Friday, August 15, 2008

Poetry Tips: Reviews

I always enjoy reading reviews of poetry and know that many of you enjoy my reviews as well. Today I challenge you all to review a book of poems you enjoy—no matter how popular or obscure—for others to learn about. It can be posted to your web-site, blog, or simply typed up and mailed to friends and family.

My formula for reviews is fairly simple: I only review that which I enjoy reading and I also try to find information about the author on the web, usually by visiting Poetry Foundation and/or This way you can provide some background information on the poet in addition to your review of the poems themselves. From there I usually review two or three poems and explain why I liked them and quote between two and six lines for examples depending on the length of the poem for readers to get an idea of the author’s style of writing and for the poem itself. You can do a review however you like, and if you do, I hope you will let me know via the comments section for all of us to take a look. You may just win over some new readers for your site and for the author of the collection—a win for both sides.

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by NEXT Sunday for answers to last Sunday’s Search and the next edition…(I will be out of town and unable to post, so please stop by the following Sunday, otherwise I’ll see you this Monday…)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Damselfy Issue 5 Open Submissions

Send 1 to 3 poems is a Microsoft Word or .RTF attachment, and contact information on a separate page (of attachment) to: Lesley(AT)
Be sure the head-line on your e-mail says “Poetry” only! Check out all other guidelines by clicking the link below:

Thanks for checking in, please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Luminous Monotony” by Jenny Gillespie
“Inversion” by Jon Swan

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for another Open Submissions…

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Edward Hirsch's "Special Orders"

Mr. Hirsch was born in Chicago in 1950 and has written poetry, prose, and a popular prose book titled “How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry.” I picked up his collection of poems titled “Special Orders” at the library, published 2008 by Alfred A. Knopf.

In this collection, I enjoyed the fact that these poems were easy to read and were all heartfelt as Mr. Hirsch relates moments in his life. One of his poems, “Branch Library” can be listened to at this link:
I enjoy this poem because when I first read it I thought of a book-loving lad burying himself in the shelves who visits the library daily. It’s a fairly short poem so it is hard to post the lines without posting too much of the poem, hence the link for listening. Mr. Hirsch explains which library in Chicago this poem was inspired from and that he discovered poetry in this library. One of my favorite images are from these lines: “pecking at nuts, nesting in broken spines, scratching/notes under his own corner patch of sky.” Who doesn’t think of school students scratching notes amongst dusty books they must read for class or research’s sake? It is a happy poem that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys reading in general.

Another poem I enjoyed is “Self-Portrait.” Before I go into the poem let me tell you that it came just after hearing a special on National Public Radio in which a researcher explained that Virginia Woolf’s style of writing mimicked the real human brain and how we are two selves rolled into one and how does our “self” explain this? In Woolf’s book, Mrs. Dalloway, you experience the free-flowing thoughts of Mrs. Dalloway and this researcher explained that our right and left sides of the brain are perfectly represented in Mrs. Dalloway’s thoughts and that Virginia Woolf had caught on to this dichotomy so that all humans ended up telling themselves an on-going novel to reconcile the differences between the left and right side’s wants/needs/ideas. Now, I tell you all this to explain that Mr. Hirsch’s poem describes a similar idea in a much smaller time frame, in fact, he does so in just over a page. The very first two lines are perfect for the example of what I mean: “I lived between my heart and my head,/like a married couple who can’t quite get along.” This grabbed my attention from the NPR special I’d heard. Then, Mr. Hirsch explains his body’s differences with “My left leg dawdles or danced along,/my right cleaved to the straight and narrow.” I think this is a fabulous example of how all of us have an internal war with ourselves and here Mr. Hirsch out-lines this all in a poem. After he explains his own dichotomy he goes on to expand out to the dawn of man and closes with the idea that in death, his two halves will reconcile with the lines “I suppose my left hand and my right hand/will be clasped over my chest in the coffin,/and I’ll be reconciled at last,/…” I’ve probably included too much of this poem but I found it absolutely fascinating in light of what I’d just heard on the radio and thought I’d share it all with you.

There are many fine poems in this collection and while they may seem simple at first they are all deeper in meaning at second glace. I hope you will pick up this book if you happen upon it and wish you happy reading. You may also find out more about Edward Hirsch using the link below.

As always, thank you for reading and please stop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cherry Pie Press Blog

Check out this small press that produces women’s poetry! There are also links to articles and other fun things if you poke around a little. Just click the link below:

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet…

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Search Edition 2

Thanks to everyone who liked the idea of the Sunday Search Puzzle for Poet Hound. We are now going to continue onwards and we’ll see how long this lasts. Let’s go for round two!

1st Edition Answers:
1. Lucille Clifton
2. Elizabeth Bishop
3. Mary Oliver
4. Ron Silliman
5. Justin Barrett

Sunday Search Edition 2:

1. Which poet wrote the popular poem “The Bells”?

2. Unscramble the letters to reveal the poet: IYSLVA TPALH

3. Which poet was published with a collection of love poems (now very famous), was born in 1904 and came from Chile?

4. Which poetry journal only publishes poems that are ten lines or less?

5. For regular readers: True or False, Poet Hound has given a negative review to a poet among her archives.

Thanks for participating, please stop in anytime, and of course drop in next Sunday for the answers and a new set of questions!