Completely Subjective: Richard Howard’s “A Proposed Curriculum Change” - I think I chose Howard’s “A Proposed Curriculum Change” because I was flipping through the 2012 edition of “The Best American Poetry” and I saw the words “Fifth-Grade Class” and I just had to read on. The words feel soft and warm and familiar and recognizable and even the poem’s structure compels me further forwards,…
Completely Subjective: Charles Simic “Carrying On Like a Crow” - This poem does not have a publication date but first appeared in London review books. Three tidbits that seem relevant in this poem. “What do you know about dark clouds? Ponds full of fallen leaves?” “Flapping your wings from tree to tree and carrying on like a crow” “Old model cars rusting in the driveway”…
Completely Subjective: Barbara Hamby’s “Ode to Airheads, Hairdos, Trains to and from Paris” - I would drown out everything going on in the world simply by plugging my headphones in and putting the volume on full blast. The train rocked back and forth, skidding to the occasional bumpy stop about every 20 minutes or so. I’d look out the window, constantly being reminded that after a week that felt…
Completely Subjective: Daisy Fried’s “This Need Not Be a Comment on Death” - By the time my grandmother started handing out her lladros, her memory was already erratic at best. I gathered with my sister and cousins in their squat living room, prepared to accept the heirlooms dutifully as if sworn to protect a legacy encased within the tiny figures. While granted, I was a relatively emotional child, I…
Completely Subjective: Vievee Francis’s “Smoke under the Bale” - A good poem is one that makes you think. “Smoke Under the Bale” by Vievee Francis is a perfect example of a short but packed poem. Though the lines don’t look like much, they will have you thinking hard because of the way the author chose the words. Even I could not make sense of…
Completely Subjective: Kay Ryan’s “Home to Roost” - Published in the May 2003 edition of Poetry magazine, Kay Ryan’s “Home to Roost” has evolved into a poem that has quite a bit of personal meaning for me. Ryan, the 2008 U.S. Poet Laureate and the winner of the 2011 Pulitzer prize for poetry, is known for her spare, compressed verses, and “Home to…