Michael R. Burch Bio and Curriculum Vitae
Michael R. Burch is an American poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his
wife Beth and two outrageously spoiled puppies. Burch's poems, translations, essays, articles,
reviews, short stories, epigrams, quotes, puns, jokes and letters have appeared
more than 8,000 times in publications which include TIME, USA Today, The
Hindu, BBC Radio 3, CNN.com, Daily Kos, The Washington Post and
hundreds of literary journals, websites and blogs. Burch is also the
founder and editor-in-chief of The HyperTexts, a former columnist for the Nashville City Paper,
and, according to Google's rankings, a relevant online publisher of poems about
the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the Trail of Tears, Darfur, Gaza and the Palestinian
Nakba. Burch's poetry has been taught in high schools and universities,
translated into 15 languages, incorporated into three plays and three operas,
set to music 43 times by 26 composers, recited or otherwise employed in 75+
videos on YouTube and elsewhere, and used to provide
titles to two authors and one composer.
Because so many of his poems have gone viral, it has been said that Burch is
“ubiquitous on the Internet.”
If you are an archivist, anthologist, biographer or scholar, there are notes at
the end of this page that may be of interest. If you would like to contact Mike
Burch for more information, to collaborate, or to obtain permission to publish
his poems, translations or other work, he can be reached via email at
email@example.com (email is preferable to
other methods such as social media and please be sure to note the "r" between
his first and last names).
You can find Burch's analysis of some of his more popular poems here: "Auschwitz Rose" Analysis,
"Will There Be Starlight" Analysis,
"Davenport Tomorrow" Analysis,
"Passionate One" Analysis,
"Self Reflection" Analysis,
The Best Poems of Michael R.
Burch (in his own opinion)
For translations, please click here:
Michael R. Burch Translation Notes,
Methods and Credits to Other Translators
A question that sometimes drives me hazy:
am I or are the others crazy?
—Albert Einstein, poetic interpretation by Michael R. Burch
Awards and Achievements: Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The
HyperTexts; five Pushcart Prize nominations; winner of 65 awards in writing
contests including 12 first places; winner of the 2001 Algernon Charles
Swinburne poetry contest; librettist for The Children of Gaza, A Look Into Paradise and
An Ardent Love Affair; former editor of International
Poetry and Translations for Better
Than Starbucks; currently on the board of the International literary journal
Borderless Journal; currently a guest editor for Poetry Nook; a
former columnist for The Nashville City Paper until it
ceased publication; served as a judge in poetry
contests for The Lyric, Better Than Starbucks, Poetry Nook and the Net Art
and Poetry Competition (all contests were free to enter and the judges were unpaid); Marquis Who's Who
Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement honoree; Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi
Kappa Phi honor societies; peace activist and author of the Burch-Elberry Peace
Violets for Beth
(White Violet Press, 2012);
O, Terrible Angel
(Ancient Cypress Press, 2013);
Auschwitz Rose is in the chute but has been long delayed; editor of
Have Pool Cue Will Travel by Mark C. O'Brien; editor of Book of Desire
by Martin Mc Carthy and also wrote the Introduction; translator of Hebrew poems by Adi Wolfson, the 2017 winner of Israel's
prestigious Levi Eshkol Prize for Literature, in two books: I Am Your Father
and Oikos; editor of The Fascism This Time by Theo Horesh;
Benjamin Jones used extensive excerpts from a Burch article in his book
Pete Rose Unforgiven Forever and credited Burch prominently on the
book's second page.
Reviews, Literary Criticism and Commentary:
"One can actually feel the intensity of emotion bleeding through the pages."
(Jim Dunlap, poet)
"These poems, all of them, possess an extraordinary emotional depth
and tenderness, and resonate in the heart as well as in the mind." (Robert
Lavett Smith, poet)
"That poem ["Epitaph for a Palestinian Child"] made me feel cold, like a ghost
touched me!" (Maida Mohammed-Brown, poet and peace activist)
"Very, very touching, like suffocating my chest." (Tri Raden Raden, commenting
on the same poem)
"Your love poems to your wife—how beautiful, how beautiful—even a poet's word
fail me." (Helen Bar-Lev, artist, poet and editor of the Voices
"Your contributions are a touchstone for me. (Vera Ignatowitsch, poet and editor of
Better Than Starbucks)
"The poems you sent me are astonishingly beautiful. I really love them." (Karen
"This is a truly magnificent poem ['Love Has a Southern Flavor']." (Dr. Joseph
S. Salemi, poet and editor of Trinacria)
"I am discovering Michael R. Burch for the very first time, a good five years
after this splendid post [Burch's translation of 'How Long the Night' on the
Society of Classical Poets website], and can only say that what I am
finding here and there on the web is superlatively good, some of the finest
lyric poetry I have ever had the privilege of reading. And people know that I'm
the sniffiest, most unforgiving snob that ever lived. But this is classic verse
such as the world has always understood it." (Joseph Charles Mackenzie,
poet, in a
post on the Society of Classical Poets website)
"This one poem [Burch's ars poetica poem 'Poetry'] surpasses any other
contemporary I have read. This is the restoration of la poésie classique!
... This is classic poetry in the grand manner!" (Joseph Charles Mackenzie, in
two posts on The New Lyre website on Dec. 21, 2020)
"English lacks words strong enough to properly praise his poem [Burch's poem
'Poetry']." (Edward C. Hayes II, poet, in a July 3, 2021 post on The New Lyre
"Your poem 'Poetry' is really quite something ... [it] has a Promethean quality
..." (David Gosselin, poet and editor of The Chained Muse and The New Lyre)
Magazines (21): TIME, The Oldie (UK),
Writer’s Digest The Year’s Best Writing (2003), Writer’s Journal, Writer’s
Gazette, ByLine, First Things, The American Dissident, Poet’s Forum Magazine,
FreeXpression (Australia), The Alberta Science Teacher (Canada),
Certification Magazine, Emotions Literary Magazine, Verses Magazine, GloMag
(India), MahMag (Iran), Ancient Heart Magazine (UK),
Boston Poetry Magazine, Poetry Renewal Magazine, Silver Stork Magazine, Dusk &
Podcasts (including at least 13 original poems and translations): Burch's original poetry and translations have been featured
in podcasts by The Burnt Notebook (Yosa Buson translations), The
New Lyre ("The Timeless Poetry of Michael R. Burch" with nine poems recited
and discussed), and a Lusty Literature podcast (to be recorded at the
University of Virginia by Julia Robertson) with "The Deflowering," "An Ancient
Egyptian Love Lyric" and "Are You the Thief?"
For more reviews of the poetry of Michael R. Burch, including full-length
reviews, podcasts and interviews, please click here:
Reviews of Books and Individual
Poems by Michael R. Burch.
