Every good cause needs some celebrity support, and poetry is no different. Bill Murray joined hundreds of people at an event for the Poets House, in New York. He’s a frustrated poet himself, as Studio 360’s Eric Molinsky found out.
It is a pleasing experience to listen poems. I shall be thankful if you provide audio of A Frosty Night by Robert Graves. Thank you.
Thanks for the great show. I've listened to it twice. I love poetry, so "favorite" changes daily, but Grace Paley is one I turn to again and again. This is from her final collection:On Occasion Grace Paley
I forget the names of my friendsand the names of the flowers inmy garden my friends remind meGrace it's us the flowers juststand there stunned by the sun
A long time ago my mother saiddarling there are also wildflowersbut look these I planted
my flowers are pink and rose andorange they're sturdy they makenew petals every day to fill intheir fat round faces
suddenly before I thought I called out ZINNIA zinniazinnia along came a sunny summer breeze they swayed lightly bowed I said Mother
I don't have one favorite poem, since each is unique -- like apples and orange roughy -- but the first to wake me to the power of poetry was Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est":
The second was W.S. Merwin's "On the Subject of Poetry," written back when he was still using punctuation:
More recently I've discovered that real haiku are not about counting syllables, but a moment of perception. Here's a classic by the master, Basho:
even in Kyotohearing the cuckooI long for Kyoto
You have to take the trouble to enter into the poem -- haiku are always understated -- but it's well worth it.
My favorite poem... a work that has comforted and inspired me with its mystery and wisdom...
The Blessing-by James Wright
Just off the Highway to Rochester, MinnesotaTwilight bounds softly forth on the grass.And the eyes of those two Indian poniesDarken with kindness.They have come gladly out of the willowsTo welcome my friend and me.We step over the barbed wire into the pastureWhere they have been grazing all day, alone.They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happinessThat we have come.They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.There is no loneliness like theirs.At home once more,They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,For she has walked over to meAnd nuzzled my left hand.She is black and white,Her mane falls wild on her forehead,And the light breeze moves me to caress her long earThat is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.Suddenly I realizeThat if I stepped out of my body I would breakInto blossom.
My favorite poem:
"Write me a poem," she saysLike she's asking Babe Ruth to stroke one deep,Forgetting that *this* batter isUp to his shoulders in slump.
"What's-his-name wrote to his goy mistress..."I want to correct her, then rememberHow often her misheard lines Make me rethink my everything.
"At least compare me to a summer's day-"I see her instead in foaming snow-Venus *mit* peacoat and shovelClearing a path for the rest of us.Falling flakes form a haloStaggering even the saints.
I *am* writing a poem, Sis-Each day a revision.Some men see things as they are and ask why:I married the other kind-What a lucky guy.
By Mark Collins.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night,Old age should burn and rave at close of day;Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,Because their words had forked no lightning theyDo not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how brightTheir frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sightBlind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.Do not go gentle into that good night.Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
-- Dylan Thomas
A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford by Derek Mahon has been my favorite poem since I read its first line as a college student studying to get into medical school---a time, sadly, that I allowed poor few thoughts to grow. The language always struck me as beautiful, but over the years the meanings of the poem have grown with me as I've moved through the stations of life: as a man in the modern world; a physician; a medical mycologist; a son of Irish immigrants who has spent many days with his thoughts among the abandoned buildings, appaling history and beauty of the Irish countryside; a traveler; a family member and friend both true and failed; and as an ordinary person of roughly equal measures good and bad destined to lie among the asphodels himself.
Limitless stuff. I read it every few months, and each time I encounter it anew.
I could attempt to impress you with my sophistication & talk about April being cruel or Tigers in the night, but my favorite poem is more simple. It's by Don Blanding & the copy I have in a book purchased in 1969 was the 52nd printing of the book. It's Vagabond's House & describes all of the things that the author would put in his dream house. It doesn't make you think, it makes you feel. The essence of the house is so real that you feel that you have been there. The other favorite is by Edward Field and is called Icarus. Also, my 13 year old granddaughter loves for me to read her poems as she plays on the computer.
