Tag Archives: American Poetry

Of Poets and Poetasters: National Poetry Month

So what’s a poetaster? Most people are pretty sure they know what a poet is, but poetaster, first used by Ben Jonson in 1600, has fallen into disuse. Well, fact is, though we throw the word poet around with flippant … Continue reading

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“Beauty crowds me till I die.” Emily Dickinson

Here are some of my favorite lines from my favorite poets–just to share and for the heck of it.  Poetry (the really good stuff) has always been my favorite genre as both a reader and writer. The above line is … Continue reading

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“Long Ago and Far Away in a Kingdom by the Sea” – Poe, perhaps America’s most Musical and Cadenced Poet

Annabel Lee By Edgar Allan Poe It was many and many a year ago,    In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know    By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived … Continue reading

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“The Frog in my Boot by the Door” a prose poem

Note: I have been so busy editing books for other writers that I have had almost no time to do my regular blogging.  I hope you’ll forgive me dear friends, but I have come up with sort of a makeshift … Continue reading

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“Hope Is the Thing with Feathers”

The following famous Emily Dickinson poem is apropos for any author concluding the arduous process of writing a book (as in your truly). A certain amount of apprehension always attends these times, apprehension in particular that the book will find … Continue reading

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This Emily Dickinson poem is for our friends in the Northeast tonight– we hope they are warm!

It sifts from leaden sieves — It powders all the Wood. It fills with Alabaster Wool The Wrinkles of the Road — It makes an Even Face Of Mountain, and of Plain — Unbroken Forehead from the East Unto the … Continue reading

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Cold? “The Snowman” by Wallace Stevens – that’s cold

The Snow Man WALLACE STEVENS One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The … Continue reading

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The Soul Selects Her Own Society – Emily Dickinson

(c) 2014 Margaret Langstaff, All Rights Reserved I recently had the rare and arduous experience of re-reading for the umpteenth time all of Emily Dickinson‘s 1,775 surviving “poems”–but this time straight through over a period of two weeks. I’m working … Continue reading

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“Satisfaction is a lowly thing, how pure a thing is joy.” — Marianne Moore

Need a lift or some inspiration to escape the gloom of winter and the doldrums of the winter heart? Here’s a short, beautiful poem that might impart the courage and resolve to get through the season (and life!) by the … Continue reading

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T.S. Eliot Reads “The Journey of the Magi” – Ancient Intonations

T.S. Eliot

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Fictive Things Wink as They Will

Needed some sere severe poetic discourse (to replace one headache with another).  Don’t fret over what seems obscure here but relish the nuggets that hit you where you live. The bold type is my emendation. For all his pompous learning, … Continue reading

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“Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads in Them” – Why Bother with Poetry?

This poem by the contentious, straightforward major American poet Marianne Moore came to mind tonight and I thought it was worth sharing. Cogently and succinctly she takes on the common objections and antipathy of the general public to the reading … Continue reading

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Behinder and Behinder: Sun, Moon, Stars, Rain

Rather than feel ridiculous and un-horsed, I’d prefer to “feel” (in public at least) as “tested” and perhaps “tried.”  Hence the henceforth herewith. (Something like that, anyway). I am so far behind with work, not only with blogging, as a … Continue reading

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Into the Silver Dawn -“All in green went my love riding” – e.e. cummings

  I’m on a poetry trip here lately, and not that I go looking for trouble, or even that I am actually reading poetry (that’s a trap and routine buster for me, to tell the truth, everything inconsequential – not … Continue reading

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“The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.” – Wallace Stevens

Though he’s been gone for years, Stevens seems more contemporary and “with it” with every passing year.  That’s the mark of a great poet, IMHO, whose work is bound to endure because it is essentially timeless. Ever since he began … Continue reading

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“I Hear America Singing” – Walt Whitman

[Actually what I’m hearing right now is America ka-powing, bombing! The good ole boys around here love their fireworks and beer. It’s a little like Beruit under siege. Hope the horses don’t run through the fences. Six dogs in my … Continue reading

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From Wallace Steven’s “Examination of the Hero in Time of War”

Wallace Stevens, magnifico American poet of the mid-twentieth century, a giant truly whom general readers are only now beginning to appreciate. For Stevens, Imagination was the supreme faculty of mankind. Utterly mysterious, transformative, redemptive and given to only a privileged … Continue reading

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“The Waking” by Theodore Roethke

After posting the poem”My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke on Father’s Day, I’ve been off on  a Roethke tangent, I confess, revisiting many of my fav Roethke poems.  Here’s one that lodged itself in my brain long ago like a … Continue reading

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Happy Father’s Day! “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke

Here is a poem that came to mind this morning by a great 20th Century American poet, Theodore Roethke.  His father was a horticulturist, maintained several greenhouses and plant nurseries.  Roethke said once that the greenhouse was for him a  … Continue reading

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A Certain Slant of Light, Winter Afternoons

Winter has its charms and compensations, yes, and a terrible abbreviated monochromatic beauty, but it’s also a challenge for certain light sensitive, shivery types, requiring ever-increasing degrees of resolve as they march deeper into December, dreading January and that thing … Continue reading

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Split the Lark–and You’ll Find the Music?

           A recent online exchange with a fellow blogger about the inexpressible and inexplicable nature of really great books brought to mind the following poem by Emily Dickinson. I thought I’d share it with you for it captures so concisely and … Continue reading

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New Online Emily Dickinson Archive

This reclusive, intensely shy and private poet, virtually ignored by the literati during her 19th century  lifetime, has acquired a staying power and an exponentially growing reputation today that would have shocked the socks off the people who knew her … Continue reading

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DON’T TRIP ON THE TROPES: “There Came a Day at Summer’s Full Entirely for Me”

(c) Copyright 2013, Margaret Langstaff, All Rights Reserved. Here is another beautiful example of Emily Dickinson‘s “sacramental” relationship with the natural world (cf., my previous posts).         THERE came a day at summer’s full Entirely for me; I … Continue reading

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Emily Dickinson’s Encounters with the Sublime

© Copyright 2013, Margaret Langstaff, All Rights Reserved.                                          Nature and God – I neither knew                    Yet Both so well knew me                    They startled, like Executors                    Of My identity.—E.D. I’ve read, studied and written about … Continue reading

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