The Sunday Poem 2017-06-24T02:42:50+00:00

The Sunday Poem

The Sunday Poem : Joan Murray

  Joan Murray (Photo by David Lee)   Today's Sunday Poem is a special excerpt from poet Joan Murray's project The Visitor: Poems from the Eastman House. The last time I saw Joan she was working on this series of poems at The MacDowell Colony. I asked Joan to tell us more about this project, which was inspired by photographs in the collection at the George Eastman House, the world's oldest photography museum... [...]

By | 09.15.12|Images, The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Joan Murray

The Sunday Poem : Judith Kitchen

      (Note: Today’s Sunday Poem is part of Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” series and is made possible by The Poetry Foundation This one is for all of the gardeners out there!)   By describing the relocation of the moles which ravaged her yard, Washington poet Judith Kitchen presents an experience that resonates beyond the simple details, and suggests that children can learn important lessons through observation of the natural world.        -Ted [...]

By | 09.08.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|4 Comments

The Sunday Poem: Natalie Diaz

    New poetry publications have been piling up in my post office box, a sure sign that the fall book season is here. One of the best surprises that's appeared in my mail in recent weeks is Copper Canyon's When My Brother Was an Aztec by poet Natalie Diaz. Diaz, a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes, began writing poetry in college. Many of her poems deal with the harsh realities of reservation life: [...]

The Sunday Poem : Hayden Carruth

          For Geof   I'm eighty-four now. Now I know what I Should have done. After the war I should Have stayed in the army. And now I'd be A retired sergeant or captain with a pension Much bigger than social security. Instead All those years of puzzling with a stubby pen- Cil over a dog-eared tablet of scrawly lines, Synonyms listed in the margins and arrows flying This way and [...]

By | 08.19.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Hayden Carruth

The Sunday Poem : Frank O’Hara

  Frank O'Hara by Alice Neel, 1960. Oil on canvas (85.7 x 40.6 x 2.5 cm). Gift of Hartley S. Neel. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. © Estate of Alice Neel. Art critic and New York School poet Frank O'Hara studied piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston from 1941 to 1944 and served in the South Pacific and Japan as a sonarman on the destroyer USS Nicholas during World War II. [...]

By | 08.12.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Merry Fortune

        God Quest   And when I have toilet paper I say thank you toilet paper god and when I have food I say thank you food god. Clothes: thank the clothes' god, shoes and accessories- thank the same god. For lifts: the elevator god, and wine- the god of grapes till I see stems and pits and oranges then I am lost in contemplation of that which is good and may [...]

By | 08.04.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Jorge Carrera Andrade’s Micrograms

  Ecuadorian poet, historian, author, and diplomat Jorge Carrera Andrade   "The images of Jorge Carrera Andrade are so extraordinarily clear, so connected to the primitive I imagine I am...participating in a vision already lost to the world. It is a place melancholy but grand."      — William Carlos Williams     Largely overlooked by American literary critics, Ecuadorian Jorge Carrera Andrade has long been considered one of the most important poets in Latin [...]

By | 07.28.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|7 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Adrienne Rich

  The late poet Adrienne Rich during her student days at Radcliffe (Photo courtesy Harvard University and the Radcliffe Archive) The Sunday Poem returns today after a two-week hiatus. Thanks to all of you who wrote and told me how much you missed receiving the Sunday Poem in your inbox. It only confirms what I suspected all along: that Gwarlingo has some of the best readers on the planet! Work-related deadlines and travel [...]

By | 07.21.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|5 Comments

Ruin & Repetition: Margaret Lanzetta & Susan Briante’s Utopia Minus Project

  I'm excited to share this special expanded edition of Gwarlingo's Sunday Poem series with you. The Utopia Minus Project is an art and poetry collaboration that has been in the works for nearly twelve months now. Poet Susan Briante and visual artist Margaret Lanzetta have been long-time admirers of each other's work, but when Lanzetta began a new series of paintings inspired by American highways and Briante published her [...]

By | 07.07.12|Images, The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Kobayashi Issa Translated and Read by Robert Hass

        Translating haiku seems like a natural fit for Robert Hass, a United States Poet Laureate and recipient of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for poetry. Hass says he likes poems that "get to the point." In the below video, Hass reads selected haiku by Kobayashi Issa from his book of translations The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa. Issa is considered [...]

By | 06.23.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Ravi Shankar

          Sam the Super   You wouldn’t take my bald father for a quirky man, since his bearing is quintessentially Tamil-Brahmin, a Tam-Bram for the uninitiated, with the firmest hand when it comes to discipline or studies. He leers at ham and beer alike. Believes what genes conspire within him makes him purer than you. Not the sort of man you’d ever imagine would in top hat willingly stand [...]

