Archive for the 'Poetry' Category

They’re Singing on Strawberry Fields Tonight

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

I’ve never been a big Beatles fan; that whole phenomenon occurred a bit before my time. But I remember what happened on this day twenty-five years ago. I remember it as one of those mileposts along the way of my youth, like the day Reagan was shot, or the day we lost Challenger. I remember [...]

Poem for 30 April 2005: The Red Wheelbarrow

Saturday, April 30th, 2005

A bookend for the end of the month: another poem that I understand much better now than when I first read it:
The Red Wheelbarrow
William Carlos Williams
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
One way to observe National Poetry Month is to start a poetry reading group.

Poem for 29 April 2005: Rain

Friday, April 29th, 2005

Edward Thomas
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
One way to observe National Poetry Month is to subscribe to the Academy of American [...]

Poem For 28 April 2005: One For Kay’s Birthday

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Once upon a time, back when we were in school at Auburn, Wendy gave me a Sandra Boynton card that looked something like the one you see here. On its cover are animals arranged in four rows:

On the first row are a hippopotamus, a bird, and a pair of effiminate sheep. On the second row; [...]

Poem for 27 April 2005: Chicago

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

Carl Sandburg
            Hog Butcher for the World,
            Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
            Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
            Stormy, husky, brawling,
            City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I [...]

Something Cool For National Poetry Month

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

Here’s something I learned about through the Flickr blog: a fascinating experiment in poetry. Somehow, the result is disappointing, probably because it’s fairly bland compared to the art on all the preceding pages. Try it and see what you think.

Poem for 26 April 2005: Drones and Chants

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

Drones and Chants
Norman Finkelstein
In memory of Armand Schwerner
All night long they turned the wheels,
picked up the sound and passed it on
All night long we listened to the music,
all night there was thunder among the hills
All night and day the words were spoken,
each word inscribed and traced to its origin
All night and day the words were [...]

Poem for 25 April 2005: In back of the real

Monday, April 25th, 2005

In back of the real
Allen Ginsberg
railroad yard in San Jose
              I wandered desolate
in front of a tank factory
              and sat on a bench
near the switchman’s shack.
A flower lay on the hay on
              the asphalt highway
—the dread hay flower
              I thought—It had a
brittle black stem and
              corolla of yellowish dirty
spikes like Jesus’ inchlong
              crown, and a sailed
dry center cotten tuft
              like a used [...]

Poem for 24 April, 2005: One More From the Japanese

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

I just love these short Japanese poems. This one also out of One Hundred More Poems From the Japanese:
The lower leaves of the trees
Tangle the sunset in dusk.
Awe spreads with
The summer twilight.
       -Sone No Yoshitada
One way to observe National Poetry Month is to start a commonplace book. I have a commonplace book – I keep it [...]

Poems for 23 April 2005: Three More From the Japanese

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

Last Saturday’s selections were from a volume of short poems translated from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth. Today three more Japanese translations, from a second volume called One Hundred More Poems From the Japanese, also translated by Rexroth:

On the Eastern horizon,
Dawn glows over
The fields, and when
I look back I see
The moon setting in the West.
Everybody [...]

Poem for 22 April 2005: Night Picnic

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Night Picnic
Charles Simic
There was the sky, starless and vast–
Home of every one of our dark thoughts–
Its door open to more darkness.
And you, like a late door-to-door salesman,
With only your own beating heart
In the palm of your outstretched hand.
All things are imbued with God’s being–
She said in hushed tones
As if his ghost might overhear us–
The dark [...]

Poem for 21 April 2005: To My Father’s Houses

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

To My Father’s Houses
W. S. Merwin
Each of you must have looked like hope to him
once at least however long it lasted
he who claimed he saw hope in every grim
eyeless gray farmhouse uninhabited
on a back road and hope surely was needed
every time they were shown into the bare
resonant rooms of the manse provided
by his next church [...]