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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Friday’

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: “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: “The Fawn”

By David MasonJune 30, 2017

Narrative poetry has its special challenge: how does it differentiate itself from prose? David Mason’s story of his family’s relation to a dying fawn does this in several ways. First there’s the iambic pentameter beat carrying us along. Then wordplay, beginning with the opening line: “The vigil and the vigilance of love.” There’s the internal…

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Poetry Friday: “Japanese Wall Hanging”

By Moira LinehanJune 23, 2017

I find myself reading this poem both literally and as a metaphor for our lives. On the literal level, Moira Linehan focuses with intensely loving detail on the Japanese brush painter. The first four lines list with tender concern all the things that might go wrong in the painting process. The next five lines move…

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Poetry Friday: “Prayer”

By Sharon CumberlandJune 16, 2017

I used to collect poems that are prayers, so Sharon Cumberland’s “Prayer” immediately leapt out at me from the pages if Image. Leapt out—but then instantly grabbed me uncomfortably in the opening line: “Ignore, O Mystery, this thing You made.” The speaker’s plea to God is not for connection but for separation. Why? Because, as…

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Poetry Friday: “June Prayer”

By Robert CordingJune 2, 2017

How to pray for someone bent over by grief when nature is stretching upward in the June sunshine? This is the question posed by Robert Cording’s “June Prayer.” We learn in the course of the poem that the young son of a woman “I love” has died months ago, and that she asks the poet…

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Poetry Friday: “The Key”

By Alice FrimanMay 26, 2017

I love this poem for its exuberance. The fat bee, “big as a blackberry,” bumping heavily against the pane. The impossibility of an acorn’s power. The very idea of “infant waterfalls.” Each vivid, particular thing of beauty from the natural world that Friman presents to us bears itself simply and humbly—yet appears remarkable when dressed…

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Poetry Friday: “The Spirit of Promise”

By Daniel DonaghyMay 19, 2017

Memories can make good material for poetry. In “The Spirit of Promise,” Daniel Donaghy is remembering his Catholic childhood in the particular church that he’s now re-visiting. At first the poet’s memories are negative: “my grade-school nuns shaking // their heads at me”; the priest “putting down his Chesterfield / to tell me how many…

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Poetry Friday: “Rain”

By Tara BrayMay 12, 2017

The emotional landscape of motherhood can often be hard to describe and is underrepresented in genres such as poetry. As a poet and mother of a two-year old with a new baby on the way, I appreciated “Rain” by Tara Bray and found it very instructive on several levels. In this candid poem, a “family…

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Poetry Friday: “The Aging Maria”

By Judith Ortiz CoferMay 5, 2017

The prose poem is a challenging genre. After all, what distinguishes “plain prose” from “prose poetry”? Here, in Judith Ortiz Cofer’s “The Aging Maria,” I’d say it’s, first, the liberty with sentence structure. Take the opening sentence: in a prose work we’d say it’s too long, stretches in too many directions. But here, each phrase…

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