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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Friday’

Poetry Friday: “Sabbath”

By Dan BellmJanuary 12, 2018

Sabbath as beloved bride and queen: familiar tropes in Jewish liturgy and thought. Now, thanks to Dan Bellm’s “Sabbath,” a subtle poem of loss and longing, a promise and a vow, we have another metaphor: Sabbath as mother. The Sabbath, a fixed period of time, stands outside of time. Jews are commanded to keep and…

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Poetry Friday: “Meditation on Soteriology”

By Karen An-Hwei LeeDecember 15, 2017

Karen An-Hwei Lee lays out her poem “Meditation on Soteriology” so that it looks at first like prose. But you don’t have to read far before you see the wild conjunction of images as poetry. “Paradises of flora and flame,” for instance, takes us aback, since we’d expect to read “flora and fauna.” Similarly with…

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Poetry Friday: “Self Portrait as a Lighthouse”

By Elizabeth SpiresDecember 8, 2017

Thomas Merton wrote, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” I feel like this sentiment is especially potent when the literary and visual arts intermingle. Elizabeth Spires employs aspects of ekphrastic poetry as well as persona poetry in order to both lose and find herself in this imaginative poem. Inspired,…

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Poetry Friday: “Scale”

By Chelsea WagenaarDecember 1, 2017

As I read and re-read this poem, I enjoy noticing exactly when I’ve realized that it’s about the speaker’s pregnancy. If I know that “linea nigra” in the second verse is the dark line that appears on a pregnant belly from belly button downwards, then I’ve already caught on. If I don’t know this, I…

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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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