Fine Diamonds and Superb Soufflés — “Ordinary readers, literary editors, and some English professors confront an inescapable question of judgment: In principle, is it possible, faced with an overwhelming body of work in print, to cull out excellent poems in the way one can cull out fine diamonds or superb soufflés?”
— Poetry and the Problem of Standards, by Jan Schreiber
[Contemporary Poetry Review]
Leaps and Landscapes Entered by Reading —
- A Spring View — Tu Fu (transated by Witter Bynner) [About: Poetry] Added to my spring set. “After the war-fires of three months, / One message from home is worth a ton of gold.”
- Via a recommendation in a comment (-thanks-), Northern Pike — James Wright [Poets.org♠] Which I’ll remember to the fish subset of my collection of animal poems. “I would just as soon we let / The living go on living.”
- Lester’s Calling ♫ — Glenn McKee [Rattle♥] “All Lester knew as / he knelt was his love for this poor pig.” More than most ever know.
- Brought back to my desktop from this past December, In Paris With You — James Fenton [E-Verse Radio] “Doing this and that / To what and whom / Learning who you are, / Learning what I am.”
- December ♫ — Luci Shaw [The Writer’s Almanac♠] Haven’t yet had enough snow this winter, have we?
- Talking about Jesus with Little Richard — David Kirby [Poetry Daily♠] “‘Dad, which is the greater responsibility, / to promise Little Richard that you’ll stay close to Jesus / or promise Jesus that you’ll stay close to Little Richard?'” They’re not the same?
- Instructions for Vigilant Girls — Erika Meitner [Verse Daily♠] “Resist.” Yes, do so.
- Suðuroy saga ♫ — [Anonymous] (translated by Anders Andersson) [qarrtsiluni♥] “Even words cannot be privatised; / they are not private possessions.” Doesn’t stop people from trying to own them.
- Dear City, — Cindy St. John [No Tell Motel♠] “Now tell me, what is your secret?” I can keep it, I promise.
- The Very Nervous Family — Sabrina Orah Mark [Poets.org♠] “Brave milk. He throws the half pint on the floor and stomps on it. Now the milk is crushed. Now the milk is dead.” Had it coming, it did.
- Letter to Brooks: Spring Garden — Major Jackson [Poetry Foundation♠] “Then, retrieve this letter from your stack / I’ve sent by clairvoyant post & read by light, / For it brought me as much longing and delight.” If you remember it’s there.
- Bantams in Pine-Woods ♫ — Wallace Stevens [Poetry Foundation♠]
- Ultima Thule — Linda Bierds [Poetry Out Loud♠]
- Altar — Octavio Paz [3quarksdaily] Concrete.
- The Secret of Backs — Dorianne Laux [Poem of the Day] “Don’t stop. Don’t turn around.”
- Requiescat — Oscar Wilde [Everyday Poems]
- I do not love Thee ♫ — Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton [Poetry Moment] “And yet when thou art absent I am sad…” Yeah, but.
- The Four Zoas (excerpt) — William Blake [Representative Poetry Online] “The sun has left his blackness and has found a fresher morning, / And the mild moon rejoices in the clear and cloudless night”
- Kiss — Ruth Padel [Poetry Archive] “This black has everything its own sweet way.” Doesn’t it always.
- The Listeners — Walter De La Mare [Poetry In Voice] “‘Tell them I came, and no one answered, / That I kept my word,’ he said.”” No response.
- Test Pilot — Robert McDowell [PoetryNet]
- Thoughts on “Bringing up Baby” — Sky Gilbert [Canadian Poetry Online]
- New York Harbor on a Calm Day — Park Benjamin [Black Cat Poems]
- Harvest of Sorrows — Tim Murphy [Lilt]
- Hustle ♫ — John Murillo [From the Fishouse] A ghazal.
- Ozymandias — Percy Bysshe Shelley; with reading by Bill Berkson ♫ [Poets on Poets] A classic sonnet I knew by heart before the age of ten.
- The Kalevala: ◄ Rune II. Wainanmoinen’s Sowing. ► — Elias Lönnrot (translated by John Martin Crawford) [Wikisource] Leaving the birch.
- Modern Love: ◄ XIX [“No state is enviable. To the luck alone”] ► — George Meredith [Wikisource] “I bleed, but her who wounds I will not blame.”
- Sonnets from the Portuguese: ◄ XXV [“A heavy heart, Beloved, have I borne”] ► — Elizabeth Barrett Browning [Wikisource]
- In Memoriam A. H. H.: ◄ XXIX [“With such compelling cause to grieve”] ► — Alfred, Lord Tennyson [Wikisource]
- ◄ Sonnet LXI [“Is it thy will, thy image should keep open”] ► — William Shakespeare [EServer Poetry Collection] “Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken, / While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?”
- The Joy of the Drop: ◄ Ghazal 16 [“Why having given my heart should I speak”] ► — Mirza Ghalib (translated by Jim Yagmin) – “how could one without grief be a friend”
- ◄ My Heart is High Above ► — [Anonymous] [The Oxford Book of English Verse]
- ◄ To a Waterfowl ► — William Cullen Bryant [Yale Book of American Verse]
- ◄ Sidekicks ► — Ronald Koertge [Poetry 180] “Thankfully, heroes never die in movies and leave / the sidekick alone.” That only happens with lovers.
