Poetry

Celebrate Robert Burns Day with two of his poems

Regarded in Scotland with the same reverence as Shakespeare in England

A Man’s a Man for A’ That Is there for honesty poverty That hings his head, an’ a’ that; The coward slave — we pass him by, We dare be poor for a’ that! For ...

G.S. Fraser: Surrealist successor for New Apocalyptics poetry group

He wrote The White Horseman, and soon after rose to prominence in London’s literary scene

Home Town Elegy (For Aberdeen in Spring) Glitter of mica at the windy corners, Tar in the nostrils, under blue lamps budding Like bubbles of glass the blue buds of a tree, Night-shining shopfronts, or ...

A poem for the coming year by George Barker

Barker was first published by T.S. Eliot

January jumps about January jumps about in the frying pan trying to heat his frozen feet like a Canadian. February scuttles under any dish’s lid and she thinks she’s dry because she’s thoroughly well hid ...

Alfred, Lord Tennyson: a legacy of common phrases

“’Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all”

The Death of the Old Year Full knee-deep lies the winter snow, And the winter winds are wearily sighing: Toll ye the church bell sad and slow, And tread softly and speak low, For the ...

Henry Vaughan: a 17th-century England “metaphysical poet”

Best known for his George Herbert-inspired religious poems

Christ’s Nativity Awake, glad heart! get up and sing! It is the birth-day of thy King. Awake! awake! The Sun doth shake Light from his locks, and all the way Breathing perfumes, doth spice the ...

John Haines: Alaska’s poet laureate

He moved to San Diego, only to return to the Land of the Midnight Sun several years later

Fairbanks Under the Solstice Slowly, without sun, the day sinks toward the close of December. It is minus sixty degrees. Over the sleeping houses a dense fog rises—smoke from banked fires, and the snowy breath ...

Robert Bly: Harvard classmate to Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, George Plimpton and others

He‘s also well known for a leading figure in the “mythopoetic men’s movement”

Living at the End of Time There is so much sweetness in children’s voices, And so much discontent at the end of day, And so much satisfaction when a train goes by. I don’t know ...

Gary Snyder: Pulitzer Prize winning Beat poet

Simple diction and common speech-patterns are his foundation

December at Yase You said, that October, In the tall dry grass by the orchard When you chose to be free, “Again someday, maybe ten years.” After college I saw you One time. You were ...

A Thanksgiving poem by George Parsons Lathrop

He also wrote the official annual Thanksgiving obit for Tom Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey Valleys lay in sunny vapor, And a radiance mild was shed From each tree that like a taper At a feast stood. Then we said, “Our feast, too, shall soon be spread, Of ...

Three poems by John Gallagher

Laudate Dominum, Severance, The Car Salesman

Laudate Dominum Lit stalks stitch patterns over moss-mute boughs, The patched procession of winter and early dawn. A dormant vine’s engrafted web soon glows, Emblazoned tongues along the runged oration. O distant fire, stirred to ...

Ten haiku by critic Andrew Hamlin

Poplars line far too long a short walk to the lake Train switching tracks never finishes... world spring run down Anubis, white-eyed in obsidian, glares — pinned to his wall Moon silver the samurai’s hilt ...