Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Poetry

Yesterday's blog post mentioned the value of poetry and some of you asked for recommendations.

My go-to journal for poetry is called (drum roll!) POETRY and it's the journal of the Poetry Foundation.

What I like best is that it's an anthology, so if the work of one poet is too obscure or abstract for me, I can just turn the page.


I love the poetry of Richard Blanco.

And Jane Kenyon. Well, enough good cannot be said of Jane Kenyon. Her poem Happiness is a touchstone for me.

And if your poetry taste runs to Dr. Seuss, or Ogden Nash, or Shel Silverstein, well thats' some rollicking good stanzas.

Those of you who find beauty in the Psalms, or Shakespeare, or Keats, have at it.  Keats famously said truth is beauty but he didn't say there was but one of each.

And while you may not think of Homer's Odyssey as poetry, it is.
The Iliad too.

There's a wealth to read and remember. Don't spend time with poets or poetry that doesn't resonate with you. If you "don't understand" a poem, read another one. Or another poet. Or look for poetry designed for younger readers.  Just cause you're old doesn't mean you have to give up kids books. Robert Louis Stevenson's poem about swings is with me to this day.

My favorite poem of all time is called We Are Going to Mars by Nikki Giovanni and I had the experience of a lifetime listening to her speak the poem aloud here in New York at Symphony Space.

A good poem is one that illuminates your world.
 That's the ONLY measure of poetry in my opinion.

67 comments:

kathy joyce said...

I like this poem. But, I don't get "quilting a black-eyed pee." Anyone help me?

Ann Dominguez said...

I love Carl Sandberg and Wendel Berry and Gwendolyn Brooks. Thanks for this post.

Amy Johnson said...

Kathy: At this moment (my thoughts could change), I'm thinking that line from the poem might indicate the poet's hopefulness that newcomers will be welcome--that there will be a positive change. The Martians are smiling at the newcomers (indicates they're happy to see them). I'm thinking about a patchwork family quilt, and that the black-eyed pea might be symbolic of the American South (where they're popular, but I just cooked some up last week, and I'm not there). There's talk earlier in the poem of new people who did not receive a smiling welcome (when they arrived in the American South and elsewhere). Maybe the poet is saying the Martians will welcome the newcomers to their "family." I'm still puzzled by the spelling of black-eyed pee instead of pea. Maybe that's the thing you were wondering about too. :)

Colin Smith said...

I've always had an instinctive barrier against poetry. Somehow, early on, I must have got into my head that the "good" poetry is of the artsy, obtuse, need-to-be-super-clever-or-super-high-to-understand kind. The kind of poetry I enjoyed was the sort that had clever rhymes, that told stories, that were funny, or that were good songs. This kind of poetry is what I thought most people considered "low-brow." I never got the "high-brow" stuff.

What I have come to appreciate with poetry is that a lot of the same skills come into play as with writing flash fiction. The ability to take ideas and find a handful of the best words to convey those ideas. To put an impression into the reader's head with a well-crafted phrase.

Anyway, I'm warming to poetry. I probably just need to read more of it. :)

Arri Frranklin said...

I understand how Colin feels. As much as I always enjoyed Robert Frost, Lord Tennyson, and Shakespeare, there were MANY (many, many) others in English class that I did not get. I'd have to say that other than those three, I pretty much consider only Rush lyrics to be poetry that I connect with. Then again, I also don't go looking for poetry; perhaps I should change that.

Susan said...

Damn, that poem is gorgeous!

I was on a Mary Oliver kick a few years ago. I grew up reading Tennyson and Wordsworth because I found books from my mom's English major days in the basement and was enthralled. Mary Oliver has the same kind of natural beauty in her work but in a more relatable way for the time. I also have all of Shel Silverstein's books. It's not so much the lyrical nature in poetry but the meaning, the philosophy--what is touching the soul in that moment as I read it? I've found some poems resonate once and never again. Some poems stick with me for a lifetime for only a few lines.

Sarah Williams' "The Old Astronomer has two lines at the end of her poem that I never forget and that always seem to comfort/inspire me when I'm going through rough patches:

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light/I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."

Dena Pawling said...


