Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual
by Pamela Spiro Wagner, from here
First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.
Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.
To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.
Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.
Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.
When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota
and don't even notice,
close this manual.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
August in Paris
by Billy Collins, from Ballistics, 2008
I have stopped here on the rue des Ecoles
just off the boulevard St-Germain
to look over the shoulder of a man
in a flannel shirt and a straw hat
who has set up an easel and a canvas chair
on the sidewalk in order to paint from a droll angle
a side-view of the Church of Saint Thomas Aquinas
But where are you, reader,
who have not paused in your walk
to look over my shoulder
to see what I am jotting in this notebook?
Alone in this city,
I some times wonder what you look like,
if you are wearing a flannel shirt
or a wraparound blue skirt held together by a pin.
But every time I turn around
you have fled through a crease in the air
to a quiet room where the shutters are closed
against the heat of the afternoon,
where there is only the sound of your breathing
and every so often, the turning of a page.