Tag: poetry

Winter Wonder Lands: Some Poems for the Season 

Drive south down I-95 in the new year, and you’ll join a fleet of cars with license plates from New York, Massachusetts, and Canada. These are the “snow birds,” off to exchange winter’s snow and frigid temperatures for the sunshine and balmy breezes of Miami and Key West. Drive north during this same season, and…


The Playground of Poetry: Light Verse and Whimsy

I never saw a Purple Cow, I never hope to see one, But I can tell you, anyhow, I’d rather see than be one! In 1895, American writer and humorist Frank Gelett Burgess penned those lines, which became one of the most famous American nonsense rhymes. Frank Burgess, circa 1910. Selections from the Bancroft Library…


Poetry: The Original Social Media

It was in an Epoch Times newsroom in July 2012, where my fellow reporter Joshua Philipp and I lamented the state of poetry today. We both had literary backgrounds and had separately come to the very same conclusion: Really good poetry just didn’t have a place to call home anymore. By “really good poetry,” I…


Is Poetry ‘a Little Word Machine’?

A famous definition of poetry as “a little word machine” has been quite extensively and approvingly quoted in the last few decades. There are various versions of the expression. William Carlos Williams spoke of “a small (or large) machine made of words.” Typing the phrase into Google gave me 530,000,000 hits. A short-lived poetry magazine in…


The Untold Story of Love and Loss Behind the Beautiful Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s popularity among average Americans of his day is something contemporary poets dream about. An international celebrity, he dispensed pre-signed autographs to the many fans who visited his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hoping to meet the author of “Paul Revere’s Ride” and “The Song of Hiawatha.” His work is famous for his placid…


Taking Poetry to Heart Is a Lifetime Gift

In the spring of 2014, I served as prompter for a local homeschool poetry fest in Asheville, North Carolina. From pre-K students to high school seniors, students marched onto stage and recited verse to an audience composed of family and friends. The little ones trebled out nursery rhymes, middle-schoolers delivered impressive reams of rhymes—Shel Silverstein’s…


What Good Is Poetry? Wordsworth’s Lament in ‘The World Is Too Much with Us

One way or another, people must make sense of the world, but how they come to that understanding begs the question of what it means to understand something. Does understanding hang on things like structure or significance or something else altogether? Poetry is one way to come to an understanding of things on several levels….


The Healing Potential of Poetry

Poetry offers a unique outlet for our creativity. It can let us bring expression to beautiful memories, or share something on a more essential level. Magdalena Montagne knows the value of poetry through her own experience as a frequent writer and published author with a degree in literature. Now she’s trying to help the elderly,…


Literary Standards: Are They Real?

There’s long been a debate on whether art should be valued simply because I (or you) like it via a totally subjective stance. Recently, I was privileged to be invited to be one of the two final judges of the 100 Days of Dante poetry competition run by the Calvin Center for Faith & Writing…


Liberty Tree: A Look at Thomas Paine’s Song Celebrating the Beauty of American Freedom

In a chariot of light from the regions of day, The Goddess of Liberty came; Ten thousand celestials directed the way And hither conducted the dame. A fair budding branch from the gardens above, Where millions with millions agree, She brought in her hand as a pledge of her love, And the plant she named…