In honor of the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, we asked Entropy writers to share with us one of the first poems they ever read that got them excited about what poetry could do or changed the way that they thought about poetry, and one of their own poems that they are particularly proud of, still resonates with them, or an early poem.
by Carl Sandburg
I AM riding on a limited express, one of the crack trains of the nation.
Hurtling across the prairie into blue haze and dark air go fifteen all-steel coaches holding a thousand people.
(All the coaches shall be scrap and rust and all the men and women laughing in the diners and sleepers shall pass to ashes.)
I ask a man in the smoker where he is going and he answers: “Omaha.”
A POEM FROM THE AUTHOR:
This one flowed out of an experiment where I had to write from an image and another idea in my head and tie them and spin them around each other freestyle with no edits or sentence structure so it all collided. It began with a street and a weather diagram. It also came at a time when it felt like life was taking some writing mojo away and this poem opened up a whole other series and brought writing back in me somehow.
never kissed that woman who was never born in that storm that never formed the gales of lips and two mouths never collided in oceans I never walked that street the man died before he could build I never picked up the thing forever unmade that you let fall away I never kissed that woman who was never born the syllables of her name forever adrift like unflocked birds resting in the eye of that never named hurricane that failed to manifest from so much heat, empty air, sky and wind (thus unborn all) The storm never became those headlines she held in those hands so graceful with nails red as the sign never made and of the lips as unreal of only the ghost skin of what is possible (these words fall away now…dissipate like almost clouds by a shore)