Thursday, March 26, 2009

Are You Hungry For Poetry?




DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY - Fifty Years of Southern Poetry Review fell open in my hands yesterday when I brought in the mail.
It's my contributor's copy. It's feast of poetry collected by the press from the late 1950s to the present, edited by James Smith and with a forward by Billy Collins, published at the University of Arkansas Press.

Turning the pages, reading favorite poems by many of my friends down through the years was like going to reunion.

The anthology is arranged by decades. For the section of the 1980's my poem "Grass" was chosen.

GRASS by Nancy Simpson

We ought to be thankful it grows wild
on roadbanks, sometimes blond and curled.
It holds earth together and still
we hear Earth is falling.

Sink holes in the south swallow cars.
We do not doubt, but can we help wonder
what happens when the bottom drops?
Maybe clumps fall with he Jeep

and the Porsche, forming the shoreline
of a lake, in some posh suburb.
Grass has a right to be cherished,
Crowning Glory, clipped to perfection.

No matter where we sleep we live
with threat hanging over our lawns.
Who says we need more weapons?
We want to know what will happen to grass,

grass everywhere, amber savannahs,
sacred as the hair on our heads.

9 comments:

Glenda C. Beall said...

Congratulations, Nancy, on being selected for this book. I love this poem, Grass, and I always laugh at the story you tell when someone told you, "you can't write about grass. Walt Whitman has already written that poem."

I know you treasure this fine acknowledgement of your poetry.

Lynn Hamilton Rutherford said...

I'm thrilled to my fingertips!!! You amaze me and this poem ... this simply delicious poem about Grass just makes me smile.

I love and adore you!
Congratulations mom!!!!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Nancy, this book really is impressive. Jim Smith did a great job of editing and introducing. I'm going to begin my April book features with it, I think, using your poem, if that's ok, along with Becky Gibson's and a couple of others. Well, maybe one of mine, since it's easily accessible.

Nancy Simpson said...

Thank you Glenda, Lynn and Kay.

The inclusion of my poem "Grass' in this 50th Anniversary Issue of Southern Poetry Review is something for me to want to celebrate.

Editor Jim Smith did a fine job, for sure. I am enjoying this book each day.

Kay. I'd be proud to have you use "Grass" in your feature of poetry books. I want to tell you too how much I enjoyed reading your poem, "Jericho's Walls" I don't know if you know, but there is a poem in the anthology dedicated to me in the section of the 1980s. I guess my happiest years were the 1980s when I traveled so much and met so many of our finest American poets.

tipper said...

Loved this poem Nancy-it made me smile. I'm so thrilled you were included in the book!


I also enjoyed the poems you wrote about your past student-very moving.

Jayne Jaudon Ferrer said...

Love this, Nancy, and it definitely proves Whitman didn't say ALL there was to say about grass! :-) Congratulations on being selected for inclusion.

Nancy Simpson said...

Hello Tipper, Thank you I'm glad you liked the poems about my former student. His mother called one night crying and she could not talk. His father took the phone and told me Dennis was dying and it might be sudden. Being a practicing poet I'm prone to bury deep hurts and just not deal with them at all, until one day they seem to rise up on the words of a poem. No one would ever guess where they came from. After many years of festering, I hardly remember the real hurt. But, when I heard my student was dying, I went to talk to my principal. Walking back to my class room
something told me, don't bury this. You can't live with this. The poems were written before he died.

Nancy Simpson said...

Hello Jayne, It is good to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nancy,
I also enjoyed your poem and am so happy that it has been included in the book. A big congratulations! Glenda Barrett