Friday, September 29, 2006

Featured Poet: Stephan Anstey

I am honored to present as our first featured poet, Stephan Anstey, of Lowell, Massachusetts, a prolific writer and leader of the band of Shakespeare's Monkeys. He is indeed a poet I love. He inspires other poets with his dedication and hard work and most of all with his poetry, evident from this small sampling below. This is an interactive page! Your comments are welcomed at the end of each entry. A few of my many favorites:

the cottonseed
by Stephan Anstey

I found a cottonseed by the muddy river
in the little hole where the two-inch wasp leapt and flapped into the hot Mississippi air
the ground was white with fresh wild fibers

and the path smelled of berries and sunlight dancing
with the shadows of unripened grapes
the currents from the river cuddled the slippery banks

where the tiny little frogs dreamed of thimble houses
and hungry gar wearing top hats.
I found a cottonseed by the muddy river

and planted it where the little girl in the flowered dress
wiped her brow, slick with sweat from the hot Mississippi air

Copyright © 2006 Stephan Anstey


a drop of truth
by Stephan Anstey

tin kettle whistling
steam condenses on the wall
mouse drinks silently

Copyright © 2006 Stephan Anstey

1218 steps
by Stephan Anstey

the sound of the siren announcing the end of the day
led to a dozen conversations and pristine thoughts of later
the first steps, I did not count they were merely from the gym to my locker then to the door in the northwest corner of the building.
each step thereafter I cataloged meticulously

so as to place it in universal context
each 12.1 steps: one percent of my journey
my journey, only 1/124,000,000th of the distance to the sun

for the first 8minutes, about half of my walk
the suns rays that browned my skin
left before I'd even gotten out of school.
for the second half of my trip

every ray was mine.

Copyright © 2006 Stephan Anstey


" "
by Stephan Anstey

I didn't say a thing
when she said, " " to me.
and when she repeated, " "
I turned so she couldn't see

I walked a way in silence
but I said to her so loud, " "
I looked up to stifle tears
and prayed she thought " "
Why's he looking at the clouds?"

Copyright © 2006 Stephan Anstey

***************On Stephan Anstey, by Kath *********************

An Extended Clerihew (Anstey Aubade)
by Kath Wilson

Stephan Anstey
always upping the ante
his royal straight poem flush
makes 200 poets blush.
First thing in the morning
he issues a warning:
forget what you thought before,
be spending your mental core
extending your metaphors.
He throws in a sonnet
they're busting their bonnets
to outwrite his majesty
and tumble his dynasty.


****a note from Kath: One morning Stephan Anstey challenged all the poets on his poetry site to write more poems than he would write that day. This was my poem #2 in answer to Stephan's challenge og 3/28/06. I used the opportunity to try writing a clerihew! Invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1874-1956), it is a short humorous biographical verse, often showing the subject from a "limited perspective".
It usually has four lines of irregular length (for comic effect) The first line consisting solely (or almost solely) of a well-known person's name. I extended the form a bit in honor of my worthy subject (and his challenge) and thus the title. I wrote seven or eight poems that day. Stephan wrote about 130 but was out poeticized by our reigning "poetry goddess" Ashley Nicole, a 19 year old student at the University of New Hamphire, who wrote over 150 poems! Hopefully we can feature her poetry here someday.

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