ohhh hail the fire that took the innocence away 

ohh hail the fire that burned hope inside of me 

oh hail the fire that blazed with anger down the streets 

Howl young boy howl at the sirens of the police 

Scream at the eye of the gun the kalashnikov  

Pointed at your skinny blood stained face

Cry… cry brash and cry for the lost and howl

ohh fire how come you came to represent the worst in me

ohhh hail the fire that burned me a life and mutilated my pain

ohh hail the fire that laughed at my face and called me a liar

told me to shut up if am not on the streets   

ohh hail the fire that took them away 


a tribute to the victims of the September 2013 events, Sudan 


As part of the Academy of American Poets’ DEAR POET project, a handwritten letter to one of the Academy’s Chancellors could earn you a handwritten response. It’s all in the name of poetry and National Poetry Month! Click here for details and for more letters/responses.

tl;dr- Poetry fans click here.

The visible object blurs open in front of you, the outline of a branch folds back into itself, then clarifies —just as you turn away—
and the glass hardens into glass as you go about taking care of things abstractedly, one thing shelved after another, as if they were already in the past, needing nothing from you until, smashing itself on the tile floor, the present cracks open the aftermath of itself.
- Martha Ronk | A blurry photograph. Via: #marabstonesphoto #illustratedpoems #poetsorg #lowdesert

To the dragon any loss is total.

Praxia Dymitruk, Praxia, Praxia why did you write your name all over the walls? Is this pain written down or resistance to life’s passing?

The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

To the dragon any loss is total. His rest is disrupted if a single jewel encrusted goblet has been stolen.

Were you, too, afraid to disappear? Without a sound? No one to miss you because you belonged to no one?

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn’t hard to master. Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

To the dragon any loss is total. His rest is disrupted if a single jewel encrusted goblet has been stolen. The circle of himself in the nest of his gold has been broken. 

Is your name all you owned, Praxia? I understand you, little Russian one. Such a sweet stem of a name. For a girl so familiar though never known.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

To the dragon any loss is total. His rest is disrupted if a single jewel encrusted goblet has been stolen. The circle of himself in the nest of his gold has been broken.  No loss is token.

Is your name all you owned, Praxia?

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster. Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident the art of losing’s not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Praxia Dymitruk, Praxia, Praxia.

To the dragon any loss is total. His rest is disrupted if a single jewel encrusted goblet has been stolen. The circle of himself in the nest of his gold has been broken.  No loss is token.

To the dragon any loss is total.


(“Token Loss” by Kay Ryan, “The Mark on the Wall” by Henia Karmel, and “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop)

As I Move

As I Move
By: Bernard C. Jones


As I Move
As I Move into the pentacles of life
The inner Beauty of tomorrow is never lost.
I take with me the absents of doubt
I leave the insecurities of shame, fear, low self-esteem, inadequacies
As I Move
I gather greater goals, dreams aspirations, thought, perceptions
I see the realities of the Day
I smell the beauty of others that venture my way
As I Move
I give, I take, and I blow away the pain that plagues me everyday
I understand I can’t get caught up in the deception of lies, bigotry, and hatred
I discover that if I stay here I will die, die surely die
My voice can still be heard
As I move

I came upon a fragment, one
anterior lion felling
one anterior bull. I was in a
museum so can’t call
it life, but here I felt my life come down
upon my life and have something to say about
the continual downhill grade
of the path from the ancient marble
quarry the dark marble

here was quarried from. First with form
and then with stone, I came in love
upon a fragment and should have loved the
pressure most. I have a
mother and a query. I quarreled with
my father the day my son was born and am the
father now. As a girl I flipped
over my handlebars flying down
a different hill every

time. I had a childhood friend named
Jill and an anti-carjacking
device called a club I policed myself
with by thinking hard of
my membership in and a keen sense of
the end of belonging. I drove my car into
a house, my house into the earth,
and I’m grinding the earth into hell.
I want to be more true

to the material world. The
wild upon the bull, the chisel
upon the wild. But it’s either true or
it isn’t. How can I
be more than what I am. I want to stop
identifying with the caliper or the
marble, the lion, its marble
mane, or the meat the lowing cow watched
its mate become and be

the altering heat again. I
stood before the fragment and asked
what doesn’t want to be whole? I’ve never
found fragmentation as
beautiful as objects that survive the
fall of civilization intact. Half-lion
felling half-bull, I feel pressure
in the forms to conclude; a coming
storm; electricity

