Poet Laureate Ninian: April 2006 - September 2006

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Poet Laureate Ninian: April 2006 - September 2006

Post by ninian » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:45 am

Laureate Ninian - April 1 - September 30 2006: Archive

During the six months I have been Poet Laureate of the Poetry Pages, I have attempted, each week, to draw attention to some aspect of poetry. I have featured published poets and Poetry Pages poets alike, attempting to share with you poetry that you may not have read before, though I did include some rather well known favourites.

I did some searching for articles that talked about the craft of writing and stressed the importance of reading for improving your craft. I hope that by leaving this in an archive you can continue to enjoy these wonderful poems and may be tempted to seek out more work by these poets.


Table of Contents

Poetry Pages Featured Poets

April 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... lyburnt</a>
May 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... AlluraD</a>
June 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... eltinaé</a>
July 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... e">Several Poems by PPages poets</a>
David Bradsher
Eternum 1

August 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ">debab</a>
September 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... >jaysie</a>

About the Craft of Writing

<a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ng">What's on your bookshelf?</a>
<a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ps">Poetry Writing Tips</a>
<a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... lish">Four Ways to Publish Your Poetry</a>

Featured Poets

April 9, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ce">Robert W. Service</a>
April 17, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ds">Sharon Olds</a>
April 26, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... e">Bronwen Wallace</a>
May 7, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ee">Dennis Lee</a>
May 15, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ier">Lorna Crozier</a>
May 21, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... e">Patrick Lane</a>
May 30, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... on">Andrew Motion</a>
June 12, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... shel">Shel Silverstein</a>
June 19, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ">Assorted Poems</a>
Julia M. Spicher
Gail White
Linda Pastan
Brad Roberts
Fred Cogswell
Yvonne Trainer
Gary Geddes
Michael Ondaajte

August 14, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... >Catherine Hunter</a>
August 21, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ey">Seamus Heaney</a>
August 28, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... ugh">Roger McGough</a>
September 3, 2006 - <a href="http://www.poetrypages.com/phpBB2/viewt ... 3101">Lord Alfred Tennyson</a>
Last edited by ninian on Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:01 am, edited 31 times in total.

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beautifullyburnt - featured poet for april 2006

Post by ninian » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:52 am

<a name="beautifullyburnt"><center>beautifullyburnt</a>

featured poet for the month of april 2006

beautifullyburnt is one of our teen poets, but the maturity of her writing belies her tender age. Her work can be found in the following forums: Teen Spirit, Poetry from the Dark Side, General, Funny Business, Love and Romance, In Tribute, and even Prose, Stories, Roleplays and Epic Poems. she is a versatile writer with a wonderful ear for the right word. I hope that her pen is never stilled; one can only imagine how strong her writing will become with age and experience.

Please click the links to visit the original topics and leave a response for beautifullyburnt. Alternatively, click here and see all of her work.

A few featured poems:


by beautifullyburnt

Stepping out into the light
Again after so long.
The years spent deep in the dark
Mellowed your passion.

Your touch is cold now,
So much fainter.
The background noise of the world,
Swallows your spark.

As leaves fall from the trees,
Your eyes close.
The harsh winter wind swirls
In, and breaks your heart.

The mist creeps into my
Vision, I lose you.
The moonless night
Stole your breath.

Original Post


by beautifullyburnt

Hated, despised.
Lost, Alone.
Gone. Here.

Do you see?
Do you know?
Do you understand?

I breathe in your
I absorb your

I am what you make me.
I am yours to command.
I am thing, nothing.

I taste bitter,
That in my mouth.
Your being surrounds me,
I scream to get out.

Loved. Wanted.
Found. Together.
Present. There.

Original Post

Children of the Holocaust

by beautifullyburnt

Could you look at their faces?
Could you look into their eyes?
Could you understand their fear?
Could you sympathise with their pain?

I watch you twist your hands,
I watch you shuffle your feet,
I watch as a bead of sweat,
Leaves a stream on your skin.

You cannot stay impartial,
You cannot say you care,
You cannot sentence them,
You cannot see them again.

You beg and plead for mercy,
You hear a phoenix song,
Your children look up to you,
Their friends now lost.

You took away thier childhood,
You took away their hope.
But what you will not do,
Is feel what you cannot.

You take one by the hand,
And lead him down the steps,
His cold and frail body,
Follows, tossed upon a breeze.

As you lock the door,
The boy stands there alone,
You rob his lungs of Oxygen,
He crinkles to the floor.

All the others join him,
You have to look no more,
Just keep looking straight ahead,
Don't think about it now.

I'ts sixty years since you killed them,
Sixty years they've been gone.
But in sixty years your life has flown,
Your soul in two is torn.

Original Post


by beautifullyburnt

Day ends,
Music dies,
Lights dim,
Eyes shine.

People leave,
Food stales,
Hearts break,
lips pale.

Cars start
Night begins,
Cold descends,
Tears Fall.

Bed's warm
Dark's long,
Shadows hide,
Hands pray.

No answer,
Left alone,
Pillow's soft,
You shine.

Heart beats,
Tears cease,
Lips smile,
You're here.

Embrace me,
Take me,
Away with,

Original Post

Please visit these and beautifullyburnt's other wonderful poetry!

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Robert W. Service - The People's Poet

Post by ninian » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:54 am

<a name="service">Robert W. Service - The People's Poet</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://todayinliterature.com/assets/pho ... 90x274.jpg" alt="Robert W. Service" width="190" height="274">Robert William Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England to Scottish parents. He spent his childhood in Scotland and attended the University of Glasgow. His career took him throughout the world, working jobs that varied from cook to clerk to correspondent. In 1894 he emigrated to Canada to work for the Canadian Bank of Commerce. For eight years he was stationed in the Yukon. While he was there he published Songs of a Sourdough the book of poetry that made him famous.

During World War I he was an ambulance driver and a correspondent station in France where he settled after the war. He married a French girl and returned to Canada during World War II. He wrote two autobiographical books, six novels and more than forty-five collections of verse containing over 1,000 poems.

After World War II he returned to France for the remainder of his life. The following obituary appeared in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph of Sept. 16, 1958:
A GREAT POET died last week in Lancieux, France, at the age of 84.

He was not a poet's poet. Fancy-Dan dilettantes will dispute the description "great." He was a people's poet. To the people he was great. They understood him, and knew that any verse carrying the by-line of Robert W. Service would be a lilting thing, clear, clean and power-packed, beating out a story with a dramatic intensity that made the nerves tingle. And he was no poor, garret-type poet, either. His stuff made money hand over fist. One piece alone, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, rolled up half a million dollars for him. He lived it up well and also gave a great deal to help others.

"The only society I like," he once said, "is that which is rough and tough - and the tougher the better. That's where you get down to bedrock and meet human people." He found that kind of society in the Yukon gold rush, and he immortalized it.

Selected Poetry of Robert W. Service

<a name="mcgee">The Cremation of Sam McGee</a>

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ‘round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursed cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ‘taint being dead--it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows—O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May.”
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked;” then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

-Robert W. Service

<a name="mcgrew">The Shooting of Dan McGrew</a>

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.
When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and glare,
There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
There was none could place the stranger's face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

There's men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;
And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;
With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,
As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he'd do,
And I turned my head--and there watching him was the lady that's known as Lou.

His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,
Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wandering gaze.
The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool,
So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.
In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway,
Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands--my God! but that man could play.

Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
A helf-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
While high overhead, green, yellow, and red, the North Lights swept in bars?--
Then you've a hunch what the music meant...hunger and might and the stars.

And hunger not of the belly kind, that's banished with bacon and beans,
But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means;
For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above;
But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowded with a woman's love--
A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true--
(God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge,--the lady that's known as Lou.)

Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;
But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;
That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil's lie;
That your guts were gone, and the best for you was to crawl away and die.
'Twas the crowning cry of a heart's despair, and it thrilled you through and through--
"I guess I'll make it a spread misere," said Dangerous Dan McGrew.

The music almost dies away...then it burst like a pent-up flood;
And it seemed to say, "Repay, repay," and my eyes were blind with blood.
The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash,
And the lust awoke to kill, to kill...then the music stopped with a crash,
And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way;

In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
Then his lips went in in a kind of grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm,
And "Boys," says he, "you don't know me, and none of you care a damn;
But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I'll bet my poke they're true,
That one of you is a hound of hell...and that one is Dan McGrew."

Then I ducked my head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;
And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark.
Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,
While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the lady that's known as Lou.

These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know.
They say that the stranger was crazed with "hooch," and I'm not denying it's so.
I'm not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two--
The woman that kissed him and--pinched his poke--was the lady known as Lou.

- Robert W. Service

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Sharon Olds

Post by ninian » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:56 am

<a name="olds">Sharon Olds</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.english.uiuc.edu/MAPS/poets/ ... s/olds.jpg" alt="Sharon Olds" width="200" height="265"> by Jacque Kahn

Sharon Olds was born in 1942 in San Francisco. She was, in her own words, raised as a "hellfire Calvinist." After graduating from Stanford she moved east to earn a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. Olds describes the completion of her doctorate as a transitional moment in her life: standing on the steps of the library at Columbia University, she vowed to become a poet, even if it meant giving up everything she had learned. In one respect, Olds’s imaginary sacrifice of her graduate education was an essential precondition for her artistic development. As a graduate student Olds had struggled to emulate the poets she studied. The vow she made--to write her own poetry, no matter how bad it might be--freed her to develop her own voice.

Olds has published eight volumes of poetry. Her first collection, Satan Says (1980), received the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award. Satan Says responds to what Olds describes as some of her early poetic questions: "Is there anything that shouldn’t or can’t be written about in a poem? What has never been written about in a poem?" Startling readers with candid language and explicit imagery, Satan Says trangresses socially imposed silences. The poems explore intensely personal themes with unflinching physicality, enacting what Alicia Ostriker describes as an "erotics of family love and pain."(28).

Olds’ second volume, The Dead and the Living, won the 1983 Lamont Poetry Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The collection opens with "public" poems that examine a series of historical photographs. The "private" poems that follow are family portraits of grandparents, parents, and children. The Dead and the Living merges historical themes with privates lives, as one critic points out, "to chart a new attitude toward history" and "suggest a fundamental similarity and continuity between our public stories and our private ones." (Phelan 16).

Following The Dead and the Living, Olds published The Gold Cell, (1987) The Father, (1992), The Wellspring, (1996) and Blood, Tin, Straw (1999). The Father, a series of poems about a daughter’s loss of her father to cancer, was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and was a finalist for The National Book Critics’ Circle Award. As in her earlier works, Sharon Olds continues to witness pain, love, desire, and grief with relentless courage. In the words of Michael Ondaatje, her poems are "pure fire in the hands."

Olds’s work is anthologized in over 100 collections, ranging from literary/poetry textbooks to special collections. Her poetry has been translated into seven languages for international publications.

Sharon Olds teaches poetry workshops in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and helps run the N.Y.U. workshop program at Goldwater Hospital in New York. She is the New York State Poet Laureate for 1998-2000.

<center>Works Cited</center>

Ostriker, Alicia. "American Poetry, Now Shaped by Women." New York Times Book Review 9 March 1986:27-28+.

