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.



A person protests to fate:

“The things you have caused
me most to want
are those that furthest elude me.”

Fate nods.
Fate is sympathetic.

To tie the shoes, button a shirt,
are triumphs
for only the very young,
the very old.

During the long


Fireflies careening the fields regardless
of charm, without attention, jesters slid
into the sea and time was forthcoming.
There was a story being told.

The lake asked nothing. (It was late
and certainty required that you talk less
or at the very least move over.)



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on Teaching Poetry

First, I must tell you, I don’t teach for a living. I am one of those writers whom many of you would consider as holding a day job, when in fact, my day job in public health I consider my career. It’s beneficial to the work of writing to have a life and perspective mostly outside of academic circles.

Second, I am interested in emerging API and especially Filipino American poets and readers of poetry, in having conversations with them, inspiring and encouraging them along the way. I am interested in their stories of being thwarted by poetry (not getting Shakespeare in high school, and being made to feel stupid because of this), and finding a way to come to poetry.

In the capacity of visiting artist or lecturer, my interactions with students are brief and jam-packed. I meet many emerging writers of color who consider themselves spoken word artists. I read their poetry, and I see them perform. In conversation, they tell me about word choice, about struggling to contain and

on Teaching Poetry

The word “gimmick” has derogatory connotations. It often suggests something cheap, tricky, fast, without substance, even immoral. There are intelligent people who attack the use of gimmicks or devices in teaching imaginative writing, on the grounds that such devices encourage kids to be thoughtless smart alecks, witty at the expense of substance, satisfied with a glib surface but insensitive to depth of feeling. Such critics usually emphasize the importance of meaning.

Were there a School of Gimmicks, its members might retort that the Defenders of Meaningfulness tend to be boring creeps who confuse self-expression with value, that the most sincere statement of feeling is no better than any other sincere statement, that what makes the difference in creative expression is style. In other words, concern yourself with style, and everything else will take care of itself.

These are two extreme points of view, of course. They sound like rehashings of the old conflict between

Debates & Manifestos

Manifestos are an unruly lot. In opposition to a reigning ideology, they create vibrancy. But in support of dominant power? They stultify. This is true of William Wordsworth’s Preface to Lyrical Ballads. Written when he was just 28 years old, it had a tremendously generative run of at least 150 years. But Wordsworth wasn’t shooting merely for a good run; he wanted "to interest mankind permanently." I don’t know about eternity, but I know that two centuries after it was written, the Preface is certainly considered "definitive." Only, how much does it matter?

When Charles Bernstein praises Ron Silliman’s poems, he positions the work precisely against the type of poem championed by Wordsworth’s Preface: Silliman’s poems "may discomfort those who want a poetry primarily of personal communication, flowing freely from the inside with the words of a natural rhythm of life, lived daily" (Content’s Dream). Admiring how Silliman’s poems work against "official verse culture," Bernstein


Poetry Book
Anybody by Ari Banias
Children's Book
When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
Poetry Book
Songs from a Mountain by Amanda Nadelberg