Part of an occasional series, I point to poetry I’ve encountered and enjoyed in one way or another.
Most of this material is copyrighted, and I don’t care to get permission for use, so I’ll link to Writer’s Almanac, which did have permssion.
Let’s start with love and romance.
Poor Gerald Locklin can hardly get started with a new girl without an old friend showing up, but as he says, “I’ve Always Enjoyed Her Sense of Humor.”
In Complaint, James Wright utters sentiments that make me cringe. I guess it’s a sort of love, but a sort I’d sooner avoid.
In Half-Rack at the Rendezvous, William Notter paints what for me is a vivid, frank and believable picture of two passions and their connection: devouring ribs and “delirious honeybees working wisteria” (wink, wink).
Having been married for nearly 40 years now, I am touched by Epithalamium, by Thomas Lynch, involving the end of a marriage after some 70 years.
Personal relations short of love.
William Notter in Breakfast at the Road Runner Cafe does some people watching a feebly reaches out. What’s he supposed to do? Charles Bukowski’s the finger reminds us of how common a less friendly approach has become. It puts me in mind of how much public affairs coverage proceeds these day: Fox fingering MSNBC and vice-versa.
Reverie and despair.
Three male poets reflect variously on aging and death:
- two nights before my 72nd birthday (Charles Bukowski) is the cheeriest. I’ve felt that.
- Brotherhood (X.J. Kennedy) is somber, but I’ve been there, too.
- Maybe if the Jobholder (David Ignatow) would tune in one of the bread and circus channels instead of reading some stupid book, he wouldn’t have noticed what he has noticed.
My final choice seems the most theological and sacramental too me: The Gardener by Ken Weisner.
Your taxonomy of these poems might vary.