Phelan, Peggy. "Intimations of Mortality." The Women’s Review of Books February 1984: 16-17.


by Thomas F. Dillingham

As a poet, Olds' work bas been lavishly praised and fiercely condemned:

To her admirers, Olds is a poet of direct physicality and painful honesty, depicting aspects of family life and of personal relationships that have rarely been described in such intimate or graphic terms. The same qualities prompt her detractors, most famously the critic Helen Vendler, to describe her work as self- indulgent, sensationalist, and even pornographic. There seems to be little middle ground in the matter. Like other confessional poets, such as W. D. Snodgrass or Anne Sexton, Olds explores the pain of living in dysfunctional families as well as the sensuous pleasures of marital sexual bliss. Her language is explicit and, as she admits herself, may be embarrassing to some readers. In The Wellspring (1995), she describes an outdoors act of oral lovemaking, evoking precisely the sights and sensations of exploring her husband's genitals and finally arriving at "another world / I had thought I would have to die to reach." This poem, like many others, forces the question raised by confessional poets—to what extent is the "I" of the poem identical with the poet, and therefore bow much of the narrated experience and evoked feeling must be considered autobiographical. But Olds insists on the beauty as well as the humor of her references to intimate body parts and activities—she celebrates the sensuous and cherishes the physical, even the parts usually left unmentioned, unrepresented. That this might offend some readers is not her concern; in revealing the repressed, she moves to heal the sick and soothe the injured. It seems likely that some, at least, of the "offence" is because of Olds' gender: many male poets have celebrated their sexuality and their fascination with women's bodies in explicit terms with little resulting condemnation; that a woman would not only treat men's bodies as sexual objects, but would also comment on her children's eroticism and explore the erotic bonds between a mother and her children—and even a daughter's with her father—still has, apparently, greater shock value.

In addition to displaying what is concealed, Olds seems to offer dreadful experiences explored in depth as cathartic. Her book length sequence, The Father (1992), is devoted entirely to her memories of growing up with a hapless, hurtful alcoholic father and her struggle to reconcile those memories with the impulse to forgive and love the dying man. Her disgust with his life comes through as she encounters a man who is his double: "the pitted, swelled, fruit-sucker / skin cheeks lips of the alcoholic." Her descriptions of his cancerous decline and her relief when he is gone are brutally honest, both about her hatred of his past and her mixed feelings about the love he expresses for her on his deathbed and her own for him: "a while after he died, / I suddenly thought, with amazement, he will always / love me now, and I laughed—he was dead, dead!" While the experience for the reader can be harrowing, the emotional impact probably does achieve the release through recognition that Olds seeks in her work. Olds has learned, since the calculated shocks of her first book, Satan Says (1980), to orchestrate her themes, as she does successfully in her two most recent books, finding variations on themes that serve to conceal to some extent the recapitulations.

Readers have observed an almost cinematic quality to the organization of each of Olds' books; she shifts both time and space as though editing footage from the past and from the present moment, sometimes offering almost painful close-ups, other times long shots that seem to encompass the whole history of humanity. While these tactics provide variety and surprise in her books, some have observed a sameness in them that prompts concern; a poet who is locked in the matter of body and family, whose only connections to the larger world are metaphorical, may soon find the limits of variation. The emotional power and psychological depth of Olds' poetic output are impressive, but the need for new perspectives and techniques is increasingly apparent.

from Encylopedia of American Literature. Steven R. Serafin, General Editor. Copyright © 1999 by the Continuum Publishing Company.


Coming in off the dock after writing,
I approached the house,
and saw your long grandee face
in the light of a lamp with a parchment shade
the colour of flame.

An elegant hand on your beard. Your tapered
eyes found me on the lawn. You looked
as the lord looks down from a narrow window
and you are descended from lords. Calmly, with no
hint of shyness you examined me,
the wife who runs out on the dock to write
as soon as one child is in bed,
leaving the other to you.

Your long
mouth, flexible as an archer's bow,
did not curve. We spent a long moment
in the truth of our situation, the poems
heavy as poached game hanging from my hands.

© Sharon Olds

I Go Back to May 1937

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks with the
wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips black in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don't do it--she's the wrong woman,
he's the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty blank face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome blind face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don't do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips like chips of flint as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

© Sharon Olds

High School Senior

For seventeen years, her breath in the house
at night, puff, puff, like summer
cumulus above her bed,
and her scalp smelling of apricots
--this being who had formed within me,
squatted like a bright tree-frog in the dark,
like an eohippus she had come out of history
slowly, through me, into the daylight,
I had the daily sight of her,
like food or air she was there, like a mother.
I say "college," but I feel as if I cannot tell
the difference between her leaving for college
and our parting forever--I try to see
this house without her, without her pure
depth of feeling, without her creek-brown
hair, her daedal hands with their tapered
fingers, her pupils dark as the mourning cloak's
wing, but I can't. Seventeen years
ago, in this room, she moved inside me,
I looked at the river, I could not imagine
my life with her. I gazed across the street,
and saw, in the icy winter sun,
a column of steam rush up away from the earth.
There are creatures whose children float away
at birth, and those who throat-feed their young
for weeks and never see them again. My daughter
is free and she is in me--no, my love
of her is in me, moving in my heart,
changing chambers, like something poured
from hand to hand, to be weighed and then reweighed.

© Sharon Olds

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Bronwen Wallace

Post by ninian » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:58 am

<a name="wallace">Bronwen Wallace</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.rlnimages.com/bwallace1b.jpg" alt="Bronwen Wallace" width="140" height="180">

Brownwen Wallace was born in 1945 in Kingston, Ontario. She earned both her BA and her MA at Queen’s University in the 1960s. Upon graduation, she moved to Windsor, where she founded a women’s bookstore, and worked with women’s groups. Returning to Kingston in the late 1970s, Wallace continued her volunteer work with women’s groups, and began to teach courses in both women’s studies and creative writing.

Her first collection of poetry, Marrying into the Family, was published in 1980, and was printed and bound together with Mary di Michele’s Bread and Chocolate. She published three more collections of poetry over the next seven years: Signs of the Former Tenant (1983), Common Magic (1985), and The Stubborn Particulars of Grace (1987). A collection of her short stories, People You’d Trust Your Life To, was published posthumously in 1990.

Wallace died of cancer in 1989. Since this time, the Bronwen Wallace Award has been established, awarded each year to a young poet or short fiction writer who is not yet published, and who is under the age of 35.

Her collections are a testimony to her social activism, involving her commitment to women's rights, civil rights, and social policy. A primary focus of Wallace's work centered on violence against women and children.

Wallace's poetry mines the reality of ordinary lives, telling their stories, reaching down into the inner dimensions of these lives, exposing their hopes, their loneliness, their despair. She received a number of awards including the Pat Lowther Award and Du Maurier Award for Poetry.

The Woman In This Poem

The woman in this poem
lives in the suburbs
with her husband and two children
each day she waits for the mail and
once a week receives
a letter from her lover
who lives in another city
writes of roses warm patches
of sunlight on his bed
Come to me he pleads
I need you and the woman
reaches for the phone
to dial the airport
she will leave this afternoon
her suitcase packed
with a few light clothes

But as she is dialling
the woman in this poem
remembers the pot-roast
and the fact that it is Thursday
she thinks of how her husband’s face
will look when he reads her note
his body curling sadly toward
the empty side of the bed

She stops dialing and begins
to chop onions for the pot-roast
but behind her back the phone
shapes itself insistently
the number for airline reservations
chants in her head
in an hour her children will be
home from school and after that
her husband will arrive
to kiss the back of her neck
while she thickens the gravy
and she knows that
all through dinner
her mouth will laugh and chatter
while she walks with her lover
on a beach somewhere

She puts the onions in the pot
and turns toward the phone
but even as she reaches
she is thinking of
her daughter’s piano lessons
her son’s dental appointment

Her arms fall to her side
and as she stands there
in the middle of her spotless kitchen
we can see her growing
old like this
and wish for something anything
to happen we could have her go
made perhaps and lock herself
in the closet crouch there
for days her dresses withering
around her like cast-off skins
or maybe she could take
to cruising the streets at night
in her husband’s car
picking up teenage boys
and fucking them in the back seat
we can even imagine
finding her body
dumped in a ditch somewhere
on the edge of town

The woman in this poem offends us
with her useless phone and the persistent
smell of onions we regard her as we do
the poorly calculated overdose
who lies in a bed somewhere
not knowing how her life drips
through her drop by measured drop
we want to think of death
as something sudden
stroke or the leap
that carries us over the railing
of the bridge in one determined arc
the pistol aimed precisely
at the right part of the brain
we want to hate this woman

but mostly we hate knowing
that for us too it is
moments like this
our thoughts stiff fingers
tear at again and again
when we stop in the middle
of an ordinary day and
like the woman in this poem
begin to feel
our own deaths
rising slow within us

© Bronwen Wallace

Thinking With The Heart
For Mary di Michele

“I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.” – Diane Arbus

“The problem with you women is, you think with your hearts.” – Policeman

How else to say it
except that the body is a limit
I must learn to love,
that thought is no different from flesh
or the blue pulse that rivers my hands.
How else, except to permit myself
this heart and its seasons,
like the cycles of the moon
which never seem to get me anywhere
but back again, not out.

Thought should be linear.
That’s what the policeman means
when I bring the woman to him,
what he has to offer for her bruises, the cut
over her eye: charge him or we can’t help you.
He’s seen it all before anyway. He knows
how the law changes, depending on what you think.
It used to be a man could beat his wife
if he had to; now, sometimes he can’t
but she has to charge him
and nine times out of ten
these women who come in here
ready to get the bastard
will be back in a week or so
wanting to drop the whole thing
because they’re back together,
which just means a lot of paperwork
and running around for nothing.
It drives him crazy, how a woman
can't make up her mind and stick to it,
get the guy out once and for all.
‘Charge him,’ he says, ‘or we won’t help.’

Out of her bed then, her house, her life,
but not her head, no, nor her children,
out from under her skin.
Not out of her heart, which goes on
in its slow, dark way, wanting
whatever it is hearts want
when they think like this;
a change in his, probably,
a way to hold what the heart can’t
without breaking: how the man who beats her
is also the man she loves.

I wish I could show you
what a man’s anger makes
of a woman’s face,
or measure the days it takes
for her to emerge from a map of bruises
the colour of death. I wish there were words
that went deeper than pain or terror
for the place that woman’s eyes can take you
when all you can hear
is the sound the heart makes
with what it knows of itself
and its web of blood.

But right now, the policeman’s waiting
for the woman to decide.
That’s how he thinks of it; choice
or how you can always get what you want
if you want it badly enough.
Everything else he ignores,
like the grip of his own heart’s red
persistent warning that he too is fragile.
He thinks he thinks with his brain
as if it were safe up there
in its helmet of bone
away from all that messy business
of his stomach or his lungs.
And when he thinks like that
he loses himself forever.