One of my favorite poems is by Louise Erdrich, called "Advice to Myself".
I tried to tape it here for you, but it wouldn't submit.
My favorite poem is Dylan Thomas' A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in Londonwhich paradoxically becomes a poignant elegy; its condensed, conflated images resonant with biblical references affirming the sancity and inherent immortality of its tragic referent.
But "...the unmourning waters of the riding Thames" tells us that this is no sentimental appeal to post-mortem sufferance but a reassimilation into primordial nature. "After the first death there is no other" again seems to be as much an echo of the compensatory solace in knowing the child lies beyond further suffering as an appeal to traditional concepts of immortality.
Never until the mankind makingBird beast and flowerFathering and all humbling darknessTells with silence the last light breakingAnd the still hourIs come of the sea tumbling in harness
And I must enter again the roundZion of the water beadAnd the synagogue of the ear of cornShall I let pray the shadow of a soundOr sow my salt seedIn the least valley of sackcloth to mourn
The majesty and burning of the child's death.I shall not murderthe mankind of her going with a grave truthNor blaspheme down the stations of the breathWith any further Elegy of innocence and youth
Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,Robed in the long friends,The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her motherSecret by the unmourning waters of the riding Thames.After the first death, there is no other.
Favorite poem is by Baudelaire, from "Les fleurs du mal". I first read it when I was 12 and it click with my need to see through everything - roman't found a good translation.
My love, do you recall the object which we saw,That fair, sweet, summer morn!At a turn in the path a foul carcassOn a gravel strewn bed,
Its legs raised in the air, like a lustful woman,Burning and dripping with poisons,Displayed in a shameless, nonchalant wayIts belly, swollen with gases.
The blow-flies were buzzing round that putrid belly,From which came forth black battalionsOf maggots, which oozed out like a heavy liquidAll along those living tatters.
All this was descending and rising like a wave,Or poured out with a crackling sound;One would have said the body, swollen with a vague breath,Lived by multiplication.
Crouched behind the boulders, an anxious dogWatched us with angry eye,Waiting for the moment to take back from the carcassThe morsel he had left.
— And yet you will be like this corruption,Like this horrible infection,Star of my eyes, sunlight of my being,You, my angel and my passion!
Yes! thus will you be, queen of the Graces,After the last sacraments,When you go beneath grass and luxuriant flowers,To molder among the bones of the dead.
Then, O my beauty! say to the worms who willDevour you with kisses,That I have kept the form and the divine essenceOf my decomposed love!
to carry the child
to carry the child into adult lifeis good? i say it is not. to carry the child into adult life is to be handicapped. the child in adult life is defenseless and, if he is grown up, knows it, and the grownup looks at the childish part and despises it.
the child, too, despises the clever grownup, the man-of-the-world, the frozen, for the child has the tears alive on his cheeks, and the man has none of them,
as the child has colors, and the man sees nocolors, or anything, being easy only in things of the mind; the child is easy in feeling-
easy in feeling, easily excessive, and, in excess, powerful, for instance, if you do not speak to the child, he will make trouble.
you would say that the man had the upper hand of the child (if a child survive), but i say that the child has fingers of strength to strangle the man alive.
oh, it is not happy, it is never happy, to carry the child into adulthood. let children lie down before full growth, and die in their infanthood, and be guilty of no ones blood. --
I came across Eleven Eyes by Lyn Hejinian (actually section of a longer poem) when my students turned it into an animation http://www.poetryfoundation.org/journal/video.html?show=Poetry%20Everywhere.
