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An eclectic anthology of poems by laureates, contemporary and unknown poets

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Title: An eclectic anthology of poems by laureates, contemporary and unknown poets


1
  • An eclectic anthology of poems by laureates,
    contemporary and unknown poets
  • Kasi Zimmerman

2
Guide to an Eclectic Anthology of Poems
  • Pg. 1 Billy Collins
  • Pg. 2 The History Teacher
  • Pg. 3 The Art of Drowning
  • Pg. 4 The Man in the Moon
  • Pg. 5 Days
  • Pg. 6 Marge Piercy
  • Pg. 7 Colors Passing Through Us
  • Pg. 8 Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Pg. 9 Two Countries
  • Pg. 10 Lucille Clifton
  • Pg. 11 There is a Girl Inside
  • Pg. 12 The Mississippi River Empties into the
    Gulf
  • Pg. 13 Robert Frost
  • Pg. 14 The Road Not Taken
  • Pg. 15 To Earthward
  • Pg. 16 Stars
  • Pg. 17 Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
  • Pg. 18 Maya Angelou
  • Pg. 19 Phenomenal Women

3
Billy Collins
  • In an interview with Mr. Collins he stated,
    Poetry is my cheap means of transportation. By
    the end of the poem the reader should be in a
    different place from where he started. I would
    like him to be slightly disoriented at the end,
    like I drove him outside of town at night and
    dropped him off in a cornfield." His work has
    appeared in in Poetry, American Poetry Review,
    American Scholar, Harper's, The Paris Review, The
    Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker. He has also
    been featured in the Pushcart Prize anthology and
    The Best American Poetry for 1992, 1993, and
    1997. Collins was named Poet of the Year in 1994
    by Poetry Magazine and his new cd, The Best
    Cigarette sold out almost immediately.

4
The History Teacher
  • Trying to protect his students innocence
  • He told them the Ice Age was really just
  • The Chilly Age, a period of a million years
  • When everyone had to wear sweaters.
  • And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age,
  • Named after the long driveways of the time.
  • The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more
  • Than an outbreak of questions such as
  • How far is it from here to Madrid?
  • What do you call the matadors hat?
  • The War of the Roses took place in a garden,
  • And the Enola Gay dropped one tiny atom on
    Japan.
  • The children would leave his classroom
  • For the playground to torment the weak
  • And the smart,
  • Mussing up their hair and breaking their
    glasses,
  • While he gathered up his notes and walked home

  • Past flower beds and white picket fences,
  • Wondering if they would believe that soldiers

5
The Art of Drowning
  • I wonder how it all got started, this business
  • About seeing your life flash before your eyes
  • While you drown, as if panic, or the act of
    submergence,
  • Could startle time into such compression,
    crushing
  • Decades in the vice of your desperate, final
    seconds.
  • After falling off a steamship or being swept
    away
  • In a rush of floodwaters, wouldnt you hope for a
    more leisurely review,
  • an invisible hand, turning the pages of an album
    of photographs-
  • You up on a pony or blowing out candles in a
    conic hat.
  • How about a short animated film, a slide
    presentation?
  • Your life expressed in an essay, or in one model
    photograph?
  • Wouldnt any form be better than this sudden
    flash?
  • Your whole existence going off in your face
  • In an eyebrow-singeing explosion of biography-
  • Nothing like the three large volumes you
    envisioned.
  • Survivors would have us believe in a brilliance
  • Here, some bolt of truth forking across the
    water,
  • Dawning on you with all its megalithic tonnage.
  • But if something does flash before your eyes

6
The Man in the Moon
  • He used to frighten me in the nights of
    childhood,
  • The wide adult face, enormous, stern, aloft.
  • I could not imagine such loneliness, such
    coldness.
  • But tonight as I drive home over these hilly
    roads
  • I see him sinking behind stands of winter trees
  • And rising again to show his familiar face.
  • And when he comes into full view over open
    fields
  • He looks like a young man who has fallen in
    love
  • With the dark earth,
  • A pale bachelor, well-groomed and full of
    melancholy,
  • His round mouth open
  • As if he had just broken into song.
  • Billy Collins