But perhaps you think I’m being hard on him,
he's only doing his job after all,
only trying to help.
Or perhaps I’m making too much of the heart,
pear-shaped and muscular, a pump really,
when what you want is an explanation or a reason.
But how else can I say it?
Whatever it is you need
is what you must let go of now
to enter your own body
just as you’d enter the room where the woman sat
after it was all over,
hugging her knees to her chest,
holding herself as she’d hold her husband
or their children, for dear life,
feeling the arm’s limit, bone and muscle,
like the heart’s.
Whatever you hear then
crying through your own four rooms,
what you must name for yourself
before you can love anything at all.

© Bronwen Wallace

A Simple Poem for Virginia Woolf

This started out as a simple poem
for Virginia Woolf you know the kind
we women writers write these days
in our own rooms
on our own time
a salute a gesture of friendship
a psychological debt
paid off
I wanted it simple
and perfect round
hard as an
egg I thought
only once I’d said egg
I thought of the smell
of bacon grease and dirty frying-pans
and whether there were enough for breakfast
I couldn’t help it
I wanted the poem to be carefree and easy
like children playing in the snow
I didn’t mean to mention
the price of snowsuits or
how even on the most expensive ones
the zippers always snag
just when you’re late for work
and trying to get the children
off to school on time
a straightforward poem
for Virginia Woolf that’s all
I wanted really
not something tangled in
domestic life the way
Jane Austen’s novels tangled
with her knitting her embroidery
whatever it was she hid them under
I didn’t mean to go into all that
didn’t intend to get confessional
and tell you how
every time I read a good poem
by a woman writer I’m always peeking
behind it trying to see
if she’s still married
or has a lover at least
wanted to know what she did
with her kids while she wrote it
or whether she had any
and if she didn’t if she’d chosen
not to or if she did did she
choose and why I didn’t mean
to bother with that
and I certainly wasn’t going
to tell you about the time
my best friend was sick in intensive care
and I went down to see her
but they wouldn’t let me in
because I wasn’t her husband
or her father her mother
I wasn’t family
I was just her friend
and the friendship of women
wasn’t mentioned
in hospital policy
or how I went out and kicked
a dent in the fender of my car
and sat there crying because
if she died I wouldn’t be able
to tell her how much I loved her
(though she didn’t and we laugh
about it now) but that’s what got me
started I suppose wanting to write
a gesture of friendship
for a woman for a woman writer
for Virginia Woolf
and thinking I could do it
easily separating the words
from the lives they come from
that’s what a good poem should do
after all and I wasn’t going to make excuses
for being a woman blaming years of silence
for leaving us
so much to say

This started out as a simple poem
for Virginia Woolf
it wasn’t going to mention history
or choices or women’s lives
the complexities of women’s friendships
or the countless gritty details
of an ordinary woman’s life
that never appear in poems at all
yet even as I write these words
those ordinary details intervene
between the poem I meant to write
and this one where the delicate faces
of my children faces of friends
of women I have never even seen
glow on the blank pages
and deeper than any silence
press around me
waiting their turn

© Bronwen Wallace

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:55 pm

<a name="allurad"><center>AlluraD

featured poet for the month of may 2006

This month I'd like to direct your attention to one of the quieter poets to grace these pages. AlluraD slips in silently and leaves poetic gems for us to find in many categories. She has a strong contemporary voice which she robes richly in classic stylings. In her own words:
AlluraD wrote: To me, while the technical aspects of a poem matter, the reaching out, the touching of the reader's soul is a deeper and more accurate gauge of a poem's power, and for me the measure of my love for a piece.
And touch one's soul, she does.

Please click the links to visit the original topics and leave a response for AlluraD. Alternatively, click here and see all of her posted work.

A few featured poems:

Temple in the Heat

by AlluraD

The meadow grasses beckoned,
adorned with raucous flowers,
a tranquil spot inviting us to stay.
So arm in arm we reckoned
to wile away the hours
and down upon the fragrant blanket lay.

Our dreams aligned together
just like shoulder, hip and thighs,
communion's holy urging in the light.
We'd stay this way forever,
as the wind through morning sighs-
how breathlessly we drank in every sight.

These passing hours remaining
in our hearts as daylight slips
the bonds that bind the lark's song to the day.
Night's grandeur entertaining
as again you find my lips;
the morning's petals strewn in disarray.

Original Post

Orchard Dreams

by AlluraD

Fall descends
on frosted morning
fields of corn,
rough between their fallen ranks.

at their edges,
goldenrod and purple,
lush growth
rusted through.

September steals the show
from summers verdant green.

Dancing breath
before me swirls-
held and blown,
like five years old,
into the orchard,
Eden’s rival.

Beneath whose trees,
find I, this joy?
Morning cool
gives way as rising heat
kisses apple- swollen branches
with slanting light.

Bees here too,
sipping nectar,
scattered drops
beneath these ancient trees.

Eyes closed,
I breathe deep
this drunken mix of
heat and cool
sweet and rank,
spent days and horded nights.

Bittersweetly tucked away.
Treasure to admire
When winter's blanket falls.

Original Post


by AlluraD

Sip the sweet
Juice of life,
Of love.

Spilled from eyes
Simmering with promise,
With surprise.

Just Breathe.

Tongue trails
Traced over lips,
Ripe expectancy.


Lick my thoughts,
Tart and tame,
Ice and flame.

Pooled desire.


In me.

Original Post

I Remember Adam

by AlluraD

Adam's day, today repeated,
Tow-head boy now grown to man.
One I walked beneath the willows,
Soothed and stroked when tears began.

Showed him how the spring buds blossomed,
Whispered him the songs of life,
Shared the wind's voice swiftly sweeping,
Wished to be his uncle's wife.

Rocked him in a pine strung hammock,
Singing soft, his fears to free.
At nineteen, his baby wonder,
Tangled tight with dreams in me.

Every year I still revisit
How he brushed my motherhood,
Reaching deep with tiny hands
As only baby innocence could.

By divorce no longer mine,
One to whom I don't exist.
Erased, yes made invisible
But I remember this.

Original Post

Miranda's End

by AlluraD

Awash in light, spilled from a summer moon
Miranda combs her unbound, silver hair.
The night-sweet scent of phlox steals through the room
and though she guides each stroke is unaware

that copper lights have faded from each tress,
her movement slowed, no longer any rush
to scent the throat or don her finest dress,
her fragile mind still thinks he holds the brush.

Her gaze beyond the curtains, as they fly
like sails that billow on a distant sea,
falls soft on days remembered, glorified,
her walk in dreams the sweetest agony.

All angles sharp with age, translucent skin,
a weakness permeates that youth denied.
The losing of her love the greatest sin
when one outlasts what time has crucified.

How silently the heart turns on its heel
away from trembling hands toward its bliss,
to breath-caught breast, to how it used to feel
when parted lips received his fevered kiss.

On wind-swept beaches, fresh within her heart,
they spend each falling hour hand in hand
believing they will never be apart
or feel the loss that life and death demand.

A smile lights her eyes, softens her face,
a turning now, away from all time harms.
She lies down on her bed in his embrace,
eternally to sleep within his arms.

Original Post

Please visit these and AlluraD's other wonderful poetry!

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Last edited by ninian on Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:57 pm

<a name="lee">Dennis Lee</a>

Photo credit: Susan Perly
<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/lee/poet1.jpg" alt="Dennis Lee"> Canadian poet Dennis Lee was born on August 31, 1939 in Toronto. He is the critically acclaimed author of many books of poetry for both adults and children. Some of his best-known titles are Alligator Pie, Jelly Belly, Bubblegum Delicious, The Ice Cream Store, and Garbage Delight.

He was named the first Poet Laureate of Toronto (2001-2004). Lee created the Cultural Legacy Program as his legacy project. The program weaves the names of Toronto's artists and thinkers into the fabric of the city by naming streets, squares, parks and other public places after well-known figures.

The Cultural Legacy Program will continue to be implemented over the coming years and will identify revered individuals associated with Toronto in appropriate venues. Lee will be assisted by The Friends of the Poet Laureate, a volunteer committee whose members share Lee's enthusiasm for the literary arts.

In his book Alligator Pie Lee explained the journey that caused him to be writing children's verse. Please take a moment to read it here:

Hockey Sticks and High-Rise: A Postlude

When I started reading nursery rhymes to my children, I quickly developed a twitch. All we seemed to read about were jolly millers, little pigs, and queens. The details of Mother Goose – the wassails and Dobbins and pipers and pence – had become exotic; children loved them, but they were no longer home ground.

Not that this was a bad thing. But I started to wonder: shouldn’t a child also discover the imagination playing on things she lived with every day? not abolishing Mother Goose, but letting her take up residence among hockey sticks and high-rise too? I began experimenting.

I started with nursery rhymes. Later I made up poems for older children too; they’re in the second half of this book, and in Nicholas Knock and other people. But I think I learned the most from the nursery rhymes.

One thing I discovered is that the words should never be sacred. A rhyme is meant to be used, and that means changing it again and again. For children’s verse passes around in weird and wonderful versions, and the changes always make sense – to the tongue and the ear, if not necessarily to the mind. If your child inadvertently rewrites some of these poems, please take his version more seriously than mine.

By the same token, you should feel free to relocate the place-poems as drastically as you want. Put in the streets and places you know best; the rhyme and the metre may get jostled a bit, but so what?

I also discovered that nursery rhymes can’t be approached at an adult’s reading rate. They unfold much more slowly. In fact, they need to be brought to life almost as tiny plays, preferably with much pulling of faces and bouncing of rear-ends on knees. One of these four-line poems may take a couple of minutes to complete, especially if you drop in new words and verses.

I had never realized how soon a child can take part in “doing poems”. A two-year-old will join in, if you pause at the rhyme-word and let him complete it. Usually it will be the familiar rhyme, but if you’re making up new verses you’ll be surprised what he thinks of. Try starting a verse “Alligator juice”, or “Willoughby wallaby wunk”.

I hope the main thing I learned is invisible. There is a class of poem whose only virtue is that it Contains a Worthy Sentiment, or Deals With the Child’s Real World. Adults sometimes tolerate these wretched exercises, thinking they must be Literature. Young children, I can report, don’t.

For I did commit a few of these pious versicles – highly Relevant poems about hockey players, developers, one about the CPR. They were awful, of course; wherever a poem comes from, it’s not from good intentions. The undisguised boredom of my listeners persuaded me to pitch them out. And eventually I realized that the hockey sticks and high-rise would find their own way into the poem, without orders from me. My only job was to stop twisting their arms. Which is when it really got to be fun.

- Dennis Lee 1974

Enjoy his poetry. It may, at first, sound like he is just being silly, however, there is a skill to writing this sort of thing and having children enjoy it. And enjoy it they most certainly do!


From: Alligator Pie. Toronto: Macmillan, 1974.
© Dennis Lee

Alligator Pie

Alligator pie, alligator pie,
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna die.
Give away the green grass, give away the sky,
But don't give away my alligator pie.

Alligator stew, alligator stew,
If I don't get some I don't know what I'll do.
Give away my furry hat, give away my shoe,
But don't give away my alligator stew.

Alligator soup, alligator soup,
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna droop.
Give away my hockey stick, give away my hoop,
But don't give away my alligator soup.

Wiggle to the Laundromat

Wiggle to the laundromat,
Waggle to the sea;
Skip to Casa Loma
And you can’t catch me!

