Poems of the Week

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One of the most affecting parts of Jane Munro's 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize winning collection "Blue Sonoma" is the section entitled "Old Man Vacanas". We previously examined the first of that spare, touching 11-part sequence. This time, let's take a closer look - and a listen, courtesy of the poet herself - of the fifth part of the sequence.

One of the most affecting parts of Jane Munro's 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize winning collection "Blue Sonoma" is the section entitled "Old Man Vacanas". We previously examined the first of that spare, touching 11-part sequence. This time, let's take a closer look - and a listen, courtesy of the poet herself - of the fifth part of the sequence.

The whole world is thinking a lot about Americans right now, isn't it? Although the Poem of the Week choices are scheduled well in advance of their online publication dates, the timing of this excerpt from David Kirby's poem "Americans in Italy", from his collection The Ha-Ha, is uncannily appropriate.

The whole world is thinking a lot about Americans right now, isn't it? Although the Poem of the Week choices are scheduled well in advance of their online publication dates, the timing of this excerpt from David Kirby's poem "Americans in Italy", from his collection The Ha-Ha, is uncannily appropriate.

Considering the mundane subject matter and tone which this poem commences, it becomes revelatory at the end of its crisp 19 lines. How does it manage to startle and refresh us? Let's take a look at "K was supposed to come with the key, I was", which is the first line of a poem originally composed in Danish by Ulrikka S. Gernes, translated into English by Canadian poet/translators Per Brask and Patrick Friesen in a unique collaboration.

Considering the mundane subject matter and tone which this poem commences, it becomes revelatory at the end of its crisp 19 lines. How does it manage to startle and refresh us? Let's take a look at "K was supposed to come with the key, I was", which is the first line of a poem originally composed in Danish by Ulrikka S. Gernes, translated into English by Canadian poet/translators Per Brask and Patrick Friesen in a unique collaboration.

Derek Mahon has a formidable gift for taking as his starting point cues from other art forms, and then taking readers of his poetry on wonderful explorations, both of the inspiring work and of the new paths he forges from them. Let's see where he takes us in the poem "The Lady from the Sea" (after Ibsen, as Mahon notes) from his 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlisted collection Life on Earth.

Derek Mahon has a formidable gift for taking as his starting point cues from other art forms, and then taking readers of his poetry on wonderful explorations, both of the inspiring work and of the new paths he forges from them. Let's see where he takes us in the poem "The Lady from the Sea" (after Ibsen, as Mahon notes) from his 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlisted collection Life on Earth.

The narrator of Jennifer Maiden's "My heart has an Embassy" is seeking psychic and possibly physical refuge or escape, from troubles characterized as everything from "earthquakes and aftershocks" to "giant granites of despair." The echoes of news ripped from the headlines that resonated when this poem was originally published still sound, it seems, as we revisit it at the end of 2016.

The narrator of Jennifer Maiden's "My heart has an Embassy" is seeking psychic and possibly physical refuge or escape, from troubles characterized as everything from "earthquakes and aftershocks" to "giant granites of despair." The echoes of news ripped from the headlines that resonated when this poem was originally published still sound, it seems, as we revisit it at the end of 2016.

This section of Anne Michael's book-length poem Correspondences - a unique collaboration with artist Bernice Eisenstein melded with imaginative physical book design - echoes the book's singular construction, which allows and invites you to read it quite literally in different directions. Let's revisit and consider it again.

This section of Anne Michael's book-length poem Correspondences - a unique collaboration with artist Bernice Eisenstein melded with imaginative physical book design - echoes the book's singular construction, which allows and invites you to read it quite literally in different directions. Let's revisit and consider it again.

The work of poets weighs on Rodney Jones' mind - sometimes lightly, sometimes quite heavily - so it's not surprising to find a poem titled quite specifically about what concerns him. As he contemplates how to eulogize someone well, those self-deprecating worries bubble to the surface of this selection from Salvation Blues: One Hundred Poems, 1985-2005, shortlisted for the 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize.

The work of poets weighs on Rodney Jones' mind - sometimes lightly, sometimes quite heavily - so it's not surprising to find a poem titled quite specifically about what concerns him. As he contemplates how to eulogize someone well, those self-deprecating worries bubble to the surface of this selection from Salvation Blues: One Hundred Poems, 1985-2005, shortlisted for the 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize.

When we looked before at an excerpt from Christian Bök's Eunoia, which won the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize, we pondered whether or not he approached his poetic output the way a gardener can produce a miniature version of a tree or shrub using the bonsai method. Are such constraints - in plants or in language - pleasing or artificial? Reactions and opinions vary.

When we looked before at an excerpt from Christian Bök's Eunoia, which won the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize, we pondered whether or not he approached his poetic output the way a gardener can produce a miniature version of a tree or shrub using the bonsai method. Are such constraints - in plants or in language - pleasing or artificial? Reactions and opinions vary.

With previous Poem of the Week selections, we've looked at how storytelling draw us into poems on the merits of compelling narratives, but manage to achieve even more when combined with poetic effects and artistry. Soraya Peerbaye has done that affectingly and persuasively in "Skin", a three-part prose poem from her 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlisted collection Tell: poems for a girlhood.

With previous Poem of the Week selections, we've looked at how storytelling draw us into poems on the merits of compelling narratives, but manage to achieve even more when combined with poetic effects and artistry. Soraya Peerbaye has done that affectingly and persuasively in "Skin", a three-part prose poem from her 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize shortlisted collection Tell: poems for a girlhood.

While Sue Goyette's delightfully surreal Ocean challenges us, so does it also comfort us, as we've observed. We've been reminded again what a great source of solace poetry can be, so let's consider another selection from Ocean with that in mind.

While Sue Goyette's delightfully surreal Ocean challenges us, so does it also comfort us, as we've observed. We've been reminded again what a great source of solace poetry can be, so let's consider another selection from Ocean with that in mind.

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