Thursday, April 28, 2005

a day of lists

I can hardly believe it, but this month of commemorating poetry is almost done. It went so fast...

Anyway, before it slips into history, I want to do something which poetry help books always advise - and that is, make some lists. (Besides, lots of poems are lists.)

Here is a list of some great poetry websites:

The Academy of American Poets
Canadian Contemporary Poets
Glossary of Poetic Terms
Poetry 180
Poetry 4 Kids
The Poem Tree (anthology of metered poetry)
Utmost Christian Writers
The Writer’s Almanac

Here are some sites for poetry prompts:

Poetry Poetry and more specifically The Vault and go to "Workshop Ideas")
Poets Online

And four of poems I like for one reason or another:

"e-poem" by Heather McHugh
"Being Boring" by Wendy Cope
"Tante Tina Puts the Gulf War in Perspective" by David Waltner Toews
"Where I'm From" by Waterfall
"Let Evening Come" by Jane Kenyon

And now this last list – a poem. Would anyone care to guess what it is a list of?


Welcome to the Country Airport,
also called the Loveless Hotel

Would you care for something to drink?
Ultramarine or Blue for their colors passing through us?
Fire aged by Rosicrucian in the basement?

Perhaps a light hors d’oeuvres on the funny side,
otherwise something more substantial –
unholy sonnets or serious concerns?

Our specials today are Nice Fish
caught just above water, down the winter road,
Septuagenarian Stew
and Night Picnic, which
given sugar, given salt will forever
spoil you for the idea of the ordinary.

Standard menu also includes
smorgasbord of Anthologies, fine array of
New and Selected or, if you like,
Selected and New, as well as 100 Selected
and the always popular Collected or Complete
in flavors from Angelou to Yeats.

Now that you are coming up for air
allow me to tempt you with the bare plum
of winter rain, picked
at the edge of the orchard country –
archaic smile guaranteed.
Will you end with coffee,
or do you hear a summons?

As to further questions of travel, you never know...
May I suggest the movie at the end of the world,
a stroll through the Impossible Toystore
or a sail on the Boat of Quiet Waters?
But beware the Black Riviera
with its bandsaw riots,
lords of misrule,
and the berrypicker who will bore you
with stories of what happened
when he went to the store for a loaf of bread.

–V. Nesdoly © 2003


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