Poems Recently Read

I try to read a few poems a week.

I have a real affinity for poems that contrast teachings about God with the experience of God, and for poems about talking with God.

The middle section is just wonderful ...


I think this is the first poem of Sharif's I've read.

Her use of the word relief made me go look it up in a dictionary to learn all its meanings.

I can't remember the last time I read about tanners; it reminds me of learning about Butcher Town in San Francisco, a neighborhood and a time I've come across only rarely in reading about the history of the city.

The quick, almost abrupt ending is such a shift from the rest of the poem, that long history and then sudden (but also long, just compressed) change.



My Heaven On Earth anthology introduced me to Les Murray. He's written some extraordinary poems, and there are hundreds of them online. What a mountain of wonder.

"Spring Hail" is lovely, so vivid and specific. The repetitions (not just the first line, but eating ice as well) breathe rhythm into the whole and make the memory more immediate.

(I'm not sure how he's using "prop," and my dictionary isn't helping; I'll have to look that up some more.)


I love villanelles, and I love how Stallings follows the rules of the form until she makes the choice to modify that last line (and add a blank line for emphasis, or at least mindfulness).

I love how she invokes the whole of the typical morning - toast, and, sensibly, butter, and then also the morning mail.

There are actually only a few references to burning and smoke, but the whole poem seems infused by the scent, the way everything takes on the burnt smell when something gets blackened in the toaster.

She is so brilliant.

Other poems read today:

Little Donkey - Wendy Cope


I found this in my 180 More anthology. I love the careful rhyming that is quieted by the lengths of the sentences, how, reading it aloud, I want to pause mid-line, making the rhymes fall irregularly internally.

That structure, that soft nudge toward reading it conversationally, in a low voice, finding my way to the invisible punctuation, made me want to read it three times, four, five, and I in my initial rush read it as if it were a poem about travelling, about the dust on your own feet as you rush through and across the world, but no, it's an ode, to dust, to road dust,