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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…

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The Three That Speak to Us: “Do Unto Others,” “Country Western Singer,” “Dead Critics Society”

Daniel Johnson’s “Do Unto Others,” Alan Shapiro’s “Country Western Singer,” and Mike Dockins’ “Dead Critics Society” are three of the greatest, most thought-provoking poems featured in Best American Poetry’s 2007 edition. Nick and I read each poem in the volume looking for underlying themes, tone shifts, creative new ways of conveying messages, and other characteristics to narrow down the…

The Great Poem Series: Billy Collins “Grave”

In New York City, 1941, arguably the most popular poet in America to this date was born. That man was the infamous Billy Collins.  After having a successful career in teaching, Collins shifted his focus to the world of poetry.  He went on from then to compose numerous amounts of successful poems; many of which…

“Hustle” by Jericho Brown

I find that it is necessary for a poem to address a topic that all readers can connect to in a negative or positive way. I call topics that can do this timeless topics. Jericho Brown is renowned for addressing such topics, some which are race, sexuality, and judgement; All of these topics are brought…

The Great Poem Series: James Galvin’s “On the Sadness of Wedding Dresses”

James Galvin’s “On the Sadness of Wedding Dresses” is featured in the 2015 volume of The Best American Poetry, first published in The Iowa Review. The poem revolves around the tragic stories of wedding dresses after “their one heroic day in the limelight”. It creates a depressing mood around the concept of a wedding dress…

Completely Subjective: Denise Duhamel’s “Humanity 101”

Denise Duhamel is an American poet, creative writer, and professor. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1961 and currently teaches at the Florida International University in Miami. Her poem “Humanity 101” is about our perception of the world and her character’s path towards it. Duhamel’s storytelling style in this poem helps paint the…

The Great Poem Series: Nin Andrews’ “The Art of Drinking Tea”

“The Art of Drinking Tea” by Nin Andrews was published in February of 2013 and appeared in The Best American Poetry’s 2013 volume. The poem is about a man who has been alone for a long time and feels he is just a shell of what he once was. I guess because of loneliness He…

Great Poem Assignment

Tony Hoagland’s “In a Quiet Town by the Sea,” an astonishing writing on humankind’s greatest and most infamous sin, provides excellent resource for epitomizing what a modern poem should be. More testimonial than literary, Hoagland is intent on keeping the focus as clear and precise as need be, determining the desires of man come directly from thought and not the lack of an experience or situation. The poem itself is a fresh blend of classic poetic devices and methods, each executed perfectly within its stanza and used in a way to create impactful and lasting effect. It is a rather…