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23rd Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 23rd Virtual Poetry Circle!  I’m amazed that this project has been successful.  I really had no hope for it at all.  I thought each week would have zero comments.  I’m amazed.

So, if we all continue to do well, I’ll host a giveaway on the 25th Virtual Poetry Circle, which will fall on December 12, for all of you who’ve commented on these weekly events.  I’ll pop your names in a hat and choose a winner.  Easy right?!

And all you have to do is comment on these posts with your reactions to the poem posted.

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, we’re going to return to classic poetry, and in honor of Thanksgiving, we’re going to take a look at “The Pumpkin” by John Greenleaf Whittier, a 19th Century poet.

The Pumpkin
by John Greenleaf Whittier

Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun, 
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o'er Nineveh's prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

On the banks of the Xenil the dark Spanish maiden
Comes up with the fruit of the tangled vine laden;
And the Creole of Cuba laughs out to behold
Through orange-leaves shining the broad spheres of gold;
Yet with dearer delight from his home in the North,
On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth,
Where crook-necks are coiling and yellow fruit shines,
And the sun of September melts down on his vines.

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored;
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin, - our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better
E'er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o'er its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!

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.

22nd Virtual Poetry Circle

Wow, 22 Virtual Poetry Circles!  I’m amazed that this project has been successful.  I really had no hope for it at all.  I thought each week would have zero comments.  Surprised me!

So, if we all continue to do well, I’ll host a giveaway on the 25th Virtual Poetry Circle, which will fall on December 12, for all of you who’ve commented on these weekly events.  I’ll pop your names in a hat and choose a winner.  Easy right?!

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.

Contemporary Poet John Amen is also a musician and editor of The Pedestal MagazineThis poem is from his most recent collection At the Threshold of Alchemy:

At The Funeral (Page 17)

The floorboards exhaled,
walls slept for the first time in years.

Grandma slouched in the foyer, 
her belly mounding in her lap, makeup streaked.
I distracted myself in the basement, thinking
of Ms Gilham, my face in her cleavage.

Upstairs, aunts and neighbors — the mercenaries
of resilience — cooked, cleaned, scrubbed
until the house could have passed for a delivery room.

I reemerged, 
dad and his brother gnawing the gristly silence.
No one noticed the stain on my corduroys
or saw me put a silver spoon in my pocket.

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.

21st Virtual Poetry Circle

I think we all know the routine by now, but just in case you don’t, here’s the spiel again.

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, its a return to classic poet.  John Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn is one of my favorites from the romantic period in poetry.

Ode on a Grecian Urn
by: John Keats

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? what maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal–yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

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. 

20th 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 twentieth edition of the Virtual Poetry Circle.  I can’t believe we’ve made it this far.

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 returning to contemporary poetry this week, and today’s poem if from Lynn Levin‘s poetry collection, Fair Creatures of an Hour (review forthcoming):

Helium (page 9)

I was happy as one
who offers her heart
and doesn’t care
if it’s accepted or not.
I was less, not more.
I skipped my stupid resentments
like stones across the river, 
forgave those who walked off
while I was speaking,
owed me money,
blamed me for things I didn’t do.
If spirits could rise like helium,
then my spirits rose like helium.
I couldn’t tell my breath
from the new-mown grass,
the scent of the white azalea.
You said that I thre myself away.
You said that resistance
would have been nobler
than resignation.  I began
to fear that you were right
for in the morning my heart was lighter
than air, but in the evening
I felt insolid and grew frantic.

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. 

19th 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 seventeenth 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 returning to classic poetry this week, and today’s poem is from Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

Christabel [Beneath the lamp]

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Beneath the lamp the lady bowed,
And slowly rolled her eyes around;
Then drawing in her breath aloud,
Like one that shuddered, she unbound
The cincture from beneath her breast:
Her silken robe, and inner vest,
Dropt to her feet, and full in view,
Behold! her bosom, and half her side—
A sight to dream of, not to tell!
O shield her! shield sweet Christabel!