By | 06.16.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Ravi Shankar

The Sunday Poem : Carl Dennis

        Missing   If I told you simply that the bed in the Baptist Hospital Last occupied by Cora Stokes is empty again, And the patient didn’t go home, you’d be likely Not to feel much interest.  So I’m adding here The news that she’s gone missing, that any tip On her whereabouts will be highly prized. Cora Stokes, female, African-American, Forty-seven, five feet, five inches, Slender, with a mole on her [...]

By | 06.02.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Gregory Orr

        Memorial Day   1 After our march from the Hudson to the top of Cemetery Hill, we Boy Scouts proudly endured the sermons and hot sun while Girl Scouts lolled among graves in the maple shade. When members of the veterans’ honor guard aimed their bone-white rifles skyward and fired, I glimpsed beneath one metal helmet the salmon-pink flesh of Mr. Webber’s nose, restored after shrapnel tore it.   [...]

By | 05.26.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

A Sunday Poem Exclusive : The Debut of Mary Ruefle’s Erasure “Melody”

    When Mary Ruefle's book Melody: The Story of a Child arrived in the mail several weeks ago, I could smell the musty, antique pages and the faint whiff of stale cigarette smoke before I even opened the package. The beige envelope arrived by U.S. Postal Service, without insurance and without tracking--a method that is not only cheaper, but also less conspicuous, as Ruefle explained to me on the phone one afternoon. Ruefle is [...]

The Sunday Poem : Carol Muske-Dukes

    Home-Boys: Baby & Me (a Sapphic) Ex-gang members. Driveby days over. Zero Tattoos, tagging. Sippy cups, hoodies. Baby Daddies gather, stubble-cheeked, holding infants. Rock-a-bye Central.   Awkward former enemies, rubbing elbows, Slow-bounce babies: parachute cradle. X-nay Gangsta language – A is for Apple, only. Alphabet shakedown.   Toddler nap-time. Whispering pretty teen-age Mothers. Foxy counterparts, purple lipstick, Dreamy I-Pod lullaby, off-key. Next up: Diapering for two.   Outside: L.A. traffic jam, [...]

By | 05.13.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Carol Muske-Dukes

The Sunday Poem : Alicia Suskin Ostriker

    (Note: Today's Sunday Poem is part of Ted Kooser's "American Life in Poetry" series and is made possible by The Poetry Foundation) Alicia Suskin Ostriker is one of our country’s finest poets. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey. I thought that today you might like to have us offer you a poem full of blessings. --TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006       The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and [...]

By | 05.05.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|3 Comments

The Sunday Poem: Maureen McLane

        Adventure in the Clover or Today’s Destruction, Averted   Adventure in the clover cleaving the hours & the bees on a lawn thus far immune to a fungus elsewhere killing them. Why write music anymore why have a family the composer unmade the world in advance of its predicted end. We cannot bear his suspension which only the careless robins resolve and a low drone of bees whose venturing [...]

By | 05.01.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|1 Comment

The Sunday Poem : Noelle Kocot

    Noelle Kocot's latest book of poetry, The Bigger World, is a collection of  character sketches. Told in a straightforward, surreal style---one that recalls folktales, ancient myths, and fairytales---Kocot has stripped each piece down to its essentials. These short, accessible poems are funny, moving, and sometimes absurd, but always entertaining. "I wrote these poems in fifty days," Noelle explained in an interview with the Rumpus Poetry Book Club. "It was a grueling process, because I [...]

By | 04.21.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|3 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Gennady Aygi, Translated by Sarah Valentine

    Gennady Aygi (1934-2006) is widely considered to be one of the great avant-garde poets from the former Soviet Union. He was born in Chuvashia, a territory located in the western part of Russia. In 1958 he was expelled from the Literary Institute in Moscow for his first book of poems, which was condemned by the censors as "hostile poetry" because it was written in Chuvash. Being an outsider in the Russian empire had a profound [...]

By | 04.07.12|Images, The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Aimee Nezhukumatathil

        Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia —The fear of long words   On the first day of classes, I secretly beg my students Don’t be afraid of me. I know my last name on your semester schedule is chopped off or probably misspelled— or both. I can’t help it. I know the panic of too many consonants rubbed up against each other, no room for vowels to fan some air into the room of a box [...]

By | 03.31.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|2 Comments

The Sunday Poem : Kwame Dawes

  Today's Sunday Poem, "Tornado Child" by Kwame Dawes, is one of many powerful poems in Dawes' book Wisteria, Twilight Songs from the Swamp Country. The poems in this collection are based on Dawes' conversations with the elders of Sumter, South Carolina, who shared their memories of growing up in the Deep South under Jim Crow. Dawes skillfully channels the voices of Sumter's elderly African-American women---beauticians, seamstresses, teachers, domestic workers and farmers who [...]

By | 03.24.12|Greatest Hits, The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem : Kwame Dawes
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