Librettos (3): The Children of Gaza with music by composer
Eduard de Boer; A Look Into Paradise with music by Eduard de Boer (an opera in
one act based on Jura Soyfer’s play Der Lechner-Edi schaut ins Paradis);
An Ardent Love Affair with music by Eduard de Boer (a Cantata for
tenor, baritone and symphonic wind orchestra inspired by the the Rockefeller
Foundation's scenario LOCK STEP, which envisions a world of tighter
top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership, with limited
innovation and growing citizen pushback)
Poems Set to Music and/or Interpreted as Music (43 songs or
instrumentals by 26 composers):
Musical interpretation of the Sappho translation “Sing, my sacred tortoiseshell
lyre” by Ahornberg; "I Pray Tonight" by composer Mark Buller;
"Willy Nilly" by Gary Deslaurier of the
swamp-blues band Old Dog Daddy & The Dagnabbits; Native American translations by
composer Paula Downes; "Cherokee Travelers' Blessing II" by Patricia Falanga;
poems to be selected by Jerry Gerber (forthcoming); "Will There Be Starlight,"
"The Tapestry of Leaves," "Moon Lake," "I Pray Tonight,"
"Such Tenderness," "Midnight Lullaby," "Sing for the Cool
Night" and "We Came Together" by composer
David Hamilton; “For a Ukrainian Child, with Butterflies” by Pauli Hansen; cello interpretation of "The Wife's Lament"
by Jenny Jackson; "The Blobfish" by Mariah McDonald
and Sam Perrott, "She Was Very Strange, and Beautiful" by Carmen Garcia Perez; a translation of the Ber Horvitz poem "Der Himmel" ("The
Heavens") by composer Ella Roberts; "I Pray Tonight" by Kyle Scheuing; "Epitaph for a Child of the Holocaust" by Sloane Simon;
"Earthbound" by Cedomir Stanojevic and the Serbian band About Lorca
(forthcoming); "Indestructible, for Johnny Cash" by Mike Strand; “I
Have a Yong Suster” by Sigrid Vipa in a YouTube song with a 12-string Celtic
harp; "Caedmon's Hymn" by composer Dawn Walters; "A Kinder Sea" by Devan Wardrop-Saxton; "How
Long the Night" by composer Seth Wright; the lyrics of Children of Gaza
by composer Eduard de Boer including "Frail Envelope of Flesh," "Mother's Smile,"
"Where Does the Butterfly Go?" and six others. Another composer, John Sturt, has
requested permission to use Burch's translation of "Deor's Lament" to help
audiences follow the Old English/Anglo-Saxon lyrics which he set to music, and
also for his dissertation on his composition. “Epitaph for a Homeless Child” was
published by Armand Amar with his composition “Home.” “The Last
Enchantment” was musically interpreted in a Martins Garden SoundCloud piece.
“Stonehenge” was musically interpreted in a Martins Garden SoundCloud piece as
“Where the Druids Stood.” Zou Meicheng set “Autumn Day” to music.
"Styx" was set to music by the Russian composer Ekaterina Steppe aka Kotik Ptic.
Performances of Note: The song cycle Children of Gaza
has been performed at multiple venues in Europe by the Palestinian soprano Dima
Bawab, accompanied on the piano by composer Eduard de Boer. Composer Mark Buller
used the lyrics of “I Pray Tonight” in his musical composition
a song cycle for baritone, clarinet and piano on the theme of gun violence (sung
at minute 9:15 of the hyperlinked performance). “I
Pray Tonight” was later performed as “Elegy” at the Hurricane Harvey Relief
Concert by the Apollo Chamber Players in partnership with Musiqa Houston and
Jazz Forever @ the MATCH (Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston), on September
8, 2017. All proceeds (over $8,000) went towards the Hurricane Harvey Relief
Funds. "Epitaph for a Child of the Holocaust" was set to music and used in an
original composition by Sloane Simon, a very talented 14-year-old
Jewish-American girl, after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. Performances of
these and other songs can be found in the YouTube section later on this page.
"For a Ukrainian Child with Butterflies" was set to music by Pauli Hansen and
performed by a choir in a concert at the Nordic House in Torshavn, Faroe
“Night Watch” with music by David Hamilton was third in the mixed category of
the 2021 Fifth Choral Composition Competition sponsored by the International
Federation for Choral Music (IFCM). There were 93 total contest entries from
around the globe.
Upcoming Events: "The Tapestry of Leaves," set to music by the
award-winning Australian composer David Hamilton, is scheduled to be performed
by a choir in Taiwan in April 2021, as part of the song cycle Childhood.
Theater (3): Poems and translations by Burch have been included
in the following operas, plays and stage productions: Lysistrata by
Aristophanes (translation of "Lament to the Spirit of War" by Enheduanna,
incorporated by Flavia D'Avila, director, Edinburgh, Scotland); translations of
poems by Ono no Komachi were incorporated as a focal point into the mixed media play
Summoning the Spirit: Poems of Komachi created
by playwright William Salmon; A Look Into Paradise (a play-based opera with
music by composer Eduard de Boer).
Visual Art Collaborations (9): Burch's poems have been incorporated into and/or
coupled with works of visual art by Marie Bortolotto (Takaha Shugyo "Rowboat"
translation), Peter Delahaye ("Dawn" excerpts,
forthcoming), Malika Favre ("Les Bijoux" in Kama Sutra A-Z), Jordi Fornies
("Piercing the Shell"), Dodie Messer Meeks ("The Desk" and "The Aery Faery
Princess" in A Bouquet of Poems for Children of All Ages), Mary Rae (Auschwitz
Rose and O, Terrible Angel) and Brenda Levy Tate (Violets for
Anthologies and Other Poetry Collections (27): Words That Burn (Amnesty International),
Blood to Remember (Holocaust),
Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, Amerikai költok a
második (“American Poets at the Turn of the Second
Millennium”), Famous Poets &
Poems, Life & Legends, Writer's Digest—The Year's Best Writing 2003, Potcake
Chapbooks, The Bible of Hell, How
Sweet the Night (CD), Velvet Avalanche, Love Me Knots,
Voices Israel, Washing the Color of Water Golden (Hurricane
Katrina), The Best of The Eclectic Muse, Poems for Big Kids,
A Bouquet of Poems for children of all ages, Liberty's Vigil
(Occupy Wall Street), A Fancy of Formalities, Captivating Poetry, Borderless
Journal Anthology, and several others
Burch had six poems in the bilingual Hungarian poetry anthology Amerikai
költok a második (“American Poets at the Turn of the Second Millennium”),
which has been described by reviewer András Tarnóc as Dr. István Bagi’s
“ambitious effort focusing on the lyrical production of the past two decades in
the United States.” According to Tarnóc this effort “enriches the discipline of
American Studies in Hungary, and contributes to translation studies as well.”
Dr. Bagi chose 25 American poets to translate, including such well-known names
as former poet laureates Billy Collins, Louise Gluck, Charles Simic and James
Tate. Pulitzer winners included Gluck, Simic, Tate, Stephen Dunn, Jorie Graham
and Sharon Olds. Other familiar names were Wendell Berry, Mark Doty, Erica Jong
and David Lehman. Burch was the only poet with six poems in the anthology.
Textbooks: Several Burch poems and translations have been included in
high school and college courseware, including a high school textbook published
by National Geographic Learning and a book titled Reading Medieval English
Literature published by Yaroslav State University (Russia) with Burch's
translations of "Deor's Lament" and "The Wife's Lament"
Literary Journals: Angle, Asses of Parnassus, The Aurorean,
Black Medina, Blue Unicorn, Boston Poetry Magazine, Brief Poems, Byline, The
Chariton Review, The Chimaera, Contemporary Rhyme, The Eclectic Muse, Erosha,
First Things, The Flea, Icon, Light Quarterly, Lighten Up Online, The Lyric,
Measure, Nebo, Penny Dreadful, Poem Today, Poet Lore, Poetry Super Highway, The
Raintown Review, Romantics Quarterly, Southwest Review, Writer's Digest,
Writer’s Gazette, Writer’s Journal, Unlikely Stories, Verse Weekly, and
Letters: Well over a hundred of Burch's letters and/or opinion pieces have been published by
major newspapers and magazines including TIME, USA Today, The Hindu, CNN.com,
Daily Kos, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Tennessean, The
Knoxville News Sentinel
Poems published by Major Newspapers and other News Services: The Hindu
("First they came for the Muslims"), The Telegraph ("Peace
Prayer" cited), Thanal Online ("Brother Iran"),
BBC Radio 3 (several Sappho translations), The Brunei Times ("For a
Child of Gaza, with Butterflies"), Germany's ProMosaik (interview and
Gaza poems), Holland's de Volkskrant ("Auschwitz Rose" and "Neglect"),
South Africa’s New Age Newspaper ("Mandela!"), Nigeria's Vanguard
Newspaper ("Neglect"), Kashmir News Corp. ("Epitaph"),
Sri Lanka's Colombo Telegraph, Sunday Observer and Tamil
Free Thoughts ("Epitaph"), Gabon's Aiboja News (Sappho
translation), Nashville's The Contributor ("For a
Homeless Child, with Butterflies"), The Columbus Dispatch ("Pity Clarity"),
Lewiston Tribune ("Ass-tronomical," a limerick about Albert Einstein
Quora: On Quora where he writes primarily about
poetry, politics and sports, Burch has over 20 million page views, 255K upvotes,
11.6K shares and
3.7K followers. He has 36 Quora articles with over 100K views, eight with over
200K views, and two with over 300K
views. Some of Burch's more popular Quora articles include: Trump Relocation
(314K), Trump Stature (303K), Trump Post-Presidency (287K), Sandy Koufax (226K), Melania
Hand-Slapping (251K), Best Outfield Arms (159K), Poetry Couplets (39K), Rock Poetry (39K), Pablo Neruda
Translations (7.5K), "Abide" (4.2K), Poems about Adam and Eve (3.4K),
"Chrysalis" (2.7K), "Sometimes the Dead" (2.6K), and "something of sunshine
attracted my i" (2.6K, a poem Burch wrote in high school), Song Lyrics
(1.7K), "Having Touched You" (1.6K), Epigrams III (1.5K), Epigrams I (1.4K),
Ancient Mayan Translations (1.3K), "The Better Man" (1.3K), Charles Baudelaire
Translations (1.2K), Poems For and After William Blake (1.2K), Urdu Translations
(1.2K), Oldest Haiku (1.1K), "Polish" (1.1K), Gaza Poems (1.1K), "The Making of
a Poet" (1K), "She Was Very Strange, and Beautiful" (1K), "Polish Those Talons!"
