Friday, January 7, 2011

Poetry Friday: A Poet to Enjoy

Do you ever read a poem by a poet that you really, really love and then spend the next few days, weeks, or months reading all the poems by that person that you can? Like most poetry fiends, I have favorite poets, but I also enjoy discovering writers that are new to me.

That happened this past week when I read New Year's Day by Kim Addonizio.  I blogged about it Sunday and since then, I've found myself somewhat entranced by Ms. Addonizio's work. Granted, I haven't explored everything or gotten my hands on any of her books, but what I've found I've liked. A lot.

The language or her poems is so rich with imagery and emotion. There's also sensuality, which I'm often not drawn to in poetry, but Addonizio makes it work. Her poems operate on many levels and they have such depth that they make me realize what a poetry novice I am--I just know there's more to them that I'm not totally "getting," and trying to write about them probably just makes me seem like a doofus--but I really enjoy reading and re-reading them. Kim Addonizio is a poet to know and one I'll be reading more and more of in the future.

So on this first Poetry Friday of 2011, I wanted to share this poem:

How many nights have I lain here like this, feverish with plans,
with fears, with the last sentence someone spoke, still trying to finish
a conversation already over? How many nights were wasted
in not sleeping, how many in sleep--I don’t know
how many hungers there are, how much radiance or salt, how many times
the world breaks apart, disintegrates to nothing and starts up again
in the course of an ordinary hour. I don’t know how God can bear
seeing everything at once: the falling bodies, the monuments and burnings,
the lovers pacing the floors of how many locked hearts. I want to close
my eyes and find a quiet field in fog, a few sheep moving toward a fence.
I want to count them, I want them to end. I don’t want to wonder
how many people are sitting in restaurants about to close down,
which of them will wander the sidewalks all night
while the pies revolve in the refrigerated dark.

You can read the rest here via Poetry Magazine.

And since I had a really hard time picking just one Kim Addonizio poem to share, you might also want to read this one:

My Heart 
by Kim Addonizio

That Mississippi chicken shack.
That initial-scarred tabletop,
that tiny little dance floor to the left of the band.
That kiosk at the mall selling caramels and kitsch.
That tollbooth with its white-plastic-gloved worker
handing you your change.
That phone booth with the receiver ripped out.
That dressing room in the fetish boutique,
those curtains and mirrors.
That funhouse, that horror, that soundtrack of screams.
That putti-filled heaven raining gilt from the ceiling.
That haven for truckers, that bottomless cup.
That biome. That wilderness preserve.

Read the conclusion at

And if you're like me and you've become a new fan of hers, here are some links to some others you might like:

Poetry Friday, which will be hosted HERE March 4, is located this week at Live. Love. Explore! Be sure to check it out.


  1. I'm also a big fan of Kim Addonizo's work, so thanks for the postings, links, and enthusiasm. I bet you'll also like, as I do, The Poet's Companion: A guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry, which she co-wrote with Dorianne Laux, another poet I'm guessing you'll like. Enjoy!

  2. Yes, her work is wonderful! And like Jeannine, my thoughts of her are coupled with thoughts of Dorianne Laux. Both have fantastic voices. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I'm reading The Poetry Home Repair Manuel right now, by Ted Kooser, and he is also a big fan of Kim Addonizo. He called her one of the most accessible poets.

  4. I really REALLY loved "MY HEART."

    Thanks for a new poet to love!

  5. Jeannine & Irene--I will definitely be getting my hands on that book in the near future. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. Susan--That also sounds like a book I need to read. Ted Kooser is amazing.

  7. Mary Lee--I am glad you like her, too! Thanks for the comment.