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John Ashbery: “Paradoxes and Oxymorons”
Savoring the movement of the mind.
John Keats: “To Autumn”
In Keats’s finest season, even the gnats are mourning.
Gwendolyn Brooks: “kitchenette building”
The Chicago poet transports readers into a dream deferred.
Gertrude Stein’s “The house was just twinkling in the moon light”
An intimate glimpse into one of the 20th century’s most fascinating marriages.
James Tate: “The Cowboy”
How to be funny and sad.
George Eliot: “I Grant You Ample Leave”
A poet's poem from a novelist-poet.
Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea: “The Answer”
How poetry became the 18th century’s social media network.
Thomas Hardy: “The Shadow on the Stone”
After the poet lost his wife, he found his voice.
Gary Snyder: “Four Poems for Robin”
A turbulent first love recollected in something like tranquility.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “Sonnets from the Portuguese 28”
A secret romance made (almost) public.