Thanksgiving Dailies 2017


John Berryman – Minnesota Thanksgiving

For that free Grace bringing us past great risks
& thro’ great griefs surviving to this feast
sober & still, with the children unborn and born,
among brave friends, Lord, we stand again in debt
and find ourselves in the glad position: Gratitude.

Read rest of poem 



Joy Harjo – Remember

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.

Read rest of poem 





Krystal Languell – An American Poem

I dreamed Eileen Myles told me I was dressing too sexy. She said all my tops
were transparent and I was distracting the men from their work.

Read rest of poem 



Denise Levertov – What My House Would Be Like If It Were A Person

This person would be an animal.
This animal would be large, at least as large
as a workhorse. It would chew cud, like cows,
having several stomachs.

Read rest of poem 




Lynn Melnick – Landscape with Stucco and Dandelion

20th-century libertines peer from frosted glass
because they want to learn how I triumph, so

I am going to confess this once

Read rest of poem 


Over the river and through the wood….

Lydia Maria Child – The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day

Over the river, and through the wood,
    To grandfather’s house we go;
        The horse knows the way,
        To carry the sleigh,
    Through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river, and through the wood,
    To grandfather’s house away!
        We would not stop
        For doll or top,
    For ‘t is Thanksgiving day.
Over the river, and through the wood,
    Oh, how the wind does blow!
        It stings the toes,
        And bites the nose,
    As over the ground we go.
Over the river, and through the wood,
    With a clear blue winter sky,
        The dogs do bark,
        And children hark,
    As we go jingling by.
Over the river, and through the wood,
    To have a first-rate play —
        Hear the bells ring
        Ting a ling ding,
    Hurra for Thanksgiving day!
Over the river, and through the wood —
    No matter for winds that blow;
        Or if we get
        The sleigh upset,
    Into a bank of snow.
Over the river, and through the wood,
    To see little John and Ann;
        We will kiss them all,
        And play snow-ball,
    And stay as long as we can.
Over the river, and through the wood,
    Trot fast, my dapple grey!
        Spring over the ground,
        Like a hunting hound,
    For ‘t is Thanksgiving day!
Over the river, and through the wood,
    And straight through the barn-yard gate;
        We seem to go
        Extremely slow,
    It is so hard to wait.
Over the river, and through the wood,
    Old Jowler hears our bells;
        He shakes his pow,
        With a loud bow wow,
    And thus the news he tells.
Over the river, and through the wood —
    When grandmother sees us come,
        She will say, Oh dear,
        The children are here,
    Bring a pie for every one.
Over the river, and through the wood —
    Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
        Hurra for the fun!
        Is the pudding done?
    Hurra for the pumpkin pie!
“Lydia Maria Child ranks among the most influential of nineteenth-century American women writers. She was renowned in her day as a tireless crusader for truth and justice and a champion of excluded groups in American society—especially Indians, slaves, and women. A writer who early heeded the call for an American literature with American themes, she was a pioneer in several literary genres. She wrote one of the earliest American historical novels, the first comprehensive history of American slavery, and the first comparative history of women. In addition, she edited the first American children’s magazine, compiled an early primer for the freed slaves, and published the first book designed for the elderly. Child possessed an uncanny ability for knowing exactly what the American reading public wanted and when they wanted it. She was also gifted at rendering radical ideas, such as the abolition of slavery, palatable for American readers.” -Read more at The Poetry Foundation

Thanksgiving Poetry Collections at the…

Poetry Foundation: 

“Thanksgiving is a unique holiday in the United States—a time to celebrate and acknowledge the help of family and friends, and a reminder of what a gift it is to be alive. It’s a day to overindulge in the here and now, even as we reflect on the past. In other words, it’s a great holiday for poetry. These poems show that the occasion has provided poets—from Harriet Maxwell Converse in the 19th century toElizabeth Alexander in the 21st—with plenty of food for thought. Whether you’re looking for a pre-meal toast, a way to give thanks, a scrap of American history, or a late-night conversation starter, these poems should provide ample stuffing.”


The Academy of American Poets:

Thanksgiving Poems

“A time of remembrance and gratitude, Thanksgiving brings with it a wealth of holiday traditions, foremost among them gathering with family and friends, feasting, and giving thanks for everything we have. Check out these poems for the holiday and find more poems on gratitude, home, food, and more on our poems for Thanksgiving page.”