Singa Songa

Singa songa sea
I’ve got you by the knee.

Singa songa sand
I’ve got you by the hand.

Singa songa snail
I’ve got you by the tail.

Singa songa seat
And it’s time to eat!

Bouncing Song

Hambone, jawbone, mulligatawny stew,
Pork chop, lamb chop, cold homebrew.
Licorice sticks and Popsicles, ice cream pie;
Strawberry, chocolate, vanilla!!!

Street Song

Hippity hop,
Step on a crack
Or you can’t come back.

Skippity one,
Skippity two,
Wait for the mailman
And kick off your shoe.

Mumbo, Jumbo

Mumbo Jumbo
Christopher Colombo
I’m sitting on the sidewalk
Chewing bubble gumbo.

I think I’ll catch a WHALE…
I think I’ll catch a snail…
I think I’ll sit around awhile
Twiddling my thumbo.

Willoughby Wallaby Woo

Willoughby, wallaby, woo.
I don’t know what to do.

Willoughby, wallaby, wee.
An elephant sat on me.

Willoughby, wallaby, wash.
I’m feeling kind of squash.

Willoughby, wallaby, woo.
And I don’t know what to do

Lying on Things

After it snows
I go and lie on things.

I lie on my back
And make snow-angel wings.

I lie on my front
And powder-puff my nose.

I always lie on things
Right after it snows.

Rattlesnake Skipping Song

Mississauga rattlesnakes
Eat brown bread.
Mississauga rattlesnakes
Fall down dead.
If you catch a caterpillar
Feed him apple juice;
But if you catch a rattlesnake
Turn him loose!

Bed Song

Yonge Street, Bloor Street,
Queen Street, King:
Catch an itchy monkey
With a piece of string.

Eaton’s and Simpson’s,
And Honest Ed’s:
Give him his pyjama pants
And throw him into beds!

In Kamloops

In Kamloops
I’ll eat your boots.

In the Gatineaus
I’ll eat your toes.

In Napanee
I’ll eat your knee.

In Winnipeg
I’ll eat your leg.

In Charlottetown
I’ll eat your gown.

In Crysler’s Farm
I’ll eat your arm.

In Aklavik
I’ll eat your neck.

In Red Deer
I’ll eat your ear.

In Trois Rivières
I’ll eat your hair.

In Kitimat
I’ll eat your hat.

And I’ll eat your nose
And I’ll eat your toes
In Medicine Hat and
Moose Jaw.

Billy Batter

Billy Batter,
What’s the matter?
How come you’re so sad?

I lost my cat
In the laundromat,
And a dragon ran off with my dad,
My dad –
A dragon ran off with my dad!

Billy Batter,
What’s the matter?
How come you’re so glum?

I ripped my jeans
On the coke machine,
And a monster ran off with my mum,
My mum –
A monster ran off with my mum!

Billy Batter,
Now you’re better –
Happy as a tack!

The dragon’s gone
To Saskatchewan;
The monster fell
In a wishing-well;
The cat showed up
With a new-born pup;
I fixed the rips
With potato chips,
And my dad and my mum came back,
Came back—
My dad and my mum came back!

The Special Person

I’ve got a Special Person
At my day-care, where I’m in.
Her name is Mrs. Something
But we mostly call her Lynn.

Cause Lynn’s the one that shows you
How to Squish a paper cup.
And Lynn’s the one that smells good
When you make her pick you up.
She smells good when she picks you up.

She knows a lot of stories
And she reads them off by heart.
There’s one about a Bear, but I
Forget the other part.

She bit me on my knee once, cause I
Said she couldn’t scream,
And then I sent her in the hall,
And then we had Ice Cream.

I guess I’m going to marry Lynn
When I get three or four,
And Lynn can have my Crib, or else
She’ll maybe sleep next door,

Cause Jamie wants to marry Lynn
And live here too, he said.
(I guess he’ll have to come, but he’s
Too Little for a bed.)


Skyscraper, skyscraper,
Scrape me some sky:
Tickle the sun
While the stars go by.

Tickle the stars
While the sun’s climbing high,
Then skyscraper, skyscraper
Scrape me some sky.


When they bring me a plate
Full of stuff that I hate,
Like spinach and turnips and guck,
I sit very straight
And I look at the plate
And I quietly say to it: “YUCK!”

Little kids bawl
Cause I used to be small,
And I threw it all over the tray.
But now I am three
And I’m much more like me –
I yuck till they take it away.

But sometimes my dad
Gets terriffickly mad,
And he says, “Don’t you drink from that cup!”
But he can’t say it right
Cause he’s not very bright –
So I trick him and drink it all up!

Then he gets up and roars;
He stomps on the floor
And he hollers, “I warn you, don’t eat!!”
He counts up to ten
And I trick him again:
I practically finish the meat.

Then I start on the guck
And my daddy goes “Yuck!”
And he scrunches his eyes till they hurt.
So I shovel it in
And he grins a big grin.
And then we have dessert.

I Found a Silver Dollar

I found a silver dollar,
But I had to pay the rent,
I found an alligator
But his steering-wheel was bent.
I found a little monkey,
So I took him to the zoo.
Then I found a sticky kiss and so
I brought it home to you.

Thinking in Bed

I'm thinking in bed,
Cause I can't get out
Till I learn how to think
What I'm thinking about;
What I'm thinking about
Is a person to be--
A sort of a person
Who feels like me.

I might still be Alice,
Excepting I'm not.
And Snoopy is super,
But not when it's hot;
I couldn't be Piglet,
I don't think I'm Pooh,
I know I'm not Daddy
And I can't be you.

My breakfast is waiting.
My clothes are all out,
But what was that thing
I was thinking about?
I'll never get up
If I lie here all day;
But I still haven't thought,
So I'll just have to stay.

If I was a Grinch
I expect I would know.
But I don't think so.
There's so many people
I don't seem to be--
I guess I'll just have to
Get up and be me.


The silly goose,
Brushed his teeth
With apple juice.

The melon-head,
Rode his bicycle
In bed.

His mother said,
“Sit down and eat!”
He swallowed the plate
And left the meat.

His father asked him,
“Can’t you hear?”
He had a carrot
In his ear.

He met a dog
And shook its tail,
Took a bath
And caught a whale,

Put it in his
Piggy bank,
Said, “I think I’ll
Call it Frank.”

His brother asked him,
“Can’t you see?”
He drank his hair
And combed his tea.

He took a trip
To Newfoundland,
Walking on water
And swimming on land

And every time
He heard a shout,
He took his pencil
And rubbed it out.

It isn’t me,
It isn’t you,
It’s nutty, mutty

On Tuesdays I Polish My Uncle

I went to play in the park.
I didn’t get home until dark.
But when I got back I had ants in my pants
And my father was feeding the shark.

I went to play in the park,
And I didn’t come home until dark.
And when I got back I had ants in my pants
And dirt in my shirt, and glue in my shoe,
And my father was tickling the shark.

I went to sleep in the park.
The shark was starting to bark.
And when I woke up I had ants in my pants,
Dirt in my shirt, glue in my shoe,
And beans in my jeans and a bee on my knee,
And the shark was tickling my father.

My father went off to the park.
I stayed home and read to the shark.
And when he got back he had ants in his pants,
Dirt in his shirt, glue in his shoe,
Beans in his jeans, a bee on his knee,
Beer in his ear and a bear in his hair,
So we put him outside in the ark.

I started the ark in the dark.
My father was parking the shark.
And when we got home we had ants in our pants,
Dirt in our shirt, glue in our shoe,
Beans in our jeans, a bee on our knee,
Beer in our ear and a bear in our hair,
A stinger in our finger, a stain in our brain,
And our belly-buttons shone in the dark.

So my dad he got snarky and barked at the shark
Who was parking the ark on the mark in the dark.
And when they got back they had ants in their pants,
Dirt in their shirt, glue in their shoe,
Beans in their jeans, a bee on their knee,
Beer in their ear and a bear in their hair,
A stinger in each finger, a stain in the brain,
A small polka-dot burp, with headache tablets,
And a ship on the lip and a horse, of course,
So we all took a bath in the same tub and went to bed early.

Tongue Twister

Someday I’ll go to Winnipeg
To win a peg-leg pig.
But will a peg-leg winner win
The piglet’s ill-got wig?

Someday I’ll go to Ottawa
To eat a wall-eyed eel.
But ought a wall-eyed eater
Pot an eel that isn’t peeled?

Someday I’ll go to Nipigon
To nip a goony loon.
But will a goony nipper lose
His loony nipping spoon?

The Hockey Game
With thanks to A.A. Milne

Was a
With a Terrible
Was a flea
With a Big Bad Roar.
Was an elephant
Who couldn’t keep his
Laces tied.
And George was a bit of a bore.

Squirm played
Hockey with a
Great big
Wee played
Hockey with her
Friends and her foes.
X played
Hockey but he
Couldn’t keep his
Laces tied.
And George just played with his toes.

Squirm threw a
Bodycheck and
Sent X
Wee shot the
Puck and she
Knocked X flat.
X cried
Tears that were
Bigger than piano stools.
And George floated round in a hat.

Is a worm
With a Very
Soggy Temper.
And Wee
Is a flea
With a Waterlogged Roar.
X is an
Elephant who
Wonders where his
Skates went.
And George is rather wet
George is very wet
George is Awful wet

The Sitter and the Butter and the Better Batter Fritter

My little sister’s sitter
Got a cutter from the baker,
And she baked a little fritter
From a pat of bitter butter.
First she bought a butter beater
Just to beat the butter better,
And she beat the bit of butter
With the beater that she bought.

Then she cut the bit of butter
With the little butter cutter,
And she baked the beaten butter
In a beaten butter baker.
But the butter was too bitter
And she couldn’t eat the fritter
So she set it by the cutter
And the beater that she bought.

And I guess it must have taught her
Not to use such bitter butter,
For she bought a bit of batter
That was sweeter than the butter.
And she cut the sweeter batter
With the cutter, and she beat her
Sweeter batter with a sweeter batter
Beater that she bought.

Then she baked a batter fritter
That was better than the butter
And she ate the better batter fritter
Just like that.

But while the better batter
Fritter sat inside the sitter –
Why, the little bitter fritter
Made of bitter butter bit her,
But my little sister’s sitter
Till she simply disappeared.

Then my sister came to meet her
But she couldn’t see the sitter –
She just saw the bitter butter
Fritter that had gone and et her;
So she ate the butter fritter
With a teaspoonful of jam.

Now my sister has a bitter
Butter fritter sitting in her,
And a sitter in the bitter
Butter fritter, since it ate her,
And a better batter fritter
Sitting in the silly sitter
In the bitter butter fritter
Sitting in my sister’s tum.

