John Keene and Cynthia Gray
a solitary human draws charcoal forest words against the inability
from the book Punks / The Song Cave

What Sparks Poetry is a serialized feature in which we invite poets to explore experiences and ideas that spark new poems.

In the series The Poems of Others, we’ve invited poets to pay homage to a poem that first sparked poetry in them—a poem they read that gave them permission to write poetry or the idea that they might write it—a poem that led them down the path to becoming a poet.

Each essay is accompanied by a writing prompt based on an observation about the poem.

Danielle Badra on Diane Seuss' "Still Life with Turkey"
Photo: Danielle Badra
Jordi Sarsanedas (translated from the Catalan by Stanley Moss)
It neighs through small farms and hills. September is the name of this horse. See its eye clear the sharp horizon, ripen the mountains. Its hair scatters sun-pollen over red clay.
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
The name of my father's village speaks of the misery of pilgrims unwelcome for their poverty, a thorn -strewn hillside to keep them at a distance from the house of god for fear of their disfigurement.
Gemma Gorga (translated from the Catalan by Sharon Dolin)
To get up early and check chat everything is in place: that the windows have not aged too much overnight, that yesterday's bread remains soft enough for the new day's baby teeth, that the yellow smell of curry lingers in the kitchen . . .
Diane Seuss
The turkey’s strung up by one pronged foot, the cord binding it just below the stiff trinity of toes, each with its cold bent claw. My eyes are in love with it as they are in love with all dead things that cannot escape being looked at.

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Each member of our diverse board selects poems for our daily poem feature and works with us to identify new outstanding, interesting publications for our thousands of daily readers.