Tag Archives: Poetry

‘He did not love me living…’

Better known these days than her brother Dante Gabriel, Christina Rossetti has seen her stock grow as feminist criticism has re-examined her long poem Goblin Market. Her devotional poems remain delights, and when she wrote about death, as she often … Continue reading

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‘Summer, do your worst!’

Dorothy Parker has a few things to say about the hottest month. Happy July: When my eyes are weeds, And my lips are petals, spinning Down the wind that has beginning Where the crumpled beeches start In a fringe of … Continue reading

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‘Quiet’s cool flesh— let’s sniff and eat it’

A Pulitzer Prize winner and poet laureate of Virginia who came of age aesthetically during a moment when the times demanded anything but a long poem about her grandparents, Rita Dove has also written excellent lyric verse too. But she … Continue reading

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Supposedly fun things to do with prepositions

So it’s Dryden’s fault! [John]Dryden loved the classics; he was easily the most prominent translator and critic of Ovid, Horace, and Virgil, although his translations (like a lot of his own writing) were sort of bombastic and larger-than-life. He was … Continue reading

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‘Vain are the thousand creeds/That move men’s hearts…’

I was the nerd who read Wuthering Heights in the summer of eighth grade, developing a serious crush on the palsied Linton Heathcliff. Although only a handful of her poems ranks beside that novel, Emily Brontë would insist, I’m sure, … Continue reading

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‘Delicious odor! music sweet’

Although May doesn’t excite me to the degree it did Wordsworth, I like the month for its mild heat (just enough to enjoy the pool) and milder teaching schedule. Here’s “To May.” Make it a good one. THOUGH many suns … Continue reading

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‘The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne…’

Happy Shakespeare Sunday! The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne, Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed that The winds were lovesick with them; the oars were silver, Which to … Continue reading

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‘Bow hither out of heaven and see and save’

A quiet little man whose passion was for Manilius and loving men from a safe distance, A.E. Housman was a mystery when he was live. In the years during and after the Great War, A Shropshire Lad became dear to … Continue reading

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‘Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?’

The ritual abandoned but the romance still exerting a pull, Good Friday has a stillness that attracts me years after I abandoned faith. Gerard Manley Hopkins, never one to take things easy, let alone still-y, has a sonnet for the … Continue reading

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‘Some lovely, perilous thing…’

A colleague and lover of Ezra Pound before realizing her bisexuality, Hilda Doolittle (known as H.D.) emerged from his shadow shortly after her death. Thanks to women’s and queer studies, she’s rightly acclaimed as one of the twentieth century’s strongest … Continue reading

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‘Your cries and hunger document/Our bodily decay’

The poet has a marvelous face fit for ravaged old age. Study that photo. Coming of age during the Age of Eliot, Donald Hall maneuvered through the reaction and counter-reaction, surviving for decades writing taut verse whose technical facility made … Continue reading

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‘Not yesterday I learned to know/The love of bare November days…’

One of Robert Frost’s earliest poems, detectable because the language has a faint Edwardian stiffness. Happy November. My Sorrow, when she’s here with me, Thinks these dark days of autumn rain Are beautiful as days can be; She loves the … Continue reading

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