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A is for Anaphora

Posted by on Apr 23, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A is for Anaphora

Which I love because it is the oldest poetic practice–feature of psalm and song, home of litany and liturgy–that you repeat a thing in the repetition you can intensify the reader’s sense of word as object and phrase as meaning.      Look at you! You are beautiful, my darling Look at you! You are so beautiful. Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats. (“Song of Songs”) I like that anaphora connects me viscerally with the most primitive truth of poetry, which is that words have weight, and that weight is calibrated individually and mysteriously by every poet worth her salt. Once I saw a famous poet whip a crowd of...

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Behind the Words: Elizabeth Yalkut

Posted by on Apr 7, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: Elizabeth Yalkut

Elizabeth Yalkut’s “Momos” was published in Spry’s fourth issue. She takes a moment to discuss her poem and writing life with Katie Eber, a frequent contributor to our blog and miniseries. I love that “Momos” dives right into the idea of cooking as a show of love, and I love that it’s so short and to the point. Why does the short poem work so well for this particular subject? It would be ridiculous to make this snapshot overblown; it would be counter to the image presented. Look at the language: only, tidy, straightforward. Poetry isn’t known for being efficient — and goodness knows that I’m as prone as any poet to wandering...

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Behind the Words: John Repp

Posted by on Apr 6, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: John Repp

John Repp was published in the sixth issue of Spry Literary Journal. He takes a moment to catch up with co-founding editor Erin Ollila on writing and process. Erin Ollila: I’m always so interested on what sparks an idea for a poem. Where did the spark of inspiration for “The Invention of Gunpowder” come from? John Repp: I don’t know. Although I don’t keep track of such things, I’m reasonably sure I worked on this poem periodically over a long period, as I’ve done with all but a very few of my poems. Rereading it now, I suspect the “spark” came from the ox roast/Whippy Dip pairing, and I followed its teeter-totter lead as best I could. Is...

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Behind the Words: Patricia Caspers

Posted by on Apr 5, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: Patricia Caspers

We were lucky to publish Patricia Casper’s poem, “Some Good Thing May Yet Happen”, in the sixth issue of Spry Literary Journal. We were even luckier she agreed to be interviewed. Find out what she’s up to since the poem was originally published. Erin Ollila: I’m always so interested on what sparks an idea for a poem. Where did the spark of inspiration for Some Good Thing May Yet Happen come from?   Patricia Caspers: I had been trying for a long time to write about that moment in the car with my dad, but I wanted to write about it in a way that didn’t my thirteen-year-old self sound piteous. When I heard Dr. Nuland’s...

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Behind the Words: Robert Eastwood

Posted by on Apr 4, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: Robert Eastwood

Robert Eastwood‘s contribution to Issue #6 is a poem titled “Where Stood a Stake.” Eastwood takes us to Rouen, France, to stand in the square where Joan of Arc was martyred. As a retired teacher, Eastwood has a great perspective on how to effectively use space, meaning, and context in a poem that is just absolutely an well-crafted example of all those elements. Spry contributor Katie Eber asked Robert to talk about how history and poetry converge to, as Emily Dickinson said, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.” Katie Eber: There’s something very grounded in the way this poem brings us to a place, not just a physical place but...

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