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The Best American Poetry
Welcome to The Best American Poetry blog. We launched this blog in January, 2008, to create a place where we and friends can exchange, discuss, and argue about poems and poetry. We soon discovered that it would be even more fun to post about anything that fuels our passions, be it movies or sex or baseball or ballet or cocktails or finance or music, because these are, after all, the same subjects that generate poems. Then we flung the doors open and invited others to join in. And we decided that contributors to the blog need not be poets as long as they share a love of good writing and poetry. The only things we ask our regular and guest bloggers to avoid are personal attacks. You'll find enough of that stuff elsewhere. We celebrate freedom of expression. The opinionS of our contributors are their own and not necessarily those of the blog's editorial team or of other contributors. We welcome comments as long as they keep within the bounds of civil discourse. Our roster of correspondents is always changing. We are large! We contain multitudes! Please visit often.Our roster of correspondents is always changing. We are large! We contain multitudes! Please visit often.
Interests: music, food, finance, cocktails, movies, baseball, sex, poetry, mad men.
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“Who is the third who walks always beside you?”-- TS Eliot, "What the Thunder Said" A man in gray overalls steps out of the gray matter of the horizon. Snow whirs above the stalks like angels of locusts Discerning his face is like trying to make substance of atoms that won’t adhere— these flakes, one of which, wafer-like lights at your parted lips like a hint of a name partially quenching the dry question of identity. You freeze, almost remembering; something about another season, person, and place. -- 1977 Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at The Best American Poetry
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Don’t Come In I prefer the sign “No Entry” to the one that says “No Exit.” - Stanislaus Lec If for you, women are toy cars whose wheels you strike on the ground to make them go; if for you, women are tea towels at the feast; if you stand by as women are swept from the path, don’t approach. In our inviolate land we fly ruddy gliders; press oil from impossible fruit; derive power from waves. At any moment our silk turbans may become volcanoes; our slippers, submarines. -- Angela Ball Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Best American Poetry
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So often I dream of the secrets of satellites and so often I want the moose to step from the shadows and reveal his transgressions, and so often I come to her body as though she were Lookout Mountain, but give me a farmer’s market to park my martyred masks and I will name all the dirt roads that dead-end at the cubist sculpture called My Infinity, for I no longer light bonfires in the city of adulterers and no longer smudge the cheeks of debutantes hurriedly floating across the high fruit of night, and yes, I know there is only one notable death in any small town and that is the pig-farmer, but listen, at all times the proud rivers mourn my absence, especially when, like a full moon, you, reader, hidden behind a spray of night-blooming, drift in and out of scattered clouds above lighthouses producing their artificial calm, just to sweep a chalk of light over distant waters. from The Absurd Man by Major Jackson. NY: Norton, 2020. Major Jackson chose the poems for The Best American Poetry 2019. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Best American Poetry
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We date the “classic” noir period from 1941's The Maltese Falcon (or even Orson Welles' 1940 Citizen Kane, itself a mystery about Fate) to the 1959 Welles tour-de-force Touch of Evil. But noir wasn't noir until the French got hold of America's backlog of films after 1945. Hollywood had to flush its war film stockpile through the pipeline before it could release its noirs on the Continent; and when it did the French, the beautiful French, went crazy. Partly as a result, Detour is often regarded as the Ur-noir though it was made in 1945 on a very un-Hollywoodian shoestring. I can think of at least two reasons why this is so. One is that films like Falcon and Murder My Sweet, the latter from 1943, were still “Hollywood” movies. Despite the noir fixtures such as the private detective, the hard-boiled language, the femme fatale, and the sleazy subject matter (all elements that poets love!), Falcon still has elements of the filmed play, especially the last third, as well as “comic” moments such as Spade's anger ploy in Gutman's suite, followed by Sam laughing at himself in the hallway, looking at his hand shaking with adrenaline. And Murder has the