The spoons have clatteredAren't children little pears and observant birdsI note that the green blanket is askew again brieflyI have flung my sweater over the banister againThe corn cockle is beautifulFor months I've owed someone I'll call Amy Rossini a letter and tomorrow I'llwrite it but I can't explainThere was of course the matter of the curious descent into a mine and the terribleascent of children hauling ore out of contextBrevity is not child's play though child's play is brief but slowlyToday a man in a green leather hat advised me to sink my shovelIf I were to write a letter to Knut Handekker now he wouldn't remember who Iwas which in any case is not who I continue to beTchaikovsky died when he was 53We'll celebrate my birthday wearing hats in May at the beachTaking the espresso I said gracias, and much else in daily life is unauthorizedThe house in which I toss is known by its address but it might have been namedCredulity and called a filmBelieve meLong ago I was once in Seville in a blue dress that could be washed and dried inless than an hourI want to speak of revolutions in beauty but I hear hordes counting down tomidnightThe tales I used to tell myself no longer doNone of this is true
I have too many favorite poems to mention, but here is the last poem that made me laugh, by the contemporary American poet Hoa Nguyen:
[Staying at work for lunch]
Staying at work for lunch
eat an apple
no shoes on
or cats that talk by a bed
bring in bats please neon blue
(unavailable weather and socks)
make me cry in a dumb cube
well fuck you too
My current favorite poem is Love After Love by Derek Walcott. The first time I heard it, I wept.
Love After Love The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self.Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
My favorite poem is "Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye.
Before you know what kindness really isyou must lose things,feel the future dissolve in a momentlike salt in a weakened broth.What you held in your hand,what you counted and carefully saved,all this must go so you knowhow desolate the landscape can bebetween the regions of kindness.How you ride and ridethinking the bus will never stop,the passengers eating maize and chickenwill stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road.You must see how this could be you,how he too was someonewho journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow.You must speak to it till your voicecatches the thread of all sorrowsand you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,only kindness that ties your shoesand sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,only kindness that raises its headfrom the crowd of the world to sayit is I you have been looking for,and then goes with you every wherelike a shadow or a friend.
I am especially fond of the poem "Dark Memories" by Richard Eberhart. It is from the collection titled Florida Poems. This poem speaks to the very soul. Whenever I read it, I feel an instant joyful connection to the infinite universe.
One Art, Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn't hard to master;so many things seem filled with the intentto be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the flusterof lost door keys, the hour badly spent.The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:places, and names, and where it was you meantto travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, ornext-to-last, of three loved houses went.The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gestureI love) I shan't have lied. It's evidentthe art of losing's not too hard to masterthough it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Bishop, and my current favorite of hers comes from the recent posthumous collection of her work, Edgar Allen Poe & the Juke-box. The poem is 'Keaton':
I will be good; I will be good.
I have set my small jaw for the ages
and nothing can distract me from
solving the appointed emergencies
even with my small brain
-witness the diameter of my hatband
and the depth of the crown of my hat.
I will be correct; I know what it is to be a man.
I will be correct or bust.
I will love but not impose my feelings.
I will serve and serve
with lute or I will not say anything.
If the machinery goes, I will repair it.
If it goes again I will repair it again.
through these endless etceteras painful.
No, it is not the way to be, they say.
Go with the skid, turn always to leeward,
and see what happens, I ask you, now.
I lost a lovely smile somewhere,
and many colors dropped out.
The rigid spine will break, they say -
I was made at right angles to the world
and I see it so. I can only see it so.
I do not find all this absurdity people talk about.
Perhaps a paradise, a serious paradise where lovers hold hands and everything works.
I am not sentimental.
I have always admired this poem -- an acrostic -- by Christopher Jane Corkery about love and language:
Various people will tell youAll about love, about poems. ButListen, nobody ever can say howEndless the love of words is.Nightly and daily, words and loveTrip over each other, combine, findIn each other what possible means:No word is meant to live by itself.Each one looks for a listener.
I spent 12 of my 20 year US Navy career on ships at sea. I was homeported on both coasts, deployed to the Medatranian, North Atlantic, and Western Pacific, and visited 20 countries on 4 continents.
My favorite poem is by Barry Cornwall (1787–1874) entitled simply, The Sea. Here is the first stanza.
THE SEA! the sea! the open sea! The blue, the fresh, the ever free! Without a mark, without a bound, It runneth the earth’s wide regions round; It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies; Or like a cradled creature lies.
