poem index

poems & poets

Search over 2,500 poet biographies, over 7,000 poems, as well as essays about poetry, and some of the most important books, anthologies, and textbooks about the art form ever written. To search by keyword, use the search bar above.

poems

poem

My river was once unseparated. Was Colorado. Red-
fast flood. Able to take

       anything it could wet—in a wild rush—

                                 all the way to Mexico.

Now it is shattered by fifteen dams
over one-thousand four-hundred and fifty miles,

poem

for Philip Levine

Donald Justice has died twice:
once in Miami, in the sun, on a Sunday,
and once in Iowa City, on a Friday
in August, which was not without
its own sunif not

poem
I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in
2

texts

text
Archival Images
2013

In 1955, Sylvia Plath, who was then a student at Smith College, typed up a group of poems on onion skin paper and mailed them to the Academy of American Poets in New York City to be considered for one of its College Poetry Prizes. Founded in 1934, the Academy has recognized young poets for much of its history, and today awards more than 200 prizes to poets in undergraduate programs across the U.S.

Plath's poems won. Uplifted and inspired by the recognition, she wrote a letter to thank the donor, Mr. Harrison Eudy, who had endowed the prize in memory of his mother, an aspiring poet herself. "After this fruitful year," Plath wrote to Eudy, "I know that writing poetry will always be the richest, most rewarding part of a full maturing life."



During the next seven years staff at the Academy of American Poets and Plath remained in contact as her poetry life quickly blossomed. In 1961, Elizabeth Kray, the Director of the Academy at the time, invited Plath

text
Poetic Terms/Forms
2014

repetition: Repetition—the use of the same term several times—is one of the crucial elements in poetry. “Repetition in word and phrase and in idea is the very essence of poetry,” Theodore Roethke writes in “Some Remarks on Rhythm” (1960). It is one of the most marked features of all poetry, oral and written, one of the primary ways we distinguish poetry itself. Repetition, as in rhyme, is a strong mnemonic device. Oral poets especially use it for remembering structures. The incantatory magic of poetry—think of spells and chants, of children’s rhymes and lullabies—has something to do with recurrence, with things coming back to us in time, sometimes in the same way, sometimes differently. Repetition is the primary way of creating a pattern through rhythm. Meaning accrues through repetition. One of the deep fundamentals of poetry is the recurrence of sounds, syllables, words, phrases, lines, and stanzas. Repetition can be one of the most intoxicating features of poetry. It creates

text
Essays
1991

I celebrate myself
And what I shall assume you shall assume
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul
I lean and loafe at my ease … observing a spear of summer grass.

 

If you put the thoughts expressed in these opening lines of “Song of Myself” into ordinary speech, they are rather flat and uninteresting:

I myself am what I am celebrating; and everything that I am, you are also, since you and I are both made out of the same materials I’m really taking it easy, lying around and communing with my soul, while I look at a blade of grass.

Whitman’s lines don’t rhyme and they have no regular meter. There must be other things about them that make them so interesting and suggestive and exciting to read. These things, of course, are the words and the ways Whitman puts them together. By looking closely at these words and uses, one may be able to get closer to the mystery of poetry, of Whitman’s in any

books

book
Poetry Book
2010
Juvenilia by Ken Chen
book
Poetry Book
2015
I Must Be Living Twice by Eileen Myles
book
Poetry Book
2016
So Much Synth by Brenda Shaughnessy