Poetry Daily

What Sparks Poetry

The Poems of Others II
What Sparks Poetry is a serialized feature in which we invite poets to explore experiences and ideas that spark new poems. In our first series, The Poems of Others, we invited our editors to pay homage to the poems that led them to write. The Poems of Others II is a reprise of that series, opening the invitation to twenty-four poets from among our readers.

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In “Envoy,” mythology becomes a stand-in for the abiding narratives of this world, which are placed in opposition to the mutable, ever-changing narratives of the state (what today we might call alternative facts).

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It was not the first poem I loved but it was one which reshaped the foundations of what I thought poetry could be—abstract elliptical essay, sensuous discourse on aesthetic form, history, and a strange kind of oblique confession all woven together into a sprawling imagistic song.

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That was all I needed. Yes—I did feel as if the top of my head had been taken off. I was desperately goth at the time, and those lines were the gothiest thing I had ever heard. And hearing them re-configured my ideas about what a poem could be. No roses! No violets! That day, I wrote eight poems.

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The poem “the rites for Cousin Vit” is a dynamic and innovative Italian sonnet that beats against its formal cage, as an elegy with punk-rock spirit and as a love poem written by a woman to another woman in a celebration of friendship.

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