Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poetic 3 Walk Poem

For this poem, i walked around an antique shop that I had found one day while walking in Center City. I had a very interesting experience there, and felt the need to write my poem about it. The shop had a mysterious feeling and it seemed as if it were separate from the rest of the world. The shop was kind of small but because of the great amount of things that were in it, there was so much to look at. This caused a bit of a problem when it came to writing the poem. I took notes on my walk, and wrote the poem immediately afterwards; however, my notes filled two pages of my notebook and were crazy and somewhat  incoherent because of everything that I wrote about. I then had to choose what was more significant to add to the poem. I picked a few things that were very prominent in the adventure through the store such as the chair and the crucifixes, especially the ones that were covered in rhinestones (sanctity is disturbed/by rhinestones). My emotions throughout the stores changed with every room I walked through. I found this to be interesting because I'm never really that emotional in stores. I tried to convey that in the poem. When my mother called me I was pulled out of this trance that I felt the store had put me in, almost as if I was welcomed back to reality. It bothered me, though, because I got very distracted, and needed to stop and get back to where I was prior to that moment.
It was interesting to see the objects of the store come alive as I walked past. As I was telling my friends about it I had said that it was like a fun house for old people because its an antique shop and I guess old people like antique shops. I just kind of said it, but then I was like that is what I will call it. Then I changed it to "The Fun House For Old Souls" because there was so much energy in the store, almost like everything was alive, or had a "soul." The title then can be for "old souls" like old people, or "old souls" like energy given off by the antiques. I went back to the store afterward and it was completely different. The lights were brighter than I remembered, things were still there but the energy was gone. I did get to see more things in greater detail, but it didn't have the same affect. It was a very strange, dream like experience. 

Poetic 3 for Walk Poem--Rayhan Blankinship

As I walked, I paid attention to the way the action of walking depended on rhythm, and was guided by rhythm. Footsteps carry with them a mood and musicality. They create a beat, as each step effectively beats or pounds the ground. Although an inner music controlled my pace, I did find that my way of walking was affected by external factors. I became infatuated by the intersection of movement and memory, especially in how they relate dance. Although there is this association with club dance or social dance, I was thinking more about the daily dance of living.

Walking outside, I feel as though I am in the world, and that I am meeting it. It gives me different faces on different days. For me, walking has always been a means of escape, from both myself and from other people. In this way it is therapeutic, and my mind has the freedom to meander, even if I am traveling to a predetermined destination. In fact, there is a certain thrill that I associate with walking, because I am moving myself from one place to another, and where I end up depends on where I choose to go. In someone else’s car, you are their captive. Even if you are driving, you must obey certain laws, or else end up in a dangerous situation. Also, you are still confined from the world by a physical barrier. I have always also used walking as a way to clear my head. Indoors, I begin to feel confined. Once I have turned off my cell phone, and am out walking by myself, I feel truly free. I enjoy the feeling of knowing that no one I know really knows where I am, and that I could get on a bus to Mexico if I so decided. In this state, where I know that I am alone, even if I am on a subway surrounded by people, my body rejoices in being itself.

Walking past certain physical markers triggers specific memories, and so I wrote this poem with two things in mind: first, the aforementioned physicality and rhythm of walking, and second, the notion of meandering through my own memory—the memory associated with walking. Sometimes these memories involved walking companions. In transcribing these memories into a poem, I chose to pay more attention to how the memories became word imagery, separate from the image of the actual memory. Instead of trying to convey the specific sequences and details of the memory, I wrote them into transformation. I also associate observation with walking. As I walk, I observe the weather and the world as some sort of art gallery. An open space, it still feels totally contained and enclosed, expecting to be traversed, and yet waiting around for no one.

Poetic 3

For my Walk Poem, I attempted to capture everything that the action of walking means to me. Walking has been a constant theme in my life, and so many of my best memories are of long walks through this city. Every walk recalls another walk as I’ve passed every street so many times before. I wanted to capture two atmospheres and two attitudes: that of a past walk and that of the present walk. Walking traditionally has connotations both of forward motion and of nostalgic exploration, and these themes are present in my poem as well. I did take an actual walk, but it wasn’t something I did for this assignment, as I honestly walk miles every weekend it’s nice out. As I walked, it became evident that it was impossible for me to write about walking without recalling all of my past experiences. I couldn’t only write about that single walk because I would have to exclude a lifetime.
Additionally, I wanted to explore two concepts that I feel linked to my concept of walking: that of life being a cyclical motion and the physicality of walking. I’ve learned that when a human being walks, they don’t actually move their leg up and then place their foot on the ground, but that the human body has been adapted to use the force of gravity to do half of the work for us. We lift our leg and let gravity push us down, catching ourselves at the last second. This is incredibly complex and to this day scientists find it difficult to build a robot that can successfully walk like a human does. I also envisioned life as if it were a globe, and instead of parallel universes or a linear timeline, I imagined my past and future selves walking along this sphere. And just how the Earth revolves constantly, our present selves will eventually revolve and reach these other planes of time, reaching forward and remembering simultaneously and always.

Poetic 3

Ghazel Sultan

For my walk poem, I took a walk around Temple campus. I observed many things around me, including my own thoughts and I realized how some minute details that I overlook as I am walking, such as a leaf falling of a tree, to the ground and how that can have a particular rhythm to it. Even when it is windy out, the leaves still maintain its smooth pace as they flew in mid air. I also noticed how as I walked, the silhouette of the trees would cover the floor at night and how one can combine themselves with the scenery around them through the shadows. I incorporated this certain aspect in my poem because I found it very fascinating how a shadow of something can be used in a way to combine two different aspects; in this case, it was me and the tree branches. The way the shadows moved as I walked was interesting as well because I observed that the silhouettes changed shapes but they all maintained the same form of being dead and weary. This added to the emotions which are felt at night as you walk underneath dead trees.

Overall, I paid close attention to nature around me and I learned how certain forms that we ignore can explain a lot about normal things in our own lives, such as a tree in the winter can explain death where as in the summer, it can be seen as rebirth. The walk poem was a great assignment, because poetry is more about observation and by this poem, I was able to create a poem from a single aspect that regularly took for granted. Even now when I walk to my destination, I pay more attention to my surroundings rather than walking straight with my iPod on, more concerned with what I need to do for the rest of the day.

