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Nation Topics - Poetry


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Following the black
footprints the tracks
of words that have passed that way
before me I come
again and again to
your blank shore

Winners of the 2005 Discovery/The Nation Poetry Prize

Kevin Young updates the Harlem Renaissance for the hip-hop generation.

Tonight, the old hard work of love
has given up. I can't unbutton promises
or sing secrets into your left ear
tuned to quivering plucked strings.

Few modern poets served so long an apprenticeship as Basil Bunting, none had so adventurous a life and few poets' lives have produced such lasting rewards.

The Springs of Adonis (now also known as the River Ibrahim) run through the Byblos region of Lebanon down through steep gorges to the Mediterranean.

In 1958 John Ashbery sailed for Paris to gather materials for a thesis he intended to write about Raymond Roussel, who at the time was an all-but-forgotten French poet, playwright and novelist.

At the end of Eighty-eighth,

across from the museum and as west as east

will take you to the park from Gracie Mansion.

Before the lightning brought it down,

The tasks of poetry have never been more important or more difficult than they are now.


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