Friday, June 16, 2017

Poem for the Weekend: Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith is our newest Poet Laureate of the United States. She's the author of three books of poetry and a memoir, and is the director of Princeton University's creative writing department. Here's an NPR article about her, with a link to hear her read one of her poems.

I Don't Miss It

by Tracy K. Smith

But sometimes I forget where I am,
Imagine myself inside that life again.

Recalcitrant mornings. Sun perhaps,
Or more likely colorless light

Filtering its way through shapeless cloud.

And when I begin to believe I haven't left,
The rest comes back. Our couch. My smoke

Climbing the walls while the hours fall.
Straining against the noise of traffic, music,

Anything alive, to catch your key in the door.
And that scamper of feeling in my chest,

As if the day, the night, wherever it is
I am by then, has been only a whir

Of something other than waiting.

We hear so much about what love feels like.
Right now, today, with the rain outside,

And leaves that want as much as I do to believe
In May, in seasons that come when called,

It's impossible not to want
To walk into the next room and let you

Run your hands down the sides of my legs,
Knowing perfectly well what they know.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Poem for the Weekend: Alice Oswald

Last night, one of the most lucrative awards in poetry was announced in Toronto. The Griffin Poetry Prize is awarded to two poets--one Canadian and one international--and this year, the prize went to Jordan Abel and Alice Oswald, who lives in Devon, England. This poem is the first in her award-winning collection, Falling Awake. News story about her win here.

A Short Story of Falling

by Alice Oswald

It is the story of the falling rain
to turn into a leaf and fall again

it is the secret of a summer shower
to steal the light and hide it in a flower

and every flower a tiny tributary
that from the ground flows green and momentary

is one of water’s wishes and this tale
hangs in a seed-head smaller than my thumbnail

if only I a passerby could pass
as clear as water through a plume of grass

to find the sunlight hidden at the tip
turning to seed a kind of lifting rain drip

then I might know like water how to balance
the weight of hope against the light of patience

water which is so raw so earthy-strong
and lurks in cast-iron tanks and leaks along

drawn under gravity towards my tongue
to cool and fill the pipe-work of this song

which is the story of the falling rain
that rises to the light and falls again

Friday, June 2, 2017

Poem for the Weekend: Robley Wilson

Robley Wilson writes poems, short stories and novels and has worked as a writing teacher and editor. He lives in Florida. Here is a link to a short podcast that discusses this poem.

I Wish in the City of Your Heart

I wish in the city of your heart 
you would let me be the street 
where you walk when you are most 
yourself. I imagine the houses: 
It has been raining, but the rain 
is done and the children kept home 
have begun opening their doors. 
"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka