View Full Version : Raising the AW consciousness...

08-29-2008, 11:07 PM
...to a greater appreciation of poetry.

(Note to MR. SK-Mod: Pretty please allow me to post--and occasionally update--this thread in Office Party...even though it will be about poetry. I would like to post it here to share poetry with a wider audience here at AW.)

I have been asked to be AW's VIIth Poet Laureate. Part of the job of laureate, at least in my mind, is to attempt to instill a greater appreciation of poetry in the community at large. In my attempts to do this, I would like to occasionally post a poem in this thread that I find particularly memorable. What I ask of the AW writing community is that you simply read the poems. There is no need to respond if you don't feel compelled to do so. Simply take them in...let their words sink into and under your skin. I'm posting this thread in office party to try to get people who wouldn't normally read poetry to give it a shot. At the bottom of this post, I've included links to the poetry forums here at AW...if you feel compelled to join in on the poetry experience here. There is beauty in poetry, and the language of poetry can inject all other writing with power. I hope you take the time to read the poetry I post here...and I hope it prompts you to visit the poets here at AW. There are some fine poets here.

POETRY CRITIQUE ROOM (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=85) - Password is: citrus (You don't need to critique...you can visit this forum to read.)

POETRY CHAPBOOK (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=120) - Password is: citrus (poems are posted here that are not requesting a critique.)

POETRY GAMES AND EXERCISES (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=127) - Password is: citrus (You can join in on any or all of the prompt related games and exercises in this forum)

Thank you,
Kevin, who is attempting to raise appreciation of poetry.

08-29-2008, 11:10 PM
Your Laughter

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.

~~ Pablo Neruda

ETA: Pablo Neruda's Nobel Lecture - Towards the Splendid City (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1971/neruda-lecture-e.html)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-30-2008, 12:52 AM
Kevin and I tease each other a LOT, but in all seriousness this time, I support his effort here. Please click on those links above and visit the Poetry Forum - even, or especially, if you're not a poetry fan. You may be very, very pleasantly surprised.

One of my favorites (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2374209&postcount=1) and its partner (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2458451&postcount=1) can be found here.

08-30-2008, 01:06 AM
Thanks so much! (-;

08-30-2008, 01:11 AM
You know I'm in! :D

08-30-2008, 01:17 AM
KTC, that is a poem that my protagonist could have written to his wife. My eyes welled up on his behalf. *sniff*

08-30-2008, 01:19 AM
Yay! Poetry on Office Party!

08-30-2008, 01:39 AM
KTC, that is a poem that my protagonist could have written to his wife. My eyes welled up on his behalf. *sniff*

I'm glad it touched you. It's my absolute favourite poem. I'm a sucker for a Neruda love poem. And that poem is the way I feel about my wife.

08-30-2008, 01:50 AM
I'm not a great connoisseur, but "Fern Hill" ranks pretty high on my favourite poem list, as does "Windhover" and a half dozen others by Hopkins.

Silver King
08-30-2008, 03:08 AM
Cool idea for a thread, Kevin. Gives the place some class and an air of respectability. Not that Office Party doesn't have those qualities already. :)

08-30-2008, 03:09 AM
Cool idea for a thread, Kevin. Gives the place some class and an air of respectability. Not that Office Party doesn't have those qualities already. :)HEY! Someone once said I did that for the place. *sniffle* Well, they did. :tongue

08-30-2008, 03:17 AM

Buncha poetry snobs creepin' and sneakin' into places they not ought,
just cuz some watery tart threw a sword at some warhol lovin' writer of exceptional merit.

Heck yes I'm with you, Kevin! :)

And what a great poem to start with.

08-30-2008, 03:36 AM
Good to see KTC finally has some power.

Just think of the opportunities. . .

Yes...the weight of words are very powerful.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-30-2008, 03:48 AM

Buncha poetry snobs creepin' and sneakin' into places they not ought,
just cuz some watery tart threw a sword at some warhol lovin' writer of exceptional merit.

Who you callin' a 'watery tart'? Huh?

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-30-2008, 03:40 PM
I'm going to 'sticky' this thread for a bit since we're so active in Office Party. I don't want it to sink out of sight so quickly! :)

08-30-2008, 05:13 PM
Irrefutable, beautifully smug
As Venus, pedestalled on a half-shell
Shawled in blond hair and the salt
Scrim of a sea breeze, the women
Settle in their belling dresses.
Over each weighty stomach a face
Floats calm as a moon or a cloud.

Smiling to themselves, they meditate
Devoutly as the Dutch bulb
Forming its twenty petals.
The dark still nurses its secret.
On the green hill, under the thorn trees,
They listen for the millennium,
The knock of the small, new heart.

Pink-buttoned infants attend them.
Looping wool, doing nothing in particular,
They step among the archetypes.
Dusk hoods them in Mary-blue
While far off, the axle of winter
Grinds round, bearing down the straw,
The star, the wise grey men.

~~ Sylvia Plath

Sylvia had a wonderful voice for reading poetry:

SYLVIA PLATH READING 'FEVER 103' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfgtiDvvAR8)

08-30-2008, 05:14 PM
I'm going to 'sticky' this thread for a bit since we're so active in Office Party. I don't want it to sink out of sight so quickly! :)

Thank you. And I am on a road trip today, so I posted another one. I hope everybody enjoys it.


09-02-2008, 02:58 PM
A short one this morning...easy to digest!

The Eclipse

I stood out in the open cold
To see the essence of the eclipse
Which was its perfect darkness.

I stood in the cold on the porch
And could not think of anything so perfect
As mans hope of light in the face of darkness.

~~Richard Eberhart

Who is Richard Eberhart? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Eberhart)

09-02-2008, 04:34 PM
And just for fun....

What is Poetry?

a slow-motion instant
sealed in the cellophane
of thought
put in words
that sing and dance
to me
no sulfurous poof
is required to prove
its poetry
it's poetry

09-02-2008, 05:34 PM

Buncha poetry snobs creepin' and sneakin' into places they not ought,
just cuz some watery tart threw a sword at some warhol lovin' writer of exceptional merit.

Heck yes I'm with you, Kevin! :)

And what a great poem to start with.

Poetinahat bestowed the Poet Laureate Honors. Are you calling Rob a watery tart?


09-03-2008, 05:39 AM
Thanks Kevin!

09-04-2008, 12:48 AM
I like this one for its simplicity. It calls to the reader.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

~~Shel Siverstein

Who is Shel? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shel_Silverstein)

09-04-2008, 12:55 AM
Tomorrow...a beat poet.

09-04-2008, 01:21 AM
I love Shel Silverstein and Where the Sidewalk Ends has always been one of my favorites.

Thanks for that lovely end to my hectic work day.

09-04-2008, 04:06 AM
Shel Silverstein is a genius. And he makes it look so very easy.

09-04-2008, 04:08 AM
I love Shel Silverstein. Thanks for reminding me why, Kevin!

09-04-2008, 04:12 AM
Poetinahat bestowed the Poet Laureate Honors. Are you calling Rob a watery tart?

hmm proper response choices. Let's see....

Did you hear him object?


Maybe. Have you seen him in the shower?

oh, man, nevermind. Now I have to go wash this image out of my brain....


09-04-2008, 02:46 PM
As promised, a Beat Poet.

The Mad Yak

I am watching them churn the last milk they'll ever get from me.
They are waiting for me to die;
They want to make buttons out of my bones.
Where are my sisters and brothers?
That tall monk there, loading my uncle, he has a new cap.
And that idiot student of his--
I never saw that muffler before.
Poor uncle, he lets them load him.
How sad he is, how tired!
I wonder what they'll do with his bones?
And that beautiful tail!
How many shoelaces will they make of that!

~~Gregory Corso

A Wiki on Corso for those interested in learning more about him. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Corso)

09-04-2008, 02:57 PM
A second poem this morning...from a female Beat Poet.

Anne Waldman was late to the Beat party, but instrumental. She helped Allen Ginsberg form the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

The Lie

Art begins with a lie
......The separation is you plus me plus what we make
...........Look into lightbulb, blink, sun’s in your eye

I want a rare sky
......vantage point free from misconception
............Art begins with a lie

Nothing to lose, spontaneous rise
......of reflection, paint the picture
............of a lightbulb, or eye the sun

How to fuel the world, then die
......Distance yourself from artfulness
............How? Art begins with a lie

The audience wants to cry
......when the actors are real & passionate
............Look into footlight, then feed back to eye

You fluctuate in an artful body
......You try to imitate the world’s glory
............Art begins with a lie
..................That’s the story, sharp speck in the eye.

~~Anne Waldman

LISTEN TO WALDMAN READ. (http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Waldman.html)

09-05-2008, 02:47 PM
This poem is one of my favourites. While I was reading Stephen King's Duma Key, I was thrilled to see that he has referenced it within the story. I thought maybe some here who have read the story might have thought of looking up the poem, but never got around to it (If you are anything like me you find a reference in a book and think, 'ooh. I have to check that out'...and then quickly forget about it...this was one of the rare times when I already knew the thing being referenced). Here it is:

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.
Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing;

Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
The soul shrinks

From all that is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every blessed day,
And cries,
"Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.''

Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world's hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,

"Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
keeping their difficult balance.''

~~Richard Wilbur

ABOUT RICHARD WILBUR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wilbur)

09-06-2008, 07:04 PM
Just discovered this thread! Thanks, Kevin! It's a great idea and I know that I, for one, will learn a lot.

09-06-2008, 07:07 PM
I'm glad you're enjoying it!

09-06-2008, 07:30 PM
This is a hip little thing from Gwendolyn Brooks:

We Real Cool

We real cool. We
Left School. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

~~Gwendolyn Brooks


Her WIKI PROFILE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwendolyn_Brooks)

09-06-2008, 07:38 PM
Dropping in to catch up.

Thanks again, Kevin!
I love Anne Waldman & Gwendolyn Brooks.

09-08-2008, 06:35 AM
Barry Dempster is a Canadian poet. He is my favourite living poet. This past May I was very fortunate to both meet him, and participate in a workshop that he facilitated.

The Morning Devours

The wind shrieks up and down the house
like a predatory bird,
feathery swirls of dust
everywhere, snakes hitting blunt heads
on bedroom walls, the sun leaping
through windows like a tiger.

Another meat-eater of a morning,
soaked-up city teeming with clotheslines
and coffee smog, an itch in every
sweltering corner. Careful of those
mail slots, their sweaty discontent.
The cracks and cleavage of it all
coming down on our heads.

Think of what we've made for ourselves:
somewhere to escape from, shoes lined up
in neat little rows like jungle airstrips.
The walls are trembling, rugs coughing,
cellar stairs tumbling into one another
until there's no place else to go.

Is any of this free will?
Thick skulls with their dinosaur attitudes.
We settle on making the best of it,
stride into the sun and are instantly
ripped into shadows. Another day,
the six-sided die of a risk.

We don't remember choosing
any of these extremes: the sight
of ourselves in the bathroom mirror,
pajama pants curling around ankles,
the parrot squawks of The Globe & Mail
with its daily dooms, the poem
that keeps misinterpreting.

On we go, all these wrists hailing cabs,
these hearts beating in a pile
like something the ants dragged home.
We are the everyday, stripped raw
with sun, blown up and down,
dust-snakes writhing in our lungs.

We choose, escaping on a daily
basis, with or without our feet,
shadows tattered and windy.
The morning devours our beliefs,
our cautions, splitting us into shrieks,
the sort of music you'd expect from bones.

~~Barry Dempster

BARRY DEMPSTER - BIO AND MORE POEMS (http://www.library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/dempster/index.htm)

09-09-2008, 03:41 PM
My Grandmother's Love Letters

There are no stars to-night
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.

There is even room enough
For the letters of my mother's mother,
That have been pressed so long
Into a corner of the roof
That they are brown and soft,
And liable to melt as snow.

Over the greatness of such space
Steps must be gentle.
It is all hung by an invisible white hair.
It trembles as birch limbs webbing the air.

And I ask myself:

"Are your fingers long enough to play
Old keys that are but echoes:
Is the silence strong enough
To carry back the music to its source
And back to you again
As though to her?"

Yet I would lead my grandmother by the hand
Through much of what she would not understand;
And so I stumble. And the rain continues on the roof
With such a sound of gently pitying laughter.

~~Hart Crane

Hart ended his own life on Apr. 27, 1932. He jumped from a steamer on his way home from Mexico, where he had been on a Guggenheim Fellowship.

A Wiki on Hart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hart_Crane)

09-09-2008, 04:06 PM
I find the sentence beginning "Is the silence strong enough..." particularly evocative.

Thanks, Kevin.

09-09-2008, 04:58 PM
"Old keys that are but echoes..."

I'd never read this before. It's beautiful.
Thank you, Kevin.

09-09-2008, 06:14 PM
Poetry is teh boring.

Seriously, I've never been able to get into it. I have stumbled across a couple of poems I love - Kipling's If and WH Davies's Leisure spring immediately to mind.
Other than that, the nearest I get to enjoying poetry is when it's set to music. I think lyrics should count as poetry - right?

Maybe I'm just not bright enough for poetry...

ETA - Some of these Kevin is posting are good, but still I feel like there's something missing in my enjoyment of them. I read them, think 'oh, that's nice', and then think nothing more of them. Maybe repeated readings would do it - but it just doesn't seem right without the music :p

09-09-2008, 06:26 PM
That's okay, Jimmy. I actually sometimes feel a bit the same. I sometimes think that if I can just pull some beautiful imagery from a poem...that's enough to sustain me. They are sometimes just glimpses into the divine...you don't quite get the entire piece, but something in it seemed to raise you higher...if only for a moment. As a prose writer, I love reading poetry for that arcane glimpse. It's sometimes worth the price of admission.

09-09-2008, 06:29 PM
I've encountered poems I find beautiful, some of them here. But I've never been able to make them myself. I'll probably never post in the poetry forum myself, but these poems are appreciated.

Or something less sappy.

09-12-2008, 03:47 AM
Dorothy Parker, in my mind, was a very strange bird. She seemed so bitter to be a woman and so in love with being a woman. So angry and passionate. Her poetry most often rhymed...something that doesn't particularly thrill me. But she had fun with it. She was caustic. I loved her bitter poems the most, but I chose this one because it is one in which she was having fun:

Bohemia by Dorothy Parker
Authors and actors and artists and such
Never know nothing, and never know much.
Sculptors and singers and those of their kidney
Tell their affairs from Seattle to Sydney.
Playwrights and poets and such horses' necks
Start off from anywhere, end up at sex.
Diarists, critics, and similar roe
Never say nothing, and never say no.
People Who Do Things exceed my endurance;
God, for a man that solicits insurance!

~~Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Parker)

09-15-2008, 02:52 PM
Al Purdy is a celebrated Canadian poet. Along with a few friends, I will be running an Al Purdy Poetry Marathon to raise funds to save the home that Al built with fellow Canadian poet, Milton Acorn (we tried to run it in August, but found that all the area poets were vacationing...bad timing). There is a trust set up and being run from Vancouver, BC. The Purdy house is in Ontario, between Toronto and Kingston. If we are successful, it will become a writers' retreat centre. Purdy was a struggling poet until he built that house in Ameliasburgh. The Globe and Mail credited the house with "inspiring what is perhaps the most famous metamorphosis in Canadian literary history. Once a struggling writer of tortured romantic verse, Purdy and his work changed forever along the shores of Roblin Lake.”

Here is one of Al's poems:

The Last Picture in the World

A hunched grey shape
framed by leaves
with lake water behind
standing on our
little point of land
like a small monk
in a green monastery
..........almost sculpture
except that it's alive
brooding immobile permanent
for half an hour
a blue heron
and it occurs to me
that if I were to die at this moment
that picture would accompany me
wherever I am going
for part of the way

~~Al Purdy

Wiki Purdy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Purdy)


09-15-2008, 03:20 PM
oops. Sowwy. i think it would stop accompanying him because of the bliss he would discover in the arriving. the beauty of the blue heron would eventually stop mattering in comparison to the beauty he is arriving at. Just a poet's guesstimate. Hope it helps to lift those blues! (-;

ETA: Erin...it's fine to say that a poem hit you on an emotional level...even if it pissed you off or made you feel a little down. Silly.

09-15-2008, 05:36 PM
We Real Cool

We real cool. We
Left School. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

~~Gwendolyn Brooks
Her WIKI PROFILE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwendolyn_Brooks)

dig the way the stanzas end with "We," breaking off mid-sentence, with the action carrying over to the following stanzas. That's how life in the fast lane really feels. Your body is doing this that and another thing, while somewhere within the furious momentum "you" are a thousand miles behind, watching yourself disappear over the horizon. "Wait up!"

09-18-2008, 06:45 AM
Erica Jong's Fruits & Vegetables is one of my favourite collections. I don't know why? It just is. You don't have to explain what you like and why you like it when it comes to poetry. It just speaks to you or it doesn't. Here's a Jong poem:

Climbing You
I want to understand the steep thing
that climbs ladders in your throat.
I can't make sense of you.
Everywhere I look you're there--
a vast landmark, a volcano
poking its head through the clouds,
Gulliver sprawled across Lilliput.

I climb into your eyes, looking.
The pupils are black painted stage flats.
They can be pulled down like window shades.
I switch on a light in your iris.
Your brain ticks like a bomb.

In your offhand, mocking way
you've invited me into your chest.
Inside: the blur that poses as your heart.
I'm supposed to go in with a torch
or maybe hot water bottles
& defrost it by hand
as one defrosts an old refrigerator.
It will shudder & sigh
(the icebox to the insomniac).

Oh there's nothing like love between us.
You're the mountain, I am climbing you.
If I fall, you won't be all to blame,
but you'll wait years maybe
for the next doomed expedition.

A Wiki of Jong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica_Jong)

09-18-2008, 06:49 AM
Mmm. Not so much.

09-19-2008, 10:12 PM
My daughter hedged her bets and got me the LEONARD COHEN I'M YOUR MAN for my birthday last weekend. She scored big time. Brownie points out the Wahzoo! I wanted this DVD, but I never picked it up.

Anyway...one of my favourite Cohen quotes was just sitting there on the front cover for the world to see. I thought I would share it in this thread:

"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash."
~Leonard Cohen

Have a poetic day!

09-23-2008, 03:36 AM
Before reading this sonnet by Federico Garcia Lorca, have a listen to one of his poems made famous by Canada's own Leonard Cohen. I felt Cohen was a good segue into another poem. Listen here via this Youtube link: TAKE THIS WALTZ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sZzJAxfD-4) It's a beautiful song...a great combination of genii.

Sonnet of the Sweet Complaint

Never let me lose the marvel
of your statue-like eyes, or the accent
the solitary rose of your breath
places on my cheek at night.

I am afraid of being, on this shore,
a branchless trunk, and what I most regret
is having no flower, pulp, or clay
for the worm of my despair.

