Category Archives: Poetry

The Dark Room Collective born in Boston

Poetry

Source: Poets House
Photo by: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Earlier this week The New York Times had an interesting article for those of you interested in poetry and or African-American culture.  The Time’s article, The Dark Room Collective: Where Black Poetry Took Wing, was really interesting.

Founded in 1987, this group that formed here in Boston after attending the funeral of James Baldwin in NYC brought together black writers and artists to work, bond and unintentionally nurtured a cultural movement all from a 3-story Victorian house at 31 Inman Street in Cambridge, MA – at least that is how The New York Times tell it.  The article says that the collective proved to be a boom in African-American poetry “arguably as aesthetically significant in the writing world as the work of the Beat Generation, The New York School, the Fugitives, The Black Arts Movement and even the Harlem Renaissance.”

Do you love poetry? Are you interested in African-American culture? You may want to check out this article from the NYT.

 

 

A limerick in honor of St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ve republished a slightly naughty limerick that I wrote a few years ago in honor of the holiday.

Lim’ricks are the naughtiest prose
Dirty rhymes we love to compose 
Men from Nantucket
Shouting, “Go $uck it!”
Are fun to write I suppose

If you have a limerick you’d like to share, I’d enjoy reading it.  Feel free to e-mail me or leave it in the comments section.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Poetry is not a form of prose often recited and it often goes over my head, but when I connect with a poem or on the rare occasion I write a poem it resonates in a way that is hard to describe. Here is a poem written by one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost.

Robert Frost

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening was first published in 1923.

Savannah Brown: What guys look for in girls

I love poetry. I think when you can connect to this form of creative prose the content of the expression becomes powerful.  Savannah Brown’s poetry slam What guys look for in girls is one of those poems.

Casual encounters

While I was doing some post holiday house cleaning I stumbled upon a poem I wrote years ago. I actually forgot I wrote this until after I read it.  I’ll never be a poet, but I do love poetry and dabble in it from time to time.  When I write, it tends to be fairly obvious and less articulate, but that can also make it more relatable I suppose.  I’m fairly certain this haiku I wrote summarizes situations that everyone has experienced before.

Casual encounters

a random meeting
the handsome smile is trouble
temptation abounds

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Boston Public Garden

Source: Decodollop blog

One of my favorite poems ever written is by Robert Frost.  Each autumn I post his poem, Nothing gold can stay.  It is obvious that Frost was inspired by the fall foliage in New England when he wrote this poem back in 1923. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I do.

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Gay Haiku by Joel Derfner

Joel DerfnerI had never heard of Joel Derfner’s book, Gay Haiku, until I stumbled upon it on Joe My God last week.  The book was originally published in 2005, but has recently been turned into an iPhone App that shares Derfner’s haikus with you.  The image included in this post is just one example of the humorous poetry you can expect to find.

Should you be interested in purchasing the book, I’d suggest you contact your local LGBT bookstore or you may purchase it on Amazon.com, here.

Andrea Hope Fight the Power

I can’t recall how I found this video of Andrea Hope (a poet living in the northwest) but I liked the poem and thought I’d share it.

If you like Andrea, you can find her online at andreahope.tumblr.com or search by her name on YouTube for more poems.

Noah St. John

I love poetry but sometimes people fail to see the connection or appreciate this form of prose, so I was really happy when I stumbled upon this video of 15-year old Noah St. John who shared his story at the Youth Speaks Grand Slam Championship late last year.  I’d really suggest you watch the full six minutes. I was very touched and think you will be too.

Water by Ralph Waldo Emerson

WaterWater
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The water understands
Civilization well;
It wets my foot, but prettily,
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted,
It is not broken-hearted:
Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Elegantly destroy.
On occasion I like to post poems. While visiting blogs I enjoy reading, I stumbled upon a post by The Closet Professor who wrote a bit about this prolific 19th century poet from Boston and Concord, MA.
What I like about the poem how Emerson uses the meter and rhymes to create images so vividly and beautifully expressed. Regardless, I wanted to say thank you to The Closet Professor for sharing this poem and I wanted to pass it along.

One Today: Richard Blanco

Richard-Blanco-PoetI love poetry even though sometimes I cannot follow or fully appreciate the prose.  Yesterday’s Presidential Inauguration featured Richard Blanco reading his poem One Today to the President and the nation.  Blanco is a Cuban-American who happens to be gay and lives in New England (Maine to be exact).  In lieu of posting the full text (which you can read here), I’ve inserted the video of his reading. His poem stresses unity and the common bonds that touch us all.

Devotion by Robert Frost

My brother is getting married later today so I thought I’d share a poem befitting the occasion.

Devotion

The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to ocean -
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition. 

Devotion was written by American Poet, Robert Frost, and first published in 1928. I love the simplicity of this poem and the imagery he evokes to describe such a personal and intimate concept.

To be heard

If you don’t learn to write your own life story,

someone else will write it for you.

As I mentioned previously, April is National Poetry Month so when I happened to see To be heard on PBS I was glued to my television.  This documentary tracks three teenagers from the South Bronx as they tell their stories of friendship, love and struggle, and show how a radical poetry class inspires them to change.  The documentary also shows how language and in particular poetry brings people together.

Check out the trailer To Be Heard

April is national poetry month

I love poetry because it can evoke strong feelings. That may sound strange, because I hear people say they don’t “get” poetry. But when I ask these people when was the last time they read poetry they refer back to when they were in class.  Can you imagine what one might think of music if your sole experience was from music class? I’m pretty certain shows like American Idol and The Voice wouldn’t be on television.

Poetry is a lot like music. The trick is finding poets who speak to you.

Poetry inserts art into the form of communicating and can beautifully describe abstracts like love and faith. Poetry can also perfectly capture and describe a moment or feeling with amazing elegance.

I thought I’d share an excerpt from a poem in honor of national poetry month. This poem is appropriately named Boston and is a bit naughty.

I watched two men
press hard into
each other, their bodies
caught in the club’s
bass drum swell,
and I couldn’t remember
when I knew I’d never
be beautiful, but it must
have been quick
and subtle, the way
the holy ghost can pass
in and out of a room.
I want so desperately
to be finished with desire,
the rushing wind, the still
small voice.

If you are intrigued you can read the full poem online or purchase Aaron Smith’s book Blue on Blue Ground.  He even has a rather interesting poem about Brad Pitt.

The Boston Globe annual limerick submission contest

Each year The Boston Globe encourages readers to write a limerick in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Have you submitted a limerick yet? Get in touch with your inner naughty-poet and submit your own limerick to The Boston Globe here.

Here is a humorous submission from 2011, which was penned by Kari Pedersen from Medford, MA.

There once was a mayor from Boston
Who’d talk like his mouth’s full of cotton
He’d mumble and he’d fumble
And on occasion, take a tumble
But his laughable gaffes not forgotten