Monday, November 16, 2009

Verse of the Day

In the sunny orchard-closes,
While the warblers sing and swing,
Care not whether blustering Autumn
Break the promises of Spring ;
Rose and white the apple-blossom
Hides you from the sultry sky;
Let it flutter, blown and scattered,
On the meadows by-and-by.

In the Orchard, Henrik Ibsen

Friday, November 13, 2009

Verse of the Day

The wind tapped like a tired man,
And like a host, "Come in,"
I boldly answered; entered then
My residence within

The Wind, Emily Dickinson

Monday, September 7, 2009

Verse of the Day

But now I have drunk thy sweet salt tears,
And though thou pour more I'll depart;
My picture vanished, vanish fears
That I can be endamaged by that art.

Witchcraft by a Picture, John Donne

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Verse of the Day

SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

She Walks in Beauty, Lord Byron

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Verse of the Day

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said--"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart....Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley (in honor of my recent neglect of Verse of the Day)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Verse of the Day

The timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass,
Came dazzling around, into the rocks,
Came glinting, sifting from the Americas.

Lovers on Aran by Seamus Heaney

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Verse of the Day

The swollen river sang through the green hole,
and madly hooked white tatters on the grass.
Light escaladed the hot hills. The whole
valley bubbled with sunbeams like a beer glass.

The Sleeper in the Valley, Arthur Rimbaud

Friday, August 21, 2009

Verse of the Day

For authorities whose hopes
are shaped by mercenaries?
Writers entrapped by
teatime fame and by
commuters' comforts?
Not for these
the paper nautilus
constructs her thin glass shell.

The Paper Nautilus by Marianne Moore

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Verse of the Day

I RISE in the dawn, and I kneel and blow
Till the seed of the fire flicker and glow.
And then I must scrub, and bake, and sweep,
Till stars are beginning to blink and peep;
But the young lie long and dream in their bed
Of the matching of ribbons, the blue and the red,
And their day goes over in idleness,
And they sigh if the wind but lift up a tress.
While I must work, because I am old
And the seed of the fire gets feeble and cold.

The Song of the Old Mother, William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Verse of the Day

What she has gathered,
and what lost,
She will not find to lose again.
She is possessed by time,
who once Was loved by men.

Portrait, Louise Bogan

Monday, August 17, 2009

Verse of the Day

You're in this dream of cotton plants.
You raise a hoe, swing, and the first weeds
Fall with a sigh.
You take another step,
Chop, and the sigh comes again,
Until you yourself are breathing that way
With each step, a sigh that will follow you into town.

A Red Palm by Gary Soto

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Re-versing the recession

We've thrown a lot of money and ideas at the recession but what about verse? Marianne Moore, the famous American writer, served for a brief season as the Ford Motor Company’s unofficial poet laureate.
Writing in the New York Times Danny Heitman argues there may be a place for more poetry.

Verse of the Day

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

One Art, Elizabeth Bishop

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Verse of the Day

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

e.e. Cummings, Love is a Place

Friday, August 14, 2009

Verse of the Day

Against the rubber tongues of cows and the hoeing hands of men
Thistles spike the summer air
And crackle open under a blue-black pressure.

Thistles, Ted Hughes

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Verse of the Day

Round the cape of a sudden came the sea,
And the sun looked over the mountain's rim
And straight was a path of gold for him
And the need of a world of men for me.

Parting at Morning, Robert Browning

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Verse of the Day

This is the dead land
This is the cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

The Hollow Men, TS Eliot (sums up what I feel about Wednesdays)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Poetic food for thought

There can be few better places to sink your teeth into The Wasteland than at a bagel bar.
Supposedly no one cares about poetry anymore. But here, every week, poets rule — feeding their muse with shop talk and cinnamon-chip scones.

Verse of the Day

My Life had stood - a loaded gun -
In Corners - till a Day,
The owner passed - identified -
And carried me away.

My Life Had Stood a Loaded Gun, Emily Dickinson

Monday, August 10, 2009

Verse of the Day

Happy is England!
I could be content
To see no other verdure than its own;
To feel no other breezes than are blown
Through its tall woods with high romances blent.

Happy is England, John Keats

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Slam Poetry 101

There's nothing soft or ivory tower about slam poetry.
"Established poetic forms are not required, slang is encouraged, and topics may be controversial or mundane," Lauren Yates writes in the San Diego Poetry Examiner.

Verse of the Day

Is an art, like everything else
I do it exceptionally well.

Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Verse of the Day

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore -
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over -
like a syrupy sweet?

Harlem, Langston Hughes

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's a simile slam dunk

I'd never thought of poetry in terms of a cut throat team sport. But things got competitive at this week's National Poetry Slam in Palm Beach, Florida.
The slam is apparently the largest team poetry event in the world, the superbowl of the spoken word, a high speed linguistic knock down.
What would the reclusive Philip Larkin have made of it all?

Verse of the day

Water is practical
in August
Faucet water
into the buckets
I carry
to the young willow trees
whose leaves
have been eaten
off by grasshoppers

Mourning Pablo Neruda by Robert Bly

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Verse of the day

Children picking up our bones
Will never know that these were once
As quick as foxes on the hill;

A postcard from the Volcano - Wallace Stevens

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Last of a Generation

Harry Patch, the last British soldier who served in the trenches, has died at the age 110. Fortunately memories of the Great War are captured in the lines of the war poets.
Here's Poet Laureate Andrew Motion's interview with Harry Patch in the Guardian.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Poetry on the train

The poets of the 19th Century were the media superstars of the their day. And while the likes of Lord Byron were a good deal more gifted and interesting that Paris Hilton, their antics shocked polite society.
Today poets are an obscure and elite band. If you were to go to the nearest shopping mall and take a poll you would be hard pressed to find someone able to name a single contemporary poet.
I found this article from the Prague Post interesting.
This year's San Francisco International Poetry Festival features Israeli poet Roy Arad who has been an outspoken activist against the war in Gaza, and Bangladeshi poet Taslima Nasrin who has three fatwas against her life and was forced into exile from her country for her writings' frank sexual content, radical feminist views and open criticism of Islam. Read more:

Narin's work includes Prisoner Poems written in an Indian Jail.
"The room in which I now live has a closed window,
A window that I cannot open at will.
The window’s covered with a heavy curtain that I cannot move at will.
I live in a room now,
Where I cannot open the door at will, cannot cross the threshold."

see her home page.