Shortly after her 80th birthday my mom returned from her daily walk and wrote: A Passing ThoughtWe passed as you walked to school,Giggling and skipping, ponytails flying. I looked at you and saw myselfThrough time's kaleidoscope. And to myself I said: "I am you as you are me. You are the past of me. I am the future of you. I am the accumulation of many selves- Student and teacher, Grandchild and grandmother, Daughter, wife, mother, friend, Layer upon layer of personality. My today is all you see."We passed along the road,You, just beginning to gather your selves,And I...on my way home. --Loa Jean ShumwaySince then my mom has begun to have difficulty in finding the words she needs to carry on everyday conversations, making doubly precious to me the poetry and essays she has written over her lifetime.Rebecca Burgess
When Death Comes by Mary OliverThis one and and a summer day are my two favorite poems. I was glad to see that someone else posted it.
When death comeslike the hungry bear in autumnwhen death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;when death comeslike the measle pox;
when death comeslike an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everythingas a brotherhood and a sisterhood,and I look upon time as no more than an idea,and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouthtending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and somethingprecious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say: all my lifeI was a bride married to amazement.I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it's over, I don't want to wonderif I have made of my life something particular, and real.I don't want to find myself sighing and frightenedor full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
I'm a singer/songwriter and from time to time use my favorite poems for lyrics. I love Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Rilke, Baudelaire, Sappho, Franz Wright, Mary Karr, Chris Abani...the list goes on and on, but my current favorite is Ernest Dowson, born in England in 1867. He died penniless and a drunkard at age 32.
Here is one of his I wrote a tune for:
I was not sorrowful, I could not weep,And all my memories were put to sleep.
I watched the river grow more white and strange,All day till evening I watched it change.
All day till evening I watched the rainBeat wearily upon the window pane.
I was not sorrowful, but only tiredOf everything that ever i desired.
Her lips, her eyes, all day became to meThe shadow of a shadow utterly.
All day mine hunger for her heart becameOblivion, until the evening came,
And left me sorrowful, inclined to weep,With all my memories that could no sleep.
My favorite poem is by Robert Graves. It describes my self, as a person with attention deficit disorder and i love it for speaking of me with respect.
The butterfly, a cabbage white,
(His honest idiocy of flight)
Will never now, it is too late,
Master the art of flying straight.
Yet has-- who knows as well as I?
A just sense of how not to fly:
He lurches here and here by guess
And God and hope and hopelessness.
Even the aerobatic swift
Has not his flying crooked gift.
...this is not a favorite, but one of the more interesting I've read recently, considering Karadzic's recent arrest.
I have the deepest sympathy for all who suffered & perished under this man's arrogant idealism.
Untitledby Radovan Karadzic
This fateful hour stiffened and reached the sky Like a tree it now binds all existence in its branches I am the cause of universal distress A certain knight called Moses secretly fears me From this fateful hour hours pass by upward like my head And you are bound by some chilly By some frosty terror It's only the snake-like world that changed-its dirty skin For the moment It is only I who sprouted from the Universe like the morning star And the Universe blushed with envy and changed colors It is only cowards eating their cowardice And their non-existent strength It is I speaking and burning I won't be silent after all And let the crowd go to the devil past redemption I'll handle you in no time And without much ado And right at this moment A tomcat shall peep at the neighborhood kitty through a chinkAnd two lovers Shall stand by the first casket on hand And kiss each other as I command
One of my favorite poems, which I find very humorous, is by Robert Bly.
Starting a Poem
You're alone. Then there's a knock
On the door. It's a word. You
Bring it in. Things go
OK for a while. But this word
Has relatives. Soon
They turn up. None of them work.
They sleep on the floor, and they steal
Your tennis shoes.
You started it; you weren't
Content to leave things alone.
Now the den is a mess, and the
Remote is gone.
That's what writing a poem
Is like! You never receive your
Wife only . . . but the
Madness of her family.
It's good. Otherwise
We could get what
We want in a poem
And the world would end.
