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“the times,” by Lucille Clifton

October 18, 2011

Today’s poem catches itself relieved that they are white.

I read “the times” from a little notebook I kept in the early aughts into which I used to cut and paste–with actual scissors and real rubber cement–poems I wished that I had written. You can find and buy it in Clifton’s Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000 (BOA Editions, 2000).


“The Indoors is Endless,” by Tomas Tranströmer

October 6, 2011

This poem walks around among grandiose houses where only every second column bears weight.

“The Indoors is Endless” is by Tomas Tranströmer who just won the Nobel Prize in Literature. This version was translated by Robin Fulton. It is collected in Tranströmer’s New Collected Poems (Bloodaxe, 1997), and I read it from its page on

“After a Death,” by Tomas Tranströmer

October 6, 2011

Today’s first poem left behind a long shimmering comet tail.

“After a Death” was written by this year’s Nobel Prize winner in literature, Tomas Tranströmer and was translated by Robert Bly. It is collected in Bly’s selected translations, The Winged Energy of Delight (Harper Perennial, 2005). I read it from its page on

Saturday Linkheap

October 1, 2011

Forget what to call your bloat of hipposHere’s a list of collective nouns for all your animals.

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times: a slideshow of literary references on The Simpsons. Also, there’s such a thing as The Lisa Simpson Book Club.

Don’t miss the audio links under the photo: MPR interviews Ed Bok Lee and Bao Phi.

Couplet-by-couplet, $2 by $2: Tupelo Press invites us to build a million-line poem and an enduring foundation for the press. Here’s the poem so far.

Hank-Pank by any other name: would be this game.

When Cliffs Notes are Too Long: Read a book-a -minute.

The earth without art? Eh.

A Fine Day for an Epiphany: In which Gretchen finds her Gooble-Gooble Monster and stands up to the Yeah, Whatever Guy.

To be, or not to be, that is the grzhorninpla!t: Virtual monkeys rewrite Shakespeare. Though a friend noted, “They’re cheating. Besides, it only took one evolved monkey to write the complete works of Shakespeare, and it wasn’t the Earl of Oxford. Probably.

As ever: Come on over and “Like” A Poetry Feed on Facebook. Links all week.

“Brothers,” by Dennis Schmitz

September 30, 2011

This one taught us to cut side by side, balsa ME-109 or the peerless Spitfire.

“Brothers” is in Dennis Schmitz’ collection, Truth Squad (Copper Canyon, 2002).

“Lonely Hearts,” by Wendy Cope

September 27, 2011

Can someone make my simple wish come true?

“Lonely Hearts” is one of the poems in the “Forms” chapter of my lit class textbook, The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature (9th ed.), edited by Michael Meyer. Cope first published it in her collection, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (Faber, 1986).

“An Evel Knievel Elegy,” by Brendan Galvin

September 26, 2011

Today’s poem rode its rocket-powered bike through fire. Which we admired.

“An Evel Knievel Elegy” is one of the poems in “Forms” chapter of my lit class textbook, The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature (9th ed.), edited by Michael Meyer. It first appeared in Shenandoah 58.2 (2008).

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