I agree with Colin's analogy of poetry being similar to flash fiction. I don't understand most flash fiction. I don't understand most poetry. If I have to read something 3+ times to understand it, I won't. It's not enjoyable, and many times it doesn't matter how many times I read it, I still don't understand it. I do like limericks tho, and Dr. Seuss, and yes even Stevenson's poem about swings which I can still recite even tho I haven't read it in decades. And surprisingly, I even understood We're Going to Mars.



Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I had a picture book of Robert Frost selections when I was little. The first poetry collections I was given were collections T.S. Eliot and Emily Dickinson, from the same grandfather who gave me REBECCA and WATERSHIP DOWN, knowing I would love both. He had excellent literary taste, and was apparently a Beowulf scholar and maybe did some Tolkein stuff (I'm not really sure why he never told me and now, like so many things, it's simply too late).

The Iliad and Odyssey, definitely yes (I even have a translation preference, the Fagles editions, which are both lovely books and contain lovely language). Adrienne Rich's "From an Old House in America", "maggie and milly and molly and may" by e.e. cummings, Anne Sexton. Sylvia Plath. If it speaks to me it's like a bolt of lightning. If it doesn't, then I think "I don't like poetry", which is not entirely correct.

Susan said...

I also want to add that I also love music whose lyrics read like poetry. Jewel was one of my favorites for that reason. Sarah Bareilles is another: "Chasing the Sun" is a great example. Great song, but also poetry... I'm starting to think poetry is whatever we believe it to be...

Joyce Tremel said...

My favorite poem is one my younger son wrote when he was in second or third grade called "No Brownies for Breakfast." He's now a neuroscientist, so apparently being a mean mom paid off.

Kari Lynn Dell said...

And then there's the poetry that I credit for teaching me how to write humor:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zfzT7QfLZc

Julie Weathers said...

I really don't have much couth. If I have to read it three times to try and understand it, I just accept I won't ever understand it and move on. Hark A Shark might be more my speed.

I like Ae Fond Kiss, especially when the Corries do it, though Eddi Reader does a good job and has interesting commentary.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I do love poetry. Of course, I was much maligned as a high school student for arguing that Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen were poets to my generation. I still feel that way about master songwriter lyricists. Big ideas captured in small, snappy verses.

Yes, I love Yeats and Tennyson but am equally moved by Bernie Taupin (Elton John's long time lyricist) , Geddy Lee of Rush (some would sell their dreams for small desires and lose their race to rats, get stuck in ticking traps)and Bruce Springsteen (They blew up the chicken man in Philly last night) - yes, poetry set to music. It's valid if it moves you.

Ok - back to my bi-weekly psychotic break.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

E.M. I will defent to my last breath that Bruce Springsteen is a poet and I thought to mention him in my first post and....my thoughts got away from me. As they do. But yes, a thousand times yes. The whole Born to Run album, really. His first three albums, really. They never leave my rotation.



*cough* I'm rather a Springsteen fan.

Megan V said...

Edna St. Vincent Millay is my go to for poetry. Her words, like so many others, strike a chord.

Claire Bobrow said...

I enjoy getting Poem-A-Day in my inbox from Poets.org. The poems range from classics to hot-off-the-presses.

My new favorite poet is Janet Wong. Her collection "A Suitcase Full of Seaweed" is brilliant. And my very favorite poem is "Pachycephalosaurus," by Richard Armour - it's clever, hilarious, and informative all at the same time!

kathy joyce said...

Amy, yes, it's the "pee" I'm not getting. The rest, I think is brilliant.

Song lyrics are poetry. No question in my mind.

Verna Austen said...

Here's one of my faves!

Counterman
BY PAUL VIOLI

What’ll it be?

Roast beef on rye, with tomato and mayo.

Whaddaya want on it?

A swipe of mayo.
Pepper but no salt.

You got it. Roast beef on rye.
You want lettuce on that?

No. Just tomato and mayo.

Tomato and mayo. You got it.
…Salt and pepper?

No salt, just a little pepper.

You got it. No salt.
You want tomato.

Yes. Tomato. No lettuce.

No lettuce. You got it.
…No salt, right?

Right. No salt.

You got it. Pickle?

No, no pickle. Just tomato and mayo.
And pepper.

Pepper.

Yes, a little pepper.

Right. A little pepper.
No pickle.

Right. No pickle.

You got it.
Next!