I always thought I hated poetry. I just didn't connect with it the way I did with other forms of literature. The stuff I read in school seemed pointlessly obtuse, but happily it turns out I was just reading the wrong poetry! The writer that finally turned me around? Richard Brautigan. Oh, how to pick a favorite?!? Here's one of many...
You’ve gotsome “Star-Spangled” nailsin your coffin, kid.That’s whatthey’ve done for you, son.
here's my favorite poem:
PAPER HEARTSHello there, my paper heart.You've been torn quite a bit.I must admit, the world hasn't been so kind to you.Scribbled upon, crumpled.I turn away from youConfused, disgruntled.Oh paper heart, flimsy heartBe a little bit strongerYou may last me a little bit longerIf you weren't always so broken.No pity will be given hereNot one tear shed on your behalfYou silly, flimsy paper heart.So easily, so very easilydo you get torn apart
written by my 12 year old daughter, Katharine
My mom wrote a lot of poetry and this one is my favorite.
Additional brief comment:..Accessibility is another fault of much poetry. A reader's ability to relate to a particular theme is a matter of experience, sophistication and culture; but a poem fails when that theme is obscured by the writer's own cleverness or romance.
A fine example is Baxter Black's poem that begins (if memory serves):
Lightning cracked across the skyLike veins on the back of your handIt reached an angry finger out as if in reprimandAnd touched a giant cottonwoodThat leaned against the skyThe cottonwood exploded and threw its fiery seedsOut across the prairie igniting all the weeds...
I was unable to find the text.
As a graphic designer, I strongly favor visual poetic themes. But the auditory flow and rhythm of a poem is an essential element often lacking in otherwise excellent poems; careful attention to the natural inflection of words and syllables during construction and revision allows the reader to follow the theme without having to parse the text.
Earth pirouettes about the sunwarming first her cheeks then bunsso vapours rising from her seacondense in perpetuity
Restless Coriolis forcesceaseless currents oceanicwinding misty wisps intohorrendous hurricanes titanic
Intermediary calmgives precious life a chance to flowerTranquil seasons foster trustthen dash new hope with careless power
Gaia oozes molten goosas gravid mountains split asunderLightning charges through the skyto usher echoed peals of thunder
Far flung typhoons send souls aloftto join the gods they can't appeaseIgnoring signs of more to comewill bring survivors to their knees
We don't exist despite her ragebut as a natural resultHer patience with our careless waysis clearly nearly running out
My favorite poem is by my friend Dennis Sipe, who lives in Bloomington, Indiana. I read it frequently, and it always (strangely) makes me smile:
My Days Are Stray Dogs That Won't Come When I Call
I keep leading myself to the wall.Never take a blindfoldor smoke a last cigarette.I keep coming back to hear rifle bolts working.My days are like when you repeat a wordover and over againuntil it doesn't mean anything.My days are stray dogs that won't come when I call.But I keep trying.
One of my favorite poems is Cirriculum Vitae by Lisel Mueller. I actually have part of the last sentence of the 14th stanza tattoo'd on the inside of my elbow.
It's hard to pick one favorite poem. My favorite poets,as of this moment, are Billy Collins, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Czeslaw Milosz.
Here'a one of my favorite Milosz poems:
Not soon, as ate as the approach of my ninetieth year,I felt a door opening in me and I enteredthe clarity of early morning.
One after another my former lives were departing,like ships, together with their sorrow.
And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seasassigned to my brush came closer,ready now to be described better than they were before.
I was not separated from people,grief and pity joined us.We forter--I kept saying--that we are all children of the King.
For where we come from there is no divisioninto Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.
We were miserable, we used no more that a hundreth partof the gift we received for our long journey.
Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago--a sword blow, the painting of eyelashed before a mirrorof polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravelstaving its hull against a reef--they dwell in us,waiting for fulfillment.
I knew, alwyas, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,as are all men and women living at the same time,whether they are aware of it or not.
My very favourite poem is King Robert of Sicily...it shows the progression of mighty becoming lowly and redemption back to mighty again....very, very interesting and thought provoking. Thanks for asking.
