Aesthetic Realism & Poetry

On This Page:

Poems by Eli Siegel

diamond bulletHot Afternoons Have Been in Montana

diamond bulletRalph Isham, 1753 and Later
diamond bulletSomewhere This
diamond bulletDear Birds, Tell This to Mothers
diamond bulletLocal Stop, Sheridan Square
diamond bulletMust I Wait All My Life; or, The Misery Song
diamond bulletSomething Else Should Die
diamond bulletThey Look at Us
diamond bulletKaddish (Words Having Holiness)
diamond bulletThis Summer Morning Mariana Has
diamond bulletQuiet, Tears, Babies
diamond bulletThose Who Wait
diamond bulletAll For Herself, Shakey
diamond bulletA Marriage
diamond bulletThis Is Your Cup of Tea
diamond bulletWhat Food Deserves: A Canticle
diamond bullet
Night in 1242
diamond bulletHow Fine This All
diamond bullet
And There Prevail
diamond bulletTheir Birds' World Was Shaken
diamond bulletThe Lord Has Stolen Her Whims
diamond bulletTechnique Is When
diamond bulletBlackness Dashes Valuably
diamond bulletAs I Look from Here
diamond bulletThe Meeting Place It Can Be All the Time
diamond bulletA World of Weeping Birds
diamond bulletRed and Yellow and Hills
diamond bulletNoise Is of All, The World
diamond bulletSunlight in Slush, in Puddles, and in Wet Municipal Surfaces; or, Miracle on Eighth Avenue below Fourteenth Street
diamond bulletIt Is the Highest Prudence to Be Worthy of the Invitation Things as Rooms Give
diamond bulletSummer Again in New Jersey
diamond bulletRhode Island Morning for Clarice
diamond bulletIn The Best Sunlight Ever
diamond bulletPut Zebras by the Mississippi
diamond bulletThat Are
diamond bulletIt Will Be Annabel November
diamond bulletSameness and Difference in a Tragic Play
diamond bulletDeclaration of Freedom as to Print, By Annabel Livingston, of Ohio
diamond bulletOnce More Let's Announce the Team of Leaves and Emotion
diamond bulletNecessity and Choice Always Prevail
diamond bulletWhat Is Newer Than an Ancient Daisy?
diamond bulletMeadow and a Stem
diamond bulletApathetic Landlord
diamond bulletEagles Go with the Fine News to Many Places
diamond bulletCharacter Sketch
diamond bulletThe Unknown Should Be Good
diamond bulletMentioned Any Time
diamond bulletThe Uprising of the Flowers; or, It Had to Win
diamond bulletA First in Music
diamond bulletAlice Has Never Been in China
diamond bulletNeighboring You
diamond bulletCandles and Forest
diamond bulletYou Can't Miss the Absolute
diamond bulletHumanity
diamond bulletLove Lurches Along
diamond bulletAches for Valna's Coming
diamond bulletAmiable Thoughts for Someone in a Hospital
diamond bulletLadies Ever, Ever, Ever Lightly Go Across Sweet, Green Swards
diamond bulletGirl and Moon
diamond bulletSummer
diamond bulletA Lady, Sun and Rain
diamond bulletAnd It Does, Marianne
diamond bulletThe World Says, I'm Your Valentine, My Dear
diamond bullet What We Want to Hear from Ourselves
diamond bulletStars Exhorted, Revealed
diamond bulletMillions of Tons in Chicago
diamond bulletIn White, Having Also Red
diamond bulletAny Star and Shakey
diamond bulletHinges
diamond bulletLogic the Only Way to Assurance

What Poetry REALLY IS

Civil War Poems

"We ought to know these poems, which are so different from the run-of-the-mill effusions that have flooded the market since 1861." —Shelby Foote, noted Civil War historian and author

diamond bulletOn American Boys Dying in 1863, in Virginia, and Later Elsewhere
diamond bulletWhat Now Coheres of 1861-1865?
diamond bulletThe Waiting Maine Man, Dead at Little Round Top, Near Gettysburg, July 1863
diamond bulletThoughts in 1960 on the Civil War, 1861-1865

Critics Speak

diamond bulletWilliam Carlos Williams. 1951 [In Something to Say, ed. J.E.B. Breslin (New Directions)].
diamond bulletKenneth Rexroth. Review,  New York Times, 1969.
diamond bulletEllen Reiss.  On a Series of Eli Siegel's Poems titled "The Persistence of Fabric."
diamond bulletWalter Leuba. Whole in Brightness, New Mexico Quarterly, August 17, 1957.
diamond bulletSelden Rodman.  Saturday Review, August 17, 1957.
diamond bulletWilliam Packard.  newsART—The Smith.

On The Criticism of Poetry

These discussions by Eli Siegel and Ellen Reiss in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known describe poetry technically: what makes for its music — and how the lives of poets comment importantly on the life of every person:


diamond bulletI Should Love to Be Loved, By Endre Ady
diamond bulletAnonymous
        arrowRoland and the Archbishop: From the Chanson de Roland
The Song of the Potter: Ceylon Folk Poem

diamond bulletThe Laurels Are Cut Down, By Théodore de Banville
diamond bulletHer Lunch-Tray, By Basho
diamond bulletThe Splash, By Basho
diamond bulletTo the Reader, By Charles Baudelaire
diamond bulletThe Voyage, VIII; By Charles Baudelaire
diamond bulletHymn, By Charles Baudelaire
diamond bulletThe Albatross, By Charles Baudelaire
diamond bulletMourn This Sparrow, By Gaius Valerius Catullus
diamond bulletThe Poem of Catullus about Attis, By Gaius Valerius Catullus
diamond bullet
The Idea of Beauty Is Adored in This World, By Joachim Du Bellay
diamond bulletThe Cydnus, By José Maria de Heredia
diamond bulletTowards Homer: Free Verse, Beginning with the First Lines of Pope's
        Translation of the Odyssey, By Homer

