November 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
Some lovely other or another sky;
In your reversing yet unlying mirror
I saw I was I.
– John Hollander
This neat little poem plays off of the Narcissus myth while employing a literary trick, the palindrome, so appropriately as to almost rescue that particular form of wordplay from the realm of kitsch. A man, a plan: John Hollander!
November 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
– Robert Frost
“The Secret Sits” is an unusual poem for Frost, being more elusive than usual; a metaphysical teaser, it reads like a passage from an ancient Eastern religious text.
August 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
– Ogden Nash
For Nash’s birthday, here is his most quoted, most famous poem. By now, these four little lines have shed their title and author to become one of the great aphorisms of the English language. Once, in some terrible shopping outlet on the Delaware shore, I saw an Abercrombie & Fitch selling shirts spouting “Liquor Is Quicker”, and I wondered if anyone there knew the source. Cheers, Mr. Nash, for not only cementing my love of poetry, but for leaving such an indelible mark on language and the public consciousness.
June 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
P o o l
P e o p l
e p l o p!
C o o l.
– Edwin Morgan
Summer strikes. People plash. Basho nods. (Someone pees in pool.)
April 15, 2012 § 1 Comment
Ulysses uses 30000 distinct words. The Oxford English Dictionary lists over a quarter million. Urban Dictionary holds 6.5 million entries. Language contains multitudes.
March 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
way to the
wind and give
the wind away.
– A. R. Ammons
A moment of insight, a wisp of wordplay, a perfect title.
March 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
e ? h e
h e y !
– Aram Saroyan
Saroyan modulates three letters and two punctuation marks to turn the most quotidian of events into a sparkling and surprising play of language.
One can buy Complete Minimal Poems, which contains this poem and is neither complete nor, at almost 300 pages, very minimal, from Ugly Duckling Press.
February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Ra Ra Ra
– Edmund Conti
It is currently mid-February and the temperature is, yet again, in the mid-50s. Five cheers for an eerie, endless summer.
February 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
– Edwin Morgan
Not just a dance of fricatives, but a concrete poem as well: the capital letters represent the snake’s bulging stomach after a midday snack.