Tag Archives: elizabeth alexander

Jan 20, 2009 Ars Poetica #100: I Believe

Friends,

forgive my lateness and the paucity of verbiage today. I heard
Elizabeth Alexander’s inaugural poem on TV just now. I’d label it not
a great poem. Tried to find it on the net, didn’t, found this instead.
Wass dinkest du?

Congrats Mr. President and Go Steelers,

mjl







Ars Poetica #100: I Believe



Poetry, I tell my students,
is idiosyncratic. Poetry
is where we are ourselves,
(though Sterling Brown said
“Every ‘I’ is a dramatic ‘I'”)
digging in the clam flats
for the shell that snaps,
emptying the proverbial pocketbook.
Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,
overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way
to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)
is not all love, love, love
and I’m sorry the dog died.
Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,
and are we not of interest to each other?

-2005

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Monday’s Verse, January 20/09

Friends,

forgive my lateness and the paucity of verbiage today. I heard
Elizabeth Alexander’s inaugural poem on TV just now. I’d label it not
a great poem. Tried to find it on the net, didn’t, found this instead.
Wass dinkest du?

Congrats Mr. President and Go Steelers,

mjl

Ars Poetica #100: I Believe

Poetry, I tell my students,
is idiosyncratic. Poetry
is where we are ourselves,
(though Sterling Brown said
“Every ‘I’ is a dramatic ‘I'”)
digging in the clam flats
for the shell that snaps,
emptying the proverbial pocketbook.
Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,
overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way
to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)
is not all love, love, love
and I’m sorry the dog died.
Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,
and are we not of interest to each other?

-2005