Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

John Okrent: This Costly Season

I picture Whitman,
wending his way through wounded Union
soldiers—his democratic nostrils, the smell of dead
or dying flesh. And in all the dooryards, the smell of lilacs.

May 1, 2022 · 1 Comment

Rachel Hadas: Ides of March MMXX

But who
could hear me through my mask?
Don’t ask.
Love
wears a glove.

April 11, 2022 · 2 Comments

Rachel Hadas: ‘Laugh right in its face’ – a poet reflects on her craft’s defiant role in the middle of a war

Poets write poetry to help them come to terms with the terror of their times. The process of writing those poems, and the process of reading them, both offer respite.

April 3, 2022 · 3 Comments

Derrick Z. Jackson: Nearly One Million US Deaths from COVID-19 | The Grim Consequences of Sidelining Science

One million US deaths from COVID-19. Catatonic politics on climate change. Communities suffocating from environmental injustice. All these issues are tragically linked by the hardening divisions in the United States … Continue reading

March 28, 2022 · Leave a comment

Rachel Hadas: February 29, 2020

That extra day, that ordinary day,
I got where I was going on the train
and taught the lyric leap, as per the plan;
then, tired, happy, bathed in poetry,
caught a train and travelled back again

March 20, 2022 · 2 Comments

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley: News

our people who do the hard work
of America,
dying as caregivers

February 16, 2022 · 1 Comment

Danielle DeTiberus: In the Middle of Fucking You, I Pause

Twenty years together and yet
You were new to me again.

February 14, 2022 · 2 Comments

Stephanie L. Harper: A Crown Most Unroyal

Some humans really don’t object to dying
as much as they hold dear an asshat’s right
to choose to spread disease over complying

February 9, 2022 · 7 Comments

Michelle D. Holmes, MD, DRPH: The Folly of School Openings as a Zero-Sum Game

We need to address the needs of students—and parents, and teachers. One size does not fit all, and race complicates the challenge.

January 18, 2022 · 2 Comments

Michelle Bitting: Pandemic Mask Sonnet

The world’s gone mad at the wheel
While bees and seas soar for bloom, germs and chaos
Straining against reorder.

November 21, 2021 · 8 Comments

Paul Christensen: What Isolation Teaches Us

The magpies have all packed up and left with the last straggling tourists. I don’t hear their falsetto cries anymore, and I miss them. I love to see two such … Continue reading

October 31, 2021 · 5 Comments

Christopher Bursk: The Plague in Early Spring

The first week in the first year of the plague,
when we told ourselves there was no plague,
the flowers were more than willing
to confirm our opinion.

September 7, 2021 · 2 Comments

Laure-Anne Bosselaar: Complaint About Missing Friends after Ten Months of the Pandemic

Verlaine threw pail after pail after
cold water pail on the gravel under Rimbaud’s
windows, to cool the air as he slept.

September 6, 2021 · 2 Comments

Christopher Bursk: Nor are we fit to force our way across

when I was a child
I wanted with all my heart to be the one
to suffer

August 3, 2021 · 1 Comment

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