If you’re not at the mall or in the kitchen. . .

My old friend Trish (frequent commentator, a great reader of poems, an even better writer and artist) sent her annual Christmas fantasy card. I pass it along with her permission:


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And in case you’ve got loads of spare time for reading, I’ll also share a link for a piece from the New York Times Sunday Book Review, “What’s Your Favorite Poem?”  Writers, actors, and producers were asked to share a favorite. The responses have given me some homework to do–I haven’t read many of these poems, haven’t even heard of half of them.


If you have a favorite poem (note to Mo Williams, whoever that is–Dr. Seuss does not count), please post a comment here.


I’ll be back in the New Year!



  1. Colleen Nagle

    You have talented friends! Present company excluded …well, at least I can make good party meatballs!😉 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  2. Tom

    Thanks for the question and the link to the Times article. My favorite poem lately is William Stafford’s “The Way it Is.” But what’s circling in my mind lately are Dylan’s lyrics from Mr. tambourine Man:

    And take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
    Down the foggy ruins of time
    Far past the frozen leaves
    The haunted frightened trees
    Out to the windy bench
    Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow

    Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
    With one hand waving free
    Silhouetted by the sea
    Circled by the circus sands
    With all memory of fate
    Driven deep beneath the waves
    Let me forget about today until tomorrow

    I know many won’t consider folk lyrics poetry, but I’d argue for an exception for these glorious words and images.

    Read more: Bob Dylan – Mr. Tambourine Man Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    1. poemelf

      Seems like he was too young when he wrote that to write that.

      I can’t read it without sort of singing it, so it’s hard to read it as pure poetry….beautiful, thanks for sharing.

      And then there’s always Leonard Cohen!

  3. Sherry

    Hope you have a happy holiday! And my favorite poem is Epistle to be Left in the Earth by Archibald MacLeish, full of mystery and longing. Over the years I have thought what I would write in the same circumstances. And, you know, it’s changed and is still changing!

    Epistle to be left in the Earth

    . . . It is colder now, there are many stars, we are drifting
    North by the Great Bear, the leaves are falling,
    The water is stone in the scooped rocks, to southward
    Red sun grey air:

    The crows are slow on their crooked wings, the jays have left us:
    Long since we passed the flares of Orion,

    Each man believes in his heart he will die,
    Many have written last thoughts and last letters.

    None know if our deaths are now or forever:
    None know if this wandering earth will be found.

    We lie down and the snow covers our garments.
    I pray you, you (if any open this writing)
    Make in your mouths the words that were our names.

    I will tell you all we have learned, I will tell you everything:

    The earth is round, there are springs under the orchards,
    The loam cuts with a blunt knife,

    Beware of elms in thunder, the lights in the sky are stars—

    We think they do not see, we think also
    The trees do not know nor the leaves of the grasses hear us:
    The birds too are ignorant.

    Do not listen. Do not stand at dark in the open windows.

    We before you have heard this: they are voices

    They are not words at all but the wind rising.
    Also none among us has seen God.

    (. . . We have thought often
    The flaws of the sun in the late and driving weather
    Pointed to one tree but it was not so.)

    As for the nights I warn you the nights are dangerous:
    The wind changes at night and the dreams come.

    It is very cold, there are strange stars near Arcturus.

    Voices are crying an unknown name in the sky.

    —Archibald MacLeish

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