Poetic 3

Robert Mays
Poetic 3/ Walk Poem

Out of all the poems we had to write for this class, I have to say that this one for me was probably the most difficult. I wanted to write a poem that though it walked you through something it wasn’t an actually a physical walk. As a college student, I walk all the time. And now, I had to walk and literally capture my thoughts as they come along. I choose to jot down my thoughts as I walk to work on a Wednesday. It’s in the middle of the week, I have two of my hardest classes that day and I go to my extracurricular activities in the SAC. I wanted the reader to see how my mind moves and wanted them to notice the changes I go through as I travel through campus. More importantly I want the reader to really grasp the idea that Temple and North Philadelphia are two different places; and the school that I work has its own values and culture within the neighborhood. The one thing that stood out to me from writing this poem, is that I’m always thinking and when im not thinking, I’m reminiscing not only because at time it can be comforting. But, it passes time as I walk through campus.

Poetic 3

My walk poem was a mix of two different styles, one being mimicking the walk itself, an seamless stream of thoughts with my point of view changing with the scenery; the second being that I come to various realizations throughout my walk and discuss them in my poem. I feel that the most prevalent thing I learned about myself throughout the course of writing my walk poem was that my mind wanders and jumps from topic to topic when it is triggered by something I find interesting. Things that “I notice” for instance are very simple, but my mind wanders, delving deeper into the meaning of the discovery or even its back-story. Giving human feelings to inanimate objects such as the “lonely tree.” I gave it a gender and discussed its feelings, something that I thought about briefly during my walk but analyzed more once I got home and began to write.
I started my walk with no preconceptions about what was to come, but I found myself in a very familiar situation early on. The trip to the bodega across the street begins my poem, which I think is important because I often start my day the same way. Instead walking to campus however, I made an opposite turn and walked farther way from my usual destination with no real intentions. I saw familiar things but thought about them more in depth than I usually do. Such as analyze the changing architecture from street to street and even imagining what the groups of friends in my path are discussing.
My realizations were simple but important nonetheless. I discovered that I know nothing about my surroundings when it comes to the lives of the people living around campus. I recapped things that I’ve learned for my history major and how little of it taught my anything about the life right next to me. This assignment was worthwhile and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Poetic 3

To write my Walk Poem, I observed the corner of 12th and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. For a long while, I watched people and how they walked. I wondered where they were walking or what they were thinking. I focused a few individuals, but I felt that I wasn’t going anywhere with my poem. As soon as I stopped trying so hard, a young woman walked and stopped at the corner. I felt like it was the perfect opportunity for me to try and write out the event.

During the process of creating my poem, I found myself looking for more minuscule details. I wanted my poem be simple, yet descriptive. It took me many tries to figure out how to write my walk poem. Even though this poem did not refer to my walk, it did refer to another walk. As I read the poem back to myself, I feel a connection between the poem, the event and myself. I really enjoyed the process of writing this poem.

I learned through the process of writing this poem that writing a poem about an event and writing a poem that is an event are to drastically different things. I found this process to be challenging, not only in a writers sense, but also in a thinkers sense. Every time a write a poem, I feel that I am growing and learning. Each poem that I have had to write for this class has helped and challenged me to be creative. Life does not always have to be so structured and I’m living that now through writing poems in this class.

Poetic 3--Eric Whetstone

This walk poem stumbled into my hands yesterday almost by chance. My best friend and mentor from last year who I hadn’t seen since had decided to surprise me by showing up at my apartment Sunday night. He had to leave Wednesday morning to get back to New York City and my classes happened to get cancelled for the day, so I threw out my plans to go walking later and decided to write about our journey (my roommate, who he also mentored, decided to tag along). Once he got on the Chinatown bus my roommate and I headed to the Aquarium in Camden, only adding to the walk and what was available to write about. It should be noted that none of us had slept the night before, and that’s what I’ll blame me forgetting my notebook on, so I had to write after I got back. The poem is a recounting of the events as I best remembered them and simply hints at what was going on (as how my imagination thought of them), rather than outright stating it. For example: Small rural hometown + one vivid imagination = beasts. Where beasts are subways/buses. Since I didn’t get to write as I walked I missed out on some of the pacing and timing that I had initially wanted to incorporate in my poem. It was also used as a form of reference to the great times we shared this past week and the emotions involved between the three of us (I was not the one blowing kisses). The cigarette lines were put in to show when a new walk was started again upon exiting public transportation, but also to show some of the timing (more cigarettes than that were smoked). The fact that the poem is really more like a recounting of some epic adventure rather than a simple walk can probably be blamed on my love of fantasy and shows how infested it is within my brain.

Poem #3

I actually had a bit of difficulty with this at first. I wasn’t really too keen on the idea of a walk poem, but I went with and kept my mind open day to day. Unfortunately I really didn’t have a walk at any time that stood out to me which really affected my writing; I didn’t do any. It wasn’t until last night that I had a walk that really stood out in my memory, which was the most important factor to me. I really wanted my poem to mean something to me instead of just being a generic poem about me walking here and there. Last night accomplished that.

The poem really gave me a better understanding of my mind; the things that it takes in, the moments. I really have a habit of getting wrapped up in my definition of beauty, especially in the world. Last night was a piece of that beauty. It’s almost like a tranquility when I’m in those situations. I don’t remember a whole lot of the conversation that was taking place, but I do remember most of the area around us. My mind wanders to the point where I’m become oblivious of myself as well as people around me. This is probably why my friend pointed out that my ability to converse and short-term memory was horrible last night. My imagination plays a great deal in this as well. I found that my mind was placing things around me that weren’t there or altering certain events. I had to make myself focus on the realities around me.

This poem was very much different from what I’ve written in the past in the sense that I tried to keep it tied to reality while also capturing what I saw in my mind’s eye. I had restrictions that I don’t normally and had a semi-difficult time working around that. Though, in the end, I really enjoyed the final result.

