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Poem Guide
James Tate: “The Cowboy”
How to be funny and sad.
By Stuart Krimko

Poem Guide
George Eliot: “I Grant You Ample Leave”
A poet's poem from a novelist-poet.
By Hannah Brooks-Motl

Poem Guide
Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea: “The Answer”
How poetry became the 18th century’s social media network.
By Ange Mlinko

Poem Guide
Thomas Hardy: “The Shadow on the Stone”
After the poet lost his wife, he found his voice.
By Jeremy Axelrod

Poem Guide
Gary Snyder: “Four Poems for Robin”
A turbulent first love recollected in something like tranquility.
By Troy Jollimore

Poem Guide
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “Sonnets from the Portuguese 28”
A secret romance made (almost) public.
By Stephen Burt

Poem Guide
Percy Bysshe Shelley: “Ozymandias”
A poem to outlast empires.
By David Mikics

Poem Guide
W.S. Merwin: “The Nails”
A long-lost meditation on heartbreak and pain.
By Jeffrey McDaniel

Poem Guide
Mina Loy: “Lunar Baedeker”
The poet navigates the unknown world.
By Jessica Burstein

Poem Guide
Anne Bradstreet: “To My Dear and Loving Husband”
Anne Bradstreet became a cultural icon for speaking out. Anne Hutchinson was banished.
By Emily Warn

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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