Rattle today. I am always looking for strong samples of concrete poetry to show my students, and Ronda's will definitely go into my files. I love how she uses line breaks so well (toe-/hold!), and gosh, she's got an ear for assonance and slant rhyme ("suggestive trajectories"). She had me with the first line ("I envy them / their silent lines ..."). Oy, such a fine poem. I also love that she ends with a question she does not answer. The poem is magic from start to finish, mysteriously matchig form with content from syllable to syllable and line break to line break. How did she pull it off? I will be studying this poem for a long time trying to figure it out, though I doubt I ever will (which, I reckon, is the issue with all resonant and ineffable--and lasting--poems). Congratulations, Ronda!
Found poems are another type of poem I ask my students to try to write. Annie Dillard has an entire book of them (Mornings Like This: Found Poems). Thanks to Maureen Doallas for posting today's Experiment Station Blog poem by Britton Minor, Lunar Installation.
The wonderful poet A.E. Stallings is judging the River Styx 2012 International Poetry Contest! More information is available here. Deadline is May 31. Up to three poems (14 pages total); all poems considered for publication. $20 reading fee. I just ordered a copy of her translation of Lucretius' The Nature of Things, just out from Penguin. Can't wait to dive in.
Sean Thomas Dougherty's "I am Scared of the Seam in the Air" is featured at H__NGM__N. Does anyone write with more longing, more elegiacally? Gorgeous, courageous poem. Congrats, Sean!
Joe Weil asks What Do I Mean When I Call Myself a Catholic? A lovely piece. Thanks for reminding me why I am enthralled with the saints, with cathedrals, and with my Catholic roots.
"21 Love Poems to Adrienne Rich" continues for three more days at the VIDA website, but you can access all the entries at their website. My day was April 22.
So much else to keep me away from grading papers, but will stop here as students beckon.