7
In this poem, the author is talking about how he
was always frightened by the moon at night
because of what he thought the moon stood for.
When he was young the moon stood for a stern,
aloof adult figure in his life that showed
loneliness. I believe that the author, as a
young boy, was afraid of growing up and thought
about this at night before he slept. He could
have associated the stark whiteness and
familiarity of the moon with his fears of being
lonely and aloof as an adult, however when he
became an adult he realized that his fears were
unfounded and that the moon was actually like a
friend that was always there for him. He It also
hints that the author is in love because it makes
him happy that the Moon loves the Earth enough to
watch over it and if he was not happily with
someone he might have been saddened by this
revelation.
8
Days
  • Each one is a gift, no doubt,
  • Mysteriously placed in your waking hand
  • Or set upon your forehead
  • Moments before you open your eyes.
  • Today begins cold and bright,
  • The ground heavy with snow
  • And the thick masonry of ice,
  • The sun glinting off the turrets of clouds.
  • Through the calm eye of the window
  • Everything is in its place
  • But so precariously
  • This day might be resting somehow
  • On the one before it,
  • All the days of the past stacked high
  • Like the impossible tower of dishes
  • Entertainers used to build on stage.
  • No wonder you find yourself
  • Perched on the top of a tall ladder
  • Hoping to add one more

9
Marge Piercy
  • Piercys poems contain visions of a woman's
    struggle to take responsibility for her own life
    and set out the fierce honesty necessary in a
    truly loving relationship. Her political poems
    make human faces and recognizable neighborhoods
    so that we can cross that bridge of understanding
    from what would otherwise be merely abstract
    ideas and cold statistics. At readings,
    conventions, study groups, and celebrations, her
    poems are being used like hammer and nails, basic
    tools for building new lives.
  • She has published 15 books of poetry including
    Colors Passing Through Us and Mars and Her
    Children. Piercy is dedicated to exploring
    ideology and aesthetics through Marxist,
    feminist, and environmentalist points of view.
    "To name," she writes, "is not to possess what
    cannot be owned or even known in the small words
    and endless excuses of human speech."
  • She edited the poetry anthology Early Ripening
    American Women Poets Now (1988), and is currently
    the poetry editor of Tikkun. In 1990 she worked
    with Nell Blaine, a painter, on a book entitled
    The Earth Shines Secretly A Book Of Days, which
    featured Piercy's outstanding poetry and Blaine's
    exceptional artwork.

10
  • Colors Passing Through US
  • Purple as tulips in May, mauve
  • Into lush velvet, purple
  • As the stain blackberries leave
  • On the lips, on the hands,
  • The purple of ripe grapes
  • Sunlit and warm as flesh.
  • Ever day I will paint you, as women
  • Color each other with henna
  • On hands and on feet.
  • Red as henna, as cinnamon,
  • As coals after the fire is banked,
  • The cardinal in the feeder,
  • The roses tumbling on the arbor
  • Their weight bending the wood
  • The red of the syrup I make from petals.
  • Orange as the perfumed fruit
  • Hanging from their globes on the glossy tree,
  • Orange as the pumpkins in the field,

11
  • In this poem, the author is conveying her
    feelings for her significant other. She is saying
    that all the colors of the rainbow and everything
    that contains these colors reflect her joy and
    love for him. She says that she will give him a
    new color everyday and it will represent another
    facet of her love. As she is describing the
    colors she is talking about things that she wants
    to experience and show her lover throughout their
    days together. She wants to live and laugh and
    share her life with this person and has been able
    to express this through the colors of the rainbow
    and what they mean to her. By sharing this part
    of her with him, she is opening up and fusing
    them together.

12
Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Naomi Shihab Nye was born in 1952, to a
    Palestinian father and an American mother. She is
    the author of numerous poem books, including 19
    Varieties of Gazelle Poems of the Middle East
    (2002), Fuel (1998), Red Suitcase (1994), and
    Hugging the Jukebox (1982).
  • She has twice traveled to the Middle East and
    Asia for the United States Information Agency
    promoting international goodwill through her
    poetry. Nye has received awards from the Texas
    Institute of Letters, the Carity Randall prize,
    and the International Poetry Forum. Her poems and
    short stories have appeared in a variety of
    journals and reviews throughout North America,
    Europe, and the Middle and Far East. Nye has also
    written numerous books for children, and edited
    several anthologies of prose.

