Archive for the ‘Embedded Poems’ Category

A good poem for me has to slip under my skin and inhabit my being. Here is a poltergeist poem that has set up residence in my conscious mind and keeps rustling through and disturbing my thoughts when least expected.  Its range from statistics to thermodynamics is broad. But such matters are inconsequential compared with the theme of this poem, which stretches beyond the universe and outside of time.

This extract from the book Generosity by Richard Powers is an embedded poem of polestar brilliance. (As quoted in The Australian 19/12/09 Book Review Geordie Williamson)

Art is a way of saying what it means to be alive,

and the most salient feature of existence

are the unthinkable odds against it.

For every way there is of being here,

there are an infinity of ways of not being here.

Historical accident snuffs out whole universes

with every clock tick.

Statistics declare us ridiculous.

Thermodynamics prohibits us.

Life, by any reasonable measure, is impossible,

and my life – this, here now –

infinitely more so.

Art is a way of saying,

in the face of all that impossibility,

just how worth celebrating it is

to be able to say anything at all.

Richard Powers

Richard Powers is the author of ten novels, including Galatea 2.2 and The Echo Maker , Generosity. His writing often combines fiction with the themes of historical events or, as with his latest book, scientific developments. He has received numerous honors and awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Historical Fiction. He lives in Illinois. (Photo credit:Lorenzo Ciniglio. Books can be purchased through Richard Powers website.)

Generosity (Atlantic 2009)

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Andrew Sullivan 1

Poempig is always delighted to find an embedded poem in a newspaper article. They are, indeed, rare but worth the search. 

  Andrew Sullivan writes on business, politics and food for The Altlantic.  His article titled ‘Americans don’t know how black they are'( The Australian 27 Oct 2009) and also ‘Scratch white America and beneath it is black’ ( The Sunday Times, UK, on 25th Oct 2009) was not only a clear headed critique of race relations, it was a secular sermon laced with poetic phrases that brought beauty and charm and dignity to the issue of race.  His words didn’t just inform, they sang from the heart. 

These varied roots, these mongrel evolutions,

this hybrid inheritance

make us who we are.crowd zzzed

And it is this mixture

that is authentically American,

just as the wave after wave of immigration,

ancient and modern,

has made Britain Britain.

It is a pied kind of beauty, this diversity.

And those who wish to simplify it,

to reduce it to some biological or racial element

that renders us something other than we actually are,

are not in any way conservatives. 

They are fantasists and bigots,

deaf to the music true nations make,

and the many variations that still make their melodies soar.

Andrew Sullivan


Books by Andrew Sullivan include HE CONSERVATIVE SOUL: HOW WE LOST IT, HOW TO GET IT BACK and SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: PRO AND CON. Books are available at Amazon.

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tinnitus 2

We stumble on poetry everyday. The problem is we just don’t know it. It is a great joy to find an embedded poem in a newspaper article.

This article, Shattered ( The Age, Good Weekend 3rd october 2009  ) by Will Storr provides  an extraordinary insight into dealing with tinnitus (More Info @ Australian Tinnitus Assoc ).  It also contains an embedded poem which screeches with an unrelenting pitch ‘This is what it is like to be human.’

Repetition is the soul of pop …

….it induces a strange and magical hypnotism

Through which the sound and hurt become indistinguishable.

The music meshes with the pain and then lifts it from you;tinitis Correction

It takes its weight.


In some essential way, the song becomes you.

And the louder the volume, the greater the effect…..

… the most efficient tool for

hammering the heart back together was the decibel.


 Today, like a de-tuned radio picking up

the distant echo of the big bang,

I can still hear the noise of all that dead love.


…I think it only right and proper that

it sounds like a scream.

Will StorrWill Storr

Will Storr is an award-winning journalist and critically acclaimed author. His work has appeared in The Times, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, The Independent, The Sunday Times, GQ, The Sydney Morning Herald (Good Weekend), The Weekend Australian and Vanity Fair. 

More information @ Will Storr’s website

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Poempig has been reading 10 poems to change your life by Roger Housden (Hodder Mobius 2003). The first poem is The Journey by Mary Oliver. #mce_temp_url#  This poem is the most magical poem to read if you are going through a transition in life. It is as Roger Housden says ‘a mirror in which you can see a reflection of your own story’. Just to show poetry can be found embbeded intext, here is an extract of Roger Housden’s commentary on ‘The Journey’.

It (is) that moment when you dare

to take your heart in your own hands10 poems Correction

and walk through an invisible wall

into a new life.

Roger Housden.

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When talking recently to a school parent group I was asked ‘How do you make your child resilient?’. I had no immediate answer. After some thought I did stumble on an answer, of sorts. If your child is to become resilient then you must be a resilient parent. You cannot solve all of their problems.  Sometimes, they have to deal with their biggest problems by themselves. You can offer support but you cannot live their lives for them. My daughter had to face her inner monsters herself. She did. And she does today. The next two posts offer insights into the heart-crushing challenge of becoming a resilient parent. 

When my daughter was 12 years old

she slipped silently, imperceptibly at first, into anorexia.

‘The Days are Forgetting me’ she scribbled on a note pad.

They were.Me pic Correction

And each day she slipped further away from me.

I felt I was watching her walk slowly, deeper and deeper into the still waters of a lonely lake, while I was sealed off from her behind a wall of Perspex, banging, yelling, pressing my face against the glass,

unable to get through to her.

Fear electrified my every thought.

I was her mother. I had to feed her.

Meanwhile, psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors could name the condition.

They could pop her into a diagnostic box.

None could open the lid.

My turning point in understanding this affliction

– this chameleon viper that disappears and returns

to strike in different forms –

was realising I could not control this carnivorous monster consuming my daughter alive.

I could not eat for her. 

It was her monster.

She had to take the stand, she had to turn on it and fight.

Who else could?

Kerry Cue

This is an edited extract from Forgotten Wisdom by Kerry Cue   #mce_temp_url#

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The world is awash with poetry mascarading under another name. This time it is graffiti. I found this article in The Sunday Age (3/5/09). graffiti





by     anonymous (Of course)


You can find more poems written on city walls and also purchase the book  @  #mce_temp_url#


graffiti-2 Here is another poem by anonymous found in the street in Philadelphia:


 There is no 

 Way to Peace

 Peace is





One last random poetic thought found on city walls. This time invilnius (lithuania) graffiti-3












by the great poet, Anonymous.

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The following is a quote/poem, which you will find embedded in My Colombian Death, the latest book by author Matthew Thompson. The quote is about running with ‘ bulls and murderers’ but 

the impact of this self-contained poem emerges from how it challenges each of us to stop and reflect on our own life.

‘I know it in my bones now colombian-death

that the raw shocks of life 

-even as they wound, or threaten to –

shake existence into its essence.

It’s lack of impacts that undoes a man.’

by Matthew Thompson

                                                                             My Colombian Death (Picador) #mce_temp_url#

Quote from p40 Review  The Australian Running with the Wild Bulls Imre Salusinszky (Feb 7-8, 2009)

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