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Villanelle (For My Creative Writing Class, Fall 2015)

Jeremy Gregg Poetry Leave a Comment

This poem was written for the students who had the great misfortune to enroll in my Creative Writing class at Cistercian. It is an imitation of “Do not go gentle into that good night,” by Dylan Thomas (available here), which I taught during our class on the villanelle. Do not go gentle into this good form, Young age should fly and shriek …


Anapestic Ghazal, for Aylan Kurdi

Jeremy Gregg Poetry Leave a Comment

   Tell me who sent the boat that was flipped in the waves? Tell me who is the boy who was slipped in the waves? Oh no, please, do not talk of the wars that we wage, or about all the others we’ve lost in the waves; for my heart cannot stand the mere sight of the sand that held …

dr willard spiegelman, (photo via SMU)

A Dedication, for Willard Spiegelman

Jeremy Gregg Poetry Leave a Comment

I was surrounded by talented teachers throughout my life. Almost all were good, and some were truly great. But among them all, there stood none greater than my dear W.S. An announcement from my alma mater: “For over forty years, Willard Spiegelman, the Hughes Professor of English, has inspired generations of SMU students with his unique and energetic teaching style. Now, …

Three of the greatest men I know: Al Massey, Marcus Hill and Charles Hearne

I stand among the greatest of men

Jeremy Gregg Poetry, Prison Leave a Comment

I stand among the richest, wisest and strongest of men. How can that be when I lack great wealth, wisdom or strength? Many men have much more money, but few are blessed with richer love. Many men have much more schooling, but few are offered deeper wisdom. Many men have greater power, but few have more strength at their side. …


how felons taught me to overcome any challenge (#poem #prayer)

old jg Old, Poetry, Prison Leave a Comment

When challenged, embrace faith; When faithful, embrace work; When working, embrace challenges — God will figure out the rest.

Poetry as Vehicle for Social Change

old jg Old, Poetry, Prison 1 Comment

Every time I blog about poetry, someone unsubscribes. Every time I add one of my own poems, at least two unsubscribe. But the point of this blog is not to get subscribers. Its point is to say something. And poetry does that better than anything that I know. Case in point: the new Poet Laureate of the United States, Philip …


A Dedication, by James Merrill (poem)

Jeremy Gregg Poetry Leave a Comment

This is one of my favorite poems — and it stands among the very few that I have committed to memory. It strikes me as a perfect description of the craft of poetry … the study of which has profoundly influenced my work. “Hans, there are moments when the whole mind Resolves into a pair of brimming eyes, or lips Parting to …

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a portrait of the fundraiser as his own grandfather (a poem)

old jg Old, Poetry Leave a Comment

When all my winters hang about my brow as a crown of silver thorns, and my eyes languish above bags of too many days with too little sleep, and my shoulders sag under the weight of years and years of grocery bags, and my speechless mouth hangs open like a broken drawer, awaiting its next pill, and my breath rasps like wind in the overstuffed gutter of the house where we used to live, and the buttons are misaligned on my shirt, cock-eyed on my diminished frame, and my pants pool about my ankles in mockery of my former height, what will you see in my foggy eyes that do not know your face? Will you know that I am not in my right mind, but also that I am not my mind, but a man? a man broken, perhaps, but a man yet, and a man who loves much, though mostly what he loves is the you that his eyes have never seen, but that has always been, and will always be, despite what failing eyes can’t see?