Poetry Dispatch No. 53 | February 7, 2006
from the poem “Soul in Space” by Chase Twichell
I want my obituary to say that
I wrote in the language of dogs,
and not that I sat sprinkling
black letters on a white ladder
leading my own eye down
one rung at a time
until the dog was gone.
from the book of poems, DOG LANGUAGE, Copper Canyon Press
Post Script: Chase Twichell’s rules for writing poems: “Tell the truth. No decoration. Remember death.”
Chase Twichell (1950 to present) was born in New Haven, CT and is an accomplished poet who owns her own publishing company, Ausable Press (est. 1999). She lives in New York today, and has taught at Princeton University. She is the winner of several awards in writing from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and The Artists Foundation. Additionally she has received fellowships from both the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Many of Chase’s poems are heavily influenced by her years as a Zen Buddhist student of John Daido Loori at Zen Mountain Monastery, and her poetry in the book The Snow Watcher shows it. She attended the Foote School in New Haven.
In the Fall 2003 Tricycle magazine interview with Chase, she says, “Zazen and poetry are both studies of the mind. I find the internal pressure exerted by emotion and by a koan to be similar in surprising and unpredictable ways. Zen is a wonderful sieve through which to pour a poem. It strains out whatever’s inessential.”
- * The Ghost of Eden
- * The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach
- * The Lover of God
- * Northern Spy: Poems
- * Dog Language
- * The Odds
- * The Snow Watcher