Like a white snail…

This poem contains what has to be the best simile in all of literature.


Russell Edson

Like a white snail the toilet slides into the living room, demanding to be loved.

It is impossible, and we tender our sincerest regrets.

In the book of the heart there is no mention made of plumbing.

And though we have spent our intimacy many times with you, you belong to a rather unfortunate reference, which we would rather not embrace…

The toilet slides out of the living room like a white snail, flushing with grief…

“dark dark and never again”

This is one of my favorite poems whose poem itself answers the question that is the poem’s title.


Charles Wright, Appalachia


Landscape, of course, the idea of God and language

itself, that pure grace

which is invisible and sure and clear,

fall equinox two hours old,

pine cones dangling and doomed over peach tree and privet,

clouds bulbous and buzzard-traced.

The Big Empty is also a subject of some note,

dark dark and never again,

the missing word and there you have it,

heart and heart beat,

never again and never again,

backdrop of backyard and earth and sky

jury-rigged carefully into place,

wind from the west and then some,

everything up and running hard,

everything under way,

never again never again.

Fun poem for springtime

Here’s a poem I retyped by e.e. cummings. A fun poem for this time of year. I used to read this one with high school students. I promise it does have a fun organic logic. Enjoy!



e. e. cummings






a)s w(e  loo)k










!p: S                                                a


(r   rIvInG                              .gRrEaPsPhOs)








“A Brief for the Defense”

Jack Gilbert’s “A Brief for the Defense” is a beautiful poem about happiness amidst sorrow. Read it below at The Sun–scroll toward the end of the piece for the poem, or if you have extra time (ha!) read about his life and work, too, and some of his other poems.

“We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world…”

“All things come to an end”

Today I offer what may be my favorite poem of all time, Ruth Stone’s “Train Ride.” I’ve posted this poem before, long ago, but it’s so perfect for this moment in history (and all moments) that I have to repost it. Last summer I memorized it at a tiny, lovely place I escaped to for a weekend. Read it aloud if you can, or you can listen to it at an archived Writer’s Almanac below.

Do all things come to an end?
No, they go on forever.

–Ruth Stone


Hello friends,

Thank you for all the emails and texts about my missing poems of the day! I took a break first because I went blank and now because I am writing something longer that isn’t ready. So in the meantime I’ll post some of my favorite poems for you. Today, here’s W.S. Merwin’s “Thanks.” A friend sent me this poem in my email last week and it has been echoing in my head since then. Click the link on the first lines of the poem to read the whole thing at Enjoy.

with the night falling we are saying thank you”

from “Thanks” by W.S. Merwin