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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Friday’

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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Poetry Friday: “The Fire Tower”

By Carrie JerrellAugust 18, 2017

This summer is marked by smoke, our town covered in an urgent haze from nearby wildfires. I sympathize with the neighboring communities that are directly impacted. Homes burned, life plans changed, suddenly, and without much warning. In Carrie Jerrell’s narrative poem “The Fire Tower” we first meet a willful girl determined to make the steep,…

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Poetry Friday: “Psalm as Frustration I Can Live With”

By Nicholas SamarasAugust 11, 2017

Like the biblical psalms, Nicholas Samaras’s “Psalm as Frustration I Can Live With” speaks for the human condition. And, like many of the biblical psalms, Samaras’s psalm finds the human condition one of being thrust between opposite experiences. “I feel [God’s]presence only to lose it, / lose his presence only to feel it return.” And…

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Poetry Friday: “My Life as an Open-Air Temple”

By Sharon DolinAugust 4, 2017

In Dolin’s poem we wake up abruptly inside the walls of an ancient temple. Walls are all we have to orient ourselves here in this place, which is without roof or pillars. “I don’t know how” this transformation took place, the unnamed speaker confesses almost shyly, but suddenly she seems to have so much space…

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Poetry Friday: “Graveyard Prayer”

By Robert CordingJuly 28, 2017

In this poem, Robert Cording places himself in an unusual spot: “at the graveyard where I’ll be / buried” and even specifically sitting “on my gravesite.” The poem is a testing out of various tones toward this meeting place of the living moment and its inevitable future end. Teasingly, he calls himself “a Constable imposter”…

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