When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer encapsulates Walt Whitman's approach to the world: silent, solitary and mystical.
Arthur Sze's postmodern poetic style includes elements of Taoist and Zen philosophy written in a deeply observational style. Influenced by William Carlos Williams and Chinese poets like Bei Dao, Arthur Sze's work can be a difficult but rewarding read.
Tria Chang's poem, I Was Once in Love, talks about the possibilities and pitfalls of relationships and how things can so easily slip out of balance.
"though I have looked everywhereI can find nothing lowlyin the universe" AR Ammons AR Ammons' poem Still follows a resolution of a spiritual nature to ground oneself and to identify with the lowly rather than the grandiose. It's a call to commune with what is most basic and elemental, but the poet… Continue reading AR Ammons – Still
"Only the seaIs free of such calculations." Susan Barba Declared 'a poem worth framing' by one reviewer, Susan Barba's How Should We Live Our Lives? dips into a stream of questions and musings reminiscent in style of Mary Oliver's simple and probing verse. She starts with love and trepidation and ends with an… Continue reading Susan Barba – How Should We Live Our Lives?
Kendrick Lamar asks, what kind of society would we have if the promise of '40 acres and mule' had been the 'reconstruction' that actually happened? And where do we go from here?
'So many things seem filled with the intent to be lost,' writes Elizabeth Bishop in the first stanza of one of her most well-known poems. Having lost her father before she even knew him, her mother to mental illness at a very young age, and years later her partner to suicide, Bishop was close to… Continue reading One Art – Elizabeth Bishop’s Poem About Learning to Lose
Poet Marianne Moore once said, 'Poetry watches life with affection,' a sentiment echoed in her poem Black Earth, which featured in a 1924 collection called Observations. In the poem, Moore imagines herself - affectionately - as an elephant, with thick skin 'cut into checkers by rut upon rut of unpreventable experience' that conceals the 'beautiful… Continue reading Black Earth – Marianne Moore
The term between eternity and immortality - our lives - is the subject of Emily Dickinson's poem number 721. It's a gentle vision of life melting and disappearing into a drift and the being itself a 'miracle' as she refers to it in the last verse. She also uses the image of the moon reflected… Continue reading Behind Me – dips Eternity – Emily Dickinson
"Poetry itself is an instrument of resilience," Jane Hirshfield wrote more than a decade ago when referring to her poem 'Optimism' for the Washington Post. Poetry, she continues, reflects "life's continuing embrace of its own implausible, risky existence." A residential Zen student of many years, Jane Hirshfield's work embodies a continuing sense of wonder and… Continue reading Jane Hirshfield’s Ode to Optimism and Resilience