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.



Spring is like a perhaps hand 
(which comes carefully 
out of Nowhere)arranging 
a window,into which people look(while 
people stare
arranging and changing placing 
carefully there a strange 
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a
When she says margarita she means daiquiri.
When she says quixotic she means mercurial.
And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again,"
she means, "Put your arms around me from behind
as I stand disconsolate at the window."

He's supposed to know that.

When a man loves a

A gift is a risk. Let roses be the prodrome.
It’s like it dropped a gold and a silver

ring with its name on it
in my brain. That was the gift

before the storm. It sent you a stumbling
block. Just scribble yes or no

on the form. Now every time the doorbell


on Teaching Poetry

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

Poetic Terms/Forms

negative capability: John Keats coined this term in a letter to his brothers George and Thomas (December 21, 1817).  He wrote:

several things dove tailed in my mind, and at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously—I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.

The displacement of the poet’s protean self into another existence was for Keats a key feature of the artistic imagination.  He attended William Hazlitt’s Lectures on the English Poets (1818) and was spurred further to his own thinking by Hazlitt’s groundbreaking idea that Shakespeare was “the least of an egotist that it was possible to be” and “nothing in himself,” that he embodied “all that others were, or that they could become,” that he “had in himself the germs of every faculty

Poetry Roundups

Night from a railroad car window
Is a great, dark, soft thing
Broken across with slashes of light.

"Window" by Carl Sandburg

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water...

From "Flying at Night" by Ted Kooser

More poems about Nighttime:

Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Vachel Lindsay
It is portentous, and a thing of state...At Deep Midnight by Minnie Bruce Pratt
It's at dinnertime the stories come, abruptly...At Night the States by Alice Notley
At night the states / I forget them...Breaking Across Us Now by Katie Ford
I began to see things in parts again...Flying at Night by Ted Kooser
Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations...Hard Night by Christian Wiman
What words or harder gift...Hellish Night by Arthur Rimbaud
I've swallowed a terrific mouthful of poison...Here and Now by Stephen Dunn
There are words