Roast beef on whole wheat, please,
With lettuce, mayonnaise and a center slice
Of beefsteak tomato.
The lettuce splayed, if you will,
In a Beaux Arts derivative of classical acanthus,
And the roast beef, thinly sliced, folded
In a multi-foil arrangement
That eschews Bragdonian pretensions
Or any idea of divine geometric projection
For that matter, but simply provides
A setting for the tomato
To form a medallion with a dab
Of mayonnaise as a fleuron.
And—as eclectic as this may sound—
If the mayonnaise can also be applied
Along the crust in a Vitruvian scroll
And as a festoon below the medallion,
That would be swell.

You mean like in the Cathedral St. Pierre in Geneva?

Yes, but the swag more like the one below the rosette
At the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

You got it.
Next!

Catherine1216 said...

I love the poetry of Sherman Alexie.

Craig F said...

Sorry but poetry is not the illumination

It is the nuance and color that makes light

more than white

It is the splash of vanilla that sets off the flavor of baked goods

It is the condiments that make the burger bar palatable

It is the rhythm that makes the next step less of a chore and more of a joy

It is not the illumination, it is the shadows that make it more than just a glare

kathy joyce said...

OMG! Sollie Raphael in the youth division of the Australian Poetry Slam. Google him on youtube. I just saw the clip. My new favorite poem, and his delivery is amazing!

kathy joyce said...

Kari Lynn, I'll see your Baxter Black and raise you one Wallace MacRae. "Reincarnation" specifically (my favorite). It might be lowbrow, but I love cowboy poetry!

Colin Smith said...

Here's Kari's link linkified:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zfzT7QfLZc

Joseph Snoe said...

My favorite poet nowadays is Colin Smith.

Through a weird set of developments I co-wrote the lyrics to a song with a former student last month. He developed the melody and tells me crowds who hear his band play it really like it. It may end up on a CD his band is about to record. Maybe someday I'll find a YouTube of "Real Astronaut" and share it here with your poetry lovers.

When my cousin's 18 year old son died in a one truck accident, I felt helpless. With all my education, etc, I couldn't do anything to ease the pain or bring back her son. I couldn't even attend the funeral. I felt compelled to write something (so little but it's all i could do), so I wrote something that resembles a poem.

My cousin's home flooded during the Hurricane Harvey rains in Houston. She wrote me the loss of her cars, the furniture, everything downstairs was just material things. Her main sorrow was for the destroyed pieces of furniture that came from people who mattered greatly to her -- and the loss of the poem I wrote her on her son's death. Luckily. the poem was still on my computer and I have given her copies (which she intends to frame).

Sarah said...

When it was time for me to study poetry in second grade, my mom gave me a book of Ogden Nash. His poems were, above all, fun. And even when I had to study poems I couldn't wrap my head around later on, I already kne that there was poetry I'd endjoyed.

I love the different poem and poets mentioned here, and I'm taking notes like mad. Thanks, everyone! And while I love Mary Oliver and Gerard Manley Hopkins and so many others, I thought I'd post this poem because it reminds me that poetry is meant to be savored and not used to impress myself or others.

Introduction to Poetry
BY BILLY COLLINS

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Colin Smith said...

Songs as poetry--yes! I wonder how many kids who hate poetry are moved or influenced by the words of a song? That's certainly where I most get behind poetry. Who was it who mentioned Bernie Taupin..? Elise! Yes! Amazing what a good lyricist can do. As much as Elton John gets credit for, say, "Candle in the Wind"--those are Taupin's words! And let's not forget musicals. Tim Rice is one heckuvah wordsmith. The words to "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from "Evita." A speech set to music. Exquisitely done. I could blog about this. And I probably should. :)

Dr. Snoe: You can't possibly mean me!? Although, my "Ode to Kale" was pretty touching... :)

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Thank you, Colin. I have no idea how to do my own linkifying so folks will have to settle for cut and paste if someone else doesn't clean up behind me.

And Karen, there are a LOT of really great cowboy poets. Personally I lean toward the humorous, but if you want to hear western poetry as a truly haunting song, check out Corb Lund's The Truth Comes Out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN9BCHi-lks (Yes, another unlinkified link).

Claire Bobrow said...

As long as we're talking musicals, how about the poetry of Lin-Manuel Miranda words in Hamilton? I'm still obsessed.

And Verna Austen, "Counterman" may be my NEW new favorite. Thanks for sharing!

