American Life in Poetry

http://www.americanlifeinpoetry.org provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary poetry. The column is edited by former poet laureate of the United States (2004-2006), Ted Kooser. When you visit the site you have the opportunity to sign up for a weekly email of the column. I look forward each week to receiving mine. Perhaps you may discover that your local newspaper already subscribes to ALP. I hope you will visit the site. So many of the poems have the power to launch classroom celebration, discussion, and engagement.

This week’s entry:

Here’s a lovely poem for the caregivers among us, by Terri Kirby Erickson, who lives in North Carolina.

Sponge Bath

Draped in towels,

my grandmother sits in a hard-backed

chair, a white bowl

of soapy water on the floor.

She lifts her frail arm, then rests it,

gratefully, in her daughter’s palm.

Gliding a wet

washcloth, my mother’s hand

becomes a cloud, and every bruise, a rain-

drenched flower.

…from the website:
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2011 by Terri Kirby Erickson from her most recent book of poems, In the Palms of Angels, Press 53, 2011. Poem reprinted by permission of Terri Kirby Erickson and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2013 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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