poem index

poems & poets

Search over 2,500 poet biographies, over 7,000 poems, as well as essays about poetry, and some of the most important books, anthologies, and textbooks about the art form ever written. To search by keyword, use the search bar above.

poems

poem

who by the time it arrived
had made its plan heretofore
stonewall   it had not a penny
thats not true it had several pennies

can you make a sovereign nation a national park how condescending
instead just tell them to honor the treaty

poem
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive
poem

Thanks for the tree
between me & a sniper's bullet.
I don't know what made the grass
sway seconds before the Viet Cong
raised his soundless rifle.
Some voice always followed,
telling me which foot
to put down first.
Thanks for deflecting the ricochet

texts

text
on Teaching Poetry
2014

I think as readers it is our task to try very hard, despite what seems natural or what we may have been taught to do when we read poetry, not to begin immediately to paraphrase or translate such poems to ourselves in order to understand. To truly experience poetry, we need to try just to be in the poem for a while. Maybe even having unfamiliarity, resistance, not understanding at times pass through us. Which is hard for me, at least, as it might be for you.

In such cases, it is often helpful for me to remember that the word stanza comes from the Greek word for room, and verse from the Greek word for turn. If I think of the poem as something I am actually physically moving my consciousness through, from one line down to the next, and from one room to another, it helps me stay there, within what is being said. Giving myself that task to do helps keep me from translating and explaining everything in the poem as I am going along.

Now we are there. And maybe also now

text
on Teaching Poetry
2014

There are, I think, two very different dynamics involved in the making of a poet. One is learning that you already know everything you need about writing before you even begin. The other is an extended reading of the literature, to understand what has been done, why, and what its implications might be.

The first sounds easy, but is in fact the harder of the two tasks. Many starting writers never solve the problem at all, which means that they’re destined to fail. The difficulty is what happens in that instant between the moment before you even begin and the moment once you’ve begun, into which is inserted every vague notion you may have about what writing is, how it is done, who does it, and every conceivable fantasy you might harbor about being a poet or a novelist. Before you begin, the blank page or screen is in front of you, absolutely free of any irrevocable marks, literally virgin territory. Once you begin, however, you instantaneously discover yourself burdened with

text
Archival Images
2013

In 1955, Sylvia Plath, who was then a student at Smith College, typed up a group of poems on onion skin paper and mailed them to the Academy of American Poets in New York City to be considered for one of its College Poetry Prizes. Founded in 1934, the Academy has recognized young poets for much of its history, and today awards more than 200 prizes to poets in undergraduate programs across the U.S.

Plath's poems won. Uplifted and inspired by the recognition, she wrote a letter to thank the donor, Mr. Harrison Eudy, who had endowed the prize in memory of his mother, an aspiring poet herself. "After this fruitful year," Plath wrote to Eudy, "I know that writing poetry will always be the richest, most rewarding part of a full maturing life."



During the next seven years staff at the Academy of American Poets and Plath remained in contact as her poetry life quickly blossomed. In 1961, Elizabeth Kray, the Director of the Academy at the time, invited Plath

books

book
Poetry Book
2015
I Must Be Living Twice by Eileen Myles
book
Anthology
1994
Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry
book
Poetry Book
2016
Songs from a Mountain by Amanda Nadelberg