If you are my hidden treasure,
if you are my cross, my dampened pain,
if I am a dog, and you alone my master,

never let me lose what I have gained,
and adorn the branches of your river
with leaves of my estranged Autumn.

~~Federico García Lorca

LORCA on WIKI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federico_Garc%C3%ADa_Lorca)

09-26-2008, 02:20 AM
How strange to read Lorca in English! But equally as beautiful.

09-26-2008, 02:26 AM
Oh, how I wish I could read it in Spanish.

09-26-2008, 03:16 PM
It's extremely difficult to pick a favourite when it comes to Robert Frost. His poetry was like prayer...meditation. Whether he wrote of the desire to forgive and be forgiven, or the desire to meld oneself with nature, he was perfect in his output. Here are two to read.

A Dream Pang
by: Robert Frost

I had withdrawn in forest, and my song
Was swallowed up in leaves that blew alway;
And to the forest edge you came one day
(This was my dream) and looked and pondered long,
But did not enter, though the wish was strong:
You shook your pensive head as who should say,
'I dare not--too far in his footsteps stray--
He must seek me would he undo the wrong.

Not far, but near, I stood and saw it all
Behind low boughs the trees let down outside;
And the sweet pang it cost me not to call
And tell you that I saw does still abide.
But 'tis not true that thus I dwelt aloof,
For the wood wakes, and you are here for proof.

Tree at my Window
by: Robert Frost

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.

Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.

But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.

That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.

ROBERT FROST WIKIFIED (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Frost)


09-26-2008, 04:43 PM
Frost shows us beauty in our common words - he doesn't need strange colours to paint splendour.

These are marvelous, Kevin, and what a marvelous thing for you to wind this thread in Office Party. Poetry's wonderful, and it seems a shame sometimes that we keep it tucked away in a back room.

And what a superb Cohen quote.

Good Lord - these are all wonderful. You're a good man, Kevin.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
09-26-2008, 05:51 PM
Poetry is teh boring.

Seriously, I've never been able to get into it. I have stumbled across a couple of poems I love - Kipling's If and WH Davies's Leisure spring immediately to mind.
Other than that, the nearest I get to enjoying poetry is when it's set to music. I think lyrics should count as poetry - right?

Maybe I'm just not bright enough for poetry...

ETA - Some of these Kevin is posting are good, but still I feel like there's something missing in my enjoyment of them. I read them, think 'oh, that's nice', and then think nothing more of them. Maybe repeated readings would do it - but it just doesn't seem right without the music :p

I dunno, Jimmy. I don't know where the love of poetry comes from. I do know I don't like all kinds of poetry. If is a wonderful one... but some of the free-form, outta-the-blue ones... nu-uh. They leave me scratching my head and thinking, "Huh?"

I fell in love with poetry when I was a kid and read Poe. Alone did it for me. (http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/eapoe/bl-eapoe-alone.htm) I like the rhyming ones best, but I can occasionally get into the less structured. I really like the story-telling poems of Robert Service, too. (Shooting of Dan McGrew (http://www.geocities.com/heartland/bluffs/8336/robertservice/shooting.html) and Cremation of Sam McGee (http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Bluffs/8336/robertservice/sam.html) and The Men That Don't Fit In (http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Bluffs/8336/robertservice/men.html))

Can lyrics be poetry? I believe so. I believe a lot of things can be poetry. A single sentence can be poetry. I believe that every time Ol' Boy says, "I love you." Poetry is many things to many people... I believe it can even be that picture we know as being worth 'a thousand words'. Poets are just trying to convey that 'feeling' a wonderful (or terrible, I suppose) picture, emotion, thought, whatever inspires in us.

I've got a really worn, torn, aged copy of 'Immortal Poems of the English Language' (http://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Poems-English-Language-Williams/dp/0671496107/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222437016&sr=1-1). It's an excellent collection - not all appeal to me, but it definitely gives a wide range of styles to choose from in a format that won't make you feel trapped, if you're interested at all in exploring. :)

09-27-2008, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Rob. I appreciate them muchly.

09-27-2008, 07:33 AM
Okay...we've been in OP for a while now. I hope that some of you non-poets have been peeking in and having a read at some of the poetry offered up for your perusal. I wanted to take baby steps and introduce you to some of the poems that make me love language. Now...I wanted to move on to Phase 2.

Poetry is a great tool to have in your writer's toolbox. For me, it's like calisthenics. Manipulating words into something for the sake of the way they sound together is definitely going to make you better at prose writing. Now, after posting these poems for everybody to read, I want to continue to take your hand...and lead you with a few more baby steps...

into the poetry forums.

Every other day or so I am going to post a link to a poem that is sitting in the POETRY FORUMS, behind closed (password protected) doors. Up to this point, you merely had to open this thread to read a poem. From this point on, however, you will have to open this thread, click on a link and enter a password to read a poem (unless of course you don't delete your cookies...then you will only have to use the password once).

I will post the first link in a minute.

I hope you will join me on a journey that will take you to the poetry that is alive and vital within our very community...

09-27-2008, 07:37 AM
What a marvelous poet laureate you are. :)

09-27-2008, 07:40 AM
The first poem I picked for this AW POETS phase is by Feiss. It's A straightforward poem about going to Jupiter (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116404)

If you don't have the password in your cookies, you will have to enter citrus into the password section in order to read the poem.

Please see what AW has to offer to the world of poetry. Visit the link. Please feel free to comment in the poem's thread.

I will post a new one in a couple of days. In the meantime, please feel free to visit some more poems on your own once you are there.


09-27-2008, 07:41 AM
What a marvelous poet laureate you are. :)

Thanks, Trishka. And thanks to you and Rob for your behind the scenes support too.

09-27-2008, 07:42 AM
Beautiful starting point. This one is great.

Thank you, Kevin.

09-27-2008, 07:51 AM
But.. but... It's scary in there.

psst I hear they got ... ssssh POETRY in there. Really!

Thanks, again, Kevin!

09-30-2008, 03:08 PM
Let's take a peek behind the curtain and see what our AW poets are up to today.

Godfather has given us Russia and Me and Our Electric Innocence in London (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117272)

Catchy title, eh!

When you click on the link, you will be asked for a password if it's not already in your cookies. Type in citrus


10-05-2008, 01:48 PM
Beautiful poems. We feel your appreciation. :)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
11-27-2008, 11:16 PM
I started to un-sticky this thread... but I think it's a good one for the Poet Laureates to use in an effort to keep raising our consciousness. What do y'all think?

