March 13, 2014
"The poet always writes out of his personal life. In his finest work, out of its tragedy, whatever it may be - remorse, lost love or loneliness."

—    T.S. Eliot

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March 6, 2014
"I would feel dead if I didn’t have the ability periodically to put my world in order with a poem. I think to be inarticulate is a great suffering, and is especially so to anyone who has a certain knack for poetry."

    Richard Wilbur

February 11, 2014
"My father would lift me
to the ceiling in his big hands
and ask, How’s the weather up there?
And it was good, the weather
of being in his hands, his breath
of scotch and cigarettes, his face
smiling from the world below.
O daddy, was the lullaby I sang
back down to him as he stood on earth„,"

from “Weather” by George Bilgere

read the rest of the poem at

George Bilgere has published six collections of poetry, most recently Imperial .

George’s poems are featured on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac” and Ted Kooser’s newspaper project “American Life in Poetry.” He has also been a guest on Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” live radio variety show.

George hosts a weekly radio show, WORDPLAY, an offbeat mix of poetry, comedy, and an ongoing exploration of the possibilities of the spoken word.

His website is

January 27, 2014
"The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun."

— from The Song of Wandering Angus by William Butler Yeats

January 17, 2014
William StaffordIt’s the birthday of William Stafford, morning poet,Writing the Australian Crawl and writing StoriesView Post

William Stafford

It’s the birthday of William Stafford, morning poet,
Writing the Australian Crawl and writing Stories

View Post

January 14, 2014
"My work is loving the world."


"Loving the world means giving it attention, which draws one to devotion, which means one is concerned with its condition, how it is being treated."

from an interview at

December 4, 2013
"The courage it took to get out of bed each morning to face the same things over and over was enormous."

   Charles Bukowski

You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense

November 28, 2013
"The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself."

Today is the birthday of someone who never celebrated Thanksgiving. Poet and artist WILLIAM BLAKE was born in London in 1757).

He started seeing visions when he was a young boy — God in the window, angels in trees.

He apprenticed to an engraver, and spent his life as a little-known printmaker and poet.

Blake set up an exhibition of his art in his brother’s shop and called it “Poetical and Historical Inventions.” He left the show up for a year, but not many people attended, and not a single piece of art was sold.

Though famous today, he died in poverty in 1827, at the age of 69. In the 30 years after publishing his Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, fewer than 20 copies had sold.

An 1863 book, Life of William Blake was published  quoted many of Blake’s poems, and included his illustrations and was hugely popular, and for the first time, Blake was considered a major English poet.

November 25, 2013
"I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky."


Sharon Olds clicked the clock over to 71 on November 19 and was awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for her poetry.

November 5, 2013

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar


Sylvia Plath was born October 27, 1932 in Boston.

She studied with poet Robert Lowell in the late 1950’s. Her first collection of poems, Colossus, was published in 1960 in England, and two years later in the United States. She was married to poet Ted Huges and had two children, Frieda and Nicholas in 1960 and 1962, respectively.

When Ted Hughes left her in 1962 for another woman, she went into a deep depression and wrote most of the poems that would comprise her most famous book, Ariel.

In 1963, Plath published a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas.

On February 11, 1963, she wrote a note to her downstairs neighbor instructing him to call the doctor, then she committed suicide using her gas oven.

Although only Colossus was published while she was alive, Plath was a prolific poet, and in addition to Ariel, Hughes published three other volumes of her work posthumously, including The Collected Poems, which was the recipient of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize. She was the first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize after death.


November 1, 2013
"Kiss me, and you will see how important I am."

— Sylvia Plath

October 27, 2013
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

When Dylan Thomas went on his fourth reading tour of the United States in 1953, he was deep into his alcoholism. He was hospitalized with alcohol poisoning just as the tour began and told his doctor, “I’ve had 18 straight whiskeys. I think that’s the record.”

He died a few days later. One of his last poems is “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” - a poem in the villanelle form about the death of his father.

Dylan Marlais Thomas was born on October 27, 1914, in South Wales at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea.

The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: The Original Edition

full poem and audio of Thomas’ dramatic reading style

September 30, 2013
"I think there’s a kind of desperate hope built into poetry now that one really wants, hopelessly, to save the world. One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there’s still time."

Words from W.S. Merwin on his birthday.

A former poet laureate of the United States, W. S. Merwin was born in New York City on 9/30/27 and he was raised in Union City, New Jersey.

He won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for his collection The Carrier of Ladders and the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for The Shadow of Sirius. He also won the 2005 National Book Award for Migration: New & Selected Poems.

He started writing poems when he was four or five years old, he said — at first, they were mostly hymns to give to his father, a Presbyterian minister. He studied literature and Romance languages at Princeton, gained the admiring attention of W.H. Auden, and published his first book of poems, A Mask for Janus, the year he turned 25.

September 17, 2013

It’s a strange courage

you give me ancient star:

Shine alone in the sunrise

toward which you lend no part!

September 17, 1883: the birthday of modernist poet William Carlos Williams who spent his life as a doctor as well as a poet. Williams was born in New Jersey, 130 years ago today.

September 2, 2013
"The Rain Stick"

excerpt, by Seamus Heaney

                                    What happens next

Is undiminished for having happened once,
Twice, ten, a thousand times before.
Who cares if all the music that transpires

Is the fall of grit or dry seeds through a cactus?
You are like a rich man entering heaven
Through the ear of a raindrop. Listen now again.

(Source: poetryeater)

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