- North of Boston: ◄ The Pasture ► — Robert Frost [Wikisource] “I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.”
- From Patmos — Friedrich Holderlin (translated by Michael Hamburger) [Poem of the Week (Sarah E. Smith)]
- Sadness of a Star — Guillaume Apollinaire [Poetry 365] “I bear with me a suffering of fire”
- Sonnet: On a Picture — John Gray (b.3/2/1866) [Sonnet Central]
- False Paintbrush — Matthew Kaler [Ink Node] “I want the years since to let go / their lipless curse.”
- A Youth Mowing — D. H. Lawrence (d.3/2/1930) [Poetry Foundation♠] “Yea, though I’m sorry for thee.”
- Movement of Bodies — Henry Reed [The Poetry of Henry Reed] “Tactics is merely / The mechanical movement of bodies, and that is what we mean by it.”
- Three poems: (1) These Days; (2) Variations: III. Spring; and (3) The Maximus Poems — Charles Olson [Poets of Cambridge, USA]
- Ceremony: the Opening of the Mouth ♫ — Alex Cigale [qarrtsiluni♥] “I am born anew in the rising sun / singing the random code of combinations”
- Between the Wars — Robert Hass [Poetry Foundation♠]
- Child’s Song — Robert Lowell [Poetry Foundation♠]
- The Consent — Howard Nemerov [Poetry Foundation♠]
- The Apple Tree — Gray Jacobik [Pecan Grove Press] “A testament / tree to optimism”
- Bordello — Traci Brimhall & Brynn Saito [Anti-♥] “Once, you believed / no pleasure went unpunished, but now you know: / lust is a momentary stay against ruin.”
- The Children Are Reading — Gabriel Fried [Subtropics♥]
- After Johnny Carson’s Final Appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’ — Andrew Feld [Bat City Review♥] “I have talked my whole life as if talking were a kind of light.”
- Two poems: (1) Not Beach Nor Backseat; (2) The Woman Playing House Inside My Head — Shannon Carson [Caffeine Destiny♥]
- Alpha — John Smith [Canary♥]
- Science Fictions — Christine Herzer [Inertia Magazine♥] “I would give her what is not mine / I would accept what I am made of”
- In Lieu of an Ars Poetica — Ralph Black [The Manchester Review♥] “I gathered / a handful of tiny rocks, // walked, half awake, to the pond / behind the house.” Came back, et cetera.
- Four poems: (1) Glosa on a Haiku by Issa; (2) Glosa on a Haiku by Shirao; (3) Glosa on a Haiku by Issa; and (4) Glosa on a Haiku by Shiki — Athena Kildegaard [Mezzo Cammin♥]
- Eight short poems: (1) Junior; (2) Family Farm, Defaulted; (3) Birth Song; (4) Aware, Unaware; (5) The Last Sasquatch Defines His Loneliness; (6) Does Any Indian Go to Enough Pow Wows?; (7) Creation Story; and (8) Why I Immunize My Children — Sherman Alexie [Mudlark♥]
- Three poems: (1) White Cloud; (2) Black Face; and (3) Father — Yang Zi (translated by Ye Chun, Melissa Tuckey, and Fiona Sze-Lorrain) [The Offending Adam♥]
- Leaving Montana — Judith Waller Carroll [Umbrella♥]
- Wild Inside — Kathryn Locey [Christian Science Monitor]
- Never Mind — Dorothea Tanning [The New Yorker]
- Mother Carey’s Hen [pdf pg] — David Yezzi [Ohio University Press]
- Hips — William L. Alton [BigCityLit]
- A Servant of God without a Head V — Joseph Donahue [Verse]
- Street Scene by L.S. Lowry — Henry Graham [Ambit♥]
- Blue Cheese — Susan Adams [Great Works]
- black mountain importer — Michael Farrell [Jacket♥]
- Eucalyptus — Menna Elfyn (translated by Tony Conran) [Asheville Poetry Review♥]
- Crossing — Habib Tengour (translated by Marilyn Hacker) [Words Without Borders] “Noon is an extravagant abyss.”
- About a Fish ♫ (via post) — Ana Bozicevic [Whale Sound] “The point is, I’m learning to swim in my tears.”
- Two poems [in addition to the one previously read above]: (1) Midnight Oil; and (2) PastOral — Ana Bozicevic [So and So]
- On Learning of Our Son’s Illness ♫ — Edward Byrne [Whale Sound] “Even in such darkness, as the three of us return / home, fears of what might lie ahead never disappear.”
- Poem 389 [“There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House”] — Emily Dickinson [End of Life]
- Ice Child — John Haines (d.3/2/2011) [Poetry Out Loud♠] “Cold for so long, unable to speak, / yet your mouth seems framed / on a cry, or a stifled question.”
- And among those re-read today from the stack I read and listed a month ago here: The Prophet – The Farewell — Khalil Gibran. Echoing on, on, on, on.
- Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts — Bob Dylan [Bob Dylan] “The drillin’ in the wall kept up but no one seemed to pay it any mind”
Dr. Dam claims his dynamite pellet
Will reach any ill and will quell it:
Though much advertised,
’Tis by rivals surmised,
That his patients had better just smell it.