unlikely romance between Philip Marlowe and Ann. Detour has the requisite noir elements: good girl/bad girl contrast, downward spiral of events, an emotionally vicious femme fatale. It also has a voiceover narrator, a la Murder My Sweet, but in this movie the narrator is hugely unreliable; we don't identify with Al as we do with Phil. We aren't sure he didn't kill the guy, steal his money, clothes and car, and go whistling down the road. And the “accidental” strangulation behind a locked door strains credulity. We don't even know whether Al is in fact a talented musician, or that Vera might just have wanted to get away from this loser. After Vera emotionally eviscerates him, it turns out she's dying of TB and wants him to have sex with her? The whole story might be a pack of lies, and Al merely a self-pitying narcissist. The second reason Detour is often thought of as the first noir is its great noir subject: Fate. Now if you believe, as I do, that “character is fate,” then you have a shortcut into understanding noir. I wonder if poets secretly appreciate this even if, to be politically correct, they must blame social and cultural processes as the reason for everyone's unhappiness. And if you believe in great cosmic manipulations of a supernatural sort, then good luck to you. Detour is about “fate” only in the sense that in 1945 the word still held a factor of fear and malevolence shrouded in thousands of years of human superstition. As a word, it still had, even has, poetic resonance. In Detour Al is merely a sniveling, whiney, wretch-in-denial loser who blames his shortcomings on others. He's the personification of self-pity. And at least in one case, probably two, a murderer. No one could deny,... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Best American Poetry
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here. No two trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to Wren. If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows Where you are. You must let it find you. The esteemed poet and teacher David Wagoner was guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2009. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Best American Poetry
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BFI Film Classics – books commissioned by the British Film Institute, published by Bloomsbury in the United States -- make a welcome return with Richard Deming’s excellent study of A Touch of Evil. Orson Welles’s 1958 noir is justly celebrated by film aficionados, though its meandering plot has puzzled many viewers. Deming's book is a fine guide for the perplexed. Set in a town near the US-Mexican border, the movie fuses sex and violence in a boiling cauldron. It begins with an explosion that interrupts an embrace and ends with two shooting deaths in an oilfield. As Deming points out, one remarkable thing about the film is the extent to which the plot is subordinate to the technique. Welles uses cinematic means to explore questions of justice, motivation and “a complex, perpetually equivocating moral world,” in the author's phrase. If the causality and chronology of events are enshrouded in a swamp-like fog, it’s because Welles achieves his effects by cinematic rather than literary means. Deming’s analysis of the famous tracking shot that opens the movie is right on the money. Deming strikes a personal note in his preface by way of ushering us into the darkness of Welles’s vision. In chapter one he presents a valuable summary of noir, its meaning, its history. He argues that A Touch of Evil “is more than the apotheosis or apex of a genre or a style” – to his mind, it is the ultimate noir, and then some. The movie’s central thesis, he argues, is spoken by Charlton Heston, playing the Mexican policeman Vargas, to Welles, playing the corrupt police chief Hank Quinlan, an obese bully, a bigot, and a slob: “A policeman’s job is only easy in a police state.” Janet Leigh, the blond Yankee spouse of the Mexican Vargas, is as beautiful and vulnerable as in Psycho and The Manchurian Candidate, and Marlene Dietrich as a fortune teller may have the best line in the movie. When Welles asks her to read his future, she has, “You haven't got any.” “Huh?'” “Your future's all used up.” A Touch of Evil takes the romance out of noir, and leaves only the criminality, the hostility, the spite, and the evil that men do that lives after them. It is a deliberately ugly movie, refusing to treat sin and crime, the stuff of noir, with the romantic sheen and sensual promise that usually comes with the turf. (Think of Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in Out of the Past.) Welles, possessor of a “distinctive smoothly textured baritone with its ability to slide across tonalities with both insolence and nobility,” is willing to sacrifice even this most valuable of assets; he slurs his words, mumbles, steps on other characters’ lines. “Who’s the boss – the cop or the law?” Vargas asks. That’s the thematic crux of A Touch of Evil. the movie. But the experience of the movie is far more unsettling than any such formulation, and Richard Deming's discussion of the film makes it... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Best American Poetry
