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This week at The Paris Review, we’re celebrating the official arrival of summer. Read our Art of Poetry interview with Anne Carson (whose birthday falls on the solstice), as well as Larry Woiwode’s short story “Summer Storms” and Spring Melody Berman’s poem “The Camp Counselor, after One Summer’s Absence.”
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Anne Carson, The Art of Poetry No. 88
Issue no. 171 (Fall 2004)
I think a poem, when it works, is an action of the mind captured on a page, and the reader, when he engages it, has to enter into that action. His mind repeats that action and travels again through the action, but it is a movement of yourself through a thought, through an activity of thinking, so by the time you get to the end you’re different than you were at the beginning and you feel that difference.
By Larry Woiwode
Issue no. 114 (Spring 1990)
What is so pernicious about summer storms is the resistance in our nature to admit them. We acknowledge the possibility of storms in the spring, yes, when rain on the roof can assume the sound of a waterfall; or in the winter, with a howling wind accompanying drifting snow; or even in the fall, when heavy bodied rain tears off the last of the leaves and pastes them over spearing stubble. But summer is the season we’re to be let off, to be free of this, as we expect, after the ingrained conditioning of years in school, to be freed from all our onerous chores.
The Camp Counselor, After One Summer’s Absence
By Spring Melody Berman
Issue no. 170 (Summer 2004)
These are the same stairs, unnoticed, essential,
submerged in shadow bath; and that is the same
queen’s-blood carpet, embracing the floor and chairs
in a sprawl of affection. The same immortal room,
month after year and decade after lifetime
(boiled in memory if demolished in structure),
home to shifting summer crowds and swelling now,
now with delirious grins and squealing cries
from an Athens of children …
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