US Post Office Issues Poets on Stamps

From the Mystic Stamp Company Website: 

Early American poetry of the 17th century was largely British influenced.  By the mid-20th century, American poetry had become such a distinct style, British poets looked to the U.S. for inspiration.

American poetry moved away from the traditional style in the mid-1800s, led by Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.  Their use of free verse, emotion, obscurity, and irony shaped 20th century poetry.

At the turn of the 20th century, poets rejected traditional forms and focused on fragmentation, ellipsis, allusion, juxtaposition, irony, shifting perspective, and mythological parallels.  Significant poets of the time included Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, and E.E. Cummings.

Following World War II, a new generation of poets emerged, largely influenced by Wallace Stevens.  Among them were Elizabeth Bishop and Theodore Roethke.  The end of the war also brought a flood of new styles, including Confessional and Beat poetry, which strongly influenced Sylvia Plath.  This era also saw the emergence of the Black Mountain poets, among them Denise Levertov.  The 20th century saw numerous other styles, including focus on the works of African-Americans like Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Hayden.  America also welcomed and embraced writers from other nations, including Joseph Brodsky, who became the first foreign-born U.S. Poet Laureate.

From humble beginnings, American poets developed a distinct new style that has continued to evolve into a new century.

Poet Stamps .jpg

Lucie Brock-Broido gone to where all the great poets go

Carpe Demon

BY LUCIE BROCK-BROIDO

Where is your father whose eye you were the apple of?

Where are your mother’s parlor portieres, her slip-covered days, her petticoats?

In the orchard at the other end of  time, you were just a child in ballet slippers,

Your first poodle skirt, your tortoiseshell barrettes. As the peach tree grew more 

Scarce each day, you kept running out to try to tape the leaves back on their boughs.

Once, I caught you catch a pond of sunlight in your lap and when you stood, 

The sunlight spilt; it could never follow you. Once, above the river, 

You told me you were born to be a turtle, swimming down. Under the bridge 

Now you take your meals where the thinnest creatures live at the end

Of the world. Carpe Demon, you told me just before you put down the phone 

And drank the antifreeze. This year, the winter sky in Missouri is a kind of cold

The color of a turtle’s hood, a soup of dandelion, burdock root, and clay.

John Keene's WORDS

Words

John Keene

When you said people did you mean punish?

         When you said friend did you mean fraud?

When you said thought did you mean terror?

         When you said connection did you mean con?

When you said God did you mean greed?

         When you said faith did you mean fanatic?

When you said hope did you mean hype?

         When you said unity did you mean enmity?

When you said freedom did you mean forfeit?

         When you said law did you mean lie?

When you said truth did you mean treason?

         When you said feeling did you mean fool?

When you said together did you mean token?

         When you said desire did you mean desert?

When you said sex did you mean savagery?

         When you said need did you mean nought?

When you said blood did you mean bought?

         When you said heart did you you hard?

When you said head did you mean hide?

         When you said health did you mean hurt?

When you said love did you mean loss?

         When you said fate did you mean fight?

When you said destiny did you mean decimate?

         When you said honor did you mean hunger?

When you said bread did you mean broke?

         When you said feast did you mean fast?

When you said first did you mean forgotten?

         When you said last did you mean least?

When you said woman did you mean wither?

         When you said man did you mean master?

When you said mother did you mean smother?

         When you said father did you mean fatal?

When you said sister did you mean surrender?

         When you said brother did you mean brutal?

When you said fellow did you mean follow?

         When you said couple did you mean capital?

When you said family did you mean failure?

         When you said mankind did you mean market?

When you said society did you mean sickness?

         When you said democracy did you mean indignity?

When you said equality did you mean empty?

         When you said politics did you mean power?

When you said left did you mean lost?

         When you said right did you mean might?

When you said republic did you mean rich?

         When you said wealthy did you mean wall?

When you said poor did you mean prison?

         When you said justice did you mean just us?

When you said immigrant did you mean enemy?

         When you said refugee did you mean refusal?

When you said earth did you mean ownership?

         When you said soil did you mean oil?

When you said community did you mean conflict?

         When you said safety did you mean suspicion?

When you said security did you mean sabotage?

         When you said army did you mean Armageddon?

When you said white did you mean welcome?

         When you said black did you mean back?

When you said yellow did you mean yield?

         When you said brown did you mean down?

When you said we did you mean war?

         When you said you did you mean useless?

When you said she did you mean suffer?

         When you said he did you mean horror?

When you said they did you mean threat?

         When you said I did you mean island?

When you said tribe did you mean trouble?

         When you said name did you mean nobody?

When you said news did you mean nonsense?

         When you said media did you mean miasma?

When you said success did you mean sucker?

         When you said fame did you mean game?

When you said ideal did you mean idol?

         When you said yesterday did you mean travesty?

When you said today did you mean doomsday?

         When you said tomorrow did you mean never?

When you said hear did you mean hush?

         When you said listen did you mean limit?

When you said write did you mean wound?

         When you said read did you mean retreat?

When you said literacy did you mean apathy?

         When you said fiction did you mean forget?

When you said poetry did you mean passivity?

            When you say art do you mean act?