Spoken Word Poetry Of The Week: What The Dead Know By Heart, Donte Collins

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Beautiful words, see here

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Poetry In The News

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Hello 🙂 here’s your poetry in the news for today:

Richard Wilbur, who twice won Pulitzer Prize for his poetry, dies at 96

Poetry, music night explores themes of immigration, queerness

Accomplished poet Zang Di shares his famous works

Review: ‘Who Reads Poetry,’ edited by Fred Sasaki and Don Share

Indigenous poet Ellen van Neerven abused by year 12 English students

Meet Omar Offendum, the rapper who blends hip-hop with Arabic poetry

Poem of the week: A Poison Tree, William Blake

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I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

A Poison Tree

Favourite Poets: Wilfred Owen – Insensibility

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I
Happy are men who yet before they are killed
Can let their veins run cold.
Whom no compassion fleers
Or makes their feet
Sore on the alleys cobbled with their brothers.
The front line withers.
But they are troops who fade, not flowers,
For poets’ tearful fooling:
Men, gaps for filling:
Losses, who might have fought
Longer; but no one bothers.
                                     II
And some cease feeling
Even themselves or for themselves.
Dullness best solves
The tease and doubt of shelling,
And Chance’s strange arithmetic
Comes simpler than the reckoning of their shilling.
They keep no check on armies’ decimation.
                                     III
Happy are these who lose imagination:
They have enough to carry with ammunition.
Their spirit drags no pack.
Their old wounds, save with cold, can not more ache.
Having seen all things red,
Their eyes are rid
Of the hurt of the colour of blood for ever.
And terror’s first constriction over,
Their hearts remain small-drawn.
Their senses in some scorching cautery of battle
Now long since ironed,
Can laugh among the dying, unconcerned.
                                     IV
Happy the soldier home, with not a notion
How somewhere, every dawn, some men attack,
And many sighs are drained.
Happy the lad whose mind was never trained:
His days are worth forgetting more than not.
He sings along the march
Which we march taciturn, because of dusk,
The long, forlorn, relentless trend
From larger day to huger night.
                                     V
We wise, who with a thought besmirch
Blood over all our soul,
How should we see our task
But through his blunt and lashless eyes?
Alive, he is not vital overmuch;
Dying, not mortal overmuch;
Nor sad, nor proud,
Nor curious at all.
He cannot tell
Old men’s placidity from his.
                                     VI
But cursed are dullards whom no cannon stuns,
That they should be as stones.
Wretched are they, and mean
With paucity that never was simplicity.
By choice they made themselves immune
To pity and whatever moans in man
Before the last sea and the hapless stars;
Whatever mourns when many leave these shores;
Whatever shares
The eternal reciprocity of tears.

Imagine the only comfort you can offer yourself in this situation is to become so numb to what is happening around you that nothing touches you. Imagine being able to be that numb with everything that is happening; I don’t think any of us who haven’t been directly touched by war can imagine. This is a beautiful, haunting piece of poetry.

Poetry In The News

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Hello 😊 here’s your poetry in the news for this week:

Why Poetry Is a Refuge for Your Brain

Leonard Cohen’s final poetry collection due out next year

New Poetry Collection Honours Martin Luther King Jr

Polish poet’s verse tell of love, sorrow and the search for a home

‘This is the Place’ poet pens 40th anniversary verse

‘Now it’s the coolest thing’: rise of Rupi Kaur helps boost poetry sales

Poem of the week: You Do Not Have To Love Me, Leonard Cohen

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You do not have to love me
just because
you are all the women
I have ever wanted
I was born to follow you
every night
while I am still
the many men who love you

I meet you at a table
I take your fist between my hands
in a solemn taxi
I wake up alone
my hand on your absense
in Hotel Discipline

I wrote all these songs for you
I burned red and black candles
shaped like a man and a woman
I married the smoke
of two pyramids of sandalwood
I prayed for you
I prayed that you would love me
and that you would not love me

You Do Not Have To Love Me