It is arguably America’s most famous and favorite poem. But do we really know what Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is about? Not so much, says David Orr.
Richard Siken has received high praise from fellow poets such as Louise Glück, as well as critics at the New York Times, and has won numerous awards, including the Pushcart Prize and the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. It has been 10 years since the publication of his first collection, and his second collection, War of the Foxes, is beautifully wrought and well worth the wait. We asked Siken a few questions about his writing process, the focus of his new collection, the role of poetry and more.
National Poetry Month is the perfect time to introduce young readers to the joys of verse and rhyme. These three new picture books—from treatises on treats to a collection of kid-friendly masterworks—are filled with reflection, adventure and just plain silliness.
Providing a moment of repose in our accelerated era, poetry is an enduring art. Just in time to celebrate National Poetry Month, we’re exploring three new collections that address the joys and challenges of contemporary existence with compassion, wit and linguistic ingenuity.
Each April, National Poetry Month promotes the enduring art form in the classroom and beyond, celebrating the integral role that poetry has played in our literary tradition. Yet, this once-a-year focus on poetry also reminds us of how few readers still make poetry a regular part of their reading diet. We encounter poetry every day, of course, in its most populist forms—song lyrics, advertising—but the meager sales of poetry collections would indicate that few of us are curling up by the fire with a volume of verse. If asked, many readers might cite their lack of interest as growing out of intimidation—they just don’t “get” poetry, its language is hard to crack, its subject matter arcane.
Many readers first encounter the work of Langston Hughes in school but may not revisit it much beyond that early exposure. A seminal voice in the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes lives on in a handful of widely anthologized poems, but the vast majority of his prolific output goes unread. His literary light has waxed and waned since his death in 1967, but the publication of the Selected Letters of Langston Hughes, as well as a new edition of his first volume of poetry, The Weary Blues, could help spur renewed interest in Hughes and his work.
The Armenian genocide that took place 100 years ago is not discussed in most history classes, but the story is still sadly relevant.Told in verse, Like Water on Stone follows three Armenian children, orphaned by the Ottoman siege of 1915, as they race to safety and, hopefully, to America. Their path is littered with bodies, and they see the smoke of their neighbors’ destroyed houses. Along the way, an eagle watches the young trio and does what he can to guide them and keep them safe.
For National Poetry Month, we’re highlighing new collections from four American poets that offer fresh insights into the state of the nation. These visionary writers provide unique perspectives on both inner and outer conflicts: the horrors of war, the decline of the environment, the challenges of relationships.
Billy Collins, a two-term Poet Laureate of the United States who can fill large auditoriums and appears on “A Prairie Home Companion,” has made poetry miraculously accessible without dumbing it down or making it any less profound. His voice is plain but eloquent, his style easy, without complicated meter; he makes the ordinary meaningful and the everyday beautiful. His latest collection, Aimless Love, is his first in a dozen years.
If you're looking for a holiday gift for an animal aficionado, look no further than these six new books, which celebrate (and justify!) our fascination with and devotion to our furry friends. From photography-laden treats to amazing true stories to beautiful poetry, these cat-and-dog tales will be well-received, indeed.GRACEFUL AND GORGEOUSThe Elegance of the Cat: An Illustrated History...