National Poetry Month: Everything that Ever Was

Poem selected by Mary Pigliacelli.

Everything That Ever Was

Like a wide wake, rippling
Infinitely into the distance, everything

That ever was still is, somewhere,
Floating near the surface, nursing
Its hunger for you and me

And the now we’ve named
And made a place of.

Like the wind the rains ride in on,
It sweeps across the leaves,

Pushing in past the windows
We didn’t slam quickly enough.
Dark water it will take days to drain.

It surprised us last night in my sleep.
Brought food, a gift. Stood squarely

There between us, while your eyes
Danced toward mine, and my hands
Sat working a thread in my lap.

Up close, it was so thin. And when finally
You reached for me, it backed away.

Bereft, but not vanquished. After it left,
All I wanted was your broad back

To steady my limbs. Today,
Whatever it was seems slight, a trail
Of cloud rising up and off like smoke.

And the trees that watch as I write
Sway in the breeze, as if all that stirs
Under the soil is a little tickle of knowledge

The great blind roots will tease through
And push eventually past.

~Tracy K. Smith

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National Poetry Month: Road to Dawn

Written and submitted by Randall Taylor

Road to Dawn

You know I’ve been thinking about you lately.
I’m crazy about you.
There aren’t any words to describe how much I miss you.
We’ve been down this road before huh?
Don’t worry we’ll be okay
I’ll show you the way, a different way.
A different me.

It’s my fault really.
I didn’t know how to read before.
Not about the girl who would return to me as the waves that kiss the seashore.
Not about the boy who could not see the light from behind his own shadow.
I was in a dark place afraid of tomorrow

I found a new path neither good nor bad.
A path shrouded in midnight where we can move the stars and sleep with the wind.
A path shined in the afternoon where we can rest with the clouds and talk with the waves.
This is a new beginning.
We write each other’s stories and caress each other’s souls.

This is the road to dawn,
in between the sun and moon,
smiles and tears,
past and future.
I will learn to read you as you will I,
making history one laugh and cry at a time.
We will travel through love and hate,
joy and pain.
But hey?

What’s sunshine without a little rain

National Poetry Month: The Beautiful Scar

Written and submitted by Randall Taylor

The Beautiful Scar

I’ve made you laugh and smile just as much as I’ve made you yell and cry.
Loving each other has never been easy.
But some wounds shouldn’t heal even if we never know why.
I’m sorry… My mask is ugly and sadly I’m ugly underneath too…
My eyes remain concealed because they cannot lie about the wounds and bruises my mask has
caused you.

Still… I don’t know where mine are…
But when we take off our masks, your chest bears the same pain as my back.
I will kiss yours as you massage mine.
Am I scared? Well I used to be…
Until I remembered who I was before I donned this mask.
Before I became ugly.

But still…you kissed every wound, massaged every bruise and spoke every cure.
I always wondered why you held me in the shadows even though I belonged in the light.
I always wondered why you kissed my mask even when I looked and felt nothing like me…

But now I understand.
Love isn’t perfect.
It’s a blessing and a curse.
But it will never break.
We share the same scar…
Because my dear we are each other’s beautiful mistake.

National Poetry Month: Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

“Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep” is a poem that provides comfort in times of real sorrow. There are not many poems that make me cry, but this one always gets me. I am forever reminded of my beautiful grandmother, when reading this poem.  -Kainat

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National Poetry Month: Breakage

Poem selected by Mary Pigliacelli.

Breakage

I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls on to the gray rocks and all the
moisture gone.
It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

~Mary Oliver

Tools for Understanding Grammar

Memorizing all the rules of grammar an be a challenge. If you find that you’re struggling with verb tense, articles, preposition use, or other grammatical concerns, there are several websites that can provide you with practice tests. LearnEnglishFeelGood.com provides dozens of practice tests along with helpful explanations and keys to help you have a better understanding of English grammar rules.

Here is a list of just a few of the practice sheets this website offers:

Commonly Confused Words

Run on sentence or fragment?

A or An?

A, An, or The?

Irregular Verbs

Happy practicing!

National Poetry Month: Pieces

Written and submitted by Randall Taylor

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National Poetry Month: Howl

My favorite poem is”Howl” by Allen Ginsberg. Last year I became obsessed with the beat writers! I love Ginsberg and his whole literary circle/ contemporaries. One of my favorite English professors, Dennis Pahl, told me stories about meeting him decades ago in Colorado! It’s long, and it’s graphic/explicit though, but well known. – Yasmine Ali

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National Poetry Month: I loved you first: but afterwards your love

This poem is one of my favorites, and I love it because it expresses beautifully how two people are united together through the love they have for each other. They start off as two separate individuals, but over time, the bond between them grows strongly, and these two individuals share the same experience of loving and caring for each other. I love how this poem describes how love unites two individuals and how they are able to share a unique and distinct connection with each other, and I also love how it discusses how love does not focus on a person’s flaws or what a person does not have. This poem includes the message that loving somebody means that you love him/her for who he/she truly is, and this feeling of loving somebody for who he/she genuinely is should be the basis for true love. Rossetti writes about loving somebody not for the material possessions he has or the societal status he has, but for who that person truly is on the inside. She describes how powerful this intimate relationship can be between two individuals, and I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do. – Kaitlyn Boland

I loved you first: but afterwards your love

 

         Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda. – Dante
        Ogni altra cosa, ogni pensier va fore,
        E sol ivi con voi rimansi amore. – Petrarca
I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? my love was long,
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.
~Christina Rossetti

Save the Date!

Attention all LIU Post students! Feeling stressed about those final papers? Need a friend and supportive, relaxed to work in? Well, you’re in luck! Continue reading