you thought that the I was me,
that you was you, we was us,
then was now, the home was ours.
If you assume that the poem’s future
is our present, there is no future.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too."
The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems
Today is the birthday of this Chilean poet, born July 12, 1904 as Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
It is a good exercise to get “meta” about your writing once in awhile and think about what you write and why. Treat yourself as an assignment from that poetry class and look at the themes that run through your poems, the language etc. (I didn’t realize how many…
Two poems by dogs, channeled by Billy Collins
Prolific poet, essayist, and historian Czesław Miłosz (born June 30, 1911) was also a diplomat, who served as Poland’s cultural attaché to France and the United States.
Insomnia can sometimes be the tenth muse,
but not after this day working outside.
Muscle ache and sweat makes cold water
taste better than anything mixed or brewed,
and turns off the mind to poems.
He wants you to pause and think about it.
Basho considered a Kikaku haiku as cruel:
A red firefly / tear off its wings -
a pepper. A pepper / give it wings –
a red firefly, was Basho’s simple change.
Revision as a Buddhist act of kindness.
A summer river being crossed
with sandals in my hands!
Evening breeze -
water is slapping against the legs
of a blue heron.
Short summer night.
On the back of a hairy caterpillar
In the summer rain
4 haiku by Yosa Buson (1716 ~ 1783)
if my father were here–
over green fields
Today is the birthday of Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa, born in Kashiwabara, Japan in 1763. He was a lay Buddhist priest of the Jōdo Shinshū sect known for his haiku poems and journals. He is better known as simply Issa (一茶?), a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea (lit. “one [cup of] tea”).
He is regarded as one of the four haiku masters in Japan,…
Reading Shakespeare for seven-word lines of ronka.
No legacy is so rich as honesty,
fits the glovemaker’s writing hand nicely but
The course of true love never did run
reminds that things are not always smooth.
“The way hope builds his house”, Amherst Manuscript # 450
On of my favorite poems. I got to hear him read it several times and hear him talk about that job, those days and how it helped him set a path.
Hay for the Horses
by Gary Snyder
He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous Mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the
sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
— The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds —
"I’m sixty-eight," he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that’s just what
I’ve gone and done.”
"Hay for the Horses" from Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems. How is it possible that this book is more than 50 years old? Dammit, my own copy is 40 years old.
— Linda Pastan