Claire Bobrow said...

...I mean "Lin-Manuel Miranda's" - sigh. Typing too fast.

Colin Smith said...

My pleasure, Kari. After six kids, I'm used to cleaning up after people... ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN9BCHi-lks

Bridget Paulson said...

A Valediction Forbidding Morning by John Donne is a poem that's always stuck with me. I also love anything by Pablo Neruda.

Colin Smith said...

A Total OT Aside, which is why I'm italicizing since we all know Janet doesn't read italics... ;)

I wondered when I wrote that Ode to Kale, so I did a Google search. Discovered I'm by no means the first person to write an "Ode to Kale." I didn't expect that.

For those who are interested, the Ode first appeared here, as a result of my being permanently exiled to Carkoon.

Kitty said...

57 Days Until September

If I close my eyes I can still recall
that whiff of spring on a breezy blue-sky day,
laundry flapping in the tender sun,
freckled cheeks all warm and pink,
green velvet yards fragrant from mowing,
cool starry nights under sweet-smelling sheets,
and I sigh.
If only summer could be like that.

***

gypsyharper said...

Wow. That is an amazing and powerful poem. I don't read a lot of poetry, but I love Emily Dickinson. When I was in a vocal literature class in undergrad, I bought a book of poetry by A. E. Housman because I loved the songs his poems were set to so much. When I was in high school, I would copy poems I liked from English class into a notebook - poems with beautiful rhythm that sang to me, or poems that made me feel something, like the poet could see inside my head. But there were a lot a didn't like. Poems that were impenetrable to me, "high-brow" poetry that I had to read because it was important or classic or "artsy" like Colin said, but they didn't speak to my soul. I like Janet's definition of good poetry - "A good poem is one that illuminates your world."

Lynne Main said...

I write poetry (at least I try). The book I'm querying has two poems I wrote--one in the epigraph and one in the story. Of course, no one will see the epigraph during the querying stage.

A book I love is Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham". Pure poetic genius. I also love "A Snoodle's Tale" (Veggie Tales). It's in the Seussian vein, and just has a great message.

Can ya tell I have young'uns?

On a musical note, I consider John Lennon one hell of a poet. The songs "Imagine" and "In My Life" are beautiful.

One of my all time favorite poems is Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope. It's old (published in 1717), it's long (367 lines), but it's gorgeous.

Here's a snippet:

Thou know’st how guiltless first I met thy flame,
When Love approach’d me under Friendship’s name;
My fancy form’d thee of angelic kind,
Some emanation of th’ all-beauteous Mind.
Those smiling eyes, attemp’ring ev’ry ray,
Shone sweetly lambent with celestial day.
Guiltless I gaz’d; Heav’n listen’d while you sung;
And truths divine came mended from that tongue,
From lips like those what precept fail’d to move?
Too soon they taught me ‘twas no sin to love:
Back thro’ the paths of pleasing sense I ran,
Nor wish’d an Angel whom I lov’d a Man.


Nobody writes in that style anymore...sigh.

Colin Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Smith said...

Lynne: I'm a big fan of Paul McCartney, but I'm trying to lose weight. [Dad Humor!] Seriously, though, I love Macca's music, but lyrically I've always found him lacking. A bit too much shoot-from-the-hip, "these words seems to go with the music so let's use them" kind of a writer. Not always very thoughtful. There are exceptions, of course. Over the years, however, it seems to me that the best McCartney songs lyrically tend to be those where he's collaborating. Whether it's with John Lennon, or Elvis Costello (his two most successful pairings, IMO), having a better lyricist working with him seems to inspire the best out of him.

Lynne Main said...

Colin, I agree with you. McCartney's best work was with other people. John and Paul in the early days always wrote together, but in later Beatle years, you could see they were going in different musical directions. If you were a die-hard fan (and I am), you could always figure out which one of them actually wrote the song they were both credited for (that was their agreement from the beginning). Personally, I think they balanced each other: John was the grit, Paul was the finesse, and together they were a powerhouse.

Paul's best lyrical moments? "Yesterday" (aka "Scrambled Eggs") and "Eleanor Rigby" (love the string quartet George Martin used in the song). "Yesterday" in particular has spawned a gazillion different cover versions.

To this day, I'd give anything to experience Beatlemania as it happened...sigh.

