Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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November 30, 2016

Key to the Kingdom

Ted Mathys

About This Poem


"The architecture of 'Key to the Kingdom' is based on an early, anonymous nursery rhyme of the same name, which moves line by line from the universal to the particular and back out. This poem keys each of its first twelve stanzas to one of the nursery rhyme's initial twelve lines. It was written over the course of the summer of 2016, during the Orlando night club shooting; police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philandro Castile in St. Paul; the July 7 ambush of police officers in Dallas; and the Republican National Convention in Cleveland."
—Ted Mathys


Ted Mathys is the author of Null Set (Coffee House Press, 2015). He lives in Saint Louis and teaches at Saint Louis University.


Photo credit: Jessica Baran

Poetry by Mathys


Null Set

(Coffee House Press, 2015) 


"Self-Portrait in Charleston, Orlando" by Dean Rader


"@ the Crossroads—A Sudden American Poem" by Juan Felipe Herrera


"The Talking Back of Miss Valentine Jones: Poem # one" by June Jordan




Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, Poem-a-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends.


Key to the Kingdom by Ted Mathys