We Are Right

by Yehuda Amichai (transl. Chana Bloch; Stephen Mitchell)

From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.

The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.

But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

(From How Lovely the Ruins, Spiegel & Grau, 2017)
(Photo: by Roman Ridionov @ pixels.com)

“The Guest House”–A Poem by Rumi


The Guest House

by Rumi (transl. Coleman Barks)

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

(From How Lovely the Ruins, Spiegel & Grau, 2017)
(Photo: National Geographic, 1991 @ Pinterest)

“A Green Crab’s Shell”–A Poem by Mark Doty & “About the Poet”


A Green Crab’s Shell

by Mark Doty, 1958

Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like—

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws’

gesture of menace
and power. A gull’s
gobbled the center,

leaving this chamber
—size of a demitasse—
open to reveal

a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells
of seaweed and ruin,

this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer’s firmament.

What color is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,

if we could be opened
into this—
if the smallest chambers

of ourselves,
revealed some sky.

(1958 by Mark Doty)
(Photo: Green crab @ Pinterest)

About the Poet


Since the publication of his first volume of verse, Turtle, Swan, in 1987, Mark Doty has been recognized as one of the most accomplished poets in America. Hailed for his elegant, intelligent verse, Doty has often been compared to James Merrill, Walt Whitman and C.P. Cavafy. His syntactically complex and aesthetically profound free verse poems, odes to urban gay life, and quietly brutal elegies to his lover, Wally Roberts, have been hailed as some of the most original and arresting poetry written today. The recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, Doty has also won a number of prestigious literary awards, including the Whiting Writer’s Award, the T. S. Eliot Prize, the National Poetry Series, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for first nonfiction, and the National Book Award for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (2008). A long-time resident of Provincetown, Massachusetts, Doty teaches at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

As the son of an army engineer, Mark Doty grew up in a succession of suburbs in Tennessee, Florida, southern California, and Arizona. He has described himself as having been “a sissy”; frightened by his emerging sexual identity, he married hastily at age eighteen.

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“A Place of Vanishing: Barbara Newhall Follett and the Woman in the Woods”—An Article by Daniel Mills


THANKSGIVING DAY, 1948. Harold Huckins is deer-hunting at twilight.

He is on Pulsifer Hill in Holderness, New Hampshire, following the Durgin Brook where it skirts the Mount Prospect trail, when he comes to a shallow depression beside the water. Birches grow along its edge, and there is a pine tree down in the hollow.

The bones are lying in the open. Unburied, awash in pine needles and thatched with tree-roots. An animal, Huckins thinks. Then he sees the shoes.


Elsie Whittemore was 25 in the summer of 1936, mother to a 16-month-old daughter and pregnant with another child. Her husband Edward was employed as an ironworker and construction foreman. His work frequently took him away from home, and the young family had moved in with Edward’s parents in Plymouth to save money.

Little is known of Elsie or of her life in Plymouth. Newspaper reports describe her as “highly esteemed” in her community but also “of high character and proud […] quiet, never divulging her feelings or giving expression if in trouble.”

And she was in trouble, of a kind. In late 1935 or early 1936 she became pregnant again. In the summer of 1936, Edward was in Fairlee, Vermont, working on a bridge project, leaving Elsie at home to take care of their daughter. During this time she was said to be “slightly depressed” on account of her pregnancy and had taken to walking alone in the evening.

On June 29, 1936, just after supper, Elsie complained of indigestion and informed her in-laws Carl and Pearl Whittemore that she was going for a walk to settle her stomach. This was not unusual. It was a windy night and Elsie wore a brown overcoat and brown beret over a light summer dress. She took nothing with her — and she never came back.


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Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy, ed. by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, TOR 2013 (TOC+Preface+Introduction)


Table of Contents, Preface & Introduction


  • Title Page
  • Copyright Notice
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface 🌹 Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  • Introduction: Fantasy, Magic, and Fairyland in Nineteenth-Century England 🌹 Terri Windling
  • Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells 🌹 Delia Sherman
  • The Fairy Enterprise 🌹 Jeffrey Ford
  • From the Catalogue of the Pavilion of the Uncanny and Marvellous, Scheduled for Premiere at the Great Exhibition (Before the Fire) 🌹 Genevieve Valentine
  • The Memory Book 🌹 Maureen McHugh
  • La Reine d’Enfer 🌹 Kathe Koja
  • For the Briar Rose 🌹 Elizabeth Wein
  • The Governess 🌹 Elizabeth Bear
  • Smithfield 🌹 James P. Blaylock
  • The Unwanted Women of Surrey 🌹 Kaaron Warren
  • Charged 🌹 Leanna Renee Hieber
  • Mr. Splitfoot 🌹 Dale Bailey
  • Phosphorus 🌹 Veronica Schanoes
  • We Without Us Were Shadows 🌹 Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Vital Importance of the Superficial 🌹 Ellen Kushner and Caroline Stevermer
  • The Jewel in the Toad Queen’s Crown 🌹 Jane Yolen
  • A Few Twigs He Left Behind 🌹 Gregory Maguire

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