In a year full of grief, I’m searching for music, writing, and art to get me through. Please share what was meaningful for you in working through your own grief. [more inside]
Inspired by some clips of poems I've read in the holiday card threads, I'm looking for more poems to read in dark political times. Now that trump is the president-elect, what poems are giving you hope, perspective, or just a sense of camaraderie with the poet? [more inside]
Librarians, curators, history and literature nerds - can you help? My JSTOR and googlefu is failing me. I'm trying to find out whether anyone has researched the phenomenon of writing inscriptions on glass with a diamond which was trendy in the late 18th/early 19th century. [more inside]
One of my favourite short love poems is Shailja Patel's 'First Dates in Utopia', which has a gentleness and loveliness to it that I associate with shy folks like myself. What are your favourite poems or lines of poetry about love that is awkward, hesitant and quiet - filled with silences and mis-timings? NOTE: I'm not looking for poems about unrequited love, but rather connections made or being made whilst shy. [more inside]
Trying to find a poem I once read, can only remember this: We sat inside, we drank our tea. In sips, he had enough of me. [more inside]
I'm trying to recall a poem which was a long (book-length!) list of sentences that were exactly the same except each one contained a slightly different list of names. It was something like "in [name] [name] and [name] was [name]". [more inside]
So I recently realized that a favorite poet of mine, Alice Duer Miller, published one more book of poems than I thought she had. I have been consequently wallowing in feminist poetry with snappy meter and rhyme for the last couple of days. Now that I'm done with my book, I'm looking for more poetry that strikes a chord, especially poetry by and about women. Where should I look, and who should I read? [more inside]
Ok, this is a long shot, but here it goes. In the last few years I *think* I read an essay online somewhere about Sylvia Plath and how she and her work are now seen as uncool or unfashionable. I believe it was entirely about Sylvia Plath, not just a mention of her in a larger essay. Now I can't find it anywhere. Help? [more inside]
I'm about to make a series of small poetry books that I want to share a typeface. Can you help me find the right one? [more inside]
Today in my archives I came across three poems on individual papers from the Sleeping Lady Lodge in Leavenworth, dated February 24, 2001. The poems are in my own handwriting, and I was on vacation with three friends at the time. Please help decipher the form so I can write more collaborative poems! [more inside]
I'm an enthusiastic reader, across pretty broad boundaries; literary fiction is probably my favorite, but I also enjoy good sci-fi/speculative fiction, mysteries and thrillers as well as quite of bit of non-fiction, including history, science and true crime. What I've never been able to manage though, is to even read, let alone enjoy poetry. [more inside]
Part of Kid BlahLaLa's summer schoolwork is memorizing two poems. What's the best way to do this? [more inside]
Which job sites can I use to find Creative Writing Instructor positions?
What are some great quotes, poems, or literary excerpts about being an outsider, a constant traveler, or a countryless foreigner?
The world feels pretty bleak at the moment. I am looking for songs and poems about hope. [more inside]
I just moved to Ann Arbor and would like to meet some other moderately serious poets. Can you recommend a class, workshop, critique group, or recurring meeting that's not aimed at beginners? [more inside]
My father studied contemporary poetry in college, and has expressed regret that today he can't name a poem that's less than 40 years old. I want to surprise him with a gift - is there a single-volume anthology, or coursebook of poetry covering the past few decades that he might enjoy? If 'Intro To Post-1975 Poetry' is too impossibly broad, a survey of Canadian poets in specific would also appeal to him.
I can't remember the place I read this poem as a grade-schooler. Google has some people asking about it but no answer. Does anyone know where this poem is from, especially author and where it was published in the 70s? This is as much as I remember: (poem inside) [more inside]
I would like to study the history of the business of poetry publishing. Where should I look? [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of poets with distinctive voices. I mean their literal auditory voices. So that I can develop impersonations of them. [more inside]
I am trying to find a poem I studied twenty years ago in Italy in an italian-language literature class. It was about the aftermath of a rainstorm. It was not 'Dopo La Pioggia' by Gianni Rodari. I remember a few things about the author: At latest early twentieth century. Liked to use antiquated (italian) words. Was a very sad person who didn't believe that happiness existed, only the absense of unhappiness. I spoke italian pretty fluently at that point in my life so it might have been part of the canon taught in Italian high school or middle school curricula. I also remember studying a poem about a fountain by the same author (maybe). Ring any bells?
My wife just graduated with her masters in poetry and I'd love to get her a high quality, hardcover, commemorative book. [more inside]
I'm doing PR for a heroic dissident who is on hunger strike to protest the actions of a dictator. He's in grave danger and I have little hope. I think he will be gone soon. Can anyone suggest poems or quotes relevant to this situation? I want them for my own comfort, but it would be especially useful if there was something that wasn't too long that I could use for PR. [more inside]
A long, long time ago, probably (maybe?) at a Scholastic Book sale, I bought a book. This would have been in the mid-to-late-80s? See inside for clues. [more inside]
Can you name a poem for me? I read it in 1993 or '94, I think in the Atlantic. It told a very disturbing story from the Balkan wars. (cw: violence against children) [more inside]
What poems / readings would you recommend for a 50th Anniversary? My parents have been having health issues so I would prefer to avoid the usual "ha ha you're falling apart" joke poems about pills and getting infirm. They are somewhat stoic but have a good sense of humor.
