Category Archives: poetry

Why I prefer to read a poem than hear it recited

When I was a  very young boy, I was an obsessive reader of Charles Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts. Not only did I read it as soon as the daily paper arrived, but I cut out every strip and pasted it in a scrapbook, with a whole page reserved for the big Sunday color strip.  The […]

An algebraic limerick

by Matthew Cobb Spotted on Tw*tter. I’ll give the source later, along with the explanation. Post your explanations below. If you know the answer already, please refrain from posting – if you work it out, go ahead! [EDIT: The correct answer appears in the first comment below! If you want to spend some time working […]

“Metamorphosis” by Wallace Stevens

Since November has arrived, I’ll take this opportunity to post one of my favorite Wallace Stevens poems. My absolute favorite is “Peter Quince at the Clavier“, but this one is more is appropriate as it expresses both the change of seasons and the degeneration of nature, ending with a completely disordered month. Metamorphosis by Wallace Stevens Yillow, yillow, […]

Facing dismissal, distinguished teacher resigns after reciting lurid Allan Ginsburg poem in class

David Olio, a Connecticut high-school English teacher, has resigned rather than face being fired after reading a racy Allen Ginsburg poem to his class.  Olio not only teaches AP (Advanced Placement) English, but won Connecticut’s highest award for teaching excellence. You can read the poem,  “Please Master,” here.  There’s no doubt that it’s salacious, but it’s also likely […]

Google Doodle celebrates Langston Hughes

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life of Langston Hughes (1902-1967), author and poet, who would have been 113 years old today had he lived. The Doodle is especially good today—animated, and with music. You can see it by either clicking on the screenshot below, or, if that doesn’t work for non-USers, watch the YouTube video […]

Poems from a boy who didn’t grow up

I’ve just learned that there will be no internet where I’m staying for the next 11 days, so, barring a fortuitous Starbucks or any establishment with free internet, you won’t hear from me for a while. I’ve asked my emissaries to keep things going as best they can, so keep the faith. And here’s the […]

I saw a bunny!

It is about 20ºF this morning (-7°C), the squirrels are tucked into their nests, and, as I walked to work in the dark, a bunny (Sylvilagus floridanus)  ran across my path. The iPhone picture I took in darkness (too far away for the flash to have much effect) shows a glowing eye on an otherwise unidentifiable lump: It […]

It’s Dylan Thomas’s 100th birthday

How could I not realize that the several articles on Dylan Thomas that appeared over the last few days weren’t just a coincidence? In fact, they weren’t: had he lived, Thomas would be 100 years old today (and the day is already over in Wales). As it is, Thomas made it only to the age of 39, having drunk […]

Coco’s new bed

Reader Darrelle Ernst brightened my day with an email about his sybaritic cat Coco, which looks to be a Burmese: My wife and I have a prized bowl, hand carved from a single piece of marble by an Italian artisan, that we bought years ago. When our children were born we stored the bowl to keep it safe. […]

We wercynn scopes thrym gefrunon, hu se bard ellen fremede!

by Greg Mayer Ireland provided a large share of the great literature in English of the late 19th and 20th centuries– Joyce, Yeats, Beckett, Shaw, Wilde, O’Casey, Synge– a share out of proportion to it’s size. Last week, one of its most recent bright literary lights, Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), died in Dublin at the age […]