(1K), "These Hallowed Halls" (1K), Poems About Flight (1K), "Laughter's Cry"
(1K), Most Popular Poems (1K)
Viral Poems with Google results/viewable pages: "First
They Came for the Muslims" (691,000 to 823,000/287), "Epitaph"
(37,800/317), Sappho "Eros harrows my heart" translation (3,560/285), Sappho
"Your lips were made to mock" translation (1,710/135), Bertolt Brecht "The
Burning of the Books" translation (1,540/285), "Something"
(1,490/323), "Bible Libel" (1,340/199), Robert Burns "To a Mouse" translation (1,300/269),
"Frail Envelope of Flesh" (1,080/289), Glaucus "Does my soul abide" translation
(1,010/189), "Mother's Smile" (851/312), "Autumn Conundrum" (761/322), William
Dunbar "Sweet Rose of Virtue" translation (731/232), Sappho "That enticing
girl's clinging dresses" translation (685/90), Plato "A kinder sea" translation
(647/267), "Child of 9-11 (645/145), "Like Angels, Winged" (585/191), "Saving
Graces" (568/244), "Einstein the frizzy-haired" limerick (549/145), "Neglect"
(540/114), "How Long the Night" translation (529/227), Basho "Awed jonquil"
translation (495/176), Yamaguchi Seishi "Grasses wilt" translation (445/200), "Auschwitz Rose"
(435/156), Matsuo Basho "Kiri tree" haiku translation (413/180), Takaha Shugyo
"Fallen camellias" translation (363/147), Matsuo Basho "Frog leaps" haiku
translation (346/183), "escape!" (336/192), Fukuda Chiyo-ni "Ah butterfly"
translation (292/136), "Pale Though Her Eyes" (276/117), Vera Pavlova
"Shattered" translation (253/103), Sappho "She keeps her scents" translation
(233/62), Miklos Radnoti "Postcard 4" translation (232/101), O no Yasumaro
"Plumegrass wilts" translation (206/123), "Ali's Song" (191/112), "Nun Fun Undone" (169/95),
Ko Un "Speechless" translation (149/79)
NOTE: Google results fluctuate and the figures above are merely "snapshots"
taken at random times. The second figure is the number of individual pages that
can be accessed and viewed directly via Google.
Most Popular Online Articles:
Epigrams and Quotes;
No Hell in the Bible;
Most Beautiful Poems in the English Language;
The Best Erotic Poems;
The Best Limericks
Most Published and Awarded Poems:
"Epitaph," "Frail Envelope of Flesh,"
"See," "Ali's Song,"
"In Flight Convergence,"
"Auschwitz Rose," "Abide," "Bible Libel," "Child of 9-11," "Flight
93," "Salat Days," "Passionate
One," "Redolence," "Love Has a Southern Flavor," "Discrimination"
The epigram below has been published by AZquotes as one of the “Top 17 Very
Witty Quotes” along with quotes by Shakespeare, Groucho Marx and other
luminaries. The epigram has also been published, along with
hundreds of other Burch epigrams, by CrackSpy, FamousQuotes, GreatSayings,
Idlehearts, JarOfQuotes, LetUsQuote, MoreFamousQuotes, MyQuotes, PictureQuotes,
QuoteFancy, QuoteMaster, and other quote sites.
Nod to the Master
by Michael R. Burch
If every witty thing that’s said were true,
Oscar Wilde, the world would worship You!
Translations, Interpretations and Modernizations: Basho, Bertolt Brecht, Robert Burns, Caedmon,
Paul Celan, Thomas Chatterton,
Geoffrey Chaucer, William Dunbar, Ahmad Faraz, Atilla Ilhan, Allama Iqbal,
Ono no Komachi, Primo Levi, Plato, Miklos Radnoti, Rainer Maria Rilke, Sappho,
Sir Thomas Wyatt,
"Bede's Death Song", "Caedmon's Hymn," "Deor's Lament,"
in the Frith," "Lament for the Makaris," "Sweet Rose of Virtue," "Whoso List to Hunt," "The Wife's Lament,"
"Wulf and Eadwacer," Native American blessings and proverbs, Urdu love
A Note about Translations: Burch subscribes to the idea of les belles
infidčles: Like women, translations should be either beautiful or faithful.
Of course women can be both beautiful and faithful, but the most faithful
word-for-word translations seldom if ever result in poetry in a second language.
As the great Rabindranath Tagore explained, he needed leeway when translating
his own Bengali poems into English, if he wanted the result to be poetry.
Therefore, Burch calls his translations "loose translations" and
"interpretations" and does not attempt to translate word-by-word with complete
fidelity. Rather, he attempts to "grok" the poet and the poem to the best of his
ability, then create poetry based on his interpretation of the original work and
its author's intentions. For more information please click this link:
Michael R. Burch Translation Notes,
Methods and Credits to Other Translators
BBC Radio 3: A number of Burch's Sappho translations were read
on BBC Radio 3 by Diana Quick and Sophie Ward. Diana Quick is an English actress
best known for the role of Lady Julia Flyte in the television production of
Brideshead Revisited. Sophie Ward is an English actress who played
Elizabeth Hardy, the love interest of Sherlock Holmes, in the film Young
Other Translations: The poems of Michael R. Burch have been
translated into 16 languages by 22 translators: (1) Arabic by Nizar Sartawi and
Iqbal Tamimi; (2) Bengali by Jewel Mazhar/Majhar; (3) Chinese by Chen Bolai, (4)
Croatian by Teodora “Tea” Pecarina; (5) Czech by Václav Z J Pinkava; (6) Farsi
by Dr. Mahnaz Badihian, Farideh Hassanzadeh Mostafavi and RahelYahia; (7) Gjuha
Shqipe (Albanian) by Majlinda Bashllari; (8) Greek by Γεράσιμος Κομποθέκρας (Gerassimos
Kombothekras) and published by the University of Athens; (9) Hungarian by István
Bagi; (10) Indonesian by A. J. Anwar; (11) Italian by Comasia Aquaro and Mario
Rigli; (12) Macedonian by Marija Girevska; (13) Romanian by Petru Dimofte; (14)
Russian by Yelena Dubrovin and Vera Zubarev; (15) Turkish by Nurgül Yayman; (16)
Vietnamese by Linh Vu (there are around a hundred Vietnamese translations of Burch's
original poems and English translations of Oriental poetry)
YouTube Readings and Other Videos (77+):
"For a Ukrainian Child with Butterflies" was set to music by Pauli
Hansen and performed by a choir at the Nordic House in Torshavn, Faroe Islands:
YouTube videos (7) by Lillian Y. Wong: "Ali's Song," "Something,"
"Survivors," "At Wilfred Owen's Grave," "Auschwitz Rose,"
Miklos Radnoti "Postcard 1" translation
YouTube readings (7) by 3-Minute Buddhism of Issa translations by Michael R. Burch:
Snail, Cricket, Skinny Frog, World of Dew, Tardy Moon, Wild Geese, Tomcat
YouTube videos (5) of musical performances by Dima Bawab and Eduard de Boer:
"The Children of Gaza" (song cycle)
YouTube reading (5) by Alice Ho: Burch’s translations of Native
YouTube readings (3) by Jasper Sole: "Moments," "Something,"
YouTube readings (3) by David Gosselin: "To Have Loved," "Sappho
Fragment 16," "Sappho's Hymn to Aphrodite"
YouTube readings (3) by Ben Reads Poetry (Ben W. Smith): "Moments,"
"Infinity," "Will There Be Starlight"
YouTube video by Leandros Corieltauvorum of a Burch translation
of Sappho fragment 52 “Pleiades”
YouTube video of the mixed media play
Summoning the Spirit: Poems of Komachi features
several Burch translations of Komachi poems
YouTube recording of the music to An Ardent Love Affair with
lyrics by Burch
YouTube reading by Vaishali Paliwal: a Burch translation of Mirza
YouTube reading by Vaishali Paliwal: a Burch translation of Mirza Ghalib's "It’s time for the world to hear Ghalib again!"
