Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happiness (Paisley Rekdal)

Happiness by Paisley Rekdal

I stumbled upon today's poem, through an impossible to trace collection of clicks, but I am so glad I did. I like its calmness, its steady eye. Sadness is a thing; beauty is a thing; gardens are a thing. All are worthy. Be proud of what your craft does. Find happiness in the doing. Find happiness which stems from unhappiness.

Favorite line:  "I can wait longer than sadness. I can wait longer / than your grief."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Letter in October (Ted Kooser)

An appropriately timed poem: A Letter in October by Ted Kooser.

Well, firstly, I wonder a letter to whom. But then, I turn to thinking about what he has written in the letter. I agree that October, that fall is a time to be indoors and be self-reflective.

There are a lot of neat connotations with light and dark and the deer and age. Despite its common language, I think that the middle stanzas are not as clear as they could be. They seem muddled. Or perhaps, it just gives another excuse for deep contemplations in this colder, darker month.

Favorite line: "Dawn comes later and later now, / and I"

Friday, October 17, 2014

Holding Posture (Howard Altmann)

Holding Posture by Howard Altmann

Maybe it's because I was never the biggest fan of history class, but this poem by Howard Altmann is uninteresting.

It describes history. It's mildly clever, but I don't see the point in it. There is no magic or myth in the descriptors. History is, apparently, everything ("It keeps time and loses time, /knows its place and doesn’t know its place." etc., etc.) All encompassing and dull, no?

Favorite line: "afternoons it naps"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mist Everywhere (Nate Pritts)

I hate the new layout of this website, which I used to use all the time for this blog. However, after Googling "poem" tonight, it and this poem were the first to come up (and you, perhaps, thought I used more advanced means to find the quotidian poem, ha).

It's a lovely poem. The thing does seem shrouded in mist, per the title.  But then as you progress, the mist clears and then as the boat does from the cut tree, truths emerge. In life, you move about aimlessly, seemingly in a mist. It's hard, it's confusing, it's lonely. But the poem advises, turn to your art, turn to that which only you can see and do and then "nothing will block [your] way".

Favorite line: "But I pray wrong, selfishly"

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Coming of Light (Mark Strand)

The Coming of Light by Mark Strand

It is not too late, this little poem is saying. It has some very pleasant images and I like the brevity of the thing. It is a rather tried-and-true message. Does this poem contribute something new?

Favorite line: "stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows"

Saturday, October 11, 2014

45 Mercy Street (Anne Sexton)

45 Mercy Street by Anne Sexton

Depression. She's searching for the crystal-clear Mercy Street (is almost groan worthy, but  based on the originality of the rest of her words, it simply seems clarion, instead of cliche).

It's a trip of a poem. Mildly confusing, entrapping and in the end you get fish in your purse. Life is funny in that way, no?

Favorite line: "and this is no dream / just my oily life / where the people are alibis / and the street is unfindable for an / entire lifetime"

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Centrifugal (Douglas S. Jones)

Centrifugal by Douglas S. Jones

I like this sweet, short poem. It's pretty explicit, sets the scene well and uses common language in refreshing ways. Not challenging, but good, you know?

A satisfying poem - just like this image of Spiderman spinning along.

Favorite line: "as the tire pulls free the stitches of last night’s sewing"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

haiku #62 (Scott Helmes)

haiku #62 by Scott Helmes

Visual poetry, huh? While I agree that this is art, I'm hard pressed to call it poetry. And while I like (and appreciate) what is written in the paragraph of explanatory text, shouldn't this art, this poem be able to stand on its own?

Favorite line: " " (I like the bottom strip best, for its collection of letters and the shape of the torn paper.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Moths (Caleb Klaces)

Moths by Caleb Klaces

Writing --> reading
Object (moth) --> its observers (one who is fascinated, one who has a phobia)
Person --> anyone who comes upon them

It's all the same --> perception/difference/sameness. Every observation is made by someone who brings their own interpretation based on their past experiences. These are their alone, therefore their interpretation is also their own. While the author (who was fascinated with moths) may have meant one thing, the translator (have a moth phobia) means something else. The translation will never be exact since it is an interpretation by one person of another's ideas. 

As this poem (in a rather lame, rushed way) points out, that even you "must include a version / of almost everyone, lots of versions of some people". You are interpreted by others as you create versions of those you meet. 

There is a lot that this poem hints at, but I think it should have been longer or sharper in order to more adequately deal with it all. Or perhaps, I am dealing with my own "moth" here unsupported by what the poet was writing. Lost in translation, indeed. 

Favorite line: "Her moths, the ones that were too aptly named, / meant too much"

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Times Haiku

Lololol, this website is great. According to its About page, these haiku were grabbed from various New York Times articles by an algorithm based on syllable count (but selected for the website by humans).

One. It's a neat trick to pull the right syllable count from text.
Two. It makes for an argument regarding the science of poetry.
Three. It's fun. See, folks, poetry is fun!
Four. It reinforces the fact that poetry surrounds us, all the time, in all places.
Five. It makes me wonder if at some future point, the human editors can be disregarded completely. An advanced program could learn and might be able to figure out from the human's early selections what makes something worthy, what makes a poem good. (And what would constitute that algorithm I'm curious to see.)

Or perhaps that is too science-fiction-y and this website is an amusing 5 minutes of your Internet-time and nothing more.

But it is cool, no?

My favorite haiku on the front page:

Crystals of sugar
cascaded because, of course,
the Duck has no lips.

Of course. Thanks, bot.