Poem of the Week: “The Unwearing: A Benediction” by Barbara Presnell

Then, at last, when machines shut down, the crank and clatter of their work quiet at this long shift’s end, when the bobbins are empty, whistles have stopped blowing, freight has been loaded on its beds and is gone, when sore backs and burly afternoons behind concrete walls have gone, when all the plants haveContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “The Unwearing: A Benediction” by Barbara Presnell”

Poem of the Week: “Une Charogne (A Carcass)” by Charles Baudelaire

                          A Carcass My love, do you recall the object which we saw, That fair, sweet, summer morn! At a turn in the path a foul carcass On a gravel strewn bed, Its legs raised in the air, like a lustful woman, Burning and dripping with poisons, Displayed in a shameless, nonchalant way Its belly,Continue reading “Poem of the Week: “Une Charogne (A Carcass)” by Charles Baudelaire”

Poem of the Week: “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a treeToward heaven still,And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fillBeside it, and there may be two or threeApples I didn’t pick upon some bough.But I am done with apple-picking now.Essence of winter sleep is on the night,The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.I cannot rub the strangenessContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost”

Poem of the Week: “The Exam” by Joyce Sutphen

The Exam by Joyce Sutphen It is mid-October. The trees are in their autumnal glory (red, yellow-green, orange) outside the classroom where students take the mid-term, sniffling softly as if identifying lines from Blake or Keats was such sweet sorrow, summoned up in words they never saw before. I am thinking of my parents, ofContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “The Exam” by Joyce Sutphen”

Poem of the Week: “Now it is fall” by Edith Södergran

Poem of the Week: “Now it is fall,” by Edith Södergran Now it is fall by Edith Södergran Translated from the Swedish by Averill Curdy when all the golden birds fly home across the blue deep water; On shore I sit rapt in its scattering glitter; departure rustles through the trees. This farewell is vastContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “Now it is fall” by Edith Södergran”

Poem of the Week: “To My Reader” by Irene McKinney

To My Reader There’s a passage through the night where someone awards me, hangs the tassle of distress off to the side and replaces it with a badge indicating that I did one thing right by continuing what I’d started when I didn’t know it had begun, and I was sure of no reward. BlessingsContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “To My Reader” by Irene McKinney”

Poem of the Week: “No Map” by Stephen Dobyns

No Map   How close the clouds press this October first and the rain—a gray scarf across the sky. In separate hospitals my father and a dear friend lie waiting for their respective operations, hours on a table as surgeons crack their chests. They were so brave when I talked to them last as theyContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “No Map” by Stephen Dobyns”

Poem of the Week: “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide or press an ear against its hive. I say drop a mouse into a poem and watch him probe his way out, or walk inside the poem’s room and feel the walls for a light switch. IContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins”

Poem of the Week: “Why We Tell Stories” by Lisel Mueller

I Because we used to have leaves and on damp days our muscles feel a tug, painful now, from when roots pulled us into the ground and because our children believe they can fly, an instinct retained from when the bones in our arms were shaped like zithers and broke neatly under their feathers andContinue reading “Poem of the Week: “Why We Tell Stories” by Lisel Mueller”