Riehlife Poems of the Day: “Through a Glass, Darkly” & “Defending Poetry, etc.”

Riehlife National Poetry Month Editor Stephanie Farrow writes:

Dear Friends,

It has been such a treat to share poetry during this past month. Thank you all for participating! Because today is the last day, I’d thought initially that the final poem should be deep and meaningful, inscrutable perhaps and profound—something along the lines of what the New Yorker would print. Then I thought, “Naw. Poetry is for all of us, not only the denizens of ivory towers.” So, in the interest of keeping it ‘umble, here are my final two offerings.

–for the students, who put me in my place
by David Citino (1947-Oct. 17, 2005)
from Paperwork
(also appears in Poets on Place…see below)

I’m all mouth, mustache, cane, grandiose Italian nose,
I squeak, speak in tongues, Cleveland, Little Italy.

But for you, these fevered weeks, I’m cuckoo,
vireo and finch, redbird, nighthawk, jay—

a squawk, a call at the windows of this stanza
called The Writing Room. Poetry, I try to say,

I crow, I swear. Poetry poetry poetry poetry.

Click here and scroll down to read complete entry in W. T. Pfefferle’s September 2003 road trip visit with Columbus, Ohio-based poet David Citino.
David Citino has one of those offices every professor wants, full of books, spacious, well lit from inside and out. It’s big enough to play racquetball in. He’s a terrific host, and we sit next to each other in front of his desk and we chat about the book a while before I begin asking him about the role place plays in his work. Citino’s lived in Ohio his whole life, born in Cleveland, now 30 years in Columbus. For him, Ohio is a place that he takes with him on any journey in his own writing. (Tales from W.T. Pfefferle’s year-long journey around the country assembling material for his book Poets on Place (Utah State University Press, Spring 2005) © W.T. Pfefferle 2005)

Click here to read my review of Poets on Place.

And finally, from Polish-born poet Adam Zagajewski

by Adam Zagajewski
from Eternal Enemies
(translated by Clare Cavanagh)

Yes, defending poetry, high style, etc.,
But also summer evenings in a small town,
Where gardens waft and cats sit quietly
On doorsteps, like Chinese philosophers.

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