Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Daily Poetry Show: Deuces are Half-Wild

from Live from the Woodley Park Marriott, Washington, DC by Ryan Flaherty
Ah the birding returns. I am content. I mean I am returning to the river. Where the presence of a bagel and the craft of cream cheese is like the low alcohol counsel of a well-groomed bartender.

The Game of Tennis in Irish History by Vona Groarke
Irish history is not my game but I understand the significance of this event and what then follows. The first five stanzas fill “the hours / between politics and tea” with lyrical prose somewhat skillfully shaped into changeable lines until the action commences with a “flourish of bodies, one slumped / over the fender” like so many of the tennis metaphors that will follow. Three stanzas full. And only the last volley really works. Maybe if I had a better appreciation for either Irish history or tennis, I would have loved this poem.

Paradise in the City of Shivering Bells by S.D. Lishan
This would have worked better in some regular meter, but that’s me. The line breaks are often capricious, as if the words came first. If not, the line breaks are whimsical at best. Accordingly, the fifth stanza is disastrously weak. Those particulars out of the way, I applaud the brooding political philosophy. Although I think it’s a bit facile in its grasp of the “fornicating poor” and their “torturers.” And I praise the cleverness of the sentence itself. Although I’m assuming there’s a typo in the last line: ‘to’ should be ‘too.’

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