Tag Archives: pastoral

Travis Lane Wade on Maurice Manning’s poem “Culture”

In Maurice Manning’s poem, “Culture,” the balance of simplicity and complexity of a rural, small town setting is explored though the opening lines: Some of us in cahoots with the birds are smiling, silly smiles, because the sun in the … Continue reading

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Susan Scarlata on Ada Limón, yonder

Okay, so this is two lines with a lot of goodness sandwiched between them, but I want to write about both the first and last lines of one stanza in Ada Limón’s poem “During the Impossible Age of Everyone.” Limón … Continue reading

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Linnea Ogden on Dara Wier’s distance

In the city and in the country were not in the same centuries. [from “A Civilian’s Journal from the War Years”] The preposition in this line creates a pattern that it also breaks—“in the city” offers a geographical boundary matched … Continue reading

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Linnea Ogden on G.C. Waldrep and the collapse of the self

Deer graze along the brow of my old age. You are not a dream, the sparrows’ silver needles sew you into a calendar’s trim signature. Spring arrives as prescription eyeglasses discarded at the crime scene. [from “Forage Psalm”] I like … Continue reading

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Linnea Ogden on Jen Tynes and the little things

If you think I am going to rise above something by now. [from “Nota Bene” in Heron/Girlfriend (Coconut Books, 2008)] I love the implied threat in this line by Jen Tynes, and the amplification of that threat as the sentence’s … Continue reading

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Linnea Ogden on Yusef Komunyakaa and the afternoon nocturnal

I close my eyes & can still see the three untouched mice dead along the afternoon footpath. [from “Tree Ghost”] It gets me that the mice are both untouched and dead. There seems to be something pretty interesting happening with … Continue reading

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Linnea Ogden on Adrian Kien and welcome danger

we could die here of wasps but I never wanted safety I wanted the edge of property to tear open with coyotes [from “The Least Space Inhabited” in Look Up (Chaos Editions, 2012)] The flatness and lack of adornment of … Continue reading

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Abraham Smith on Merrill Gilfillan

Song: Forks of the Smoky Hill Season through place, Place in season, in place: Crux of it, cruz: cave of the heart weevil: Why me, hackberry– I am your friend. One song per season. Throw of yucca seeds lacquer black … Continue reading

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Abraham Smith on lines by Forrest Gander

FIELD GUIDE TO SOUTHERN VIRGINIA True as the circumference to its center. Woodscreek Grocery, Rockbridge County. Twin boys peer from the front window, cheeks bulging with fireballs. Sandplum trees flower in clusters by the levee. She makes a knot on … Continue reading

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Abraham Smith on lines by Tim Earley

From Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery Spring placed its finger on my spine. I am not some kind of zombie with a surfboard and ham. I am not some kind of pigeon cooing itself to death. The engine … Continue reading

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