in the air; an intention; but
whose? I saw crudeness in the ware
of the marble and finished in mind with
the crudeness of something
itself unfulfilled. And then something else
was exhumed in Athens. All I needed to see
was an inch of hindquarter of
lion or bull to love the world to
its conclusion but a

second front entirely is
forming. Mythology is sweet,
but husbandry is history. The head
of another lion
rises out of the gridded pit having
nothing to do with symmetry. A colossal
miscounting of lions felling
a sole bull. Two irreducible
lions made of the same

material as me will come
upon me and the pressure that
made them makes more of them than it makes of
me. The pressure that makes
makes more of them than it ever made of
me. Out of proportion, out of the quarry, great
pressure is forming, a thunder,
I feel a great pressure positioning
me. It has no regard.

- Lion Felling a Bull, by Robyn Schiff

Recommending Poem-A-Day | Academy of American Poets

"Through Poem-a-Day, we present original, previously unpublished poems by our country’s most talented poets throughout the week and classic poems on the weekends."

Every day I get a welcome little gift in my Inbox.  Poem-A-Day is free but it’s nice to support them and their great service promoting poetry.  What I especially love is that the poets during the week write a little about the poem - what inspired it, what experience or emotion…  

The Academy of american Poets provide a simple bio for each poet.

similarly, I always love the stories Open Heart Farming poets have shared about their poem at our three annual launches at Spring Garden Memorial Library.  Love to hear the context of the poem and get a wee glimpse of  the remarkable poetry people who’ve been in the issues.

Join Open Heart Forgery poets at their monthly launches for a taste of the same.  Visit for details and to see all the Open Heart forgery and Open Heart farming issues.  (Open Heart Farming is a special themed annual issue of Open Heart Forgery.

I digress!

Here’s a sample of a classic Poem-A-Day.:

                                               Prairie Dawn

Willa Cather

A crimson fire that vanquishes the stars;

A pungent odor from the dusty sage;

A sudden stirring of the huddled herds;

A breaking of the distant table-lands

Through purple mists ascending, and the flare

Of water ditches silver in the light;

A swift, bright lance hurled low across the world;

A sudden sickness for the hills of home.


This poem is in the public domain.

About This Poem

“Prairie Dawn” was originally published in Cather’s collection April Twilights (The Gorham Press, 1903). A sister poem “Prairie Spring” appeared as the prologue to her novel O Pioneers! (Houghton Mifflin, 1913).

Willa Cather was born in Gore, Virginia, in 1873. She was known widely for her novels and also published numerous books of poetry, essays, and letters. Cather died in New York in 1947.

anonymous said:

Hi can I ask who Allen Ginsberg is? (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) and about the slurs being dropped about him and why and why you disagree? Sorry I've seen a few posts you've made about him and now I'm genuinely interested


 -Allen Ginsberg-

TW: Anti Semitic slurs:He’s one of the first beat poets! (Like y’know Daddy O and all that) And He pioneered poems that told stories of inner turmoil and stuffand about the working middle class. But just because he is Jewish, people are calling him things like “Kike” and “Hymie” and the obligatory Oven jokes. I disagree bc he was a great poet and it doesn’t matter what religion you are♥ You can read more about his life right here! ~> 

Informative Speech Activity 2

Main goal: to make my audience more knowledgable about Edgar Allan Poe´s life a legacy.

Attention getter: I think this shouldn’t be posted here because it would be a spoiler

Thesis statement: Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most important and influential authors of all time.

Body: My presentation will be divided in 4 main points:

-Private life, experiences and resources, to prove he was truly a pioneer of literature and poetry 

- Stories, genres, authors and concepts he has influenced (examples)

-He made of writing his career and way of living, thanks to him authors nowadays are well payed (enough to live of it)

-Scientific theories and critics he wrote

Allan Poe, E. Complete Tales and Poems. (2012) Fall River Press: New York. Compilation


To maintain my audience interested and to make sure they understand everything, I am going to use a lot of common references and examples that they know of and like to showed that Poe has influenced them. For example horror movies and fiction genre, Sherlock Holmes and Stephen King.

I will have to give little background information, like his family, where he studied, his experience writing and his wife.