Silver King
11-29-2008, 04:08 AM
...What do y'all think?
I think Kevin better get busy and post in this thread more than once every two months or else we'll lose consciousness! ;)

12-01-2008, 09:57 PM
I started to un-sticky this thread... but I think it's a good one for the Poet Laureates to use in an effort to keep raising our consciousness. What do y'all think?
This y'all thinks it's a good idea.

12-01-2008, 10:00 PM
Even if future laureates don't use it, perhaps the dude in the hat and I could, on occasion.
And really, anyone can post a link to a poem here if they want to raise the consciousness.

12-01-2008, 11:00 PM
Yes, that would be great. I'm sorry for letting it slide. Bad laureate, me. I'm sure the next one will shine.

12-01-2008, 11:03 PM
You've been a great laureate. (you just got busy!)

You can still use this thread laureate or not. :)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-02-2008, 04:15 AM
All I know is... it made me go read some poetry I wouldn't normally have read. That's a good thing, even for those of us who actually like poetry.

So... stickied it stays! :)

KTC... give us another linky to try. :D

12-02-2008, 07:34 AM
Okay, then. It makes perfectly good sense for me to champion a poem I fell in love with today. This one is found in the poetry critique section of AW. It's called Re-Homing (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=123268) and it's by one of AW's regular poets--Dichroic. I hope you all enjoy it.

Don't forget...the password is citrus

12-02-2008, 07:36 AM
At last, my computer is behaving and I can use passwords for certain fora on this site. Yay! :D

12-02-2008, 02:04 PM
Great poem! Glad this thread has been resurrected.

12-02-2008, 10:18 PM
LimeyDawg has given a gift at Christmas. His poetry contest entries are now posted and you can read them and vote. It's really easy. Here's a link: LimeyDawg's Year End Poetry Contest Entries (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=123412)

12-04-2008, 06:30 PM
Please read the post above this one. In it, there is a link to the Year End Poetry Contest entries. Please make sure you read the entries and send your top 3 picks to LimeyDawg...via PM.

12-09-2008, 06:24 AM
Okay, AWers. It's time to cast a vote in the year end poetry contest. Go to the link I posted in post #74 above and read the entries...then vote on your favourites by PMing LimeyDawg with your top 3 choices. It's really easy. Here's an update from Limey:

More than 20 voters so far. One has distanced itself from the pack, but there is still time. Second place through the rest are bunched pretty tightly; all the more reason to get your vote in by the 15th.


There are a few more than 20 AW members here, right? Go vote...

12-09-2008, 03:51 PM
A very cool poem by AW's Feiss: CHINESE SCHOOL (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124048)

An ode to poetry and immersing oneself in it through the eyes of another.

Remember: The password is citrus

12-09-2008, 06:00 PM
Okay, AWers. It's time to cast a vote in the year end poetry contest. Go to the link I posted in post #74 above and read the entries...then vote on your favourites by PMing LimeyDawg with your top 3 choices. It's really easy. Here's an update from Limey:


There are a few more than 20 AW members here, right? Go vote...

Voted. Some really cool entries - a few that made me laugh, a couple that drew some mistiness from the eyes.

Thanks for this thread, K. :D

12-09-2008, 06:08 PM
Thanks much for voting, Angie!

12-09-2008, 07:29 PM
I voted last week. * gives herself a pat on the back * I'm very curious to see if my choices reflect those of others.

12-10-2008, 04:26 AM
Good for you, Mouse!

12-10-2008, 04:40 AM
Thanks much for voting, Angie!

Well, I generally do what you tell me, Kevin. Need a coffee? It's been awhile. ;)

12-11-2008, 07:31 AM
In post #74 of this thread you can find the link that will take you to thread with the AW poetry contest entries. Please take the time to read them and enter your votes via PM to Limeydawg.

Thank you and happy reading!

12-13-2008, 11:04 PM
Sometimes a poem just hits you where you live. That's what happened with this one from DCLARY (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124454)


Password is citrus

12-24-2008, 04:31 PM
Differing views of Christmas--poetically speaking...

Christmas Eve by Anne Sexton

Oh sharp diamond, my mother!
I could not count the cost
of all your faces, your moods--
that present that I lost.
Sweet girl, my deathbed,
my jewel-fingered lady,
your portrait flickered all night
by the bulbs of the tree.

Your face as calm as the moon
over a mannered sea,
presided at the family reunion,
the twelve grandchildren
you used to wear on your wrist,
a three-months-old baby,
a fat check you never wrote,
the red-haired toddler who danced the twist,
your aging daughters, each one a wife,
each one talking to the family cook,
each one avoiding your portrait,
each one aping your life.

Later, after the party,
after the house went to bed,
I sat up drinking the Christmas brandy,
watching your picture,
letting the tree move in and out of focus.
The bulbs vibrated.
They were a halo over your forehead.
Then they were a beehive,
blue, yellow, green, red;
each with its own juice, each hot and alive
stinging your face. But you did not move.
I continued to watch, forcing myself,
waiting, inexhaustible, thirty-five.

I wanted your eyes, like the shadows
of two small birds, to change.
But they did not age.
The smile that gathered me in, all wit,
all charm, was invincible.
Hour after hour I looked at your face
but I could not pull the roots out of it.
Then I watched how the sun hit your red sweater, your withered neck,
your badly painted flesh-pink skin.
You who led me by the nose, I saw you as you were.
Then I thought of your body
as one thinks of murder--

Then I said Mary--
Mary, Mary, forgive me
and then I touched a present for the child,
the last I bred before your death;
and then I touched my breast
and then I touched the floor
and then my breast again as if,
somehow, it were one of yours.

From The Short Story A Christmas Dream, And How It Came True by Louisa May Alcott

From our happy home
Through the world we roam
One week in all the year,
Making winter spring
With the joy we bring
For Christmas-tide is here.

Now the eastern star
Shines from afar
To light the poorest home;
Hearts warmer grow,
Gifts freely flow,
For Christmas-tide has come.

Now gay trees rise
Before young eyes,
Abloom with tempting cheer;
Blithe voices sing,
And blithe bells ring,
For Christmas-tide is here.

Oh, happy chime,
Oh, blessed time,
That draws us all so near!
"Welcome, dear day,"
All creatures say,
For Christmas-tide is here.