Thank you, Poetess Vinny. Always a pleasure!-- DL
Yes, we stopped at beautiful Amboise -- also Blois, site of a major medieval massacre of Jews. I miss you, man. -- DL
Afagando a Face de Lorca. Uma Antologia Francisco José Craveiro de Carvalho Selecção e tradução de Francisco José Craveiro de Carvalho Prefácio de Manuel Portela Francisco José Craveiro de Carvalho antologia 22 poetas contemporâneos (da Ucrânia à China). É um exercício que nos dá a ver em português as diferentes vozes dos poetas antologiados mas igualmente a própria voz do poeta-tradutor: Craveiro de Carvalho tem-se dedicado nos últimos anos, a par da sua produção poética, a oferecer-nos versões de grande parte dos poetas agora reunidos sob o título Afagando a Face de Lorca (paráfrase de um verso do neozelandês Mark Young). Os poetas antologiados: Adam Zagajewski (1945, Lviv, Ucrânia), Amalia Bautista (1962, Madrid, Espanha), Aram Saroyan (1943, Nova Iorque, EUA), Arvind Krishna Mehrotra (1947, Lahore, Paquistão), Billy Collins (1941, Nova Iorque, EUA), Charles Simic (1938, Belgrado, Jugoslávia), David Lehman (1948, Nova Iorque, EUA), Eunice de Souza (1940, Pune, Índia. Faleceu em 2017), Howie Good (1951, Nova Iorque, EUA), J. R. Solonche (1946, Nova Iorque, EUA), Jane Hirshfield (1953, Nova Iorque. EUA), Jennifer Clement (1960, Greenwich, Connecticut, EUA), José Luis García Martín (1950, Aldeanueva del Camino, Cáceres, Espanha), Luis Alberto de Cuenca (1950, Madrid, Espanha), Mark Young (1941, Hokitika, Nova Zelândia), Michael Dylan Welch (1962, Watford, Inglaterra), Nathalie Handal (1969, Haiti), Neil Curry (1937, Newcastle on Tyne, Inglaterra), Owen Bullock (1967, Cornualha, Inglaterra), Pat Boran (1963, Portlaoise, Irlanda), Roger Wolfe (1962, Westerham, Kent, Inglaterra), Steve Klepetar (1949, Xangai, China). Poemas originais (em inglês e castelhano) e em português. Nas Livrarias: primeira semana de Julho de 2020. Oferta especial de PRÉ-VENDA (de 1 a 30 de Junho): 13,60 € (desconto de 20% sobre o preço de livraria: 17 €). Portes gratuitos Pedidos para: companhiadasilhas.lda@gmail.com Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
Decompose and you might get to be a peach then be part of the shit of the living thing that eats you plop back to earth to feed some tree become part of some flower be honey When I walked on the earth before I was under it I had a few fertile parts Now it’s the whole show Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
One day a kid yelled "Hey Asshole!" and everybody on the street turned around from Unreconstructed: Poems Selected and New by Ed Ochester (Autumn House, 2007). Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
Wonderful post. Thank you. -- DL
And the puzzles surrounding the cosmological constant, spacetime imploded into existence. Ten to fifty years between asbestos breathed and mesothelioma discovered, a rare form of cancer in the lungs or heart, or, if in the stomach, spreading quickly to the liver or spleen. Uploaded onto one of a half-a-billion or so blogs: “The human imagination? A relatively paltry thing, a subproduct, merely, of the neural activity of a species of terrestrial primate”; and in another, that other dimension, the Hudson River, black and still, the day about to open at the Narrows’ edge. Light on a mountain ash bough, a fresh chill’s blue sensation in the eyes. One week buds, then the temperature’s up and the landscape turns yellow, in a few days the wind scratches the blossoms, in a few weeks the sun scorches the leaves. I, too, see God adumbrations, I, too, write a book on love. Who, here, appears, to touch the skin. Hundreds of thousands of square miles of lost Arctic sea ice, bits of bone on killing grounds, electromagnetic air. Atrocious and bottomless states of mind, natural as air. from So Where Are We? by Lawrence Joseph (2017). Reprinted in A Certain Clarity: Selected Poems by Lawrence Joseph (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2020). Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
What memories this post brings up! So wonderful to see you and Paul Violi, Larry Zirlin, Chas Haseloff, and so many others as they appeared at your Party of Immortals, which I could not attend because of our three months in the south of France -- mostly Vence, about ten kilometres north of Nice, 22 east of Grasse, and easy driving distance to Villefranche, Valauris, Cagnes-sur-mer, Menton; and one day "we went to Italy for lunch," a sentence I savored. In Paris we leased a Renault 12, drove down the Loire and made side trips to Lyons and Nimes before arriving at our amazing destination. In addition to your party, we missed the blackout of 77, Son of Sam, and "Star Wars." But we had Perrier, coq au vin, olive trees and cypresses, bougainvillea, Auden's poetry and Eric Ambler's espionage novels. -- DL