13
Two Countries
  • Skin remembers how long the years grow
  • When skin is not touched, gray tunnel
  • Of singleness, feather lost from the tail
  • Of a bird, swirling onto a step,
  • Swept away by someone who never saw
  • It was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
  • slept by itself, knew how to raise a
  • See-you-later hand. But skin felt
  • It was never seen, never known as
  • A land on the map, nose like a city,
  • Hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque
  • And the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.
  • Skin had hope, thats what skin does.
  • Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
  • Love means you breathe in two countries.
  • And skin remembers silk, spiny grass,
  • Deep in the pocket that is skins secret own.
  • Even now, when skin is not alone,
  • It remembers being alone and thanks something
    larger

14
Lucille Clifton
  • Her books of poetry include Blessing the Boats
    New and Selected Poems 1988-2000 (2000), which
    won the National Book Award.The Terrible Stories
    (1995), which was nominated for the National Book
    Award. Good Woman Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980
    (1987), was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and
    Two-Headed Woman (1980), was also a Pulitzer
    Prize nominee and winner of the University of
    Massachusetts Press Juniper Prize. She has also
    written Generations A Memoir (1976) as well as
    many other books of poems and more than sixteen
    books for children. Her honors include an Emmy
    Award from the American Academy of Television
    Arts and Sciences, a Lannan Literary Award, two
    fellowships from the National Endowment for the
    Arts, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the YM-YWHA
    Poetry Center Discovery Award. In 1999 she was
    elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American
    Poets.

15
There is a girl inside
  • There is a girl inside.
  • She is randy as a wolf.
  • She will not walk away and leave these bones
  • to an old woman.
  • She is a green tree in a forest of kindling.
  • She is a green girl in a used poet.
  • She has waited patient as a nun
  • for the second coming,
  • when she can break through gray hairs
  • into blossom
  • and her lovers will harvest
  • honey and thyme
  • and the woods will be wild
  • with the damn wonder of it.
  • Lucille Clifton

16
The Mississippi River Empties Into The Gulf
  • The Mississippi River empties into the gulf
  • And the gulf enters into the sea and so forth,
  • None of them emptying anything,
  • All of them carrying yesterday
  • Forever on their white tipped backs,
  • All of them dragging forward tomorrow.
  • It is the great circulation
  • Of the earths body, like the blood
  • Of the gods, this river in which the past
  • Is always flowing. Ever water
  • Is the same water coming round.
  • Everyday someone is standing on the edge
  • Of this river, staring into time,
  • Whispering mistakenly
  • Only here. Only now.
  • Lucille Clifton

17
Robert Frost
  • Robert Frost was influenced by many of the
    contemporary British poets he met during his
    travels, such as Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke,
    and Robert Graves. While in England, Frost also
    launched a friendship with the poet Ezra Pound,
    who helped to promote and publish his works. When
    Frost returned to the United States in 1915, he
    had published two full-length collections which
    were, A Boy's Will and North of Boston. Through
    these two works his reputation was established.
    By the 1920s, he was the most celebrated poet in
    America, and with each new book, including New
    Hampshire (1923), A Further Range (1936), Steeple
    Bush (1947), and In the Clearing (1962),his fame
    and honors increased.
  • Although his work is primarily associated with
    the life and landscape of New England, he was a
    poet of traditional verse forms and metrics who
    remained persistently distant from the poetic
    movements and fashions of his time period. As the
    author of searching and often dark thoughts on
    universal themes, he is a characteristically
    modern poet in his adherence to language as it is
    actually spoken. The degree to which his work is
    infused with layers of ambiguity and irony is
    much loved by audiences of today.

18
The Road Not Taken
  • Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
  • And sorry I could not travel both
  • And be on traveler, long as I stood
  • And looked down one ad far as I could
  • To where it bent into the undergrowth
  • Then took the other, as just as fair,
  • And having perhaps the better claim,
  • Because it was grassy and wanted wear
  • Though as for that the passing there
  • Had worn them really about the same,
  • And both that morning equally lay
  • In leaves no step had trodden black.
  • Oh, I kept the first for another day!
  • Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
  • I doubted if I should ever come back.
  • I shall be telling this with a sigh
  • Somewhere ages and ages hence
  • Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
  • I took the one less traveled by,

