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11th Virtual Poetry Circle

Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the eleventh edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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.

It’s a return to the classics today. William Wordsworth was considered one of the English Romantic Poets, and his most famous poem, which he worked on for many years, is The Prelude.

A Poet’s Epitaph

ART thou a Statist in the van
Of public conflicts trained and bred?
--First learn to love one living man;
'Then' may'st thou think upon the dead.

A Lawyer art thou?--draw not nigh!
Go, carry to some fitter place
The keenness of that practised eye,
The hardness of that sallow face.

Art thou a Man of purple cheer?
A rosy Man, right plump to see? 10
Approach; yet, Doctor, not too near,
This grave no cushion is for thee.

Or art thou one of gallant pride,
A Soldier and no man of chaff?
Welcome!--but lay thy sword aside,
And lean upon a peasant's staff.

Physician art thou? one, all eyes,
Philosopher! a fingering slave,
One that would peep and botanise
Upon his mother's grave? 20

Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece,
O turn aside,--and take, I pray,
That he below may rest in peace,
Thy ever-dwindling soul, away!

A Moralist perchance appears;
Led, Heaven knows how! to this poor sod:
And he has neither eyes nor ears;
Himself his world, and his own God;

One to whose smooth-rubbed soul can cling
Nor form, nor feeling, great or small; 30
A reasoning, self-sufficing thing,
An intellectual All-in-all!

Shut close the door; press down the latch;
Sleep in thy intellectual crust;
Nor lose ten tickings of thy watch
Near this unprofitable dust.

But who is He, with modest looks,
And clad in homely russet brown?
He murmurs near the running brooks
A music sweeter than their own. 40

He is retired as noontide dew,
Or fountain in a noon-day grove;
And you must love him, ere to you
He will seem worthy of your love.

The outward shows of sky and earth,
Of hill and valley, he has viewed;
And impulses of deeper birth
Have come to him in solitude.

In common things that round us lie
Some random truths he can impart,-- 50
The harvest of a quiet eye
That broods and sleeps on his own heart.

But he is weak; both Man and Boy,
Hath been an idler in the land;
Contented if he might enjoy
The things which others understand.

--Come hither in thy hour of strength;
Come, weak as is a breaking wave!
Here stretch thy body at full length;
Or build thy house upon this grave.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence.

I’ve you missed the other Virtual Poetry Circles, check them out here. It’s never too late to join the discussion.


10th Virtual Poetry Circle

Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the tenth edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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 a contemporary poem from Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and his book Delight & Shadows:

Walking on Tiptoe

Long ago we quit lifting our heels
like the others–horse, dog, and tiger–
though we thrill to their speed
as they flee. Even the mouse
bearing the great weight of a nugget
of dog food is enviably graceful.
There is little spring to our walk,
we are so burdened with responsibility,
all of the disciplinary actions
that have fallen to us, the punishments,
the killings, and all with our feet
bound stiff in the skins of the conquered.
But sometimes, in the early hours,
we can feel what it must have been like
to be one of them, up on our toes,
stealing past doors where others are sleeping,
and suddenly able to see in the dark.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence.

I’ve you missed the other Virtual Poetry Circles, check them out here. It’s never too late to join the discussion.


9th Virtual Poetry Circle

Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the ninth edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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 a return to the classics with William Shakespeare:

SONNET #21

      O is it not with me as with that Muse
      Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse,
      Who heaven itself for ornament doth use
      And every fair with his fair doth rehearse;
      Making a couplement of proud compare
      With sun and moon, with earth and sea’s rich gems,
      With April’s first-born flowers, and all things rare
      That heaven’s airs in this huge rondure hems.
      O let me, true in love, but truly write,
      And then believe me, my love is as fair
      As any mother’s child, though not so bright
      As those gold candles fixed in heaven’s air:
      Let them say more that like of hearsay well;
      I will not praise that purpose not to sell.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence.

I’ve you missed the other Virtual Poetry Circles, check them out here. It’s never too late to join the discussion.

8th Virtual Poetry Circle

Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the eighth edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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.

Here’s today’s poem by Pavel Friedmann from Holocaust Poetry compiled by Hilda Schiff (Page 25):

The Butterfly

He was the last. Truly the last.
Such yellowness was bitter and blinding
Like the sun’s tear shattered on stone.
That was his true colour.
And how easily he climbed, and how high,
Certainly, climbing, he wanted
To kiss the last of my world.

I have been here for seven weeks,
‘Ghettoized’.
Who loved me have found me,
Daisies call to me,
And the branches also of the white chestnut in the yard.
But I haven’t seen a butterfly here.
That last one was the last one.
There are no butterflies, here, in the ghetto.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence. Most of all have fun!


7th Virtual Poetry Circle

Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the seventh edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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.

This week’s poem is from Emily Dickinson:

Hope is the thing with feathers (254)

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And Sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence. Most of all have fun!

6th Virtual Poetry Circle

Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the sixth edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s the first poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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.

This week’s poem brings us back to a contemporary poet, Jeannine Hall Gailey whom I interviewed. If you missed my review of her book, Becoming the Villainess, feel free to check it out. I’ve selected a poem from her book called “The Conversation” from page 70.

The Conversation

I am an avenging goddess, she said, severely.
What about that do you not understand?

I need you, he said. Even without your costumes.
I lie in the dark and think of you. Every night more.

I eat men like you for breakfast. Her right hand gripped
a sword. I’ve forgotten how to make my lips do anything but sneer.