YouTube video by Shila Roshid: a poem Burch wrote as The Child Poets of
Gaza, "I, Too, Have a Dream"
YouTube reading by G.M. Danielson: "Pale Though Her Eyes"
YouTube reading by Per Irma Video/Aurora G: "Ghost"
YouTube reading by Carmen Garcia with music (piano accompaniment):
"She Was Very Strange, and Beautiful"
YouTube reading by 1994wee: "Memory"
YouTube analysis of the ghazal by Anupam Mishra: used a
translation of the Nasir Kazmi poem "What Happened To Them?"
YouTube Darfur video by Vallana88: incorporated "Neglect"
YouTube reading by Haunting Poems for Halloween/Charles: "All
YouTube video by Sarah Ahmed of the Livingstone Sonnet Project:
William Dunbar "Sweet Rose of Virtue" translation
YouTube video by Jenna Thiel and Jake Owens:
rap/singing version of William Dunbar "Sweet Rose of Virtue" translation
YouTube reading by Jordan Harling:
William Dunbar "Sweet Rose of Virtue" translation
YouTube reading/video: O no Yasumaro "plumegrass wilts"
YouTube musical performance by Devan Wardrop-Saxton: "A Kinder
Sea" Plato translation
YouTube video by Book Feast, in English and Tamil: a discussion
of Burch's translation of "The Burning of the Books" by Bertolt Brecht
YouTube video by Literally Yours (Malayalam): using Burch's translation of "The Burning of the Books" by Bertolt Brecht
YouTube reading by Bourbonnais Public Library: "Vampires"
YouTube musical performance by Sigrid Vipa: “I Have a Yong
Suster” translation, singing with a 12-string Celtic harp
YouTube reading by Himel Khandakar Himu: "Deor's Lament"
YouTube cello interpretation by Jenny Jackson: "The Wife's Lament"
YouTube reading by PoemNeverDies of "Iz" by Abdurehim Otkur
used my English translation as a reference
YouTube reading by SongofAndred: "Song of Amergin" translation
YouTube reading by Reaction Romance: "Are You the Thief"
YouTube reading by Filha de Hecate-Roseira: Burch's translation of
"Temple Hymn 15" by Enheduanna
YouTube video by Shomoy Mahmud: incorporated Burch's translation of
Masaoka Shiki's "Swat the flies" haiku
YouTube video by Armand Amar: “Epitaph for a Homeless Child”
was published by Armand Amar with his composition “Home”
YouTube Poetry Life and Times: Anthology faces compilation
YouTube reading by Tadj Abdelhafid: Burch's interpretation of
Albert Einstein quotes as the poems "Relativity" and "Solitude"
YouTube "kinetic type" video by Jeffrey Michael Miller: Burch's
interpretation of Albert Einstein quotes as the poem "Imagination"
YouTube relaxation/meditation video "The Nature of Nature" by Asma
Masooma: "The Leveler" was excerpted
YouTube relaxation/meditation video "Heartbeat" by Natures' ASMR:
"Passionate One" was quoted in full
YouTube video by Ivana Jenaj: published “Epitaph”
YouTube video by Rosita Laroda: used Burch/Yayman translation
of “You are indispensable” by Attila Ilhan
YouTube reading by World History Encyclopedia: Burch's
translation of “Lament to the Spirit of War” by Enheduanna
Vimeo video of a
Bedales School reading of Burch's translation of "To a Mouse" by Robert
Other Publications and Collaborations:
Burch served as an editor and translator of the book Hiroshima: Bridge to
Forgiveness by Hiroshima survivor Takashi "Thomas" Tanemori (published by
MBooks of BC, Canada).
Burch provided English translations of Hebrew poems by Adi Wolfson, the 2017
winner of Israel's prestigious Levi Eshkol Prize for Literature, in two books: I Am Your Father
Burch edited the book Have Pool Cue Will Travel by Mark C. O'Brien; the
book is about the exploits of pool legend "St. Louie" Louie Roberts and other
colorful pool characters.
Benjamin Jones used excerpts from a Burch article in his book
Pete Rose Unforgiven Forever and credited Burch prominently on the
book's second page.
Burch edited the book The Fascism This Time by Theo Horesh.
Burch had a weekly column in The Nashville City Paper until it ceased
Burch wrote the Introduction to From Pittville to Paradise by Felicity
Burch's translation of the poem "Let us Be Midwives"
by Hiroshima survivor Sadako Kurihara has been published on a Hiroshima
University Facebook page (seminar of Professor Mari Katayanagi, Department of
Peace and Coexistence, IDEC, Hiroshima University).
Burch's poem "First They Came for the Muslims" has been published by Amnesty
International in its Words That Burn anthology, which is being used to
train young human rights activists. The poem returned 891,000 Google results for
its most unique line, suggesting that the poem has "gone viral" in a big way.
Burch's translation of the Robert Burns poem "Comin' Thro the Rye" was published
in the book Guide to Enjoying Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and
Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters by John P. Anderson.
Burch wrote the introduction to the book Pope Caesar's Wake by the
Maltese poet Joe M. Ruggier. Burch also assisted with the editing and production
of the book, as mentioned by Ruggier in his Acknowledgements (published by
MBooks of BC, Canada).
Burch wrote the Foreword to Sunil Sharma's poetry collection What trees tell
the mortals and other songs and was mentioned in Sharma's Dedication.
In the notes to her poetry collection A Kinder Sea, the Australian poet Felicity Plunkett
said the title was “inspired by Michael Burch’s translation of a poem attributed
to Plato: ‘Mariner, do not ask whose tomb this may be, but go with good fortune:
I wish you a kinder sea.’”
Australian composer Daniel Brinsmead requested permission
to use A Kinder Sea as the title for one of his compositions.
The Canadian writer Julian Smith took the title of his book The World of Dew
and Other Stories from a Burch translation of a haiku by Kobayashi Issa.
Malika Favre requested permission to use the “cliff” stanza from a Burch
translation of Baudelaire in her upcoming art book the Kama Sutra
Project. “Malika Favre is a French artist based in London. Her bold,
minimal style – often described as Pop Art meets OpArt – is a striking lesson in
the use of positive/negative space and colour. Her unmistakable style has
established her as one of the UK’s most sought after graphic artists.” Malika’s
publishers include The New Yorker, Vogue, Marie Claire and “many
Australian writer Diana Jarman requested permission to use five Burch translations in her work of
historical fiction, The Philatelist's Album. The translations requested
"night flies" and "wild geese" translations of two Masaoka Shiki
haiku, his "bonfires" translations of an Issa haiku, his "victor" translation of
an Ouchi Yoshitaka poem, and his "arrow" translation of a Tomoyuki Yamashita
English artist Emma Burleigh requested permission to use Burch's
translation of Basho's "chrysanthemum dew" haiku in her watercolor book Earth Color.
