52nd Virtual Poetry Circle

It is July 4th weekend, already!  I cannot believe how time flies.  And as it flies, time to enter a bunch of my international and US/Canada giveaways is running out.  I hope you’ll check those out in the right sidebar.

Also, I’m hosting a poll about whether you think my reviews need ratings or not.  I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a unique rating system for my blog.  Take a second and let me know what you think.

Ok, now that all the housekeeping is out of the way, let’s get to the 52nd Virtual Poetry Circle.

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 checking out a contemporary poet today.  I wanted to introduce you to the poet Tony Hoagland, and selected the following poem from his latest collection Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty:

Description (from page 3)

A bird with a cry like a cell phone says something
to a bird which sounds like a manual typewriter.

Out of sight in the woods, the creek trickles
its ongoing sentence; from treble to baritone,

from dependent clause to interrogative.

The trees rustle over the house:  they are excited
to be entering the poem

in late afternoon, when the clouds are creamy and massive,
as if to illustrate contentment.

And maybe a wind will pluck off the last dead leaves;
and a cold rain will splash

dainty white petals from the crab apple tree
down to the ground,

the pink and the brown mingled there,
like two different messages scribbled over each other.

In all of this a place must be
reserved for human suffering:

the sick and unloved, the chemically confused;
the ones who believe desperately in insight;
the ones addicted to change.

How our thoughts clawed and pummeled the walls.
How we tried but could not find our way out.

In the wake of our effort, how we rested.
How description was the sign of our acceptance.

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.


  1. I wonder if the bird he refers to is a woodpecker…what else would sound like a manual typewriter? I like the juxtaposition here with the modern elements and the nature elements…birds like cell phones…etc.
    Serena´s last blog post ..How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

  2. bookworm says

    This made me smile:
    ‘The trees rustle over the house: they are excited
    to be entering the poem’

    And with this little verse, he says so much:
    ‘the sick and unloved, the chemically confused;
    the ones who believe desperately in insight;
    the ones addicted to change.’

    I liked this poem, thanks for posting it. I like the images he creates.
    bookworm´s last blog post ..Here I Love You

  3. Love the first line “bird with a cry like a cell phone.” To me, this poem (especially with the title) says that there is more than one way of looking at something, of describing it, and understanding it. That we shouldn’t settle for the mundane or commonplace with the way we describe things, that the world is more alive and colorful when we let our creativity and playfulness with words shine.
    Melissa´s last blog post ..One of Each

  4. I think calling the clouds “creamy and massive” was pretty neat. Never would have thought to call them creamy, but I can totally see it.
    Anna´s last blog post ..Review- Eva’s Cousin by Sibylle Knauss

  5. Beth Hoffman says

    Though (to me) this is a poem ultimately about suffering, the imagery brought forth holds so much beauty. This line sent a flood of images into my mind: “the pink and the brown mingled there, like two different messages scribbled over each other.”

    I loved it because at first I saw watercolors on a palette, wet and diffused and running into each other, and then I saw flowers moving in a breeze, overlapping until their colors had no definable edges.