My favorite poem is by WH Auden: "If I Could Tell You"
Time will say nothing but I told you so,Time only knows the price we have to pay;If I could tell you I would let you know.
If we should weep when clowns put on their show,If we should stumble when musicians play,Time will say nothing but I told you so.
There are no fortunes to be told, although,Because I love you more than I can say,If I could tell you I would let you know.
The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,There must be reasons why the leaves decay;Time will say nothing but I told you so.
Perhaps the roses really want to grow,The vision seriously intends to stay;If I could tell you I would let you know.
Suppose all the lions get up and go,And all the brooks and soldiers run away;Will Time say nothing but I told you so?If I could tell you I would let you know.
Fovorite poem:When I was a kid in Newark NJ there appeared EVERY DAY a new poem by Edgar A Guest. The one thaat impressed me and thaat I memorized was:
It Couldn't be Done
It Couldn't Be DoneEdgar Guest
Somebody said that it couldn't be done, But he with a chuckle repliedThat "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin On his face. If he worried he hid it.He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn't be done, and he did it.
Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that; At least no one ever has done it";But he took off his coat and he took off his hat, And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, Without any doubting or quiddit,He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn't be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, There are thousands to prophesy failure;There are thousands to point out to you, one by one, The dangers that wait to assail you.But just buckle in with a bit of a grin, Just take off your coat and go to it;Just start to sing as you tackle the thing That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.
This poem has inspired me all my life.Philip
My favorite Poem is Flanders field by John McCraeIn Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row that mark our place and in the sky the larks still bravely singing fly, scarce heard amid the guns below, we are the dead, short days ago we lived, felt dawn saw sunset glow.Loved and were loved and now we lie in Flanders fields.Take up the quarrel with the foe, to you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours who hold it high,if ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.
Driving Montanaby Richard Hugo
The day is a woman who loves you. OpenDeer drink close to the road and magpiesspray from your car. Miles from any townyour radio comes in strong, unlikelyMozart from Belgrade, rock and rollfrom Butte. Whatever the next numberyou want to hear it. Never has your Buickfound this forward a gear. Eventhe tuna salad in Reedpoint is good.
Towns arrive ahead of imagined scheduleAbsorakee at one. Or arrive so late-Silesia at nine - you recreate the day.Where did you stop along the roadand have fun? Was there a runaway horse?Did you park at that house, the onealone in a void of grain, white with greentrim and red fence, where you know you livedonce? You remembered the ringing creek,the soft brown forms of far off bison.You must have stayed hours, then drove on.In the motel you know you'd never seen it before.
Tomorrow will open again, the sky wideas the mouth of a wild girl, friableclouds you lose yourself to. You are lostin miles of land without people, withoutone fear of being found, in the dash of rabbits, soar of antelope, swirlmerge and clatter of streams.
I first encountered Richard Hugo's "Driving Montana" in college. I had always like poetry, but with this piece I began to love it. What really touched me was how personal this particular poem was to me. I am Montanan, and my favorite thing about Montana is a solitary drive through the expanse of open. Also, with this poem, I realized that poetry didn't have to be daffodils in the Lake Country, or Jazz in Harlem. Instead, I found that I too had poems in me, poetry of "the dash of rabbits, soar of antelope, swirlmerge and clatter of streams."
poem included in separate email, (it was too long).
Can't decide what my favorite poem is, there are so many! But I am loving Galway Kinnell at this moment:
From Little Sleep's-Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight:
You scream, waking from a nightmare.
When I sleepwalkinto your room, and pick you up,and hold you up in the moonlight, you cling to mehard,as if clinging could save us. I thinkyou thinkI will never die, I think I exudeto you the permanence of smoke or stars,even asmy broken arms heal themselves around you.
I always come back to this William Carlos Williams poem, The Term:
A rumpled sheetOf brown paperAbout the length
And apparent bulkOf a man wasRolling with the
Wind slowly overAnd over in The street as
A car drove downUpon it and Crushed it to
The ground. UnlikeA man it roseAgain rolling
With the wind overAnd over to be as It was before.