Burch's translations were quoted multiple times in Enheduanna: The First
Author, a novel by Alatary.
Peter Delahaye, an English abstract artist living in Venice, requested
permission to use Burch's poems with his abstract painting series "Dawn."
Burch's original poem "Epitaph for a Palestinian Child" appears in the book
A Game with the Mind by John A. Fosse
Burch's poem “Floating” is forthcoming in Imagine the Erne (a book of
photography and poetry by Richard Pierce).
Burch's bio of Adah Isaacs Menken was requested by
Richard Kostelanetz for his book AVANT-GARDE CLASSICS.
Patricia Watwood, an American figurative artist, requested permission to use Burch's
translation of “The Field” by Rumi.
Burch's poem “Hymn to an Art-o-matic Laundromat” is to be published in a poetry
collection by Chris Newlon Green.
Burch sponsored and provided production funding for Zyskandar Jaimot's poetry
collection Take Me Home to Pringus, as mentioned by Jaimot in his
Acknowledgements (published by MBooks of BC, Canada).
Burch sponsored and provided production funding for Tom Merrill's poetry
collection Outlaw's Retreat, as mentioned by editor Joe M. Ruggier on
page II of the preliminaries and on the back cover (published by MBooks of BC,
Burch sponsored and provided production funding for V. Ulea's poetry collection
Lunar Rhapsody, as acknowledged on the back cover (published
by MBooks of BC, Canada).
Burch sponsored the poetry collection 42 Poems in Rhyme and Meter by
Mary Keelan Meisel (published posthumously with the permission of her family)
and assisted with the editing and publication as mentioned by chief editor Joe
M. Ruggier on page II of the preliminaries (published by MBooks of BC, Canada).
Reviews of The HyperTexts:
Oxford University called The HyperTexts "dynamic and challenging"
with a "different approach" to poetry, on its ARCH resource page for the Arts &
"Some of the best poetry on the web."―Vera Ignatowitsch, editor-in-chief of Better
"The HyperTexts reads like a Who's Who in contemporary poetry
today."—Michael Morton, Director of the Net Poetry & Arts Competition
Michael R. Burch cites his major poetic and artistic influences as follows:
Matsuo Basho (for saying so much in so few words), William Blake (the world's
greatest poet/artist along with Michelangelo), Robert Burns (for melody), e. e.
cummings (for breaking the rules in pursuit of better poems), A. E. Housman
(for "no frills" direct statement), Langston Hughes (for evocative
truth-telling), Tom Merrill (for individuality and uniqueness of voice),
Michelangelo (for bringing angels to life), Richard Thomas Moore (for
skepticism), Sappho (for passion), Mark Twain (for humor), Voltaire (for
foxiness and outwitting his enemies), and Walt Whitman (for breaking the mold in
so many ways).
Pseudonyms and Aliases: Michael R. Burch has, at times,
published under the pseudonyms Kim Cherub (a rearrangement of the letters in
"Mike Burch"), prophetically as Immanuel A. Michael (with the middle initial
standing for "Archangel"), and as "The Child Poets of Gaza"
Holocaust Studies and Books about the Holocaust:
The original poems and translations of Michael R. Burch have been used in many Holocaust
studies and student projects and presentations over the years. The original poems most
frequently used in Holocaust studies include "Epitaph for a Child of the
Holocaust," "Frail Envelope of Flesh," "Something" and "Auschwitz Rose."
Michael R. Burch's translation of “Postcard 3” by Miklos Radnoti appeared on
Academia.edu in the essay “Reweighing Genocide on an International Legal Scale”
by Souryja Das (Indonesia).
Michael R. Burch's translation of “Postcard 4” by Miklos Radnoti has
been published or is is
scheduled to be published in:
The 1944 Crvenka Massacre by Caroline Mezger
The Fist Which Opens by Rati Saxena
Generations Shall Call Them Blessed,
a book about the Holocaust for Christians by Dan Paulson
The Akron Beacon Journal
Also in literary journals and websites which include Poetry Super Highway, Better
Than Starbucks, Boloji, San Diego Jewish World, Promosaik, Convivium, Pig Pen
Poetry, Progressive Poetry Forum, Poemist, Romenu (Romania), Mae’r Byd
(Hungary), Hungarian Cultural Center London, Australian Indigenous
Perspectives, the Suffolk Poetry Society website, and a YouTube montage by
LYW (Lillian Y. Wong)
Religious Services, Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples:
"Peace Prayer" was published on the website of The Episcopal Church of St.
Matthew (San Mateo, CA); the Holocaust poem "Pfennig Postcard, Wrong Address"
was published by Archbishop Michael Seneco on his Facebook page and personal
website; the Holocaust poem "Something" was used by the Windsor Jewish Community
Centre during a candle-lighting ceremony; "Something" was used by Park Hill
Church during a Holocaust remembrance service; "Something" was read by Robert
Davidson during a vigil with Rabbi Jason Nevarez of Temple Shaaray Tefila at
Somers High School.
The poems and translations of Michael R. Burch have been taught, recited,
published and/or otherwise used by secondary schools, high schools and
universities in the following countries: Canada (Alberta Science Teachers
Association, Albert Einstein "Solitude" translation), England (Salford University,
"Auschwitz Rose," Southend-on-Sea Borough, "Neglect," and several
others), France (secondary school, "Vampires"), Greece (University of Athens,
"She Was Very Strange, and Beautiful" as translated by Gerassimos Kombothekras),
Iran (secondary, "Brother Iran" in a Farsi translation), Italy (high school, "Orpheus" and other Blakean poems), Japan (Hiroshima
University, "Midwives" translation), Jordan (Jo Academy, "To a Mouse"
translation), Kenya (Kenyatta University, eight poems), Pakistan (Salu Ghotki
University, Bertolt Brecht translations), Russia (Yaroslaval State University
"Deor's Lament" and "The Wife's Lament" translations), Serbia (Kosovo
middle school, "Where Does the
Butterfly Go"), Ukraine (Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University, "To a Mouse"
translation), and the United States (Auburn University "Wulf and Eadwacer"
translation, Kent State University, SMU, Wichita
State University, Tennessee Technological University, and many others).
Burch's translations of "Bede's Death Song," "Caedmon's Hymn" and "Wulf and
Eadwacer" have been used in courseware by the Classical Latin School Association
and Memoria Press.
Burch's translation of Takaha Shugyo's "rowboat" poem is slated to be used in
courseware by Open University. Open University is the UK's largest university by
number of students, and one of the world's largest, with over 175,000 students.
most popular poems with educators and students are his "Epitaph," "Auschwitz
Rose" and other Holocaust poems and translations, and his Robert Burns
According to the Academia.edu search engine, the exact name "Michael R. Burch"
(in quotation marks) appeared in 404 papers as of 8-31-2022.