Nick Vadala Poetic 3

I started this poem a little while ago, in fact it was before I had ever heard of a walk poem. One night, my girlfriend at the time and I walked and took the subway all over Philadelphia until about three in the morning. Throughout the city I noticed a level of decay and violence—as well as a tangible feeling of hopefulness and longing—that compelled me to start writing this poem. I came back to it for this assignment because there have been more important invents in Philadelphia’s history since I started writing it, and I felt like after learning about walk poems, I could add a lot more detail and emotion to the stanzas. So I took another walk and found out not much had changed since I was initially inspired.
I tried to accomplish a one-sided dialogue with the city that asked some questions that I wanted answered at the time, as well as explain some grievances and offer encouragement to the city itself. I decided to arrange the stanzas on the page as they are because each one appears to be a different letter to Philadelphia, and their locations on the page mirrors the walk that I took.
While writing this poem, I learned that I am the kind of person who asks a lot of questions and wants the world, especially Philadelphia, to be the best place that it can be. This poem made me realize that I am a sort of hopeless romantic; whether this is a good thing I have not yet decided. I also learned that I tend to consider places (like cities) as living entities that have their own spirits and can make their own decisions.
The walk poem is different from other poems I’ve been writing in that—to me—it is very sincere and thought provoking. Usually I consider my poems to be rather bland and uninteresting, but I like to think that due largely to the format of this poem, it came out much better than other poems that I have written. In addition, this was a very challenging poem to write in that I had to keep a centralized focus on one specific topic, which is something I almost never do.

Poetic for Walk Poem

For this assignment, I decided to write about a SEPTA (subway) train ride as mentioned in assignment worksheet. I choose to do something different and write the poem as if the reader were riding the train with me. I got on the train (the broad street line) with a notebook and pen and wrote down everything I saw and felt. It was a bit of a challenge at first, but once I organized all of my thoughts I was able to write the poem. I actually enjoyed writing this poem in this style. It allowed me to be more creative than I am used to being. The way that this poem is written, it allows the reader to truly experience my train ride. The septa train ride isn’t as smooth as a car ride, so I wanted to make sure that I included some of the sounds and movements that I think are involved. The ‘walk poem’ is certainly different from the other poems that we have been writing. The ‘walk poem’ forces the author to go out and experience, look at, and observe things that they would normally bypass in a regular day. In other poems, (depending on the poet) the poet usually sits and writes down what ever ideas and thoughts come to his/her mind. I also think that ‘walk poems’ forces writers to be creative. They are asked to step out of the box by venturing to places that they have never been and write. In a sense, a ‘walk poem’ is a new learning experience.

Akintoye - Extra Credit: Eclogue

Esther Akintoye
March 24, 2009
Poetry – Extra Credit

An eclogue poem is similar to a pastoral poem. An eclogue is a shortened form of a pastoral that typically involves dialogue on the topic “of rural life and the society of shepherds, depicting rural life as free from the complexity and corruption of more civilized life” (eclogue - Encyclopedia Britannica). A pastoral poem “refers to the lifestyle of shepherds and pastoralists, moving livestock around larger areas of land according to seasons and availability of water and food” and “also describes literature, art and music which depicts the life of shepherds” (wiki - pastoral). This is where the term bucolic comes in. This term is interchangeable with pastoral and means “‘cowherd’” (wiki - pastoral). An example of pastoral in the arts and music genre is Václav Tomášek’s work. His musical compositions are known to be the first pastoral (wiki - eclogue)

It was not until the Renaissance era when the eclogue was later reused by “Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Battista Spagnoli” (eclogue - Encyclopedia Britannica). All of who are Italians. The first English eclogue poem, The Shepheardes Calender, was written in 1579 by Edmund Spenser. These twelve eclogues represented each month of the year. The 17th century is marked by their use of eclogues as “less formal” (eclogue - Encyclopedia Britannica). During the 18th century eclogues were crafted “for ironic verse on nonpastoral subjects” (eclogue - Encyclopedia Britannica). Jonathan Swift did this in his book A Town Eclogue.

Two great poets who helped introduce the eclogue technique were Theocritus (310-250 BC) and Virgil (70-19 BC). Theocritus is a Greek poet who used the eclogue form in Idylls. Idylls mean ““little poems’” (Theocritus - Encyclopedia Britannica). These Idylls crafted by Theocritus do not have the appealing and “pretty” qualities that were later adopted. His original intention was not to write eclogues on “peasant life” because he was very specific of what he used in his poems (Theocritus - Encyclopedia Britannica). He is greatly known for his work in bucolics because “they introduced the pastoral setting in which shepherds wooed nymphs and shepherdesses and held singing contests with their rivals” (Theocritus - Encyclopedia Britannica). Virgil is a Roman poet who used the eclogue form in his book 10 Eclogues, also known as Bucolics.

Virgil’s impact on the use of eclogue is greatly noted in this particular field because the term “Virgilian tradition” came from him. “The ancients referred to individual poems of Virgil’s Bucolica as eclogae, and the term was used by later Latin poets to refer to their own bucolic poetry, often in imitation of Virgil. The combination of Virgil’s influence and the persistence of bucolic poetry through the Renaissance imposed ‘eclogues’ as the accepted term for the genre” (wiki - eclogue).

Eclogue comes from the Latin word ecloga. This Latin form comes from the Greek word eklogē, which means “‘draft, choice, selections (particularly of short passages)’” (wiki - eclogue).

I saw poem on and thought it may be a good idea to add it to give a visual example of what an eclogue is.

By Spencer Reece

In Juno Beach, on Pelican Lake,

Joseph Saul ate potato chips off a paper plate

and fed the broken bits to a duck.

He was accompanied by Laurie McGraw,

whom he met at the Alzheimer’s Support Group—

she had been a caregiver, he had a diagnosis,

and together their eyes vacantly connected.

Laurie spelled her name with a large dot

or a star atop the “i.” A born-again,

with two failed marriages so far,

she sent Joseph pamphlets in the mail

about Jews who could be saved by Christ.

On her day off, she washed her blind dog

with soap. The two discussed the pleasure

of naps. The duck strutted in uniformed plume,

greasy black-green, speckled red pate,

sated, companioned, unbundling with poop,

the duck thrust with the thrust of youth;

interior decorator of the lake, the duck

was flush with floor maps. Joseph oversaw

the duck’s scufflings as Laurie made a note

to arrange another semidetached date.

“eclogue.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 23 Mar.
2009 .

“eclogue” Wikipedia. 2009. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. 23 Mar 2009.

“pastoral” Wikipedia. 2009. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. 23 Mar 2009.

