Posts tagged ‘poems’

Mar 17 2018
Comments Off on American Life in Poetry #677

American Life in Poetry #677

American Life in Poetry #677

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE I’m devoted to yard and garage sales, and love to spend time with friendly strangers in scuffed front yards and oily, dim garages. Here’s a poem by Matthew Brennan, who lives in Indiana, from his 2016 Lamar University book, One Life. Yard Sale “There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful.” —  Emerson, Nature The renters bring out their greasy table, End of the month again:…

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Mar 10 2018
Comments Off on American Life in Poetry #676

American Life in Poetry #676

American Life in Poetry #676

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE I can identify most of the birds that live in my part of Nebraska, but I can’t tell one warbler from the next. But Kevin Cole, in his new book, Late Summer Plums, from Scurfpea Publishing, has identified a warbler for us. The archives of this column, at www.americanlifeinpoetry.org, has another of Cole’s poems, about watching a deer cross the Missouri. Kevin Cole lives in South Dakota. Audubon Warblers…

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Mar 03 2018
Comments Off on American Life in Poetry #675

American Life in Poetry #675

American Life in Poetry #675

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE My late friend, the poet and novelist Jim Harrison, used to tease me about the buckets of bent nails in my barn, which I planned to straighten on some rainy day but which only accumulated.  Here’s a fine bent nail poem by Thomas R. Moore, from his new book Saving Nails, from Moon Pie Press. Moore lives in Maine. Saving Nails I strip the porch roof, pick out the used nails,…

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Feb 24 2018
Comments Off on American Life in Poetry #674

American Life in Poetry #674

American Life in Poetry #674

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE One thing I’ve tried to do with this column is to show off poets who do indeed write about contemporary American life, and who see deep into the ordinary parts of it. Here’s a fine poem by Heid Erdrich, who lives in Minnesota, about doing the laundry. It’s from her book Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media, published by Michigan State University Press. Laundress Given over…

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Feb 17 2018
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American Life in Poetry #673

American Life in Poetry #673

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” has been attributed to a half dozen different writers. It can be helpful in encouraging people to write, but also in describing poetry that arises out of meditation. Greg Kosmicki is a Nebraska poet whose work is deeply thoughtful but also cordial and conversational. Here’s an example from his new book It’s as Good Here as…

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Feb 10 2018
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American Life in Poetry #672

American Life in Poetry #672

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE So many contemporary poems fail for the lack of strong endings, but here’s one with a masterful latch that snaps closed at the end. Tami Haaland served as Montana’s fifth poet laureate and she teaches at Montana State at Billings. The following poem is from South Dakota Review. Returning When I open the door and reach to the light switch the world opens as it did each time. The garlic…

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Feb 03 2018
Comments Off on American Life in Poetry #671

American Life in Poetry #671

American Life in Poetry #671

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE Some of you may think that I publish too many poems about the deaths of loved ones, but poetry is a means of establishing order and form when times feel disordered and formless. Marge Saiser is a Nebraska poet and this poem is from the Winter 2016 issue of RATTLE, a California literary journal. Her most recent book is I Have Nothing to Say About Fire, from Backwaters Press. Final Shirt…

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Jan 27 2018
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American Life in Poetry #670

American Life in Poetry #670

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE I’m writing this column on a very cold day, and it’s nice to be inside with a board game to play, but better yet, for me at least, to be inside with a poem about a board game.  This Monopoly game by Connie Wanek is from her book Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems, from the University of Nebraska Press. Monopoly We used to play, long before we bought real…

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Jan 22 2018
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American Life in Poetry #669

American Life in Poetry #669

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE Poems that move back and forth through time can be intriguing.  In this poem by Pat Schneider, she looks deep into the past and evokes it in compelling detail, though the poem speculates that there will arrive a future in which this particular moment in the past is all but forgotten. Yet it’s vividly remembered, in that same future, which is now.  Schneider lives in Massachusetts and this is…

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Jan 13 2018
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American Life in Poetry #668

American Life in Poetry #668

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE I’ve had a couple of aquariums (or is the plural aquaria?), but I didn’t take very good care of either one.  The glass clouded over with algae, and the fish had to live on whatever they could scrounge because I’d forget to feed them.  Some liked eating each other.  But here’s a poem (a sonnet!) about an aquarium you can actually see into.  The poet, Kim Addonizio, lives in…

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Apr 01 2015
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April is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!

April Fool’s? Nope. Happy NaPoMo, everyone! Did you know that National Poetry Month, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets and held each April, is the largest literary celebration in the world? Here are some ways you can celebrate courtesy of the AAP:

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