Saturday, May 17, 2008

4 Poems: Kerouac, Bly, Orr, and Issa

Here are 4 poems, two by poets chosen from their books suggested for the Near Perfect Books of Poetry page. First, Jack Kerouac, from Book of Haikus:

Missing a kick
at the icebox door
It closed anyway
Jack Kerouac

Next, Robert Bly, from his first collection, Silence in the Snowy Fields:

"Taking The Hands"

Taking the hands of someone you love,
You see they are delicate cages . . .
Tiny birds are singing
In the secluded prairies
And the deep valleys of the hand.
Robert Bly

And here is Issa, who isn't on the list yet, but should be, in a Robert Hass translation:

All the time I Pray to Buddha

All the time I pray to Buddha
I keep on
killing mosquitoes.
Issa, translated by Robert Hass

Finally, poem-wise, a darkish little poem by Gregory Orr from the delightful collection Pocket Poems, edited by Paul Janeczko:

The Sweater

I will lose you. It is written
into this poem the way
the fisherman's wife knits
his death into the sweater.
Gregory Orr

And, finally, otherwise, another six titles have been added to the Near Perfect Books list: check it out.


PS If you would like to receive the two current issues of Lilliput Review free, just make a suggestion at the above Near Perfect Books link

Also, it was pointed out to me that I made a mistake listing the email address on the sidebars of both the blog and the homepage. The email, spelled out to avoid spam bots, is:

lilliput review at gmail dot com

Remove the spaces, replace at with@ and dot with . and you're good to go.


Charles Gramlich said...

Issa had such a world view. Love his stuff.

btw, I'm having lunch with David Lanoue on Monday.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Thanks much for the note, appreciate it. I've started an Issa section in the sidebar to find as much of his work as is out there.

What David has accomplished is truly amazing. Tell him he has a big time admirer in me.


Greg said...

David's stone bridge haiku is one of my favorites. Can't remember how it goes exactly, but it's something like: "old stone bridge/whether I cross it/or not."

I like that Gregory Orr poem -- never read his stuff before.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


You are right on the money with David's "Old stone bridge ..." It's right in the second line of haiku's on the following page:

Here's some more on Gregory Orr:

He's a keeper.


Greg said...

thanks Don! I read the poems he has online and now I've added him to my to-read list. great stuff, especially "Father's Song" and "To Be Alive."

Theresa Williams said...

That little poem by Orr sure packs a punch. I really love his work, but this one is just exceptional. Thank you for sharing it.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Yes, indeed, Theresa - it's been awhile since I've read it and it is still devastating.