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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Friday’

Poetry Friday: “Flying Letters”

By Rachel DacusNovember 17, 2017

I admire the way this poem speaks indirectly to the incomprehensible loss of military life through direct imagery from the natural and domestic worlds. The speaker’s civilian perspective here is captured in a swirl of motion and silence made audible: the mouths of flowers are not real mouths, and yet their blooming right in the…

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Poetry Friday: “Camp Meeting”

By Marilyn NelsonNovember 10, 2017

We’re familiar with the genre called “historical fiction.” But in “Camp Meeting: Old Saybrook, Connecticut, April 1827,” Marilyn Nelson has created what we could call “historical poetry.” She invents a narrator who attended this mammoth camp meeting with her evidently upper class girlfriends, and describes the meeting through the narrator’s eyes. The narrator is a bit…

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Poetry Friday: “Speculation: Along the Way”

By Scott CairnsNovember 3, 2017

Did you ever try finding words for the experience of prayer? Or for the sense of mysterious contact with the divine? That’s what Scott Cairns is attempting in “Speculation: Along the Way.” He tries out a metaphor of a distant thunderstorm — which might however be within. “Might” is in fact a key word in…

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Poetry Friday: “Notre Dame”

By Fleda BrownOctober 27, 2017

I love it when poems speak to each other and expand on a shared theme. The epigraph here references the well-known poem “Church Going” by Phillip Larkin. Both poems describe churches, their architecture and unique interiors. However, they also explore more universal questions about the role and relevance of organized religion. Brown doesn’t mince words.…

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Poetry Friday: “Underwhelmed”

By Jeffrey ThomsonSeptember 29, 2017

Put on your hiking books and grab your compass, magnifying glass, and shovel: this poem is taking you on an exploratory adventure. What the poem is tracking down is  the manifold concepts in the word “under.” Some of the poem’s “unders” are recognizable: like “under the splay-handed palms,“ “under the coral’s forest of horn,” “under…

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Poetry Friday: “Cellar Door”

By Marjorie StelmachSeptember 22, 2017

I love poems that stitch together memories from opposite ends of a lifetime, connecting them to our collective story in surprising ways. This poem feels dreamlike in its skill at just this kind of stitchwork. How simple Stelmach makes it look: take a phrase from poetry (commonly, arbitrarily) held as the most beautiful, and test…

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Poetry Friday: “Medieval Miniatures: Entry into Jerusalem”

By Dan MurphySeptember 15, 2017

Dan Murphy has written a series of poems inspired by medieval miniatures: those marvelously detailed paintings crammed full with colorful life. In this poem, Murphy uses the miniature of Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem to multiply images for our human need to reach for the beyond. I love the variety of these images: someone climbing a…

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Poetry Friday: “Russian Bell”

By Anya SilverSeptember 8, 2017

In this stirring poem by Anya Silver, the bell becomes a blueprint. First, the bell shape is transposed on her own body dangling freely in the “arc and blur” of a rope swing. Then, it becomes her open mouth and uvula. And, finally, we see the heart as a shattered peony (“unpeeling, pealing”) dropping petals…

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Poetry Friday: “The Psalm of Your Face”

By Nicholas SamarasSeptember 1, 2017

“Lord, let…”: this is how nearly every sentence of Nicholas Samaras’s “The Psalm of Your Face” begins. It’s our own constant plea to God: Lord, let my neighbor be healed of cancer; Lord, let my son be safe in battle. In Samaras’s poem, the pleas “Lord, let…” are first focused on God’s imagined face. But…

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Poetry Friday: “Love’s Alchemy”

By Margaret RabbAugust 25, 2017

The first thing I’m drawn in by in Margaret Rabb’s “Love’s Alchemy” is the lusciousness of the language. Alliteration and rhymes abound, and the iambic pentameter of the sonnet form holds the sounds together. Then as I re-read, I see that at the poem’s center is the wife of the 17th century poet John Donne.…

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