As part of our ongoing celebration of the magazine’s fiftieth year in print, we asked Ellen Bass and Danusha Laméris to choose a poem by the other for this month’s Dog-Eared Page. We start with a conversation in which they discuss their shared history and why they selected the poems that follow.
The Big Picture
I try to look at the big picture. / The sun, ardent tongue / licking us like a mother besotted / with her new cub, will wear itself out. / Everything is transitory.
After my brother died, his wife was sure he was living / inside their cat, Rocky. He’s in there, she’d say, staring into / those blank, yellow eyes. Isma’il? Isma’il? Can you hear me?
A Letter From The Publisher
The Sun has, in the words of our founder and editor Sy Safransky, endeavored to “look at a sad, confused world and see it as holy.” Do that for fifty years, month after month, year after year, and it’s no wonder people want to keep reading.December 2022
Haru Jenkins’s husband has been abducted at 3:23 AM every Thursday for six years. . . . It should go without saying that aliens abduct him.December 2022
Kayla and I were not friends, so when she called me out of the blue, on a blistering July morning, to ask if I wanted to join her and her dad on the lake for the day, it was like NASA calling to invite me to the moon.June 2022
— from “Sleep Skills” | These days I wake up tired / after hours skimming sleep’s / surface like a hungry bird, waiting. / They say it’s a fact of growing older, / to lose the skill for sleep infants / and teenagers effortlessly have.May 2022
After that incident I sorted people into two categories: those who could sing and those who couldn’t. I was now relegated to the land of Couldn’t, an exile from the country of music.March 2022
In grad school I had a writing teacher who’d completely cream my essays. / Cross-outs and tracked changes. He took me at my word / when I said I wanted to get better.March 2022
Every morning the public school chooses a student to lead us in patriotic worship over the intercom. I stand before my classroom flag and count my heartbeats. At recess I draw stars and stars.March 2022
Six weeks ago my wife walked into our living room to find me curled up on the couch, sobbing. In our twenty-one years of marriage we had experienced a lot of griefs, big and little, but she’d never seen me cry like this.December 2021