The new issue of Poetry East has arrived (Numbers 74 & 75, Spring 2012): Great Poems. It's got Matthew Arnold in it, William Blake, Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Helen Hunt Jackson, John Milton, Christina Rosetti, Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, Yeats, and, of course, Shakespeare, and a bunch of others.
Great Poems: with commentaries by contemporary poets
Holy moly, I'm a contemporary poet!
I provide a commentary on Emily Dickinson's poem that begins, "I tie my Hat--I crease my Shawl--." I'm in there with Claudia Emerson (also with a Dickinson poem), Linda Pastan, Jack Ridl, Michael Hettich, Patiann Rogers, Andrea Potos, Jack Grapes, Joanne Lowery, Kelly Cherry, and other contemporary poets who were deeply affected by great poems of the past. Wooee!
And we're all in there with Rembrandt, paintings (in color!) and etchings. This is a fantabulous issue!!
This is a great teaching issue, whether in a classroom, small poetry workshop, or on your own. Wooee! I cannot wait to read this through and through and find out what everyone else loves.
My commentary, which refers to Emily's grief at the loss of her young nephew, Gilbert, is across from Rembrandt's etching, Youth Surprised by Death. That's the kind of care in arrangement that editor Richard Jones takes with each issue of Poetry East. Did I say, "Wooee!"? Thanks to Wikipedia for these public domain self-portraits of Rembrandt in youth, middle age, and the year he died.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor and director in Chicago, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited two poetry journals, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and was an assistant professor of English. Now I serve as Poetry Editor and Editor at Large for Escape Into Life, an online arts magazine, write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, tend perennials, and listen to birdsong.