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Posts Tagged: last poem i loved

The Last Poem I Loved: “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

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After I finished reading “Wild Geese,” all I could think of was: So what! So what that I am an undocumented person living in hiding, so what that I was turned into a “criminal” when I was a child, so what that this is yet another country creating laws to “guard” Themselves against US, so what that we are a productive problem–productive for many, a problem for some–so what that I hurt some times, I am not the only one.

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The Last Poem I Loved: “Oh Karma, Dharma, pudding and pie” by Philip Appleman

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Of all of the people I know who own a smartphone (a majority, anymore), most of them get up in the morning and immediately reach for said smartphone from their cozy nest in bed. The first thing they do is check Facebook and/or Twitter, or they check the news and post links to news stories on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Last Poem I Loved: “Sleeping Lioness” by Larry Levis

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As a fiction writer, and as a reader, I gravitate toward stories from the perspective of a specific, imperfect and alert, outward-and-inward-looking consciousness, a transparent eyeball with legs and, at least occasionally, uncomfortable shoes. The danger of a story centered around the drama of attention and understanding—of a character trying to see and not only act but also understand the world—is the ever present pull toward (even temptation of) a resolving moment of insight, an epiphany, that may not be necessary, earned, correctly scaled.

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The Last Poem I Loved: “The Bells” by Adam Zagajewski

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My maternal grandparents emigrated from Poland in 1924 after experiencing the horrors of World War I. They arrived here with pockets full of hopes and dreams and little else. I never met them; they died before I was born. I know them only through Mother’s stories and the handful of cherished items left her: three Catholic prayer books, written in Polish; a thread supposedly from the robe of the Black Madonna, a Polish saint; and a crucifix for last rites crafted in Germany.

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The Last Poem I Loved: “Reaching Around For You” by D.A. Powell

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April is over. We can’t stop these things from happening, no. We’re slipping out of spring into summer, out of busy semesters and National Poetry Month. We’re slipping outside our houses, and offices, and coffeeshops after the seemingly innumerable gray days, and I’m glad to slip into the last poem I loved, “Reaching Around For You,” where D.A.

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The Last Poem I Loved: “Poem at the New Year” by John Ashbery

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To truly commit a poem to memory is to commit your life to that poem. Out of all the many verses I’ve memorized over the last year, no other has so fully enveloped my days than John Ashbery’s “Poem at the New Year.” So much so that its evocative and elegiac images mark all my mythologies, memories, lies, fantasies, evasions, romances.

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The Last Poem I Loved: “The Crowds Cheered as Gloom Galloped Away” by Matthea Harvey

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Matthea Harvey’s “The Crowds Cheered As Gloom Galloped Away” resides in her second full-length collection, the wonderfully-titled Sad Little Breathing Machine. It is a poem about ponies, sadness, and the inversion of cognitive behavioral therapy. It is a poem about pills, the surprising delicateness of rodents’ palates, and the psychological benefits of a day at the races.

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The Last Poem I Loved: “South America” by Tom Raworth

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Can words become a part of you?
I found Tom Raworth’s “South America” published in Keith Tuma’s Anthology of Twentieth-Century British & Irish Poetry (Oxford, 2001) and have always looked back.

Listen to Raworth read it. It asks us to hunt much of the big game that is compelling and maddening in poetry: complex, searching narratives that are too ambitious to go down easily; the ephemeralness of writing; a treacherous landscape of ineffability; the overvaluing of consumption at the expense of making; self-deceit; and the constant, derailing necessity to use media to regulate mood.

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The Last Poem I Loved: “Lessons from a Mirror” by Thylias Moss

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At Redbones. Hosiery Seams on a Bowlegged Woman. Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler. Pyramid of Bone. Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky. Small Congregations. Tokyo Butter. The titles alone are provocative enough to evoke curiosity about her poems. Each of these volumes sits on my poetry bookcase side by side because they are all by the same poet—Thylias Moss.

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