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Poem of the Day: Poetic Subjects

The sky. And the sky above that. The exchange of ice between mouths. Other people's

My friend says we never write abut anything we can get to the bottom of. For him, this
is a place arbored with locust trees. For me, it's a language for which I haven't quite
found the language yet.

The dewy smell of a new-cut pear. Bacon chowder flecked with thyme. Roasted duck
skin ashine with plum jam. Scorpion peppers.

Clothes on a line. A smell of rain battering the rosemary bush. The Book Cliffs. Most
forms of banditry. Weathered barns. Dr. Peebles. The Woman's Tonic, it says on the
side, in old white paint.

The clink of someone putting away dishes in another room.

The mechanical bull at the cowboy bar in West Salt Lake. The girls ride it wearing just
bikinis and cowboy hats. I lean over to my friend and say, I would worry about
catching something
. And he leans back to say, That's really the thing you'd worry
? We knock the bottom of our bottles together.

How they talk in old movies, like, Now listen here. Just because you can swing a bat
doesn't mean you can play ball
. Or, I'll be your hot cross if you'll be my bun. Well,
anyway, you know what I mean.

Somewhere between the sayable and the unsayable, poetry runs. Antidote to the river
of forgetting.

Like a rosary hung from a certain rearview mirror. Like the infinite rasp of gravel
under the wheel of a departing car. 

Gerard Manley Hopkins's last words were I'm so happy, I'm so happy. Oscar Wilde
took one look at the crackling wallpaper in his Paris flat, then at his friends gathered
around and said, One or the other of us has got to go. Wittgenstein said simply, Tell all
my friends, I've had a wonderful life

Rebecca Lindenberg, “Poetic Subjects” from The Logan Notebooks. Copyright © 2014 by Rebecca Lindenberg.  Reprinted by permission of Center for Literary Publishing.

Source: The Logan Notebooks(Center for Literary Publishing, 2014)

Rebecca Lindenberg

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Poem of the Day: Catch-All
Mother Dear, never apologize for nettles
I yanked in fury
from Lottie Shoop’s side yard — 

they stung me into seeing
fairy mosses lilypad
her middened juniper,

the quivering gobble of her chin,
teacup clicking dentures as she sprang
up into her wattle hut
and broke a rib

of aloe vera — 
gel belling the top of that claw goblet.

It didn’t cool the sting, and yet, noticing
sunshine thumbing plums in a string
catch-all — 

I was already well.

Source: Poetry April 2017

Danielle Chapman

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Poem of the Day: Advice from La Llorona

Each grief has its unique side.
Choose the one that appeals to you.
Go gently.
Your body needs energy to repair the amputation.
Humor phantom pain.

Your brain cells are soaked with salt;
connections fail unexpectedly and often.
Ask for help.
Accept help.

Read your grief like the daily newspaper:
headlines may have information you need.
Scream. Drop-kick the garbage can across the street.

Don’t feel guilty if you have a good time.
Don’t act as if you haven’t been hit by a Mack Truck.
Do things a little differently
but don’t make a lot of changes.
Revel in contradiction.

Talk to the person who died.
Give her a piece of your mind.

Try to touch someone at least once a day.
Approach grief with determination.
Pretend the finish line doesn’t keep receding.
Lean into the pain.
You can’t outrun it.

Deborah A. Miranda, “Advice from La Llorona” from The Zen of La Llorona. Copyright © 2005 by Deborah A. Miranda. Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.

Source: The Zen of La Llorona(Salt Publishing, 2005)

Deborah A. Miranda

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Poem of the Day: In the Novel
He described her mouth as full of ashes.
So when he kissed her finally
he was thinking about ashes

and the blacker rim just below
the edge of the ashtray,
and the faint dark rim that outlined her lips,

and the lips themselves, at the limit
of another darkness, farther
and far more interior.

Then the way the red,
paling, just outside those lines
caught fire and the pages caught

soon after that. Slowly at first,
but then all at once
at the scalloped brown corners of each;

like the ruff of an offended and darkening bird,
extended, then folded
in on itself; multiple,

stiffening, gone.

Susan Stewart, “In the Novel” from The Hive. Copyright © 1987 by Susan Stewart. Reprinted with the permission of The University of Georgia Press.