Reece, Spencer. Eclogue. 2008. Condé Nast. 23 Mar. 2009. .

"Theocritus" Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 24 Mar. 2009 .

"Virgil" Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 24 Mar. 2009 .

Poetic 3

Ernesto Lopez
Poetic 3

I had a fair amount of trouble writing the walk poem. Philadelphia seems uninspiring to me because I went out several times with a notebook and came back with nothing. In the end, I decided to write about a string of thoughts I had while I was walking outside of Paley library. I tried to space out most of the poem in order to accurately follow the order in which those thoughts came to mind. The length of the poem is due to the fact that it was interrupted by my entering into the massive crowd at Anderson hall. The poem began with thoughts of autumn, hence the leaves, and since it was raining while I was walking around, I included the rain. The image of my mother falling when she was pregnant with my brother came next, and the sobbing of my father was unrelated to that specific event. The final two lines are what happened that next day, when I disrespected my father and I did indeed have hell to pay. The walk poem was definitely a challenge for me not only because I couldn’t think of anything to write about Philadelphia, but also because of the length. I felt that the walk poem should be rather long, but I feel that when I write, my writing loses coherence after more than a page in length, and thus I decided to keep this “walk poem” short and at least to my mind, concise.

Akintoye - Extra Credit: Cole Swensen

Esther Akintoye
March 24, 2009
Poetry – Extra Credit

Cole Swensen is an author, translator, editor, copywriter, and teacher. As a result of her work, Swensen has lived in numerous places, which include California, Colorado, England, and France. Swensen was awarded the 2004 PEN USA Award, due to her work in translation of The Island of the Dead. This can be annotated by the fact that Swensen believes “in the international exchange of words and language, and in the importance of radical and traditional poetries for contemporary society” (Wiki). Other awards she has won include “the National Poetry Series, Sun & Moon’s New American Writing Award, the San Francisco State Poetry Book Award, the Iowa Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two Pushcart Prizes” (Mclennan) . Some of the books Swensen wrote include: The book of a hundred hands: poems (2005), Ours (2008), Park, Goest (2004), The Glass Age (2007), Such rich hour: poems (2001), New Math (1988), Noon (1997), and Try: poems (2000). She is a professor at the University of Iowa and she created her own press company called La Presse. This company is “dedicated to the translation and publication in English of contemporary French poetry” (wiki)

Swensen was born and raised in Kentfield, CA, a town in close proximity to the San Francisco area. Swensen went to school at San Francisco State University and received her Bachelor of the Arts and Masters degrees from this school. She later went on to obtain her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California Santa Cruz. After achieving these degrees she became the Creative Writing Program Director at the University of Denver. She no longer holds this position though.

For the literature book we are reading in class, Ours, Swensen’s main focus of the poems is on the topic of gardens, more specifically gardens that are related to France. Personally, I think that the reason Swensen was able to successfully craft this book is because she lived in France for some time. Through this experience she was able to directly experience and submerge herself in the botany of French gardens. This allowed her to directly describe her feelings in this book. The Luxembourg Gardens are an absolutely beautiful part of France and I noticed that she mentioned this in her poem Marie (1573-1642). And one of the other reasons as to why I think Swensen wrote about France is because it is one of the most picturesque countries in the world. Many people fall in love with this country and Swensen probably wants her readers to fall in love with or, at least, enjoy her poetic book. In an interview, Swensen said that Paris is “where I do most of my writing. Geography doesn’t inform my work as much as landscape. I’ve written a lot of pieces that are, simply, landscapes...I’m very partial to landscape paintings, and am interested in the way that they create actual space—not the illusion of space, but the space itself, and I want to play with that in language”(blogspot).


Mclennan, Rob. 12 or 20 questions: with Cole Swensen. 25 November 2007.


Poetic 3 - Esther Akintoye

Esther Akintoye
March 26, 2009
Poetry – Walk Poetic 3

I actually enjoyed this assignment because I was able to write a walk poem on New York City. I love New York City and when I went there I did a ton of walking so I saw, heard, and felt so much while in the city. Also, I think because of the nature of how New York City is I let myself a little loose and messed around with the line spacing of the poem. This is a very important part of the poem because the way it is arranged provides the sense of direction I had to follow while I was in New York City. I used enjambment to quicken the poem. Longer lines produced a slower feel. For example the first line reads:

Wake up. Wake up, wake up, wake up. No…Yes. Don’t think, just…

This was my mental state of mind when I had to get up very early in the morning with only about two hours of sleep. I had to catch an early bus to get to New York City. The line is long until I get to the next couple of lines:

Panic or
Get Up and

I’m trying to hurry because I’m running out of time to get to where I need to go. One of my favorite parts of this essay is the East/West navigation, or the confusion that I had while I was traveling. I went the wrong way and it took longer to go East than it did to go west. I put West closer to the part that says, “longer than you should have gone” because this phrase represents my starting point. And the second reference to East/West represents my confusion because of the street vendor and Asian ladies in a store who gave me the wrong direction to go. It’s obvious at this point that I was lost.

I intentionally listed the navigation of going south as a list because it made me feel like I was actually traveling south, which in reality I was. This also made me reminisce to my childhood of when I used to live in New York City. When I refer to the point that I went north I was referring to my second move in New York to Yonkers, NY. Then reality breaks this thought off and I was literally traveling up north to Harlem.

Slowly the lines get longer and my energy starts to die down. I get cold, sick and unbelievably tired towards the end of the day. Before I know it I’m back in Philadelphia.

Poetic 3- Megan Matuzak

Poetic 3 [Walk Poem]


            I really have no process to explain this poem.  I can even begin to explore the depths of my mind, I don’t know why anyone would want to…we digress.  Previously, I had written an ecologue, and two walk poems.  I found myself very unsatisfied and frustrated, which resulted in me sitting down in from of a new word document at 1:30 in the morning and putting my head in my hands, wondering why nothing was happening.  My well enthused roommate was playing an interesting band, it definitely was not helping…to say the least.  I grabbed my IPod and selected the band “She Moved Through the Fair”.  It was some kind of magic, something took hold. This band is instrumental, and thus the only thing I can listen to when I am trying to write. 

