“A Visitation” by Eric Thomas Norris

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Eric Norris lives in Portlandia, USA. His poems and short stories have appeared in Soft Blow, Assaracus, Jonathan, The Nervous Breakdown, Glitterwolf, The Raintown Review, and E-Verse Radio.

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“Five Flights Up” by Elizabeth Bishop

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“Elizabeth Bishop was not just a good poet but a great one. Bishop accomplished a magical illumination of the ordinary, forcing us to examine our surroundings with the freshness of a friendly alien.” – David Lehman

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Top Five Woody Allen Movies in which an Older Man Has an Affair with a Much Younger Woman

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An easy target, you might think, but it’s worth pointing out these age discrepancies. You have been warned!

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“Trumpet Player” by Langston Hughes

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“Langston Hughes is a titanic figure in 20th-century American Literature…a powerful interpreter of the American experience . . . His poems are as vital as ever.” – Philadelphia Inquirer

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“All-Night T.V.” by Christina Cook

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Christina Cook is the author of two chapbooks, Ricochet (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, 2016) and Lake Effect (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her book, A Strange Insomnia, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.

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Top Five Similarities Between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Il

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Kim Jong-Il, the Dear Leader of North Korea, passed away in 2011, but his memory lives on. He is the star of movies like Team America, World Police and the producer of films like Pulgasari, a Godzilla-like monster movie directed by and starring South Koreans whom he kidnapped expressly to make the film. In other words, he was a bold and decisive leader as well as patron of the arts. And now, he reminds us of a new American leader, Donald Trump. The two share some important traits, as described here.

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David Bowie and Lou Reed Perform Together on Bowie’s 50th Birthday

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Two rock legends share the stage at David Bowie’s 50th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden in 1997. It’s hard to accept that they are both gone now.

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“The Relic” by John Donne

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“Wonder—exciting vigour, intenseness and peculiarity of thought, using at well almost boundless stores of capacious memory, and exercised on subjects, where we have no right to expect it—this is the wit of Donne!” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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“Destinations” by Anthony Hecht

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“Hecht’s poetry works the fault lines of human failing, gauging the pitfalls of pride and what he called ‘the infections of the ego.’” – David Yezzi

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Philip Levine Reads from his Debut Poetry Collection ‘On The Edge’

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Thanks to the online digital archive of The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, you can listen to a recording of former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine reading his early poetry. Levine’s early work is more formal than the poems for which he is mostly remembered. These poems are written in rhyme and meter or syllabics. The recording is a fascinating listen.

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Geoffrey Hill Reads from “The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy” for the 99th anniversary of Charles Péguy’s death at Villeroy

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On September 8th, Sir Geoffrey Hill has attended the 99th anniversary of Charles Péguy’s death at Villeroy (30 kilometers from Paris). As a tribute to the famous French poet and polemicist, he has read extracts from “The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy.” On the left: Michel Péguy, grand-son of Charles Péguy.

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“Anasazi” by Terese Coe

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Terese Coe’s poems and translations have appeared in Threepenny Review, Poetry, New American Writing, Ploughshares, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, New Writing Scotland, The Moth, the TLS, Poetry Review, New Walk Magazine, The Stinging Fly, and many other publications, including anthologies. Her poem “More” was heli-dropped across London in the 2012 London Olympics Rain of Poems, and her collection of poems, Shot Silk, was recently published by Kelsay Books. Further information is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terese_Coe .

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“Dream Song 70” by John Berryman

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“The character of Henry [the hero of The Dream Songs] is a permanent addition to our literature.” – James Schevill

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“Winter Insomnia” by Raymond Carver

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Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His father was a saw-mill worker and his mother was a waitress and clerk. He married early and for years writing had to come second to earning a living for his young family. Despite, small-press publication, it was not until Will You Please Be Quiet Please? appeared in 1976 that his work began to reach a wider audience. This was the year in which he gave up alcohol, which had contributed to the collapse of his marriage. In 1977 he met the writer Tess Gallagher, with whom he shared the last eleven years of his life. During this prolific period he wrote three collections of stories, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral, and Elephant.

