'Somewhere the night had accommodated him'

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This week’s poem is one of my favourites and I can’t explain why in the 15 years I’ve been writing this column I’ve neglected until now to share it with you. Wendell Berry is one of our country’s finest writers, a poet, a fiction writer, an activist and a Kentucky farmer. This poem is from New Collected Poems from Counterpoint Press, 2012. Berry’s most recent book of poetry is A Small Porch.

 

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American Life in Poetry

'All day it continues, each kindness reaching toward another'

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Tolstoy said, "Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness." I found this poem by Dorianne Laux in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, published by Grayson Books of West Hartford, CT. The poet, whose most recent book of poetry is...

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American Life in Poetry

'Your hand a quick tremble in brief illumination'

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This is the sixth of Marge Saiser's poems to appear in my column, and I've written elsewhere how much I admire her work. This poem is typical of her clear, accessible poetry of close observation. I am...

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American Life in Poetry

'Her daylilies bobbed wide open out in the wild, blue sun'

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This week and next I want to show you two beautiful poems of grief and loss by David Baker, from his new and selected poems, Swift, published in 2019 by WW Norton. Baker teaches at Denison University ...

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American Life in Poetry

'He always came back just in time for the bell'

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Poets Tom Montag and David Graham have just published a fine anthology, Local News: Poetry About Small Towns, from MWPH Books, PO Box 8, in Fairwater, Wisconsin. Here’s one of the many poems I’ve enjo...

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American Life in Poetry

'You hold life like a face between your palms'

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There’s a very fine book, Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, published by Grayson Books of West Hartford, Connecticut, and I’ve found a number of poems for this column there. Here’...

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American Life in Poetry

'Purple trumpet blowing high notes at the sky'

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I'm a big fan of short, imagistic, haiku-like poems, and here's a fine one for the end of the year. It's by Sarah Freligh of New York, from her book Sad Math, from Moon City Press.

 

DECEMBER

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American Life in Poetry

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