I wanted to explore form more with this poem.  I wanted to try something different.  I chose to split the poem into two different voices: one for the boy and one for the girl.  I think it proves to be a useful tactic in the effect that it creates conflict and conversation.  It transforms a “walk” from one’s own experience, to a two person ordeal.  I feel that this form created more of a dramatic revelation at the end.  It echo’s with the tense the girl’s voice takes on. I am forever free, I belong to the earth.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

lacey marinelli"poetic3"

Lacey Marinelli
(Poetic 3)
The procedure I adopted for writing my walk poem was to simply write a different number of things I observed and felt while walking. I decided to use this procedure because I wanted to see what it would be like to visit a place I’ve been to before, my elementary school. Even though it was a walk I’ve done many times before, I thought it would be interesting to see since it’s been so long. I learned a lot while writing my poem; I learned to really look at things around me. I was amazed by how I could walk through a place a second time and still feel some of the same emotions. Thirteen years later and I could still trace every step to my favorite swing on the playground. The walk poem is different from other poems I written because I felt the walk poem was more intimate. I felt like your possibilities were endless and you could write in any form imaginable, and go with it. I liked the freedom while writing as well as all the great inspiration. The walk really lets your juices run wild while also helping to prevent writers block. As I was walking I learned new ways of letting go of the mind from running, as well as really being open for different and new experiences. I truly enjoyed this poem, I feel like it help me tremendously in the future, not only in this class but other writing classes as well. I learned to not be so close minded, and the ability to creatively and freely write what comes to mind. I think everyone should write walk poems, while they are strolling on their walks. I think it allows you to truly reminisce on all the great experiences you encounter in life.


Maggie Nelson is the author of The Red Parts, a nonfiction book about her family, media spectacle, sexual violence, and criminal justice, and a critical study about poetry and painting, Women, The New York School, and Other True Abstractions (winner of the 2008 Susanne M. Glasscock Award for Interdisciplinary Scholarship). She is also the author of several books of poetry, including Something Bright, Then Holes, Jane: A Murder, The Latest Winter, and Shiner. In 2007, she received an Arts Writers grant from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts. Currently, she’s working on a book of creative nonfiction about the color blue titled Bluets, due out from Wave Books in Fall 2009. She is on the faculty of the School of Critical Studies at CalArts and lives in Los Angeles.
For more information, visit
Sponsored by the English Department's Creative Writing Program.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Andre Le Notre

Andre Le Notre was a landscaper and garden architect of the mid to late 17th century; he was most notably the personal gardener of King Louis XIV of France. During Le Notre’s time as well as the subsequent years after his death, King Louis XIV has been known for his extravagant private gardens that now serve as public parks to the French people. Le Notre was the architect of many of these gardens, most notably the chateau de Chantilly, chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the chateau as well as city plan of the city of Versailles.
From his birth in Paris in 1613, Andre Le Notre was surrounded by a long family line of illustrious gardeners in service of the French aristocracy; he succeeded his father, Jean Le Notre who was the personal gardener of King Louis XIII. With his father and grandfather both proficient in the theory and practice of landscape architecture, Andre Le Notre must have been able to learn the trade at a very early age and develop his skills quickly. It is evident through study of his life experience that Le Notre was very much interested in other forms of artistic endeavor other than palace gardening. He studied architecture and mathematics and was even enrolled under the tutelage of King Louis XIII’s personal painter.
Some of Le Notre’s early work included the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte for which he worked in collaboration with Louis Le Vau and Charles Le Brun. For one of his first works, the site was revered and Le Notre’s name became renowned for his craft. The grand openings of Le Notre’s gardens were often celebrated with extravagant parties fit for kings; one such occasion surrounds the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. The celebration was planned and supervised by King Louis XIV’s superintendent of finances for the state, Nicolas Fouquet. Fouquet held a grand feast at which every guest was given a horse; such extravagancy was seen as upstaging the king himself and Fouquet was arrested by the legendary d’Artagnan.
Over the course of his career, Andre Le Notre became known for many gardens and chateaus as well as for the largest avenue in Europe at the time. With the momentum he gained from the grandeur and completion of the Avenue de Paris, Le Notre was able to plan and complete subsequent masterpieces later in his life. Le Notre was not just under the employ of King Louis XIV but also English and German royalty. With the respect of kings and European Nobility, Le Notre was able to attain prominence throughout Europe and acquire followers and students for his trade. He traveled outside of France to work on gardens in Italy and lay plans for the like in Germany and England as well. Even after his retirement in 1693 at the age of eighty, Le Notre’s service was in demand by European aristocracy until his death seven years later. To this day, the work of Andre Le Notre can be seen through the preservation of his greatest works throughout France and Italy.

Cole Swensen

Cole Swensen is an author, poet and has maintained a career in academia. Along with a permanent professorship at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, she held the title of director of the creative writing department at the University of Denver. She has published numerous volumes of poetry, most notably Oh and Goest and her publishers include the University of Iowa Press as well as the University of California at Berkeley Press. During a successful career, Swensen has been nominated for copious awards and won (among others), the Pushcart Award, the New American Writing Award and the San Francisco State University Poetry Center Book Award; she has also been given a Guggenheim Fellowship. Swenson is active and has been awarded for the translation of French poetry into English. Her translation works include Physis by Nicolas Pisque, Past Travels by Olivier Caliot, Bayart by Pascalle Monnier and Lle des Morts by Jean Fremon. In order to raise American awareness of French Literature and poetry, Swensen founded La Presse with the mission of translating contemporary and post-modern French poetry into English.
A Bay Area baby-boomer, Swensen was born just north of San Francisco in the town of Kentfield, CA in 1955. She attended San Francisco State University where she received Bachelors of the Arts and Masters of the arts degrees. Swensen completed her tenure as a student at the University of California at Santa Cruz where she received her P.H.D.
It is evident that Swensen interest in poetry has taken across continents and language barriers. An interest in French literature, culture and history is paralleled only to her fluency with the French language. In her series on French gardens entitled, Ours, Swensen delves into the fabled French 17th century; a time period marked by the Reign of King Louis XIV (also the title of a poem in said text) and his extravagances. The work not only includes poetry about Louis XIV but French architects of the gardens Charles Le Brun and Andre Le Notre. Analysis of her most recent works shows that her interest into history extends beyond French kings and architects but to Italian nobility as well. The imagery described in Ours is a reflection of Swensen’s personal observation of King Louis XIV’s private gardens as well as those in Versailles. One can deduce that she sat in these gardens (now public parks) and was able to see the lives of the aristocracy of 17th century unfold directly in front of her. Her examination of the fabled aristocracy includes the social and political thoughts of kings and nobility. One can see how the gardens’ transition from private use to public parks could seem to Swensen, a metaphor for the oligarchic and monarchal control over France’s under-classes. Her work seems to offer vignettes as well as commentary on the lives of prominent historical figures. Her diction is fairly simple, never reaching for multi-syllabic words simply for the sake of doing so, while her word choice and careful spacing are innovative to say the least.

