Archives For *Poetry*


Marjorie Maddox

This is a new weekly feature where we highlight 3 poems from a recent collection of poetry.

If you struggle to read poetry, I recommend checking out this little essay I wrote on why poetry is important.

“Like a rich and carefully crafted dessert, one must savor a poem in order to enjoy it fully—its images, its context, its sounds. A good poem is hospitable, inviting us to sit for awhile and enter into a conversation. Poetry, however, does not come naturally for us in our times; it is a discipline to which we must commit ourselves.”

This week’s collection of  poems is the excellent and challenging:

Local News from Someplace Else

Marjorie Maddox

Paperback:  Wipf and Stock, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon

Poem #1: Local News from Someplace Else

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George MacDonald

This week marked the anniversary of the death of George MacDonald, a noted Scottish novelist of the 19th century, whose work influenced C.S. Lewis, W.H. Auden and others.

MacDonald was also a poet.  Here are three excellent poems from his collection A Hidden Life and Other Poems.
(This book is available as a FREE ebook for Kindle and other devices…)
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Seamus Heaney

This weekend marks the first anniversary of the death of poet Seamus Heaney…

We offer in remembrance, this collection of videos of him reading his poetry!

*** Books by Seamus Heaney ***

Hope you enjoy these recordings!

#10 – Digging

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Gerard Manley Hopkins

July 28 marks the birthday of the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Reverend Father Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889) was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse. (Wikipedia).

The primary collection of Hopkins’s poems
is available as a FREE ebook:

Download now for Kindle  – OR- Various formats via Proj. Gutenberg


Here are 5 of my favorite of Hopkins’s poems:


God’s Grandeur

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Anna Akhmatova

Today is the birthday of poet Anna Akhmatova, born 1889.

A poem from

Akhmatova (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets)
Hardback: Everyman’s Library, 2006.
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Adam Zagajewski

Tomorrow, June 21, is the birthday of poet Adam Zagajewski.

*** Books By Adam Zagajewski

Listen to him reading four poems:

[ The Beauty Created by Others | Blackened River |
My Self-Portrait | Ravenna ]

*** Two other poems read by Zagajewski
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Gwendolyn Brooks

Tomorrow, June 7, is the birthday of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks.  Here are two of my favorite poems of hers:

*** Tomorrow is also the birthday of Nikki Giovanni.
***Read her poem: The Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr

Two extraordinary African-American women poets both born on the same day!!!

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Walt Whitman 1872

Tomorrow, May 31, is the birthday of Walt Whitman, born 1819…

I just encountered this recording of Walt Whitman’s poem “America” that is supposed to be read by Whitman himself in 1890.
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I read this beautiful poem at our church service at Englewood yesterday.

(Indianapolis folks: We will be hosting an event with Tania Runyan on this Thursday evening, May 22.  You won’t want to miss it!)


Blessed Are The Merciful
Tania Runyan

Amish schoolhouse shooting, Nickel Mines, PA



I didn’t trust their forgiveness.

Before the blood cooled on the schoolhouse floor
they held the killer’s widow in their arms,

raised money for his children,
lined his grave site with a row of patient horses.

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The Antigone PoemsThese Poems Bleed

A Review of

The Antigone Poems
Marie Slaight and Terrence Tasker

Paperback: Ataire Publications, 2014.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]


Rowan Williams describes what he believes to be the essential movement of a poet.  It begins with engagement with the world that leads to protest as a reaction to the condition of humans.  From the experience of protest comes disillusionment with language and its power.  Disillusionment gives way to silence.  From silence the poet returns, ironically, to language and thus to a kind of grace because “the return to language requires an act of faith; and an acceptance of the probability of failure.  It is, as such, an exercise in radical humility and an expression of the hope of ‘grace’, communication surviving the perils of words.”  For Williams, the timbre of poetry should be shot through with irony, desperation, and prayer.[1]
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