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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Poetry Friday: “Leeks”

By Richard SpilmanJanuary 18, 2019

Richard Spilman’s poem “Leeks” also sits with surprise after expectation, with renewal after a long hibernation of disappointment.

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Mary Oliver: The Gift of the Word Despair

By Allison Backous TroyJanuary 17, 2019

“Tell me of despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.” I was in college when I first encountered Mary Oliver. It was in a daily email sent out by one of my philosophy professors. I don’t remember what we had been talking about; maybe we were reading Plato, or Parker Palmer, who said once…

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Poetry Friday: “Rusted Chain”

By ImageNovember 30, 2018

Each element in Haven’s poem returns to the visual of childhood games, like hopscotch or tic-tac-toe. The image of boxes containing “Xs and Os” haunts the poem, creating a pattern that compartmentalizes our speaker’s reckoning with the past. This reckoning is “a tally where no one / should ever win.” The poem speaks to a…

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200 Posts in a Decade of Blogging: Part 1

By Peggy RosenthalOctober 22, 2018

This is my 200th post for Good Letters. There’s something about round-number occasions, isn’t there? They move us to reflection, which is what this anniversary has done for me. I’m recalling how Good Letters got started, and how our blog has developed since then. Late in 2008, several of us who’d been connected with Image…

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Poetry Friday: “Walking on Water in Venice”

By Jean JanzenOctober 19, 2018

Anyone who’s visited a city far from daily familiars—surrounded by new language, customs, landscapes, and cuisine—knows how the senses seem on high alert, including our acknowledgment that we inhabit a physical body attempting to maneuver all of the above with grace and even confidence. Here, Jean Janzen’s speaker revisits a romanticized location known for its…

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Poetry Friday: “Lord, Sky”

By Betsy ShollOctober 12, 2018

The compelling narrative of “Lord, Sky,” set during the time of an election, is also sheer poetry. The writer repeats diction (“light,” “sky,” “moon,” “grin”) and layers language (“heaven,” “rainbow,” “stars,” “night,” “midnight”) to invite us “little trees of heaven / stuck in concrete” to pay heed to the world above and around us, to…

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On Writing Odes: Taking Time to Celebrate

By Tania RunyanOctober 8, 2018

Amidst the constant stream of bad news these days, we would do well to make more time for acknowledging the good things in life. The ode is just that: “a formal, often ceremonious lyric poem that addresses and often celebrates a person, place, thing, or idea,” according to The Poetry Foundation. Unlike other poetic forms…

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Poetry Friday: “The Burned Butterfly”

By Anya SilverOctober 5, 2018

My oldest daughter’s was gifted a butterfly garden for her 3rd birthday. We watched the six larvae plump up. Then each formed a chrysalis and after a few weeks all emerged as beautiful, painted lady butterflies. We fed them watermelon and pineapple and when the day came for release, I wasn’t sure my daughter would…

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A Conversation with Alicia Ostriker: Part 2

By ImageOctober 2, 2018

“When I write a poem, I am crawling into the dark. Or else I am an aperture. Something needs to be put into language, and it chooses me,” says critic, activist, and biblical scholar Alicia Ostriker, whose poetry appears in Image’s recently released issue #98. We asked Ostriker, winner of the Jewish National Book Award…

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A Conversation with Alicia Ostriker: Part 1

By ImageOctober 1, 2018

Image issue #98 includes poems by critic, activist, and biblical scholar Alicia Ostriker, winner of the Jewish National Book Award and many others. She has said, “Composing an essay, a review or a piece of literary criticism, I know more or less what I am doing and what I want to say. When I write…

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