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I was on the S bus, staring out the window, wishing I didn’t have to write The Handbook of Sex Tips for Women of a Certain Age, a book which was to just another one of those awful instruction manuals one follows, promising a title, a plot, a heartbreaking conclusion. So far I had only written several entries I knew I could never print: Dear Reader, let’s face the facts. Not all sex is created equal. Many orgasms are as forgettable as the faces passing by the bus window, each offering just another opportunity to forget a name, an address, a city, perhaps a marriage, that first one to your high school sweet heart who possessed neither sweetness nor heart but he did have a Rottweiller named Ludwig you adored and missed for years after, phoning once or twice a week to ask, May I speak to Ludwig? Dear Reader, let’s face the facts. Catullus is right. A good Thallus is hard to find. Dear Reader, Do you really believe this shit? Dear Reader, I used to think the southern term, rode hard and put away wet, was kind of erotic. Turns out it means, it looks like you've had enough sex for one lifetime. Ed. note: The painting "Frenzy of Exultations" (1890) is by the Polish painter Władysław Podkowiński Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
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Song birds enter the morning the pre-dawn before the fires, you know, when the night floats away like vapor on a lake, or like kisses in the woods. Songs that even creation might not remember. Continuous, threaded, as if a cherry pit were stuck in the throat to produce the trumpet of the branches. So varies, yet never, changing through all the days, since reptiles fell to earth. I give up the reason for the sound I give up the creature of sound and the creator of the creatures and of us and of dawn and air and of vacuum and human inhumanity. I give up the song. I give up the place. From The Collected Poems of Joseph Ceravolo (ed. Rosemary Ceravolo and Parker Smathers; Wesleyan University Press, 2013). The poem was chosen from The Nation by Terrance Hayes for The Best American Poetry 2014. For more about Joseph Ceravolo's Collected, click here. Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
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I sit and sew—a useless task it seems, My hands grown tired, my head weighed down with dreams— The panoply of war, the martial tred of men, Grim-faced, stern-eyed, gazing beyond the ken Of lesser souls, whose eyes have not seen Death, Nor learned to hold their lives but as a breath— But—I must sit and sew. I sit and sew—my heart aches with desire— That pageant terrible, that fiercely pouring fire On wasted fields, and writhing grotesque things Once men. My soul in pity flings Appealing cries, yearning only to go There in that holocaust of hell, those fields of woe— But—I must sit and sew. The little useless seam, the idle patch; Why dream I here beneath my homely thatch, When there they lie in sodden mud and rain, Pitifully calling me, the quick ones and the slain? You need me, Christ! It is no roseate dream That beckons me—this pretty futile seam, It stifles me—God, must I sit and sew? (Ed note: I've spent most of this day wrestling with an especially challenging sewing project and while doing so have been listening to the WQXR radio day-long celebration of Juneteenth, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Sewing is a mostly solitary activity and since taking it up a couple of years ago, I've done a lot of thinking about how it connects me to my ancestors (both of my grandmothers were garment workers in sweatshops during the early part of the last century) and how domestic work that is necessary is also devalued especially when it is done primarily by women. This came into greater relief recently, when armies of home sewists and quilters stepped up to make masks, myself among them, for healthcare and other workers. It didn't take long for me to wonder if sewing had been an inspiration, or jumping off point, for poems and it was by following this train of thought that I discovered Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson's "I Sit and Sew." Sewing is an imperative for her--the patching and mending necessary to extend the life of clothing--but is doesn't constrain her imagination, which takes her to terrifying scenes of war, destruction, and despair. Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson graduated from Straight University in 1892 and attended Cornell University. She was a poet, author of short stories and dramas, newspaper columnist, and editor of two anthologies.Dunbar-Nelson was an influential figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Find out more about her remarkable life here.) -- Stacey Lehman Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
