Don Paterson on Robert Frost. From Poetry Lectures May Appeared in Poetry Magazine Earthward. By Amy Frykholm. Appeared in Poetry Magazine Et Al. From Audio Poem of the Day January By Don Share. One of our best poets on the subject of wishes. Kay Ryan on Robert Frost. From Poetry Off the Shelf September Our greatest American poet collected the wisdom of chicken farmers.
The Man and the Manners. By Adam Plunkett. A Misunderstood Chestnut. From Poetry Off the Shelf October The different ways of reading a classic American poem. One Class, 36, Students. By Elliott Holt. Poetic Presidents. By Elizabeth Harball. The Poetry Garage. From Poetry Off the Shelf July Poetry Goes Back to School. Political Poeticizing. By Siobhan Phillips. Article for Students. The Pursuit of Form. By Robert Pinsky. By Alex Estes. From Audio Poem of the Day December Poem Sampler. Robert Frost By Benjamin Voigt.
His poems can be read many different ways. Article for Teachers. Robert Frost in the Petri Dish. By Karen Glenn. Poem Guide. By Katherine Robinson. Our choices are made clear in hindsight. Snow Days. By Stephanie Burt. From flurries to relentless storms, why snow makes American poetry American. Appeared in Poetry Magazine Specks. On brush, old doors, and other poetic materials. Their Living Names. By Austin Allen. Elegies in the letters of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. From NewsHour Poetry Series.
Appeared in Poetry Magazine Why Ecopoetry? By John Shoptaw. A Boy's Will, D. Nutt, , Holt, North of Boston, D. Nutt, , Hot, , reprinted, Dodd, Mountain Interval, Holt, Selected Poems, Holt, Several Short Poems, Holt, West-Running Brook, Holt, The Lone Striker, Knopf, Two Tramps in Mud-Time, Holt, The Gold Hesperidee, Bibliophile Press, Three Poems, Baker Library Press, A Further Range, Holt, From Snow to Snow, Holt, A Witness Tree, Holt, A Masque of Reason verse drama , Holt, Steeple Bush, Holt, A Masque of Mercy verse drama , Holt, Greece, Black Rose Press, Aforesaid, Holt, The Gift Outright, Holt, Kennedy , Spiral Press, In the Clearing, Holt, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Dutton, Early Poems, Crown, Spring Pools, Lime Rock Press, Birches, illustrated by Ed Young, Holt, Everybody's Sanity, [Los Angeles], To a Young Wretch, Spiral Press, Triple Plate, Spiral Press, Our Hold on the Planet, Holt, Closed for Good, Spiral Press, Doom to Bloom, Holt, A Cabin in the Clearing, Spiral Press, One More Brevity, Holt, From a Milkweed Pod, Holt, Some Science Fiction, Spiral Press, Kitty Hawk, , Holt, When my 4 children were young, I made a point of inserting playful rhyme into their days, hoping they too would become poetry fans.
It makes the peas taste funny, But it keeps them on the knife. The Goops they lick their fingers, And the Goops they lick their knives; They spill their broth on the tablecloth—Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
My kids and I shared many happy times committing those silly lines to memory. She died a few days ago in her home in Florida. She was 83 and known for her contemplative writing about nature and finding the sacred in ordinary spaces. Prior to living in Florida, Oliver spent many decades in Provincetown, Massachusetts where she lived with her long-time partner and usually a dog or two. But it was often when she was in transit during her daily walks in the woods that verse arrived. Notoriously media shy, Ms. Like a brisk walk outside, poetry can provide a healthy distraction; a meaningful change in perspective; nourishment for the soul.
You can read it here or watch this video with the poet herself reciting the words. People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation,. The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,. The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,. Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;. Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,. Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders,.
I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you,. Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best,. How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn'd over upon me,.
The theme name is : theme:Balance
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart,. And reach'd till you felt my beard, and reach'd till you held my feet. Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth,. And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers,.
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap'd stones, elder, mullein and poke-weed. A child said What is the grass? How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven. Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose? Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation. It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out of their mothers' laps,.
This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,. And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing. I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,. And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps. And what do you think has become of the women and chil- dren? And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,. I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash'd babe, and am not contain'd between my hat and boots,.
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself,. For me the man that is proud and feels how it stings to be slighted,. For me the sweet-heart and the old maid, for me mothers and the mothers of mothers,. And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be shaken away. I lift the gauze and look a long time, and silently brush away flies with my hand. The youngster and the red-faced girl turn aside up the bushy hill,.
I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair, I note where the pistol has fallen. The blab of the pave, tires of carts, sluff of boot-soles, talk of the promenaders,. The heavy omnibus, the driver with his interrogating thumb, the clank of the shod horses on the granite floor,. The flap of the curtain'd litter, a sick man inside borne to the hospital,. The excited crowd, the policeman with his star quickly working his passage to the centre of the crowd,. What groans of over-fed or half-starv'd who fall sunstruck or in fits,.