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“Whereabouts” by Kevin Cutrer

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Kevin Cutrer was born in the American South, has lived in South America, and now resides in the southernmost neighborhood of Boston. His first poetry collection, Lord’s Own Anointed, was published in 2015 by Dos Madres Press. His run-ins with higher education have occurred at Southeastern Louisiana University and Emerson College. The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, The Raintown Review, and many other journals have published his poems, and he has been a featured reader for the reading series Mr. Hip Presents, U35, and Carmine Street Metrics. He shares news about his work, and work that interests him, at kevincutrer.com

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From “Christmas Oratorio” by W.H. Auden

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree, Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes— Some have got broken—and carrying them up to the attic.

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Bethany’s Top Five Versions of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

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We don’t know if anyone still does a full twelve days of Christmas, but here are our top five versions of the song.

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“Skeptic Christmas” by Jules Laforgue (Trans. by Kate Flores)

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“He is an exquisite poet, a deliverer of nations, a father of light,” – Ezra Pound

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“A Christmas Sonnet (For One In Doubt)” by Edwin Arlington Robinson

From the publisher: Edwin Arlington Robinson’s finely crafted, formal rhythms mirror the tension the poet sees between life’s immutable circumstances and humanity’s often tragic attempts to exert control. At once dramatic and witty, his poems lay bare the loneliness and despair of life in genteel small towns (“Tilbury Down” and “The Mill”), the tyranny of love (“Eros Turrannos” and “The Unforgiven”), and unspoken, unnoticed suffering (“The Wandering Jew”, and “Isaac and Archibald”). In addition, the fictional characters he created in “Reuben Bright”, “Miniver Cheevy”, “Richard Cory”, and the historical figures he brought to life—Lincoln in “The Master” and the great painter in “Rembrandt to Rembrandt”—harbor demons and passions the world treats with indifference or cruelty.

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Books Read or Reread by Ernest Hilbert in 2015

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Another year down, and once again I lament I only found time for a small number of the books I had hoped to read. Here’s the rundown of what I managed to squeeze between two jobs and trying to actually write some things of my own.

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“The Peppers in December” by Rick Mullin

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Rick Mullin’s collection, Stignatz & the User of Vicenza, will be published in January by Dos Madres Press, Loveland, Ohio.

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“Save all the Toys for the Little Rich Boys”: “Father Christmas” by The Kinks

“Father Christmas” was released as a single by The Kinks in 1977. It failed to chart but remains popular at Christmas time. So here we go!

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“Christmas in Black Rock” by Robert Lowell

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Christ God’s red shadow hangs upon the wall . . .

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“Presents will rain from the sky!” Just What We Were All Waiting for: Black Metal Sock Puppets Singing a Song Called “Immortal Christmas”

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They really nail it untl they figure out they were supposed to be singing “Satan,” not “Santa.

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“Black Christmas” by Venom (Parental Discretion Severely Advised!)

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Patton Oswalt’s “Christmas Memory”: Soooooo Funny

Patton Oswalt remembers playing the LP of Alvin and the Chipmunks’ Christmas album as a child. I am in stitches every time I hear this. I hope you like it.

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“I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” by Wizzard

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Remember when rock was fun and weird?

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Caligulan as Not-Half-Bad Christmas Present for that Odd Fish on Your List

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t make at least a small seasonal push for my latest book Caligulan before disappearing from society for a while. The book’s a bit depressing, and kind of gross in parts, but it may be just the thing for someone you know (or yourself), as I put it, a not-half-bad gift under the right circumstances. Support poetry, support small presses, support poets (or this one, at any rate), support this very-soon-to-be father of an infant.

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“There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House” by Emily Dickinson

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“Other poets have published to the world verse which, we think, should have been delivered privately to the three or four in a position to decipher the postmark. Emily locked away in a chest a voice which speaks to every living creature of the things which every living creature knows.” –Archibald MacLeish

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