Earnestness is Bad Art

Why is John Ashbery considered a serious poet? His poems are often ridiculously funny and campy satires of all we hold sacred. Yet Helen Vendler says “in short, he comes from Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, Stevens, Eliot; his poems are about love, or time, or age.” And Harold Bloom claims that “Ashbery has been misunderstood because of his association with the ‘New York School’ of Kenneth KochFrank O’Haraand other comedians of the spirit.” There’s a suspicious double standard applied to certain humorous poets who have, for mysterious reasons, been welcomed into or excluded from the canon of serious art. Ashbery’s critics obviously find his idea of funny funnier than Frank O’Hara’s funny or Ron Padgett‘s really funny funny. Padgett and O’Hara have written scores of poems about “love, or time, or age,” and some of them have been funny, and some have been serious, but they are written off as “comedians of the spirit.”

Some people seem to think that writing humorous poetry is a terrible crime, like pissing on Plymouth Rock. Certainly there are lame poems out there that just tell jokes, poems that are just elongated puns or which simply fulfill a first line’s jokey promise. Criticizing these poems is easy, but it’s a slippery slope: if these poems with jokes in them are dull and unserious, then all poems with other kinds of humor must also be unserious. But there’s a kind of humor that is bigger than a giggle, bigger than a laugh. There’s a kind of humor that is as serious as the most earnest exhortation to support the troops. I’m talking about satire and irony. Satire and irony make people laugh. But they’re serious and multidimensional in a way that earnestness often just can’t be, and to discount them is to be blind to the possibility of serious art that’s funny.

Carolyn Forché, someone who has never been accused of being a funny poet, has said “irony, paradox, surrealism … might well be both the answer and a restatement of [Theodor] Adorno’s often quoted and difficult contention that to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” But what did the philosopher and critic Adorno mean by this fatuous statement? No poetry? Or just a very, very serious and earnest poetry? Because, let’s face it—earnestness is almost always bad art. Good art makes us think; it has more questions than answers. Often, but not always, satire does this too. But earnestness almost never does this—that’s not its job. Earnestness is comforting. It wants to hug us. And we want to be hugged sometimes. But sometimes we want to laugh while poking holes in self-righteousness and oppression, whether it be literal political oppression or oppression of a quieter sort – cultural and aesthetic oppression. Irony and satire are such a good antidote to oppression because oppression needs to be earnest (or at least look earnest) in order to be feared by those it seeks to cow. Oppression cannot work alongside irony because it believes in its own righteousness and a monolithic concept of truth that must be asserted to the oppressed with a straight face. Irony and satire are the tools by which the oppressed get to make fun of the oppressors without the oppressors getting it.

This year, according to a press release from the Poetry Foundation, “Billy Collins received the Mark Twain Poetry Award of $25,000, recognizing a poet’s contribution to humor in American poetry. The Award is given in the belief that humorous poetry can also be seriously good poetry, and in the hope that American poetry will in time produce its own Mark Twain. [Foundation president John] Barr noted that ‘Billy Collins has brought laughter back to a melancholy art. He shows us that good poetry need not always be somber poetry.’” What sad situation are we in that we need to be told this? Obviously I agree that “good poetry need not always be somber poetry.” But I question this way of going about it. This seems like a good way to install humorous poetry in the same literary ghetto that’s currently occupied by cowboy poetry. It might be hard for people to think of Billy Collins as anything but a humorous poet now that he’s so well paid for it.

Readers who are unable or unwilling to understand that satire and irony can and do serve in the interests of great artistic and social seriousness are apes—shaved apes who have been taught to read. When I want to read poetry that approaches art and society with dead seriousness, I sit down and read W. S. Merwin. There’s a guy who’s a great writer, and whose bookThe Lice in particular is brilliant, both formally and substantively. But who can read a lot of his poetry straight through without rolling his eyes a little? It is remarkably, emotionally monovocal. To defend Merwin (or someone likeJorie Graham, another writer who is supposed to be taken seriously because she writes almost exclusively in the voices of the Classics or the great philosophers) for writing these heavy poems simply because they’re dealing with serious subjects is to miss entirely how poets like Padgett or Charles Simic, or even a prankster like Heather McHugh, can apply their whole personas to the same subjects – “love, or time, or age,” and let’s throw in experiences with genocide and emotional wreckage. I have a deep distrust of artists who so systematically refuse to incorporate whole parts of their living personalities into their artistic work, giving us a take on complicated issues that is pale and one dimensional, and just downright suspicious.