Poems for These Days

Three Yaddo Poets Nurture a Lineage of Grace

May 28, 2020

Our heroes, porous to the melody of an earlier music, received these gifts as we have before passing them on. We too can sustain this legacy: “But Ray runs into the kitchen . . . He says, Feel my muscle, and I do.”

Read More

Three Yaddo Poets Trust in the Everlasting

May 22, 2020

The trails we’ve taken, unencumbered by the present, may refuse to exit their preferred circumstances, and who could blame them? They took us to the love we look back on now. We continue because we trust the path.

Read More

Three Yaddo Poets Sing in the Dusk

May 20, 2020

As we wait, and stay, and lack, and do not, Klink draws us deeper toward “a wood emptied of trees // It was enough to hollow us out.” We find within ourselves the topography we lack, becoming our own answers when the carousel of questions circles back.

Read More

Three Yaddo Poets Extend Their Hands

April 22, 2020

“Now I do / relive an evening . . . of lust and tender trembling” in which sensation threw its wild arms in the air. Admitting finally to being “alone and longing for you,” and so in need of time’s sudden simultaneity, she succeeds in ushering it forth: “now I do.”

Read More

Three Yaddo Poets Bend but do not Bow

April 9, 2020

As the ordinary leans and staggers into the absurd, one’s mind attempts to merge the two. Mary Ruefle charts the variety of forms this attempt takes, her speaker confiding “I begin / to talk to violets. / Tears fall into my soup / and I drink them.”

Read More

Three Yaddo Poets Discover Hidden Comforts

April 6, 2020

It is daunting to be depended on in times of danger, and more so when one cannot guarantee safe passage. Camille Dungy’s speaker occupies “the undrenched intervals” of air within rain through which someone else sleeps soundly, though she understands her protection is nothing more than the negative space of a storm, and not its ending.

Read More

Three Yaddo Poets Light the Torch of Resilience

April 1, 2020

Many of us feel we are “dark gardening / in the vertigo cold,” reaching into the earth, hoping our efforts produce a harvest. Others are reaching madly while the soil poisons their hands. When we care for those most vulnerable among us, wherever they are, we cultivate our own “particular silences” into songs.

Read More

Three Yaddo Poets Find Faith in Stillness

March 28, 2020

Jenny Xie teaches that to sustain stillness when there is no identifiable “right” act or word is to persevere under an appetite that cannot be fed. To find food we hadn’t tasted and be nourished differently. To be newly good.

Read More

Three Yaddo Poets Stop Time at the Precipice

March 24, 2020

Baldwin’s plea for respite in a storm quickly becomes an urgent command for mercy, buoyed by a final statement of his own vulnerability. His deference to a greater power transforms into a reckoning with his own comparative powerlessness, though the two are ultimately intertwined.

Read More