01-05-2009, 08:04 AM
There's a new and wonderful LAUREATE in town! Jump on over and give GODFATHER a warm welcome to his new Laureateship. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=126465)

01-15-2009, 07:09 PM
There are some damn fine words being slung around in the poetry forums these days. Have a look in the critique room:


password is citrus

01-15-2009, 07:23 PM
I'm almost overwhelmed in this last week or so with the poetry up there. I can hardly step out of the poetry forum for a break from it.

I'm about to change my sig line to highlight some new ones - certainly plenty to choose from.

(and I feel as though I'm falling behind I've been so caught up in reading poetry that I haven't been writing any.)

01-15-2009, 07:28 PM
I added a read to my sigline too...I will change it every so often. (-;

01-15-2009, 08:50 PM
Good. there are so many I can't list them all each day. You can take some of them. :)

02-24-2009, 07:37 AM
Don't forget to vote for your favourite INAUGURAL POEM! The voting is open until Sunday March 1. You don't have to be a poet to vote! Read the entries here:



02-25-2009, 04:08 PM

2 steps. It really is that simple.

THE AW INAUGURAL POEM CONTEST (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131800)

03-01-2009, 04:05 AM
ONLY A FEW HOURS LEFT TO VOTE! READ THE INAUGURAL POEMS HERE AND PM YOUR VOTE TO HATTEDPOET! BUT HURRY! (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131800)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
04-07-2009, 03:41 AM
We have a new Poet Laureate, ladies and gentlemen!


Visit the Poetry Forum (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137467)to find out why!

04-09-2009, 01:06 PM
*peers in, timidly* Um, hi, y'all! And thanks for the intro, OFG. I guess that means I should step up and follow in Kevin's footsteps, though I hope that doesn't mean he'll stop walking - or stop posting stuff here.

Kevin has linked to a poem of Feiss's here before, but if any of you have hopped over to the Crit forum (and if not, what are you waiting for? Go!) it won't be any surprise to see her again. Feiss writes a lot of poems. Feiss writes a lot of good poems. And Feiss's poems are always so different than anything I'd write that her talent particularly impresses me. But here's one with a theme I totally agree with: the Problem with Caution (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137235).

I'm looking forward to sharing some of my favorite poems here, but I hope you'll go look for yourself, too - or even offer some responses to poems up for crit. As always, the password is citrus.


04-14-2009, 05:34 AM
When I begain my first blog way back in 2001, I was in the last month of a three month business trip, stuck on the opposite side of the country from my husband. I spent a lot of that month writing about marriage and looking for relevant writings, and in the process I came across this poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, which I think is as accurate as anything I've ever read. Quoted for truth:

When You Have Forgotten Sunday: the love story
by Gwendolyn Brooks

—And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday,
And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday—
When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed,
Or me sitting on the front-room radiator in the limping afternoon
Looking off down the long street
To nowhere,
Hugged by my plain old wrapper of no-expectation
And nothing-I-have-to-do and I’m-happy-why?
And if-Monday-never-had-to-come—
When you have forgotten that, I say,
And how you swore, if somebody beeped the bell,
And how my heart played hopscotch if the telephone rang;
And how we finally went in to Sunday dinner,
That is to say, went across the front room floor to the ink-spotted table in the southwest corner
To Sunday dinner, which was always chicken and noodles
Or chicken and rice
And salad and rye bread and tea
And chocolate chip cookies—
I say, when you have forgotten that,
When you have forgotten my little presentiment
That the war would be over before they got to you;
And how we finally undressed and whipped out the light and flowed into bed,
And lay loose-limbed for a moment in the week-end
Bright bedclothes,
Then gently folded into each other—
When you have, I say, forgotten all that,
Then you may tell,
Then I may believe
You have forgotten me well.

04-20-2009, 09:40 AM
This week I've had no trouble at all deciding what will be poem of the week, because I fell in love at first sight. I post those on the Poetry Crit Forum on Wednesdays, so it's always possible someone will bowl me over between now and then. In that case, we'll just have to have two. So I think it's safe to mention this one early:

Union, Oregon (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=138582) by Steppe, our poet of the open spaces. Password is citrus.

04-20-2009, 05:24 PM
That was lovely, Dichroic. Thank you for pointing us in that direction.

04-29-2009, 08:48 AM
This time it's a tiny and very old poem - don't think I need to worry about copyright on this one! If you ever wonder about whether people have changed from the old days - and if you've ever spent much time apart from your beloved - the answer seems to be that in at least some ways we haven't.

Western Wind

Westron wind, when wilt thou blow?
That the smalle rain doun can rain.
Christ, that my love were in my arms,
And I in my bed again.

05-08-2009, 06:12 PM
is flirting still banned? I just wanted my Ganesha to have a moment with KTC's handsome guy. flirt flirt flirt

05-13-2009, 05:52 AM
Another tiny and beautiful poem, this time from Dobiwon: Mountain Clouds (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141384).

As always, the password is citrus.

05-15-2009, 09:27 AM
Here's one I first encountered in high school - because how can you resist a poem that uses classical allusions to describe a chamber pot?

The Lady's Dressng Room
by Jonathan Swift

FIVE Hours, (and who can do it less in?)
By haughty Celia spent in Dressing;
The Goddess from her Chamber issues,
Array'd in Lace, Brocades and Tissues.

Strephon, who found the Room was void,
And Betty otherwise employ'd;
Stole in, and took a strict Survey,
Of all the Litter as it lay;
Whereof, to make the Matter clear,
An Inventory follows here.

And first a dirty Smock appear'd,
Beneath the Arm-pits well besmear'd.
Strephon, the Rogue, display'd it wide,
And turn'd it round on every Side.
On such a Point few Words are best,
And Strephon bids us guess the rest;
But swears how damnably the Men lie,
In calling Celia sweet and cleanly.
Now listen while he next produces
The various Combs for various Uses,
Fill'd up with Dirt so closely fixt,
No Brush could force a way betwixt.
A Paste of Composition rare,
Sweat, Dandriff, Powder, Lead and Hair;
A Forehead Cloth with Oyl upon't
To smooth the Wrinkles on her Front;
Here Allum Flower to stop the Steams,
Exhal'd from sour unsavoury Streams,
There Night-gloves made of Tripsy's Hide,
Bequeath'd by Tripsy when she dy'd,
With Puppy Water, Beauty's Help
Distill'd from Tripsy's darling Whelp;
Here Gallypots and Vials plac'd,
Some fill'd with Washes, some with Paste,
Some with Pomatum, Paints and Slops,
And Ointments good for scabby Chops.
Hard by a filthy Bason stands,
Fowl'd with the Scouring of her Hands;
The Bason takes whatever comes
The Scrapings of her Teeth and Gums,
A nasty Compound of all Hues,
For here she spits, and here she spues.
But oh! it turn'd poor Strephon's Bowels,
When he beheld and smelt the Towels,
Begumm'd, bematter'd, and beslim'd
With Dirt, and Sweat, and Ear-Wax grim'd.
No Object Strephon's Eye escapes,
Here Pettycoats in frowzy Heaps;
Nor be the Handkerchiefs forgot
All varnish'd o'er with Snuff and Snot.
The Stockings why shou'd I expose,
Stain'd with the Marks of stinking Toes;
Or greasy Coifs and Pinners reeking,
Which Celia slept at least a Week in?
A Pair of Tweezers next he found
To pluck her Brows in Arches round,
Or Hairs that sink the Forehead low,
Or on her Chin like Bristles grow.

