Posts tagged ‘October Theme’

Rope

Rope

The girl’s father laughs a little too hard
when I say: She knows what’s important in life
as his daughter whips the dime store jump rope
over her head for the twelve thousandth time—
laughs as if I’m joking, when really, she has it down—
sparkly pink handles grimy with effort,
her face obscured by her hair, shins thin and bruised,
socks down at the ankles. Abandoned
by the rest of the crowd, the concrete square
an archipelago, an alignment with rigor the others
cannot fathom, she moves with fierce persistence
into afternoon, the heft of the handles, smack of the
rope—
no Double Dutch, limbo, no communal game,
but this resolute definition of rhythm,
slatted bench shadows lengthening into space,
the other kids simply forgetting she’s there,
her solitary corner of the playground darkening
as the dinner hour approaches, while pigeons pause
on their branches, squirrels come down the trunk and
stop,
with rush hour beyond the fence, cars idling,
and the rope’s metronome, forgotten as breath,
weaving all the disparate energies of girl—
elation, fury, eagerness, song—
into one singular strand.

— Rynn Williams, author of Adonis Garage

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Adonis Garage introduces a talent exquisitely keyed to the register of New York City’s pulse and to the heartbeat of the day. Raw and graphic, with a brash and beautiful voice, Rynn Williams’s poetry immerses us in disillusionment and desire and bears witness to the meaning of survival.
Judith Ortiz Cofer called Adonis Garage “a book of life written by someone who has lived honestly and passionately, and whose art has been mastered in order to bear witness and find meaning in each day.” Rynn Williams’s poems are “brutally frank, brutally beautiful, and sexy,” said writer and critic Jonathan Holden.
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Careful, I Just Won a Prize At the Fair

Careful, I Just Won a Prize At the Fair

Don’t remind me
how insufficient
love is. You
threw quarters
into a bowl. We are bones
and need, all hair
and want: this fish won’t swim
in a plastic bag
forever. My makeshift
gown is a candle, my breasts
full of milk for our young—
whose flames
are these anyway?

— Susanna Childress, more Entering the House of Awe

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

Poetry. “Readers familiar with Susanna Childress’s Jagged with Love will recognize her distinctive voice in these poems: her nerve, her honest, quirky, irreverent, immediate and embodied yearning that rushes, wordy, right up to the ragged margins! In this second collection, new formal approaches bring breath and space to the lines, even delicacy sometimes, but these fine poems move with no less urgency because they are compelled by her signature quest for truthfulness. This search refuses perfectionism and mere aestheticism, yet admits beauty en route, as Childress claims, There needs to be no right word / There needs to be a wide hole / a whole mouth / where the right word / isn’t”—Julia Spicher Kasdorf.

Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1936970007/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1936970007&linkCode=as2&tag=tweetpoetr-20&linkId=BC3MRBB7XV6CJ2YW

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Casey At the Bat (excerpt)

Casey At the Bat (excerpt)

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling
through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur
there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one!” the
umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a
muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and
distant shore;
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the
stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey
raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage
shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun
sphere flew;
But Casey still ignored it and the umpire said, “Strike
two!”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo
answered “Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience
was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his
muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by
again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are
clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets
it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s
blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining
bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere
hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere
children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has
struck out.

— Ernest Lawrence Thayer, from Casey At the Bat

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

“A home-run effort.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Patricia Polacco’s spirited illustrations capture all the fun and action-packed drama of Thayer’s immortal ballad.

“The poem is launched with bright, bold illustrations that milk all the humor from the situation…Fresh and funny, this rendition should attract a whole new audience to the poem.” —Booklist

Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Casey-Bat-Ernest-Lawrence-Thayer-ebook/dp/B00738WH44/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/Casey-at-Bat-Ernest-Thayer/dp/0698115570/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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Self-Portrait As a Slinky

Self-Portrait As a Slinky

It’s true I wanted
to be beautiful before
authentic. Say the word
exotic. Say minority—

a coiled, dark curl
a finger might wrap
itself in—the long
staircase, and I was

the momentum
of metal springs
descending down
and down—say tension.

The long staircase,
and I was a stacked series
of spheres fingertipped
again into motion—say

taut, like a child
who must please her
parents but doesn’t
know how—a curl pulled

thin—I wanted to be
a reckoning, to gather
into each day’s pale
hands—that helpless

lurching forward
in the dark—another
soaked black ringlet,
that sudden halting—

— Tarfia Faizullah, author of Seam

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

The poems in this captivating collection weave beauty with violence, the personal with the historic as they recount the harrowing experiences of the two hundred thousand female victims of rape and torture at the hands of the Pakistani army during the 1971 Liberation War. As the child of Bangladeshi immigrants, the poet in turn explores her own losses, as well as the complexities of bearing witness to the atrocities these war heroines endured.

