Here is a smattering of great poems written by other people:

Robert Hass is one of my favorite living poets. He was the Poet Laureate of the U.S. in the late 90’s, and this collection won a Pulitzer. Not bad.


In one version of the legend the sirens couldn’t sing.
It was only a sailor’s story that they could.
So Odysseus, lashed to the mast, was harrowed
By a music that he didn’t hear — plungings of the sea,
Wind-sheer, the off-shore hunger of the birds —
And the mute women gathering kelp for garden mulch,
Seeing him strain against the cordage, seeing
the awful longing in his eyes, are changed forever
On their rocky waste of island by their imagination
Of his imagination of the song they didn’t sing.

 Kate Hall was my favorite Canadian contribution to the Griffin nominees in 2010. This poem is great. Plus she’s Canadian!


We are waiting for the claimants to come. You would like to
keep the purple umbrella. I would like to keep the orange
tree. We’re both hoping no one will claim the blue beat-up
dictionary. The dead won’t give anything away. They care-
fully pick through the big pile of junky objects while we
crouch reverently in front of it. A crowd is fighting over the
morning star and the evening star, but there’s only one star
in the box. It’s stretched thin between them. Fault lines are
emerging. People approach from every possible angle.
Secretly, we’re hoping for disaster – a chaotic free-for-all so
we can make off with as much as our arms can hold. At the
door, George Herbert describes an orange tree to the admis-
sion clerk. As Herbert glances around, I step in front of it and
wave my arms like branches. I feel a little bad because he
wants it for God, and I just want it for myself.

John Glenday was also a 2010 Griffin finalist (international). He lives in Scotland and works as an Addictions Counsellor. Isn’t that great? He’s also been to The Banff Centre. In fact, it was a google search of his name that led me here in the first place. Grain was one of my favorite collections in the last few years. 


This is my formula for the fall of things:
we come to a river we always knew we’d have to cross.
It ferries the twilight down through fieldworks

of corn and half-blown sunflowers.
The only sounds, one lost cicada calling to itself
and the piping of a bird that will never have a name.

Now tell me there is a pause
where we know there should be an end;
then tell me you too imagined it this way

with our shadows never quite touching the river
and the river never quite reaching the sea.