poem index

poems & poets

Search over 2,500 poet biographies, over 6,500 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

The grapefruit in the Florida orchard
has ripened into a globe in Hartford
for him to look at, not to eat.
If he had a tin can he would beat
it as a drummer in a band beats
his drum and steadily with a swish
and sometimes a gong. It’s his wish
to escape from

poem

You get into puddles with the sky
and when this fails
pit your girl against an ocean.

Choices blur and make off with rooms
in the whiteness. Winged enough to manage
your red kimono’s 37 cranes in various
trajectories while you make the coffee.

You as God with

2
poem

                               letter to my transgender daughter

I made soup tonight, with cabbage, chard
and thyme picked outside our back door. 
For this moment the room is warm and light,
and I can presume you safe somewhere.
I know the night lives inside

texts

text
on Teaching Poetry
2011

Of late, and perhaps of long, I’ve been trying more experiential approaches to the hours we spend together in the classroom. What is our goal there? In the thicket of writing programs, I sometimes wonder. What seems important to me, more and more, is establishing a collective, collaborative space in which we can explore some of the edges of our interior conditions (which include the emotional, the intellectual, and the spiritual) as well as engage in documentary (socio-, eco-) experiments, and to test those edges against what previous poets have done. As we all know, there are already too many workshop poems in the world eating up available reality (as Robert Creeley once said of Robert Frost). I want to see what other realities we can explore. At the University of Denver, I have the enviable challenge of working with PhD students who have either read nearly everything or are trying to read nearly everything, so I know they’re in the process of figuring out the lineage. What I want

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
Essays
2015

One never grows weary of The Weary Blues. Langston Hughes’s first book, published by Knopf in 1926, is one of the high points of modernism and of what has come to be called the Harlem Renaissance—that flowering of African American literature and culture in the public’s consciousness. Really an extension of the New Negro movement that began toward the start of the twentieth century, international as much as based in New York, the Harlem Renaissance represented different things to different people: to “race men” like W. E. B. DuBois and James Weldon Johnson, the black cultural ferment found from the teens to the nineteen twenties and beyond provided an opportunity to prove in culture things sometimes denied black folks in society—namely, their humanity.

For a younger generation of black artists like Hughes, their humanity proved self-evident. What’s more, the freedom of expression they sought and Hughes insisted on in his 1926 manifesto “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

books

book
Anthology
2003
Teaching with Fire
book
Poetry Book
2016
Selected Poems by Keith Waldrop
book
Poetry Book
2016
Play Dead by francine j. harris