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Poetry Foundation
Poems, readings, poetry news and the entire 100-year archive of POETRY magazine.
poetry  literature  magazine 
10 hours ago by dualhammers
The Snow Man BY WALLACE STEVENS
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 is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
poetry  listening 
yesterday by ingenu
‘April’ by Sandra Simonds
The red bird falls from the tree, lands on

its head, rolls

right back up on its feet. Hello, spring.

Hello, sanity. Hello, trashfire century.

Hello, wilted leaves and gothic vines.

How are you doing today?

I will water the thyme.

I will make miniature succulents out of clay.

I will bake you the most beautiful loaf of bread,

eat half of it, and give the other half

to whatever nothing I can find, pretend

you are mine. Oh, how are you doing?
poetry 
yesterday by matthewmcvickar
We were made for these times
My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.



You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.



I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.



Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.



In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.



We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?



Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.



What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.



One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.



Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.



The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.



By Clarissa Pinkola Estes
poetry  inspiration  encouragement 
yesterday by whatithunk
Friends reunited: Clive James and the New Statesman
A moving note about the poetry of Clive James' final years.
poetry 
2 days ago by nwlinks
Anglo-Saxon Poetry
Rutgers has translated about 80% of the existing Anglo-Saxon works, many of which are about religious topics. For example, there are retellings of Genesis and Exodus as epic poems, just like Beowolf or the Iliad and the Odyssey. I don’t think any of them approach novel-length. Most should be fairly short.

In addition to Genesis and Exodus, there’s lots of other stuff — several other books of the Bible, “Homiletic fragments” (aka sermon excerpts), “Juliana” (about the martyrdom of a Roman virgin—I’m really looking forward to reading it.)

I’d encourage you to at least check out whichever work seems the most interesting to you. I find that seeing familiar stories from the perspective of a new culture (well, ok, a very old culture in this case) can help me reengage with a familiar Bible story directly instead of falling back on what I’ve already learned about it. After you hear a passage discussed a couple of times (in sermons, Sunday School lessons, Bible studies, quiet times, articles, etc.), you get a feel for the standard interpretation of its meaning — including any standard points of disagreement. (Or at least I do.) And while those interpretations are broadly right, culture inevitably seeps in around the edges. If nothing else, it affects what themes we notice first and what kinds of guidance we are most receptive to. It’s hard to notice where our own culture influences our faith (does a fish think about water?), but where Anglo-Saxon culture influences their faith in these poems will jump out at you.

(Also, Anglo-Saxon writers prized drama in their storytelling and succinct but inventive comparisons in their descriptions, so it’s just fun to read once you get into it.)
history  poetry  epics  Old_Stuff 
3 days ago by julianabright
What Would Root by Katie Farris | Poetry Magazine
it was May, it was May, and the air was sweet
with pine and Island Mountain lilac. The squirrels,
I mentioned them already, etc, and the lizards
ran down the spines of rocks like a bad feeling. I
could see everything: red-headed hummingbirds
dipped their beaks into the little red hoods of penstemon,
and I, a redhead, could hear everything: a red-crested
woodpecker, who was not offended I did not know his name.
poetry  farris 
3 days ago by epaulettes

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