William Wordsworth – Surprised By Joy

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origins from emotion recollected in tranquility. The emotion is contemplated till, by a species of reaction, the tranquility gradually disappears. William Wordsworth (April 07, 1770 - April 23, 1850) Surprised by joy—impatient as the WindI turned to share the transport—Oh! with whomBut Thee, long …

Katherine Anne Porter – Wild Geese Alighting on a Lake

Katherine Anne Porter (May 15, 1890 – September 18, 1980) I watched themAs they neared the lakeThey wheeledIn a wide arcWith beating wingsAnd thenThey put their wings to sleepAnd glided downward in a driftOf pure abandonmentUntil they touchedThe surface of the lakeComposed their wingsAnd settledOn the rippling waterAs though it were a nest.

Ross Gay – Wedding Poem

Ross Gay (August 01, 1974 -) Friends I am here to modestly reportseeing in an orchardin my towna goldfinch kissinga sunfloweragain and againdangling upside downby its tiny clawssteadying itself by snapping openlike an old-timey fanits wingsagain and again,until, swooning, it tumbled offand swooped back to the very same perch,where the sunflower curled its giantswirling of …

Danusha Laméris – Fictional Characters

Danusha Laméris Do they ever want to escape?Climb out of the white pagesand enter our world?Holden Caulfield slipping in the movie theaterto catch the two o'clockAnna Karenina sitting in a diner,reading the paper as the waitressserves up a cheeseburger.Even Hector, on break from the Iliad,takes a stroll through the park,admires the tulips.Maybe they grew tiredof …

Gregory Loselle – The Whole Of Him Collected

Gregory Loselle (1963 -) The box of papers on the closet floorcontains his discharge papers from the war,a couple letters, dog tags: amuletsagainst prospective dangers, even betson futures filed away, here; telegramsmy grandmother amended in shorthandnotes (“May God protect you,”) on their backs;her death certificate, its seal (not waxlike his diplomas also here with hers)stamped …

Lisel Mueller – A Prayer For Rain

Lisel Mueller (February 8, 1924 – February 21, 2020) Let it come down: these thicknesses of airhave long enough walled love away from love;stillness has hardened until words despairof their high leaps and kisses shut themselvesback into wishing. Crippled lovers lieagainst a weather which holds out on them,waiting, awaiting some shrill sign, some cry,some screaming …

Sarah P. Strong – After 75 Years, She Finally Gets Angry

Sarah P. Strong At first we did not know what was happening.The tea on the porch table cooled several degreeswhile she stood up, clutchedthe scrollwork back of the chair. The lineson her face arranged themselves in a waywe’d never seen, her nostrils flaredand the bird in the tree behind her stoppedsinging. Someone, not me, tooka …

Tracy K. Smith – We Feel Now A Largeness Coming On

Tracy K. Smith (April 16, 1972 -) Being called all manner of thingsfrom the Dictionary of Shame—not English, not words, not heard,but worn, borne, carried, never spent—we feel now a largeness coming on,something passing into us. We knownot in what source it was begun, butrapt, we watch it rise through our fallen,our slain, our millions …

Joyce Carol Oates – This Is Not A Poem

Joyce Carol Oates (June 16, 1938 -)  in which the poet discoversdelicate white-parched bonesof a small creatureon a Great Lake shoreor the desiccated remainsof cruder roadkillbeside the rushing highway.Nor is it a poem in whicha cracked mirror yieldsa startled face,or sere grasses hiss-ing like consonantsin a foreign language.Family photo albumfilled with yearningstrangers long deceased,closet of …