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:01 pm

<a name="crozier">Lorna Crozier</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.lornacrozier.ca/Images/photo ... _cu_bw.jpg" alt="Lorna Crozier"> Lorna Crozier was born in 1948 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. As a child growing up in a prairie community where the local heroes were hockey players and curlers, she “never once thought of being a writer.” After university, Lorna went on to teach high school English and work as a guidance counsellor. During these years, Lorna published her first poem in Grain magazine, a publication that turned her life toward writing. Her first collection Inside in the Sky was published in 1976. Since then, she has authored 14 books of poetry, including The Garden Going on Without Us, Angels of Flesh, Angels of Silence, Inventing the Hawk, winner of the 1992 Governor-General’s Award, Everything Arrives at the Light, Apocrypha of Light, What the Living Won’t Let Go, and most recently Whetstone. Whether Lorna is writing about angels, aging, or Louis Armstrong’s trout sandwich, she continues to engage readers and writers across Canada and the world with her grace, wisdom and wit. She is, as Margaret Laurence wrote, “a poet to be grateful for.”

Since the beginning of her writing career, Lorna has been known for her inspired teaching and mentoring of other poets. In 1980 Lorna was the writer-in-residence at the Cypress Hills Community College in Swift Current; in 1983, at the Regina Public Library; and in 1989 at the University of Toronto. She has held short-term residencies at the Universities of Toronto and Lethbridge and at Douglas College. Presently she lives near Victoria, where she teaches and serves as Chair in the Writing Department at the University.

Beyond making poems, Lorna has also edited two non-fiction collections – Desire in Seven Voices and Addiction: Notes from the Belly of the Beast. Together with her husband and fellow poet Patrick Lane, she edited the 1994 landmark collection Breathing Fire: Canada’s New Poets; in 2004, they co-edited Breathing Fire 2, once again introducing over thirty new writers to the Canadian literary world.

Her poems continue to be widely anthologized, appearing in 15 Canadian Poets X 3, 20th Century Poetry and Poetics, Poetry International and most recently in Open Field: An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Poets, a collection designed for American readers.

Her reputation as a generous and inspiring artist extends from her passion for the craft of poetry to her teaching and through to her involvement in various social causes. In addition to leading poetry workshops across the globe, Lorna has given benefit readings for numerous organizations such as the SPCA, the BC Land Conservancy, the Victoria READ Society, and PEERS, a group committed to helping prostitutes get off the street. She has been a frequent guest on CBC radio where she once worked as a reviewer and arts show host. Wherever she reads she raises the profile and reputation of poetry.

from http://www.lornacrozier.ca/

The Child Who Walks Backwards

My next-door neighbour tells me
her child runs into things.
Cupboard corners and doorknobs
have pounded their shapes
into his face. She says
he is bothered by dreams,
rises in sleep from his bed
to steal through the halls
and plummet like a wounded bird
down the flight of stairs.

This child who climbed my maple
with the sureness of a cat,
trips in his room, cracks
his skull on the bedpost,
smacks his cheeks on the floor.
When I ask about the burns
on the back of his knee,
his mother tells me
he walks backwards
into fireplace grates
or sits and stares at flames
while sparks burn stars in his skin.

Other children write their names
on the casts that hold
his small bones.
His mother tells me
he runs into things,
walks backwards,
breaks his leg
while she lies

© Lorna Crozier


The onion loves the onion.
It hugs its many layers,
saying O, O, O,
each vowel smaller
than the last.

Some say it has no heart.
It doesn't need one.
It surrounds itself,
feels whole. Primordial.
First among vegetables.

If Eve had bitten it
instead of the apple,
how different

© Lorna Crozier


Peas never liked any of it.
They make you suffer for the sweet
burst of green in the mouth. Remember
the hours of shelling on the front steps,
the ping into the basin? Your mother
bribing you with lemonade to keep you there,
splitting them open with your thumbs.

Your tongue finds them clitoral
as it slides up the pod.
Peas are not amused.
They have spent all their lives
keeping their knees together.

© Lorna Crozier


Walking into wind, I lean into my mother's muskrat coat;
around the cuffs her wristbones have worn away the fur.

If we stood still we'd disappear. There's no up or down,
no houses with their windows lit. The only noise is wind

and what's inside us. When we get home my father
will be there or not. No one ever looks for us.

I could lie down and stay right here where snow is all
that happens, and silence isn't loneliness just cold

not talking. My mother tugs at me and won't let go.
Then stops to find her bearings. In our hoods of stars

we don't know if anyone will understand
the tongue we speak, so far we are from home.

© Lorna Crozier

In Moonlight

Something moves
just beyond the mind's
clumsy fingers.

It has to do with seeds.
The earth's insomnia.
The garden going on
without us

needing no one
to watch it

not even the moon.

© Lorna Crozier

What the Snake Brings to the World

Without the snake
there'd be no letter S.
No forked tongue and toil,
no pain and sin. No wonder
the snake's without shoulders.
What could bear such a weight!

The snake's responsible for everything
that slides and hisses, that moves
without feet or legs. The wind, for example.
The sea in its long sweeps to shore and out again.

The snake has done some good, then.
Even sin to the ordinary man
brings its pleasures. And without
the letter S traced belly-wise
outside the gates of Eden
we'd have to live
with the singular of everything:
sparrow, leg, breath,
mercy, Truth.

© Lorna Crozier

A Prophet In His Own Country

The gopher on his hind legs
is taut with holiness and fright.
Miniature and beardless,
he could be stoned or flooded out,
burnt alive in stubble fields,
martry to children for a penny a tail.

How can you not believe an animal
who goes down head first
into darkness, into the ceaseless
pull of gravity beneath him?
What faith that takes!

I come to him with questions
because I love his ears, how perfectly
they fit, how flat they lie against his head.
They hear the inner and the outer
worlds: what rain says
underground. The stone's praise
for the sparrow's ankle bone.

Little earth-otter, little dusty Lazarus,
he vanishes, he rises. He won't tell us
what he's seen.

© Lorna Crozier

Living Day by Day

I have no children and he has five,
three of them grown up, two with their mother.
It didn't matter when I was thirty and we met.
There'll be no children, he said, the first night
we slept together and I didn't care,
thought we wouldn't last anyway,
those terrible fights,
he and I struggling to be the first
to pack, the first one out the door.
Once I made it to the car before him,
locked him out. He jumped on the hood,
then kicked the headlights in.
Our friends said we'd kill each other
before the year was through.

Now it's ten years later.
Neither of us wants to leave.
We are at home with one another,
we are each other's home,
the voice in the doorway,
calling Come in, come in,
it's growing dark.

Still, I'm often asked if I have children.

Sometimes I answer yes.
Sometimes we have so much
we make another person.
I can feel her in the night
slip between us, tell my dreams
how she spent her day. Good night,
she says, good night, little mother,
and leaves before I waken.
Across the lawns she dances
in her white, white dress,
her dream hair flying.

© Lorna Crozier

Last Testaments

The cancer began in her tonsils,
she'd say it with a smile
almost expecting to be teased
for such a serious disease rooting
in that childish place.
She remembered her son at four
when he'd had his out, the way
he'd looked at her while the nurse
slid the cold thermometer up his bum.
She carried on as usual, cleaned the house,
fried a chicken for her husband
every Sunday, cutting the breast
in four pieces, the wings in two.
The morning of the day she died
she took him down the basement,
showed him how to separate
the clothes, set the dials,
how to hang his shirts and pants
so the creases would fall out.


The man with his worn-out heart,
sold his tools so his wife
wouldn't be left with that part of him
to deal with. How he had loved them
in his hands, each so perfectly designed
to fit the palm, the wheels,
bits and teeth made for one specific use.
On the empty walls of the garage
hung the shapes of wrenches, saws and drills.
Years ago he'd traced around them row on row
so he'd know where to hang each one,
know what his neighbour had borrowed
and failed to return. From his pocket
he removed a black felt pen
and in the corner on a board painted white,
he drew the perfect outline of a man.


Before she walked into the river
and didn't come back,
the woman who couldn't remember
the day of the week
or the faces of her children,
made a list of all the men
she'd ever loved,
left it for her husband by the coffee pot,
his name on the bottom,
underlined twice
for emphasis.

© Lorna Crozier

Falling in Love

The worse thing about
a horse bite is the horse

can't change his mind,
can't open his mouth,

release the flesh
until his jaws clamp shut.

Once the pain starts
you know it has to

get worse before
it stops.

© Lorna Crozier

Fire Breather

When I drank what you gave me I burned
my mouth. So much fire on these lips.
You should have told me.

I was used to tasting your homemade soups
with a wooden spoon, testing the flavour,
the windows steamed so I coudn't see out.

Add more barley, I'd say, or those red spices
from the Nile. You'd save everything, even
tongues, hearts, and pickerel cheeks.

We could be in Japan, our shoes off all the time.
Under my fingers your flesh gives like grass mats,
Blue-Eyed or Brome. Oh, you're a quiet one.

Nothing to show, but inside enough heat
to light the tallow candles you bought
from the butcher who gives you soup bones for free.

After I take you in my mouth I can blow flames
across a room. A strange bed for us to lie in,
all these ashes and my feet still cold.

© Lorna Crozier

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:05 pm

<a name="lane">Patrick Lane</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.patricklane.ca/images/PLa.jpg" alt="Patrick Lane">Patrick Lane was born in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, on March 26, 1939. He has no formal education beyond high school in Vernon, B.C. From 1957 to 1968 with his young wife, Mary, he raised three children, Mark, Christopher, and Kathryn, and began working at a variety of jobs, from common labourer, truck driver, Cat skinner, chokerman, boxcar loader, Industrial First-Aid Man in the northern bush, to clerk at a number of sawmills in the Interior of British Columbia. He has been a salesman, office manager, and an Industrial Accountant. In 1968 his first wife divorced him. Much of his life after 1968 has been spent as an itinerant poet, wandering over three continents and many countries. He began writing with serious intent in 1960, practicing his craft late at night in small-town western Canada until he moved to Vancouver in early 1965 to work and to join the new generation of artists and writers who were coming of age in the early Sixties.

In 1966, with bill bissett and Seymour Mayne, he established Very Stone House, publishing the new post-war generation of poets. In 1968, he decided to devote his life exclusively to writing, travelling to South America where he lived for two years. On his return, he established a new relationship with his second wife, Carol, had two more children, Michael and Richard, and settled first in the Okanagan Valley in 1972 and then in 1974 on the west coast of Canada at Middle Point near the fishing village of Pender Harbour on The Sunshine Coast where he worked as a carpenter and building contractor. In 1978, he divorced and went to work as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg where he began his life with the poet, Lorna Crozier. Since then, he has been a resident writer at Concordia University in Montreal, The University of Alberta in Edmonton, the Saskatoon Public Library, and the University of Toronto. He taught English Literature at The University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon from 1986 to 1990, and Creative Writing at the University of Victoria, British Columbia from 1991 to 2004. He is presently retired from institutional teaching and leads private writing retreats as well as teaching at such schools as The Banff Writing Workshops, ‘Booming Ground’ at the University of British Columbia, The Victoria Writing School, and The Sage Hill Experience in Saskatchewan. He and his wife, Lorna Crozier, presently reside in a small community outside Victoria where he gardens and works at his craft.