What exclamations of women taken suddenly who hurry home and give birth to babes,. What living and buried speech is always vibrating here, what howls restrain'd by decorum,. Arrests of criminals, slights, adulterous offers made, acceptances, rejections with convex lips,. I mind them or the show or resonance of them—I come and I depart.
Falling asleep on the gather'd leaves with my dog and gun by my side. The Yankee clipper is under her sky-sails, she cuts the sparkle and scud,. My eyes settle the land, I bend at her prow or shout joyously from the deck. I tuck'd my trowser-ends in my boots and went and had a good time;.
I saw the marriage of the trapper in the open air in the far west, the bride was a red girl,. Her father and his friends sat near cross-legged and dumbly smoking, they had moccasins to their feet and large thick blankets hanging from their shoulders,. On a bank lounged the trapper, he was drest mostly in skins, his luxuriant beard and curls protected his neck, he held his bride by the hand,.
She had long eyelashes, her head was bare, her coarse straight locks descended upon her voluptuous limbs and reach'd to her feet.
Through the swung half-door of the kitchen I saw him limpsy and weak,. And brought water and fill'd a tub for his sweated body and bruis'd feet,. And gave him a room that enter'd from my own, and gave him some coarse clean clothes,. And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness,. And remember putting plasters on the galls of his neck and ankles;. He staid with me a week before he was recuperated and pass'd north,.
I had him sit next me at table, my fire-lock lean'd in the corner. Dancing and laughing along the beach came the twenty-ninth bather,. The beards of the young men glisten'd with wet, it ran from their long hair,. The young men float on their backs, their white bellies bulge to the sun, they do not ask who seizes fast to them,. They do not know who puffs and declines with pendant and bend- ing arch,. The butcher-boy puts off his killing-clothes, or sharpens his knife at the stall in the market,.
Each has his main-sledge, they are all out, there is a great heat in the fire. The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive arms,. Overhand the hammers swing, overhand so slow, overhand so sure,. The negro holds firmly the reins of his four horses, the block swags underneath on its tied-over chain,.
The negro that drives the long dray of the stone-yard, steady and tall he stands pois'd on one leg on the string-piece,. His blue shirt exposes his ample neck and breast and loosens over his hip-band,. His glance is calm and commanding, he tosses the slouch of his hat away from his forehead,. The sun falls on his crispy hair and mustache, falls on the black of his polish'd and perfect limbs. I behold the picturesque giant and love him, and I do not stop there,.
In me the caresser of life wherever moving, backward as well as forward sluing,.
To niches aside and junior bending, not a person or object miss- ing,. Oxen that rattle the yoke and chain or halt in the leafy shade, what is that you express in your eyes? My tread scares the wood-drake and wood-duck on my distant and day-long ramble,. And do not call the tortoise unworthy because she is not something else,. And the jay in the woods never studied the gamut, yet trills pretty well to me,.
Ya-honk he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation,. The sharp-hoof'd moose of the north, the cat on the house-sill, the chickadee, the prairie-dog,. Of the builders and steerers of ships and the wielders of axes and mauls, and the drivers of horses,. The carpenter dresses his plank, the tongue of his foreplane whistles its wild ascending lisp,. The married and unmarried children ride home to their Thanks- giving dinner,.
The mate stands braced in the whale-boat, lance and harpoon are ready,. The spinning-girl retreats and advances to the hum of the big wheel,. The farmer stops by the bars as he walks on a First-day loafe and looks at the oats and rye,. He will never sleep any more as he did in the cot in his mother's bed-room;. He turns his quid of tobacco while his eyes blurr with the manu- script;.
The quadroon girl is sold at the auction-stand, the drunkard nods by the bar-room stove,. The machinist rolls up his sleeves, the policeman travels his beat, the gate-keeper marks who pass,. The young fellow drives the express-wagon, I love him, though I do not know him;.
The western turkey-shooting draws old and young, some lean on their rifles, some sit on logs,. Out from the crowd steps the marksman, takes his position, levels his piece;. As the woolly-pates hoe in the sugar-field, the overseer views them from his saddle,. The bugle calls in the ball-room, the gentlemen run for their part- ners, the dancers bow to each other,. The youth lies awake in the cedar-roof'd garret and harks to the musical rain,. The squaw wrapt in her yellow-hemm'd cloth is offering moccasins and bead-bags for sale,.
The connoisseur peers along the exhibition-gallery with half-shut eyes bent sideways,. As the deck-hands make fast the steamboat the plank is thrown for the shore-going passengers,. The young sister holds out the skein while the elder sister winds it off in a ball, and stops now and then for the knots,.
The one-year wife is recovering and happy having a week ago borne her first child,. The clean-hair'd Yankee girl works with her sewing-machine or in the factory or mill,. The paving-man leans on his two-handed rammer, the reporter's lead flies swiftly over the note-book, the sign-painter is lettering with blue and gold,. The canal boy trots on the tow-path, the book-keeper counts at his desk, the shoemaker waxes his thread,. The conductor beats time for the band and all the performers follow him,.
