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Browse thousands of biographies of poets and poems, essays about poetry, and some of the most important books, anthologies, and textbooks about the art form ever written. Looking for something specific? Use the search bar above.



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.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive
Nature's first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf's a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay. 


Poetic Term or Form

In April 2014 A Poet’s Glossary by Academy Chancellor Edward Hirsch was published. As Hirsch writes in the preface, “this book—one person’s work, a poet’s glossary—has grown, as if naturally, out of my lifelong interest in poetry, my curiosity about its vocabulary, its forms and genres, its histories and traditions, its classical, romantic, and modern movements, its various outlying groups, its small devices and large mysteries—how it works.”  Each week we will feature a term and its definition from Hirsch’s new book. 

negative capability  John Keats coined this term in a letter to his brothers George and Thomas (December 21, 1817).  He wrote:

several things dove tailed in my mind, and at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously—I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and

American Poets Magazine

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Robert Lowell’s poem “Epilogue” comes at “the end of a long sequence,” as he said to an audience in December 1976 during one of his last recorded readings before his death in 1977. His final book of poems, Day by Day, was published in the same month, and “Epilogue” concludes the title group of poems, written in free verse “in the blue period after sickness,” as he explained apologetically to Elizabeth Bishop, “when I felt I could [write] nothing else well.”

As so often with Lowell’s poems, “Epilogue” belies its plainspoken manner while also being true to it—not simply constructed, either in form (he mostly adheres to a four-beat line, with variations, and despite protestations is assisted by plot and rhyme) or in thought; and yet not dissembling either. The poem speaks of the limitations of his art. But the poem also recalls the classical recusatio (refusal), in which the speaker claims he is unable to write the kind of poem the occasion calls for.

Poetic Term or Form

Though the name of the form may appear to be a contradiction, the prose poem essentially appears as prose, but reads like poetry. In the first issue of The Prose Poem: An International Journal, editor Peter Johnson explained, "Just as black humor straddles the fine line between comedy and tragedy, so the prose poem plants one foot in prose, the other in poetry, both heels resting precariously on banana peels."

While it lacks the line breaks associated with poetry, the prose poem maintains a poetic quality, often utilizing techniques common to poetry, such as fragmentation, compression, repetition, and rhyme. The prose poem can range in length from a few lines to several pages long, and it may explore a limitless array of styles and subjects.

Though examples of prose passages in poetic texts can be found in early Bible translations and the Lyrical Ballads of William Wordsworth, the form is most often traced to nineteenth-century French symbolists writers. The advent of


Teaching with Fire
Poetry Book
When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz
A Poet's Glossary