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Poet, novelist, editor, and lawyer Michael Friedman died of cancer on May 5 in Denver. In the literary world Michael was best known as the editor and publisher of Shiny, which Ron Silliman in 2005 called “as good looking a poetry periodical as we now have,” and which featured the work of leading avant-garde poets from John Ashbery and John Wieners to Bernadette Mayer and Rae Armantrout alongside many emerging writers. Michael’s own writing, in verse and prose, was marked by joyful hedonism, deep whimsy, and a passion for pop culture. His poetry appeared in several chapbooks and two full-length collections, Special Capacity (1992) and Species (2000), the latter made up of prose poems that riff on tropes and clichés from fiction (“Menelaus had been feeling edgy lately”) and hardboiled movie dialogue (“Listen, I was once a frog prince, it wasn’t pretty”). For the last 15 years Michael produced a series of sparkling comic novellas, three of which were collected in a 2016 omnibus, Martian Dawn and Other Novels, that garnered praise from the likes of Ashbery, Harry Mathews, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Molly Young, who supplied a rapturous introduction (“he leaves me feeling invested in my own freakishness”). Michael is survived by his wife Dianne Perry, two sons, Joe and Henry Perry-Friedman, and his parents, Lester Friedman and Sally Long. He was the nephew of painter and New York School collaborator Jane Freilicher. For twenty-five years Michael worked for a Denver law firm, specializing in real estate “with a focus on affordable public housing,” as David Schwarz noted in an obituary for the Poetry Project. I met Michael when we were grad students at Yale in 1982 and was instantly taken with his mischievous sense of humor, his love of James Bond and other retro icons, and his beguiling mix of urbanity and self-deprecation. Michael memorialized our friendship in a poem, one of a series named after people to whom he was close: <<< ROGER GILBERT Today I got a letter from my long-lost graduate school friend Roger Gilbert. He was glad to hear (through Patti Boyer) that I hadn’t changed, and suggested that we revisit some of our old haunts in New Haven this summer (“CCH, Machine City, the Gypsy, etc.”) and “weep unashamedly” as the nostalgia overwhelms us! The image of Roger weeping at our reunion hit home with me, as I’d always thought that, with his thin, unathletic frame and glasses, he bore a striking resemblance to Poindexter. Or Ron Padgett. Later I pictured Roger sobbing over my grave on a grey fall afternoon. Then the two of us standing somberly at Ron Padgett’s grave. I took a long walk with Roger in the summer of 1984 up Whitney Avenue to his house. His dissertation was on “walking poems,” including Apollinaire’s “Zone.” I suggested Padgett’s “Strawberries in Mexico” as another good example of the genre. It was a sunny day, Roger wore a red sweater over a light blue shirt. >>> I long ago forgave Michael for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
Up, up, and show yourself The judge of people doing what they want, Saying what they will and damn The consequences. “Nothing follows, meaning’s Deader than the children Crushed beneath our jackboot heel. Let them whimper. God Is not, is far away, and does not care.” Some never learn. Can one who planted Ears of corn not hear the zephyr rustle In the stalks, who made the sun’s eye Flare not see the shadow you cast here? The scatterer of nations not disperse Your atoms? Is the teacher unprepared? God knows how thought gets mangled. So law was given Moses to untangle Ignorance and impulse, love and fear Of what comes after, for a snare. Had I not heard from life beyond my silence, I’d have slipped into the crowd unseen And died without desire comforted. Too neat, my Lord? You taught me Safety in disorder, and the pleasure Of imagining that justice Crushes glinting evil to gray powder. -- from Words to God's Music: A New Book of Psalms by Laurance Wieder Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
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You don’t want to head to Florida with a Chewbacca crotch, nor for Congress to pass a tax cut for the rich. Terrifying thoughts: tufts weaseling out the edges of your bathing suit, billionaires with blond wives posing behind placards of dollar bills. There is need, and there is need. You go see Rosa from Brazil, whose art involves nudity and pain, who is unfazed by your spread-legged shame, who stares at your privates like they’re a mission. You suck in your breath as she slathers the searing wax on your nether regions, the same day the Senate scrawls numbers in the margins— more zeroes than you can comprehend. There is debt, and there is debt, and you will not scream as she coaches: breathe, breathe— your hair yanked by the root, follicles bleeding. The rich, whose wardrobes cost more than most families’ net worth, say trickle and down—throw crumbs to the plebes from the decks of their yachts. The bald, nubile stinging pink will heal. The poor will continue to be poorer. from Body Braille by Beth Gylys (Iris Press, 2020). Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
