A Wrong Righted

Back on Nov. 29th of 2017, the last poem to appear on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac -- "Bear in Mind" by John Martin -- appeared online and on radios. Bear in mind, now. Poems had been coming out on this show -- a friend of poets of all stripes -- for decades. But that was …

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Three “Hit the Open Road” Poems

I'm in the habit, when I read a poetry anthology, of marking my favorites in the table of contents. When I pull the book off the shelf in need of a little protein boost of good poems, this helps in a big way. Instead of thumbing through an anthology randomly, I simply seek the starred …

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Work in Progress — A Better Way

We all know the joke by now--the sign on the road reading MEN WORKING. It's how we learned the word "oxymoron" as the car sped past workers in hardhats leaning on shovels, sipping Dunkin Donuts coffees, chatting each other up. "Work in Progress" is another matter, one with greater meaning and impact. As my third …

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Poetry in Motion and Other Moving Thoughts

Notes on my return from spring break: Time flies even when you don't (file under "fear of flying"). Which is to say, a week off traveling someplace will always disappear faster than a week off at home. Reading on a train is conducive to sleeping. After training south on Amtrak's "Quiet Car" and failing to …

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Bad Mood, Good Poetry

Sometimes, when your mood shifts south unbidden, you need to pull it back. Sometimes reading certain poets helps with that--the task of settling yourself, of reeling your rogue mood back in. For what is this mood, anyway, to think it can divorce itself from you, then reunite its way at its bidding? Something worth resisting, that's what. …

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Teaching an Imitation Poem with “The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee”

Once they leave the elementary grades, students are typically loath to write poetry. One way to get them to do so is to use a template based on well-known poem. I get good results with N. Scott Momaday’s “The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee.” To start, I read the poem and discuss it like you would any …

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What Does “National Poetry Month” Actually Mean? I Found the Answers.

I almost forgot, but it's National Poetry Month. How I ever went a full week without realizing it is beyond me, but here we are and here I am, apparently unscathed. What the heck does National Poetry Month mean, anyway? Is it more inept political meddling on the part of our Do-Nothing Congress led by …

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