Feliz cumple, Nicanor Parra

Feliz cumple, Nicanor Parra

Today is Chilean poet Nicanor Parra’s 100th birthday. He is among the most important Latin American poets of the 20th century, up there with César…

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Rae Armantrout, "Dark Matter"

Rae Armantrout, “Dark Matter”

Dark Matter 1 Who am I to experience a burst of star formation? I know this — after the first rush of enthusiasm any idea recedes…

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I always think of UCLA campus when I think of eucalyptus.

Joseph Massey, “Last Spring”

When I teach my students to close read poetry, I like to demonstrate using Ezra Pound’s famous poem “In a Station of the Metro,” which…

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"Goddess" by Galen Dara

“When God Was a Woman” by Carmen Giménez Smith

A poem title to catch your attention. This poem comes from one of my favorite contemporary poets, Carmen Giménez Smith, who teaches at New Mexico State…

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Tennyson (left) and Arthur Henry Hallam (right)

Poetry and Revelation: Tennyson’s “In Memoriam A.H.H. 54”

K and I had our fourth child on June 30th. He’s a healthy and sweet baby, but the delivery was slightly more difficult than with our…

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Drawing Circles

Drawing Circles

When I was in high school my dad clipped a passage for me from a book or newspaper. I don’t remember where he got it,…

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Our Number 4

Elizabeth Alexander, “Baby”

K is eight months pregnant with our fourth child. She told me this morning that she dreamed the child came out as big our three-year-old…

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Czeslaw Milosz, "A Story"

Czeslaw Milosz, “A Story”

I have to thank my good friend from LA, Peter J., for introducing me to the work of Czeslaw Milosz, a Polish poet who won the…

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César Vallejo's "Piedra Negra Sobre Una Piedra Blanca"

César Vallejo’s “Piedra Negra Sobre Una Piedra Blanca”

My daughters like to a play a game in which they propose two different modes of death and ask which one is preferable, as in,…

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Gerard Manley Hopkins's "Pied Beauty"

Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “Pied Beauty”

I love this poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins: Pied Beauty Glory be to God for dappled things –    For skies of couple-colour as a brinded…

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