Colin Smith said...

Lynne: I would contend, though, that even Paul's "solo" Beatle songs were lyrically improved by the influence of John, either directly, or through good-natured competition. And I would suggest musically Paul did the same for John.

Don't get me started on The Beatles, or we'll be here till midnight/lunchtime (depending on time zone). :)

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Smith said...

Lynne: Best Beatle McCartney lyrics? Definitely agree with "Eleanor Rigby." Add to that "Here, There and Everywhere" and "Penny Lane." I'm sure there are more, but when I think of all my fave Macca songs, it's often a combination of the words and the music that make it special. Judging solely on the words, the list is smaller and harder to make, for me anyway.

Colin Smith said...

Lynne: On the "grit" vs. "finesse" thing, on the whole that seems to be true. But Paul McCartney wrote "Helter Skelter," and John wrote "In My Life" so there was clearly no formula! :)

Lynne Main said...

Colin: Again, I agree with you. Paul and John's rivalry in the '70s led to some interesting creative output. One of my fave Macca solo songs is "Band on the Run". Oh, and I love "Here, There, and Everywhere" and "Penny Lane" too. Really, there's so many great Beatle songs, I was just hitting the tip of the iceberg. That's true, about the grit and finesse thing where John and Paul each defied those descriptions. But I think overall, those descriptions do fit them. Of course, there's always exceptions to a rule, isn't there?

Cecilia: Would love to talk Beatles anytime! You don't need that stinkin' employment, right? ;)

But if we all keep going on about John, Paul, George, and Ringo on here we're gonna get our limbs chomped off by our queen...;)

And that's my three comments...I'm outta here!

RachelErin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RachelErin said...

A few months ago my seven year old wrote a poem about the wrath of zeus and apples. We encouraged her to read it aloud several times to all of us.

The next day she left a note on my bed. It has a row of shiny stars, green, red and gold, across the top.

__Tips for poichry__
1. You let your
emoshunes
go 2. Don't
give up.

Colin Smith said...

I hereby declare "poichry" to be the new official spelling of the word. Add that one to the Blog Glossary! :D

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Rachel, such a sweet and wise little lady you have there

Lynne, it's Macca's Blackbird for me. But play Here Comes The Sun and I will sign over the family farm.

Colin Smith said...

Cecilia: Ah... there's the rub! "Here Comes the Sun" is a great song (Harrison was knocking them out the park by that time). Lyrically though? Does it stand alone as a great piece of poichry, on the same level as, say, "Eleanor Rigby"? I'm not so sure.

Arri Frranklin said...

Ok, not that anyone cares at this point, but when it comes to Rush, Geddy just sings the lyrics. Neal writes them.

Yeah, a lot of song lyrics are poetry, and vice versa. It may be important to keep in mind that songs are fitted to an external rhythm, such that the words can be stretched or shortened as necessary. Not so in prose.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Colin (sorry still don't know how to do the boldify thingee) my dear George was no poet, I must concede.

I just felt the need, nay, the moral imperative to bring him up at the mere mention of The Beatles, whatever the topic may be :)

And now my boss is here...

AJ Blythe said...

I have to confess, I'm not a big poetry fan. Even with music it's the music that evokes emotion in me, not the lyrics (even when I sing along I'm not really paying attention to the words which I've probably got completely wrong anyway...mondegreen anyone *grin*). I echo Colin's sentiments on where I sit in poetry appreciation.

My love of poetry is completely in the early reader realm. If I had to pick a favourite, I think it would be Graeme Base's "The Worst Band in the Universe". Not only is it a clever story told in poetry form, but the illustrations are brilliant (as are the illustrations in all of his books).

John Davis Frain said...

From the initial post to the latest stanza, so much poichry today. I read through the comments and think

Yes.
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes.

Colin Smith said...

AJ: For me, rhythm is a big part of effective poichry. I have a hunch it's those poems that don't have a solid or consistent rhythmic structure that I struggle with most. And that's probably because I'm a musician, and songs tend to be my poichry point of reference.

mythical one-eyed peace officer said...

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Birches

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Yep, a tinch of poichry goes a long way to brighten up your day

BJ Muntain said...

As usual these days, I'm coming in late. Sorry.