His poetry, short stories, criticism, and non-fiction have won many prizes over the past forty-five years, including The Governor-General’s Award for “Poems: New & Selected” in 1979, The Canadian Authors Association Award for his “Selected Poems” in 1988, and, in 1987, a “Nellie” award (Canada) and The National Radio Award (USA) for the best public radio program for the script titled “Chile,” co-authored with Lorna Crozier. He has received major awards from The Canada Council, The Ontario Arts Council, The Saskatchewan Arts Board, The Manitoba Arts Board, The Ontario Arts Council, and the British Columbia Arts Board. He has received National Magazine awards for both his poetry and his fiction. He is the author of more than twenty books and he has been called by many writers and critics “the best poet of his generation.”

As a critic and commentator, he appears regularly on CBC, the national radio service in Canada, and on numerous other media outlets across Canada.

He has appeared at literary festivals around the world and has read and published his work in many countries including England, France, the Czech Republic, Italy, China, Japan, Chile, Colombia, the Netherlands, and Russia. His poetry and fiction appear in all major Canadian anthologies of English literature. A critical monograph of his life and writing titled "Patrick Lane,” by George Woodcock, was published by ECW Press.

He is currently working on a novel, tentatively titled “Red Dog Red Dog,” and a new poetry collection to be published in 2007.

<center><img src="http://www.patricklane.ca/images/awards.png"></center>

from http://www.patricklane.ca

Under the Sun in the Dry, Desert Hills Where the Rain Never Falls in August

In deep sand a beetle shoulders her way toward paradise.
A sunflower, wild with yellow, covers her with one shadow.
Among the grains of quartz, one bruised garnet, a cone of pine.
The beetle clambers. There is nothing like her in the world.
Almost blind, I get down on my knees.
My bare feet have the same soles they had when I was born.
My mother is dead.
Among many things I am alive. Still.
A single drop of water falls.
The beetle stops for a moment, but she does not drink from the salt.
There is somewhere she has to go and she goes on.

© Patrick Lane

Hope and Love

The spider
weaves her web
in the window
at dawn.
The night has been
cold and she moves
slowly, filament
to filament,
drawing from
herself a cage
that is
beauty to me
and to her
her only life.
It is the seventh
morning and she
has caught
nothing all week.
This is her last
web and it has
nothing to do
with hope
or love, only
that she must
sit in the centre
of her making
and know that
what will feed
her is to come
or not come,
the sun
on the far flowers
and nothing
rising in the frost,
no sound among
the false blossoming
this cold, this
early spring.

© Patrick Lane

Mountain Oysters

Kneeling in the sheep-shit
he picked up the biggest of the new rams
brushed the tail aside
slit the bag
tucked the knackers in his mouth
and clipped the cords off clean

the ram stiff
with a single wild scream

as the tar went on
and he spit the balls in a bowl.

That's how we used to do it
when I was a boy

It's no more gawdam painful
than any other way
and you can't have rams fighting
slamming it up every nanny

and enjoyed them with him
cutting delicately
into the deep-fried testicles.

Mountain oysters make you strong

he said
while out in the field
the rams stood holding their pain
legs fluttering like blue hands
of old tired men.

© Patrick Lane

Fathers and Sons

I will walk across the long slow grass
where the desert sun waits among the stones
and reach down into the heavy earth
and lift your body back into the day.
My hands will swim down through the clay
like white fish who wander in the pools
of underground caves and they will find you
where you lie in the century of your sleep.

My arms will be as huge as the roots of trees,
my shoulders leaves, my hands as delicate
as the wings of fish in white water.
When I find you I will lift you out
into the sun and hold you
the way a son must who is now
as old as you were when you died.
I will lift you in my arms and bear you back.

My breath will blow away the earth
from your eyes and my lips will touch
your lips. They will say the years have been
long. They will speak into your flesh
the word love over and over,
as if it was the first word of the whole
earth. I will dance with you and you
will be as a small child asleep in my arms
as I say to the sun, bless this man who died.

I will hold you then, your hurt mouth curled
into my chest, and take your lost flesh
into me, make of you myself, and when you are
bone of my bone, and blood of my blood,
I will walk with you into the hills and sit
alone with you and neither of us
will be ashamed. My hand and your hand.

I will take those two hands and hold them
together, palm against palm, and lift them
and say, this is praise, this is the holding
that is father and son. This I promise you
as I wanted to have promised in the days
of our silence, the nights of our sleeping.

Wait for me. I am coming across the grass
and through the stones. The eyes
of the animals and birds are upon me.
I am walking with my strength.
See, I am almost there.
If you listen you can hear me.
My mouth is open and I am singing.

© Patrick Lane

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:08 pm

<a name="motion">Andrew Motion</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.rlnimages.com/archive/andrew ... ch_sm2.jpg" alt="Andrew Motion">Andrew Motion was born in 1952. He read English at University College, Oxford and subsequently spent two years writing about the poetry of Edward Thomas for a Masters in Literature From 1976 to 1980 he taught English at the University of Hull; from 1980 to 1982 he edited the Poetry Review and from 1982 to 1989 he was Editorial Director and Poetry Editor at Chatto & Windus. He has recently been appointed Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in London.

Andrew Motion was appointed Britain's Poet Laureate in May 1999. He has worked to popularize poetry, especially among students. His insightful poems explore themes of loss and desolation. His collections include The Pleasure Steamers (1978), Natural Causes (1987), and Salt Water (1997). He has written biographies of Philip Larkin and John Keats. His novels include The Pale Companion (1989).

What Have We Here?

Dad got home late, and I never heard the gravel
Or his door-clunk in the drive-through,
Still less his shoeless step
As he crept to perch on my bedside.
‘What have we here?’
It was a Yeomanry day or used to be,
And not even the thick whiskery cloth
Of his battle-dress trousers
Could blunt the edge of a Ladybird under the covers.

‘Nelson, dad.’ He squared his shoulders.
The order was: no reading after lights out,
So I was caught cold – like the polar bear
I’d just seen dispatched
In the pack-ice off Spitzbergen.
On the other hand, Nelson was England’s darling.
I’d seen that too, in the cock-pit death-scene
With Hardy’s kiss on my forehead.
Dad checked a page, before his weight lifted and went.

I fell at once into a dream of Victory –
How she wallowed through Biscay,
With her battle-tatters smoking –
Then gave my signal for a change in nature.
At which she side-stepped her Channel lane,
Shimmied over the Hampshire hills,
Caught the surge of London,
And made fast to a spire of Westminster
Overlooking Trafalgar Square.

With that, the famous brandy barrel
Burst its ropes at the main mast,
And the man himself slithered out
Crumpled and glistening as a baby
But perfectly fit again.
He proved this by scaling the column
A grateful nation had raised for him,
And leaned on his coil of rope to wait
For as long as it took to stiffen into stone.

Next morning, with dad in his city suit again,
I woke in time to snaffle his Times at breakfast
And rolled it into a telescope
So I could show him my grasp of history.
‘What have we here?’
This time of course I couldn’t answer.
The thing was pressed to my blind left eye,
And supposing I’d said ‘Your face’
He would know I was only inventing things.

© Andrew Motion

Spring Wedding

I took your news outdoors, and strolled a while
In silence on my square of garden-ground
Where I could dim the roar of arguments,
Ignore the scandal-flywheel whirring round,

And hear instead the green fuse in the flower
Ignite, the breeze stretch out a shadow-hand
To ruffle blossom on its sticking points,
The blackbirds sing, and singing take their stand.

I took your news outdoors, and found the Spring
Had honoured all its promises to start
Disclosing how the principles of earth
Can make a common purpose with the heart.

The heart which slips and sidles like a stream
Weighed down by winter-wreckage near its source –
But given time, and come the clearing rain,
Breaks loose to revel in its proper course.

© Andrew Motion

Causa Belli

They read good books, and quote, but never learn
a language other than the scream of rocket-burn.
Our straighter talk is drowned but ironclad:
elections, money, empire, oil and Dad.

© Andrew Motion

Britain's poet laureate wrote these verses for a service held at Westminster Abbey to remember British victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York:

The Voices Live

The voices live which are the voices lost:
we hear them and we answer, or we try
but words are nervous when we need them most
and shutter, stop, or dully slide away

so everything they mean to summon up
is always just too far, just out of reach,
unless our memories give time the slip
and learn the lesson that heart-wisdoms teach

of how in grief we find a way to keep
the dead beside us as our time goes on -
invisible and silent but the deep
foundation of ourselves, our cornerstone.

© Andrew Motion


When friends no longer remembered
the reasons we set forth,
I switched between nanny and tartar
driving us on north.

Will you imagine a human hand
welded by ice to wood?
And skin when they chip it off?
I don’t think you should.

By day the appalling loose beauty
of prowling floes:
lions’ heads, dragons, crucifix-wrecks,
and a thing like a blown rose.

By night the seething hiss
of killers cruising past -
the silence after each fountain-jet,
and our hearts aghast.

Of our journey home and the rest
there is nothing more to say.
I have lived and not yet died.
I have sailed in the Scotia Sea.

© Andrew Motion

A Glass of Wine

Exactly as the setting sun
clips the heel of the garden,

exactly as a pigeon
roosting tries to sing
and ends up moaning,

exactly as the ping
of someone’s automatic carlock
dies into a flock
of tiny echo-aftershocks,

a shapely hand of cloud
emerges from the crowd
of airy nothings that the wind allowed
to tumble over us all day
and points the way

towards its own decay
but not before
a final sunlight-shudder pours
away across our garden-floor

so steadily, so slow
it shows you everything you need to know
about this glass I’m holding out to you,

its open eye
enough to bear the whole weight of the sky.

© Andrew Motion

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Last edited by ninian on Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Poet of Elliptical Grace
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:19 am
Location: being both passionate and silly

Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:11 pm

<a name="#eltinae"><center>k.eltinaé

featured poet for the month of june 2006

This month, I'm featuring a poet who hasn't had a lot of recognition on the ppages, k.eltinaé. Hailing from the Sudan, his poetry is rich in metaphor, he saturates each moment with meaning and drama. His poems have a subtle, sophisticated voice to them, and a free form flow, often surprising the reader with subtle meter and rhyme.

Please click the links to visit the original topics and leave a response for k.eltinaé. Alternatively, click here and see all of his work.

A few featured poems:


by k.eltinaé

You always were a fast dresser.
Taken by surprise I watched you in reverse,
Covering your trembling inches,
With curtains futile as chiffon.
I knew where your hands were reaching,
Before you gave me your back, like a stranger
Jerking on the disguises we had bought together.

Crumbling on the table were the artifacts of my love,
Dried like blood on a scraped knee,
I counted the withered petals,
Admiring their curly fetal bodies,
Paralyzed into spasm, sprawled on a spread.
I hated to think of them as dead.
Only Sleeping,
The way our love was.

As you slid the belt through its loops,
You let out a breath that sent them to the floor
Against the dark patterns of the carpet,
Where I couldn’t recognize their bodies.
Unmoved by their discomfort,
You slip your feet neatly into shoes,
Like a knife fits into its sheath.
You throw your bag over your shoulder,
And walk across the room,
Raising your gaze for a moment,
Taking in the scent of your mistake.

Just as the wind arrives,
Sweeping them to safety,
I pace closer to you,
Tickled by a few wandering martyrs,
Who cling to my clammy foot,
As I take small steps
Towards, awakening our love.

