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267th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 267th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Emily Dickinson, recited by MarKaye Hassan:

"I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain" (280)

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –  

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –  
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My Mind was going numb –  

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race
Wrecked, solitary, here – 

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –  
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then – 

What do you think?

266th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 266th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Cornelius Eady, read by Kristen Dupard:

I’m A Fool To Love You

Some folks will tell you the blues is a woman,
Some type of supernatural creature.
My mother would tell you, if she could,
About her life with my father,
A strange and sometimes cruel gentleman.
She would tell you about the choices
A young black woman faces.
Is falling in with some man
A deal with the devil
In blue terms, the tongue we use
When we don’t want nuance
To get in the way,
When we need to talk straight.
My mother chooses my father
After choosing a man
Who was, as we sing it,
Of no account.
This man made my father look good,
That’s how bad it was.
He made my father seem like an island
In the middle of a stormy sea,
He made my father look like a rock.
And is the blues the moment you realize
You exist in a stacked deck,
You look in a mirror at your young face,
The face my sister carries,
And you know it’s the only leverage
You’ve got.
Does this create a hurt that whispers
How you going to do?
Is the blues the moment
You shrug your shoulders
And agree, a girl without money
Is nothing, dust
To be pushed around by any old breeze.
Compared to this,
My father seems, briefly,
To be a fire escape.
This is the way the blues works
Its sorry wonders,
Makes trouble look like
A feather bed,
Makes the wrong man’s kisses 
A healing.

What do you think?

265th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 265th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Robert Hayden, as read by Youssef Biaz:

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

What do you think?

264th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 264th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Philip Levine; we’re doing something different — a video reading from Morgan Williams:

The poem:

What Work Is

We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is—if you’re
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting,
shifting from one foot to another.
Feeling the light rain falling like mist
into your hair, blurring your vision
until you think you see your own brother
ahead of you, maybe ten places.
You rub your glasses with your fingers,
and of course it’s someone else’s brother,
narrower across the shoulders than
yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
that does not hide the stubbornness,
the sad refusal to give in to
rain, to the hours of wasted waiting,
to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
a man is waiting who will say, “No,
we’re not hiring today,” for any
reason he wants. You love your brother,
now suddenly you can hardly stand
the love flooding you for your brother,
who’s not beside you or behind or
ahead because he’s home trying to   
sleep off a miserable night shift
at Cadillac so he can get up
before noon to study his German.
Works eight hours a night so he can sing
Wagner, the opera you hate most,
the worst music ever invented.
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you’re too young or too dumb,
not because you’re jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,   
just because you don’t know what work is.

What do you think?

263rd Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 263rd Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Joshua Beckman’s Take It:

[Dark mornings shown thy mask]


Dark mornings shown thy mask
made well thy visage and voice
rolling over and hearing some perfect
sweetness that one broad soul poured forth
again in happy countenance and ancient word


                                     my city cold
                                        for me, my nature
                                                lost

                                        come back

                               sallow soft and colorless
                         thy dreams repent

        as:

The whole family
each with his own
 
                                          “Now, sweet child, we must
                                          kiss winter goodbye, and so too
                                          your furs.”

She clutched the puppy to her breast.
“Not little Bobby, father.”

“Yes, my darling, little Bobby as well.”

And this, as she ought, was how Gretel
remembered summer – a constant giving up
of things and people.

What do you think?

262nd Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 262nd Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Lucy Ives from Orange Roses:

Beastgardens


first garden

Beastgarden.



second garden

Bees go mad on late summer evenings, should
People stray from their jobs towards water

Beastgarden.



third garden

Who makes the rented red boat's
Oars turn

Who is the younger one always
Turning up

Who professes to be better because
He is just looking

Who says he is worse off as
He cannot look

Beastgarden.



fourth garden

The unicycle girl, thin
Like one with a sexual problem,
Goes through
The Schlosspark. This follows:
Father rolling his eyes

Beastgarden.



fifth garden

The man from Manchester
Has my breast in his hand

These are funny
They don't do anything do they

Being burnt by a fire I say

Beastgarden.



sixth garden

Similarly, if only
You grasped some
Titanic misery or a
Love like an old man's

Beastgarden.



seventh garden

Where were we

A ballroom competition goes on
A yellow satin bikini
A fuchsia floor-length are
Dancing; an audience is
Drinking, clapping 1 2 3 1 2 3

Beastgarden.

What do you think?

261st Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 261st Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Hoa Nguyen’s As Long as Trees Last:

Independence Day 2010

Can be cracked or am that       you didn't
consider me or I thought so
recovering in a nap     You took the 4th
of July beers

   In the movie
she was Asian and playing an Asian
part   singing white on white in the white
room

      I want to strum
or mask this day

Ask a question
of the large “picture” window
like why and why and also why
to think of the napalmed girl
in the picture

What do you think?

260th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 260th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford 1937-1947, edited by Fred Marchant:

Sub-urban (page 120)

In any town I must live near the rind,
where the animals come around nibbling.
Everything else inside may be designed,
but near is an edge, not confined.

They must be animals, that, though mild,
come straying in only by night-time.
They don't belong, but come anyway, beguiled
by light, but ready to bold for the wild.

That's how the wilds and I belong
around any kind of a city:
in front of us lights and all the glory and stir.
but back of us—country, as friendly as fur.

                 Berkeley, California
                 September 7, 1947

What do you think?

 

259th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 259th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Dawn Marie Kresan’s Muse:

Housebroken (page 18)

The Pet, Walter Deverall, 1852. Oil on Canvas.

She stands in a doorway, on the threshold
between home and garden, peers inside
a bird cage. It is no wonder pets love their captor –
well fed and doted upon, the canary is full of melody,
the dog lazily snuffles at your feet.
No cares gnawing at the bone.
All kindness and kisses. So you think.
Protection has its costs.
Birds flounder in sorrow. Wings clipped,
they feel for the hand reaching in as one feels toward
a punishing god. Yes, they are pampered, given teeny
treats, fed daily morsels until docile and blithely paunch.
The dog, taught to beg for affection, must always
please. If it disobeys, the hand that now lovingly
strokes the ear’s soft cushion, will strike
quick as lightening. Pain pulsing
through its skull, the high pitched yelps, its nose
rubbed into the mess it made.

What do you think?

258th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 258th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Julie Cameron Gray’s Tangle:

Application to the Art Deco Society of California (page 22)

Condensation drips off a cool glass of gin,
drops onto the perfect green lawn
of a summer afternoon,
with all the prettiest people playing
their best flappers and philosophers,
dressed up for cocktails.

Misplaced dancing shoes,
bootlegged booze; the moment
in sequined sheath
when I can no longer stand
the sound of his laugh.
The only solution is the Charleston
and more drinks.

The silver notes of band brass
and bass cling to air
and slowly give way to dusk --

champagne and stars soar drunk
in a pollen-flecked swimming pool.

What do you think?

257th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 257th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Maya Angelou again:

Alone

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

What do you think?

Virtual Poetry Circle 256th

Welcome to the 256th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Maya Angelou in honor of her passing this week:

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

What do you think? Did Maya Angelou make an impression on you before her passing?