Source: The Hive(University of Georgia Press, 1987)

Susan Stewart

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Poem of the Day: Advertisement
I’m a tranquilizer.
I’m effective at home.
I work in the office.
I can take exams
on the witness stand.
I mend broken cups with care.
All you have to do is take me,
let me melt beneath your tongue,
just gulp me
with a glass of water.

I know how to handle misfortune,
how to take bad news.
I can minimize injustice,
lighten up God’s absence,
or pick the widow’s veil that suits your face.
What are you waiting for—
have faith in my chemical compassion.

You’re still a young man/woman.
It’s not too late to learn how to unwind.
Who said
you have to take it on the chin?

Let me have your abyss.
I’ll cushion it with sleep.
You’ll thank me for giving you
four paws to fall on.

Sell me your soul.
There are no other takers.

There is no other devil anymore.

Wislawa Szymborska, "Advertisement" from Poems New and Selected. Copyright © 1998 by Wislawa Szymborska.  Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Source: Poems New and Collected(Harcourt Inc., 1998)

Wisława Szymborska

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Poem of the Day: Inventory for Spring
Feeling rich for one moment for using money as a bookmark
Feeling deceitful for making public some opinions while neglecting others
Feeling disordered at the sight of three statues conspiring in a row
Feeling insufficient for having a lukewarm reaction to news
Feeling important for having been offered a seat at the table
Feeling apologetic for nonetheless tuning out an argument
Feeling blue for identifying some people who don’t respect you
Feeling like a knife slipping into a pool of water for bearing 
Feeling redundant for moving in a similar direction as others
Feeling angry for imagining the opening of the passage yet 
unopened for you
Feeling antisocial for declining further missives from home

Source: Poetry February 2017

Wendy Xu

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Poem of the Day: Abandoned Farmhouse
He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm—a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

Ted Kooser, "Abandoned Farmhouse" from Sure Signs: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1980 by Ted Kooser.  Reprinted by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: Sure Signs: New and Selected Poems(Zoland Books, 1980)

Ted Kooser

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Poem of the Day: The Cloud
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of Heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine aëry nest,
As still as a brooding dove.

That orbèd maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till calm the rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone,
And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
Is the million-coloured bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.

Poem of the Day: Waiting for a Ride
Standing at the baggage passing time:
Austin Texas airport—my ride hasn’t come yet.
My former wife is making websites from her home,
one son’s seldom seen,
the other one and his wife have a boy and girl of their own.
My wife and stepdaughter are spending weekdays in town
so she can get to high school.
My mother ninety-six still lives alone and she’s in town too,
always gets her sanity back just barely in time.
My former former wife has become a unique poet;
most of my work,
such as it is             is done.
Full moon was October second this year,
I ate a mooncake, slept out on the deck
white light beaming through the black boughs of the pine
owl hoots and rattling antlers,
Castor and Pollux rising strong
—it’s good to know that the Pole Star drifts!
that even our present night sky slips away,
not that I’ll see it.
Or maybe I will, much later,
some far time walking the spirit path in the sky,
that long walk of spirits—where you fall right back into the
“narrow painful passageway of the Bardo”
squeeze your little skull
and there you are again

waiting for your ride

(October 5, 2001)

Gary Snyder, “Waiting for a Ride” from Danger on Peaks. Copyright © 2004 by Gary Snyder. Reprinted with the permission of Counterpoint Press.

Source: Danger on Peaks(Shoemaker Hoard, 2004)

Gary Snyder

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Poem of the Day: All You Do Is Perceive
I was given a city, with coffee and sunlight. “The coin-purse smell of the subway,” I wrote. In the mornings policemen would stand, lightstruck and pleasured, over trays of danish. Mornings I wrote and workmen raised up their nets. Hallelujah the brick, the debris! I was given a city. The city got between me and God.
I was given a house. The curtains breathed over wide sills. There was a leaf in the middle of the floor, I loved the crispness of the leaf. I loved the privacy of sills. The sills sailed, I fell into the sills. The sills got between me and God.
I was given a mud hut. The walls curved to meet the ceiling like a tongue curves to make a word.
I was given God, with salt and sweet together. I was given a piece of meat. I loved the flesh. I was given bread only. I was given only water. I loved the coolness of the water. The water got between me and the feast.
I had an empty plate and there was the color of it. I cannot even describe the color of it.
I was given a cell with a window. There was a certain light at evening.
I was given nothing but the air, and the air dazzled.
Joy Katz, "All You Do Is Perceive" from All You Do Is Perceive.  Copyright © 2013 by Joy Katz.  Reprinted by permission of Four Way Books, www.fourwaybooks.com.

