What follows is a catalogue of musings on binder twine, impossibility, and the dynamics of surprise. As I began to write it in the late summer of 2008, I was eighteen months from retirement. I anticipated—albeit ready to be surprised—that after I retired I would write little if any literary criticism. In some mood of brooding nostalgia, I asked myself which, of all the poems I’ve read and taught and loved, would I still and again want to write about. Which do I want to grow into and up in?
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