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John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester: “Upon Nothing”
What Jerry Seinfeld and a 17th century libertine have in common.
William Butler Yeats: “Easter, 1916”
How the conflict of a nation was captured by a politically reluctant poet.
Geoffrey Hill: “On Reading Crowds and Power”
A poet’s poet investigates the power of his readers.
John Donne: “A Valediction: of Weeping”
Reality and representation mix in this classic poem.
Juan Felipe Herrera: “Blood on the Wheel”
Tracing the many conflicting meanings of the word "blood"
George Herbert: “Love (III)”
A 17th-century poet’s project invites its readers to the table
Rae Armantrout: “Our Nature”
How did you become who you are?
W.S. Graham: “Dear Bryan Wynter”
How a poem brings language to loss and speaks to the dead.
Elizabeth Alexander: “Race”
What can we assume when we read a poem?
John Keats: “La Belle Dame sans Merci”