Monday, March 23, 2009

John Bartram

John Bartram was one of the first botanists to study North American plants in the Linnaean tradition and is considered the father of American botany. Carolus Linnaeus himself, who founded modern taxonomy and developed the system of binomial nomenclature, called Bartram “the greatest natural botanist in the world.” Bartram was never classically trained and only attended the local school in Darby, Pennsylvania. Bartram came from a Quaker farm family and started his botanical research with only a small plot of land where his family allowed him to grow whatever plants he found interesting. Bartram had always had an interest in medicine and medicinal plants and read on the subject thoroughly. What he called his "great inclination to plants" began when he was ten years old, and Bartram used his knowledge of medicinal herbs to treat the neighboring poor who could not afford a Philadelphia doctor. John Bartram was eventually able to create a business out of his hobby after corresponding with European botanists such as Linnaeus, Dillenius, Phillip Miller, Sir Hans Sloane, Peter Kalm, and Gronovius. He made these acquaintances through another Quaker interested in botany named Peter Collinson, who lived and worked in London. Collinson desired North American plants for his English garden, and Bartram was able to trade bulbs and seeds for money and natural history books. Bartram and Collinson began corresponding in 1732, and through time Collinson came to serve as Bartram’s agent by distributing Bartram’s packages amongst his European clientele, parcels that came to be known as “Bartram’s Boxes.” Most of all, Collinson and Bartram exchanged ideas and encouragement for their mutual passion. Their friendship lasted until Collinson’s death thirty-six years later.
With Collinson’s help, Bartram became King George III’s officially appointed botanist, which came with an annual salary of fifty pounds. With the additional income, Bartram was able to travel down the East Coast to Florida, collecting new American specimen in the Carolinas and Georgia as well. He had also explored and studied specimen up in Lake Ontario to the north and the Ohio River in the west. Most of these discoveries were shipped to collectors and scientists in Europe, which at the time remained the center of botanical study. These specimen were often named by European botanists rather than Bartram, and his name can only be found on some genera of mosses, Bartramia, and a few other plants such as the American service berry, Almenanchier bartramiana. Bartram’s other discoveries include the rhododendron and kalmia species and the Franklin tree.
Bartram married twice, first to Mary Maris and later to Ann Mendenhall after Maris’ death. He had eleven children total. His third son, William Bartram, was to become a famous botanist and ornithologist in his own right, who continued the family business.
Bartram was eventually to own an 8 acre botanical garden in the Kingsessing section of West Philadelphia, which is known as the first true botanic collection in all of North America. His former garden is now known as Bartram’s Garden, operated by the John Bartram Association and the city of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park Commission. It is the oldest living botanical garden in America.

The Day I Tried to Live by Soundgarden

Although Chris Cornell doesnt seem to be singing about a particular walk this song seemed like a walk poem to me.

I woke the same as any other day
Except a voice was in my head
It said seize the day, pull the trigger
Drop the blade, and watch the rolling heads

The day I tried to live
I stole a thousand beggars change
And gave it to the rich

The day I tried to win
I dangled from the power lines
And let the martyrs stretch

One more time around might do it
One more time around might make it
One more time around might do it
One more time around
The day I tried to live

Words you say never seem
To live up to the ones inside your head
The lives we make never seem
To ever get us anywhere but dead

The day I tried to live
I wallowed in the blood and mud with
All the other pigs

I woke the same as any other day you know
I should have stayed in bed

The day I tried to win
I wallowed in the blood and mud with
All the other pigs

And I learned that I was a liar
Just like you

Walk Poem: Jill Scott Cross My mind

Since "Today was a good day" by Ice Cube was taken during class, I decided to show off one my favorite artist which is Jill Scott. I love a wide a music, i think this song is a classic form of a walk poem since u can feel her emotion throughout the entire song. This time I am also posting the link so people can actually her the song (by the way Jill Scott said that most of her songs are branches from her poetry)

"Cross My Mind"

I was just thinking about you
Wondering if you wear the same cologne
Smelled good
On you
Had the next boyfriend of mine try the same kind
But it stunk on him though.
You know what they say everything ain't for everybody.
But I tried anyway.
You sure did smell good.

You just running cross my mind

You had that masculine thing DOWN
Shoulders, back straight never sloping never round
It would turn me on just to see you walk into a room, across the room, out of the room.
You really impressed me.
Eh yeah

You just running cross my mind

I know if I pick up this phone, write this letter send this two way.
I know I'm gonna say some things, I know you gonna say some things
That we both don't mean to say amazing...
When you would spread my limbs cross continents
Bump our bed way over mountains.
Kiss this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and that.
Show each other where the climax is at.

You just running cross my mind
I was just thinking about you, wondering what you doing I mean what you've been up to
I know its wrong feeling this strong let me take a second minute I will think this thing through

I was just thinking about you, wondering what you doing I mean what you've been up to
I know its wrong feeling this strong let me take a second minute I will think this thing through

Remember all the moments for two, how we used to
Oh yeah
But the reality where never good for me and I was never good for you.
I just remember what we used to do....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Walk Poem

Thought this worked before, guess it didn't. Here's a second try:

A Walk in March
by Grace Paley May 28, 2007

This hill

crossed with broken pines and maples

lumpy with the burial mounds of

uprooted hemlocks (hurricane

of ’38) out of their

rotting hearts generations rise

trying once more to become

the forest

just beyond them

tall enough to be called trees

in their youth like aspen a bouquet

of young beech is gathered

they still wear last summer’s leaves

the lightest brown almost translucent

how their stubbornness has decorated

the winter woods

on this narrow path ice tries

to keep the black undecaying oak leaves

in its crackling grip it’s become

too hard to walk at last a

sunny patch oh! i’m in water

to my ankles APRIL

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Late Walk When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

Robert Frost

In "A Late Walk", the readers experience a walk with the narrator, who describes the things around him in a mowing field, which takes him back to old memories. I felt like this poem potrays a lot of movement and he uses the things observed around him to create a beautiful love poem. In addition, the first line of each stanza takes the readers a little more further with the narrator. For instance, "And when I come to the gardern ground" or "A tree beside the wall stands bare" we can almost imagine the poet looking around his surroundings and observing his environment.

