Charlottesville has me thinking about poems of the Civil War that center black experiences. Poems from the Civil War canon are usually heavy on Whitman, Dickinson, or folk songs. The following three texts should satisfy anyone who wants to read beyond “O Captain, My Captain.”
There were many ways, surely, for poets to suggest sadness or calm aside from merely the subject matter. Could the idea of a poet’s palette be pushed further—could poets work visually on the page without color to achieve some of the same effects that color would?
Recently, I began thinking how some of the poems I love most evoke this sense of motion; in particular, I began thinking about two pieces about the act of climbing: Langston Hughes’s “Mother to Son” and Carl Phillips’s “The Pinnacle.”
Excommunicated from the movement by Andre Breton, Desnos is at once an artist who troubles the traditional narrative of surrealism and who embodies most wholly some of its most important tenets.
What is the goal of poetry? Is it to make music with language? To express feeling? To make an argument? It’s likely, for any given poet, to be at least one of these things—and possibly all.
In the brief back-cover description of Lauren Berry’s The Lifting Dress, we read: “Set in a feverish swamp town in Florida, The Lifting Dress enters the life of a teenage girl the day after she has been raped.”
When Thomas Lux died on February 5th, I thought a lot about what made his poems so resonant. Although there are numerous craft elements I could point to, it seems to me that their central quality is so often a large-heartedness that is difficult to describe, but unmistakable to
Last week, the House Freedom Caucus released a list of 232 regulations it recommends that Donald Trump overturn when he gets into office. The Caucus recommends overturning OSHA’s Silica Rule, which “engineers controls to keep workers from breathing silica dust.” Their reasoning? The rule “drastically impacts the construction industry.”
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about interrogating gender in poetry, and I’m especially interested in the work of three trans poets that use a wild arsenal of strategies to unsettle notions of gender and sexuality.
I was at a lecture recently about The Iliad—that beloved epic gorefest—when the scholar discussing the text referred to its author as “DJ Homer.” It wasn’t so much that Homer composed the text of The Iliad, he said. It was more that he remixed old stories that had been