Poetry roundup

November 15th, 2012

Jack Gilbert died on Tuesday. (That’s a link to the New York Times obituary, by the way, for those of you who can only access a certain number of free articles per month). I was introduced to his poetry late, only about three years ago through a woman in my writing group, but he quickly became a favorite for his both his directness and his restraint. Though clearly madly in love with the world, his work was as far from sentimentality as that of any poet I’ve ever read. Read, for example, “It Is Difficult to Speak of the Night” or “The Sirens Again.

His poems embraced all the grief of life and all the wonder and recognized the moment of intersection. The possibility. The necessity. He spoke about his belief that poetry should have above all an emotional impact in this 2003 interview and says this:

What’s the reason to write poetry? It’s not a hobby. It’s one of the major ways of keeping the world human. We have almost nothing else, no craft that deals specifically with feeling. The novel to some extent, but it embodies a different kind of empathy than a poem does, and I suppose film to a degree, but motion pictures are only able to show you the outside of what’s happening. Poetry works on the inside of what’s happening.

I could be maudlin and say the world is a little less human today, but I know too many wonderful poets to really believe that. So go write something, and keep the world human.

Poetry roundup

November 8th, 2012

I was unfamiliar with the work of Joshua Mehigan until about two weeks ago, and then the universe (or the internet, I’m never quite sure) decided I needed to read his work. First, a member of my on-line poetry group posted “Down in the Valley.” Then “The Cement Plant” popped up in my twitter feed. Then somebody posted “Promenade“ (which had appeared on Verse Daily). I love when things like this happen, because living in a non-English speaking country my exposure to contemporary US poetry is hit and miss. I subscribe to Poets & Writers and a handful of print journals (fewer than I’d like, given that overseas postage about doubles the cost of my subscriptions, meaning I subscribe to about half of what I’d subscribe to if I lived in the US) and I read on line and subscribe to any number of daily/weekly poem in my in-box listings, but it feels very random somehow. I always feel a bit “out of it.” Maybe I’m not, maybe it’s that built-in expat feeling, or maybe there are just so many interesting poets out there and only so many hours in the day that there will always be somebody out there I haven’t read yet. At any rate, I like when the world gives me reading suggestions.

One of those daily poems I subscribe to, by the way, is Poetry Daily (actually I have the app and read on my phone), which is where I read “God, God” by Fleda Brown.

Poetry roundup

November 1st, 2012

I’ve mentioned before that you can sign up for a daily poem in your in-box from Rattle, but I didn’t mention that it’s not always a poem they send to your in-box. Sometimes there might be an author interview or sometimes a book review. Tuesday’s email brought a review of A Dance in the Street by Jared Carter, which intrigued me enough to hunt down a full version of one of the poems excerpted for the review. You can read “Snow” here, and Rattle’s review of A Dance in the Street is here.

“Snow” got me poking around Jared Carter’s website and oh! oh! “Clavichord.” For so many reasons.

Over at Bare Hands Poetry, “Smoke” by David Rudden.

Breaking the pattern of one-word titles, “Wednesday’s Foolish Love Song” by Michaela A. Gabriel in Pebble Lake Review.

Poetry roundup

October 25th, 2012

I’ve been re-reading The Complete Love Poems of May Swenson, and the first poem in the collection is “Four Word Lines” which is damn near as perfect a love poem as I’ve ever read. I was delighted to find it on line here (and in the process discover a new blog I’m going to have to check out!).

At Rattle, “Tying the Knot” by Kathleen Dale.

And Pablo Neruda’s “The Song of Despair” via Poets.org.

Poetry roundup

October 18th, 2012

From Poetry Daily, “[It's stringy      out here]” by Susan Wheeler. I’ll be ordering Meme thanks to this poem.

At The Atlantic.com, “Monica Lewinsky Thinks of Bill Clinton While Standing Naked in Front of a Hotel Mirror” by Julianna Baggot. Huh. Looks like I’ll be ordering Lizzie Borden in Love, too.

In Orion, “All Wet and Shine” by National Book Award finalist Cynthia Huntington.

I’m reading Meadowlands by Louise Glück, so here’s her “Telemachus’ Fantasy” from the same at AGNI Online.

Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” turned fifty this week. You can listen to Plath herself reading it here.

Yesterday was Marie Howe’s birthday, so here’s “What the Living Do.” Which seems like a fine poem to close on.

Enjoy!

Poetry roundup

October 12th, 2012

Twitter has been good to me this week, and this week’s poems were brought to my attention by the lovely folks in my timeline. Here’s a sample:

Silent Dragon” by Rafael Acevedo in The Kenyon Review Online, courtesy of @kenyonreview

Formerly Communist Love Sonnet” by Connie Deanovich at The Poetry Foundation, courtesy of @Don_Share and in honor of the word “malarkey.”

Skinhead” by Patricia Smith at AGNI Online via @vivliovision

1945” by Jean Valentine in Plume Poetry courtesy of @CopperCanyonPrs

and “Gila” at Poets.org via @Drebelle.

As always, I love to hear what you’re reading. Enjoy the weekend everybody!

Poetry Roundup

September 27th, 2012

No poems today, people, but poets talking about poems and poetry.

Here’s a very interesting – and useful – interview with Dorianne Laux in Sliver of Stone Magazine; Traci Brimhall on writing Our Lady of the Ruins (and more) (thanks for that link, Andrea!); at the Huffington Post, an interview with Marie Howe, the newly-named poet laureate of New York; and at the Indiana Review blog, five marks of oft-rejected poems.

Oh, okay, here’s a poem: Absence by Joe Wilkins over at Linebreak because my god I love Joe Wilkins.

Poetry roundup

September 20th, 2012

Always, Traci Brimhall:

What They Found in the Diving Bell” at Poets.org

To Poison the Lion” at Blackbird.

Through a Glass Darkly” at Slate (bonus: you can listen to her reading this one).

The Visitation” at iO.

Marney” and “Missing” at The 2River View.

Enjoy!

Poetry roundup

September 13th, 2012

The Library of Congress is providing a poem a day through the Poetry 180 program. The poems have been selected with high school students in mind, but they’re not juvenile – William Stafford is on the list, and Thomas Lux, and Nick Flynn and Natasha Trethewey. You can find the full list here and sign up to have a link to the day’s poem sent to your in box every day.

Over at Boxcar Poetry Review, Tory Adkisson is writing about “Duende.”

In IthacaLit, Ruth Bavetta’s “Black, White” went right to the core of me.

At Linebreak, Ted Meyer tells us “Where Voices Come From.” If you like good poetry, really just do yourself a favor and sign up for Linebreak’s poems via email. Beauty in your inbox once a week.

Poetry roundup

August 2nd, 2012

For your reading pleasure this weekend:

After Paradise Lost” by Alison Powell in Boston Review.

Birds There is No Moon” by Dorothea Lasky in Plume.

Months After the Mt. Cashmere Wildfire, with Meteors” by Luke Johnson in Linebreak.

Second Cat” by Rebecca McClanahan at Cave Wall.

Enjoy!