Last summer, The Nation published a poem called “How-To,” by white poet Anders Carlson-Wee, in which the speaker, a homeless person who speaks African American Vernacular English (AAVE), which is also sometimes called Black...
So I’m reading The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century Poetry, edited by Rita Dove, in preparation for the poetry workshop I’ll be teaching this semester, and four very different poems, almost all in a row, by four very different poets, took my breath away: “Power,” by Audre Lorde, “The Prediction,” by Mark Strand, “A Stone […]
My Kind of Girl is a novel by Buddhadeva Bose, an important 20th century Bengali writer. In addition to the books he wrote in his native language–he was a fiction writer, a poet, a playwright, and an essayist–Bose also...
I stroll from street to street,
the trees spill themselves on the asphalt road.
Sooner or later the leaves
will end up swept away from the sidewalk.
Let’s call their disappearance wind.
Let’s go on giving names to all
we’ve lost in the name of words.
—Rosa Alice Branco, from Cattle of the Lord (translated by Alexis Levitin)
I’ve been reading The Architecture of Language, by Quincy Troupe, and I have been fascinated by how rhythm and syntax interact in the way he builds his lines. Structurally, the poems remind me of nothing so much as jazz...