(Belated) Poetry Friday: Alice Notley

No world is intact

by Alice Notley

No world is intact
and no one cares about you.

I leaned down over
don’t care about, I care about
I leaned down over the

world in portrayal
of carefulness, answering

something you couldn’t say.
walking or fallen and you
were supposed
to give therapy to me—

me leaning down
brushing with painted feathers
to the left chance your operatic,


Poetryfridaybutton The round-up is at HipWriterMama.

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Poetry Friday: More Simic Love

I think this was actually the first Simic poem I ever read, in a Year’s Best Poetry anthology from the early nineties, but I could have invented that history. Maybe there was a different first-Simic-poem-I-read entirely. Whatever the case, this remains one of my favorites.

Read Your Fate   
by Charles Simic

A world’s disappearing.
Little street,
You were too narrow,
Too much in the shade already.

You had only one dog,
One lone child.
You hid your biggest mirror,
Your undressed lovers.

Someone carted them off
In an open truck.
They were still naked, travelling
On their sofa

Over a darkening plain,
Some unknown Kansas or Nebraska
With a storm brewing.
The woman opening a red umbrella

In the truck. The boy
And the dog running after them,
As if after a rooster
With its head chopped off.

Today’s round-up is at Miss Rumphius’s place.

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Poetry Friday Round-Up

PoetryfridayThe wonderful Kelly at Big A little a needed a volunteer for this week’s Poetry Friday Round-Up and so here we are; this is my first time hosting, so if I miss your poem please e-mail me (link up and to the right) or comment on this post. I’ll be adding new ones as I see them today. Here’s my own contribution, a lovely poem by Nathalie Anderson that will be included in the fantasy half of the forthcoming edition of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.

Michele at Scholar’s Blog brings us two war-themed selections in honor of yesterday’s anniversary of the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (not the band).

Cloudscome at A Wrung Sponge offers a cool beach poem by Andromeda Jazmon, perfect for dreaming of relief from the oppressive heat of summer.

Meanwhile, Elaine of the Blue Rose Girls is feeling the love for Mary Oliver (and who isn’t?) with "The Summer Day."

And Elaine, wondrous poetry fool, also has reviews over at Wild Rose Reader of two poetry-filled picture books about the sea, "Into the A, B, Sea" and "What the Sea Saw."

Betsy at FuseNumber8 continues posting fabulous Susan Ramey poems; this week it’s "August." (Again, furthering a theme of heat and sweat and growth and life — and war, hmmm, Michele, heat makes me combative too — and summertime.)

Eisha at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast posts about one of my own favorite collections from the past couple of years, Eireann Lorsung’s Music for Landing Planes By, including links to several poems and a snippet of "Dressmaker."

Nancy at Journey Woman is focusing on the ultimate summer holiday, Fourth of July, with selections about America from poems by e.e. cummings, Walt Whitman, Emma Lazarus, and Robert Frost.

Akelda at Saints and Spinners has a wonderful barking-dog-inspired Billy Collins poem called "Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House."

Kelly Fineman at Writing and Ruminations provides an excerpt from Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, A Romaunt, along with some background info.

Mother of Invention at Spilling Out offers a cat-themed poem of her own, "Mooky, Come In!"

Christine at the simple and the ordinary (so many fabulous new-to-me blogs, my feed reader is groaning!) has a fibonacci poem by her son that returns to our summer days theme by focusing on every kid’s favorite thing about summer: "Summer Vacation."

John Mutford at The Book Mine Set shares his thoughts on An Ear to the Ground: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry edited by Marie Harris and Kathleen Aguero.

Literacy Teacher at Mentor Texts and More has "Children Will Listen" by Stephen Sondheim from Teaching With Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach. And she posted another one too: "Children Learn What They Live" by Dorothy Law Nolte.

Laura from the Wordy Girls blog has collected several "15 words or less" poems written by community members this week (more summertime stuff too), and also has a post on generating ideas for your own poetry.

Karen Edmisten runs one of the best camping-inspired poems I’ve ever seen, from nearly-five-year-old Ramona.

Becky of Becky’s Book Reviews shares "Crib Critters" from Dawn to Dreams: Poems for Busy Babies by Peggy Archer, illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama.

And the ever-fabulous Mitali Perkins presents the winners of the Fire Escape’s 2007 teen poetry and short fiction contests. Check them out.

Eva at Digital Changeling posts a charming poem from 1906 by Philia Butler Bowman (what a very 1906 name) called "A Salad."

Gregory at GottaBook has a fibonacci based on random fib-related search terms that brought people to his site. (What a great idea!)

Becky at Farm School has two excellent poems in celebration of the Fourth of July, Elias Lieberman’s "I Am an American," and of Canada Day, Bliss Carman’s "Rivers of Canada." (Bliss Carman is a wonderful name, no?)

The indefatigable Little Willow of Bildungsroman offers a fun one in memory of her own kitty — "How a Cat Was Annoyed and a Poet Was Booted" by Guy Wetmore Carryl.

Liz Scanlon at Liz in Ink offers a completely different kind of fireworks poem by Austin poet and teacher W. Joe Hoppe; it’s called "It’d be a Happy Ending."

TadMack over at Finding Wonderland is focusing on Mark Jarman this week, and his fabulous poem "Ground Swell," adding to the chorus of summertimes a summertime past.

