Words by Jessie Kraemer Illustration by Megan Goldfarb “In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?” – Rainer Maria Rilke from “Letters to a Young Poet” The quote above is tattooed on Lady Gaga’s left arm. Rainer Rilke permeates odd corners of American pop culture, but in his native home of Germany he’s a…Continue Reading “Rainer Rilke and Oft-Tattooed Reasoning”

Rabble is Here

The second installment of Poictesme‘s chapbook, Rabble, is here. This publication features the extraordinary work of the ordinary people of VCU. This time around we focused on the chimerical, with stories, poetry, and art of the wildly fanciful and unrealistic. Copies are limited so come pick one up from VCU’s Student Media Center and from Poictesme stands around campus. Our cover art was done by Ameorry Luo and the book design was done by Veronica Sung. Rabble features writing by Richard DiCiccio, Tomas Daniel Peters,…Continue Reading “Rabble is Here”

Good Timing: An Interview with Claudia Emerson

  From the Spring 2014 issue of Poictesme By Hannah Morgan Illustration by Megan Goldfarb If there was any doubt before, I know I really like a poet when an image of his or hers gets stuck in my head, like a song will. When I think of Wallace Stevens, I see columns of light reflected on, an otherwise, black sea. With Dickinson, it is that buzzing fly. I think these images stick with me because they are so full of meaning that they form…Continue Reading “Good Timing: An Interview with Claudia Emerson”

Thumb Movements

Pollice Verso is a painting by French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme that features the famous thumbs up or thumbs down gesture given to decide the fate of a defeated gladiator. In this case, the secutor has defeated the retiarius, two different types of gladiators that are often pitted against each other. The victor looks up to a group of vestals who are not voting in the pleading defeated’s favor. In the shadows, you can see the emperor sitting among other nobles, and past them there is a huge crowd of…Continue Reading “Thumb Movements”

Yeats and Otherworldly Inspiration

by Ishan Bose For many writers, inspiration can come from strange places, but W.B. Yeats takes the crown. One of the most notable influences on poetry of William Butler Yeats was his experiences and fascination with the occult and mysticism. “If I had not made magic my constant study I could not have written a single word of my Blake book, nor would The Countess Kathleen ever have come to exist. The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that…Continue Reading “Yeats and Otherworldly Inspiration”

Spoken Word: The Negro Speaks of Rivers

The Negro Speaks of Rivers Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967)   I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down…Continue Reading “Spoken Word: The Negro Speaks of Rivers”

Hating Ted Hughes

by Taylor Purcell I am currently reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath for an English class and learned that the novel was loosely based on Plath’s own life. The major difference between the main character of The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood, and Sylvia Plath is that while Esther attempts to commit suicide, she doesn’t actually kill herself and supposedly regains her mental health. Plath, on the other hand, does commit suicide, dying only a month after The Bell Jar was published. I’ve also read…Continue Reading “Hating Ted Hughes”