Wednesday, July 19, 2006

There must not be any preconceived notion or design for what the poem ought to be…I’m not interested in writing sonnets, sestinas or anything…only poems. If the poem has got to be a sonnet (unlikely tho) or whatever, it’ll certainly let me know.

--Amiri Baraka



I have been temperate always,
But I am like to be very drunk
With your coming.
There have been times
I feared to walk down the street
Lest I should reel with the wine of you,
And jerk against my neighbours
As they go by.
I am parched now, and my tongue is horrible in my mouth,
But my brain is noisy
With the clash and gurgle of filling wine-cups.

--Amy Lowell


from “Dream On

Some people go their whole lives
without ever writing a single poem.
Extraordinary people who don’t hesitate
to cut somebody’s heart or skull open.
They go to baseball games with the greatest of ease
and play a few rounds of gold as if it were nothing.
These same people stroll into a church
as if that were a natural part of life.
Investing money is second nature to them.
They contribute to political campaigns
that have absolutely no poetry in them
and promise none for the future.
They sit around the dinner table at night
and pretend as though nothing is missing.
Their children get caught shoplifting at the mall
and no one admits that it is poetry they are missing.

--James Tate, “Dream On” from Shroud of the Gnome


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