Suzanne at Adventures in Daily Living posts one of the best poems ever (in my humble opinion), Christina Rosetti’s "Goblin Market." Who can resist fairy fruit in warm weather? Those stronger than I. (Note: Suzanne is so fancy that she has offered code to link back here this week with that pretty graphic up at the top — it’s at the bottom of her post.)

Jennie at Bibliophile has two lovely Chinese poems in translation.

Charlotte at Charlotte’s Library spotlights three books featuring poems about space: Douglas Florian’s "Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars"; "Blast Off! Poems about Space"; and Frederick Winson’s "The Space Child’s Mother Goose."

Katie at Pixie Palace puts up a funny Danish nursery rhyme; I’m so going to start calling people sippernip.

Lectitans has posted Matthew Arnold’s "Had Tiberius Been a Cat," thus furthering the pets vs. summer competition (who will win?!).

Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect brings the Rilke with "Before Summer Rain."

Marcie at World of Words shares a poem about the first house she lived in growing up in Ashland, Kentucky. (Kentucky, respresent!)

Melissa at Here in the Bonny Glenn has posted a Scottish ballad written by Englishmen, "Bonny Mary o’ Argyle."

Schelle at Brand New Ending has Australian bush poems for wintertime.

Sam Riddleburger has a specially-commissioned, wonderful haiku by Mary Hall.

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti comes in under the wire with a post about Song of the Water Boatman by Joyce Sidman.

Kim from Hiraeth jumps over the wire with "The Glory of the Garden" by Rudyard Kipling.

And I think that’s everybody. Thanks, y’all, for playing along.

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Poetry Friday: Tell

Gavin just announced that this poem will be included in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror this year; it originally appeared in the Journal of Mythic Arts.


by Nathalie Anderson

One sees. One is enticed. One goes
or not. One pines, or not. That’s all
it is. Still, every time one tells,
by hairsbreadth, hairsbreadth, on it grows.

The slant of eye. The cut of tooth.
One thinks what one describes explains.
While spouses sneer and parents strain,
sift sigh from sly, clip rune from brood.

Whatever one might think to say
one says. Despite one’s innocence
strange words serve, stranger, to estrange.
Hearsay. Soothsay. Verité. Fey.
One’s wooden tongue sprouts eloquence.
Oh changeling, this is how you change.

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Poetry Friday

From Mark Haddon’s The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea:


They stand in parks and graveyards and gardens.
Some of them are taller than department stores,
yet they do not draw attention to themselves.

You will be fitting a heated towel rail one day
and see, through the louvre window,
a shoal of olive-green fish changing direction
in the air that swims above the little gardens.

Or you will wake at your aunt’s cottage,
your sleep broken by a coal train on the empty hill
as the oaks roar in the wind off the channel.

Your kindness to animals, your skill at the clarinet,
these are accidental things.
We lost this game a long way back.
Look at you. You’re reading poetry.
Outside the spring air is thick
with the seeds of their children.

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Poetry Friday

In honor of Alan DeNiro’s Read This! status over at the LBC, here’s a Friday poem from his chapbook "Atari Ecologues." (Ooh, and perhaps there will be DeNiro poems every Friday until the Festival of Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead has concluded.)


Reset. I won’t expect endings to end–
as long as the power’s on, I’ll chew pixie
sticks and cellar bubbles, think that
perhaps Lawrence Welk is the eater of worlds.
In the restaurant, a woman from the other
mouths, Loser, to me. Give me an L-
sign with her game-over hands. Not at 13, I’m 27.
The now,
the current place bookmarked. I heartily
agree, we’re all losers, goners,
husks waiting for money to come back,
to hear the words you were not cheated
by someone in authority, even though we
know we won’t. Death smells like shoe polish,
never one’s favorite star.

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Another Cold or Just Sleepy?

A poem, in any case, to make it better:

A Rough Guide

Be polite at the reception desk.
Not all the knives are in the museum.
The waitresses know that a nice boy
is formed in the same way as a deckchair.
Pay for the beer and send flowers.
Introduce yourself as Richard.
Do not refer to what somebody did
at a particular time in the past.
Remember, every Friday we used to go
for a walk. I walked. You walked.
Everything in the past is irregular.
The steak is very good. Sit down.
There is no wine, but there is ice cream.
Eat slowly. I have many matches.

– Mark Haddon

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Lying In A Hammock At William Duffy’s Farm In Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

– James Wright (1927-1980)

An exchange between Wright and an interviewer (scroll down):

Henricksen: I wanted to ask you about one specific poem that you read the other night … You talked about the final line, "I have wasted my life," as being, perhaps, a realization that more time ought to be spent lying in a hammock, as I remember.

Wright: Yes, I think that I didn’t realize it at the moment, but looking back on that poem I think that final line – "I have wasted my life" – is a religious statement, that is to say, here I am and I’m not straining myself and yet I’m happy at this moment, and perhaps I’ve been wastefully unhappy in the past because through my arrogance or whatever, and in my blindness, I haven’t allowed myself to pay true attention to what was around me. And a very strange thing happened. After I wrote the poem and after I published it, I was reading among the poems of the eleventh-century Persian poet, Ansari, and he used exactly the same phrase at a moment when he was happy. He said, "I have wasted my life." Nobody gave him hell for giving up iambics. You can’t win.

from Bruce Henricksen, "Poetry Must Think" (an interview with James Wright published in 1978)

(Thanks to Mr. CVR.)

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