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Showing posts from April, 2018

BOB CHURCHILL: A POEM

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Bob Churchill AN OLD SURVIVOR CALCULATES HIS RECOMPENSE I’ve let the backyard go to jungle again.   Not like “The Bush” in Vietnam— after fifty years still the place of nightmares, with lime-green pit vipers nestled in lianas, blood-sheened

SUSIE OSLER READS FLEUR ADCOCK

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For Poetry Month, ceramic artist and steward of the land Susie Osler offers this poem by New Zealand poet Fleur Adcock. Fleur Adcock by Caroline Forbes/British Council WEATHERING Fleur Adcock Literally thin-skinned, I suppose, my face catches the wind off the snow-line and flushes with a flush that will never wholly settle. Well: that was a metropolitan vanity, wanting to look young for ever, to pass.

SANTŌKA: THREE POEMS

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sakura sakura saku sakura chiru sakura cherry tree cherry blossoms cherry blossoms scatter cherry tree ⟡

SANDRA DE HELEN: A POEM

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DRY SEASON Sandra de Helen There's an arroyo seco right next to my littoral zone. Crazy right? Dry bed adjacent to an area so rich in love and light, plants and animals, it could make a person

SARAH VENART READS ELLEN BASS

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Ellen Bass by Irene Young/ellenbass.com Ellen Bass WHAT DID I LOVE What did I love about killing the chickens?  Let me start with the drive to the farm as darkness was sinking back into the earth. The road damp and shining like the snail’s silver ribbon and the orchard

CIRCUIT AND LEAP: IN CONVERSATION WITH MARY JO SALTER

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Mary Jo Salter photo by Marina Levitskaya Passionate intensity, quiet unfolding, excited language -- whatever the formal elements, it's a poem's particular energy that stays with me. Fragments of my earliest reading materialize in memory's ear, kinetically intact, sometimes even intensified. This kind of memorable energy courses through Mary Jo Salter's chain of sonnets " The Surveyors ." As fall gave way to winter, and winter to more winter, Mary Jo and I exchanged emails about her writing and her life, the multiplicity of endings in poems, time-jumbling, the sonnet as ramble, and poetry's particular remembering. SUSAN GILLIS: How did you first come to poetry? MARY JO SALTER: Through my parents.  They were both literary, in oblique ways.  My father was a master's degree dropout in the English department at Berkeley, before turning to the advertising business--another way of working with words--by the time I was born.  I used to love try

Once There Was and Never Was

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For Poetry Month, Naz Arabaghian offers this poem from Forgotten Bread , an anthology of first-generation Armenian American writing (edited by David Kherdian, Heyday Press, 2007). Diana Der-Hovanessian (photo by Karen Antashyan) The Armenian American poet Diana Der-Hovanessian (1934-2018), who was twice a Fulbright professor of American poetry and an award-winning author of more than 20 books of poems and translations, has been a fixture on my “reread again and often” list. Along with other poets of the Armenian diaspora ( the 2016 Pulitzer recipient Peter Balakian, David Kherdian, Helene Pilibosian, Harold Bond [Bondjoukian], and Gregory Djanikian immediately come to mind), Der-Hovanessian’s work permeates with longing and loss, remembrance and renewal; her poems are palimpsests on which the twentieth-century genocide of the Armenian people has left its traumatic imprint. I’m always struck by how a misleadingly whimsical poem like “Once in a Village” coalesces snippets

THREE FROM TOKYO

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A trilingual Poetry Month offering from poet Emiko Miyashita Here are three from a set of 72 haiku by Paul-Louis Couchoud (1879-1959) in his first Hai-kai collection Au fil de l'eau (1905), which I am just reading in a book titled Le japonisme de Haiku: P.-L.  Couchoud et les échanges culturels franco-japonais in Japanese written by Dr. Yoriko Shibata and published by Kadokawa Gakugei Shuppan in Tokyo. L'orage se prépare.                                 Toutes les feuilles du tremble Battent de l'aile. 雷雨の気配。 ポプラの葉の全てが はばたいている。 A poplar tree stands straight connecting the earth and the sky; dark clouds are moving in with the cool wind. A thunder storm is about to begin. The poplar tree is flapping all its leaves, a feeling of tension builds up in the rustling sounds. A daffodil in our small garden had six buds; every morning we stood by the plant. Now, all six are blooming, we just admire them from our balcony.