09 March 2009

p o e t r y

I believe I've mentioned before that Billy Collins is a rock star and that he created Poetry 180 while he was the U.S. poet laureate. I really like both Poetry 180 the book and Poetry 180 the website, because the poems are so accessible.

I was playing with the website recently and I keep coming back to these two poems. The first one reminds me of Tuey.

Poem Number 176

How to Change a Frog Into a Prince
Anna Denise

Start with the underwear. Sit him down.
Hopping on one leg may stir unpleasant memories.
If he gets his tights on, even backwards, praise him.
Fingers, formerly webbed, struggle over buttons.
Arms and legs, lengthened out of proportion, wait,
as you do, for the rest of him to catch up.
This body, so recently reformed, reclaimed,
still carries the marks of its time as a frog. Be gentle.
Avoid the words awkward and gawky.
Do not use tadpole as a term of endearment.
His body, like his clothing, may seem one size too big.
Relax. There's time enough for crowns. He'll grow into it.

from The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm's Fairy Tales, 2003
Story Line Press, Ashland, OR

Poem Number 052

Love Poem With Toast
Miller Williams

Some of what we do, we do
to make things happen,
the alarm to wake us up, the coffee to perc,
the car to start.

The rest of what we do, we do
trying to keep something from doing something,
the skin from aging, the hoe from rusting,
the truth from getting out.

With yes and no like the poles of a battery
powering our passage through the days,
we move, as we call it, forward,
wanting to be wanted,
wanting not to lose the rain forest,
wanting the water to boil,
wanting not to have cancer,
wanting to be home by dark,
wanting not to run out of gas,

as each of us wants the other
watching at the end,
as both want not to leave the other alone,
as wanting to love beyond this meat and bone,
we gaze across breakfast and pretend.

from Some Jazz a While: Collected Poems, 1999
University of Illinois Press


Annie M. said...

OK, I LOVE those poems! Thank you for sharing!!

MBC said...

Yay, I'm glad you like them! I do too.

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