Source: All You Do Is Perceive(Four Way Books, 2013)

Joy Katz

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Poem of the Day: Rain at the Zoo
A giraffe presented its head to me, tilting it   
sideways, reaching out its long gray tongue.   
I gave it my wheat cracker while small drops   
of rain pounded us both.  Lightning cracked open   
the sky.  Zebras zipped across the field.   
It was springtime in Michigan.  I watched   
the giraffe shuffle itself backwards, toward   
the herd, its bone- and rust-colored fur beading   
with water.  The entire mix of animals stood   
away from the trees.  A lone emu shook   
its round body hard and squawked.  It ran   
along the fence line, jerking open its wings.   
Perhaps it was trying to shake away the burden   
of water or indulging an urge to fly.  I can’t know.   
I have no idea what about their lives these animals   
love or abhor.  They are captured or born here for us,   
and we come.  It’s true.  This is my favorite field.

Poem copyright © Kristen Tracy, whose most recent teen novel is Crimes of the Sarahs, Simon & Schuster, 2008. Poem reprinted from AGNI online, 9/2007, by permission of Kristen Tracy.

Kristen Tracy

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Poem of the Day: May
The backyard apple tree gets sad so soon,
takes on a used-up, feather-duster look
within a week.

The ivy’s spring reconnaissance campaign
sends red feelers out and up and down
to find the sun.

Ivy from last summer clogs the pool,
brewing a loamy, wormy, tea-leaf mulch
soft to the touch

and rank with interface of rut and rot.
The month after the month they say is cruel
is and is not.

Jonathan Galassi, “May” from North Street and Other Poems (New York: HarperCollins, 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Jonathan Galassi. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: North Street and Other Poems(HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2000)

Jonathan Galassi

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Poem of the Day: What I Learned From My Mother
I learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins
and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.
I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know
the deceased, to press the moist hands
of the living, to look in their eyes and offer
sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.
I learned that whatever we say means nothing,
what anyone will remember is that we came.
I learned to believe I had the power to ease
awful pains materially like an angel.
Like a doctor, I learned to create
from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once
you know how to do this, you can never refuse.
To every house you enter, you must offer
healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,
the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.

Reprinted from Sleeping Preacher, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992, by permission of the publisher. First printed in West Branch, Vol. 30, 1992. Copyright © 1992 by Julia Kasdorf.

Source: Sleeping Preacher(University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992)

Julia Kasdorf

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Poem of the Day: Stung
She couldn't help but sting my finger,
clinging a moment before I flung her
to the ground. Her gold is true, not the trick
evening light plays on my roses.
She curls into herself, stinger twitching,
gilt wings folded. Her whole life just a few weeks,
and my pain subsided in a moment.
In the cold, she hardly had her wits to buzz.
No warning from either of us:
she sleeping in the richness of those petals,
then the hand, my hand, cupping the bloom
in devastating force, crushing the petals for the scent.
And she mortally threatened, wholly unaware
that I do this daily, alone with the gold last light,
in what seems to me an act of love.

Poem copyright ©2016 by Heid Erdrich, “Stung,” from If Bees Are Few: A Hive of Bee Poems (Univ. of Minnesota Pr., James P. Lenfesty, Ed., 2016). Poem reprinted by permission of Heid Erdrich and the publisher.

Heid E. Erdrich

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Poem of the Day: Spring
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         

What is all this juice and all this joy?         
   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,         
   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,         
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,         
   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.         

Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose(Penguin Classics, 1985)

Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Poem of the Day: Tula [“Books are...
Books are door-shaped
carrying me
across oceans
and centuries,
helping me feel
less alone.

But my mother believes
that girls who read too much
are unladylike
and ugly,
so my father's books are locked
in a clear glass cabinet. I gaze
at enticing covers
and mysterious titles,
but I am rarely permitted
to touch
the enchantment
of words.

All are forbidden.
Girls are not supposed to think,
but as soon as my eager mind
begins to race, free thoughts
rush in
to replace
the trapped ones.

I imagine distant times
and faraway places.
Ancient warriors.
Fantasy moves into
the tangled maze
of lonely confusion.

Secretly, I open
an invisible book in my mind,
and I step
through its magical door-shape
into a universe
of dangerous villains
and breathtaking heroes.