diamond bulletThe Expiation, By Victor Hugo
diamond bulletThe Milkmaid and the Pot of Milk, By Jean de La Fontaine
diamond bulletThe Oak and the Reed, By Jean de La Fontaine
diamond bulletThe Wolf and the Lamb, By Jean de La Fontaine
diamond bulletA Strong City Is Our God, By Martin Luther
diamond bulletTwo Stanzas from French Literature about Death: In Stances à Du Perrier,
        By François de Malherbe

diamond bulletCarry Me Away, By Henri Michaux
diamond bulletThe Fall of the Leaves, By Charles Hubert Millevoye
diamond bulletDuval Is on the Run: The People Are on the March, By José María Quiroga Pla
diamond bullet
The Voice, By Henri de Régnier
diamond bulletHappiness, By Arthur Rimbaud
diamond bulletAt Thermopylae, By Simonides of Ceos
diamond bulletArt Poétique, By Paul Verlaine
diamond bulletAutumn Song, By Paul Verlaine
diamond bulletSome Lines from Voltaire's Poem on the Disaster at Lisbon, By François Marie Arouet de Voltaire

What Poetry Really is—A Celebration

Some of the persons who studied with Eli Siegel came to write poems that he was able to say were true poetry. And his criterion in looking at a poem by a contemporary was the same as that with which he looked at a poem by John Donne or Li Po or Baudelaire: Did the person see, and express what he or she saw, with such a fullness of sincerity that the permanent opposites of reality are musically one in the lines?   Following are some of these poems.  They were presented at a Saturday evening reading at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation during Poetry Month, April 2009.

diamond bullet Karen Van Outryve
          The Red Sun
diamond bullet Margot Carpenter
          A Hymn to Process
          Conscience, My Friend
diamond bullet Nancy Starrels
         The Search
diamond bullet Sheldon Kranz
         No Tickets
         Problem in Space
diamond bullet Nat Herz
         The Ruby Considered
         from City of Objects
diamond bullet Dorothy Koppelman
          A Heart in Any Book
diamond bullet Ellen Reiss
          Abundantly Becoming
          The Shadows, Black
           Welcome Your Confusion as a Guest
diamond bullet Louis Dienes
         I Asked for It  
         People in the Mountains
diamond bullet Rebecca Fein
         The Little Chinese Bowl
         Fresh Falling Snow
diamond bullet 
Martha Baird
Poetry from Nice Deity

From The Critical Muse & More

Imperative Aesthetic Realism Illustrations

Poetry can make it possible for us to like ourselves and the world in ways we could not before.  While people have cared for poetry, carried poems in their wallets, framed poems like Kipling's If for their walls, people haven't known that poetry could be the true means of their liking the world they meet every day.  Through the Aesthetic Realism of Eli Siegel poetry is able to be, in a new way, the "utile dulce"—the sweet usefulness—Horace said it was....  Every poem ever written has been about the self—even if it deals with an army, as Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade does, or with farming, as does Virgil's Georgics.  But some poems are clearly about the self, and [some of these are included here]. These poems... are imperative Aesthetic Realism illustrations.

Margot Carpenter & Karen Van Outryve, Eds. from Preface to The Critical Muse                 


 Aesthetic Realism Foundation site

You can visit the home page of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation—and also see the Calendar of Events. You can learn about Aesthetic Realism consultations and find out about the many other ways this philosophy is taught; read the online biography of Eli Siegel and what Congressman Elijah Cummings said about him in the U.S. Congressional Record.

You can also read what people are saying, on the page of relevant links. How teachers have been using the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method for 30 years is also well documented on the site. To contact the Foundation for travel instructions, or to request further information you can visit the Contact page.

Visit the Site Map for the Aesthetic Realism Foundation Online Library.

More about Eli Siegel


Biographical information about Eli Siegel
Biography and photographs in Theatre Co. Site
Preface to Self and World by Eli Siegel
Lectures by Eli Siegel
Essays by Eli Siegel
Eli Siegel's "Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?"
Reviews of Eli Siegel's poetry and other works
Reviews by Eli Siegel in Scribner's Magazine

More about Ellen Reiss

Biographical Information

Selected commentaries by Ellen Reiss on Poetry
• On Lord Byron
• On Eli Siegel
• On Emily Dickinson
• On John Keats
• On Percy Bysshe Shelley

Selected commentaries by Ellen Reiss on Current History
• When We Feel Hurt; or, Arabs and Jews
• Unions and Beauty
• Logic, Poetry, and California
A Truly American Economy & "Occupy Wall Street"
Who and What Are Important? (on fast food workers' strikes)
Shakespeare and Mandela
Shame, Pride, & Economics (on the real meaning of "austerity")

Selected commentaries by Ellen Reiss on Literature
Nature, Romanticism, & Harry Potter 
Justice and Punctuation 
Mind and Sherlock Holmes
The Great Barbarity & What Can Oppose It (on Hemingway)
The Ordinary, the Strange, & Ourselves (on the meaning of romanticism)
King Richard III & Everyone

More about Aesthetic Realism Foundation  |  Articles about Art & Life  
 Aesthetic Realism Theatre Co.   |  Terrain Gallery   |  El Realismo Estético