The child is baptized, the convert is making his first professions,.
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir by Jill Bialosky
The regatta is spread on the bay, the race is begun, how the white sails sparkle! The drover watching his drove sings out to them that would stray,. The pedler sweats with his pack on his back, the purchaser hig- gling about the odd cent;. The bride unrumples her white dress, the minute-hand of the clock moves slowly,.
The prostitute draggles her shawl, her bonnet bobs on her tipsy and pimpled neck,. The crowd laugh at her blackguard oaths, the men jeer and wink to each other,. The President holding a cabinet council is surrounded by the great Secretaries,. On the piazza walk three matrons stately and friendly with twined arms,. The crew of the fish-smack pack repeated layers of halibut in the hold,. The Missourian crosses the plains toting his wares and his cattle,. As the fare-collector goes through the train he gives notice by the jingling of loose change,.
The floor-men are laying the floor, the tinners are tinning the roof, the masons are calling for mortar,. Seasons pursuing each other the indescribable crowd is gather'd, it is the fourth of Seventh-month, what salutes of cannon and small arms! Seasons pursuing each other the plougher ploughs, the mower mows, and the winter-grain falls in the ground;. Off on the lakes the pike-fisher watches and waits by the hole in the frozen surface,. The stumps stand thick round the clearing, the squatter strikes deep with his axe,.
Flatboatmen make fast towards dusk near the cotton-wood or pecan-trees,. Coon-seekers go through the regions of the Red river or through those drain'd by the Tennessee, or through those of the Arkansas,. Torches shine in the dark that hangs on the Chattahooche or Altamahaw,. Patriarchs sit at supper with sons and grandsons and great-grand- sons around them,. In walls of adobie, in canvas tents, rest hunters and trappers after their day's sport,.
The old husband sleeps by his wife and the young husband sleeps by his wife;. Stuff'd with the stuff that is coarse and stuff'd with the stuff that is fine,. One of the Nation of many nations, the smallest the same and the largest the same,. A Southerner soon as a Northerner, a planter nonchalant and hospitable down by the Oconee I live,. A Yankee bound my own way ready for trade, my joints the limberest joints on earth and the sternest joints on earth,. A Kentuckian walking the vale of the Elkhorn in my deer-skin leggings, a Louisianian or Georgian,.
A boatman over lakes or bays or along coasts, a Hoosier, Badger, Buckeye;. At home on Kanadian snow-shoes or up in the bush, or with fishermen off Newfoundland,. At home in the fleet of ice-boats, sailing with the rest and tack- ing,. At home on the hills of Vermont or in the woods of Maine, or the Texan ranch,.
Comrade of Californians, comrade of free North-Westerners, lov- ing their big proportions,.
A Poetic Life
Comrade of raftsmen and coalmen, comrade of all who shake hands and welcome to drink and meat,. The bright suns I see and the dark suns I cannot see are in their place,. These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me,. If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or next to nothing,. If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing,. If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing. This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,. I play not marches for accepted victors only, I play marches for conquer'd and slain persons.
I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won. And to all generals that lost engagements, and all overcome heroes! And the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known! It is for the wicked just the same as the righteous, I make appoint- ments with all,. This is the press of a bashful hand, this the float and odor of hair,. Well I have, for the Fourth-month showers have, and the mica on the side of a rock has.
Does the daylight astonish? Whimpering and truckling fold with powders for invalids, con- formity goes to the fourth-remov'd,. Having pried through the strata, analyzed to a hair, counsel'd with doctors and calculated close,. In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barley-corn less,. I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass,. I know I shall not pass like a child's carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night.
I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by, after all. One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is my- self,. And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten million years,. I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait. The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me,. The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue.
It is a trifle, they will more than arrive there every one, and still pass on. Press close bare-bosom'd night—press close magnetic nourishing night! Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue! Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake! Prodigal, you have given me love—therefore I to you give love!
We must have a turn together, I undress, hurry me out of sight of the land,. Sea of the brine of life and of unshovell'd yet always-ready graves,. Partaker of influx and efflux I, extoller of hate and conciliation,. Shall I make my list of things in the house and skip the house that supports them? I am not the poet of goodness only, I do not decline to be the poet of wickedness also. Evil propels me and reform of evil propels me, I stand indifferent,. Did you guess the celestial laws are yet to be work'd over and rectified?
What behaved well in the past or behaves well to-day is not such a wonder,. The wonder is always and always how there can be a mean man or an infidel. Here or henceforward it is all the same to me, I accept Time abso- lutely. This is the lexicographer, this the chemist, this made a grammar of the old cartouches,. This is the geologist, this works with the scalpel, and this is a mathematician.
And more the reminders they of life untold, and of freedom and extrication,. And make short account of neuters and geldings, and favor men and women fully equipt,.