And the crucial distinctions: are you writing to be loved or to discover?
I do know that intention isn’t worth a damn when making poems, and that one line triggers the next.
Her poems sing the
connections of what we often take as opposites--animals and humans,
physical and spiritual, darkness and light, the living and the dead.
Of course, the Blythes were also forced to Oklahoma after their job was done.
It’s difficult for my Cherokee heritage not to pop up in my poems.
Each day, we read poems that I brought to class, not just the ones inside the textbook, since students didn’t always relate to the more traditional choices.
I didn’t set out to write a collection of memoir poems, but when I was assembling a full-length book, I noticed that a large number of my poems were based upon memories or family stories.
His first collection of poems, Invisible Tea, is a meditative and beautifully crafted book that works its magic with warmth, wit and keen observation.
His free verse poems have been published in Tar River Poetry, Sou’wester, Blue Earth Review, South Dakota Review, and Flying Island.
Her work has been published in numerous journals, including The Southern Indiana Review, Nimrod, and The Comstock Review. Linda’s poems and fiction have also been included in a number of anthologies, including Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperCollins), And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (Indiana Historical Society), Storm Country, and Lost on Route 66: Tales of the Mother Road (Gondwana Press).
Cezanne spent days at the Louvre and filled twenty some notebooks with drawings of paintings and sculptures that he admired. He copied Velazquez, Michelangelo, Rubens. He taught himself composition this way, and how to use color. Manet and Berte Morisot met while they were at the Louvre copying paintings. When I taught myself to write in blank verse, I used Robert Frost’s poem “Birches” as a kind of cookie cutter—not just for the sound of the lines, but also for the way he was able to turn the ordinary world into something extraordinary. Another poet I used to imitate, because I loved his smoothness and elegance, was Donald Justice. Other poets I like to read when I want to freshen my ear and eye are Ted Kooser, Wislawa Szymborska, Elizabeth Bishop, Billy Collins, Robert Hayden, and Francis Ponge.
Read lots of poetry!
My two favorite cities are Bloomngton, Indiana, and Venice, Italy. In both cities I can walk everywhere I want to go. In Bloomington, I especially like Bryan Park, the Waldron Art Center, the Courthouse Square, 4th Street with all the restaurants, Pygmalion’s Art Supply where you can pet cats, Sahara Mart, and the beautiful campus with its woods and water meadows.
I sense incoming waves even in the rich musicality of the language—patterns of assonance and alliteration so lovely I find myself reading his poems aloud. How fortunate that someone who loved the Atlantic coastline of his boyhood found a shoreline to explore and treasure when he moved to Northern Indiana thirty years ago—fortuitous for him and for us.
On Saturday, September 10th at 6 p.m., you're invited to hear Edward and several other
poets read poems inspired by the Indiana Dunes on the outdoor deck of the Paul H.
I usually determine the genre in advance, but sometimes a poem will steal the subject I’ve been saving for a story. That happened with the three princes. I was saving them for a story but a poem got to them first. I’ve learned to never hold anything back—I’m a spendthrift when I write, using up everything I’ve got on hand.
Imitation forces you to look at the structure of the poems you admire—it allows you to study the way they are put together so that you can internalize the process and use it later on your own material. Painters have always done this.
But this March
A long-tailed weasel peers around a log
Alert for the first stir of new-born mice.
The elephant seal's grey and battered head
Dominates April, and at once I know
Why something pulls my eyelid down and down
As if a bit of lead weighted the fold--
When Menelaos wrestled the god Proteus
Through all his transformations, lion and snake,
Leopard, and soaking water and cypress tree,
He hugged at last Proteus' final shape:
A huge seal, rank and sorrowful,
Who croaked the tale of Agamemnon's death.
The whitetail fawn representing May
Stares at her photographer in terror
As if she knows the out-of-focus woods
(Flattened by the telephoto lens
Into the pure green of one dimension)
Will deepen in a moment, glade by glade,
For the passage of her natural enemies.
In June the sober posture of five owls,
Once sacred to Athena, marked with wisdom,
Convinces me that on our literal earth
No libation poured upon the ground
Could draw a goddess down to intervene
In any contest: The owls wait drowsily
For seasonable prey to brave the twilight.
Inside the large square for every month
Each day's a smaller square, and inside that
I might imagine space for hours and minutes,
The minutes filled with tiny second squares
Presided over by the one-celled creatures
Who live inside a drop of water, absorbing
The substance of the water as they swim.
But that perspective makes my room waver:
I focus on the emblem for July,
The curve of antler on the caribou
Against the blue slope of distant glacier,
Finding hope in the grandeur of background,
And in the grasping pose of brown bears
Possibly dancing in the August river.
And now the Eastern brown pelican,
Pressed into abstract shape, his round eye
The center of the pattern he can't see,
Introduces the month of my birthday.
I've seen omens in the visible world
Even since the clown on my pink cake
Caught fire as I blew out the candles
Trying to get my wish.