William Ruleman – Three Translations

Perhaps it is best to approach beauty with humility. (I say this even while having to admit that beauty often catches us unawares, as when I first heard Mahler’s Eighth Symphony or, as one who had never been an admirer of tapestries, came upon some by William Morris on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum one afternoon and was reduced to tears.) Great works of art can surprise us in this way.

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G. Louis Heath – Three Poems

In a world rendered inchoate by divisiveness and the limitations of human faculties, the words and images the poet employs connect the reader’s mind and emotions to an experience or object in the flux of the swirling events of life. Poetry grants access and focus for a mind to experience resolution and catharsis of all that besets it on individual and macro levels.

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Kate Bernadette Benedict – Four Poems

In poetry, the effective image–even if it’s piercing, even if it describes something eerie or ugly—can be a beautiful image. And when I think about it, this is the type of image I strive for in my poetry. The exacting image. The specific image. The ringing image. The stinging image, sometimes “cooked” and sometimes “raw.” Let’s call it beautiful.

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Julia Caroline Knowlton – Six Poems

Defining beauty is an impossible task, doomed from the start. This is because the very moment of its apprehension defies comprehension. In the same instant when I perceive, with my senses, the rustle of a red leaf, notes from a cello, or a body’s cello-like perfection, the possibility of any complete understanding disappears.

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G.F. Boyer – Poems and Photographs

Beauty is delicious and healing, a feast for the eyes or the heart or the mind. One of my favorite verses from the King James version of the Bible reads, “And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.”—Isaiah 28:4

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Jack B. Bedell – Four Poems

My poems are tributes to that beauty, archives to hold on to it as long as I can. Sometimes those moments hit me in the chest like heart punches; sometimes they whisper in my ear with sounds just like my mother’s voice during bedtime stories. It’s my responsibility as a writer to get them all down as often and as accurately as possible so they share well, and for lifetimes.

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Janette Schafer – Four Poems

I don’t always know what beauty looks like, but I do know what it feels like.  It’s the swelling in my chest, the unexpected holding of my breath, the attention I hold in my eyes and my spine, the whisper and shimmer of the divine on my skin.  It inspires, challenges, disrupts.  It holds you hostage and then sets you free.  

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Kelly Cherry – Four Poems

For me, depth of thought is an essential component of any creative art that is beautiful. I also love the beauty of mathematics and science, especially physics (insects and insides I find less attractive but I am glad that others study them). I love the depth of thought in great books and meaningful visual art. Why do I want depth of thought? Because I think.

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Tobi Alfier – Five Poems

When my son was in his first year of college, on the weekends he cooked for his roommates. Two of them are vegetarian. Besides going to classes, doing his homework, playing Final Fantasy 15 whenever he could, he researched vegetarian meals, cooked for them and baked bread. His heart was so full when he made them happy. I am so proud. My arms are around all of them. That is beauty to me.

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Joe Cottonwood – Four Poems

Beauty is of life in every corner, wet cells sucking nourishment, giving birth, teeming through every grain of earth. We drink water once swallowed by Jesus, breathe atoms once blown by Buddha, share the light of stars with unknown beings on undiscovered planets. Of this light, this water and air, this story without begin, without end, of this universe of countless souls is beauty.

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