January 29th 2016
On this day in 1845 Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" was first published. It appeared in the New York Evening Mirror. Over at Share This is a brief post about the poem and its cultural impact. Below is a dramatic reading of the poem by Christopher Walken. And below that is another reading by Vincent Price. And below that is my favorite.
January 26th 2015
Due to snow. To pass a little of the time, read this poem by Wallace Stevens, because I like it. The Snow Man One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to think Of any misery in the sound of the wind, In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the land Full of the same wind That... Read Post
May 28th 2014
It is with great sadness that the world learned today of the passing of poet, memoirist, and American icon Maya Angelou. Among Angelou's works are seven autobiographies, including the seminal I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, collections of poetry (And Still I Rise, I Shall Not Be Moved, Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women, and many more), and personal essays, such as Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now. Maya Angelou was a highly acclaimed artist, civil rights activist, and... Read Post
April 23rd 2014
    Today is 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.  It is also a rainy day, and a day that falls within National Poetry Month.  So without further ado, I give you a rain-themed poem by Shakespeare:       When that I was and a little tiny boy, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, A foolish thing was but a toy, For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came to man's estate, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate For the... Read Post
April 9th 2014
April 10th-13th is  the 14th annual  Boston National Poetry Month Festival, hosted primarily by the Boston Public Library in partnership with Tapestry of Voices and the Kaji Aso Studio. The Festival begins on Thursday evening, April 10th, with a program of Poetry, Music & Dance at Old South Church, produced by Berklee College of Music professor, Lucy Holstedt.  Friday, April 11, National Book Award winner David Ferry is just one of 15 prominent “Keynote Poets” reading in the Commonwealth... Read Post
January 11th 2014
Incompatibilities If you loved me I could trust you to your fancy’s furthest bound While the sun shone and the wind blew, and the world went round, To the utmost of the meshes of the devil’s strongest net . . . If you loved me, if you loved me—but you do not love me yet! I love you—and I cannot trust you further than the door! But winds and worlds and seasons change, and you will love me more And more—until I trust you, dear, as women do trust men— I shall trust you, I shall trust you, but I... Read Post
December 31st 2013
New Year's Day-- everything is in blossom! I feel about average.      Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) New Year's Day-- everything is in blossom! I feel about average. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5889#sthash.6qXeBlLU.dpuf
December 21st 2013
                  A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day, Being the Shortest Day By John Donne 'Tis the year's midnight, and it is the day's, Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;          The sun is spent, and now his flasks          Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;                 The world's whole sap is sunk; The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk, Whither, as to the bed's feet, life is shrunk, Dead and interr'd; yet all these seem to laugh, Compar'd with... Read Post
August 9th 2013
Another Shark Week is drawing to a close, and a fine one it was, in spite of being marred by a spurious "documentary" and competition from a cat. And while sharks get all the publicity, I have been reminded by a co-worker that it's important to acknowledge the other members of the superorder of cartilaginous fishes. And if  you're sad that Shark Week is over, perhaps you can take a vacation to a town where every week is Shark Week.       I send you into the weekend with a poem: The Shark... Read Post
July 24th 2013

  by Siegfried Sassoon

In the grey summer garden I shall find you   With day-break and the morning hills behind you.   There will be rain-wet roses; stir of wings;   And down the wood a thrush that wakes and sings.   Not from the past you'll come, but from that deep Where beauty murmurs to the soul asleep:   And I shall know the sense of life re-born   From dreams into the mystery of morn   Where gloom and brightness meet. And... Read Post
July 12th 2013
"Observation" by Dorothy Parker If I don't drive around the park, I'm pretty sure to make my mark. If I'm in bed each night by ten, I may get back my looks again, If I abstain from fun and such, I'll probably amount to much, But I shall stay the way I am, Because I do not give a damn.
July 4th 2013
  The Gift Outright BY ROBERT FROST The land was ours before we were the land’s. She was our land more than a hundred years Before we were her people. She was ours In Massachusetts, in Virginia, But we were England’s, still colonials, Possessing what we still were unpossessed by, Possessed by what we now no more possessed. Something we were withholding made us weak Until we found out that it was ourselves We were withholding from our land of living, And forthwith found salvation in... Read Post
December 27th 2011
Burning the Christmas Greens by William Carlos Williams Their time past, pulled down cracked and flung to the fire --go up in a roar All recognition lost, burnt clean clean in the flame, the green dispersed, a living red, flame red, red as blood wakes on the ash-- and ebbs to a steady burning the rekindled bed become a landscape of flame At the winter's midnight we went to the trees, the coarse holly, the balsam and the hemlock for their green At the thick of the dark the moment of the... Read Post
December 21st 2011
The Camel's Hump

The Camel's hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump-
Cameelious hump-
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our... Read Post
November 23rd 2011

Our mother has given away our meal to an elderly woman three houses down, her husband passing some time in the night. With the woman's children already

en route, my mother swaddled our turkey in aluminum foil, stacked the tins of buttered rolls, and sealed casseroles beneath glass-top lids. As the assailable son,

I was enlisted at once, carrying over dish upon dish, my brother and his bride allowed to sleep in. I expected to see the postures of... Read Post