I have a faint recollection of reading an essay by C. S. Lewis, in which he discusses reading poetry, and suggests moving one's lips while reading. Does this ring any bells? [more inside]
I have never really gotten into modern poetry, but I've recently read a few poems by Dana Gioia, and I'd like to learn more. A dozen years ago, I was in the same position with modern art and Mark Rothko. I happened to find a copy of H. H. Arnason's History of Modern Art in my college's library, and now I consider myself something of an expert on the subject. I'm looking for a book that will do the same for poetry. [more inside]
This is on the tip of my tongue and I will slap myself when you name it for me: a poem from the 70s or 80s about community and activism. It counts up from 1: with 1 you can do this, with two you can do that. I remember that with six, you can share a pie. At some number, you start putting out a newsletter. I want to think Marge Piercy was the author, but I've almost certainly got that wrong.
Brief Shakespeare quotation on the idea of desire or love as muse / as source of creative fire? [more inside]
I think I'm ready to publish some of my poems through one of two avenues, (still open to suggestions though), but I need some "what-would-you-do-in-my-shoes" type of advice about which step to take first. On the one hand, there is a great self-publishing resource offered through McNally Jackson Books' Espresso Book Machine that will print a limited run of actual books for me. On the other hand, I wonder if I can hedge my bets to get people to actually read my poems by trying to publish in a journal first. [more inside]
I'm trying to remember a poem I read in my British Authors class, which, I believe, was written in the first person (maybe even epistolary). It was about a White British hunter somewhere in Colonial East Africa (I believe it was in Kenya?), and I think he was hunting lions, but also metaphorically it was about love... [more inside]
When Rilke says, "Vielleicht, daß ich durch schwere Berge gehe / in harten Adern, wie ein Erz allein," does his last phrase mean "like an ore [moves], alone" or "alone like an ore" or "like only an ore [can move]"? Translators seem to all assume the first.
the author is Thomas Lynch. I read this book a long time ago and I'm having trouble finding a poem I vaguely remember. [more inside]
I teach first grade, and have been reading some Shel Silverstein poems to my students. One boy in particular adores them, but he was very disappointed to learn that Silverstein wasn't brown but rather was a white Jewish fellow. This child (who is multi-racial, and self-identifies as brown) is thirsting for funny, age-appropriate poetry, a la Shel Silverstein, that features (and/or is written by) brown people. Any recommendations?
What poems follow the rhyming scheme and syllable pattern shared by The Cremation of Sam McGee, Rocky Raccoon and the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald? [more inside]
Of course, the real answer is most books, but I'm looking for something a little more specific... [more inside]
I'm going on a cub scout camping trip tonight as part of the campfire entertainment I want to recite Sam McGee. [more inside]
Looking for poetry that is warm, thoughtful, deceptively plainspoken, esp. if very rooted in place? Examples: poets like Naomi Shihab Nye, Ellen Bass, Wendell Berry, William Stafford, Hayden Carruth [more inside]
I’m trying to wrap up some big stuff these days and could use some media to boast confidence, courage, and focus. Brief prose, poetry, non-fiction, religious texts, and music would be welcome. I'd prefer to avoid longer things in order to save time. Thanks!
Most especially when writing about himself. A paraphrase at best. My memory says Verlaine or Rimbaud. But my googlefoo fails me.
Wedding poetry recommendations for a pair of active, late 20-somethings? [more inside]
I'm trying to find a quote that fits a romantic (but not overly saccharine) mood that basically says "I do this because of my love for you, I believe in it because you believe in it, I stand by your side against adversity because I know I am with you."
I am working on an article that's due today. My editor wanted me to get some quotes from those who were influenced by/familiar with the work of Anna Akhmatova. Somehow, all but one of my contacts didn't work out, and I only have a couple lines. I am looking for a writer, scholar, translator, etc. who can answer a few questions in complete sentences for a general audience and can do so via email or phone today. Any suggestions?
I'm publishing a chapbook of poems this month, and I'd like to do a short reading when I visit the SF Bay Area at the beginning of August. I'm looking for a small, intimate venue where I can host this public event. [more inside]
My cousin needs ideas for a joint class she'll be teaching for a college--she teaches literature, her teaching partner teaches science. (Which science, I don't know, but she says it's not relevant and he can touch on most scientific topics to the required degree.) They need suggestions of literature--poetry, short stories, novellas, or short novels--that she can have the class read, and then he can take them through the science of it. [more inside]
I’m looking for a poem I happened upon, I think at Poetry Foundation or poets.org and I think by a male poet, that goes something like, you have to like a couple at least 75% to hang out with them and if one of the couple is 25% and the other is 95% it doesn’t average out. My pitiful search terms bring no joy at PF, Poets, or on the rest of the web.
Denise Levertov's poem Beginners: specifically in what year did she write it? I know it was published in 1982 or earlier, and I know it's dedicated to two activists who died "in the mid-70s" (although I don't know whether it was dedicated to them posthumously).
I'm going to an event this week where people sit around and eat and drink and read poetry, either their own or by others. Since it also happens to be the organizer's birthday, I'd like to read a birthday-related poem, something by a contemporary poet. [more inside]