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Poetry

Poetry Sunday: “Migrant Earth,” by Deema Shehabi

By Rebecca Foust
Left explicitly unsaid but everywhere in the poem is the speaker’s terrible grief for her loss and also perhaps a roil of sorrow, regret, and even anger about what her mother had to endure during her life. That these emotions are hinted at but not stated is part of the power of “Migrant Earth.”
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Poetry

Poetry Sunday: “Sieve,” by April Ossmann

By Rebecca Foust
“Sieve” begins, as all good poems should, with an attention-grabbing first line, “Young men seem all edges,” and then ups the interest ante with two delightful and apt similes, “shoulders like shelves” and my favorite, “bellies like slides / to the most obvious / of pleasures.” That’s a sly, possibly punning allusion to sex, of course, and one I haven’t seen before but that feels just right.
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Poetry

Poetry Sunday: “The Way Back,” by Francine Sterle

By Susan Cohen
Francine Sterle’s “The Way Back” enchanted me from the first time I read it. First, her lush lyricism. Then, the poem’s payoff, an ending that is emotional without being the least bit sentimental. What draws me back again and again, though, is the way she controls breath on the page.
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Poetry

Poetry Sunday: “En Route to Bolinas, A Rose,” by Brenda Hillman

By Rebecca Foust
“En Route to Bolinas, A Rose” takes us on a journey that is spiritual as well as physical that leads us to the edge of a precipice, offering a glimpse into the darkness and mystery of the terrible eternal. That it does this by mimicking the action of human thought in a poem that feels light, vivid, and as fresh as a watercolor still on the easel to dry, is its genius.
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Poetry

Poetry Sunday: “Nothing Gold,” by Ethna McKiernan

By Rebecca Foust
Today’s poem is a sad one, but in it the speaker’s great love for her father shines through, and that makes it beautiful. In telling her story, the speaker shows how well she has been taught by her father, and his great love for literature lives on in her person and writing, a living legacy and a wonderful poem for Father’s Day.
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Poetry

Poetry Sunday: “Let Them Not Say,” by Jane Hirshfield

By Rebecca Foust
Whether or not we share the chagrin and distress felt by the speaker in “Let Them Not Say,” we are all undeniably part of a generation that will be judged by future generations. We all have skin in this game. That is a powerful message, regardless of which side of the current political controversy you now occupy.
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Poetry

Poetry Sunday: “Mutanabbi Steet, Baghdad,” by Julie Bruck

By Rebecca Foust
In “Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad," the focus is on the human loss in the bombing, and the message is personal and painful. In 20 free verse lines, the poem takes us to Al-Mutanabbi street after the blast, in the company of a father searching for the remains of a son who’d gone there to shop for a writing notebook.
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