Family Matters: Poems of Our Families


Poetry. Anthology. FAMILY MATTERS contains over 150 fine poems of families dealing with: Birth, Children, Couples, Parenting, Family Portraits, Family Life, Aging & Death. Featuring 100 poets, including: Robert Frost, Denise Levertov, Kenneth Patchen, Louise Bogan, Muriel Rukeyser, Galway Kinnell, James Wright, William Carlos Williams, Theodore Roethke, Li-Young Lee, Antler, Joy Harjo, Maggie Anderson, David Ray, Daryl Ngee Chinn, Jim Daniels, Gary Soto, Richard Garcia, Vivian Shipley, Irene McKinney, ...
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Poetry. Anthology. FAMILY MATTERS contains over 150 fine poems of families dealing with: Birth, Children, Couples, Parenting, Family Portraits, Family Life, Aging & Death. Featuring 100 poets, including: Robert Frost, Denise Levertov, Kenneth Patchen, Louise Bogan, Muriel Rukeyser, Galway Kinnell, James Wright, William Carlos Williams, Theodore Roethke, Li-Young Lee, Antler, Joy Harjo, Maggie Anderson, David Ray, Daryl Ngee Chinn, Jim Daniels, Gary Soto, Richard Garcia, Vivian Shipley, Irene McKinney, Hershman John, Peter Meinke, Lynn Powell, Susan Terris, Ron Wallace,Toshi Washizu, and 80 more!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780933087958
  • Publisher: Bottom Dog Press
  • Publication date: 10/2/2005
  • Series: Bottom Dog Press Harmony Series
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Smith grew up in a large, extended Italian-American family in Mingo Junction, Ohio. The family gathered around food. She now lives in Huron, Ohio, with her husband Larry. They have three grown children and four grandchildren and one grandchildren due by the publication of this book. Dr. Smith is a retired Professor from Medical University of Ohio in Toledo. She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Mental Health Nursing and provides family counseling in the Behavioral Medicine Department of Firelands Regional Medical Center. She also provides counseling, Therapeutic Touch, and Reiki at the Reiki and Counseling Center in Sandusky, Ohio. She has written several articles on family relationships in those families experiencing chronic pain and is currently researching the effects of Therapeutic Touch on arthritis of the knee.

Larry Smith was raised in a working-class family in the industrial Ohio Valley in Mingo Junction, Ohio. He received his masters and doctorate of literature from Kent State University. He and his wife Ann are the parents of three adult children and live along the shores of Lake Erie in Huron, Ohio. He has taught at Firelands College of Bowling Green State University since 1970, where he directs the Firelands Writing Center. He is editor-in-chief of Bottom Dog Press and is the author of six books of poetry, two fiction books, and literary biographies of Kenneth Patchen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. His forthcoming book is A River Remains: Poems (Word Tech Press, 2006).

