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Nation Topics - Poetry


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Rhetorical acts of defiance define the work of three contemporary Palestinian poets.

words have been used up
chewed up like gum
by lovely young mouths
have been turned into white
balloons bubbles

       for Robert Creeley (1926-2005)

What you won't see today:

juniper's tough skein.

Sunlight and plant light
glass and stain
the campaign the conflict
the dead frozen in air
the sun and the sweat
the swell of fetid flesh

My grandfather and I, with Riley the horse,
took four days to hay the acres of grass
from the fields on both sides of the house.
After Riley pulled the mowing machine

Hart Crane, one of America's greatest poets, relished the extremes that eventually destroyed him.

Two red drinks--pure alcohol, with a maraschino cherry--in
the bar next door, deep in the afternoon. While I hide in my

The scowl is caught in jadeite.
The flattened face on a green bead
displayed in the orchestral light of the museum
also boards the train on Steinway Street.

In the morning we put on our sharp blue suits and
go to hear the delegates speak through broken teeth.
These are the women whose names the press must be

Yes, indeed, that is my house that I am carrying around
on my back like a bullet-proof shell and yes, that sure is
my little dog walking a hard road in hard boots. And


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