Many of the heroes are men
and boys, but some are girls
so tall
and clever
that they rescue other children
from monsters.

Margarita Engle, "Tula [”Books are door-shaped”]" from The Lightning Dreamer.  Copyright © 2013 by Margarita Engle.  Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Source: The Lightning Dreamer(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013)

Margarita Engle

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Poem of the Day: Portrait of the Horse
Sometimes the horse is simply a horse.
               Sometimes the horse is a stalwart
               bearer of bodies.
                              Sometimes the horse is stubborn,
                              refusing to ford the river,
or the horse is a mistake
               in the vapor, what looks like a horse
                              emerging out of a thrust
                              of fog on Telegraph Avenue.
There’s the perpetual feeling of being
               overdressed for summer
               and underdressed for spring.
                              I’m variously sweat or shudder.
I mistake the strange bodies
for those I owe apologies to,
               oversleep and open my eyes on
               the clock radio, the time a typo,
                              the apartment a disaster.
Sometimes the horse is a disaster
or the horse is time in a trot or a canter.
               Sometimes the horse is a boy
               growing in time into a man
                              who often laments,
                              A horse, a horse, my kingdom, etc.
But there is no horse.
               There are two days good and one day bad
                              without any hint of a horse.
Sometimes speaking about the horse
is a means of avoiding speaking
               about myself which is lousy.
                              Late last night myself
                              regarding another carelessly.
Late last night my body
with a temporary body.
               The horse is the taut metaphor for sex,
                              but sometimes the horse is the taut silence after.
Sometimes the horse is the silence
after her body rises
               in the embarrassment of morning
               and leaves,
                              and this silence is filled
                              with less than remorse
but with more than indifference.
               This is a feeling there is no word for.
                              What I decided in place of what I needed.
I should eat better.
               I should vacuum more often.

                              I should settle down
                              and raise a young horse.

Sometimes the horse is unspoken,

               the horse is this feeling
               that will be forgotten,

                              is the self unable to alter its ineffable horse.

Late last night, a pervasive clopping
of the horse on the hill.

               Late last night, the horse as a foghorn
               over the Bay.

                              I should be rained on.
                              I should not be forgiven.

Jaswinder  Bolina, "Portrait of the Horse" from Phantom Camera.  Copyright © 2013 by Jaswinder  Bolina.  Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press.

Source: Phantom Camera(New Issues Press, 2013)

Jaswinder Bolina

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Poem of the Day: An American Sunrise
We were running out of breath, as we ran out to meet ourselves. We
were surfacing the edge of our ancestors’ fights, and ready to strike.
It was difficult to lose days in the Indian bar if you were straight.
Easy if you played pool and drank to remember to forget. We
made plans to be professional — and did. And some of us could sing
so we drummed a fire-lit pathway up to those starry stars. Sin
was invented by the Christians, as was the Devil, we sang. We
were the heathens, but needed to be saved from them — thin
chance. We knew we were all related in this story, a little gin
will clarify the dark and make us all feel like dancing. We
had something to do with the origins of blues and jazz
I argued with a Pueblo as I filled the jukebox with dimes in June,
forty years later and we still want justice. We are still America. We
know the rumors of our demise. We spit them out. They die

Source: Poetry February 2017

Joy Harjo

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Poem of the Day: Of Modern Books
Of making many books there is no end,
   Though myriads have to deep oblivion gone;
Each day new manuscripts are being penned,
   And still the ceaseless tide of ink flows on.

Though myriads have to deep oblivion gone,
   New volumes daily issue from the press;
And still the ceaseless tide of ink flows on—
   The prospect is disheartening, I confess.

New volumes daily issue from the press;
   My pile of unread books I view aghast.
The prospect is disheartening, I confess;
   Why will these modern authors write so fast?

My pile of unread books I view aghast—
   Of course I must keep fairly up to date—
Why will these modern authors write so fast?
   They seem to get ahead of me of late.

Of course I must keep fairly up to date;
   The books of special merit I must read;
They seem to get ahead of me of late,
   Although I skim them very fast indeed.

The books of special merit I must read;
   And then the magazines come round again;
Although I skim them very fast indeed,
   I can’t get through with more than eight or ten.

And then the magazines come round again!
   How can we stem this tide of printer’s ink?
I can’t get through with more than eight or ten—
   It is appalling when I stop to think.

