This Week’s Top 10 Poetic Picks

poetryThe best in poetry (and poetic things), this week with Seth Haines.

Artful Girl by Claire Burge

1 Art

I’m a fan of Tea Dimensional Art. What? A typo you say? Au contraire.

For those of you who are regulars, it should come as no surprise that we’re all rather fond of tea around here. So when I happened across this piece about Mary Pagón’s practice of painting with tea, I was absolutely beside myself. Pagón, a mixed media artist, combines acrylics with varoius teas–including flavored varieties and herbals–to create eye-catching works. When asked how she chooses which teas to incorporate into a work, she says, “I choose teas and herbals that inspire me, whether it’s the flavor, the smell, or the sound and texture of the tea when I’m crushing it between my fingertips.” Sounds like a fun job. Right?

Visit this piece at the English Tea Store for more, or visit Pagón’s website to see more of her creative works of art.

News by Claire Burge

2 News

You might have heard the news. Monday marked the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice. And to properly mark the event, we pulled out the birthday cake, lit a few candles, and sang the birthday classic, “Oh, Mr. Darcy.” (“Happy Birthday” is evidently copyrighted, so we opted for a more Austenesque celebration song.) And since Austen didn’t stop by and pick up her birthday presents, we re-gifted them to you! “What presents?” you ask. How about our 10 Great Pride and Prejudice Resources, which includes a Jane Austen thesaurus, a Pride and Prejudice Text analyzer, and my favorite, the simpleton’s Pride and Prejudice Infographic.  And if that weren’t enough, we compiled a Pride and Prejudice Playlist, which featured music touching on the novel’s themes.

Happy birthday Pride and Prejudice, and here’s to you, Mr. Darcy!

Publishing by Claire Burge

3 Places

This week, Jason Diamond penned a piece for the Paris Review inspired by the childhood home of Edith Wharton in New York City. This beautifully written piece focuses on the decorative tastes of Wharton, how they were influenced by her sense of nostalgia and her distaste for the nouveau riche. Stating that Wharton longed for the “simpler times of her youth; not just the people who lived it but also the aesthetic of the time,” Diamond captures the principled character of Edith Wharton by way of her design preferences. If you are looking for a simply stunning piece of writing, this is your pick for the week.

Reviews by Claire Burge

4 Poetry at Work

Did you know that when T.S. Eliot wrote “The Waste Land” in 1922, he was a clerk in the foreign transactions department at Lloyd’s bank? It’s been said that T.S. Eliot was quite good at his day job, and was “the most bank-clerky of all bank clerks.” (Wow… what a compliment.) Even after Eliot had achieved notoriety, he continued employment, though a career change led him to the publisher Faber & Faber.

This week, Robert Fay highlights the career of Eliot for Full Stop, and debunks the myth that most full-time writers earn their keep by living off of hefty publisher advances or high-dollar royalty checks. And though I’d probably leave it all for a multi-book deal, I must say that as I read this piece over my lunch in the office breakroom, I felt oddly encouraged.


5 Creativity

The creative process–it’s all about throwing off inhibitions, freeing yourself of all constraints, and allowing your muse free reign. Right? Not exactly, says Matthew E. May at the Harvard Business Review. Instead, he says that intelligent constraints can actually assist in your creative process. In his article, May demonstrates that each creative endeavor–from comedy improvision to athletic feats–is bound by its own set of rules. These rules, or constraints, foster creative problem solving. May’s conclusion? Jump over to the Harvard Business Review for more on how to incorporate intelligent constraints into your creative process.

Speaking of intelligent constraints, have you considered setting limitations on your email connectivity? Our very own Claire Burge did. In fact, not only did she consider quitting email, she up and did it–cold turkey! Why? She wondered whether the constant distraction of email was hampering her creativity and productivity. Make sure to check out Claire Burge’s no-email article at 99U for her findings.

Write It by Claire Burge

6 Write-It

It’s happened to us all–you’ve found yourself with a killer short-story or poem idea, and there’s no time to fire up the computer and flesh it out. You sketch it on a sticky or piece of scrap paper and place it on the counter only to find later that it was pitched out with the junk-mail. Sound familiar? Perhaps you should take the advice of Erin Feldman of Write Right–keep notebooks handy. And not just one notebook, she says. Keep several notebooks. One for the kitchen. One for the bedroom. One for your purse or briefcase. Maybe even one for the office. Feldman shares how multiple notebooks help her keep ideas organized, and bring focus to her writing projects.

So, go grab a couple of fresh Moleskines, crack the spines, and write it!

Poems by Claire Burge

7 Poems

Ah, the joys of children! If you have kids of your own, you’ve invariably lived through those grand moments when your children seem forever-bent on interrupting your every thought. This moment is captured well in this week’s Every Day Poem, Sonnet (With Children), written by Gabriel Spera. In it, he writes:

My love is like a deep and placid lake…
Not now, sweetie, Daddy’s busy, OK?
OK: my love’s a deep and peaceful lake…
Here, Daddy can fix it. All better. Now go play.
Um, my love, yes—a rose that blooms in spring…
You tell her Daddy says she has to share.
My love’s… My love’s a lake that blooms—no, that

You can read the rest of Sonnet (With Children) here, and subscribe to Every Day Poems to receive daily poetry offerings and beautiful art for only $5.99 per year.

People by Claire Burge

8 People

This week, the Guardian featured an interview with American poet Sharon Olds. The award-winning poet opens up about her collection of poems, Stag’s Leap, which was released fifteen years after her marriage ended. Speaking frankly of physical and sexual abuse, Olds doesn’t wallow in bitterness or anger. Instead, she speaks with a richness, warmth, and understanding. If you’re not familiar with the poetry of Sharon Olds, this interview will make you want to be. For more information on her life and her work, visit her page at the Poetry Foundation.

Book by Claire Burge

9 Books

Did we mention it was the 200th birthday of Pride and Prejudice? Sure, we celebrated properly here at Tweetspeak, but others got into the act too! The good folks at the Huffington Post held an all-out Austenganza! Visit their site, where you can find a veritable wealth of Pride and Prejudice resources, including an online version of the novel. Look closely and you might recognize one of those links. Yes, our own Pride and Prejudice Playlist was featured in their Austenganza!

Finally, for those of you who’d like to get your hands (or at least your eyes) on a first edition copy of Austen’s prized novel, consider visiting Baltimore’s Goucher College. From now to July 26th, Goucher is inviting guests to participate in a celebration of the classic Pride and Prejudice. There, you’ll have the opportunity to view three rare first-edition printings of the novels (valued at nearly $75,000.00 a piece!).

Motion by Claire Burge

10 Sound n Motion

Oh, Mr. Darcy… we couldn’t let you go without one more tribute to Pride and Prejudice. Enjoy!

Cover photo by Creative Commons license via Flickr. Article photos by Claire Burge. Used with permission. Post by Seth Haines.


Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In February we’re exploring the theme Plum, Purple, Indigo.

Every Day Poems Driftwood


  1. says

    Thank you for including my post! Also, I’m really bad about using post-its and scraps of paper. I just try to get them into a notebook or onto the computer before I lose whatever train of thought I had.

  2. Elizabeth says

    I buy cheap notepads and pens in bulk and have them scattered everywhere. So handy when traveling or during power outages.

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