Poetry Sunday: ‘Her Art,’ by LaWanda Walters

July 24, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

The loss in “Her Art” is of a mother’s ring; its broader subject is poetry (or even all art) and the extent to which it can and should be a vessel carrying the grief for human loss.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘The Lost Books’ and ‘Figurines,’ by Lucille Lang Day

July 17, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

I hope you will take a look at the skillful manipulation it takes to work these repeating sentences into new formats with new ideas, and how challenging it can be to find repetends that make sense both on their own and also when finally linked in the last couplet. It’s a challenging form to do well, but many poets take comfort in knowing that once they’ve come up with those two repeating lines, their villanelle is nearly half finished.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Yellow Fields,’ by Alison Luterman

July 10, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

This week’s poem is another affirming the value of human relationship and commitment.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Shock,’ by Natalia Treviño

July 3, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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In a series of poems about amazement and refreshing love, I focused on the idea of shock I encounter almost every day. There is no other word for it. I really am living in a state of shock. The poem talks about why. It is sad that I feel shock, but what a way to enjoy love in a marriage, as a daily surprise.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘They Come the Way Flowers Do,’ by Jennifer Grotz

June 26, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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This week’s poem about an incident in nature—an encounter with butterflies—is more in line with the traditional nature poem, but a close reading shows that it is, in its own way, also subversive.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Staff Sgt. Metz,’ by Dorianne Laux

June 19, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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The most powerful political poems are those that actually implicate the speaker and thereby the readers themselves. Today’s is one such poem.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Clean,’ by Jayne Benjulian

June 12, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

I love that a woman poet has taken a form invented by men and made it her own, bending the rules to suit her aesthetic purpose and writing about an experience so many women have had. Who among us has not surreptitiously tried on our mother’s, sister’s, or aunt’s bra?

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Poetry Sunday: “I Want to Write a Poem to Celebrate,” by Maria Mazziotti Gillan

June 5, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

I found this poem last fall while reading Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s collected works and knew immediately I wanted it for Father’s Day. I’m always looking for poems that celebrate the spirit of such holidays without giving in to Hallmark stereotypes, and this is one: brimming with love for a remembered father but not tainted by sentimentality.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘How to Triumph Like a Girl’ by Ada Limón

May 29, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

Is this a feminist poem?

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Anti-Pastoral,’ by Vievee Francis

May 22, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

What began as a protest against the pastoral tradition ends up as a new or alternative form of pastoral that can do what is needed here: powerfully convey a message about social justice. This poem gives me hope that language and literature are flexible enough to be adapted to our culture’s changing needs.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Prayer,’ by Francesca Bell

May 15, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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I wrote “Prayer” as a note to myself, as a declaration of intention to lean on as I make my way through my forties and beyond. So much of our cultural conversation about aging involves denial, and avoidance, and a strange sort of shame. I want to engage directly with time’s passing and with what happens to my body as living uses it up.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Mozart’s Mother’s Bones,’ by Robin Ekiss

May 8, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

Even the best mother-daughter relationships are necessarily tormented with issues of dependence versus independence, identity formation, role reversal, competition, and impossible desire. Some give rise to poems like today’s: fraught, even agonized at times, but also honest and still holding a place for love.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Sins of Grammar & Usage,’ by Ellen Doré Watson

May 1, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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“Sins of Grammar & Usage” is free verse, three stanzas of nine lines of roughly equal length except that the last line in each stanza is about half the length of the others. I love the poem for its heightened use of and very canny look at language; that is, words and the grammar and syntax that govern how those words are used.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Variations on an Old Standard,’ by A. E. Stallings

April 24, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

A. E. Stallings is well known for her remarkable, seemingly effortless mastery of formal poetry as well as for her much-praised Latin and Greek translations.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Nursery Rhyme,’ by Meredith Bergmann

April 17, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

Today’s poem is so well beautifully crafted that I think it would do for anyone (not just those whose lives have been touched by autism) what all great poems do: deeply move and make us see something in the world in a new way.

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