Made for the Manhattanville MFA program guest video series, 4/27/2020

A List of List Poems
(always evolving)

A list poem is an ancient poem:

Homer (800 BC): “The Iliad”

Ibn Khālawayh (10th century): “The Names of the Lion” (trans. David Larsen)

A list poem is a sacred poem:

Hafiz (1310–1390): “Now is the Time

Rumi  (1207-1273): ”Don’t go back to sleep

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: “A time to weep, and a time to dance…”

A list poem is an incantation, or sometimes a prayer:

Anne Waldman: “Fast Speaking Woman

Ron Padgett: “How to Be Perfect

Allison Cobb: “I forgive you

Joy Harjo: “I release you

Adrienne Rich: “I know you are reading this poem late…”

A list poem is an incantation of the body politic:

Allen Ginsberg: “Howl

Sean Bonney: “ACAB: A Nursery Rhyme

Thom Donovan: “The Refusal

Kristin Prevallet: “Apostrophe

Jacqui Germain: “We called it a ‘war’ because it was useful, or Alternate Names for Teargas

A list poem is a chronicle of your daily life:

Ted Berrigan: “Ten Things I Do Everyday”  

Alice Notley: “The Ten Best Issues of Comic Books

Randy Prunty: Flat Spots

A list poem marks the passing of time:

Lee Ann Roripaugh: “Things that Leave an Aching Feeling Inside

Joe Brainard: “I Remember

A list poem exalts all the nouns that comprise your life and everything that you love:

Walt Whitman: “Song of Myself

Michael Lally: “My Life”  

Nazim Hikmet: “Things I Didn’t Know I Loved

Jim Carroll: “I am not Kurt Schwitters

Fay Chiang: “Parents

Steven Dunn: “Loves

Gertrude Stein: “Lifting Belly”

A list poem exalts a beloved animal, or concept:

Christopher Smart (18th century) : “For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.” (“Jubilate Agno”)

Jackson Mac Low: “9 light poems

Mark McMorris: “For The Love of Women

A list poem is an exhaustive list of every visible and audible category in a specific place:

Kristen Gallagher, “Grand Central

A list poem exalts geography and changes in the weather:

John Ashbery: “Into the Dusk-Charged Air

Lee Ann Brown: “List for Summer”

A list poem is an essay:

Heidi Czerweic: “Consider the Lobster Mushroom: being a brief theory of the craft of creative nonfiction

A list poem takes a line from a famous writer and makes it new:

Mark DuCharme: “Horribly Dull

Kristin Prevallet: “What she said

A list poem clarifies what you are trying to say:

Kate Colby: “I mean

A list poem is everything you can remember about the place of your birth in one sitting, alphabetized in reverse:

Anna Vitale: Detroit Detroit

A list poem is one sentence repeated over and over again:

Ron Padgett: “Nothing in that drawer

A list poem marks ecological time as human things disappear:

Betsy Andrews: The Bottom

A list poem ends when the line ends, but not before:
Shira Dentz: “At the End of the Day

A single list poem can contain all of the above lists, and many more.

Now, perhaps you’ll be inspired to make one yourself!

If you would like to add a link to a list poem that is PUBLISHED ONLINE, please add the link to the comments board below:

Published On: April 27th, 2020 / Categories: Uncategorized / Tags: , /

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