Sunday poetry: "The Pioneers"
My new poem "The Pioneers" appears today in the Journal of Radical Wonder. This piece, along with two previous ones featured in the same magazine ("The Birdwoman Stirs by da Vinci's House" and "Openings"), is part of a manuscript-in-progress. The title is The Birdwoman Stirs by da Vinci's House, and it follows a number of recurring themes: technology, aviation, genius, innovation, daughters. Some of the poems in the collection, like the title piece, are historical fiction. This one is entirely fictional.
On this blog, I find that I have a great deal to say about previously published poems (it may be that, as fond as I am of them, enough time has passed that they feel like the work of a different person), but not as much about new ones. I am fine with that; I once attended a workshop with a master poet who had a rule against introducing poems before sharing them. The reason, he argued, was that the words need to speak for themselves, and anyone who buys a book by Sharon Olds will not have Olds leaning over his or her shoulder and explaining what each poem is about. So, for new pieces on this blog, I will follow the master poet's advice.
I will, however, point out two other fine new pieces that went up in recent days in the Journal of Radical Wonder:
1. Kevin Ridgeway's poem "The Death of the Coppertone Girl" is an intriguing vignette about a woman pictured on a billboard and the series of injustices that are imposed on her. There is an art to short poems (and short lines), and I can imagine Kevin's poem being used in a creative writing class as inspiration.
2. James Crews also contributed an insightful poem called "The Hug," which evokes the early days of COVID and the hesitant time afterward when we began to gather in public again and (literally) open our arms to one another. The final lines describe "the first warm morning of a spring / I thought might never come." That spring seems to have come. May we never take a hug for granted again.
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This is the blog of Michael Miller, a longtime journalist, poet, publisher and teacher. Check here for musings, observations, commentary and assorted bits of gratitude.