At Via Negativa, Dave Bonta offers “This poem has nothing to do with 9/11.”
Bill Keller proposes that the current occupants of the Capitol would benefit from a little poetry:
Poetry is no substitute for courage or competence, but properly applied, it is a challenge to self-certainty, which we currently have in excess. Poetry serves as a spur to creative thinking, a rebuke to dogma and habit, an antidote to the current fashion for pledge signing.
He quotes from William Carlos Williams (somehow I had remembered these lines as coming from Whitman): “It is difficult/to get the news from poems/yet men die miserably every day/for lack/of what is found there.”
Don Share’s a Jethro Tull fan: “The Crew Change” at Poetry Daily is a keeper. Jumpy rhythm and simple metaphor.
“Hem Stitch Hemi Stichs,” a masterful poem by Judith Baumel. Lovely alliteration and springy rhythms.
‘Tis Poetry Month once again, and Patrick Cooper points to Jay Parini’s list of ten American poems then “have left the deepest mark on US literature – and me.” Robert Lowell is more or less unknown to me, and Parini’s selection, “Memories of West Street and Lepke,” reminds me pleasantly of Marianne Moore. I haven’t read much Whitman for a long while—time to rectify that.
“The Sink,” by Catherine Bowman, in this week’s New Yorker, witty wordlists jumbled together.
A recent run of fine poems at Poetry Daily, inculding “The Welcome Chamber,” by G.C. Waldrep.
Julie Sheehan’s “Big Crazy Victorian” is at Poetry Daily.
A grim little poem from Allen Grossman:
is real cold.
No stove, pigs or not,
is hot enough to bring
well-water to blood heat.
For that you need a heart.
…with an allusion to the first verses of Amos 8:
Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.
Joanna Goodman listens to a yellowthroat.
there is always
something to be thankful
for you would not
think that a cockroach
had much ground
but as the fishing season
opens up i grow
more and more
cheerful at the thought
that nobody ever got
the notion of using
cockroaches for bait—Don Marquis, the Archy and Mehitabel poems, 19 April 1922
“Ode on Dictionaries,” by Barbara Hamby.
you are the megaphone by which I bewitch the world
or not, as the case may be. O chittering squirrel,
Ziploc sandwich bag, sound off, shut up, gather your words
into bouquets, folios, flocks of black and flaming birds.
Robert Hass reflects on abstract paintings by Gerhard Richter in the poem “Time and Materials.”