Saturday, May 2, 2015

Today's Poem: "Ars Poetica" by Linda Pastan

One of the joys of subscribing to literary journals is reading new work by a favorite poet. When I opened the Summer 2015 issue of The Gettysburg Review today, I was delighted to see three poems by Linda Pastan included. I've posted the full text of one of her poems below, but you'll have to buy a copy of this journal to read the others. Pastan's next collection, Insomnia, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton this fall.

Ars Poetica
for Billy Collins

As I sit reading your book of poems,
page after page
of ordinary things
but with a twist-- the kind of flavor
a twist of lime can give
a gin and tonic,

I wonder why I can't
write poems like that, melancholy
but not sad exactly,
instead of writing the way
I always do
under a darkening cloud.

And so I take pencil to paper
and try to describe your book,
why it makes me happy.
But here comes that cloud again,
no larger at the moment
than a man's hand.  

-Linda Pastan
from The Gettysburg Review, Summer 2015

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