Category Archives: Poetry

Lord Byron’s “Darkness” and Some Other Things

A couple months ago I read Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. In the course of events a character is thrown into eternal night, which at the time reminded me strongly of Lord Byron’s poem, Darkness. “I should,” I … Continue reading

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Philip Levine: Poet Laureate; Not Dead

So, the news that Philip Levine has acquired the role of US Poet Laureate is exciting on two levels. One, he’s a great poet. Two, if you had asked me a week ago, I would have told you he died … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Robert Kroetsch

So, I had no idea Robert Kroetsch had died. My dad was looking through my working list for the literary world tour, wondered who Kroetsch was, and checked out Wikipedia. You guys, Robert Kroetsch died: According to a post on … Continue reading

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Broetry: Poetry for the 21st Century?

Here’s the bit (4 1/2 minutes, just listen to it) on NPR. Yo, Bro! Belly Up To The Bar And Recite 'Broetry' — NPR Books (@nprbooks) July 24, 2011 In a word: No. A book subtitled “Poems for Bros” … Continue reading

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Water Pressure of sun on the rockslide Whirled me in a dizzy hop-and-step descent, Pool of pebbles buzzed in a Juniper shadow, Tiny tongue of this-year rattlesnake flicked, I leaped, laughing for boulder-color coil– Pounded by heat raced down the … Continue reading

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Thinking About Prose Poetry

As someone who has read some literature but has never studied it formally, I’m not clear on what makes prose poetry poetry. Is the defining factor authorial intent? I thought of this a couple of weeks ago or so when … Continue reading

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Best Inscription to Date

I was complaining to Brian about the lackluster inscriptions authors put in their books. If I ever write something and someone wants it signed, I said, I hope I come up with something better than “Best Wishes.” He reached for … Continue reading

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Here, Bullet, by Brian Turner

Here, Bullet, by Brian Turner Alice James Books, 2005. 80 pages. As that of a soldier in Iraq, much of Turner’s poetry carries a surrealism, perhaps best captured in his own words: Allah must wander in the crowd as I … Continue reading

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Ulysses Talks with Freud about the Underworld

Since we’re on The Odyssey, here’s a poem from Barbara Hamby’s collection, All Night Lingo Tango: Underarm is more like it. In The Odyssey, Book V, when Athena wheedles Zeus into sending Hermes to coax yummy Calypso into letting me … Continue reading

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Locker Room Talkin’ With the Gods

Reading Homer the other day I thought of this from Kate Beaton: I suppose ancient Greece is as good a place as any to find bawdy humor. Here’s the whole story of Mars and Venus from The Odyssey, Book VIII, … Continue reading

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