The Dark Princess

The Dark Princess

Over the years, I have been fascinated by Richard Kennedy's modern fairy tale, The Dark Princess. It's a story about a princess whose light is so bright that she blinds anyone who looks at her directly. She is utterly alone in the world until she meets a fool who sees...

“I Carry You” A Song of Tribute

“I Carry You” A Song of Tribute

I've been having a recurring image of us sailing away from the harbor of the world as we knew it. Some of us are reaching back, wondering how to recover the security we had before. Others are groping in the fog to find hopeful possibilities. Then there are the people...

Light of the Briar Rose

Light of the Briar Rose

Oh my dear friends, what a crazy time we're living in. It's so full of contradictions! As we distance ourselves from one another we're also coming home. As the pandemic threatens our airflow, the atmosphere is clearing. Birds can hear one another sing again. It's an...

A Sample of Enchantments to Come

A Sample of Enchantments to Come

WonderLit is on the move! We're in the process of moving the site to a new platform, which is going to mean better access for everyone, and potentially, some new WonderLit courses that you can take at your own pace. One of the courses I've been wanting to offer for...

The Finished Woman

The Finished Woman

You dreamt of failing in a finishing school. You were never going to succeed at becoming a Lady. You submitted yourself to endless lessons in etiquette. You allowed every natural instinct to be critiqued, and eventually all the humiliations and tiny tortures silenced...

Dancing with the Red Dress and Other Animate Things

Dancing with the Red Dress and Other Animate Things

Recently I read an article about a woman who is considered to be an oracle in the fashion world. When she looked into her crystal ball, she saw people simplifying their wardrobes, moving towards organic fibers and dyes, and buying well-made, long-lasting garments that...

In Praise of Nymphs

In Praise of Nymphs

I had a dream the other night that I had written something important using a fountain pen. I was staying in a hotel and I came out of the room carrying my writings in a sheaf of loose papers. I got on the elevator with a couple who were wearing white robes. Each of...

Here for a Spell

Here for a Spell

Human beings have been telling stories of spells and enchantments for a long time. The potent idea that one’s form can be changed by a powerful god or magician boils up out of the old myths of Rome and Greece and sprouts everywhere in the world’s fairy tales. Why are...

The Bridge from Speech to Song

The Bridge from Speech to Song

I’ve recorded a little impromptu talk here (with an equally impromptu demonstration) of how I’ve been working with poetry lately and crossing the bridge from speech to song. The lines I’m demonstrating come from a poem by St. Teresa of Avila. I also make reference to...

A Brief History of My Voice

A Brief History of My Voice

Since January, I’ve been doing a lot of singing and exploring what it means to sing, speak, and write in our natural voices. I wonder how much real freedom our voices get and the extent to which they are distorted by the culture at large and the media through which we...

A Different Kind of Mirror

A Different Kind of Mirror

I find it fascinating to hear the stories of the people who come to wonderlit.com. Thanks to the Internet, my subscribers enter through doors that are everywhere in the world. Hariny is a recent subscriber who is 20 years old and pursuing an honors BA in English at a...

Where Are My Muses?

Where Are My Muses?

Sometimes it’s hard to have faith in our inspirations. I wrote a memoir around the year 2000 called The Tower Princess and I’m still trying to figure out how to, or if to bring the book more widely into the world. It’s being read by an editor as we speak, and I...

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