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

When haughty expectations prostrate lie,
And grandeur crouches like a guilty thing,
Oft shall the lowly weak, till nature bring
Mature release, in fair society
Survive, and Fortune’s utmost anger try;
Like these frail snow-drops that together cling,
And nod their

poem

Things you know but can’t say,
the sort of things, or propositions
that build up week after week at the end of the day,

& have to be dredged
by the practical operators so that their grosser cargo
& barges & boxy schedules can stay.

The great shovels

poem

I noticed the mockingbirds first,
           not for their call but the broad white bands,

like reverse mourning bands on gunmetal
           gray, exposed during flight

then tucked into their chests. A thing
            seen once, then everywhere—

the top of the

texts

text
Poetic Terms/Forms
2015

epic: A long narrative poem, exalted in style, heroic in theme. The earliest epics all focus on the legendary adventures of a hero against the backdrop of a historical event: think of the Trojan War and Odysseus’s action-packed journey home in the eighth century BCE Homeric epics the Iliad and the Odyssey, the models for epic poetry ever since; or the territorial battles of a warrior culture in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, dated between the eighth and eleventh centuries; or the preservation of a city and a civilization in the Babylonian Gilgamesh (ca. 1600–1000 BCE). These epics seem to be the written versions of texts long sung and retold, composed and recomposed by many epic singers over time, all telling the tale of a tribe. The first audiences for the epics were listeners, the later ones readers. Aristotle (384–322 BCE) considered the Homeric epic the prototype of tragedy. The epic carried important cultural truths but, as M. I. Finley puts it, “Whatever else the epic may have

text
on Teaching Poetry
2014

As a sixth-grade teacher, I often find that my spring parent-teacher conferences begin with the same answer to my first question: “So: how does Kevin think things are going this term?” I will ask. “We don’t know,” Kevin’s parents will say. “He never talks to us anymore!”

Anyone who interacts with middle school students on a regular basis knows the familiar answer to the question “How was your day?” is usually some combination of “Fine!” “Whatever!” or “[Nearly inaudible grunt]!” As these young men and women try on new identities for size and experiment with their desire for independence, they often create distance—sometimes a crack, sometimes a chasm—between themselves and their families.

Ironically, it is during their formative middle school years that young adults struggle with some of the most pressing questions they have ever encountered: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I from, and where am I going? As they work to answer these questions, they often want the

text
on Teaching Poetry
2014

Twelve people sitting around a table talking about poems is not going to ruin poetry.

This isn’t an endorsement of the writing workshop as it is currently taught; but in imagining how it might be done better, it seems important to understand exactly what the flattening or engaging possibilities of the thing might be. So it bears repeating, as we struggle to vomit up the Kool-Aid of heroic individualism: of itself, a dozen people puzzling over a poem at a shared table is not a problem. And it even has the possibility of possibility.

The problems though are obvious and have been inventoried again and again by those other than us. They include boredom, the pedantry of professionalization, the policing of group norms, a pedagogy of proofreading and minor revision, an unacknowledged aesthetic elitism and narrow-mindedness, anxiety about outcomes other than the outcome of the poem. You will note that these are different names for one linked problematic, and that the all-too-

books

book
Poetry Book
2016
Anybody by Ari Banias
book
Poetry Book
2015
Once Removed by Elizabeth Bradfield
book
Poetry Book
2015
I Must Be Living Twice by Eileen Myles