Poetry from the Dictionary

Check out Webster’s Daily, a blog in which Josh W. posts one "found poem" a day from the first edition of Webster’s American Dictionary (1828).  I find them downright enchanting!  Here are a few examples:    

Growl [n.]  The murmur of a cross dog.

Hope [n.]  A sloping plain between ridges of mountains. [Not in use.]

Node [n.] 

1. Properly, a knot; a knob; hence,

2. In surgery, a swelling of the periosteum, tendons or bones.

In astronomy, the point where the orbit of a planet intersects the
ecliptic. These points are two, and that where a planet ascends
northward above the plane of the ecliptic, is called the ascending
node, or dragons head; that where a planet descends to the south, is
called the descending node, or dragons tail.

4. In poetry, the knot, intrigue or plot of a piece, or the principal difficulty.


Found is a blog that posts found writing– love letters, birthday cards, kids’ homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, telephone bills,
                doodles.   I always enjoy visiting this site.  Check out today’s postcard scrap; it reads: the closer I get to you the farther I feel from me


I think this sounds like a cool opportunity for poetry bloggers.

Call for Submissions: Digirati

Three Candles Press is seeking submissions for an anthology tentatively titled
"Digirati" that will feature ten poems by twenty poets who have a blog presence,
participate in public or private workshops, and / or publish in online literary journals.
The goal, ofcourse, is to show that some of the best poets around are working in both print and online media. Previously published poems (with proper credit) will be considered along with new, unpublished poems. Payment will be two contributor’s copies.

To be considered, send 15 poems, a bio, and SASE to:

c/o three candles press
PO Box 1817
Burnsville MN 55437


Broketaillightheatherchamp As you may know, I keep two blogs.  Big Window is my blog about poetry and the arts, and The Other Mother is all about my adventures in lesbian parenting.  Over the past year, I’ve made a few observations about these two types of blogs. 

The poetry blogs have a lot less commenting on them.  On the mom blogs, people chat.  The mommy blog is not a podium but a porch, a place where people stop and chat for a while.  The mom blogs have a lot more staying power than the poetry blogs, in general.  I’ve seen a number of great poetry blogs end, since I first starting mine.  It’s been disappointing to me to see them go.  I miss them.  The mom blogs tend to keep on keeping on. 

These are merely generalizations, and I can think of exceptions myself.  But I think that what I see in the poetry world is reflected in the poetry blogs.  Fear informs our discourse.  This is not an accusation;  I feel the fear myself.  But I want to recommit myself to the possibility of conversation on our blogs.  Here I come!

Side Effects

100_3430I’ve been writing prose this week because I have a deadline looming ahead of me.  I think that I find writing prose easier because of blogging.  Has blogging affected your feelings about writing?


All around the blogosphere, things are happening.

  • Michael Hoerman has done great posts all week over at his blog Pornfeld.  The one about Frank Stanford and the poetry of the Ozarks is especially interesting to me.
  • I enjoyed reading Jay’s thoughts on David Byrne, art, and PowerPoint (the Microsoft program beloved by corporate America) on his blog, Bad With Titles
  • And don’t forget Geof Huth’s visual poeticsBouquet_of_words_geof_huff over at his website, Visualizing Poetics.  He’s always offering up something that helps to be reconsider what a poem could be.
  • Katey at One Good Bumblebee has gotten offers from great MFA programs all over the place.  Congrats, Katey!

Islands in the Sun

There are a lot of poetry blogs out there in the blogosphere, and since I’ve started Big Window, I’ve done more than my fair share of surfing.  Today I thought I’d point out a few of my favorites. 

If you want to know the latest news related to poetry, stop by the Poetry Hut.  Jillly Dybka links you to news sources across the globe.  At the blog Here Comes Everybody, Lance Phillips posts short interviews with poets such as Dan Beachy-Quick, Lee Ann Brown, Christopher Davis, Lisa Jarnot, Matthew Rohrer, Donald Revell, and C.D. Wright.

A number of blogs provide us with friendly, smart conversations about literature.  I read Josh Corey, Laura Carter, and Ron Silliman every day.  Tonally, they are very different writers, and I enjoy the differences.

In the blogosphere one needs no credential to "publish," and yet there’s really a whole lot of interesting thinking and writing happening out here.  I praise the democracy of this venture.