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Old Yesterday, 04:40 PM
William A. Baurle's Avatar
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,535

Originally Posted by Michael Ferris View Post
Ah, Bill. It’s my hope, too, that I’m growing a little wiser and not just older. How many poems have I scudded over and failed to get? A barking dog or an empty stomach can render me utterly stupid. But just this morning I re-read a poem and finally got it.


Indeed! I must have read Eliot's Four Quartets a hundred times in my late teens and early twenties, and hardly understood a thing. Now it seems like every line is crystal clear and heavy with meaning.

However, I still don't grok the title. I know there are four poems, but there are five sections to each poem, hence, wouldn't a better title be Four Quintets ?


Here's a great poem by a great contemporary poet:

Gospel: Juan

We crossed the border
Hours before dawn
Through a hole
Dug under a fence.

We crossed
Dressed as soldiers,
Faces painted
Mud green

The coyotes
That promised
We’d make it, gave us
A straw broom

To drag behind,
Erasing our tracks.
They gave us meat
Drugged for the dogs.

Farther off,
There were engines,
Voices, a light
That swept the ground.

We crossed
On our bellies.
I wonder
If we’ll ever stand up.

Tracy K. Smith

**Edited out the TMI.

This poem is part of a series, but I think it works just fine on its own.

I wanted to include another doozy by Smith called "Betty Blue", but I can't find an online version. I highly recommend her book, The Body's Question. Nearly every poem is dynamite.

Last edited by William A. Baurle; Yesterday at 06:15 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 06:52 PM
William A. Baurle's Avatar
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,535

This next poem is masterful, and I daresay hardly anyone will know of it. I hope I'm wrong, though.

Maybe a male poet might be in order, after all the ladies. Especially this poet, who is terribly under-read and under-appreciated. I also picked this poem because of its technical expertise, since we've been doing a lot of free verse in this thread.


Love-Making; April; Middle Age

A fresh west wind from water-colored clouds
Stirs squills and iris shoots across the grass
Now turning fiery green. This storm will pass
In dits and stipples on the windowpane
Where we lie high and dry, and the low sun
Will throw rose rays at our gray heads upon
The back-room bed's white pillows. Venus will
Descend, blue-white, in horizontal airs
Of red, orange, ochre, lemon, apple green,
Cerulean, azure, ultramarine,
Ink, navy, indigo, at last midnight.
Now, though, this clouded pewter afternoon
Blurs in our window and intensifies
The light that dusts your eyes and mine with age.

We turn our thirties over like a page.

L.E. Sissman
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