Karen Poppy – Four Poems

1963.
The year some French
Took too literally
Baudlaire,
And his poem, “The Cat”:

Félicette
Body electric,
Name ironic.
With ceremony,
Flung into space.

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Judith Skillman – Five Paintings

Without our star, how would we inhabit bodies of rich sensory perception with which to perceive, even partially, the faint and intermittent signals lumped together under the term “beauty”? From the darkness of our ordinary, often dreary and difficult lives, these signals—if we pause long enough from “information—can become art. These glimpses into the organic whole may even glimmer.

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Julie Rosenzweig – The Mirror

Fine-grained urbanism doesn’t hijack your attention; it invites you in. You don’t view it, you live it – calling to mind Walter Benjamin’s famous dictum about architecture being an art whose reception “is consummated […] in a state of distraction.” We often think of beauty as something to be contemplated at a remove. Like life, though, beauty can be something that simply happens while you’re busy making other plans.

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The Lame Angel – Catulle Mendès (1885) Translated by Patricia Worth

I wish you could see what I see. A vast blue port sparkles in the afternoon sun that shines its bright band across the water. The dazzle makes me look left of it toward the bays and inlets and forested hills on the opposite shore. Below my balcony a cliff held together by lush shrubby trees drops steeply away to the esplanade, quiet on this cool May day.

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Diane Lee Moomey – Five Poems

I do think it’s beautiful when my pen has been circling a subject looking for a way in, and finds it; when I’ve been looking for something as perfect as an egg, and I find that, too. Beautiful.

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Jan Chronister – Five Poems

It may be in the sky, trees, flowers, wind or waves, and it is often fleeting. It can also be permanent, such as in great works of art, architecture, or cultural creations from around the world.

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Don Mager – Six Translations of Akhmatova

For the reader, a translation should simply lift from the page into her imagination in no way calling attention to how it was made, only how it sits in all its ravishment. If the translation’s beauty is authentic, the poem may sit in her memory as well.

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Kate Mahony – A part of the landscape

 It wasn’t until I returned home on the other side of the world that I realised what in essence I had been looking for on those evening strolls: the rejuvenating wildness of the sea, the smell of the salt spray, the incredible power and beauty I hadn’t recognised at the time.

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Dilantha Gunawardana – Three Poems

I find many examples of beauty in the surrounding nature, like the monkeys that gather in my garden, or the kingfisher, with a blue plumage, waiting for a lone fish, and the peacocks, who run havoc near the airport, not letting Argus blink even once.

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Accoutrements and Mandelbrot: Our Best of the Net nominations

I am, as the poet says, the stunned machine of her devotion. A dark pleated skirt, falling just past the knees. Black silk blouse, buttoned all the way. Pearls, of course, crystal earrings James gifted for her birthday, bangles, gold on each wrist. They caught the sunlight flowing in from the window, and I was dazzled.

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Toti O’Brien – Hortus Conclusus and China

The reality of beauty is carried by the context—by the surprise of plain, drab, inconspicuous things, or no-things, interacting. By the way they intertwine, they reveal each other, cast light onto each other. ‘Beauty is in the ensemble’. It is the ensemble, the choir.

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Christine Potter – Three Poems

Here’s what Emily says about capturing beauty: “The flash came, and I took a sheet of paper. . .and I wrote on it: I, Emily Byrd Starr, do solemnly vow this day that I will climb the Alpine Path and write my name on the scroll of fame.”

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Jamie Elliott Keith – Five Poems

Beauty is the long breath between seeing and coming to some sort of understanding, the tiny detail that attaches itself to your heart—the dance of honeybees, the slash of sunlight across a wooden floor, the invisible workings of the world.  Beauty is everywhere we dare to find it.

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Angela Alaimo O’Donnell – Four Poems

Flannery O’Connor had a penchant for the weird & the wild and a gift for finding beauty in both. After writing 101 poems in her voice, I have come to appreciate the strangeness she admired and become a convert to her brand of beauty. For what is symmetry, proportion, wholeness, and perfection—all classical ideals of beauty—set beside the homely, the lonely, the plain, and the maimed? 

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David Chorlton – Five Paintings and Five Poems

Life took me to Phoenix, where I still, after forty years here, recognize sunlight as the first ingredient of beauty. The spare beauty of the desert continues to bind me to the area, and it also highlights the fragility of so much we regard as being beautiful.

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Michael G. Casey – Dough

For this modest scribe, absolute beauty inheres in the faces (and expressions) of my children. It has something to do with purity and innocence (and probably a dash of DNA.) Absolute beauty has a spiritual or transcendental dimension.

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