poem index

poems & poets

Search our curated collection of over 7,000 poems, over 2,500 poet biographies, 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
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did.

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but
poem
Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing,
Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches,
Mad with the joy of the Sabbath, 
Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun,
Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes, 
A poetry not in books, a
poem

You tell me to live each day
as if it were my last. This is in the kitchen
where before coffee I complain
of the day ahead—that obstacle race
of minutes and hours,
grocery stores and doctors.

But why the last? I ask. Why not
live each day as if it were the

texts

text
Poetic Terms/Forms
2014

lament: A poem or song expressing grief. The lament is powered by a personal sense of loss. The poetry of lamentation, which arose in oral literature alongside heroic poetry, seems to exist in all languages and poetries. One finds it, for example, in ancient Egyptian, in Hebrew, in Chinese, in Sanskrit, in Zulu. A profound grief is formalized as mourning, as in Lamentations 2:10:

The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.

The poetry of intense grief and mourning, such as the Lamentations of Jeremiah or David’s lament for Saul and Jonathan, has its roots in religious feeling and ritual. The Hebrew Bible is filled with both individual laments (a worshiper cries out to Yahweh in times of need) and communal laments, which mourn a larger national calamity.

Laments may

text
Poetic Terms/Forms
2014

 

poetry:  An inexplicable (though not incomprehensible) event in language; an experience through words. Jorge Luis Borges believed that “poetry is something that cannot be defined without oversimplifying it.  It would be like attempting to define the color yellow, love, the fall of leaves in autumn.”  Even Samuel Johnson maintained, “To circumscribe poetry by a definition will only show the narrowness of the definer.”

Poetry is a human fundamental, like music.  It predates literacy and precedes prose in all literatures.  There has probably never been a culture without it, yet no one knows precisely what it is.  The word poesie entered the English language in the fourteenth century and begat poesy (as in Sidney’s “The Defence of Poesy,” ca. 1582) and posy, a motto in verse.  Poetrie (from the Latin poetria) entered fourteenth-century English vocabulary and evolved into our poetry.  The Greek word poiesis means “making.”  The fact that the oldest term for the poet means

text
from American Poets
2015

Eileen Myles moved from Boston to New York City to become a poet in 1974. Since then, she has established herself as an important and quintessentially New York voice in the landscape of contemporary American poetry—from her involvement with the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, where she served as artistic director from 1984 to 1986; to her championing small presses and mentoring younger poets; to her presence as an active participant in queer culture. Myles has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, among other honors. In September 2015 Ecco published I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975–2014, an impressive career retrospective for a poet whose work continues to surprise and interest her readers. In this conversation, Myles and poet Solmaz Sharif—whose debut collection, LOOK, will be published by Graywolf Press in July 2016—discuss their poetic beginnings and how they approach their craft. In her forthcoming

books

book
Anthology
2014
Singing School:  Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters by Robert Pinksy
book
Anthology
2003
Teaching with Fire
book
Poetry Book
2016
Selected Poems by Keith Waldrop