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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Singing Silence in A Far Country Near

By Peggy RosenthalApril 10, 2018

“Without the traffic, silence / itself would sound red birdsong…” As I’m reading these lines in the poem “Seeing in Silence” in Murray Bodo’s latest volume, A Far Country Near: Poems New and Selected, I pause and ponder. How can silence “sound”? I could get literal and say that without traffic’s noise we can hear…

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Poetry Friday: “To Begin With”

By Kathleen A. WakefieldApril 6, 2018

Wakefield’s poem presents the metaphor of a peach as the speaker’s body: “I’ll let the sun singe the peach, / my flesh, luxurious, ruined.” The image of the body as a soft fruit blurs the boundaries between human and nature, planting identity within context. In this way, “To Begin With” reminds me of Mark Strand’s…

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Poetry at the Goodwill

By Vic SizemoreApril 5, 2018

When I was a soccer-obsessed fifteen-year-old, I had no use for poetry. I endured my school hours like a crated dog, waiting to get out on the field. One afternoon in the library, I picked up a random book of English verse and flipped through it. Eventually I landed on a song from Charles Kingsley’s…

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Villanelles on Planes

By Tania RunyanApril 4, 2018

I took several short flights this month, the kind in which going through security takes longer than the flight itself and you wonder if you should have just driven. But what you can’t do behind the wheel, if you want to get to your destination intact, is write poetry. I challenged myself to write a…

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Poetry Friday: “Being the Song”

By Jeff GundyMarch 23, 2018

If you write poetry, odds are you don’t expect your work to achieve acclaim like that of a Robert Frost or a Mary Oliver. You consider yourself most fortunate if, now and then, you find a publisher and an audience who connect with your sensibility. There are moments, many of them, when you question why…

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I Will Sing Your Praise

By Richard ChessMarch 14, 2018

For a few years in the late 1990s, early 2000s, I brought a book of poetry with me whenever I went to synagogue for Shabbat morning services. After I was settled into my pew, I’d discreetly slip the book out of my tallis (prayer shawl) bag, tuck the thin volume of poetry inside the thick…

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The Spirituality of Sestinas

By Tania RunyanMarch 1, 2018

Several months ago, I found myself struggling with my hair—namely, snapping off my split ends in an obsessive manner, calling back to my teenage battles with trichotillomania. On some days, a half hour would pass before I realized I’d been zoning out and picking at my hair at the expense of folding laundry, writing, or…

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A Conversation with Marilyn Nelson: Part 2

By Jeanne Murray WalkerFebruary 20, 2018

Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of twelve books and three chapbooks. Her honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, an A.C.L.S. Contemplative Practices Fellowship, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, three honorary doctorates, and the Commander’s Award for Public Service from the…

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A Conversation with Marilyn Nelson: Part 1

By Jeanne Murray WalkerFebruary 19, 2018

The daughter of a Tuskegee Airman and a teacher, Marilyn Nelson was brought up primarily on military bases and started writing while still in elementary school. She earned her BA from the University of California, Davis, and holds postgraduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (MA, 1970) and the University of Minnesota (PhD, 1979). Her long…

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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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