Received "Dear John" letters from 2 poetry book contests last week - one on Thurs. the 12th, one on Sat. the 14th. Friday the 13th came in between, as we know. "Hallelujah! I'm a bum."

Ides of August.

When I am old may my sadness gleam.
I was born in Rome; it has come back to me;
My she-wolf was kind in autumn;
August - month of Caesars - smiled on me.

- O. Mandelstam

("may my sadness gleam" : goes back to a line from Pushkin, "my sadness is luminous" : which goes way back, through Orthodox tradition, to Byzantium, and the icon tradition of "luminous sadness" (there was a Greek technical term for this, a rendering of pathos).

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