Stopping by a Woods with Bad Cellphone Service for National Poetry Month

A couple of posts back I suggested we do more than poetry prompts or poem a day writing challenges for National Poetry Month. Here’s a demonstration of an idea that’s half-way there. While still a poetry writing prompt, it also acknowledges the tradition we’re working in. Write a parody of a poem you like, you … Continue reading Stopping by a Woods with Bad Cellphone Service for National Poetry Month

Anne Spencer’s “Dunbar” for National Poetry Month

In 1922, amazing Afro-American polymath James Weldon Johnson* published an audacious anthology titled The Book of American Negro Poetry.   Not only did it claim that there was a tradition worth an anthology at that early date; in his preface Johnson made the observation that Afro-American music was disproportionately important in American musical culture, and furthermore … Continue reading Anne Spencer’s “Dunbar” for National Poetry Month

More from Langston Hughes’ “The Weary Blues”

This month I’ve been doing a series of pieces based on poems from Langston Hughes’ first book-length collection The Weary Blues of 1926 — but maybe it’s time to mention that I have already presented two early pieces that were included in that book. Here’s Hughes “Dream Variation”  which also offered its title to a … Continue reading More from Langston Hughes’ “The Weary Blues”

Love and Sleep — or I re-examine Swinburne, with a little sex in it

I have to hand it to the Victorians — when it came to the names of some of their poets, they seemed to know how to roll right through the evocative, and tumble ass over teakettle into camp.*  This project has touched on the Pre-Raphaelites, those 19th century hipsters with their love for the middle-parts … Continue reading Love and Sleep — or I re-examine Swinburne, with a little sex in it