Nation Topics - Poetry | The Nation

Topic Page

Nation Topics - Poetry


News and Features

In the Iliad, there is no natural death--
everything comes about by intent
as if the pulse and very breath
we take were something meant


Evening succeeds evening.

Demons discourse
on familiar topics.

Not spent   those bloodshot friendships   those
soul-marriages sealed and torn
those smiles of pain
I told her a mouthful

Four previously unpublished poets are honored as winners of Discovery/The Nation 07, the annual Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prize of The Unterberg Poetry Center.

Communism, Catholicism and radical Modernism meet on the dissecting table of César Vallejo's poetry.

Tidewater, Oregon

The tractor has left rows in the grass,
somewhat like rows of cut cane. Louisiana,
I take you everywhere.

The field itself is a giant row
between aisles of fir and alder,
a chute running west to east,

as I will run west to east,
not like the hurrying of the sun--
beginning and end being one and all that.

Some might call this loafing.
It is such a pleasure at this point
not to care what the locals

in their trucks, the loggers,
and the UPS man might think
if they saw me from the road.

A field with no boundaries,
an expanse of tideland
is more honest really

my back sinking in the mud,
high tide covering my joy.

A poem in tribute to the passing of James Brown.

It's hard to know whether today or yesterday was the full moon;
excitement isn't rigorous. It's just river-silvering


Meditations on writers’ conferences, Schlesinger Jr. on America, an Auden poem.

May 15, 2014

We published some of his earliest poems as well as his great 1964 essay on Sonny Liston vs. Cassius Clay.

January 11, 2014

How do you rhyme “Obama” with “Yokahama”?

December 16, 2012

Todd Akin, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan all have me thinking of June Jordan’s great “Poem about My Rights.”

August 22, 2012

A poet passionately engaged with writing and politics, she said "art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage."

March 28, 2012

If the great Hiroshima novel remains unwritten, a number of major poets have written brilliantly on nuclear concerns.

August 16, 2011