"See" was cited in "Examples of Figures of Speech" by Aysegul Safak on
"Caedmon's Hymn" was cited in "Famous Sonnets of English Poets" by Mohsin Mirza
"Frail Envelope of Flesh" appeared in a Vietnamese translation in Tho Tru
Tinh ("New Romanticism") by Ngu Yen on Academia.edu
"Epitaph for a Palestinian Child" was used as the lead epigraph in Genocide:
A Political Discretion by Nagendram Braveen on Academia.edu
Burch's “boneless” Anglo-Saxon riddle translation was used in “Los Aspectos
Sonoros” by Celene Garcia-Avila on Academia.edu
Burch's translation was cited twice in Translating "The Wife's Lament" to
Modern English by Hussein Medlej on Academia.edu
Burch's translation of “The Burning of the Books” by Bertolt Brecht was used in
War Machines by David Brian Howard on Academia.edu
Burch's translation of “Postcard 3” by Miklos Radnoti was used in the essay
“Reweighing Genocide on an International Legal Scale” by Souryja Das on
Burch's translation of "Fragment 42" by Sappho was cited in "Examples of Figures
of Speech" by Aysegul Safak on Academia.edu
Burch's translation of “Comin Thro the Rye” by Robert Burns was used by Cavdar
Tarlasinda Buyumek in an essay with the same title on Academia.edu
Burch was quoted and his translations of Robert Burns were cited in “The Poet,
the President, and the Preservationist: Robert Burns, Abraham Lincoln, and John
Muir” by Walter G. Moss on Academia.edu
Burch's translation of "To the Martyrs of Çanakkale" by Mehmet Akif Ersoy was
used in the Routledge Studies essay "Reflections on the Gallipoli Campaign in
Turkish Literature" by Safak Horzum
Burch's translation of "To the Martyrs of Çanakkale" by Mehmet Akif Ersoy was
used in the essay “THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN NATIONALIST AND JIHADIST NARRATIVES OF
GALLIPOLI, 1915-2015” by Ayhan Aktar published in Forum for Modern Language
Studies, Vol. 56, No. 2
Burch's translation of Basho's famous frog poem was used in the essay "The Role
of Language and the Significance of Primordialism in Nationalistic Rhetoric" by
Elisa Vitali on Academia.edu
Burch's translations of Enheduanna were cited in the essay "Kobieta – przestrzeń
konfliktów, pole walk. Szkice z antropologii politycznej" by Inga B. Kuźma and
Edyta B. Pietrzak on Academia.edu
Burch's translation of "Every Once in a While" by Amjad Islam Amjad
was published in full and discussed in detail in the essay "Semantic, Pragmatic and Cultural Equivalence in the Source Text
and Target Text of the Selected Poetry of Amjad Islam
Amjad" by Ruqia Wazir and Muhammad Arfan Lodhi posted on rafaad.com and
Quoted and/or Cited in Scholarly Works:
Burch's translations of "Wulf and Eadwacer" were used in an essay "Venus sans
furs" by Elizabeth Mazzola, a Professor of English at The City College of New
York. Dr. Mazzola commented: "I wanted to share with you the final proofs for my
essay on women and wolves, which features your exquisite work on 'Wulf and
Eadwacer.' Your scholarship is outstanding and provocative and has made all the
difference to my reading of this poem, and I hope you enjoy the essay."
Burch's translations of “Wulf and Eadwacer” were mentioned in a Hungarian essay
about the poem by Julia Kepes.
Burch was the first contemporary writer mentioned in Katarzyna Poreba’s
dissertation THE LEGACY OF WILLIAM BLAKE IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE published by
TARNÓW STATE COLLEGE, Poland
Burch was cited in a German article about William Blake written by Jarkko Pylvas
and published on Academia.edu.
Burch's observation that to the mystics “[God] is the great sea of unity and
each human being is like an individual wave arising from that sea and collapsing
back into it” was quoted by Mahmut Kayaalti in CONTROVERSIAL REPRESENTATION OF
GOD AND CHRISTIANITY IN WILLIAM BLAKE’S SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND OF EXPERIENCE
published by Istanbul University, Turkey
Burch was quoted in
"American inaugural poetry: poetics and style" by Iryna Yakovenko, PhD, Taras
Shevchenko National University, Chernihiv, Ukraine
Burch was cited in the essay "Cledisat: un esempio d'inquinamento testuale" by
Maurizio Perugi on Academia.edu
Burch was quoted in the essay "Carceral Christianization as a Religious Problem
of Generations" by Robin Mitchell Stroud, PhD on Academia.edu
Burch was cited twice in “The Existence – The Dimension of the Mind” by Anne
Henriques on Academia.edu
Burch's translation of "The Song of Amergin" was published by Heidi Hanley in
her essay “Longfellow Was a Druid.”
An interview Burch did with Esther Cameron was cited in “Tracing the Journey of
Paul Celan’s Poetry” by Jana Vytrhlik on Academia.edu
Health and Wellness:
"Syndrome" was published by the National Association for Down Syndrome; "The
Leveler" was excerpted in a YouTube relaxation/meditation video "The Nature of
Nature" by Asma Masooma.
Michael R. Burch Timeline and Extended Biography
The following timeline provides more detailed information about when poems were
first published, and how some of them came to be written; for instance, the
timeline explains how the phrase "Frail envelope of flesh!" (uttered by a super
villain in a comic book) inspired the poem with that title ...
Career highlights are
bolded and underlined.
1958: Michael R. Burch was born on February 19, 1958 in Orlando, Florida. His
English mother, Christine Ena Hurt, was a loving, compassionate
and selfless mother and homemaker. He wrote the poem "Mother's Smile" in
her honor; it placed first in a Penguin Books poetry contest in 2008. His American father, Paul
Ray Burch Jr., was a 20-year man in the United States Air Force.
1959: Burch and his mother lived with her parents, George Edwin Hurt and
Christine Ena Spouse, in Mattersey, England, while his father was stationed
at Thule, Greenland. Thus Burch grew up speaking with an English accent (long
since lost). Burch was talking nonstop at a very
early age. In fact, his grandfather got in a fight with a co-worker who called
him a liar, saying it wasn't possible for two-year-olds to say such things! But
Burch was evidently just getting warmed up ...
1960: When Burch's father returned from Thule, the family was reunited in
Gainsborough, England. Burch lived in England for approximately five
years. His sisters Sandra Jane Burch and Debra Leigh Burch were both born
there. One of his earliest memories was going to the hospital to collect Debby
after her puzzling appearance. Where did babies come from—storks, really?
1963: The family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Burch attended
kindergarten. He still had an English accent,
because his teacher criticized him for
pronouncing "been" as "bin." But c'mon, who invented
the language? There are memories of his mother weeping over President John
F. Kennedy's funeral, and another little boy saluting his casket ...
1964: First grade in Lincoln, Nebraska. The first book Burch fell in love with was
Charlotte's Web, read to the class by his teacher, one chapter per day. His
favorite poem was "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes, which his mother sometimes
recited from memory to her enthralled children at bedtime.
1965: Second grade in Lincoln, Nebraska. The class practiced ducking under
wooden desks for "protection" against Russian nukes. The desks were
not very reassuring!
1966: Third grade. The Burches moved to Nashville, Tennessee. They would live for a time
with Paul Burch's mother, Lillian Lee, and her second husband, Eric Lee. The Lees
owned a small grocery store on Sixth Avenue South, close to downtown Nashville.
The Burches later moved into a house in Donelson, a suburb of Nashville. They
were joined there by Paul Ray Burch Sr., who was unmarried at the time. Burch
would later write "Salat Days" about his childhood discovery of the reason his
grandfather went hunting a noxious weed that had to be boiled multiple
times before it could be safely eaten! Grandpa Burch took the Burch kids to see their first
movie: Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball.
1967: Fourth grade. The Burches moved to Roseville, California, a suburb of Sacramento.
It was very hot, so most time away from school was spent at the
community swimming pool. Burch was a small, often-frustrated perfectionist. If
he made a writing mistake, he would tear up the whole page and start over. He
was bullied by an older girl named Sarjanne, or something like that, and would later write a poem about the experience: "The
sky opens wide / in a land of no rain, / and who are you to bring me such pain?"
1968: Fifth grade. The Burches moved to Wiesbaden, Germany. They would live for two
years in a tiny German hamlet, Bischofsheim, while waiting for USAF base housing.
Because there were no American boys to play with, and no English-language
radio or TV stations, Burch began to visit the base library,
taking out the maximum eight books, reading them in a few days, then taking out
eight more, and repeating. His English language skills zoomed far above the norm for his age.
In the fifth grade he tested at a college
sophomore reading level and was placed in a reading group of one, where he
studied writers like Austen, Dickens, Hardy and Twain. Around this time Burch
read a comic book in which a super villain screamed "Frail envelope of flesh!"
at a super hero. Burch was struck by the power of the words and never forgot
them. His poem "Frail Envelope of Flesh," composed thirty years later in 1998,
would become one of his more popular poems on the Internet. Burch also discovers
"real" poetry in a large green book of popular poems. Already a budding literary
critic due to his extensive reading, Burch identified two poems in the large
book that he thought stood out: "Breathes there the man" by Sir Walter Scott and
"My Grandfather's Clock" by Henry Clay Work.
