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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Poetry Friday: “The Field”

By Jennifer GrotzJuly 7, 2017

I find solace in the natural world, in those precious moments alone, outside, away from the clutter and din of my material life. In “The Field” by poet, teacher and translator Jennifer Grotz we are invited to an open field “past the convenience store and the train tracks.” She tells us that as a girl,…

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How To Intuit a Book Title

By Richard ChessJuly 6, 2017

How do poets and writers choose their book titles? I didn’t have a good answer to the question, “Why did you choose the title Love Nailed to the Doorpost?” posed at a recent reading, though I knew that sooner or later that someone would ask. I did have a superficial answer, but I hadn’t thought…

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Poetry Friday: “The Fawn”

By David MasonJune 30, 2017

Narrative poetry has its special challenge: how does it differentiate itself from prose? David Mason’s story of his family’s relation to a dying fawn does this in several ways. First there’s the iambic pentameter beat carrying us along. Then wordplay, beginning with the opening line: “The vigil and the vigilance of love.” There’s the internal…

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Reading Love Nailed to the Doorpost

By Peggy RosenthalJune 19, 2017

If you want to be submerged in the depths of Jewish spirituality, this is the book to read: Love Nailed to the Doorpost, by Richard Chess. No, not “read”: at least not “read” in the way you would read an email or a newspaper or a novel. The poems and prose-poems collected in this book…

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Poetry Friday: “Prayer”

By Sharon CumberlandJune 16, 2017

I used to collect poems that are prayers, so Sharon Cumberland’s “Prayer” immediately leapt out at me from the pages if Image. Leapt out—but then instantly grabbed me uncomfortably in the opening line: “Ignore, O Mystery, this thing You made.” The speaker’s plea to God is not for connection but for separation. Why? Because, as…

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Poetry Friday: “June Prayer”

By Robert CordingJune 2, 2017

How to pray for someone bent over by grief when nature is stretching upward in the June sunshine? This is the question posed by Robert Cording’s “June Prayer.” We learn in the course of the poem that the young son of a woman “I love” has died months ago, and that she asks the poet…

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Poetry Friday: “The Key”

By Alice FrimanMay 26, 2017

I love this poem for its exuberance. The fat bee, “big as a blackberry,” bumping heavily against the pane. The impossibility of an acorn’s power. The very idea of “infant waterfalls.” Each vivid, particular thing of beauty from the natural world that Friman presents to us bears itself simply and humbly—yet appears remarkable when dressed…

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Poetry Friday: “The Spirit of Promise”

By Daniel DonaghyMay 19, 2017

Memories can make good material for poetry. In “The Spirit of Promise,” Daniel Donaghy is remembering his Catholic childhood in the particular church that he’s now re-visiting. At first the poet’s memories are negative: “my grade-school nuns shaking // their heads at me”; the priest “putting down his Chesterfield / to tell me how many…

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Poetry Friday: “Rain”

By Tara BrayMay 12, 2017

The emotional landscape of motherhood can often be hard to describe and is underrepresented in genres such as poetry. As a poet and mother of a two-year old with a new baby on the way, I appreciated “Rain” by Tara Bray and found it very instructive on several levels. In this candid poem, a “family…

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Quartet for J. Robert Oppenheimer

By Peggy RosenthalMay 10, 2017

What would you think of a biography of a famous person written in the form of a poem? I don’t mean just a portrait of the person: Stephanie Strickland did this (masterfully) in her The Red Virgin: A Poem of Simone Weil. No, I mean a full, chronological biography—birth to death and reputation beyond—complete with…

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