study the masters

study the masters
Lucille Clifton

like my aunt timmie.
it was her iron,
or one like hers,
that smoothed the sheets
the master poet slept on.
home or hotel, what matters is
he lay himself down on her handiwork
and dreamed. she dreamed too, words:
some cherokee, some masai and some
huge and particular as hope.
if you had heard her
chanting as she ironed
you would understand form and line
and discipline and order and
america.

New Work Up

I’ve started a new set of pages for my craft essays and poetry reviews, accessed through a new tab at the top of this page. First up are two essays using Scott McCloud’s theory of transitions from Understanding Comics to consider how poems are sequenced in collections. If you like comics or syntax, you’ll probably be as geekily thrilled as I was when I wrote them. Heather McHugh and Ellen Bryant Voigt also make big appearances in these works. No surprise there, after this fall.

More coming to this area soon.