America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
—from “America” by Allen Ginsberg
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
—from “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen
And poetry keeps the intensity and the passion of a point of view, but in a forum where people aren’t hurting each other. It says, “Here’s what it’s like from my point of view.” All you have to do is listen to the poet.
And, in that, you don’t have to be anything other than what you are. The poem is a catalyst where you’re bringing two different kinds of people together. And at its best, when it works, there’s a kind of spark, and everyone comes away illuminated by what the spark has ignited.
Poems to visit today:
“Differences of Opinion” by Wendy Cope
“Tenacious” by Tanita Davis.
by Melissa Wiley
I have quit romanticizing
small towns. Don’t tell me
somewhere Miss Daisy and the Colonel
sip sweet tea from green glasses.
Don’t say Dog Monday pats its patient
tail on the swept platform.
You know Doc Gibbs is no longer
in network. Behind trim doors fixed eyes
watch what all of us are watching.
Some of the mothers smoke still.
Their strong son the quarterback
snaps his frame: splayed limbs,
fanned hair, the blue dolphin vaulting
off the tanned swell. His swell friends
retweet. Here the wagons are circling.
There is plenty of posterboard.
Six fine pumpkins up the porch steps,
and artful corn husks: pin this. Touchdown
at Grover Cleveland High. Hear the roar
shivering the bruised leaves of the Bradford pears
on Elm Street above the patter of talk
radio. The limp girl among the red cups
under the butternut tree cannot
hear what they are saying in the cities.
This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Jama’s Alphabet Soup.