<<< "One of the two poems below is by a highly respected contemporary poet," wrote John Ashbery on an exam for MFA students at Brooklyn College. "The other is a hoax originally published to spoof the obscurity of much modern poetry. Which do you think is which?" The "real" poem turned out to be one of Geoffrey Hill's Mercian Hymns; the other, written under the name Ern Malley, was designed to ridicule Hill's modernist predecessors and the editors who published them. "Can obscurity ever benefit poetry?" Ashbery asked his students. "Do you think it possible that the intellectual spoof might turn out to be more valid as poetry than the 'serious' poem, and if so, why?"1 Poetry hoaxes raise a number of questions that test our notions of literary value, authenticity, and authorial intention. The Ern Malley poem on Ashbery's exam emerged from a long history of such hoaxes. In the early 1760s Scottish poet James MacPherson published Fingal: An Ancient Epic Poem in Six Books, which he claimed was a translation of an ancient Gaelic manuscript by "Ossian," a legendary third century bard. Several critics, including Samuel Johnson, contested its authenticity and accused MacPherson of fakery. It remains unclear whether the poems were authored exclusively by MacPherson or derived from a combination of sources. A few years later, Thomas Chatterton of Bristol sent to Horace Walpole poems he'd been composing since the age of 12, in the voice of a 15th century monk named Thomas Rowley. Walpole was initially impressed but returned the poems once he discovered they were fake. In despair, Chatterton committed suicide at the age of 17 by swallowing arsenic. Like MacPherson, whose poems were intensely popular despite their spurious attribution, Chatterton appealed to the Romantic sensibilities of the time. Keats admired Chatterton, as did Wordsworth, who eulogized him as "The marvellous boy, / The sleepless soul that perished in his pride."2 >>> For more of Rebecca Warner's essay, "Imp of Verbal Darkness": Poetry Hoaxes & the Postmodern Politic," click here. https://www.awpwriter.org/magazine_media/writers_chronicle_view/2398/imp_of_verbal_darkness_poetry_hoaxes_the_postmodern_politic Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
Here's to you, Vito Farinola, on your birthday (June 12). "I Have But One Heart" was Vic Damone's breakout hit. Al Martino playing Johnny Fontaine sings it at Connie Corleone's wedding in The Godfather. Vic Damone had auditioned for the part. -- DL Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
Richard Rand points out that 72 is the smallest 5th power that can be written as the sum of 5 other 5th powers. 72^5 = 19^5 +43^5 +46^5 + 47^5 + 67^5 Isn't that something!
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It's my birthday I've got an empty stomach and the desire to be lazy in the hammock and maybe go for a cool swim on a hot day with the trombone in Sinatra's "I've Got You Under My Skin" in my head and then to break for lunch a corned-beef sandwich and Pepsi with plenty of ice cubes unlike France where they put one measly ice cube in your expensive Coke and when you ask for more they argue with you they say this way you get more Coke for the money showing they completely misunderstand the nature of American soft drinks which are an excuse for ice cubes still I wouldn't mind being there for a couple of days Philip Larkin's attitude toward China comes to mind when asked if he'd like to go there he said yes if he could return the same day —David Lehman From the Library of Congress's Poem-a-day project. Cover art by Larry Rivers. Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2020 at The Best American Poetry
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I now think Love is rather deaf than blind, For else it could not be That she, Whom I adore so much, should so slight me And cast my love behind. I’m sure my language to her was as sweet, And every close did meet In sentence of as subtle feet, As hath the youngest He That sits in shadow of Apollo’s tree. O, but my conscious fears, That fly my thoughts between, Tell me that she hath seen My hundred of gray hairs, Told seven and forty years Read so much waste, as she cannot embrace My mountain belly and my rocky face; And all these through her eyes have stopp’d her ears. For David Lehman's comment on this poem, click here. https://marshhawkpress.org/commentary-by-david-lehman-ben-jonsons-my-picture-left-in-scotland/ Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2020 at The Best American Poetry