Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Poetry for Everyone

U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser has created an initiative to place a weeklly column on poetry in mid-sized rural newspapers of the country in an effort to infuse poetry into mainstsream media. He has a spot on the Poetry Foundation's website at http://www.americanlifeinpoetry.org where a poem with a little commentary appears each week.

I registered at that site to gain permission to occasionally publish his weekly column and share poetry with you. Here is a sample column:


American Life in Poetry: Column 035
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Massachusetts poet J. Lorraine Brown has used an unusual image in "Tintype on the Pond, 1925." This poem, like many others, offers us a unique experience, presented as a gift, for us to respond to as we will. We need not ferret out a hidden message. How many of us will recall this little scene the next time we see ice skates or a Sunday-dinner roast?

Tintype on the Pond, 1925
Believe it or not,
the old woman said,
and I tried to picture it:
a girl,
the polished white ribs of a roast
tied to her boots with twine,
the twine coated with candle wax
so she could glide
uninterrupted
across the ice--
my mother,
skating on bones.


Reprinted from "Eclipse" by permission of the author. Poem copyright (c) 2004 by J. Lorraine Brown. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.
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American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration.


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