Original Post


by k.elintaé

“People assumed she was a child-actress.”
She smiled in the faces of so many men,
Memorizing their glossy teeth and practiced laughter,
She was passed arm to arm like a trophy,
Her mother, too jealous to claim for her a throne.
She was taught life’s pace was conversation.
She'd been weaned with men’s cologne.

“She grew up to be too trusting,”
It was the scent of them.
Every man smelled like home.
She didn’t memorize the lines,
The hairdressers bothered to invent,
Pitying their dirty fingernails instead,
She pined for fruit.

“Every man has a scent he is hiding”
She giggles to the cashier weighing fruit,
He doesn’t speak English,
But admires her smile, the lining of her suit,
It matches the rugs of the home,
He’s left behind.
She believes it is her figure
That has caught his wandering eye,
As she saunters off to the cigarette stand.

“She wears those smiles, like band aids”
Her mother tells the paparazzi,
A few days before the rent is due,
She is inventing rumors for minutes,
Auctioning her daughter to the news.
Tucked away in some man’s arms
Her daughter yawns and dreams of tangerines.

“What do you secretly desire??…”
The cameras interviewing crane their necks,
Secretly, she dreams of mornings
Surrounded by treasures she owns:
1. A picturesque view of the ocean, from bed.
2. Orchards of assorted fruit surrounding her home.
3. Endless testers of luxurious men’s cologne.

She replies like an orphan.
Gaining the trust of her host,
They embrace warmly before she exits stage,
Busy as a hummingbird she explores the scent of his chemise,
During commercial, he reaches for his pack,
But finds no pocket.

Original Post


by k.elintaé

As I was leaving,
I returned for one last look,
Asleep on your stomach,
Shoulder blades pinned like the wings,
Of the butterflies I admire so greatly.

You pick me up, after work.
Like wine for an occasion,
I'm so happy to see your truck,
Your secrets clatter to the floor,
Another clue, I've been watching for.

You toy with all subjects
Decorating silence, like a tree
I cannot hide my curiosity
It barks like a dog, left in the car.
What do I know of you so far?

Your lips are made of the darkness,
Your words arrive like the milk
Your body folds over mine
Like the emperor's finest silk.
But where are your secrets?

I am convinced,
You live another life,
I am obsessed with what it could be.
I am keeping you in this museum,
Devising chapters of our history.
In it I will compose the past,
The future you may keep,
I only desire the last glimpses
Every morning, as you sleep.

Original Post


by k.elintaé

Borrowing is your habit,
You reek of it badly.
Your fingerprints smudge on paper,
The way your words slur.

I noticed you first at the café,
Trembling with your addiction
Rehearsing, squinting through windows
Until we made eye contact.
I fell in love with your pathetic shadow,
As your face crumbled over and over,
Like the napkins I stole each visit.

I am attracted to drama,
The way children are to keys,
Glinting with mysteries,
I brought you home to study.

It was there, your truths unraveled.

Debt is a terrible cancer,
That transforms our teeth to chalk.
The cavities then invite the wind,
To whistle as we talk.
People mistake the wind for music,
Mistake you as a friend,
And this gives you the courage
To extend your palms and lend.

I have long since left the napkins,
I prefer to use my hands,
As I drive against the wind and its music,
I believe, you'll understand.

Original Post

Please visit these and k.eltinaé's other wonderful poetry!

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Poet of Elliptical Grace
Posts: 481
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:19 am
Location: being both passionate and silly

Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:13 pm

<a name="shel">Shel Silverstein</a>

<img border="0" align="left" src="http://www.poets.org/images/authors/ssilvers.jpg" alt="Shel Silverstein">Shel's first collection of poems and drawings, Where the Sidewalk Endsappeared in 1974. It opens with this invitation:

If you are a dreamer come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in! Come in!

Shel invited children to dream and dare to imagine the impossible from a hippopotamus sandwich to the longest nose in the world to eighteen flavours of ice cream and Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who wouldn't take the garbage out.

With his second collection of poems and drawings, A Light in the Attic, published in 1981, Shel asked his readers to turn the light on in their attics, to put something silly in the world, and not to be discouraged by the Whatifs.<img border="0" align="right" src="http://www.sfrisch.com/images/shel.jpg" alt="Shel Silverstein making a scary face">


Last night, while I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?...

Instead he urged readers to catch the moon or invite a dinosaur to dinner -- to have fun! School Library Journal not surprisingly called A Light in the Attic "exuberant, raucous, rollicking, tender, and whimsical." Children everywhere have agreed and Shel's books are now published in 30 different languages.

Shel's Scary Face Photograph by Steve Frisch


My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more then one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three times - I guess he don't know
That three is more then two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickles for my three dimes,
And four is more then three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more then four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head -
Too proud of me to speak!


"A genuine anteater,"
The pet man told me dad.
Turned out, it was an aunt eater,
And now my uncle's mad!

Listen to the MUSTN'TS

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES.
Then listen close to me -
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

The Monkey

1 little monkey
was goin' 2 the store
when he saw a banana 3
he'd never climbed be4.
By 5 o'clock that evenin'
he was 6 with a stomach ache
'cause 7 green bananas
was what that monkey 8.

By 9 o'clock that evenin'
that monkey was quite ill,
so 10 we called the doctor
who was 11 on the hill.
The doctor said, "You're almost dead.
Don't eat green bananas no more."
The sick little monkey groaned and said,
"But that's what I 1-2 the 3-4."

The Nap Taker

No - I did not take a nap -
The nap - took - me
off the bed and out the window
far beyond the sea,
to a land where sleepy heads
read only comic books
and lock their naps in iron safes
so that they can't get took.

And soon as I came to that land,
I also came to grief.
The people pointed at me, shouting,
"Where's the nap, you thief?"
They took me to the courthouse.
The judge put on his cap.
He said, "My child, you are on trial
for taking someone's nap.

"Yes, all you selfish children,
you think just of yourselves
and don't care if the nap you take
belongs to someone else.
It happens that the nap you took
without a thought or care
belongs to Bonnie Bowlingbrook,
who's sittin' cryin' there.

"She hasn't slept in quite some time -
just see her eyelids flap.
She's tired drowsy - cranky too,
'cause guess who took her nap?"
The jury cried, "You're guilty, yes,
you're guilty as can be.
But just return the nap you took
And we might set you free."

"I did not take that nap," I cried,
"I give my solemn vow,
and if I took it by mistake
I do not have it now."
"Oh fiddle-fudge," cried out the judge,
your record looks quite sour.
Last night I see you stole a kiss,
Last week you took a shower,

"You beat your eggs, you've whipped your cream,
at work you punched the clock,
You've even killed an hour or two,
we've heard you darn your socks.
We know you shot a basketball,
you've stolen second base,
and we can see you're guilty
from the sleep that's on your face.

"Go lie down on your blanket now
and cry your guilty tears.
I sentence you to one long nap
for ninety million years.
And when the other children see
this nap that never ends,
no child will ever dare to take
somebody's nap again."

all poetry © Shel Silverstein

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:15 pm

<a name="feature">July's Featured Poetry by PPages Poets</a>

This month, instead of a single featured PPages Poet, I'm featuring several poems by a group of poets. I have posted the link to the original poem so that you might leave your comments for the poet.


How It Rings

by AlluraD

In every lucid, falling
hour of daylight,
at night through waded seas
of tangled sheets
I need you, want you,
mourn the frigid space where you should lie.

Breath against my neck, rice-paper whispers.
Muscled limbs that claim my sleep-warm thigh.
Hands that travel length and league of grace
leave lemongrass impressions on my skin.
Eyes that say you're home, and wish to stay.
Kiss that strings a broken heart,
like beads of iridescent glass.
Over-shoulder, backward glances thrown.

I know...
Yes, I know...
You're only a phone call away.

It's enough...
It IS enough I tell myself... and you.
All that there may ever be
in spite of love that rings us to the core.
I understand.
I will be okay...ok...ok...

My softly muttered mantra
walks the line.

Where life allows I hold you near,
will guard each second tight
against the heaving heart
when lips no longer press or pulses pound.
Those hours consolation for the endless,
waiting years ahead when I wonder
where you are or if you are.
When doubt creeps in, alone to wade
through grief that drops the bottom out
of every living dream where you are not.
When I ask myself who holds you now
and why in God's own name is it not me?

"I love you Babe," you say. I need reminding.
"I'm only a phone call away...my light, my life,
each breath I take, my once and ever heart, my only love..."

And it rings...how it rings...


Original Post of How It Rings

People Will Talk

by just jen

You know the way
people will talk,
choosing sides, natural
as breathing.

Walking into a room
silence, like smog settling
on the skin. It is heavy, barbed,
a pointed intermission.

You know it's inevitable,
but each time
it catches you fresh,
like shinning yourself on the bedframe, or
catching a table on your hip.

And you. What will you do?
Throw your shoulders back,
thrust out your chin, or
will you slump,
defeated and judged
and slink away?

Original Post of People Will Talk

Flowers in December

by buttterflies

A rose of peach,
and one of blood
stared at each other
and spoke through mimes,
A few baby's breaths
giggled in the midst,
to hear of such delightful times
The blue orchid nodded
and listened to their love,
and hearkened little bluebells
to smile from above
The roses blushed
a deeper shade,
bent upon each other,
and refused to fade
They whispered and wondered
about the color of love's touch,
was it a blend of the two
or is that too much
Their fragrances mingled
with a sudden sweet smell,
as the jasmine awoke
and a dewy silence fell
She smiled with a ready tilt
and answered once and for all,
that love's colors are painted
where you and I fall.

December 23rd, 2005.

Original Post of Flowers in December


by David Bradsher

“Seek love at any cost,” he’s always said,
but her revoked affections leave him slighted.
He scrawls a sonnet, knifes it to her bed,
and limps away to languish, unrequited.

As tragic hero (its generic brand
complete with flaws and outcast attitude),
he treads a shoreline, scuffing up the sand,
despondently Byronic in his mood.

His brow is furrow-trenched; he fits the mold
of that long-haunted soul who cannot love
because obsession's chronic stranglehold
constricts his judgment like an iron glove.

His last attempt, in fourteen lines, to court her
appends the back of his restraining order.

Original Post of Byrony


by Gillian

I'll meet you
halfway between

Allegro con brio and
Andante con moto.

I'll recall every overture you made.

After our champagne intermission
I'll watch his fingers
press down on black and white keys,
his hands, the only freedom from the starched black and white
that encases him.

I'll meet you
halfway between
Beethoven's deafness
and hearing Mozart.

Original Post of Halfway

Eau D' Nial

by Eternum 1

I smell her
My soul bathing
in the memory
of her incense
like sunshine
on a meadow
or dew in
the damp earth

Some scents
the must
of old books
Her shampoo
on anothers hair
my soul

by day
by night
in memory
of waking
to her scent
each other

I remember
her scent
I sigh
then sleep
by memory

Original Post of Eau D'Nial

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Location: being both passionate and silly

Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:17 pm

<a name="pomes">Some Poems I'd Like to Share</a>

Sometimes I will browse poetry anthologies and find one or two by a particular poet that I really enjoy and connect with. This week, rather than feature a poet, I'd like to share with you some of this poetry that appealed to me in one way or another. I hope you enjoy it!

