Dailies, 4/24/17: what have I learned? The revolution starts at home. Also, friends (esp. those who aren’t poets) & espresso



Collette Bryce: Espresso

A minuscule bird
clinging to a twig

is shredding a loop
of knotted string

Read rest of poem 


Becca Klaver – The revolution starts at home 

The revolution will be ready in, like, half an hour
The revolution is shedding like crazy
The revolution thinks it’s time to put the screens back in
The revolution wobbles at the corner

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Gary Snyder – What Have I Learned

What have I learned but
the proper use for several tools?

The moments
between hard pleasant tasks

Read rest of poem


Ali Power – My Friends

my friends
create the mood
by describing it
turning off all the lights

Read rest of poem 


Trust your own voice

“…As writers, you trust your own voice. A lot of people write and think, ‘The public will like this,’ or, ‘This will be important,’ but you are your first reader. The first person that has to be impressed with what you’re writing is you. You always have to remember that.”

-Nikki Giovanni, from an interview at The Creative Independent: Nikki Giovanni on trusting your own voice – Amy Rose Spiegel – 4/24/17. Giovanni also says in it that she’s a lot less angry than she used to be.   “I’m 73. I’m not going to spend my time being angry with some fool over something that doesn’t make sense. What I’m going to do is go on about my business.”

BLK History Month
Nikki Giovanni 
If Black History Month is not
viable then wind does not
carry the seeds and drop them
on fertile ground

Dailies 4/23/17: ironing one’s father’s shirts, getting locked out of one’s house by one’s mother, becoming independent & getting one’s own place, & dreaming of having kids of one’s own



Jo McDougall – Fairy Tale

I’m fourteen, ironing my father’s shirts.
I am his handmaiden, chosen.

Read rest of poem 


Marilyn Longstaff – Opposite Freedom Fields Park, 1961


My mother, in a fit of whimsey, locked us out.


decided we should walk, like tradesmen,

Read rest of poem



Margaret Hasse – Belongings

After being a student, then an hourly worker,
I became a career girl and earned real money.

Read rest of poem 


Joseph Seamon Cotter Jr. – A Prayer

As I lie in bed,
Flat on my back;
There passes across my ceiling
An endless panorama of things—

Read rest of poem 


American Life in Poetry: Column 630



I’m celebrating my 78th birthday by publishing one of my own poems. When an old guy like me is still writing poetry, he tends to write a lot of old-guy poems.

Look for Me

Look for me under the hood
of that old Chevrolet settled in weeds
at the end of the pasture.

I’m the radiator that spent its years
bolted in front of an engine
shoving me forward into the wind.

Whatever was in me in those days
has mostly leaked away,
but my cap’s still screwed on tight

and I know the names of all these
tattered moths and broken grasshoppers
the rest of you’ve forgotten.

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2017 by Ted Kooser, “Look for Me.” Poem reprinted by permission of Ted Kooser. Introduction copyright © 2017 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

Dailies 4/22/17 (Earth Day)- an aubade, a tornado, a fool’s song, & a prayer in spring



Andrea Cohen – Tornado 

Woman comforting an injured
dog, the caption the morning

after the tornado says, but
if you click for the bigger

Read rest of poem 


Christopher Locke – Aubade 

It was the last good thing we heard: a bus
station bird more dismal than some errant
mudsplash dried between the arches. But
its voice bathed the concrete in iight, sang

Read rest of poem 


Robert Frost – A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Read rest of poem 


William Carlos Williams – The Fool’s Song

I tried to put a bird in a cage.
O fool that I am!
For the bird was Truth.
Sing merrily, Truth: I tried to put
Truth in a cage!

Read rest of poem 

“There’s going to be a major shift in our poetry”


American Poets, Refusing to Go Gentle, Rage Against the Right – Alexandra Alter – New York Times – 4/21/17

“…Poets, scholars and publishers say the flood of protest poems after the 2016 election stands apart from earlier eras in both its quantity and intensity and its stylistic and thematic diversity. Some see the emerging body of brash political poetry as a stark departure from the more introspective, personal style that characterized so much of 20th-century American poetry.

“’There’s going to be a major shift in our poetry,’ said Alice Quinn, the executive director of the Poetry Society of America. ‘The poems that I have been reading, which are freshly minted, most of them, have a powerful sense of urgency and reckoning and responsibility.’”

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