My Son Remembers the Sun

Anita Sullivan banner

“You and I had talked about this. How a single day should be enough—/or less for the two yellow butterflies/chasing each other round and round a distant fir . . .”—Anita Sullivan

The Highest Cauldron 

By Anita Sullivan

“Dying seems so wasteful after all that work.”
“Dying seems so wasteful after all that work.”

Anita Sullivan

EUGENE Oregon—(Weekly Hubris)—11/16/2015—


Note: The translation of the fragment from Odysseus Elytis’s poem is by Anita Sullivan.

To order Anita Sullivan’s book, Ikaria: A Love Odyssey on a Greek Island, click on the book cover below.

Anita Sullivan, Ikaria: A Love Odyssey on a Greek Island

Born under the sign of Libra, Anita Sullivan cheerfully admits to a life governed by issues of balance and harmony. This likely led to her 25-year career as a piano tuner, as well as her love of birds (Libra is an air sign), and love of gardening, music, and fine literature (beauty). She spent years trying to decide if she was a piano tuner who wrote poetry, or a poet who tuned pianos. She traveled a lot without giving way to a strong urge to become a nomad; taught without becoming a teacher; danced without becoming a dancer; and fell totally in love with the high desert country of the Southwest, and then never managed to stay there. However, Sullivan did firmly settle the writing question—yes, it turns out she is a writer, but not fixed upon any one category. She has published four essay collections, a novel, two chapbooks and one full-length book of poetry, and many short pieces in journals. Most recently, her essay collection The Rhythm Of It: Poetry’s Hidden Dance, indulges her instinct to regard contemporary free-verse poetry as being built upon natural proportional rhythm patterns exhibited in music and geography, and therefore quite ancient and disciplined—not particularly “free” at all. This book was a finalist for the Montaigne Medal from the Eric Hoffer Book Award. More about her books can be found on her website: The poet-piano-tuner-etc. also maintains an occasional blog, “The Poet’s Petard,” which may be accessed here here. (Author Head Shot Augment: René Laanen.)


  • Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

    I love the spooky action at a distance nature of time in this poem. The lines of communication: always meta, between son and mother and son. In my mind, too, as in this scene, Anita, whatever I read, whatever I feel, see, think . . . blurs and is stirred (and shaken). And you describe that impossible-to-describe interplay so very well. (PS

  • Anita Sullivan

    Thanks for the NYT reference. I am bewildered by the earnest scientists who keep trying to “prove” things that poets and philosophers have known for centuries. For example, the parallel universe idea of modern physics was spoken of with certainty by Hippolytus; Leucippus refuted Parmenides by figuring out a way to say nothingness can exist, and the Upanishads understood the deep paradox of “the imperishable,” upon which is woven the ether, inside which decay happens. Action at a distance happens, or does not. In the poem, I’m also thinking about the Tree as a good candidate for god (always with a small “g”!!)