Late Landing

It’s 1:30 and raining
as we wake above Pittsburgh,
but we feel back in Paris
asleep in hotel beds
dreaming of a rusty-lipped stewardess,
the long, black Atlantic
and naps in foam seats
that recline just so far.

We walk drugged, down the ramp
like game-show contestants
to an audience of parents,
wide waves and broad smiles.

Mom hugs me too hard
and wipes at her cheek –
was nine days that long?
I tell her I loved it,
did you get my postcards?
we drank coffee from bowls there,
and headlights were yellow,
Dad’s in the car?

The wet trunk lid slams
and wipers start whining.
I shiver cold and numb.
Mom leans over the seat
and sighs for her secret,
“On the day that you left
Grandpa died.”

© Julia M. Spicher

Miss Dickinson Goes to the Office

Because I could not stop for lunch,
it kindly stopped for me.
The lunch tray held a lemon sponge
and watercress and tea.

I heard a fly buzz – in the Slaw –
immortal for an hour.
The tea was hot – a small Brazil –
although the cream was sour.

Since then ‘tis centuries, yet each
seems shorter than the day
I first surmised the weekend was
five working days away.

© Gail White

The Five Stages of Grief

The night I lost you
someone pointed me towards
the Five Stages of Grief.
Go that way, they said,
it's easy, like learning to climb
stairs after the amputation.
And so I climbed.
Denial was first.
I sat down at breakfast
carefully setting the table
for two. I passed you the toast –
you sat there. I passed
you the paper – you hid
behind it.
Anger seemed more familiar.
I burned the toast, snatched
the paper and read the headlines myself.
But they mentioned your departure,
and so I moved on to
Bargaining. What could I exchange
for you? The silence
after storms? My typing fingers?
Before I could decide, Depression
came puffing up, a poor relation
its suitcase tied together
with string. In the suitcase
were bandage for the eyes
and bottles of sleep. I slid
all the way down the stairs
feeling nothing.
And all the time Hope
flashed on and off
in defective neon.
Hope was a signpost pointing
Straight in the air.
Hope was my uncle’s middle name,
he died of it.
After a year I am still climbing,
though my feet slip
on your stone face.
The treeline
Has long since disappeared;
green is a colour
I have forgotten.
But now I see what I am climbing
towards: Acceptance
written in capital letters,
a special headline:
its name in lights.
I struggle on,
waving and shouting.
Below, my whole life spreads its surf,
all the landscapes I’ve ever known
or dreamed of. Below
a fish jumps: the pulse
in your neck.
Acceptance. I finally
reach it.
But something is wrong.
Grief is a circular staircase.
I have lost you.

© Linda Pastan

Afternoons and Coffeespoons

What is it that makes me just a little bit queasy?
There's a breeze that makes my breathing not so easy.
I've had my lungs checked out with X rays
I've smelled the hospital hallways

Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Times when the day is like a play by Satre
When it seems a book burning is in perfect order --
I gave the doctor my desription
I tried to stick to my prescription

Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Afternoons will be measured out
Measured out, measured with
Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot

Maybe if I could do a play-by-playback
I could change the test results that I will get back
I've watched the summer evenings pass by
I've heard the rattle in my bronchi . . .
Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline
Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime

Afternoons will be measured out
Measured out, measured with
Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot.

© Brad Roberts

I was flipping through an anthology in a Grade 11 and 12 English class in which I was substitute teaching at the beginning of June and found this poem. Imagine my surprise to discover it was written by the same Brad Roberts with whom I attended University in the 1980s. We worked together on the University newspaper. He went on to be the lead singer for "The Crashtest Dummies" and I went on to have kids. It isn't so much that I think this is an amazing poem -- frankly I think it's okay, and really it's a song not a poem -- but that I was pleased and a teeny bit envious to find a poem of someone I knew personally in an anthology being studied by English students.

Circular Saws

When the circular saw
chewed up my fingernail
I said to myself
"This is a bad dream
and I shall wake up"
but I didn't
and in a few minutes
the pain began

after that, I had
a scar to remind me
not to go near
circular saws

But I soon found
they had ways of disguising themselves
so that watch as I might
they were always
hurting me

now inside and out
I am covered with scars
but that is not
the worst I've learned
the worst thing is
that under the masks
I wear and without
intending to be
I am a circular saw

© Fred Cogswell


I was never afraid of the night
I'd sit on the farmhouse step and watch the stars
I'd count 5 up from the Big Dipper
to find the smaller one
the one with the bent handle
that leaked rain

I remember the white enamel dipper
that hung on a nail above the washstand
My Mother polishing it once a day
My Father chipping it when he threw it against the wall
in anger over something I've forgotten
It doesn't matter

Still light from the window
casts shadows over the yard
but the sky is calm
A whole universe
and nobody throws the stars
Everything has its place
has order
Even the spaces belong.

© Yvonne Trainer

Sandra Lee Scheuer
(Killed at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 by the Ohio National Guard)

You might have met her on a Saturday night
cutting precise circles, clockwise, at the Moon-Glo
Roller Rink, or walking with quick step

between the campus and a green two-storey house,
where the room was always tidy, the bed made,
the books in confraternity on the shelves.

She did not throw stones, major in philosophy
or set fire to buildings, though acquaintances say
she hated war, had heard of Cambodia.

In truth she wore a modicum of make-up, a brassiere,
and could, no doubt, more easily have married a guardsman
than cursed or put a flower in his rifle barrel.

While the armouries burned she studied,
bent low over notes, speech therapy books, pages
open at sections on impairment, physiology.

And while they milled and shouted on the commons
she helped a boy named Billy with his lisp, saying
Hiss, Billy, like a snake. That's it, SSSSSSSS,

tongue well up and back behind your teeth.
Now buzz, Billy, like a bee. Feel the air
vibrating in my windpipe as I breathe?

As she walked in sunlight through the parking-lot
at noon, feeling the world a passing lovely place,
a young guardsman, who had his sights on her,

was going down on one knee as if he might propose.
His declaration, unmistakeable, articulate,
flowered within her, passed through her neck,

severed her trachea, taking her breath away.
Now who will burn the midnight oil for Billy,
ensure the perilous freedom of his speech?

And who will see her skating at the Moon-Glo
Roller Rink, the eight small wooden wheels
making their countless revolutions on the floor?

© Gary Geddes


Griffin calls to come and kiss him goodnight
I yell ok. Finish something I'm doing,
then something else, walk slowly round
the corner to my son's room.
He is standing arms outstretched
waiting for a bearhug. Grinning.

Why do I give my emotion an animal's name,
give it that dark squeeze of death?
This is the hug which collects
all his small bones and his warm neck against me.
The thin tough body under the pyjamas
locks to me like a magnet of blood.

How long was he standing there
like that, before I came?

© Michael Ondaatje

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Post by ninian » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:20 pm

<a name="tips">Poetry Writing Tips</a>

Published by John Hewitt

Note: These are my personal poetic guidelines. I don’t guarantee they will work for everybody, and I will happily break the rules whenever I feel like it. There are even some contradictions. Take what you like and forget the rest.

A poem with Love in the title (or Destiny, Hate, or other HUGE themes) already has two strikes against it (and I like love poems).

The bigger your point, the more important the details are.

Say what you want to say and let your readers decide what it means.

Feel free to write a bad poem.

Develop your voice. Get comfortable with how you write.

Don’t explain everything.

Untitled poems are lazy. They’re like unnamed children. Obviously their parent doesn’t care about them.

People will remember an image long after they’ve forgotten why it was there.

That one perfect line in a thirty line poem may be what makes it all worthwhile, or it may be what makes the rest of the poem bad. Keep an eye on it.

There are many excuses not to write. Try using writing as an excuse not to do other things.

The more you read, the more you learn. The more you write, the more you develop.

Poems that focus on form (Sonnet, Villanelle, etc.) are rarely my favorites, but most of my favorite poets learned how to write in forms before they discarded them. Writing in forms is a challenge. It makes you think.

Don’t be afraid to write from a different point of view. Write a poem that says exactly the opposite of what you believe, and do it without irony.

When you can’t write, lie on the floor a while. (thank you Jon Anderson)

Write in different places. Keep a notebook. Write in a park or on a street-corner or in an alley. You don’t HAVE to write about the place, but it will influence you whether you do or not.

Listen to talk radio while you write. Listen to the people who call. Great characters and voices emerge that way.

If you don’t like a poem or poet, figure out exactly why. Chances are, it reflects something you don’t like about your own poetry.

When nothing is coming, start writing very fast– any word, phrase or sentence that comes to mind. Do that for about a minute, then go back to your poem. (I call this flushing.) Whether to use anything you flushed is up to you. You can, but that’s not the purpose.

Make a list of poems you can remember specific lines from. Go back and read those poems. Figure out why they stuck with you.

Keep a dream journal. Dreams are your mind at it’s most creative so listen to it. Don’t feel you have to write a poem ABOUT your dreams. If you want to, fine, but the main goal is to see what thoughts the dreams lead you to.

When nothing is coming for you, try analyzing someone else’ s poems. (or even one of yours) Figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and why. Think about what you would have done differently.

Use humor, irony, and melodrama, just don’t abuse them.

Write the worst poem you can possibly write. Use clichés, pretentious words, and beat your reader over the head with your point. Felt good, didn’t it? Now get back to work. The point is, don’t be afraid to write a bad poem. If it takes a hundred bad poems before you can produce a poem you like, fine, get that hundred out of the way.

Dirty limericks can be fun too.

Every great poet has written a bad poem, probably hundreds, possibly thousands. They kept writing though, and so should you.

Every line of a poem should be important to the poem, and interesting to read. A poem with only 3 great lines should be 3 lines long.

Poems should progress. There should be a reason why the first stanza comes before the second, the second before the third, and so on.

Listen to criticism, and try to learn from it, but don’t live or die by it. When I was in college, I would always take my best reviewed poem from the previous class and submit it for review in the next. Invariably, the next professor hated the poem, and could provide good reasons why it failed.

When you write a good poem, one you really like, immediately write another. Maybe that one poem was your peak for the night or maybe you’re on a roll. There’s only one way to find out.

Follow your fear. Don’t back away from subjects that make you uncomfortable, and don’t try to keep your personal demons off the page. Even if you never publish the poems they produce, you have to push yourself and write as honestly as possible.

Submit your poems. Sooner or later you have to send your babies out into the world to find their way. Emily Dickinson was a fluke, most people who don’t publish while they’re alive will never be seen or heard of — no matter how good their poems.

Buy books of poetry, especially books by current writers working in the field and subscribe to poetry journals. Give back to the poetry community by reading (and paying for) the works of others. If you don’t, what right have you to expect others to do it for you?

Go to poetry readings. Check your local arts publications, almost any sizable town has readings every week or every other week. This is a great opportunity to meet poets and people who care about poetry.
When you go to readings, donate money and buy books if you can.

Host a poetry event or organize a reading.

If you want to swap poetry and criticism with your peers, form your own group. Many local arts publications let you list your group for free.

Publish your own poetry journal. Even a few sheets of paper stapled together gets the word out.

Form a poetry circle or group.

This article was originally published at PoeWar.com the Writer's Resource Centre and is part of the Blog Archives

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