Poetry Sunday: “Unicorn in Captivity,” by Marion Dornell

August 30, 2015 by Rebecca Foust

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From the beginning, I was struck by the voice in the poems. Many were written in persona (spoken by pre-Civil War slaves, people in service of the Underground Railroad, WPA workers and others), but Marion Dornell’s voice rang through them all, pulling the thread that connected poems spanning generations and genders.

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Poetry Sunday: “Mating Season,” by Andrena Zawinski

August 23, 2015 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

The writer of “Mating Season,” Andrena Zawinski, tells me that it “is one of those poems that appears like an unexpected gift that only needs to be accepted, in this case written down.”

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Poetry Sunday: “Necessities,” by Rusty Morrison

August 16, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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This poem is about finding—in the middle of a hectic day in a hectic life—a moment of deep stillness. And about how such moments nourish and allow us to experience silence and to rediscover a place from which creativity can emerge.

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Poetry Sunday: “Anchor,” by Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

August 9, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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We get a glimpse into what the speaker’s life was like when she was 20: joyous, but also with the fear of getting loose and lost. Remembering all that confers perspective and the realization that the anchor is not marriage and motherhood but “the self,” and that being anchored can be a positive thing.

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Poetry Sunday: Susan Terris: ‘Memo Poems’

August 2, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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Susan Terris’s “memo poems” are an example of a “nonce” or made up form—here unrhymed and unmetered couplets with no capitalization and no punctuation. According to Terris, the apparent informality of the poems is “deceptive” and produced work that was, for her “uncharacteristically raw and intimate.”

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Einstein’s Violin,’ and ‘Some Birth Day,’ by Sally Ashton

July 26, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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It took me awhile to get used to the idea of prose poetry—I love rhyme and meter and at first could not imagine poetry without these musical qualities. But reading the prose poems of contemporary poets has opened my ideas to the imaginative possibilities of this form, and I hope that these poems by Sally Ashton will do the same for you.

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Poetry Sunday: “Please Do Not Persist,” by Martha Rhodes

July 19, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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It is obvious almost immediately that the speaker (whose diction has a delightfully Shakespearian bent) “doth protest too much” and clearly does not mean what she is saying; the scope of her renouncements, from visiting beloved places to going out for shampoo, is comically hyperbolic.

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Poetry Sunday: “Sinkhole,” by Heather Altfeld

July 12, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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How remarkable that this poem, crammed with images of destruction, can end with life and its own version of an earned and cautious hope! Love is like a sinkhole that swallows us whole, Heather Altfeld says, and she says it with no little sense of menace. And then she surprises us by concluding that we may as well just take the plunge.

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Poetry Sunday: “The Antipode,” by Susan Griffin

July 5, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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Susan Griffin often writes about the “big issues” like social justice, gender, war, history, philosophy and politics. She wrote today’s poem after seeing the work of Claudia Bernardi, an artist whose passion for human rights and social justice finds expression in collaborative projects with communities that have been the victims of state terror, violence and human rights violations.

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America the Beautiful

July 4, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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It was the glorious view from Pikes Peak, back in 1893, that inspired a poem penned by Catherine Lee Bates that would become our national hymn.

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Poetry Sunday: “When the Heart Dies, It Dies Entire,” by Ginger Murchison

June 28, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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Ginger Murchison’s poem depicts Mars, a mighty racehorse, who runs till his heart bursts. How he is dispensed with afterward, quietly swept off to the side, calls to mind how our society deals with returning veterans and with our aging parents.

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Poetry Sunday: “Father’s Day,” by Susan Browne

June 21, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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I chose this poem for Father’s Day, not for its expression of the hearts-and-flowers sentiments we have come to so loathe. What the poem expresses is unvarnished feeling, a love between father and daughter almost anti-poetic in its expression.

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Poetry Sunday: “The Goods,” by Michelle Bitting

June 14, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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“The Goods” truly delivers what its title promises, celebrating desire and “corporeal feelings”—what is felt, heard, tasted, smelt, and seen by the body evoked in delightful word pairings like “love-weariness” and “kiss-quest.”

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Poetry Sunday: Maudelle Driskell, “The Propaganda of Memory”

June 7, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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It seems to me that the poet wants readers to think about the fallibility of human memory, and how it can be a source of untruth that is more insidious and dangerous than propaganda generated from without.

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Poetry Sunday: “Vinculum,” by Alice Friman

May 31, 2015 by Women's Voices For Change

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Near the end of the poem the speaker’s perspective tilts upward and wonderfully expands, and she is able to apprehend a bond arcing over herself and her son like a stanchionless bridge, the very image of the mathematical symbol that titles this poem.

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