Donald Hall was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2006-2007. The following selection is from “An Airstrip in Essex, 1960”.
It is a lost road into the air
It is a desert
among sugar beets.
The tiny wings
of the Spitfires of nineteen forty-one
sink under mud in the Channel.
Near the road a brick pillbox
totters under a load of grass,
where Home Guards waited
in the white fogs of the invasion winter.
Good night, old ruined war.
In Poland the wind rides on a jagged wall.
Smoke rises from the stones; no, it is mist.
Rita Dove has released 10 volumes of poetry. This selection is from the poem “The Musician Talks About Process”
When I go into Philly
on a Saturday night,
I don’t need nothing but
my spoons and the music.
Laid out on my knees
they look so quiet,
but when I pick them up
I can play to anything:
a dripping faucet,
fish shining in a creek.
This selection is taken from the poem “Orson”
Orson Welles has been my philosopher
for the last few weeks now and if he’s just a
phenomenon and doesn’t really have a system
as Spinoza did or Anaxagorus, he
at least is consistent even if some of the things
he talks about are immensely unimportant
except to actors maybe or gossipmongers.
Marilyn Chin is a Chinese American poet. Wiki tells me this is her fourth collection of poetry.
If a black man could be president
Could a white man be his slave?
Could a sinner enter heaven
By uttering his name?
If the terminator is my governor
Could a cowboy be my king?
When shall the cavalry enter Deadwood
And save my prince?
An exo-cannibal eats her enemies
Am indo-cannibal eats her friends
I’d rather starve myself silly
Than to make amends
Blood on the altar Blood on the lamb
Blood on the chalice
Not symbolic but fresh
This is Walker’s 10th volume of poetry, and was published in 2013.
If my sorrow were deeper
I’d be, along with you, under
the ocean’s floor;
but today I learn that the oil
that pools beneath the ocean floor
of all our
our ancestors who have died and turned to oil
without our witness
We’ve always belonged to them.
Speaking for you, hanging, weeping, over the water’s edge
as well as for myself.
It is our grief
us, however resistant,
to the decaying and rotten
bottom of things:
our grief bringing
Dog Songs by Mary Oliver is for all dog lovers. These poems try to capture all that we love about our longtime canine companions. This is a very sweet and lovely book.
A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
This is exactly the kind of Baltimore ephemera (especially in book form) that I live for. Hyman Pressman was the comptroller of Baltimore from 1963-1991. I don’t have any memories of him since he was before my time but, he seemed like quite the character.
For the purpose of this post, he was a compulsive verse writer. At the drop of a hat he would pen a few lines to commemorate an event, a person, and his sports teams.
Watchdog came out in 1977. Pressman died in 1996 (obit)
CITY HALL’S HUNDREDTH BIRTHDAY
Our City Hall is a hundred years old.
They claim the dome was never sold.
With so much hot air, it’s none too soon.
To put it all in a hot-air balloon.