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

     S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
     A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
     Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
     Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
     Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
     Senza tema d'

2
poem

the business
man I shook
hands with
drinking local
whiskey at the
party Christmas
winter I mean non
religious for the
green
group where
his wife
donates her
hours bought
just bought
an old Victorian cheaper
than a

poem

You come to fetch me from my work to-night 
When supper's on the table, and we'll see 
If I can leave off burying the white 
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree. 
(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite, 
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea;) 
And

texts

text
from American Poets
2014

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is John Berryman’s centenary, in part because his best work is of such consummate strangeness that it seems to exist outside the confines of any period or style, and almost outside literary and historical time altogether.

We think of Berryman’s fellow Middle Generation poets—Robert Lowell, Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, and Randall Jarrell, among others, all born between 1910 and 1920—as very much products of their era, who all, in various ways, forged poetic styles that seemed especially reflective of the culture, politics, and vernacular of mid-twentieth century America. Lowell and Hayden were above all poets of personal and public memory, witnesses to the turbulence of their times who were canny in their ability to intermingle the topical with the historical. Bishop and Jarrell strove to perfect a limpid version of the American idiom—what Marianne Moore famously called a plain American English that cats and dogs can understand—that was at

text
Poetic Terms/Forms
2014

proverb: A terse didactic statement that embodies a general truth, the proverb is short and pithy, akin to the aphorism and the maxim, and draws attention to itself as a formal artistic entity. Folk and traditional proverbs are well-known expressions, usually the length of a simple sentence, that function in conversation. They are part of daily discourse. They also operate in educational situations and judicial proceedings. Proverbs take personal circumstances and embody them in impersonal form. Their meanings seem fixed, but depend on context, since texts are adapted to different situations. Proverbs are normative, consensual. The proverb simplifies a problem by naming and solving it with a traditional solution.

The linguist Roman Jakobson called the proverb “the largest coded unit occurring in our speech and at the same time the shortest poetic composition.” Proverbs frequently employ traditional devices of poetry, such as balanced phrasing (“Out of sight, out of mind”) and

text
on Teaching Poetry
2014

One evening, after my course on Asian North American literature, I struck up a conversation with two students. One of them asked what else I was teaching that term, and I responded that I was teaching contemporary poetry. This produced quite a divergent response:

  “I would never take that class.”
  “I would love to take that class!”
  “No way. I hate poetry.”
  “What’s wrong with poetry?”
  “I don’t know. It doesn’t interest me. It’s just too difficult. I feel like I can’t get a handle on it. It’s harder to get what you need out of it.”
  “Really? I think it’s easier. There’s so many things you can talk about—tone, structure, imagery, style...What, are you interested in plot?”
  “Yeah, I guess so.”

Teachers of poetry will no doubt find this argument familiar. In Asian American literature, however, the student who dismissed poetry enjoys the backing of professional Asian American literary critics. Like my poetry-loathing student, Asian

books

book
Anthology
2015
Please Excuse This Poem, edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Lynn Melnick
book
Poetry Book
2015
I Must Be Living Twice by Eileen Myles
book
Poetry Book
1926
The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes