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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry Friday’

Poetry Friday: “Love’s Last”

By Christian WimanMarch 24, 2017

The spring equinox was on Monday. I am slowly seeing a flush of new life around me, like plum tree blossoms and nettles, while winter’s dank decay is still lamentably present. Christian Wiman’s haunting and tender poem “Love’s Last” from his collection Once in the West (originally published in Image issue 81) echoes loudly for…

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Poetry Friday: “In Tandem”

By Fred MarchantMarch 17, 2017

Here is a poem that takes aim at our clichés about aging and death. It does so with subtle cleverness, by putting “in tandem” an old spruce tree and the nursing home resident to whom the poem is addressed. Though there’s no stanza break, the poem divides into two parts, each of nine lines. The…

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Poetry Friday: “Grief Daybook: A Love Supreme”

By Carol Ann DavisMarch 10, 2017

It’s fairly common for a poem to be inspired by (or be in conversation with) a famous painting. Less often, though, do we find poems engaging with a musical work. Yet that’s just what happens in Carol Davis’s poem “Grief Daybook: A Love Supreme.” Fans of the brilliant jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane will…

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Poetry Friday: “Ghazal: Woman at the Well”

By Carolyne WrightMarch 3, 2017

I’ve always found the ghazal form intriguing. Its couplets, all discrete, are linked by  a phrase repeated in each couplet’s second line. The changes rung on this repeated phrase are where much of a ghazal’s action takes place. In “Ghazal: Woman at the Well,” Carolyne Wright takes “the woman at the well” as her repeated phrase—the…

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Poetry Friday: “The Cartographer of Disaster”

By Kathleen L. HousleyFebruary 24, 2017

Sometimes a poet will take a familiar story but re-tell it from the point of view of a minor character. That’s what Kathleen L. Housley is doing in “The Cartographer of Disaster”: she gives us the biblical story of Noah and the Flood from the viewpoint of the raven that Noah sends out after the…

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Poetry Friday: “Afternoon Swim”

By Lance LarsenFebruary 17, 2017

The play of grammar has always lured me. I’ve wondered: why do English sentences take the shape they do? So when I reached line 4 of Lance Larsen’s “Afternoon Swim”—with its bold announcement that he was switching from second person to first—I was hooked. Play with grammar is this poem’s medium. I laughed out loud…

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Poetry Friday: “Erasure”

By Robert CordingFebruary 10, 2017

Have you ever felt that your own existence is being called into question? That you might be real but in the next moment disappear? Robert Cording explores this feeling in his poem “Erasure.” At first the poem’s speaker decides that his life is “too neatly drawn” and needs some erasure, some subtleness. So he goes…

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Poetry Friday: “Bewilder”

By Katharine ColesFebruary 3, 2017

This is a poem about scale, about the awesome power of the Creator, who in turn gave humanity the power to create. And it’s about the power of a created being, and its potential to do good or evil. Here we have a whale sighting, her powerful fluke useable for constructive or destructive acts—“so many…

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Poetry Friday: “Gravity and Grace”

By Betsy ShollJanuary 27, 2017

There was a time, early in my process of conversion to Christianity, when I took Simone Weil as my spiritual guide. And a tough one she was—exactly in the ways that Betsy Sholl elaborates in this poem. The epigraph that Sholl chooses is one of Weil’s many expressions of how the self gets in our…

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Poetry Friday: “Sister Storm”

By Jeanne Murray WalkerJanuary 20, 2017

I love the drama of this poem. Its title recalls St. Francis’s “Canticle of Brother Sun,” where Francis praises God through “Sister Moon,” “Brother Fire,” “Sister Water,” and so on. Jeanne Murray Walker’s Sister Storm, however, is violent and destructive—definitely not, in the poet’s view, an element through which to praise God. The poet talks…

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