an afternoon anthology: april 22

A literary friend asked for poetry suggestions. What an excellent reason to resurrect a dear old blog with a brand new post.

Here are your poetry suggestions, both classic and a touch ecclectic:

Anything by Emily Dickinson. Especially –

If-I-can-stop-one-heart-from-breaking

& even more captivating….

Emily Dickinson 3

Poems by e. e. cummings, like this favorite from a yellow poetry book I kept in my pocket and read over and over when I was eight and nine and ten:

in just spring

And another by him, I found in highschool in a favorite American anthology:

grasshopper

I don’t believe I’ve ever read something by Tagore which I haven’t loved, like this:

tagore poem

I love poetry in translation because it makes me re-examine the poetry of language, and especially poetry by the Deaf for it makes me re-examine the poetry of silence and of sound:

To a thrush on a mulberry bough,
Once on a time God said:
“Sing, little fellow, sing
A sweet tune for that girl there
On the lawn.
She is watching, she is waiting,
She is listening, listening, listening.”

The bird sang.

At the end God said:

“That was a good song. My choir
Back home was listening in,
And I think that We
Shall have better music from now on.
That girl there
Couldn’t hear you,
But she is satisfied too.”

– Earl Sollenburger

And because I am facinated by the words dancing and leaping and exploding off the page, I try to write poems myself like

I am finding my new voice
Amidst the sounds of these seas and cities
I am translating myself
From french, to English, to Hindi, to this
Amalgamation of the rest and unrest
I am capturing these actions, actors
Into nouns and verbs
I’m trying to fit the universe into words

– Ashlie Ariel

For more poetry, try the Poetry Foundation.

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