Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “The Older Man,” by Karin Gottshall

baked pears

“I chose this poem because I admire Karin Gottshall’s use of language throughout all of her poems, but this one in particular feels extremely comforting to me. The lines “Your apartment,/dim and small, was in a neighborhood redolent/of cinnamon.” is so unique and such an interesting way of describing a location. I thought this poem was perfect for a day in January because it speaks of such cozy, intimate moments. It’s just something you need on a cold day, like a little pick-me-up. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!”

– RCAH Center for Poetry Intern, Estee Schlenner

 

White-on-white like tumbled

sheets, the crumpled paper. It was autumn;

I spent hours sketching the dancers

in the Degas galleries. Five times

a day I heard the docent say Degas portrayed

his dancers, his bathers like unthinking

animals—but I was in love

with their arched backs, the blatant pleasures

and fidgets of the body in use. Your apartment,

dim and small, was in a neighborhood redolent

of cinnamon. I was clunky in corduroy

and wool as you tenderly unwound

my scarf each night; it seemed your cat

would never leave off worshipping

my ankles. You unbuttoned

my heavy coat, received my load of books,

and set before me, once, a baked pear—rich

with brown sugar, sweet

butter, redundant with spice. I ate it

ravenously, that exotic food.

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Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “Burning the Old Year,” by Naomi Shihab Nye

53562-snow-tracks-and-sunshine

Center for Poetry intern, Amy Potchen, tells us why she chose this poem: “This poem only seems fitting for the beginning of the year. It serves as a reminder that a new year brings new beginnings. I enjoy the artful thought of being able to burn monotonous parts of the old year.”

Burning the Old Year

BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   

Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   

transparent scarlet paper,

sizzle like moth wings,

marry the air.

 

So much of any year is flammable,   

lists of vegetables, partial poems.   

Orange swirling flame of days,   

so little is a stone.

 

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   

an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   

I begin again with the smallest numbers.

 

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   

only the things I didn’t do   

crackle after the blazing dies.