The Virtues we must not let pass,
Of Celia's magnifying Glass.
When frighted Strephon cast his Eye on't
It shew'd the Visage of a Gyant.
A Glass that can to Sight disclose,
The smallest Worm in Celia's Nose,
And faithfully direct her Nail
To squeeze it out from Head to Tail;
For catch it nicely by the Head,
It must come out alive or dead.

Why Strephon will you tell the rest?
And must you needs describe the Chest?
That careless Wench! no Creature warn her
To move it out from yonder Corner;
But leave it standing full in Sight
For you to exercise your Spight.
In vain, the Workmen shew'd his Wit
With Rings and Hinges counterfeit
To make it seem in this Disguise
A Cabinet to vulgar Eyes;
For Strephon ventur'd to look in,
Resolv'd to go thro' thick and thin;
He lifts the Lid, there needs no more,
He smelt it all the Time before.
As from within Pandora's box,
When Epimetheus op'd the Locks,
A sudden universal Crew
Of humane Evils upwards flew;
He still was comforted to find
That Hope at last remain'd behind;
So Strephon lifting up the lid,
To view what in the chest was hid.
The Vapours flew from out the Vent,
But Strephon cautious never meant
The Bottom of the Pan to grope,
And fowl his Hands in Search of Hope.
O never may such vile Machine
Be once in Celia's Chamber seen!
O may she better learn to keep
"Those Secrets of the hoary deep!"

As Mutton Cutlets, Prime of Meat,
Which tho' with Art you salt and beat,
As Laws of Cookery require,
And toast them at the clearest Fire;
If from adown the hopeful Chops
The Fat upon a Cinder drops,
To stinking Smoak it turns the Flame
Pois'ning the Flesh from whence it came;
And up exhales a greasy Stench,
For which you curse the careless Wench;
So Things, which must not be exprest,
When plumpt into the reeking Chest,
Send up an excremental Smell
To taint the Parts from whence they fell.
The Pettycoats and Gown perfume,
Which waft a Stink round every Room.

Thus finishing his grand Survey,
Disgusted Strephon stole away
Repeating in his amorous Fits,
Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits!
But Vengeance, Goddess never sleeping,
Soon punish'd Strephon for his Peeping;
His foul Imagination links
Each Dame he sees with all her Stinks:
And, if unsav'ry Odours fly,
Conceives a Lady standing by:
All Women his Description fits,
And both Idea's jump like Wits:
By vicious Fancy coupled fast,
And still appearing in Contrast.
I pity wretched Strephon blind
to all the Charms of Female Kind;
Should I the Queen of Love refuse,
Because she rose from stinking Ooze?
To him that looks behind the Scene,
Satira's but some pocky Quean.
When Celia in her Glory shows,
If Strephon would but stop his Nose;
(Who now so impiously blasphemes
Her Ointments, Daubs, and Paints and Creams,
Her Washes, Slops, and every Clout,
With which he makes so foul a Rout; )
He soon would learn to think like me,
And bless his ravisht Sight to see
Such Order from Confusion sprung,
Such gaudy Tulips rais'd from Dung.

05-25-2009, 06:45 AM
Travel to China with Feiss, in an Internet Cafe (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3620380#post3620380) on a smoky Beijing night.

05-27-2009, 06:47 AM
Workshops galore: come join in workshops for Minimalism (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108437), Speculative Poetry (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142435), and Formalism (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142423)- all on the Poetry Critique Forum.

Password is Citrus.

06-08-2009, 02:12 PM
Sorry, what with one thing and another it's been a while since I've posted here (er, is anyone actually reading?)
So let me make two recommendations:
First, you can find the collected AW Poems of the Week here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143051). I wouldn't go so far as to call it a Best Of, becuase we get a lot more than one good poem a week, but it's definitely a collection of Good Stuff.

Second, this one may be a little maudlin but it always breaks my heart - Robert Service's

The Wage Slave

When the long, long day is over, and the Big Boss gives me my pay,
I hope that it won't be hell-fire, as some of the parsons say.
And I hope that it won't be heaven, with some of the parsons I've met --
All I want is just quiet, just to rest and forget.
Look at my face, toil-furrowed; look at my calloused hands;
Master, I've done Thy bidding, wrought in Thy many lands --
Wrought for the little masters, big-bellied they be, and rich;
I've done their desire for a daily hire, and I die like a dog in a ditch.
I have used the strength Thou hast given, Thou knowest I did not shirk;
Threescore years of labor -- Thine be the long day's work.
And now, Big Master, I'm broken and bent and twisted and scarred,
But I've held my job, and Thou knowest, and Thou will not judge me hard.
Thou knowest my sins are many, and often I've played the fool --
Whiskey and cards and women, they made me the devil's tool.
I was just like a child with money; I flung it away with a curse,
Feasting a fawning parasite, or glutting a harlot's purse;
Then back to the woods repentant, back to the mill or the mine,
I, the worker of workers, everything in my line.
Everything hard but headwork (I'd no more brains than a kid),
A brute with brute strength to labor, doing as I was bid;
Living in camps with men-folk, a lonely and loveless life;
Never knew kiss of sweetheart, never caress of wife.
A brute with brute strength to labor, and they were so far above --
Yet I'd gladly have gone to the gallows for one little look of Love.
I, with the strength to two men, savage and shy and wild --
Yet how I'd ha' treasured a woman, and the sweet, warm kiss of a child!
Well, 'tis Thy world, and Thou knowest. I blaspheme and my ways be rude;
But I've lived my life as I found it, and I've done my best to be good;
I, the primitive toiler, half naked and grimed to the eyes,
Sweating it deep in their ditches, swining it stark in their styes;
Hurling down forests before me, spanning tumultuous streams;
Down in the ditch building o'er me palaces fairer than dreams;
Boring the rock to the ore-bed, driving the road through the fen,
Resolute, dumb, uncomplaining, a man in a world of men.
Master, I've filled my contract, wrought in Thy many lands;
Not by my sins wilt Thou judge me, but by the work of my hands.
Master, I've done Thy bidding, and the light is low in the west,
And the long, long shift is over. . .Master, I've earned it --

06-09-2009, 04:32 PM
And now for something you won't have seen before; recent and in copywrite, but posted here by permission.