Yet Geraldine nor speaks nor stirs;
Ah! what a stricken look was hers!
Deep from within she seems half-way
To lift some weight with sick assay,
And eyes the maid and seeks delay;
Then suddenly as one defied
Collects herself in scorn and pride,
And lay down by the Maiden's side!—
And in her arms the maid she took,
Ah wel-a-day!
And with low voice and doleful look
These words did say:
'In the touch of this bosom there worketh a spell,
Which is lord of thy utterance, Christabel!

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. 

18th 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 seventeenth 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 contemporary poetry.  In keeping with the Halloween theme, I selected a haiku from Vampire Haiku by Ryan Mecum:

You know that your drink
is down to the last few sips
once the toes curl up.

Haiku has a 5-7-5 count for their respective lines.

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.

17th 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 seventeenth 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.

Sorry this one is a bit late.  I was having Internet issues all morning.  But now that it’s cleared up, here’s today’s classic poem for your enjoyment.  It’s by Edgar Allen Poe, since it is the time for Halloween; This is one of my favorites:

Annabel Lee
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the side of the sea.

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.

16th 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 sixteenth 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 looking at another contemporary poem today, and this one happens to be from a former professor of mine at Suffolk University, Fred Marchant, from his book Full Moon Boat (Page 33):

Archives

The photographs are kept in flint-gray boxes,
wheeled in on waist-high carts that squeak
and irritate the researcher taking notes nearby.
I lift the flimsy, protective tissue as if it were
gauze through which blood has been seeping,
and beneath is a field hospital where a medic
tends to a civilian woman’s wounded hip.
His eyes say she’s worse off than she thinks.

Next is a corpse in a hammering sun, torso
twisted over his legs.  Squatting beside him
is a boy whose bare white arms rest lightly
on his knees, a cigarette in his cupped hand.
The asked-for smile floats on his face,
is embarrassed and loyal only to the dead.

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.

15th 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

Sorry we’re a bit late this morning, but book club ran late last night as we discussed Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins.

And now, for the fifteenth 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, we’re going to look at a classic poem from Alfred Joyce Kilmer, a poet killed in World War I:

Trees (1913)
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

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.

Also, don’t forget the giveaways on my blog and others’ blogs, they are posted in the right hand sidebar for your convenience.


14th 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 fourteenth 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, we’re going to look at a contemporary poem from eleven-year-old Maya Ganesan and her book Apologies to an Apple:

September

One by one the leaves turned orange
and red and gold
and slipped off the trees.

And every morning I went
to the willow grove
and brushed the trunks

and I whispered questions
like, how are you doing?
and Is it very cold here at night?

I don’t know if they heard,
because trees don’t have ears.
And I don’t know if they replied,

because they don’t have mouths
to talk. But in some corner of my
consciousness I thought I just

might have heard someone
whisper back, very softly,
We’re fine. Yes, we’re all fine.

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.

Don’t forget all those great giveaways in the right sidebar for BBAW. I know its over but the giveaways continue.

Also, look for my review of Maya Ganesan’s Apologies to an Apple next week.


13th 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 thirteenth 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 classic from one of my favorite poets Emily Dickinson.

Because I Could Not Stop for Death (712)

Because I could not stop for Death – 
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity –

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.

Don’t forget all those great giveaways in the right sidebar for BBAW. I know its over but the giveaways continue.

12th 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 twelfth 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 Rosemary Winslow‘s Green Bodies (click on the link for my review) on page 71.

Transport

Without visible wings
pearled the
hummingbird suspends
at flower’s nipple
and her heart beats mightily
as she draws the nectar up
the artery of her strange mouth

This is the way I watch her
every morning coming and going
from five to eight
it must be the same one
I’ve read they’re so pugnacious

Her mate flies in a wide arc
up to a twig in the pine
and waits for her
his head a miniature sun
on the branch’s horizon

still as night I sit near the laurel
along the porch I look and look
past the house wall past him
into the dark sensation of woods
I see nothing

more alive
than this
pure desire
for sweetness
their

electric humming
as they stand in air–
everything
they want
is now

They are so filled
when he comes down to her
their green bodies
two shimmering leaves
soft fire

then flash
over the briars
disappear–
every morning all
disappear
return

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.