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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”
Elinor Wylie: “Wild Peaches”
An escape leads a young poet to confront her impulses.
Philip Sidney: Astrophil and Stella 63 (“O Grammar rules…”)
An Elizabethan plays a Modernist language game
John Ciardi: “A Trenta-Sei of the Pleasure We Take in the Early Death of Keats”
Making the difficult look easy.