I could make you French roast instead, he offered.
He was blond and easy on the eyes.

There is no happy ending for us. You’ve seen the stories–
in the end I’d be bent over your slain body,

miss the gunshot, the final blow. But think, he said, how sad,
all that you’re missing–the slow sunny afternoons in pajamas,

maybe a cat–or an African pygmy hedgehog–on the couch.
Trips to the grocery store. Bad movies.

Anyway, she said, I’m late. She picked up a handbag full of arrows.
Please try not to disclose my secret identity. I’ll see you later.

He pretended not to care as her shadow lengthened in the doorway.
She pretended not to notice the sudden heaviness of her sword.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence. Most of all have fun!

5th Virtual Poetry Circle

Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the fifth edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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.

We’re going to check out one of my favorite poets from the Romantic period. Here’s a poem from William Blake’s Blake’s Poetry and Designs, “Night” (Page 33):

Night

The sun descending in the west,
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest,
And I must seek for mine.
The moon, like a flower,
In heaven’s high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.

Farewell, green fields and happy groves,
Where flocks have took delight.
Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves
The feet of angels bright;
Unseen they pour blessing,
And joy without ceasing,
On each bud and blossom,
And each sleeping bosom.

They look in every thoughtless nest,
Where birds are covered warm;
They visit caves of every beast,
To keep them all from harm.
If they see any weeping
That should have been sleeping,
They pour sleep on their head,
And sit down by their bed.

When wolves and tigers howl for prey,
They pitying stand and weep;
Seeking to drive their thirst away,
And keep them from the sheep.
But if they rush dreadful,
The angels, most heedful,
Receive each mild spirit,
New worlds to inherit.

And there the lion’s ruddy eyes
Shall flow with tears of gold,
And pitying the tender cries,
And walking round the fold,
Saying, “Wrath, by His meekness,
And, by His health, sickness
Is driven away
From our immortal day.

“And now beside thee, bleating lamb,
I can lie down and sleep;
Or think on Him who bore thy name,
Graze after thee and weep.
For, washed in life’s river,
My bright mane for ever
Shall shine like the gold
As I guard o’er the fold.”

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence. Most of all have fun!

4th Virtual Poetry Circle

Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the fourth edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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.

Here’s a poem from Yusef Komunyakaa’s Dien Cai Dau (Page 27):

A Break From the Bush

The South China Sea
drives in another herd.
The volleyball’s a punching bag:
Clem’s already lost a tooth
& Johnny’s left eye is swollen shut.
Frozen airlifted steaks burn
on a wire grill, & miles away
machine guns can be heard.
Pretending we’re somewhere else,
we play harder.
Lee Otis, the point man,
high on Buddha grass,
buries himself up to his neck
in sand. “Can you see me now?
In this spot they gonna build
a Hilton. Invest in Paradise.
Bang, Bozos! You’re dead.”
Frenchie’s cassette player
unravels Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”
Snake, 17, from Daytona,
sits at the water’s edge,
the ash on his cigarette
pointing to the ground
like a crooked finger. CJ,
who in three days will trip
a fragmentation mine,
runs after the ball
into the whitecaps,
laughing.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence. Most of all have fun!

3rd Virtual Poetry Circle


Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the third edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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, I wanted to share with you a poem from one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost, but I wanted to select one that most people don’t cover in English courses.

In a Disused Graveyard

The living come with grassy tread
To read the gravestones on the hill;
The graveyard draws the living still,
But never anymore the dead.

The verses in it say and say:
“The ones who living come today
To read the stones and go away
Tomorrow dead will come to stay.”

So sure of death the marbles rhyme,
Yet can’t help marking all the time
How no one dead will seem to come.
What is it men are shrinking from?

It would be easy to be clever
And tell the stones: Men hate to die
And have stopped dying now forever.
I think they would believe the lie.

(From The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged: The Poetry of Robert Frost, Page 221)

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence. Most of all have fun!

Today’s my first book club meeting, and we’re discussing The Hunger Games and selecting our new book for the month. Wish us luck.

2nd Virtual Poetry Circle

Don’t forget about the Verse Reviewers link I’m creating here on Savvy Verse & Wit.

Send me an email with your blog information to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

And now, for the second edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle:

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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.

In honor of the holiday, I chose this poem:

Patriotism
by Sir Walter Scott

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,   
Who never to himself hath said,
'This is my own, my native land!'
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence.

1st Edition of Virtual Poetry Circle

First an announcement, bloggers interested in reviewing poetry and interviewing poets, please email me your blog addresses and names so I can put you on my Verse Reviewers page. It will help poets locate blogs interested in reviewing poetry. I’ll be working on this list over the summer.

In the meantime, please grab this button and proudly display it on your blog.

OK, Here’s the first poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books 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.

This poem is from Sally Van Doren’s Sex at Noon Taxes; check out my review.

“ENVY”

When speech accumulates
and the circumference
of the mindscape is threatened
by a worn valve, it is

time to make a gesture
of incantation, time to
warn the beasts who
wish to annex that

piece of the mind,
that hovering wilts
the pink flower, that
in missing the caveat,

we fortify our theorems,
and sleep through our dreams.

I will join in this discussion as comments come in, but I’m leaving the poem on the table for initial reactions. Have fun and don’t be shy.

Don’t forget my 2-year Blogiversary celebration giveaways, here and here and here.