Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

National Poetry Month:
Introducing Michael Manner

By Purdy, Director of Publicity

We are already half way to May and it just dawned on me that April is National Poetry Month. Last year you may remember the OUP blog featured the Buffalo Poets (an unruly band of anarchists and beer swillin’ poets, i.e. friends of mine). and while I adore the Buffalo Poets and their continuing mission to bring poetry to the masses with their NYC area readings, I have decided it might be nice to hear from another one of my poet friends who has a completely different style of writing this year. Michael Manner and I were English majors in a state school in Upstate NY before the days of email, before the days of the fax. Indeed, the modern technology of the time was floppy disk computers, and the CD was quickly replacing the cassette tape.

Manner and I have kept in touch through the years and when we are together we often argue and bicker like a married couple about love, fear, greed, envy, lust, hypocrisy, music, cats v. dogs, words et al. I think the only thing we ever seem to agree on is that chocolate milk is the greatest invention ever. But enough about me, Manner is a freelance computer consultant living with his mangy, blind cat in Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY. His love of poetry dates back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth and he first heard the words “ugga bugga” uttered by a passing Neanderthal woman. He’s been writing verse since the Iron Age and one day hopes to be cited in the OED. His fave comic book hero is Batman. Despite all this I think is is a truly talented poet and have asked him to post some poems on this blog. You be his judge.


It seminates from the chill of dawn.
Cast from bell buoy to shore
Through an otherwise silent fog.

Boil, Breach and Boom
Between the fetch and shiver.
We pant in the swell
And melt into sand and spume.

Candle-bloom dusk coils into night.
Settling into tranquil certainty, drifting
in the after flash –

when clouds hide in November and
raindrops fall like parachutes.

This immortal lightning –
only a plangent echo.

This reprieve from decay only hollow.

Recent Comments

  1. Nasamat


    On his blog my dog
    Writes about animal rights:
    We animals, says my dog,
    Should be safe from rain, heat or fog;
    We should be well-fed with the best milk and the best bread;
    We should work no more than we were made for:
    It’s not because a donkey doesn’t complain
    That he doesn’t feel the pain;
    Nay, even a donkey can be weak:
    So let him work no more than thirty-five hours a week,
    And for extra hours give him showers of praise
    And showers of food, not showers of blows wherever he goes !
    A camel, too, cannot always do
    Whatever man wants him to do.
    Camels should not be used as “animal shields”
    To clear humans’ minefields,
    And for the crazy efforts they make
    They shouldn’t be fed with pieces of cake
    But with the best that the best land yields.
    If a dog’s master goes biking in the morning,
    Then the master must not ride faster
    Than the dog, or else we’ll name and shame him on the blog!
    There should be no less than a bitch
    For every five dogs, if not one for each!
    There should be no less than a coq
    For every seven hens, or at least one for every ten!
    It’s a great shock for thirty ewes
    To wait their turn for a single ram
    That is prone to spurn anyone with a lamb.
    We animals have dignity, and it’s beneath man’s dignity
    To make jokes and cartoons about us.
    Don’t we work for those folks who make jokes about us?
    Is it because man doesn’t respect human rights
    That he wouldn’t care about animal rights?
    But, nay, I, Poet’s Dog, have created this blog to be the watchdog.
    Welcome to dooooooooooooooog.com !


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