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Read an Excerpt


The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

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Table of Contents

11 Joy Harjo Perhaps the World Ends Here

13 Introductions: Larry Smith & Ann Smith

Elder Poets

19 Galway Kinnell After Making Love We Hear Footsteps

19 Theodore Roethke My Papa's Waltz

20 Muriel Rukeyser Boy with His Hair Cut Short

21 e.e. cummings if there are many heavens my mother will

21 Robert Frost Home Burial

25 Edgar Lee Masters Lucinda Matlock

26 Kenneth Patchen 23rd Street Runs into Heaven

26 Louise Bogan Betrothed

27 Denise Levertov About Marriage & The Ache of Marriage

29 William Carlos Williams The Widow's Lament in Springtime

30 James Wright Youth

30 Emily Dickinson The Bustle in the House


33 Antler For All a Baby Knows

34 Kathleen Fraser Poems for the New

35 Steven Haven Ultrasound

37 Chad Prevost Cartography

38 Don Bogen New Father

38 Richard Tayson Crowning

40 Johnson Cheu Birth

41 Audre Lorde Now That I Am Forever with Child

42 Jim Lenfestey To Make a Baby


45 Joy Harjo Remember

46 Andrew Merton Betrayal

46 Andrew Merton Being Andrew Merton

47 Chad Prevost Already Waving

48 Rasma Haidri Returning Home Late

48 Rasma Haidri Heirloom

49 Laura Loomis The Son Speaks

50 Ron Wallace The Facts of Life

50 Claudia Van Gerven Dead Brothers

51 Cathy Lentes Floss

52 Jeanne Marie Beaumont I Saw Her Standing There

53 Sandra Marshburn Motor Court

54 Richard Carr My Brother's Smile

55 Gary Soto Behind Grandma's House

55 Lynn Powell In Praise of My Daughter's Insolence

56 Carine Topal Fifteen

57 Penelope Scambly Schott Three Short Questions

58 William Pitt Root Waking to the Comet


63 Peter Meinke The First Marriage

63 Li-Young Lee This Room and Everything In It

65 Sean Nevin Spooning

65 Ann Fisher-Wirth Marriage

66 Jeff Vande Zande Another Man Admires My Wife's Cups

67 Thomas Rain Crowe Lei

68 Thomas Rain Crowe A Poem for a Man Married to Mountains

70 William Pitt Root For a Sleeping Russian Blonde Who Became My Wife

72 Eric Torgersen Love on the Friendship Quilt

72 Sandra Marshburn Where We Are Now

73 Richard Tarson I Do

75 Laura Treacy Bentley Not Lot's Wife

76 Diane Lockward The Missing Wife

77 Marianne Taylor E-mail from My Ex

78 Neil Carpathios What Divorce Teaches

79 George Kalamaras Saturday Nights After the Divorce

81 Jack McGuane Butter

82 Bonnie Jacobson Romance


87 Gregory Byrd A Fire Between Them and Everything Else

88 Li-Young Lee A Story

88 Todd Davis How Like the Life

89 Todd Davis Some Heaven

90 Noelle Sickels Strings

92 Marianne Taylor Rearview Mirror

93 Jeff Vande Zande Blood Work

95 Corey Mesler Fathers of Daughters

95 James P. Lenfestey 12th Birthday

96 Michael Hettich The Father

97 Michael Hettich Still Life Toward Evening

97 Edwina Pendarvis Mother and Child

98 Edwina Pendarvis To My Grown Son and Daughter

Living in the North

98 Diane Gilliam Fisher How It Is

99 Ann Fisher-Wirth Daughters

100 Larry Smith Early Spring Garden

101 Michael Salinger Wading

103 Jim Daniels My Mother's See-Through Blouse

104 Toshi Washizu To My Father

106 Susan Terris 1981: Sprite Lost, Sprite Found

106 Laura Loomis Second Mother Speaks

107 Vivian Shipley The Step-Father Speaks

108 Allen Frost From Home to Sleeping Home

108 Lynn Powell Raising Jesus

Family Portraits

113 David Hassler Family Slide

113 Ted Kooser Father

114 Ted Kooser Mother

115 David Lee Garrison Fixing

116 Lyn Lifshin My Mother Who Was Never Bored

116 Gregory Byrd What Galahad Could Not Do

118 Diane Gilliam Fisher Milk

118 David Pichaske Visiting the Father

119 Peter Meinke Artist of the Heart

120 Richard Garcia My Father's Hands

122 William Greenway A Woman Brought to Child

123 Susan Elbe How My Grandfather Showed Me Poetry

123 Kate Daniels Self-Portrait with Politics

125 Tina Mozelle Harris Mozelle's Shoes

126 Tina Mozelle Harris Pray Without Ceasing

128 Nin Andrews The Day Grandma Saw God

129 Maggie Anderson The Wash in My Grandmother's Arms

130 Sean Nevin Losing Solomon

130 Robert Miltner Thicker than Water

131 Allen Braden Grinding Grain

132 Lolette Kuby Immigrant Child

133 P. J. Taylor Six Months Later

134 Irene McKinney For Women Who Have Been Patient All Their Lives

135 Margo Solod Happy New Year

136 Suzannah Gilman My First Time

138 Suzannah Gilman Child Bride

139 Noelle Sickels Old Photos

Family Life

143 Gary Soto History

144 David Citino Volare

145 Holly Hughes What Daughters Do

146 Laura Treacy Bentley Seven on Sixth Avenue

147 Michael McGriff Seasons Between Night and Day

148 Michael McGriff Five for the Roofer

150 William Greenway My Father's House

151 Richard Garcia No Quarrels Today

152 Toshi Washizu Homecoming

154 Pamela Uschuk Red Menace

157 Pamela Uschuk Pancake Breakfast

159 Daryl Ngee Chinn Mrs. Ng Imagines Sleep

163 Abigail Beckel Rental House

164 Hershman John Grandmother Moon

166 Hershman John Canyons Echo Grandma

167 Adam Vines Grabbing

168 Gregory Byrd Why Men Work Together

169 Gail Waldstein AfterImages

176 C.L. Bledsoe The Old Ways

177 Jean Marie Beaumont Screened-in Porch

178 Cathy Lentes Snore

179 Jim Tolan The Purple Crayon

180 Jim Daniels Faith

182 Jeanne Bryner The Valley of Steel Mills

183 Barbara Crooker Ordinary Life


187 Vivian Shipley Digging Up Peonies

188 David Lee Garrison Eye of the Needle

189 Greg Moglia Finally a Son

190 Lyn Lifshin Spoon Night, Crystal Night

190 Holly Hughes The Bath

191 Larry Smith Cutting Down the Maple in My

Father's Yard

192 Ron Wallace In the Cards

193 Diane Lockward My Grandmother's Bed Jacket

194 Mary E. Weems Safety Pin

195 Neil Carpathios The Spaces

196 Alice Cone After Shock Treatments

197 Paola Corso In for the Night

198 Susan Terris I Speak in My Mother's Voice

200 Allen Braden Clarity of Vision

201 Ellen Bass Sleeping in My Mother's Bed

202 Bonnie Jacobson Is Life Serious?


205 Antler Babyteeth Necklace

205 David Ray In the Third Month

206 David Ray In the San Diego Airport

207 Arthur Winfield Knight Anitpastos

208 Arthur Winfield Knight Sirens

208 Susan Elbe In the Cold Refrigerator Light

209 Patricia Wellingham-Jones Nightwatch

210 Margo Solod Ties that Bind

211 Susan Rich White Lilacs One Year Later

212 Nin Andrews The Dying

212 David Hassler Leaving the House

213 Maggie Anderson In My Mother's House

214 Marianna Hofer Work Clothes

215 Derek Sheffield Grandsons Build a Ramp

216 David Citino The Funeral

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