Saturday, November 30, 2013

Poetry Friday: Todd Boss

My Day-After-Thanksgivings are always busy with leftover-pie breakfast, family, turkey-sandwich lunch, family, jigsaw puzzle, dogs, family, turkey-soup dinner, etc. So I missed posting for Poetry Friday at the normal time. But since I haven't gone to bed yet, it's still Friday for me, yes, even if it's the wee (and bleary-eyed) hours of Saturday morning? Here's a poem I happened on and want to share:

The World Is in Pencil

—not pen. It’s got

that same silken
dust about it, doesn’t it,

that same sense of
having been roughed

onto paper even  
as it was planned.

It had to be a labor
of love. It must’ve

taken its author some
time, some shove.

I’ll bet it felt good
in the hand—the o

of the ocean, and
the and and the and

of the land.

                             by Todd Boss 

That is so carefully crafted. It does just what I want a poem to do, and just what I would love my poems to do: it hides the rhyme internally, subtly, and it has both gravitas and playfulness. The poet and critic Tony Hoagland, whose opinion I respect, says this of Todd Boss's second book, Pitch: "There is a rich physicality in all of Todd Boss’s poems, a reverent  gusto for representing the tactile aspects of human life. His poems are about matter in motion—apple-slices, Chopin, horses, light, and people. What makes Boss much more than a journalist is the great adroitness and physicality with which sound bounces around inside his language, in strong rhyme, all kinds of rhythm, and formal games. The poems in Pitch are never pretentious but always acrobatic, sensuous, technically inventive, muscular and fun.”
Todd Boss
 Be sure to look up Boss's first book as well - it's titled yellowrocket. Wonderful stuff.
Poetry Friday was hosted by Carol at Carol's Corner this week.  Head over there to see what other people have posted. 


  1. Julie,
    Thanks so much for your contribution to Poetry Friday. I had never heard of Todd, but I love this poem. Will definitely be looking for his books today! Carol

  2. Love this, Julie! It's never too late for a poem. I will have to check out his other work.

  3. A great one to read aloud! Thanks for the introduction to Todd Boss.

  4. How cool would that be to have someone describe my work as "never pretentious but always acrobatic, sensuous, technically inventive, muscular and fun.” Hope you enjoyed your pumpkin pie breakfast and whipped cream in your coffee!

  5. Beautiful poem, Julie. Thank you for sharing it. I love the implication that we should let go of our expectations for perfection. The world is not built that way.