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LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

pidgin toe

About this Poem 

“‘pidgin toe’ is a play off of the term ‘pigeon toe’ which describes a medical condition where a person’s toes will point inward when walking. Using this as a prompt, the poem acts as a kind of whimsical ‘self corrective’ for the reader/subject whose vision might be in need of ‘straightening.’ I complicate this curious praise poem with my desire for linguistic and cultural discourse by writing in English and a loose Pidgin with occasional moments of Maori, Japanese and Spanish. The additional layering of Yoruba folklore, geography, Godzilla movies, birds from an urban wildlife guide and use of caesurae help to further shape meaning where meaning is but a nickname for chance encounters.”

— LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

pidgin toe

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

on di saké menu no descriptive like quiet & smooth.
lean & firm. dry seems redundant. di comedic
pause dat carry so much inna tree letas. wen
di flesh breaks, a ranginamu glimma free itself to become
sky misty aan di temple. a strait of islands set against
a hazel setting inna di west. kolo pollo. morning is belated
aftanoon whey mourning dove & starling sing der
medley of five songs wich scratch at nickel clouds.
showcase loose silver reatas. aroha. der claws carving
tools. der beaks pick & sift gravel. it said inna myth
dat di rooster was sent down from heaven to shape
di earth. dat di world was once all wata. dat di rooster
no call out ‘pōkokohua’. wat yuh create w/ yrs out of wood,
metal & lacquer? di descriptive begin again. dreamy. reka reka
            engari ia mīere.
ae, dry is practical. perhaps necessary for di lineage. di sky 
neither dusk nor honolulu azure. di sparrow medley
now tree or two. di manner of tings arrive wen di sun cracks
di pastel smear. in di end, e taku hoa pūmau purotu,
                                             di hair gladly protest shampoo.

            e taku tamatāne ngaro mokemoke,

in di end, gochira get devoured by sand dollah.

Copyright @ 2014 by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on July 30, 2014.

collection

Classic Books of American Poetry

This collection of books showcases the masterpieces of American poetry that have influenced—or promise to influence—generations of poets. Take a look.

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Poets in Conversation

In this collection of conversations, poets talk with one another about what inspires them most about the art form.

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Poetry and Place

In this collection, we examine the significance of place in contemporary American poetry. Here you'll find a range of poems, commentary, and essays that revolve around what we mean by the idea of "home" or of "homelessness" resulting from travel or displacement. Some works deal with a specific time and location, while others focus on a more socially-constructed view of place through the lenses of pop culture and identity. In the end, we hope this collection both confirms and challenges your notion of place in American poetry.

For a more thorough exploration of our theme, check out W. T. Pfefferle's anthology Poets on Place: Essays & Tales from the Road.

Marilyn Nelson
Photo credit: Larry Fink
collection

Poetry and Sports

While sports fans may not be widely known for their literary passions, the relationship between literature and athletic competition can be traced as far back as ancient Greece where spectator sports often included literary events as part of the festivities, and champion athletes were known to commission poets to write their victory songs. Even our own Walt Whitman was a baseball lover. Reporting for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1846, he wrote: "In our sun-down perambulations, of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base,' a certain game of ball...Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms...the game of ball is glorious."

We hope this collection not only demonstrates a variety of play and seriousness, but also frames poetry itself—the craft and game of it—as a lively and reactive art form, a pastime as great as any sport.

collection

Summer Reading

If you're looking to catch up on your reading this summer, take a look at this roundup of poetry collections published in the past year.

poem

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas
1937