Walk Poem: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost

I shall risk considering this a walk poem in that the speaker is on a journey somewhere, albeit that the speaker does pause on his journey. It might be considered a walk poem in that it does at least two things: 1) it talks about what the speaker sees on his way home. 2) it talks about what the speaker (and the speaker's horse) is thinking while on the journey.

-Ian Dugan

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost

Walk poem / River poem

by Christina Gleason

Walk poem (river poem)

The fierceness of your stride
was unexpected; I fell behind.
I took you by the arm
and I think I asked you, what, it doesn't matter,
only that I thought to ask it
and maybe you answered,
that it was brisk, but we were not cold
or, if we were, we did not say,
and we took the unlit path by the Genesee,
stopped to lean against the wind
and below us the river
was featureless and deep.

I said:

When it is very dark,
we know shapes by silhouettes
and the river is the same black
canvas as the shut-off
world we are moving from
so quickly;
the same glossy, Spring-heat incandescence
that makes the surface shimmer
is rising and spreading.

So we walked
and home fell behind
us, flat and jaundiced
against the shadowed lawn
and, turning away, the only thing
that cast its pretty face on the water
was light: fat angles narrowing
in whites and yellows,
the occasional red reaching the shore;
sometimes blue, the wave of a whisper
pushing out and retracting back to its middle
as if the night makes a magnet of these things,

as if it makes a scene, and when
you join the lines bleeding out
like paint under the pedestrian bridge
to the pillars of the fallen curves of trees
rippling in the rushing water,
it makes a warm impression of a reflection,
feather-edged and indistinct.

I think it is beautiful sometimes,
to see a river like this, streaming
up from the brown depths of a city
and turning blue-black as the sky
before the projection dims
and the skin is skimmed off
to the dirty rise of morning.

A Late Walk

I'm not sure if this a walk poem, but it seems to contain some of the elements of one.

A Late Walk

When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

--Robert Frost

Nick Vadala Walk Poem Example

Not really sure if this counts, but it is pretty cool and it has a lot of elements of a walk poem. This is called "What if Punk Never Happened?" by The King Blues.


Well on a cold Tuesday morning, I was walking into town,

Had my headphones blaring, didn’t notice what was around,

I crossed the road, a car swerved and nearly ran me down,

Looked in the driver’s seat, I swear to God it was Doc Brown,

He said “Are you Michael J Fox?” I said “No I’m Jonny Fox”,

He said “Close enough, get inside,

I’m taking you with me to see another time,

A place you could only have dreamed in your mind,

An alternative reality situated just outside of Clapham,

So strap yourself in,

Cos where we’re going you don’t need roads,

To get to where punk never happened”

We landed in a concrete desert, rubble as far as the eye could see,

I says to Doc “Where we goin’?”

Doc says he’s following me,

We found the only building in the city that was left standing,

It was my local venue,

I know cos I recognised the landing,

And there’s a gig on tonight! This town ain’t so bad,

I got everything I need, right here in this pad,

So I pulled out a bottle and took a heroic swig,

Made myself comfortable and got ready for the gig,

Well an hour after doors and there was still no-one there,

The soundman was on acid, the fucking long hair,

The bands never showed cos they didn’t see the point,

When all the kids are at home still smoking a joint,

They won’t go out and do nothing, not on your nelly,

They’re just watching the telly and then feeding their belly,

Their parents listen to The Beatles, while they listen to Nirvana,

Cos Green Day and The Pistols, well they never heard either,

They got long sleeve T-shirts and they never shower,

They still believe in flower power,

The hippy dream’s faded but they got nothing new,

So they wear flares and slippers and burn incense sticks too,

The kids would rather skate than go out and smash the state,

While their parents sit still and meditate,

Action’s at a low when people just don’t care,

They zoned out to their surroundings, the anger’s not there,

And I’m stuck in this hippy, grunge reality,

Where the buildings are crumbling down from apathy,

They grab you at school when you’ve just turned 13,

And show you your brand new, life long routine,

You can sleep and work, and work and sleep,

So you can save up the money to buy a new jeep,

So you can sleep and work, and work and sleep,

Then sleep. Then work. Then work. Then sleep.