How can we stem this tide of printer’s ink?
   Of making many books there is no end.
It is appalling when I stop to think
   Each day new manuscripts are being penned!

Source: She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century(University of Iowa Press, 1997)

Carolyn Wells

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Poem of the Day: For a Student Sleeping in a...
I've watched his eyelids sag, spring open
   Vaguely and gradually go sliding
      Shut again, fly up
With a kind of drunken surprise, then wobble
   Peacefully together to send him
      Home from one school early. Soon his lashes
Flutter in REM sleep. I suppose he's dreaming
   What all of us kings and poets and peasants
      Have dreamed: of not making the grade,
Of draining the inexhaustible horn cup
   Of the cerebral cortex where ganglions
      Are ganging up on us with more connections
Than atoms in heaven, but coming up once more
   Empty. I see a clear stillness
      Settle over his face, a calming of the surface
Of water when the wind dies. Somewhere
   Down there, he's taking another course
      Whose resonance (let's hope) resembles
The muttered thunder, the gutter bowling, the lightning
   Of minor minions of Thor, the groans and gurgling
      Of feral lovers and preliterate Mowglis, the songs
Of shamans whistled through bird bones. A worried neighbor
   Gives him the elbow, and he shudders
      Awake, recollects himself, brings back
His hands from aboriginal outposts,
   Takes in new light, reorganizes his shoes,
      Stands up in them at the buzzer, barely recalls
His books and notebooks, meets my eyes
   And wonders what to say and whether to say it,
      Then keeps it to himself as today's lesson.

Source: Poetry October 2002

David Wagoner

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Poem of the Day: Learning from History
They said, my saints, my slogan-sayers sang,
Be good, my child, in spite of all alarm.

They stood, my fathers, tall in a row and said,
Be good, be brave, you shall not come to harm.

I heard them in my sleep and muttering dream,
And murmuring cried, How shall I wake to this?

They said, my poets, singers of my song,
We cannot tell, since all we tell you is

But history, we speak but of the dead.
And of the dead they said such history

(Their beards were blazing with the truth of it)
As made of much of me a mystery.

David Ferry, “Learning from History” from Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999). Copyright © 1999 by David Ferry. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations(The University of Chicago Press, 1999)

David Ferry

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Poem of the Day: And

Tense and tenuous
grow from the same root

as does tender
in its several guises:

the sour grass flower;
the yellow moth.


I would not confuse
the bogus
with the spurious.

The bogus
is a sore thumb

while the spurious
pours forth

as fish and circuses.

Source: Poetry May 2012

Rae Armantrout

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Poem of the Day: AAA Vacation Guide
Paris in the Spring, Autumn in New York,
Singers pair a city with a season
As though it belonged to it all year long.
They should try to put a few more to work:
Trenton in winter needs a good reason;
Scranton in summer seems so very wrong.
How about Cincinnati in the spring?
Autumn in Passaic, or in Oakland?
Some cities just lack glamour and appeal,
And there is no point arguing the thing.
No one reads through stacks of brochures to spend
A honeymoon in Allentown. Let’s get real.
Most places on the map, you must believe,
No one wants to visit, only to leave.

Ernest Hilbert, “AAA Vacation Guide” from Sixty Sonnets. Copyright © 2009 by Ernest Hilbert. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.

Source: Sixty Sonnets(Red Hen Press, 2009)

Ernest Hilbert

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Poem of the Day: The Cherry Trees
The cherry trees bend over and are shedding
On the old road where all that passed are dead,
Their petals, strewing the grass as for a wedding
This early May morn when there is none to wed.

Poem of the Day: In a landscape of having to...
In a landscape of having to repeat.
Noticing that she does, that he does and so on.
The underlying cause is as absent as rain.
Yet one remembers rain even in its absence and an attendant quiet.   
If illusion descends or the very word you’ve been looking for.
He remembers looking at the photograph,
green and gray squares, undefined.
How perfectly ordinary someone says looking at the same thing or   
I’d like to get to the bottom of that one.
When it is raining it is raining for all time and then it isn’t
and when she looked at him, as he remembers it, the landscape moved closer   
than ever and she did and now he can hardly remember what it was like.

Martha Ronk, “In a landscape of having to repeat” from In a Landscape of Having to Repeat. Copyright © 2004 by Martha Ronk. Reprinted with the permission of Omnidawn.

Source: In a Landscape of Having to Repeat(Omnidawn Publishing, 2004)

Martha Ronk

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