19
To Earthward
  • Love at the lips was touch
  • As sweet as I could bear
  • And once that seemed too much
  • I lived on air
  • That crossed me from sweet things,
  • The flow of--was it musk
  • From hidden grapevine springs
  • Downhill at dusk?
  • I had the swirl and ache
  • From sprays of honeysuckle
  • That when they're gathered shake
  • Dew on the knuckle.
  • I craved strong sweets, but those
  • Seemed strong when I was young
  • The petal of the rose It was that stung.
  • Now no joy but lacks salt,
  • That is not dashed with pain
  • And weariness and fault
  • I crave the stain

20
Stars
  • How countlessly they congregate O'er our
    tumultuous snow,Which flows in shapes as tall as
    trees When wintry winds do blow!--As if with
    keenness for our fate, Our faltering few steps
    onTo white rest, and a place of rest Invisible
    at dawn,--And yet with neither love nor
    hate, Those stars like some snow-whiteMinerva's
    snow-white marble eyes Without the gift of
    sight. Robert Frost

21
In this poem, Robert Frost is personifying the
stars by saying that they watch us and understand
our fate. I believe what he is trying to convey
is that they are our guardian angels. He is
saying that they see the snow blowing below them,
and they can comprehend our fate but they do this
without sight as we know it because they are
stars and have no eyes. I think he is trying to
tell us that they are more than just stars, they
are a part of us. They are what we have done and
what we have yet to accomplish and they will
watch continue to watch over us as they always
have. Soundlessly and without interfering, but
they are there for us.
22
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
  • Whose woods these are I think I know.His house
    is in the village though
  • He will not see me stopping hereTo watch his
    woods fill up with snow.
  • My little horse must think it queerTo stop
    without a farmhouse near
  • Between the woods and frozen lakeThe darkest
    evening of the year.
  • He gives his harness bells a shakeTo ask if
    there is some mistake.
  • The only other sound's the sweepOf easy wind and
    downy flake.
  • The woods are lovely, dark and deep.But I have
    promises to keep,
  • And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go
    before I sleep. Robert Frost

23
Maya Angelou
  • As stated in her poem, Angelou is certainly a
    phenomenal woman. She has been an author, poet,
    historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage
    and screen producer, director, performer, singer,
    and civil rights activist in her lifetime. She is
    widely recognized for her autobiographical books
    All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986),
    The Heart of a Woman (1981), Singin' and Swingin'
    and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas (1976), Gather
    Together in My Name (1974) and I Know Why the
    Caged Bird Sings (1969). I Know Why the Caged
    Bird Sings was nominated for the National Book
    Award.
  • Some of her books of poetry are A Brave and
    Startling Truth (1995), The Complete Collected
    Poems of Maya Angelou (1994), Wouldn't Take
    Nothing for My Journey Now (1993), Now Sheba
    Sings the Song (1987), I Shall Not Be Moved
    (1990), Shaker, Why Don't You Sing? (1983), Oh
    Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well (1975), and
    Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie
    (1971), which was nominated for the Pulitzer
    prize.
  • In 1959,Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., asked
    Angelou to become the northern coordinator for
    the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
    From 1961 to 1962 she was associate editor of The
    Arab Observer in Cairo, Egypt, which was the only
    English-language news weekly in the Middle East
    at the time, following that she was she was
    feature editor of the African Review in Accra,
    Ghana from 1964 to 1966. She returned to the U.S.
    in 1974 and was quickly appointed to the
    Bicentennial Commission by Gerald Ford and later
    by Jimmy Carter to the Commission for
    International Woman of the Year. She also
    delivered her poem On the Pulse of the Morning
    during President Bill Clintons inaugural speech.

24
  • Phenomenal Woman
  • Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
  • Im not cute or built to suit a fashion models
    size
  • But when I start to tell them,
  • They think Im telling lies.
  • I say,
  • Its in the reach of my arms
  • The span of my hips,
  • The stride of my
    step,

  • The curl of my lips.
  • Im a woman
  • Phenomenally.
  • Phenomenal Woman,
  • Thats me.
  • I walk into a
    room
  • Just as cool as you please,
  • And to a man,
  • The fellows
    stand or
  • Fall down on their knees.

