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Nation Topics - Poetry

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Caught up in a metaphorical swoon

by the oversoul in his head

War is on its last legs, he said.

The question is only How Soon.

At the border between the past and the future
No sign on a post warns that your passport
Won't let you return to your native land
As a citizen, just as a tourist

Before the pork buns steamed in the pot,
moisture in their white folds, before
the dried tofu was trimmed into thin strips,

In the fall of 1958, the second book by a young British poet named Philip Larkin made it across the ocean and into the consciousness of American poetry.

Those first-nights when I see my charge's panic,
And, in quick whispers, slip him mislaid lines,
Untangled recognition scenes will light

Shortly after the first anniversary of September 11, when The New Yorker
had published a slew of poems memorializing the events of that
day--Galway Kinnell's "When the Towers Fell" and C

Blindness and Transparency

I can't say. Is it better to close your eyes,
or to go unseen?

Please tell me how the shoehorn manages to keep
Its shape the same for centuries. At dusk my ignorance
Slips away and hides its eggs in the woods.

opposable thumbs won't save us from ourselves
though they've helped exaggerate the drama sliding
toward denouement without free overdraft protection

Many rhetorical bombshells were lobbed by British and
American poets during the political turmoil of the 1930s, but few
detonated as loudly as this cluster of words: "Today the deliberate
i

Blogs

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