Category Kevin’s Much-Loved Poems

Kevin’s Much-Loved Poems: “The Weary Blues,” “The Blues Don’t Change,” and “Slow Drag Blues”

This continues the series of columns that highlights a much-loved poem and other poems that speak to, or resonate with, that poem. This week features “The Weary Blues,” crafted by Langston Hughes. The two related poems are “The Blues Don’t Change” by Al Young and “Slow Drag Blues” by Kevin Young. (While they share the same surname and were both Stegner Fellows, Al and Kevin are unrelated). The Poetry Foundation

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“Nostalgia,” “To His Coy Mistress,” and “Invitation to the Opera.”

This is part of a series of columns that feature a most-loved poem. Each of these poems is coupled with and a poem or two that speak to, or resonate with, the first poem. This week’s poem is “Nostalgia” by Billy Collins, written in 1991. The two other poems are “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell and my own “Invitation to the Opera.” Collins’ poem is my personal favorite. The complete Poetry Foundation

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Kevin’s Much-Loved Poems: “One Art,” “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” and “Driven by Love”

This column’s primary poem is “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop, written in 1975. Although the first line of this poem is “The art of losing isn’t hard to master;” the same way Steven Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” isn’t about clowns, this isn’t about losing things, certainly not keys. Both follow Emily Dickinson’s edict: “Tell the truth, but tell it slant.” Included are a couple of other poems that speak to, or resonate

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Kevin’s Much-Loved Poems: “Lament,” “Holy Sonnet 10,” and “The Sick Rose.”

This continues the series of columns that highlight a much-loved poem and presents other poems that speak to, or resonate with, that poem. In this column I’m reacting to a nearby tragedy. A poet friend of mine has lost her husband in a bicycling accident, leaving her to finish raising two girls on her own. Because one poem confronts the absence of a spouse head-on, it quickly came to mind: “Lament”

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Kevin’s Much-Loved Poems—“Wild Geese,” “Mindfulness,” and “October Dusk”

This continues a series of columns that feature a much-loved poem and poems that speak to, or resonate with, that poem. This week’s poem is “Wild Geese,” written by Mary Oliver. The second poem, “Mindfulness” by Wang Wei, fits well with the spiritual message of the Oliver poem. The third poem, “October Dusk” by Diane Mayr, resonates Mary’s poem in subject matter. The complete Poetry Foundation entry on Mary Oliver

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Kevin’s Much-Loved Poems: “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins

I’d previously excluded “The Lanyard” from these columns because of its length–it’s considerably longer than most of the poems I’ve included. But I was recently asked to read at a birthday party from a thankful daughter, and, after searching widely, I found and read one of my already-most-loved poems. It was so well received I’m giving it a column all its own. Billy Collins, sometimes referred to as “The most popular poet in America,”

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