25
Still I Rise
  • You may write me down in history
  • With your bitter, twisted lies,
  • You may trod me in the very dirt
  • But still, like dust, I'll rise.
  • Does my sassiness upset you?
  • Why are you beset with gloom?
  • 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
  • Pumping in my living room.
  • Just like moons and like suns,
  • With the certainty of tides,
  • Just like hopes springing high,
  • Still I'll rise.
  • Did you want to see me broken?
  • Bowed head and lowered eyes?
  • Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
  • Weakened by my soulful cries?
  • Does my haughtiness offend you?
  • Don't you take it awful hard
  • 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

26
These Yet to be United States
  • Tremors of your network
  • Cause kings to disappear.
  • Your open mouth in anger
  • Makes nations bow in fear.
  • Your bombs can change the seasons,
  • Obliterate the spring.
  • What more do you long for?
  • Why are you suffering?
  • You control the human lives
  • In Rome and Timbuktu.
  • Lonely nomads wondering
  • Owe Telstar to you.
  • Seas shift at your bidding,
  • Your mushrooms fill the sky.
  • Why are you unhappy?
  • Why do your children cry?
  • They kneel alone in terror
  • With dread in every glance.
  • Their rights are threatened daily

27
Kasi Zimmerman
  • Kasi was published in a 2001 poem anthology, Muse
    of the Heart and won numerous small poetry awards
    and publications in magazines and anthologies
    throughout her career as a poet.

28
  • Marigolds
  • They were great bunches of color,
  • Tended by someone who cared.
  • They were Marigolds.
  • Beauty placed there by an old woman who
    dared.
  • The only beauty,
  • In our little shanty town.
  • We children looked upon them,
  • With unknowing frowns.
  • We flaunted our youth,
  • And mustered up courage.
  • We gathered some pebbles,
  • As she tended her forage.
  • Zing!
  • My lone pebble beheads a flower.
  • At the old womans rage,
  • I revel in power.
  • We gather again,
  • By the great oak tree.

29
The Garden
  • Every leaf and blade of grass
  • Every pebble in the path
  • Every drop of water
  • Or flower petal
  • Was perfect
  • In plan and execution
  • True in color
  • And shape
  • Unharmed
  • Unworn
  • As if each had been created
  • Only a moment ago
  • Each was a gem
  • The lifes work
  • Of a jeweler.
  • Kasi Zimmerman

30
The Thrill of the Grass
  • Diving left
  • Graceful as a toppling tree
  • Fielding high grounders
  • Like a cat leaping for butterflies
  • Bracing the right foot
  • And tossing to first
  • The throw true
  • As if steel ribbon connected my hand
  • And the first basemans glove.
  • Kasi Zimmerman

31
When In Shadow and Disguise
  • When in shadow and disguise
  • From me alone, I cannot hide
  • And everyone believes my lies
  • And in no one I can confide
  • Wanting to peel off my mask
  • Wishing I could stand the pain
  • Desiring to be me at last
  • Contented least with bearing my name
  • Yet someone out there beckons me
  • Suddenly I see past my lashes
  • Then myself awakens
  • Like a phoenix I rise from my ashes
  • For remembering love I have discarded my fears
  • That then I may overcome all those years
  • Kasi Zimmerman

32
The Unbreaking of a Broken Heart
  • Losing you was one of my worst fears
  • And I dont have a clue how long these feelings
    will last
  • I cant seem to stop the falling of my tears
  • Cuz everything I cherished is gone so fast
  • Ive shelved all my memories of you and I
  • I gathered up your things and put them in your
    pack
  • I handed them over and walked away with a sigh
  • And Im trying so hard not to look back
  • Slowly time will heal my pain
  • And a healing rain will fall and wash away my
    tears
  • Somehow my old confidence I will regain
  • And time will take away my lonely fears
  • I will pick myself up and walk straighter
  • Because from knowing you my world will be
    brighter
  • Kasi Zimmerman

33
Life
  • Life is challenging.It's catching the moment,A
    change of heart.Remember your promisesA return
    ticket,A disconnected phone.The way time passes
    is a river of yesterdays.Have No Regrets.

34
No Matter Who You Are
  • No matter who you are,
  • Ill be there by your side.
  • No matter who you are,
  • From me you wont have to hide.
  • No matter who you are,
  • Ill catch you when you fall.
  • No matter who you are,
  • Ill always be there to call.
  • No matter who you are,
  • On my shoulder you can cry.
  • No matter who you are,
  • I will never pass you by.
  • Kasi Zimmerman
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