elliott holt

My first novel YOU ARE ONE OF THEM was published by The Penguin Press in 2013. My writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, Guernica, The Millions, and the 2011 Pushcart Prize anthology. elliottholt.com
  • January 11, 2012 10:21 pm

    Read the Same Poem Every Day for a Month

    A few years ago, a friend told me that she picks a poem on the first day of every month and then reads that poem every day that month. I loved the idea and have been doing it ever since. Each reading brings something new—even to a short poem—and by the end of the calendar year, you know twelve poems really well. This year, my friend Ruth Franklin of The New Republic has decided to do this project as part of her 2012 Literary Resolutions. I think everyone should do it.

    So this year, I’m going to share my poem choice each month. For January 2012, I’ve been reading Emily Dickinson’s “There’s a certain Slant of light” and I’ve been reading it aloud every afternoon, during that certain slant of light.

    There’s a certain Slant of light, (320)

    by Emily Dickinson

    There’s a certain Slant of light,
    Winter Afternoons –
    That oppresses, like the Heft
    Of Cathedral Tunes –

    Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
    We can find no scar,
    But internal difference –
    Where the Meanings, are –

    None may teach it – Any –
    'Tis the seal Despair –
    An imperial affliction
    Sent us of the Air –

    When it comes, the Landscape listens –
    Shadows – hold their breath –
    When it goes, ‘tis like the Distance
    On the look of Death –