Are you building a cathedral?

Sage CohenFierce writing, The life poetic4 Comments

In one of my favorite allegories, a traveler in medieval times comes upon a stonemason at work. He asks, “What are you doing?” The man looks weary and unhappy. He responds, “Can’t you see I am cutting and laying down stone? My back is killing me, and I can’t wait to stop.” The traveler continues on his way and comes … Read More

Are you the poetry lady (or man)?

Sage CohenThe life poetic16 Comments

As my dog, Hamachi, and I descended our front steps into the well-worn rhythm of our morning walk, a car pulled into the space behind my own at the curb. Machi and I both pricked our ears in anticipation as the man behind the wheel got out and strode toward us. Was he delivering a package? Did he need help with something? “Hi!” he … Read More

There is a crack in everything

Sage CohenProductive writing, The life poetic14 Comments

I believe we don’t live in our lives; we live in the stories we tell about our lives. What happened is far less significant than how we interpret what it means to us—and how this leads us forward. Which is why I have dedicated a lifetime to studying the possibilities of language, poem, and story. One of my great teachers … Read More

And then there were none

Sage CohenThe life poetic17 Comments

There is a woman in my neighborhood who walks. 13 years ago, when I was new in my house, my two young, strapping dogs jumped her two young, beautiful dogs as they were passing by and we were getting into the car. In this shocking and unprecedented moment, something deep down in our tribal animal brains was decided. Our packs … Read More

Happy National Poetry Month!

Sage CohenThe life poetic0 Comments

When a global community brings its awareness, joy, and poetry to a shared sense of purpose and passion, so much more is possible. I want to invite you to ride the wave throughout April! Whether you have an active poetry practice, have been meaning to get back to writing poems, or have always wondered whether you might enjoy poetry, now … Read More

Beginnings, Endings, and Everything In Between

Sage CohenThe life poetic4 Comments

At last night’s launch of The Night, and the Rain, and the River short story anthology, editor Liz Prato was asked what makes a good ending. Liz explained that she teaches a craft class on ways to begin a story, but that each story needs to find its own ending. And she emphasized how difficult this can be. I will hold myself … Read More

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely

Sage CohenThe life poetic1 Comment

A few months ago, I created an outdoor altar otherwise known as a poetry box. Here I make the most intimate and important offering I know how to make to the world: poems. I started on the week of his 100th birthday by showcasing William Stafford’s “A Ritual to Read to Each Other,” a poem I have been living by … Read More

Pigeons under the eaves

Sage CohenProductive writing, The life poetic0 Comments

At each elbow, I am flanked by cats as I sit propped on pillows in bed. Alongside the base of my bed, my beloved old dog lies facing out toward anything she might need to defend us from. On her dog bed, a cat curled tight into the dog-made center dent. Sleep has been so difficult for me in recent … Read More