I pulled a fanzine out my back pocket, held it in my hands,

And watched the colours slowly fade away,

The words bled right off of the pages til it had nothing left to say,

I banged on the jukebox but it was useless,

It had no good records on,

Not even something weak like ‘The Best Punk Album In The World Ever Volume 1’,

Outside the windows, I saw the excavators coming to tear the place down,

No-one stopped them, for there is no community left in this town,

There’s no-one around to fight Margaret Thatcher,

The power of the flower just couldn’t match her,

Too strong was the will of Parliament to cause damage,

That with no punk rock everything went unchallenged,

Land got knocked down to build more land,

That got knocked down again for a couple more grand,

With no punk the protests were full of throwbacks calling each other comrade,

Of course the young folks’ attendance started to fade,

So it was easy for the police to move in, they were trusted,

And that’s when the whole damn town got busted,

They moved CCTV cameras in everywhere,

But the people were too apathetic to care,

They made them carry ID cards to state where they’re from,

As if by being born they had done something wrong,

They shipped all the poor folk to live out in the edges,

So the rich folk could move in and peer over their hedges,

“But before you leave, you’d better build our homes,

There, we’ve done you a favour, now you’re on your own,

This ain’t your home no more, go find somewhere new,

I know you ain’t got the money, cos it’s me who employs you,

I know everything about you, what you eat, how you dress,

Your hobbies, your turn-ons, your email address,

While I had you working in the dark, you didn’t realise,

That I completely stopped your ability to organise,

I didn’t let you have a reason to communicate,

I banned punk rock knowing you hippies would seal your own fate,

I controlled everything you wrote, everything you created,

I distracted you with advertisements so you forgot what you hated,

I fed your dark side, kept you consuming and competing,

And like a dog that doesn’t know when to stop eating,

You took it all, oh and long was it my intention,

You could have beat me if punk rock was your invention”,

Instead the city will be sold to the highest bids,

If only Sham 69 had of united the kids,

If only the 4 Skins had told us ACAB,

If only The Ramones had let us know we were a happy family,

If only The Buzzcocks had shown us how to do it ourself,

If only Crass had shown us there are things more important than wealth,

If only The Vandals had shown us it was OK to smile,

If only The Dead Kennedys had helped us put our government on trial,

If only Rancid had played live, and brought with them that vibe,

If we had Sick Of It All and Madball we could put them all on the frontline,

If we had GG Allin we’d have learned it’s OK to be hated,

If we’d have had The Refused then we could have innovated,

If we’d had Poison Idea then they couldn’t push us over,

If we’d had Minor Threat then we could have done it sober,

If we’d have had Against Me we could have done it all unplugged,

If we’d had Operation Ivy we could have done it then fucked off,

If we had The Blitz, The Clash, Disorder, Propagandhi,

The Exploited, NOFX and anyone that’s handy,

There’s a lesson to be learned, one that I will take home,

When I return to my normal reality zone,

Punk rock has the power to change the world,

It lies in every single punk rock boy and girl,

So don’t let anyone tell you you’re not worth the earth,

These streets are your streets, this turf is your turf,

Don’t let anyone tell you that you’ve got to give in,

Cos you can make a difference, you can change everything,

Just let your dreams be your pilot, your imagination your fuel,

Tear up the book and write your own damn rules,

Use all that heart, hope and soul that you’ve got,

And the love and the rage that you feel in your gut,

And realise that the other world that you’re always looking for,

Lies right here in front of us, just outside this door,

And it’s up to you to go out there and paint the canvas,

After all, you were put on the earth to do this,

So shine your light so bright that all can see,

Take pride in being whoever the fuck you want to be,

Throw your fist in the air in solidarity,

And shout “Viva la punk, just one life, anarchy”.

Ain't Talkin'--Bob Dylan

As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden
The wounded flowers were dangling from the vines
I was passing by yon cool and crystal fountain
Someone hit me from behind

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Through this weary world of woe
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
No one on earth would ever know

They say prayer has the power to help
So pray from the mother
In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I'm trying to love my neighbor and do good unto others
But oh, mother, things ain't going well

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
I'll burn that bridge before you can cross
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
They'll be no mercy for you once you've lost

Now I'm all worn down by weepin'
My eyes are filled with tears, my lips are dry
If I catch my opponents ever sleepin'
I'll just slaughter them where they lie

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Through the world mysterious and vague
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walking through the cities of the plague

The whole world is filled with speculation
The whole wide world which people say is round
They will tear your mind away from contemplation
They will jump on your misfortune when you're down

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Eatin' hog eyed grease in hog eyed town
Heart burnin' – still yearnin'
Someday you'll be glad to have me around

They will crush you with wealth and power
Every waking moment you could crack
I'll make the most of one last extra hour
I'll avenge my father's death then I'll step back

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Hand me down my walkin' cane
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Got to get you out of my miserable brain

All my loyal and much loved companions
They approve of me and share my code
I practice a faith that's been long abandoned
Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
My mule is sick, my horse is blind
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Thinkin' ‘bout that gal I left behind

It's bright in the heavens and the wheels are flying
Fame and honor never seem to fade
The fire's gone out but the light is never dying
Who says I can't get heavenly aid?

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Carrying a dead man's shield
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walkin' with a toothache in my heel

The suffering is unending
Every nook and cranny has it's tears
I'm not playing, I'm not pretending
I'm not nursing any superfluous fears

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Walkin' ever since the other night
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walkin' ‘til I'm clean out of sight

As I walked out in the mystic garden
On a hot summer day, hot summer lawn
Excuse me, ma'am I beg your pardon
There's no one here, the gardener is gone

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Up the road around the bend
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
In the last outback, at the world's end

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Walk Poem

Walking Around

It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Still it would be marvelous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died of the cold.

I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.

I don't want so much misery.
I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.

That's why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the

And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
dirty tears are falling.
- Pablo Neruda

Walk Poem

Walk Poem

The Yawn
By Paul Blackburn

The black-haired girl
with the big
on the Queens train coming
in to work, so
opens her mouth so beautifully
in a ya-aawn, that
two stops after she has left the train
I have only to think of her and I
wow !


Here's a link to an insightful review of Cole Swensen's Ours by Donna Stonecipher:

The review is a fine example of close reading (attentiveness to the poetry as language) and drawing out many ideas that are central to the poems (the double space of the garden as nature/culture, private/public, "ours"/"not ours," cyclical/linear, and so on). We'll explore many of these ideas in our discussions of the book.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Walk Poem lacey marinelli

A Walk
Sunday the only day we don't work:
Mules farting around the meadow,
Murphy fishing,
The tent flaps in the warm
Early sun: I've eaten breakfast and I'll
Take a walk
To Benson Lake. Packed a lunch,
Goodbye. Hopping on creekbed boulders
Up the rock throat three miles
Puite Creek –
In steep gorge glacier-slick rattlesnake country
Jump, land by a pool, trout skitter,
The clear sky. Deer tracks.
Bad place by a falls, boulders big as houses,
Lunch tied to belt,
I stemmed up a crack and almost fell
But rolled out safe on a ledge
and ambled on.
Quail chicks freeze underfoot, color of stone
Then run cheep! away, hen quail fussing.
Craggy west end of Benson Lake – after edging
Past dark creek pools on a long white slope –
Lookt down in the ice-black lake
lined with cliff
From far above: deep shimmering trout.
A lone duck in a gunsightpass
steep side hill
Through slide-aspen and talus, to the east end,
Down to grass, wading a wide smooth stream
Into camp. At last.
By the rusty three-year-
Ago left-behind cookstove
Of the old trail crew,
Stoppt and swam and ate my lunch.
-Gary Snyder

Monday, March 16, 2009


Viz our discussion of hypertext annotation, here's Eliot's The Waste Land: