Ohara Hale’s delightful illustrations of Denise Levertov’s poems.
via Brain Pickings
Here it is for pre-order.
One hundred poems. One hundred voices. One hundred different points of view.
Here is a cross-section of American poetry as it is right now—full of grit and love, sparkling with humor, searing the heart, smashing through boundaries on every page. Please Excuse This Poem features one hundred acclaimed younger poets from truly diverse backgrounds and points of view, whose work has appeared everywhere from The New Yorker to Twitter, tackling a startling range of subjects in a startling range of poetic forms. Dealing with the aftermath of war; unpacking the meaning of “the rape joke”; sharing the tender moments at the start of a love affair: these poems tell the world as they see it.
Editors Brett Fletcher Lauer and Lynn Melnick have crafted a book that is a must-read for those wanting to know the future of poetry. With an introduction from award-winning poet, editor, and translator Carolyn Forché, Please Excuse This Poem has the power to change the way you look at the world. It is The Best American Nonrequired Reading—in poetry form.
When the corpse revived at the funeral,
The outraged mourners killed it; and the soul
Of the revenant passed into the body
Of the poet because it had more to say.
He sat down at the piano no one could play
Called Messiah, or The Regulator of the World,
Which had stood for fifty years, to my…
The Conversation by Lauren Shapiro
There is always a woman eating a sandwich.
Today she is large as everything
that wasn’t said. It is ham and cheese.
Who cares. You’re watching me, she seems
to say. Being alone is unlike a chess move.
It is unlike hanging out at the bowling alley
with Dale Hickey. A hundred stuffed animals
the size of a fist and I can’t make the claw catch.
Turkey, says Dale Hickey. The lights
are making turkey shapes all over
the place.Turkey. I heard you.
The woman has finished eating her sandwich
and is on to another one. Now she is tiny
as a shrimp. She is eating the smallest
egg salad sandwich in the world. I think,
Maybe I will speak to her. But she does it first.
I’ve wanted to talk to you for ages, she says,
but instead I keep eating all these sandwiches.
I know, I say. And I keep going to the bowling alley
with Dale Hickey. It’s been hell.
Read what the author has to say about the poem.
“Picasso drew this portrait of the French Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), and another of his friend Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), on the endpapers to an edition of Mallarmé’s poetry." (1945)
The duende, then, is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. I have heard an old maestro of the guitar say, ‘The duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet.’ Meaning this: it is not a question of ability, but of true, living style, of blood, of the most ancient culture, of spontaneous creation.
Federico García Lorca, born June 5, 1898.
Portrait of poet Lorine Niedecker & photograph of her cabin (ca. 1967 & 1986) taken by Johnathan Williams. We have the portrait of her hanging in the PSA offices!
via Yale Library
Maya Angelou in San Francisco, at the time of the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1970.
“Surimono are privately published woodblock prints, usually commissioned by individual poets or poetry groups as a form of New Year’s greeting card. The poems, most commonly kyōka (witty thirty-one syllable verse), inscribed on the prints usually include felicitous imagery connected with spring.”
Elizabeth Bishop & her cat, Minnow (1938)
Thanks to Yale Library