Poems About Poetry  

Next Year's Words: O'Brien on Eliot

Video: Naomi Shihab Nye on Inspiration 

poemsPoems About Poetry

so you want to be a writer? by Charles Bukowski

This Was Once a Love Poem by Jane Hirshfield
On the Grasshopper and the Cricket by John Keats
One Train May Hide Another by Kenneth Koch
Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish

Poetry by Marianne Moore
All She Wrote by Harryette Mullen
Poet's Work by Lorine Niedecker

The Cities Inside Us Alberto Rios
Uses of Poetry by William Carlos Williams

essay"Next Year's Words": T. S. Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" 

"Writing in the presence of the past is, then, an escape into the inevitable, into the constant process of taking in and then recirculating tradition, inhaling and exhaling," writes Geoffrey G. O'Brien, in his investigation of T.S. Eliot's groundbreaking essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent. 

In this piece, O'Brien explores the concepts of writer-as-medium, personality's place in poetics, and Eliot's ideas about engaging with literature.
audioVideo Exclusive: Naomi Shihab Nye on Inspiration

"Those of us who have encountered poetry throughout our lives know that once you have read, responded to, carried with you, poems that create a certain kind of high line...within yourself, you just keep wanting to go back to it.
In this video clip, filmed during the 2010 Poets Forum, Naomi Shihab Nye discusses what poems she carries with her and why she never stops reading.
lessonNew Lesson Plan: 
Ars Poetica


In this new lesson plan, students focus on poems about poetry itself--including works by Charles Bukowski, Archibald MacLeish, and Marianne Moore.
What is poetry? Why is it important? The poets included in these lessons address these questions, as only they can, from their experience as poets. 
This lesson plan is aligned with Common Core standards and has been prepared by a curriculum specialist.
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Thanks for being a part of the Academy of American Poets community. To learn about other programs, including National Poetry Month, Poem In Your Pocket Day, the annual Poets Forum, and more, visit Poets.org. Naomi Shihab Nye photograph by Brian Palmer.