1969: Sixth grade in Wiesbaden, Germany. The Burches watched Neil Armstrong set
foot on the moon at a friend's house (there is still no Burch TV set). Burch developed his first crushes on girls: CM and MC.
He was also falling in love with music that would later influence his poetry: Bob
Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, The Zombies, Cream,
The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Animals, The Doors, Sly and the Family
Stone, The Bee Gees, Aaron Neville, CCR, Jackie Wilson, Frankie Valli,
1970: Seventh grade in Wiesbaden, Germany. Burch is six-foot-two and thin as a
rail at age twelve, and has added a new passion: basketball.
1971: Eighth grade in Wiesbaden, Germany. By this time Burch has read hundreds
of books: Austen, Bronte, Chaucer, Dickens, Defoe, Joyce, Melville, Shakespeare,
Twain, Verne, Voltaire, Whitman, Wilde, et al. He has also read extensively
about subjects he finds of interest, such as nature, animals, dinosaurs, evolution,
ancient history, the age of chivalry, warfare and modern science. He doesn't
particularly like math, but is good at it.
1972: Ninth grade. The Burches moved to Goldsboro, North Carolina, where Burch
found himself far ahead of his classmates. It was around
this time, age 14 to 15, that Burch began to write poetry. It quickly became
an obsession. His first poem, never published, was titled
"Happiness." It compared happiness to a bubble that is always in danger of
bursting. His second poem, "Playmates," was about boys who grow up not foreseeing
the dark days that lie ahead. Ironically, that meant the young poet did foresee
the future. Other poems from this period include "Time," "Am
I," "An Illusion," "Have I Been Too Long at the Fair," and "Smoke" (the latter a
poem inspired by an ad for the movie Summer of '42.) His poems "Burn,
Ovid" and "Sex 101" were written about his experiences at Faith Christian
Academy in Goldsboro, although they were composed from memory later. Burch was the
starting center on the FCA junior varsity basketball team.
1973: Tenth grade. Paul Burch Jr. retired from the Air Force and the Burches relocated
permanently to Nashville, Tennessee. There Burch attended Maplewood High School, where
he was once again far ahead of his classmates. It was at
Maplewood that Burch began flipping through his English literature textbook,
reading poems independently. He found some of the poems to be quite magical
and decided that he would try to produce similar magic himself.
Poets he found especially magical included William Blake, e. e. cummings, Robert
Frost, T. S. Eliot, A. E.
Housman, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas and W. B. Yeats. While at Maplewood, Burch
included some of his poems in an English project notebook. His teacher, Anne
Myers, wrote "This poem is beautiful!" beside "Playmates" and she also
complimented "Time." Other poems in the notebook included "Paradise" and "I
Remember You." Around this time, in a moment of frustration, Burch destroyed all
his poems. The ones in his project notebook were saved, along with others
he was able
to recreate from memory. The rest were lost forever or remain incomplete. Burch
had his first dates, with MB.
1974: Eleventh grade. The first poem that made Burch think he
be a "real" poet was "Observance" (originally titled "Reckoning"), which he
wrote in the break room of the McDonald's where he worked to make spending
money for college. It would be published by TC
Broadsheet Verses in 1998, earning a whopping ten dollars, and also by
Nebo and Piedmont Literary Review the same year. "Leave Taking" was originally a stanza in a longer poem, "Jessamyn's
Song," written around this time. "Canticle" was written
surreptitiously in Ms. Davenport's class while her back was turned.
Burch was MVP of the Ewing Baptist church league basketball team. Tricky Dick Nixon finally
resigned, due to Watergate.
1975: Twelfth grade. Burch had a number of poems published in
Maplewood's literary journal, The Lantern,
including "An Illusion," "Why Did I Go," "Have I Been Too Long at the Fair" and
"Smoke." Burch also wrote his
first "cummings-ish" poem, "i (dedicated to u)" during an English class. Burch was MVP of the Ewing Baptist
basketball team for a second time.
Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft.
1976: College freshman. Burch
graduated near the top of his class despite working 40+ hours per week
his senior year and thus not studying or turning in homework assignments
consistently. He still managed to earn the highest ACT and CLEPT scores in
Maplewood's history, with a perfect score on the latter. He also earned two academic scholarships and decided to
study computer science at Tennessee Technological University (TTU) in
Cookeville, Tennessee, which at that time had a top-ten computer science
program. At TTU the dean of the English Department, Dr. Warren, had Burch pulled
out of the freshman pre-registration line and brought to his office, where he
tried to persuade Burch to major in English or Journalism. However, not wanting to
be a starving writer, Burch stuck
to his plan to major in computer science. At TTU, Burch skipped a lot of classes and focused
his energies on mastering pool (pocket billiards), pinball machines and video games, including the original
Space Invaders. He
won TTU's straight pool tournament, qualified for the NCAA regionals,
but then partied, got drunk for the first time in his life, and missed the bus
to the next tournament! The girl of his dreams got mad at him for being too
drunk to perform, and he lost her to a slightly more sober graduate student.
Ouch! He later won Cookeville eight-ball and Space Invaders
tournaments. Poems from this period include "Infinity" (the second
poem that made Burch feel like a "real" poet), "Death/Styx"
and "These Hallowed Halls." The latter was written from his freshman dorm
window, as he watched students returning from rush week fraternity parties.
"Something" was the first poem Burch wrote that
didn't rhyme; it came to him "out of blue nothing." He also earned membership in the Alpha Lamda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor
societies. As a freshman Burch had six poems
published in TTU's literary journal Homespun: "Smoke," "Stryx," "Gentry," "Jack," "When Last My
Love Left Me" and "With My Daughter, By a Waterfall."
1977: College sophomore. A highly Romantic poem from this time period is "Floating," which would be
published by Romantics Quarterly in 2002. Another is "Impressions of
Darkness in the Aspects of Light," a long poem Burch disguised as prose by
removing the line breaks for a creative fiction writing assignment.
"A Pledge for Ignorance" was the first poem published in Homespun. "In Jerusalem" was also published
1978: College co-op. Burch won TTU's R. H. Moorman Award and a cash prize (well,
actually a bond) for having the
highest grades in the TTU Math/Computer Science/Physics department. He was the
brightest of the bright, the nerdiest of the nerds!
Burch chose to co-op for a year, which he did with South
Central Bell, in Nashville. At the time SCB was a division of AT&T, the largest
non-government organization in the world. Burch wrote a manual on IBM Binary
Synchronous Protocol for SCB. He also designed and wrote a network outage
tracking system on a Cromemco Z-28 CP/M computer system. This was one of the first multi-user
microcomputers. John Palmer, a division manager
at SCB, was impressed and hired Burch to work for
Surya Data Systems, where he designed and wrote a Property Management software
package. While working for SCB, Burch met
some serious pool players and started gambling with colorful sharks
like Andrew "the Gent" Gentry, Doug "Preacher" Almy, and players known to him
only as "Jew Baby," "Catfish," "Chicken Man" and "Mole." There
were days when
Burch made more money hustling pool than programming. He used the winnings from one
pool match to buy a $700 pool cue. A highly Romantic poem from this
time period is "The Communion of Sighs." While working the midnight shift at
SCB, Burch put together a typed poetry collection, Just a Dream. Some
of the poems included were "Reflections on the Loss of Vision," "Shadows," "An
Obscenity Trial," "Sailor's Dreams" (later re-titled "Sea Dreams"), "Sanctuary
at Dawn," "There Is Peace Where I Am Going" and "Jessamyn's Song."
mostly poems written during his teens.) Burch wrote his bleak poem "Premonition" after
attending an SCB office party. "Shadows" was published
1979: Burch returned to TTU for his junior year. He joined the Kappa Alpha
fraternity but it was not officially recognized at the time and was mostly an
excuse to have a frat house and keg parties. After completing his junior year, Burch dropped out to start his
own computer software company, Alpha Omega Consulting Group. He earned over 11K.
That was not bad money in
those days, for a college student working part-time!