8 Thanksgiving Poems To Help Get You In The Grateful Mood

“I’ll admit that I’ve only read the occasional poem since graduating high school, when we’d have to flip open our books and search for every little meaning behind every little stanza. More often than not, the poems that have stuck with me over the years were the ones that evoked the emotions of a season or place. And since the most grateful day of the year is my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving poems are an especially nice treat. In other words, if you’re looking to get into the thankful mood, just in time for the season of giving, allow the beauty of the written word to help you out.”

-Emily Westbrooks 

and the new book

Poems of Gratitude


“Thanksgiving is such a celebrated holiday of gratitude that it might tempt Americans into thinking they had invented gratitude itself. But as a new book of poems published by Everyman’s Library makes clear, giving thanks is a universal impulse, though one we often neglect.

“Hitting bookstores just in time for Thanksgiving, Poems of Gratitude assembles poetry from around the world and throughout the ages that’s inspired by gratitude.” 

-Danny Heitman, Christian Science Monitor

Dailies 11/22/17



Ron Domen  – The Owl in the Woodwork

  —for Charles Burchfield (1893-1967) 

I soared over darkened
fields and feasted
on mice.




Patricia Fargnoli – Winter Grace

If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table

Read rest of poem 



Mark Jarman – Psalm: 5

Lord of dimensions and the dimensionless,
Wave and particle, all and none,

Audio: Mark Jarman – Psalm: 5




 David Wojahn – Still Life: Stevens’s Wallet on a Key West Hotel Dresser

Its alligator skin, now pliant from the years
***** of summoning & concealing, of the jaw
********snapping open & shut, adding & subtracting

Read rest of poem 



Sarah Browning – Praisesong

At the coffee shop you love,
white mugs heavy on the table
between us, young baristas—
spiky haired and impatient—


Thanksgiving Eve poem

Ralph Salisbury – Passing Rez School the Day before Thanksgiving Day, Unoriginal Sin and a Redskin Pilgrim’s Retrogression

Footpath passing a school,
undiscovered by a nun
black at her blackboard’s explanation
of Vanishing Americans’ vanishing, I find myself

“The reality was too overwhelming for a sonnet” -A.E. Stallings on Europe’s refugee crises

“…As Stallings wrote in an epigram with a title almost as long as the poem itself: ‘From an autopsy report of an unknown drowning victim, Ikaria’:

Female. Nine years old. Found wearing a blouse,
And a pair of sweatpants patched with Minnie Mouse.

“Epigrams were often the form she chose to express the horror and humanity of what was happening around her. ‘I wanted them to be sharp,’ she explains. ‘Something that had distance, irony. The reality was too overwhelming for a sonnet. These are real people. The situation is bad enough that you don’t have to poetify,’ she said, stressing the last word with a little self-mockery.”

Crossing Borders: A.E. Stallings bears witness to Europe’s refugee crisis. – Cynthia Haven – Poetry – November 20, 2017

The picture above is from Haven’s blog The Book Haven at Stanford University: Poet A.E. Stallings in Athens: the children recall school bombings, massacres, and drownings at sea – 11/20/17. The caption: “A child depicts a Turkish vessel firing a water cannon to try to sink a dinghy” 



The letters of John Keats are appearing online!!!!!!!


“Romantic poet John Keats is best known for his odes, epics and sonnets. But in his short lifetime he also wrote dozens of letters to siblings and friends, which are now surfacing together online for the first time, 200 years after they were written, though an effort called the The Keats Letters Project.”

In poet John Keats’ letters, a man full of life just before he died – Alison Thoet – PBS Newshour – 11/20/17

Check out the website. The people working on this project are soooooo excited about it. Geeky good fun!


an immortal poem about beer

Poetry Diary: We need a new roof. My husband is having a hard time picking which roofer to hire. Roofer #1 is $1,000 cheaper than Roofer #2 & promises to get the whole job done in just 1 day, but Roofer #2 said that if we pick him he’ll throw a few bottles of the hard-to-find Heady Topper & Focal Banger into the deal. 

Decisions, decisions….

George Arnold – Beer


***With my beer
I sit,
While golden moments flit:

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