I like poichry, but a lot of the stuff written since the mid-21st century just doesn't move me. I need rhythm and meter and rhyme to truly enjoy something. Even E. E. Cummings used meter - and used it better than most other non-traditional poets.

The poem I remember best from junior high school (probably 7th grade) is Robert Stevenson's The Law of the Jungle. It even made its way into a science fiction short story I wrote. I memorized all the verses at the time, even though we only had to memorize three.

Timothy Lowe said...

The only thing I've ever published is a poem. Too bad the mag went defunct before pub, or so I assume, since I got the five dollar check but no contributor's copies.

I held out on cashing the check, but in the end I needed beer. Yes, I was in college.

Fearless Reider said...

I appreciate hearing about everyone's favorite poets -- Bruce Springsteen and Billy Collins are high up on my list.

As a Minnesotan, I have to put in a plug for Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, which provides my daily dose of poetry: http://writersalmanac.org.

And speaking of Nikki Giovanni, she gave a great interview on another of our MN treasures, On Being, a couple of months ago. You can find that here: https://onbeing.org/programs/nikki-giovanni-soul-food-sex-and-space-aug2017/ Apologies if someone has already addressed this, but the "black-eyed pee" puzzle is just a tragic typo -- I'm relieved to tell you it should be "pea".

My favorite poem is "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden:

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

I look forward to reading it at my father's funeral someday, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Oh, and I'm new -- sort of. Longtime lurker in these shark-infested waters, but surfacing in the comments section for the first time.

Leilani said...

The only flash fiction I've ever been able to write that works is when I pretend it's a.sonnet. I love sonnets. They are little stories with built-in spots for turns (plot!) plus rhyme and meter. How can you go wrong?

kathy joyce said...

Fearless Reider, Welcome to the conversation! Thanks for clearing up the pee thing. That nagged at me all day.

Colin Smith said...

Hello, Fearless Reider!! Thanks for emerging from lurkdome. :) Hopefully you've been reading long enough to know about the various lists on the top right of the page (note especially the List of Blog Readers and their Blogs--if you want to join the list, just drop me an email), and all the commenting protocols, rules, best practices, and so on, which we all assiduously and meticulously keep. :D

No-one else offered an explanation of the "black-eyed pee." I even Googled to see if there was a definition of "pee" I hadn't heard. Maybe a quilting term? Anyway, thanks for clearing that up for us.

Here are your links linkified:

http://writersalmanac.org
https://onbeing.org/programs/nikki-giovanni-soul-food-sex-and-space-aug2017/

Keep commenting! The more voices in the comments, the more interesting they are and the more we all learn. :)

Panda in Chief said...

So many great comments, so many wonderful poems! I'm glad Sarah mentioned Billy Collins. And the poem you posted, a classic! He is one of my favorites. Of course Dylan (Bob) and Springsteen, not to mention Leonard Cohen.

Craig F said...

If contemplating songwriters as poets, don't forget John Prine

Julie Weathers said...

And I am off to bed before Surrey. Hopefully, I will get some sleep. I won't. I am a hopeless romantic. If a man ever wrote poetry to me like Burns did, I would be lost. Devastatingly lost even if I knew he was a scoundrel. Fortunately for me, no one does anymore. My virtue is preserved.

Darn it.

John Davis Frain said...

There once was a Weathers girl name a Julie.
On our dinner date, she treated me quite cruelly.
I suggested kale,
Wash it down with an ale.
She said she'd rather dine alone on ratatouille.


I think Burns is safe. But it was kinda short notice.

Fearless Reider said...

Thank you for the warm welcome! I first stumbled on Query Shark a few years ago when I was helping a friend write a query for her first novel (the clueless leading the blind, but she eventually snagged an agent, hooray).

I'm back because the evisceration I saw on QS actually gave me hope. I abandoned fiction-writing in my teens because the publishing process seemed utterly opaque and out of reach. Many thanks to Ms. Reid for demonstrating that agents & publishers actually want authors to succeed (who knew?) and for showing us how to make the most of our efforts. I'm still a long way from querying but I've learned so much about how to get there.

And John Prine, YES! He had me at Spanish Pipedream:

"I knew that topless lady
had something up her sleeve."

Does poetry get any better than that?

Lynne Main said...

Cecilia, I love "Here Comes the Sun". My fave George Harrison song is "Taxman". Talk about scathing.

Welcome Fearless Reider!