"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." ~Samuel Beckett
Poetry
Two by Mark Strand

Two by Mark Strand

I get these poems in my inbox from Knopf, their Poem A Day, as it were. These are two prose poems by Mark Strand, and they’re really good. I particularly enjoy “The Triumph of the Infinite.” They’re both from his Collected Poems. Enjoy (although neither one is very springy!)   In the Afterlife She stood...
Writing After Auschwitz

Writing After Auschwitz

From The New York Review of Books interview with Syrian poet Adonis on April 16, 2016. NYRB: But can poetry address the terrible, barbaric violence now engulfing Syria? One thinks of Adorno’s claim about poetry after Auschwitz. Adonis: This is talk. Auschwitz was a catastrophic disaster, but humanity has gone through many catastrophic disasters. On the contrary,...
Snowmageddon '16

Snowmageddon ’16

The big blizzard of 2016 missed us. Crippled the mid-Atlantic coast, but missed us completely. The picture shows Toby relaxing on the couch watching the Patriots-Broncos game, and, if you look behind him out the window, you can see the complete and total lack of snow. Truth be told, today was a glorious winter day-...
Dia de Los Muertos

Dia de Los Muertos

And this poem wiggled its way to the surface on this Dia de los Muertos, appropriately I suppose. Mid-Term Break By Seamus Heaney I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o’clock our neighbours drove me home.   In the porch I met my father crying—...
Kissing Again

Kissing Again

What a great poem! I heard it on the Writer’s Almanac and was blown away.     Kissing Again, by Dorianne Laux Kissing again, after a long drought of not kissing—too many kids, bills, windows needing repair. Sex, yes, though squeezed in between the minor depths of anger, despair— standing up amid the laundry or...
The Snow Man

The Snow Man

Ah, January. Waking up this morning to an unexpected snowfall, a squall, really, got me thinking about Wallace Stevens and his poem “The Snow Man.” Stevens was the master of capturing the bleak, the barren, the limitless expanses of our real and emotional lives, and this snowy morning just struck me as really representative of...
"A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts", or Discovering Stevens All Over Again

“A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts”, or Discovering Stevens All Over Again

Sometimes all I need to have is a moment to sit and write and great things happen. Some things I don’t even anticipate happening can miraculously happen when I’m training, or trying to train, my brain on the act of creation. Today was no different. In my fruitless effort to write a story I managed...
A Boat in Harbor Contemplates the Sea

A Boat in Harbor Contemplates the Sea

This following poem is from Edgar Lee Masters: I HAVE STUDIED many times The marble which was chiseled for me— A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor. In truth it pictures not my destination But my life. For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment; Sorrow knocked at...
Vanilla Twilight

Vanilla Twilight

Just when you think it’s safe to listen to the radio, a sappy love song hits you right in the nose. I present Owl City, “Vanilla Twilight,” for your consideration and listening pleasure.  The song is just openly romantic. It makes me pause, a bit, and reflect on the power of well chosen words. Yeah,...
The Winds of Change

The Winds of Change

I was struck by this Pablo Neruda poem, the resolve in it, the level of self-knowledge its narrator shows. Poetry often allows for the distillation of human experience, and this one is no exception. I particularly like the use of the beach imagery, as I also like to use it in my poetry. I’ve used...