Required Reading: “Hope Is a Tattered Flag” by Carl Sandburg


Hope is a tattered flag and a dream of time.
Hope is a heartspun word, the rainbow, the shadblow in white
The evening star inviolable over the coal mines,
The shimmer of northern lights across a bitter winter night,
The blue hills beyond the smoke of the steel works,
The birds who go on singing to their mates in peace, war, peace,
The ten-cent crocus bulb blooming in a used-car salesroom,
The horseshoe over the door, the luckpiece in the pocket,
The kiss and the comforting laugh and resolve—
Hope is an echo, hope ties itself yonder, yonder.
The spring grass showing itself where least expected,
The rolling fluff of white clouds on a changeable sky,
The broadcast of strings from Japan, bells from Moscow,
Of the voice of the prime minister of Sweden carried
Across the sea in behalf of a world family of nations
And children singing chorals of the Christ child
And Bach being broadcast from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
And tall skyscrapers practically empty of tenants
And the hands of strong men groping for handholds
And the Salvation Army singing God loves us….

Carl Sandburg

Required Reading: “Last Picnic” by Charles Simic

I found this poem by accident one spring a few years ago.  You should read it.  Here.


Behold the Hurricane (and other Brathwaite and Brian Fallon jams)

You know all about those strange synergies of the internet.  Today, I was listening to The Horrible Crowes.  Like a lot.

kamau-brathwaiteFor some reason that only makes sense the to the tubes and wires, quite a few folks found their way here today by searching for Kamau Brathwaite’s visceral insight about Caribbean syntax : “the hurricane does not roar in pentameters.”

What Poets Make (Saeed Jones, Tory Adkisson, and Taylor Mali in Hayden’s Ferry Review #49)

Three very talented poets whose work I follow are featured in Hayden’s Ferry Review #49: Tory Adkisson, Saeed Jones, and Taylor Mali.

You might recall that Taylor Mali is the man who gave us this:

What poets make.  What prophets make.  What activists make.

What do you make?  Share it in the comments.