Poetry poems/ page 4 of 55 /
Life becomes more complicated every day, and each of us can control only so much of what happens. As for the rest? Poet Thomas R. Smith of Wisconsin offers some practical advice.
It's like so many other things in life
to which you must say no or yes.
So you take your car to the new mechanic.
Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.
There's a world of great interest and significance right under our feet, but most of us don't think to look down. We spend most of our time peering off into the future, speculating on how we will deal with whatever is coming our way. Or dwelling on the past. Here Ed Ochester stops in the middle of life to look down.
What the Frost Casts Up
Some Boys are Born to Wander by Walter McDonald: American Life in Poetry #48 Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet L
Every parent can tell a score of tales about the difficulties of raising children, and then of the difficulties in letting go of them. Here the Texas poet, Walt McDonald, shares just such a story.
Some Boys are Born to Wander
From Michigan our son writes, How many elk?
How many big horn sheep? It's spring,
and soon they'll be gone above timberline,
(Untitled) by Joette Giorgis : American Life in Poetry #250 Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate 2004-2006
I’m very fond of poems that demonstrate their authors’ attentiveness to the world about them, as regular readers of this column have no doubt noticed. Here is a nine-word poem by Joette Giorgis, who lives in Pennsylvania, that is based upon noticing and then thinking about something so ordinary that it might otherwise be overlooked. Even the separate words are flat and commonplace. But so much feeling comes through!
Drought by Felecia Caton Garcia: American Life in Poetry #111 Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate 2004-20
As poet Felecia Caton Garcia of New Mexico shows us in this moving poem, there are times when parents feel helpless and hopeless. But the human heart is remarkable and, like a dry creek bed, somehow fills again, is renewed and restored.
Try to remember: things go wrong in spite of it all.
I listen to our daughters singing in the crackling rows
of corn and wonder why I don't love them more.
They move like dark birds, small mouths open
Now, in the city of rain,
I try to forget my past,
But memories never fade.
Grandfather by Andrei Guruianu: American Life in Poetry #12 Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate 2004-2006
Perhaps your family passes on the names of loved ones to subsequent generations. This poem by Andrei Guruianu speaks to the loving and humbling nature of sharing another's name.
WHETHER a ship's poetic? - Bowles would own,
If here he dwelt, where Nature is prosaic,
Columbus Park by Anne Pierson Wiese: American Life in Poetry #130 Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate 200
A number of American poets are adept at describing places and the people who inhabit them. Galway Kinnell's great poem, âThe Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New Worldâ? is one of those masterpieces, and there are many others. Here Anne Pierson Wiese, winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, adds to that tradition.
The poetry of earth is fading fast;
It hath no region it can call its own;
What My Father Left Behind by Chris Forhan: American Life in Poetry #200 Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laure
Here's a fine poem by Chris Forhan of Indiana, about surviving the loss of a parent, and which celebrates the lives that survive it, that go on. I especially like the parachute floating up and away, just as the lost father has gone up and away.
What My Father Left Behind
Jam jar of cigarette ends and ashes on his workbench,
hammer he nailed our address to a stump with,
balsa wood steamship, half-finishedâ