The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Staff Picks: Turtles, Tornados, Teen Dirt-bike Racers

May 27, 2016 | by

From Works and Days.

“I’m not even sure anything happened to me. / Or to whom everything happened.” So ends Brenda Shaughnessy’s long poem of adolescence “Is There Something I Should Know.” Reading those lines, I realized I had been waiting for that wisdom—that formulation—a long time. Her new book, So Much Synth, is full of these moments. Soulfulness is not a quality I always look for in poets of my generation, but over the last two decades Shaughnessy has stripped herself down to a voice that can sing plainly about disappointment and love in hard circumstances and the lost art of the mix tape, here revived in verse:

As it records, you have to listen to each
song in its entirety, and in this way

you hear your favorite song with the ears
of your intended, as they hear it, new.

Lorin Stein

I’ve never been very diligent about keeping a journal, but the form is one I enjoy reading: the lists one makes, the mundane things that fill an afternoon. Works and Days is Bernadette Mayer’s forthcoming book, at once a collection of poetry and a dated record of a past spring: woven among her verse are her journal entries. I found myself pulled toward these other, more austere little notes. Comprising teensy, often inconsequential moments—like whether it’s rained or has been threatening to rain—these prosaic morsels are gorgeous and serene. Hardly any of Mayer’s days are spectacular, but her eye is so keenly attune to all that surrounds her that nearly everything feels touched with grandeur. She writes of the grackles that remind her of Donald Trump and her broken ulna, of the tornados in Duanesburg and the poems she wrote with Jennifer Karmin and Niel Rosenthalis. She says she hates rye bread and recalls the sound of New York City pavement being swept. But there are delectable, sometimes even bawdy bursts of excitement in the collection, too, like when she writes about the poet Bill Berkson bringing a dildo to sex camp or the heron that “ate my heart.” —Caitlin Youngquist Read More »

The Licorice Fields at Pontefract

May 23, 2016 | by

… Yum?

Today I happened to pass one of my favorite spots, Myzel’s Chocolates—a small, idiosyncratic shop in midtown Manhattan, with a world of confections. For the licorice lover—that strange, fierce, embattled tribe—the store is a must. Myzel’s has the best licorice selection in the city: salty, sweet, terrier-shaped, boat-shaped, cute, creepy, hard, soft. “Licorice of the world,” they advertise. “Over a hundred different kinds.” And today a sign in front of the door read: NATIONAL LICORICE WEEKRead More »

The Single Girl’s Guide to Art

May 19, 2016 | by

A Girl With A Dead Canary, Jean Baptiste Greuze, 1765.

Jean Baptiste Greuze, A Girl With A Dead Canary, 1765.

Shannon Borg’s poem “The Single Girl’s Guide to Art” appeared in our Spring 2002 issue. Her latest collection is CorsetRead More »

Summing Up

May 12, 2016 | by

Frederic Edwin Church

Frederic Edwin Church.

Claribel Alegria’s poem “Summing Up” appeared in our Fall 1988 issue. Alegria is ninety-two today. Her latest book is Casting Off, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden. Read More »

April to May

May 4, 2016 | by

Camille_Pissarro_-_Gelee_blanche,_ancienne_route_d'Ennery,_Pontoise_-_1873

Camille Pissarro, Gelée blanche, 1873.

Joyce E. Peseroff’s poem “April to May” appeared in our Spring 1979 issue. Her latest collection is Know ThyselfRead More »

Birthday Letter from South Carolina

April 27, 2016 | by

Augustus Paul Trouche, The Hundred Pines, James Island, South Carolina, c. nineteenth century.

Jean Valentine’s poem “Birthday Letter from South Carolina” appeared in our Fall 1981 issue. Valentine is eighty-two today. Her most recent collection is Shirt in Heaven. Read More »