Poetry

Jim Carroll: the American Arthur Rimbaud

Leonardo DiCaprio played punk rock poet in 1995 film The Basketball Diaries

Love Story The penalty for desertion is death by a firing squad. I’m saving you this trouble enclosed is a pistol. loaded with only one bullet. squeeze the trigger once. perhaps nothing will happen. but ...

Imagining defeat with Silver Jews singer David Berman

Also known as the author of Actual Air and The Portable February poetry books

Imagining Defeat She woke me up at dawn, her suitcase like a little brown dog at her heels. I sat up and looked out the window at the snow falling in the stand of blackjack ...

Geoffrey Hill: an English critic-poet in the tradition of Matthew Arnold and T.S. Eliot

He often sought to reconcile transcendental claims with the apparent lack of immanence in contemporary culture

September Song born 19.6.32 - deported 24.9.42 Undesirable you may have been, untouchable you were not. Not forgotten or passed over at the proper time. As estimated, you died. Things marched, sufficient, to that end. ...

J.V. Cunningham: 20th century epigrams

His precision in meter, form and image places him squarely in the neo-classicist camp

Ars Amoris Speak to her heart! That manic force When wits depart Forbids remorse. Dream with her dreaming Until her lus t Seems to her seeming An act of trust! Do without doing! Love’s wilful ...

Nancy Foley poems that detail San Diego life

From a 2007 San Diego Community College Writer’s Workshop to the 2019 San Diego Poetry Annual

NEVERMORE My steps are heavy this early morning, head throbbing, muscles tight. Above me, dark clouds with slumped shoulders release tears into steel-grey Mission Bay. I pass a few people, heads bowed, sluggish pace, a ...

Charles Hughes: author of Cave Art shares a poem

He worked as a lawyer for thirty-three years before his retirement

After Many Years “Best to react to sorrowful things in sorrow”— The answer Peter, a new acquaintance, gave, Quoting I don’t remember whom. Iced tea, Brought out by Peter’s wife, the August sun We sat ...

Yvor Winters: founder of New Formalism

The American poet often took to task many poets of the literary canon

At the San Francisco Airport To my daughter, 1954 This is the terminal: the light Gives perfect vision, false and hard; The metal glitters, deep and bright. Great planes are waiting in the yard— They ...

Algernon Charles Swinburne: the English counterpart to Edgar Allan Poe

His poems are marked by taboo and risque themes

August There were four apples on the bough, Half gold half red, that one might know The blood was ripe inside the core; The color of the leaves was more Like stems of yellow corn ...

Sofia Catalina: abstract scenes with vivid imagery

Do her poems seem like nonsense, or hidden meaning?

Swollen Land Fingers crack beneath the soles of my feet Delicate bliss seeps out from the tips. The cactus taunts me. There will be no running. My lips will splinter and bleed, But I will ...

Allen Ginsburg: Walt Whitman’s 20th century reincarnation

Two poems: A Supermarket in California and Homework

A Supermarket in California What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue, ...

Carl Sandburg: immediate heir to Walt Whitman

Poetry untethered by rhyme, meter or regular stanza patterns

Summer Stars Bend low again, night of summer stars. So near you are, sky of summer stars, So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars, Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl, ...