Lloyd Schwartz has written a new book about one of my favorite poets: Elizabeth Bishop. Listen to an interview on NPR with Schwartz about his experience meeting Elizabeth Bishop.


Are you an old soul
In there;
Watching over me;
Being there
When I need you?

Or are you
Just a
Needing me?

Keri Bjorklund
This will link you to the Favorite Poem Project’s videos: Americans reading their favorite poems. Each poem is introduced by a short prologue in which the reader explains why the poem is meaningful to her or him.

Be sure to follow along with the text as the poem is read.
Listen to how this poem is read by the computer: click on "Listen Now."

by James Wright

I was only a young man
In those days. On that evening
The cold was so God damned
Bitter there was nothing.
Nothing. I was in trouble
With a woman, and there was nothing
There but me and dead snow.

I stood on the street corner
In Minneapolis, lashed
This way and that.
Wind rose from some pit,
Hunting me.
Another bus to Saint Paul
Would arrive in three hours,
If I was lucky.

Then the young Sioux
Loomed beside me, his scars
Were just my age.

Ain't got no bus here
A long time, he said.
You got enough money
To get home on?

What did they do
To your hand? I answered.
He raised up his hook into the terrible starlight
And slashed the wind.

Oh, that? he said.
I had a bad time with a woman. Here,
You take this.

Did you ever feel a man hold
Sixty-five cents
In a hook,
And place it
In your freezing hand?

I took it.
It wasn't the money I needed.
But I took it.

Now read it a loud to yourself: what's different?
Grammar errors seem to be a fact of life in the written world, like any mistake; yet, grammarians alike work so hard toward perfection. I guess it just shows that everyone, even the professional writers, are fallible.

Follow this link for an explanation of common errors even made by the best of us . . .