poems & poets

Search our curated collection of over 8,000 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.

poems

poem

after Philip Larkin

Is all I’ve wanted past wanting
since I was six and delirious with fever,
an infinitive forged from a night
when giant ladybugs with toothpick
antennae patrolled my wicker nightstand.
Yes, I’ve been with horses since, 
travelled

2
poem

I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.

The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

But how he set, I know not

poem

The light passes
from ridge to ridge,
from flower to flower—
the hepaticas, wide-spread
under the light
grow faint—
the petals reach inward,
the blue tips bend
toward the bluer heart
and the flowers are lost.

The cornel-buds are still white,

texts

text
Essays
2014

There was a man, Walt Whitman, who lived in the nineteenth century, in America, who began to define his own person, who began to tell his own secrets, who outlined his own body, and made an outline of his own mind, so other people could see it. He was sort of the prophet of American democracy in the sense that he got to be known as the “good gray poet” when he got to be an old, old man because he was so honest and so truthful and at the same time so enormous-voiced and bombastic. As he said: “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world,” writing in New York City probably then, thinking of the skyline and roofs of Manhattan as it might have been in 1853 or so. He began announcing himself, and announcing person, with a big capital P, Person, self, or one’s own nature, one’s own original nature, what you really think when you’re alone in bed, after everybody’s gone home from the party or when you’re looking in the mirror, shaving, or when you’re not shaving and you’re looking

text
on Teaching Poetry
2014

Twelve people sitting around a table talking about poems is not going to ruin poetry.

This isn’t an endorsement of the writing workshop as it is currently taught; but in imagining how it might be done better, it seems important to understand exactly what the flattening or engaging possibilities of the thing might be. So it bears repeating, as we struggle to vomit up the Kool-Aid of heroic individualism: of itself, a dozen people puzzling over a poem at a shared table is not a problem. And it even has the possibility of possibility.

The problems though are obvious and have been inventoried again and again by those other than us. They include boredom, the pedantry of professionalization, the policing of group norms, a pedagogy of proofreading and minor revision, an unacknowledged aesthetic elitism and narrow-mindedness, anxiety about outcomes other than the outcome of the poem. You will note that these are different names for one linked problematic, and that the all-too-

text
from American Poets
2014

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is John Berryman’s centenary, in part because his best work is of such consummate strangeness that it seems to exist outside the confines of any period or style, and almost outside literary and historical time altogether.

We think of Berryman’s fellow Middle Generation poets—Robert Lowell, Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, and Randall Jarrell, among others, all born between 1910 and 1920—as very much products of their era, who all, in various ways, forged poetic styles that seemed especially reflective of the culture, politics, and vernacular of mid-twentieth century America. Lowell and Hayden were above all poets of personal and public memory, witnesses to the turbulence of their times who were canny in their ability to intermingle the topical with the historical. Bishop and Jarrell strove to perfect a limpid version of the American idiom—what Marianne Moore famously called a plain American English that cats and dogs can understand—that was at

books

book
Poetry Book
2016
Play Dead by francine j. harris
book
Poetry Book
2016
Anybody by Ari Banias
book
Poetry Book
2016
Songs from a Mountain by Amanda Nadelberg