Throughout the volume, the narrator endeavors to bridge generational and cultural gaps even as the victims recount the horror of grief and personal loss. As we read, we discover the profound yet fragile seam that unites the fields, rivers, and prisons of the 1971 war with the poet’s modern-day hotel, or the tragic death of a loved one with the holocaust of a nation.

Moving from West Texas to Dubai, from Virginia to remote villages in Bangladesh and back again, the narrator calls on the legacies of Willa Cather, César Vallejo, Tomas Tranströmer, and Paul Celan to give voice to the voiceless. Fierce yet loving, devastating and magical at once, Seam is a testament to the lingering potency of memory and the bravery of a nation’s victims.

Winner, Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, 2014

Winner, Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, 2015

Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Seam-Orchard-Poetry-Tarfia-Faizullah-ebook/dp/B00IE38A5M/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/Seam-Crab-Orchard-Award-Poetry/dp/0809333252/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Game

Game

I thought we were playing a game
in a forest that day.
I ran as my mother chased me.

But she’d been stung by a bee.
Or bitten by a snake.
She shouted my name, which

even as a child I knew was not
“Stop. Please. I’m dying.”

I ran deeper
into the bright black trees
happily
as she chased me: How

lovely the little bits and pieces.
The fingernails, the teeth. Even
the bombed cathedrals
being built inside of me.

How sweet
the eye socket. The spine. The
curious, distant possibility that God
had given courage
to human beings
that we might
suffer a little longer.

And by the time

I was willing to admit that
all along
all along
I’d known it was no game

I was a grown woman, turning
back, too late.

— Laura Kasischke, author of The Infinitesimals

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

“Kasischke’s poems are powered by a skillful use of imagery and the subtle, ingenious way she turns a phrase.”—Austin American-Statesman

The Infinitesimals stares directly at illness and death, employing the same highly evocative and symbolic style that earned Laura Kasischke the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. Drawing upon her own experiences with cancer, and the lives and deaths of loved ones, Kasischke’s new work commands a lyrical and dark intensity.

Laura Kasischke is the author of eight collections of poetry and seven novels. She teaches at the University of Michigan and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Infinitesimals-Laura-Kasischke-ebook/dp/B00PSSDM7M/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/Infinitesimals-Laura-Kasischke/dp/1556594666/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

The Wasteland – A Game of Chess (excerpt)

The Wasteland – A Game of Chess (excerpt)

I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”  
         
                                                                           But
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It’s so elegant
So intelligent
“What shall I do now? What shall I do?”
“I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
“With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?
“What shall we ever do?”
                                               The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the
door.

— T.S. Eliot, from The Wasteland (Norton Critical Editions)

T. S. Poetry

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

The text of Eliot’s 1922 masterpiece is accompanied by thorough explanatory annotations as well as by Eliot’s own knotty notes, some of which require annotation themselves.

For ease of reading, this Norton Critical Edition presents The Waste Land as it first appeared in the American edition (Boni & Liveright), with Eliot’s notes at the end. “Contexts” provides readers with invaluable materials on The Waste Land’s sources, composition, and publication history. “Criticism” traces the poem’s reception with twenty-five reviews and essays, from first reactions through the end of the twentieth century. Included are reviews published in the Times Literary Supplement, along with selections by Virginia Woolf, Gilbert Seldes, Edmund Wilson, Elinor Wylie, Conrad Aiken, Charles Powell, Gorham Munson, Malcolm Cowley, Ralph Ellison, John Crowe Ransom, I. A. Richards, F. R. Leavis, Cleanth Brooks, Delmore Schwartz, Denis Donoghue, Robert Langbaum, Marianne Thormählen, A. D. Moody, Ronald Bush, Maud Ellman, and Tim Armstrong. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.

Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393974995/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0393974995&linkCode=as2&tag=tweetpoetr-20&linkId=F7JXYAMF6ST2AFQ3

Hardcover

http://www.amazon.com/Waste-Land-Modern-Critical-Interpretations/dp/1555460380/ref=mt_hardcover?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Thunder Snakes

Thunder Snakes

Darling, that gambling was in my blood,
was always there like thunder snakes
that slide in through an open door,
across the boards and coil under the bed.
The dice were my first friends, then lacquered tiles
or winds and dragons, plum, bamboo.

A gambler is never lonely. There’s another man
who wants his money. He keeps the company
of kings and knaves, lies awake and flips them over
in his mind, while rain is spitting on the glass
and the anxious light of dawn
slides down the walls, across his body.

— Hannah Lowe, author of Chick

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

Hannah Lowe’s first book of poems takes you on a journey round her father, a Chinese-black Jamaican migrant who disappeared at night to play cards or dice in London’s old East End to support his family, an unstable and dangerous existence that took its toll on his physical and mental health. `Chick’ was his gambling nickname. A shadowy figure in her childhood, Chick was only half known to her until she entered the night world of the old man as a young woman. With London as their backdrop, Hannah Lowe’s deeply personal narrative poems are often filmic in effect and brimming with sensory detail in their evocations of childhood and coming-of-age, love and loss of love, grief and regret.

Paperback

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Kindle

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