Archives for posts with tag: Mary Ruefle

by Mary Ruefle

A bride and a groom sitting in an open buggy
in the rain, holding hands but not looking
at each other, waiting for the rain to stop,
waiting for the marriage to begin, embarrassed
by the rain, the effect of the rain on the bridal
veil, the wet horse with his mane in his eyes,
the rain cold as the sea, the sea deep as love,
big drops of rain falling on the leather seat,
the rain beaded on a rose pinned to the groom’s
lapel, the rain on the bride’s bouquet,
on the baby’s breath there, the sound of the rain
hitting the driver’s top hat, the rain
shining like satin on the black street,
on the tips of patent leather shoes, Hokusai’s
father who polished mirrors for a living, Hokusai’s
father watching the sky for clouds, Hokusai’s father’s son
drawing rain over a bridge and over the people crossing
the bridge, Hokusai’s father’s son drawing the rain
for hours, Hokusai’s father rubbing a mirror, the rain
cold as the sea, the sea cold as love, the sea swelling
to a tidal wave, at the tip of the wave white.
“Rain Effect” appears in Mary Ruefle’s collection Cold Pluto (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1996)

ART: “Mt. Fuji Through Raindrops” by by Katsushika Hokusai (1831)



Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle

I have not yet read this book — but look forward to diving into it. I received a copy in the mail from a friend yesterday — thank you, Colleen — and did a bit of research so I could do a post about the book today. The title (and it’s reference to “Madness” — see yesterday’s “March Madness” post) made me want to at least mention the book before March “goes out like a lamb.” (To quote English playwright John Fletcher, 1579-1625. Since the Jane Goodall brouhaha, I am going to err on the side of attribution caution.)

Here is the official description of Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle: Over the course of fifteen years, Mary Ruefle delivered a lecture every six months to a group of poetry graduate students. Collected here for the first time, these lectures include “Poetry and the Moon,” “Someone Reading a Book Is a Sign Of Order in the World,” and “Lectures I Will Never Give.” Intellectually virtuosic, instructive, and experiential, Madness, Rack, and Honey resists definition, demanding instead an utter—and utterly pleasurable—immersion.

Read about the book in the New York Times Sunday Book Review at this link. And find Madness, Rack, and Honey at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Ruefle‘s book Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures, was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism (Wave Books, 2012), and her Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010), won the William Carlos Williams Award. Reufle has published ten other books of poetry, a book of prose (The Most of It, Wave Books, 2008), and a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed!, (Pilot Books/Orange Table Comics, 2007); she is also an erasure artist, whose treatments of nineteenth century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries, and include the publication of A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006). Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Bennington, Vermont, and teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College.


I’ll write about the book in more detail as soon as I read it — and Madness, Rack, and Honey looks like a great read. The book, by the way, is beautiful — an elegant, readable, inviting design.