My favorite poem is "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear. I like to recite it aloud to small children, changing my voice to add variety to the characters a British accent for the narrator, French for the Owl, Southern Belle for the Pussycat.
"The owl and the pussycat went to seaIn a beautiful pea-green boat.They took some honey and plenty of honeyWrapped up in a five pound note . . ."
I used to know the whole thing in French,mais j'oublie . . .
Lynn in Fargo
My favorite poem is Versos Sencillos by José Martí, a 19th century Cuban. I read it in introductory Spanish class as a kid, and was moved by it even before I understood all of the words.
or, in an early English translation:http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/46409-Jose-Marti-A-Sincere-Man-Am-I---Verse-I-
my favorite poem"the Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service
Heard this poem as a kid growing up and remember loving the subject matter. The fantasy of the north.
Read this poem to my 8 year old and appreciate the internal rhyming structure and the rhythms and the audacity of the silly ending.
Great under appreciated piece of work
Stanley Kunitz wrote my favorite poem (at least today's favorite). He was productive and vital into his 2nd century. I am 50, and hopeful not to be done with my changes.
I have walked through many lives,some of them my own,and I am not who I was,though some principle of beingabides, from which I struggle not to stray.When I look behind,as I am compelled to lookbefore I can gather strengthto proceed on my journey,I see the milestones dwindlingtoward the horizonand the slow fires trailingfrom the abandoned camp-sites,over which scavenger angelswheel on heavy wings.Oh, I have made myself a tribeout of my true affections,and my tribe is scattered!How shall the heart be reconciledto its feast of losses?In a rising windthe manic dust of my friends,those who fell along the way,bitterly stings my face.yet I turn, I turn,exulting somewhat,with my will intact to gowherever I need to go,and every stone on the roadprecious to me.In my darkest night,when the moon was coveredand I roamed through wreckage,a nimbus-clouded voicedirected me:"Live in the layers,not on the litter."Though I lack the artto decipher it,no doubt the next chapterin my book of transformationsis already written,I am not done with my changes.
This was a great show. Thank you! One of my very favorite poems follows:The Summer Dayby Mary Oliver
Who made the world?Who made the swan, and the black bear?Who made the grasshopper?This grasshopper, I mean-the one who has flung herself out of the grass,the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.I don't know exactly what a prayer is.I do know how to pay attention, how to fall downinto the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,which is what I have been doing all day.Tell me, what else should I have done?Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?Tell me, what is it you plan to dowith your one wild and precious life?
from New and Selected Poems, 1992Beacon Press, Boston, MA
My favorite is Wallace Steven's "The Snow Man."
My last poem, made from pieces in a Stevens-humbled world.
Bill Murray rocks.
My favorite poem is by a young, unknown poet, Tomara Aldrich - currently an adjunct professor of English at Hunter College, NY.
First SightingsMy sister and I squeezedonto the toilet seat, top down, to watch my mother batheher breasts floating and shiny wetwhen dad pushed through the doorand saw them too. He climbed right in,(my sister and I squealing at their wet sides)piling himself into her, his flight suit, black boots, still on.
My favorite poem is by Amy Beeder:
Girl set on a heap of street sweepings highas a pyre, laid on snarled wire & dented rim.Girl set down among the wrung-out hides. A girl who was coming from church. It is late Sunday afternoon. Was it a seizure? Is it destiny or bad luck we should fear? Weak heart or swerving taxi? In Tet Bef by the dirty oceanthousands crush past her, not pausingat the shrine of her spayed limbs; brilliancelike the flesh of lilies sprouting from the pummeled cane.Is it possible to be lighthearted, hours later? Days? To forget the yellow dress? I am waiting for her mother to find her, stillwearing one white spotless glove (where is the other?)my idle taxi level with her unbruised arm, her fingers just curling like petals of a fallen flower and how did it end? Let someone have gathered her upbefore the stars assembled coldly overhead: her dress brighter than gold, crocus, the yolk of an eggher face covered like the bride of a god; let themhave found her & borne her though the traffic’s clamorveiled with a stranger’s handkerchief.
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