In this P.O.P (poets on poetry) video on the Academy of American Poets’ site, Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith reads a section from her poem “My God, It’s Full of Stars,” Seamus Heaney’s “Digging,” and discusses whether poetry should address political issues.
And to Sleep
and what we
sense if not
of our selves
or within this
space we contain
may be of
no thing touched
by one’s fluttering
eye as if
awake we see
even less the
dreams of course
real though we
hold them only
in our sleep
Another poem from the 80s. “And to Sleep” first appeared here in February 2015.
no feature enhanced
but beauty of
the whole and
its container the
tree is not
deprived and grows
as it must
though slowly like
a wave which
gathers itself for
years there is
no completion only
process a lapse
which presumes the
most delicate design
Originally published in Aileron in 1988, “Bonsai” appeared on the blog in December 2014.
Music Credit: Cool Vibes Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
December Moon (1999)
If loneliness breathes,
then rain is its heart,
always falling to its lowest point
before receding. Water graces us
daily in all its forms – the slowest
drop, the line of ice on the wall,
your breath, so soft and even
in the cool night. But no one,
no thing, can fill the void of
departure. You exhale and turn
away, and the air, with its empty
arms, embraces the space
you’ve left. I feel this daily,
whenever we part. At forty-one
I’ve known you half my life
but have loved you even longer,
through the millennium’s demise
and all that preceded or follows.
The brightest moon for a century to come
is but a shadow in your light.
This first appeared on the blog in October 2015. It’s hard to believe that I wrote “December Moon” nearly eighteen years ago. Busy with books, work and life, I didn’t write much in the nineties. But this, the last poem of that decade, recently surfaced. The sentiments are as true today as they were then. I am a lucky man.
Mary Tang’s translation, with recording in Cantonese!
Welcome to “Sunday Compulsion,” in which creatives answer one question: Why do I create? Poet Devi S. Laskar kicks off this new weekly feature.
I’ve been writing poems since I was 9 years old. It’s who I am: a poet. I write nonfiction and I write short stories and novels and I do so because I have this desire to communicate. I am interested in all kinds of forms. And I love to read, which is probably why I live to write. I’m trying to write the stories and the poems I haven’t read yet.
Devi S. Laskar is a native of Chapel Hill, N.C. She holds an MFA from Columbia University in New York, an MA in South Asian Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA in journalism and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former newspaper reporter, she is now a poet, photographer and artist. Her photographs include the cover of The Florida Review; and in the pages of Tiferet Journal and Blue Heron Review. Her art can be found currently on the cover of L.A. based Las Lunas Locas poetry anthology. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Blue Heron Review, which nominated her for Best of the Net 2016 & The Raleigh Review, which nominated her for Best New Poets 2016. She is an alumna of both TheOpEdProject and VONA/Voices, and served as a Tupelo Press’ 30/30 Project poet in December 2015. She is also an alumna of Hedgebrook, and poetry workshops at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. In 2016, she won first prize in poetry at the 27th Mendocino Coast Writers Conference contest. Finishing Line Press published the first of two chapbooks, “Gas & Food, No Lodging” in March 2017; and will publish “Anastasia Maps” later this year. She now lives in California.
Read this review!
Read and listen to her poem “Unanswered, Untranslatable”
To learn more about Devi, visit her website, which includes links to her artaday, essays, and various publications her work has appeared in.
And this podcast.
I’m still experimenting with recording. Here’s “Scarecrow Remembers,” which was first published at The High Window in December 2016.
You are the name
Excerpt from “To the Light Entering the Shack One December Evening,” in From Every Moment a Second, available for prepublication order via Finishing Line Press. The poem first appeared in Shantih, in December 2016.