Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Ellen McGrath Smith — Shaken 48: How careful was I when I took my way

Hands in my pockets, the salt on the streets,
the yellowing aura that means you are here
by my side again, waking me in dread
with no buffer or bounce. It’s been ten years.

July 10, 2019 · Leave a comment

Robinson Jeffers: Wonder and Joy

The things that one grows tired of—O, be sure They are only foolish artificial things! Can a bird ever tire of having wings? And I, so long as life and … Continue reading

April 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

Molly Fisk: Singing Canyon Sonnet

I have to say something about the blue grasses by the side of the road,  the red rock rising behind them, a lacy kind of scrub juniper,  yellow-green in afternoon … Continue reading

March 27, 2019 · Leave a comment

Doug Anderson: In These Times

The fawn was lost, it seemed to me, stumbling through the foggy field and disappearing. I went after it, not knowing why, thought I might help somehow. Wanted to hold … Continue reading

March 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

Claude McKay: If We Must Die

If we must die, let it not be like hogsHunted and penned in an inglorious spot,While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,Making their mock at our accursèd lot.If … Continue reading

February 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

Claude McKay: America

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth, Stealing my breath of life, I will confess I love this cultured hell that tests … Continue reading

December 28, 2018 · 2 Comments

Christina Rossetti: From Sunset to Star Rise

Go from me, summer friends, and tarry not: I am no summer friend, but wintry cold, A silly sheep benighted from the fold, A sluggard with a thorn-choked garden plot. … Continue reading

October 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Michael T. Young: An American Tree

A tree is never just a tree, it’s not just maple, spruce, or birch but always this tree rooted in American soil, its rot peculiar to this latitude and history, … Continue reading

July 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Andrena Zawinski: Twilit Sonnet

In twilight’s dusky backstreets and muted alleys, the dispossessed huddle for the evening in boxes or sleeping bags, under freeways, at doorways, inside storage bins. They retreat   to the … Continue reading

June 22, 2018 · 2 Comments

Edna St. Vincent Millay: What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII)

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, I have forgotten, and what arms have lain Under my head till morning; but the rain Is full of ghosts … Continue reading

February 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet’s first kiss

Act One, Scene Four ROMEO [To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To … Continue reading

February 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Love is not all

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain, Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink And rise and … Continue reading

November 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

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