poems & poets

Search over 2,500 poet biographies, over 7,000 poems, 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.

poems

poem

Our paper house sat
on the banks of the red river

and though mother
wasn’t like other mothers

I was like other girls
trapped and lonely

and painting pictures
in the stars. I was slick

with old birth or early longing,
already halfway between

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

How love came in I do not know,
Whether by the eye, or ear, or no;
Or whether with the soul it came
(At first) infused with the same;
Whether in part ’tis here or there,
Or, like the soul, whole everywhere,
This troubles me: but I as well
As any other this can

texts

text
Prize Citations
2004

James Tate was the winner of the second Wallace Stevens Award. The $100,000 award recognizes outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. The judges for the 1995 Wallace Stevens Award were John Ashbery, Jorie Graham, and Charles Simic. John Ashbery wrote the following citation.

It seem especially appropriate that James Tate has won this year's Tanning Prize [Wallace Stevens Award]. Dorothea Tanning, who established the prize in 1994, was born in the Midwest and moved to Paris with her husband Max Ernst, one of the founders of the Surrealist movement in painting; Tanning's own paintings are Surrealist, sometimes dark and haunted, but also tinged with eroticism and a witty sensuality. Tate, born in Kansas City, landed in New England where he has developed a homegrown variety of Surrealism almost in his own backyard, which figures frequently in his poetry. Both Tanning and Tate refute the idea of Surrealism as something remote from daily experince, a hermetic art for a

text
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

text
Poetic Terms/Forms
2015

A form derived from the abecedarian is the acrostic, which spells out names or words through the first letter of each line. The intent of the acrostic is to reveal while attempting to conceal within the poem. William Blake addresses the despairs of the plague in the poem "London," telling the reader how he listens to everyone’s pain while wandering along the Thames River. Blake uses an acrostic in the third stanza to emphasize the horrifying sounds:

How the Chimney-sweeper's cry
Every blackning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

A recent example is Anna Rabinowitz’s Darkling. This book-length acrostic sequence investigates her family's Holocaust experiences and uses "The Darkling Thrush" by Thomas Hardy for its structure.

read more acrostics

books

book
Textbook
2014
A Poet's Glossary
book
Poetry Book
2016
Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda by Pablo Neruda
book
Poetry Book
2016
Selected Poems by Keith Waldrop