The poetic imagination



“Most importantly, the example shows that we cannot draw a sharp boundary to distinguish some language as intrinsically poetic.  We can apply our poetic attention to commonplace language, and thereby give that language unexpected depth and importance.  Indeed, poets such as William Carlos Williams purposefully challenge us to extend our sensibilities and find the poetry in everyday language, whenever they construct poems with familiar vocabulary and cadence.

How do we cultivate the poetic imagination?  We must attune ourselves, however we see fit, to the features we notice in a poem, as a prompt to experience its language more deeply.  This search for significance can target any noticeable feature of the poem—regardless of the meaning, if any, the feature might literally encode. We can listen to the sounds and rhythm of the poem. We can feel its syntax and structure. We can even attend to its visual shape and layout before us, as the poet e. e. cummings often invited his readers to do.

However, even when we explore the familiar domains of sound, meter, rhyme and line, we must be prepared to explore the variable and open-ended significance of each observation.  We saw, for example, the different effects of lineation in the Missed Connections poem.  There is no one meaning or effect for parsing lines; for annotating lines; or in juxtaposing the two. What we find in all these cases is just a formal contrast, an echo of further differences, which we can appreciate more deeply only by probing the poem further. This variability underscores the creativity poets and readers bring to their art.”


O mighty-mouth’d inventor of harmonies,
O skill’d to sing of Time or Eternity,
     God-gifted organ-voice of England,
          Milton, a name to resound for ages;
Whose Titan angels, Gabriel, Abdiel,
Starr’d from Jehovah’s gorgeous armouries,
     Tower, as the deep-domed empyrean
          Rings to the roar of an angel onset—
Me rather all that bowery loneliness,
The brooks of Eden mazily murmuring,
     And bloom profuse and cedar arches
          Charm, as a wanderer out in ocean,
Where some refulgent sunset of India
Streams o’er a rich ambrosial ocean isle,
     And crimson-hued the stately palm-woods
          Whisper in odorous heights of even.

Glossary of poetic terms




Accentual verse

Verse whose meter is determined by the number of stressed (accented) syllables—regardless of the total number of syllables—in each line. Many Old English poems, including Beowulf, are accentual; see Ezra Pound’s modern translation of “The Seafarer.” More recently, Richard Wilbur employed this same Anglo-Saxon meter in his poem “Junk.” Traditional nursery rhymes, such as “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,” are often accentual.

Accentual-syllabic verse

Verse whose meter is determined by the number and alternation of its stressed and unstressed syllables, organized into feet. From line to line, the number of stresses (accents) may vary, but the total number of syllables within each line is fixed. The majority of English poems from the Renaissance to the 19th century are written according to this metrical system.


An early 20th-century Russian school of poetry that rejected the vagueness and emotionality of Symbolism in favor of Imagist clarity and texture. Its proponents included Osip Mandelstam and Anna Akhmatova.


A poem in which the first letter of each line spells out a word, name, or phrase when read vertically. See Lewis Carroll’s “A Boat beneath a Sunny Sky.”


A four-line stanza invented by the Classical Greek poet Alcaeus that employs a specific syllabic count per line and a predominantly dactylic meter. Alfred, Lord Tennyson imitated its form in his poem “Milton.”


My husband has a rubber face


    Short love poem

My husband has a rubber face,
He’s from a species of the human race.
Some men have faces fixed and set;
My husband’s face is not like that.

He imitates our politicians,
Just like Rory Bremner can.
Though he has no wig or hair piece,
He can look like anyone.

Some nights I waken for I am laughing
While I am quite sound asleep.
I am dreaming of his mobile features,
Contorted to a different shape.

He is skilled at telling jokes.
And he loves a good cartoon.
If I am feeling flu style blueness
I he can get me up again.

He has a rather noble visage.
He gets attention he abbhors.
In the bar on King’s Cross Station—
I was asked was he a Lord!

He’s a Lord of Fun and Humour.
He’s a Lord at Listening Well.
He’s unique, but so are you,
And all creatures that on earth do dwe

Muslim immigrant saves a child in Paris

France grants honorary citizenship to hero ‘spiderman’ migrant who saved toddler-(video)


With a crowd below cheering him on from the street, the migrant  pulled himself from balcony to balcony at risk of life and limb, and managed to grab the four-year-old as a neighbour unsuccessfully tried to reach the boy from the nearest flat.

President Emmanuel Macron invited Mr Gassama to the Elysee Palace on Monday morning to personally thank him. During their filmed conversation, Mr Gassama said that he was trembling like a leaf after his courageous act.

Afterwards, Mr Macron announced that he would be granted French citizenship and join the French fire brigade.

People My Age by John Gorka

People my age have started lookin’ gross
I cannot say all, and I shouldn’t say most
I’ve seen ’em in the grocery, I’ve seen ’em up close
People my age have started lookin’ gross

People my age are showing some wear
There’s holes where their teeth was and their heads have gone bare
Their brains are shrinking, faces sinking into fat
And as for the mirror, we won’t be looking into that

People my age have started looking gross
Maybe not in Colorado, or up the Silicon coast
Back in Pennsylvania, I’d eat scrapple on toast
Those were my first steps on the road to looking gross

People my age are looking over-ripe
Some are getting operations to tighten up what ain’t tight
What gravity’s ruined, they try to fix with a knife
What’s pleasant in the darkness is plain scary in the light

John Gorka
This is a song of his, so it may not ‘read’ as well as if it would with you knowing the tune.

Behind the mask

Behind the mask our nature lies concealed
But with a mask no human can be healed
When to show and when to hide , who knows?
Secrets,lies,manoeuvres, run  the show
Faust with  the old devil made a deal
While the angels tottered ,unrevealed
And so the pact was made and then was sealed
Behind the mask
Off the face, the make up’s nightly peeled
While we  dream our Plays  from all we feel
Underneath our facade, waters flow
We join the sea of life to undergo
The transformation  by the miller’s wheel
Without the mask

When there is no need to speak or sigh

When there is no need to speak or sigh
When the loved one sees with a true eye
Then the art of living is restored
The world is seen anew ,no more abhored
But lovers  each grow old and  one will die
We cannot hide the truth or tell a lie
No more could we grow wings and hope to fly
We’re no angels nor a God adored.
How are we living?
The time moves on and humans can’t delay
Nor is God affected by dismay
Life is truth and humans can’t defraud
We must pay the price we can’t afford
Until we join the stars and need no more
The art of living