For our January meeting, we focused on poets who had earned a distinctive honor in celebration of poetry coming back to the inaugural activities.

Maxine Kumin (1925- ) – Pulitzer prize winner for Poems of New England in 1972, Poet Laureate of New Hampshire


Kay Ryan (1945- ) – appointed the 16th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by the Library of Congress

The Edges or Time
A Cat/A Future
Things Shouldn’t Be So Hard

Robert Frost (1874-1963) –  delivered poem at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961

The Gift Outright

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) – first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone

Annabel Lee

Maya Angelou (1928- ) – delivered poem at Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993

Still I Rise
Woman Work
On the Pulse of Morning
The Health-Food Diner

Wislawa Symborska (1923-) – Nobel laureate, 1996

Under One Small Star

Margaret Atwood (1939- ) – multiple award winner for poetry and literature

More and More

Gabriela Mistral (Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga) (1889-1957) – first female Latin American poet to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945.

The Stranger
I Am Not Alone


The prodigal blogger has returned to poetry and now is trying to get caught up. We met at Frances’ house (last November) and discussed the upcoming election. Of course, since we all seem to share the same political sentiments, there wasn’t a whole lot of spirited debating, at least not about who to support for President. So we meandered into the politics of poetry.

Jan started us off with:

A jingle to help us recall the order of Presidents from Washington to Wilson

And this little gem which I could not find online. It’s from 1972 when Nixon won reelection in a landslide.

The election is over, the results are now known,
The will of the people has clearly been shown.

Let’s all get together and show by our deeds,
That we will give Dick all the help that he needs.

Let bygones by bygones and all bitterness pass,
I’ll hug your elephant if you kiss my ass.

Robert Hayden (1913-1980) – bio

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

from Words in Mourning Time part I which opens with
For King, for Robert Kennedy,
destroyed by those they could not save

Read an analysis here.

Billy Collins (1941- ) – bio

The Future

Carl Adamshick

Our flag

Madeleine Begun Kanebio

McCain Limericks

Sarah Who??

Some Friendly Advice for Obama

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) – bio

Let America Be America Again

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) – bio


My Boy Jack

Eugene McCarthy (1916-2005) – bio

Whose foot is on the treadle

It’s been a year of very successful poetry studies. Thank you all for your inspiring poetic contributions and thoughtful interpretations. I must tell you that I enjoy our gatherings very much…who would have thought that a group of such disparate people could find a wealth of common ground through a shared interest in verse.

Jason Shinder (1955-2008)

Jason Shinder (1955-2008)

I was moved to write this post when I came across this eulogy of Jason Shinder in the NY Times. Born in 1955, he was our contemporary or thereabouts. I hadn’t heard of Jason Shinder before, sadly. But reading the article, his apparent passion for poetry reminded me of our little group. He didn’t publish much of his own poetry. The article quotes him as saying, “I’m not that good yet, but I’ll get there.” Instead, he spent his time editing a number of poetry anthologies, an activity which is not unlike our monthly thematic adventures where we find common threads across a gamut of poems.

You can read some of Jason’s poetry at the Academy of American Poets site.

Happy New Year to all you poetry fans. I wish you much peace, love and harmony in 2009! And I can’t wait to hear what poems you’ll come up with next!

Peace, Love, & Harmony

Peace, Love, & Harmony

I was surfing around the Academy of American Poets site and came across this classic gem.

The New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving all you poetry enthusiasts!

Election Day Poems

In case you didn’t catch these election day poems in the Wednesday, November 5 NY Times, I’ve posted links to them here. At each page, you can hear the poet read his or her work.

When the Fog
by August Kleinzahler 

When the Fog

When the Fog

Election Day

by J.D. McClatchy 

In the Present and Probable Future

by Mary Jo Bang

In the Present and Probable Future

In the Present and Probable Future


The Polling Place

by Joshua Mehigan

The Polling Place

The Polling Place

Infomercial 2

by John Ashbery

Informercial 2

Informercial 2

Ellen hosted our gathering in October where we studied landscapes.

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) – bio

Mist Marches Across the Valley
Crossing Ohio When Poppies Bloom in Ashtabula

Robert Frost (1874-1963) – bio

The Mountain
The Road Not Taken

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) – bio

Landscape With the Fall of Icarus

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) – bio

God’s World

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) – Wordsworth Trust; poet’s bio

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud  aka The Daffodils and the Wordsworth Rap

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) – bio

The Land of the Counterpane

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) – poet’s Web page; other bio


Hayden Carruth (1921-2008) – bio

I Know, I Remember, But How Can I Help You
Song of the Two Crows

Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) – bio

What Did I Learn in the Wars?
End of Summer in the Judean Mountains

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) – poet’s homepage; other bio

Six Significant Landscapes

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) – Wordsworth Trust; poet’s bio

Lines Composed Above Tintern Abbey

Garrett Kaoru Hongo (1951- ) – bio

Yellow Light

We Get Wet

Jusangjollidae Cliff, Jeju Island, South Korea 2008   

Jusangjollidae Cliff, Jeju Island, South Korea 2008

Thinking about water, we shared these poems at Dan and Gloria’s house on September 7.

Bobbi Katz bio

Things to Do If You Are the Rain

Bruce Balan (1959- )-bio

Wet Dog

The Dog

Robert Frost  (1874-1963) – bio

Once by the Pacific

Going for Water

Kay Ryan (1945- )-bio

The Niagara River (with audio)


 Beatrice V ()-bio


Nikolay Gumilyov (1886-1921)-bio

The Giraffe

Pablo Neruda  (1904-1973) – bio

Rain (Rapa Nui)

John Masefield  (1878-1967)- bio


Robert Hayden (1913-1980)-bio

Monet’s Waterlilies

David Ferry  (1924- )-bio

Lake Water

Lauryn Hill  (1975- )-bio

Just Like Water