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poems

poem

The last light has gone out of the world, except
This moonlight lying on the grass like frost
Beyond the brink of the tall elm’s shadow.
It is as if everything else had slept
Many an age, unforgotten and lost
The men that were, the things done, long ago,
All I have

poem

The sky keeps lying to the farmhouse,
lining up its heavy clouds
above the blue table umbrella,
then launching them over the river. 
And the day feels hopeless
until it notices a few trees
dropping delicately their white petals
on the grass beside the birdhouse

poem
26

Your names toll in my dreams.
I pick up tinsel in the street. A nameless god
streaks my hand with blood. I look at the lighted trees
in windows & the spindles of pine tremble
in warm rooms. The flesh of home, silent.
How quiet the bells of heaven must be, cold

2

texts

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Essays
2008

I

I write because I would like to live forever. The fact of my future death offends me. Part of this derives from my sense of my own insignificance in the universe. My life and death are a barely momentary flicker. I would like to become more than that. That the people and things I love will die wounds me as well. I seek to immortalize the world I have found and made for myself, even knowing that I won't be there to witness that immortality, mine or my work's, that by definition I will never know whether my endeavor has been successful. But when has impossibility ever deterred anyone from a cherished goal? As the brilliant poet and teacher Alvin Feinman once said to me, "Poetry is always close kin to the impossible, isn't it?"

My aim is to rescue some portion of the drowned and drowning, including always myself. For a long time my poetry emerged from and was fueled by an impulse to rescue my mother from her own death and from the wreckage of her life, out of which I

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Poetry Roundups
2016

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
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Poetic Terms/Forms
2016

From the Italian sonetto, which means "a little sound or song," the sonnet is a popular classical form that has compelled poets for centuries. Traditionally, the sonnet is a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, which employ one of several rhyme schemes and adhere to a tightly structured thematic organization. Two sonnet forms provide the models from which all other sonnets are formed: the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean.

 

Petrarchan Sonnet

The first and most common sonnet is the Petrarchan, or Italian. Named after one of its greatest practitioners, the Italian poet Petrarch, the Petrarchan sonnet is divided into two stanzas, the octave (the first eight lines) followed by the answering sestet (the final six lines). The tightly woven rhyme scheme, abba, abba, cdecde or cdcdcd, is suited for the rhyme-rich Italian language, though there are many fine examples in English. Since the Petrarchan presents an argument, observation, question, or some other answerable

books