And So, Homeward, We Flow
by Peter Birchalls

Late-sleeping in an open grave, I heard
The piping of a black-beaked, yellow bird.

A bird of passage is a soul in flight;
The pearly dawn is calved by starry night.
Serna and soma-many ways and one:

The journey-almost over, just begun.
Melting by moonlight, so the virgin snow

Forms rivers to the sea: And so, homeward, we flow.

Note: Yellow bird: made famous in a brilliant, early Irish Gaelic lyric. Sema: ecstatic dancing and turning (as exemplified by the whirling Dervishes). Soma: the magical drug of the ancient Aryans.

(It's from his collection Nature, Nonsense, and Foreign Parts.)

07-01-2009, 01:26 PM
Congrats to MOBLUES on being honored as the next AW POET LAUREATE!

07-05-2009, 10:37 PM
In an attempt to follow Kevin's wonderful example (thanks Patty):


Poem #1


Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up -- for you the flag is flung -- for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths -- for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Walt Whitman

07-06-2009, 01:35 AM
Thanks for taking the reigns of Poet Laureate, Mike. This is a wonderful first offering.

Love this poem. :)

07-06-2009, 02:16 AM
Moblues- It is a lovely poem... always makes me sad every time I read it. For a poem to emit that response goes to its strength and longevity.

07-06-2009, 05:32 AM
Walt Whitman is my personal Jesus. Anything of his is ok by's me!

07-06-2009, 10:01 PM
I know next to nothing about poetry, but that poem sure is purty. ;)

Beach Bunny
07-07-2009, 10:08 AM
That's a lovely poem, MoBlues. Thanks for posting it. :)

07-09-2009, 06:33 AM
I just love it here at AW. There is something going on in the POETRY CRITIQUE (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=85) forum that you simply cannot miss!

It started as two poets challenging each other...and this whole beautiful thing is happening. It's a TERRIBLE BEAUTY. GO SEE.

The password is citrus

07-09-2009, 07:01 AM
i had a good day, poets. thank you for your beauty.

07-09-2009, 07:10 AM
I just love it here at AW. There is something going on in the POETRY CRITIQUE (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=85) forum that you simply cannot miss!

It started as two poets challenging each other...and this whole beautiful thing is happening. It's a TERRIBLE BEAUTY. GO SEE.

The password is citrusThe Terrible Beauty impromptu poetry jam has me just sort of speechless and awestruck.

You people are amazing. Thank you, all of you.

07-09-2009, 07:11 AM
Really really amazing stuff people.

01-05-2010, 06:51 PM
Time to kick this thread back into life.

Listen up, Folks. There is a poetry contest going on right now. Dust off your fingers and get creating. :D

The following information is taken from this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165060):

AW Winter Poetry Contest

Theme: Anything Winter - Cold, holidays, New Years, think snowy times, think happy times, think about your pen hitting paper

Form: Anything style or form you want.

Submission Period: 1/5 - 1/16. PM Your finished poem to me (caseyquinn) here on the forum. Please send a FINAL draft!

I will post the poems on 1/17 and voting will begin!

Voting Period: 1/17 - 1/23 - If you submit a poem you MUST vote... Everyone and anyone on the forum though is welcome to vote as well! Like gifts, the more the merrier. Please send your top THREE picks to me on the forum. On 1/24 I will post the results!

Prizes: TBD - Looking like some books, gift cards, and other goodies. Will update as we progress!

01-17-2010, 04:27 PM
Alright folks. The poems are written and submitted. Now comes the vote. Anyone can vote. Please follow the rules Casey has outlined in the thread where he posted the poem submissions. You will find it here:

Entries For AW Winter Poetry Contest - Time To Vote! (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168719)

01-25-2010, 11:47 PM
The votes are in and tallied, the winners chosen. Please congratulate the top three winners in this years AW Winter Poetry Contest:

1st Place:


Poem: Winter is the Quiet time. (Haibun)

2nd Place:


Poem: Cold in Your Heaven

3rd Place:


Poem: There is no art to winter

Please check out the results thread in the Poetry forum for a listing of all the poems and where those poems placed. And, please congratulate the winners. :)

AW Winter Poetry Contest Results (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169435)

01-25-2010, 11:51 PM
Congrats to the winners. Great participation from the poets. (Thanks Casey for heading this one up.)

01-26-2010, 01:51 AM
I wanted to share this because I’m tickled pink!! I gave up writing poetry about three years ago because of a pressing story I had to write (still writing it ) but I saw the announcement for the the AW Winter Poetry Contest and said, oh what the heck, why not? And minutes later I had the poem I submitted --and it came in fourth!

Behind such wonderful poems!!

I couldn’t be more astonished =)

Thank you Casey, Nikki, Ambrosia, and everyone else that had a hand in the contest! and thanks OP peeps for making me feel relaxed enough to say ‘why not?'



03-16-2010, 07:22 PM
Check out the new additions to thePoems of the week collection (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143051&page=2) !!

And CDSinex has got a great Tanka (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171025) workshop going

05-24-2010, 05:59 PM
Here's the link to read the entries in the 2010 Spring Poetry Contest:

ENTRIES (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=180625) You will be prompted to provide a password. The password: citrus

Here's how you cast a vote:


Please read all the poems before voting.
One vote allowed per AW member.
Entrants can vote for their own poems.
To vote, please send a PM (private message) to poetinahat, with subject line "VOTE - SPRING POETRY CONTEST".
Please indicate three votes - first place, second place, and third place. These must be three different poems.
Please indicate the poem number and title. For example:

First - #6, "Hey, Fever!"
Second - #2, "Stealing First Base"
Third - #12, "Daffodil Dog Days"

Please read the entries and vote on your top three choices.

Voting will close 11:59PM US DST, Saturday, May 29.