1980: College senior drop-out. Burch became the lead software developer for Computer Consultants Inc.,
freelanced via Alpha Omega, and still found time to shoot pool, master video
games, and chase women. He had his first serious relationship
with MM, who would become the object of a number of his
early love poems. For the next decade-and-a-half Burch would write poetry with
few serious attempts attempts to publish it. During this period Burch designed and wrote software
for a record outlet and a publishing company.
1981: The only published poem from this period appears to be "Tomb Lake." Burch designed
and wrote an Auto Dealership software package.
Burch went to Chatanooga with Doug "Preacher" Almy to watch the 1981 U.S. Open Nine-Ball
Tournament. "St. Louis" Louie Roberts won, beating Buddy "The
in the process. Burch would later edit a book, Have Pool Cue Will Travel,
written primarily about the exploits of Louie Roberts by Mark "the Shark"
O'Brien. A number of unusual synchronicities were involved. Burch dated MJ briefly.
1982: Burch designed and wrote a Job Cost accounting software system for
construction companies. He bought
a Camaro Z-28 Indy Pace car, his first sports car. He vacationed in England for a
month, staying with relatives at an ancient cottage called "Throstle's
Nest." On the plane trip to England he updated his poem "The Last Enchantment."
He dated MC briefly, then MM, for whom he wrote "Every Man Has a Dream."
1983: Burch dated MM seriously. They decided to live together, but she
didn't tell her parents. Awkward! Burch buys his first house at 836 Beech Bend Drive in Bellevue,
1984: Burch, MM, DF and RF vacation in Destin at a swanky
$450,000 Edgewater Beach condo. Burch figures out from the owner list that
Nashville's mayor, the appropriately-named Bill Boner, had been "gifted" a condo
by one of Burch's well-heeled construction clients. Fraud is everywhere!
1985: Burch, MM, DF and RF vacation in Miami and the Florida Keys. They visit
Ernest Hemingway's and Jimmy Buffet's favorite watering holes. Burch begins playing pool
at a dive-y bar called Springwater. Later that year, his first dates with CC.
1986: Springwater's Busch pool
league team finished second in the city tournament, advanced to Memphis for
the regionals, won two rounds, then lost in the finals to Nashville's J.O.B.
A Memphis vacation with MM. Burch dated BM and wrote "Musings at Giza"
based on her recollections of a trip to Egypt. First date with SK at Julian's.
Burch very briefly dated Dan Fouts' sister but couldn't tell you her name.
1987: Oak Ridge trip with BM. First date with KT at Kobe, but she was weird
about her cat. One date with a young woman who later took her own life led to
the poem "For Rhonda with Butterflies."
Destin trip with KT, but more weirdness about her cat. First date with AO; she
was part Cuban, part Seminole, and part Italian. Very hot! Another England trip
with bed-and-breakfast tours of Wales, Stratford-on-Avon, Chesterfield, Chatsworth
Hall and London. On the return flight from Gatwick the pilot had
to jettison fuel and return for flap repairs. Panic! MM moves out.
1988: Back together with MM. Burch bought a second, much bigger house in Bellevue at 7324 River Bend
Rd. Movin' on up!
1989: Destin trip with MM, DF, RF and two friends. MM moves out again.
1990: MM moves back in, then out again. A third England trip with a bed-and-breakfast tour of Scotland
and the northeastern coast: Loch
Lomond, Stirling Castle, Calendar, Edinburgh Castle, North Berwick, Lindisfarne.
Also visited the Lake District, Lake Windemere, York, Yorkminster Cathedral, Scarborough (stayed in a converted windmill!), the
Yorkshire Dales, and Alton Towers. It was the hottest English summer on record, with
temperatures as high as 99. Dates with KM, LA and
1991: Burch meets Elizabeth Harris on 1-5-1991 at the Natchez Trace bar in Bellevue,
Tennessee. She asks him to teach her to play pool and they invent "twister
pool." First real date with Beth at Sperry's on 1-11-1991.
Burch writes Beth the poems "Enigma" and "Is the Mirror Unkind" for
Valentine's Day. Another date at Sperry's. Met Beth's
grandparents at Justine's in Memphis. Things are getting serious for the
confirmed bachelor! Later, a May trip to Destin with Beth and Burch's parents,
sisters, aunts and uncles. Beth moves in. Chatanooga
trip with Beth and English cousins. Visited Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls and the
Chatanooga Choo-Choo. Beth sang “Mockingbird” with one of the singing waiters.
A very daring girl! On 8-31-91 Beth asked Burch to marry her! A
very daring girl! On 11-07-91 Grandma Lee
died, a grand, very independent woman.
1992: Michael R. Burch marries Elizabeth Steed Harris in Warren, Arkansas on 6-27-1992.
1993: Michael R. Burch and Elizabeth Harris Burch have a son, Jeremy Michael
Burch. Burch's poems "The Desk," "Lullaby," "Passages on Fatherhood" and "A Real
Story," among others, would be written for his son.
Burch began submitting poems for publication after a long hiatus.
"Musings at Giza" was published by Golden Isis, "In the Whispering
Night" and "Moon Lake" by The Poetic Knight.
1994: "Lay Down Your Arms" was published by The Romanticist.
1997: Burch began to study the ancient Celtic legends that inspired the much
later, heavily Christianized legends of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of
the Round Table. He preferred the older stories and wrote a cycle of poems on the
subject, including "At Tintagel," "Truces" and "Isolde's Song." A number of
the poems were written on a single day, 7-13-1997. Burch thinks his poems are good
enough to be published, but where to submit them? Around this time he discovers
a book, Poet's Market, created by the poet Judson Jerome, which explains
which journals favor, rather than discriminate against, traditional poetry.
decides to take another stab at publication ...
1998: Around this time Burch founds and creates
The HyperTexts, a literary website
which has since had over 13 million page views, according to Google Analytics.
"Geode/Resemblance" was published by Poet Lore, "Righteous" by
Writer's Gazette, "Are You the Thief" and two other poems by Poetic
License/Monumental Moments, "Shadows" by Mind in Motion, "Enigma"
by mo jo risin' magazine, "State of the Art" and five other poems by
Tucumcari Poetry Review, and "Haunted" by The Laureate Letter.
"Keep Up" wins third prize and a medal in a poetry contest with
several thousand entries.
1999: "In Flight Convergence" finished in the top
ten of the big Writer's Digest
non-rhyming poetry contest (out of around 13,000 overall contest entries), then
was published by The Aurorean and
nominated for the Pushcart Prize. (Ironically, it was a rhyming
poem with eclectic line breaks that made it look like unrhymed free verse.)
"Once," "At Once," "Twice" and "The Leveler"
were published by The Lyric.
Jean Mellichamp Milliken, the editor of The Lyric, called Burch on the
phone to make sure his poems made the upcoming issue. Editors seldom call poets, so
that was a rare and encouraging event! "The Poet" was published by Icon, "Prophet" by
Penny Dreadful, "The Song of Amergin" by Songs of Innocence, "Ince
St. Child" by Piedmont Literary Review.
"Geode/Resemblance" was a finalist in the Penumbra poetry contest and
earned a special mention from the judge. "Salad Days" was published by
Lonzie's Fried Chicken. The poem would later be re-titled "Salat Days." Eight poems
published by Tucumcari Literary Review, including "For Rhonda, with
2000: "Abide" was published by Light Quarterly. "Tremble"
by The Lyric and later received an Honorable Mention in the 2000
Lyric Annual Awards, judged by Shakespearean scholar Caroline P. Chermside.
"Tremble" also won third prize in the Verses Magazine 2000 Nature
Competition. "Once" and "The Platypus" were published by Writer's Journal,
"Styx/Death" and "The Harvest of Roses" by The Raintown Review, "Loose
Knit" by Penumbra, "Moments" by Tucumcari Literary Journal, "Infinity,"
"Floating," "Mid-Summer Eve," "Shock" and "Nevermore!" by Penny Dreadful,
"At Tintagel" and "In the Whispering Night" by Songs of Innocence,
"Salad Days" by Harp-Strings Poetry Journal, and nineteen Celtic-themed
poems by Celtic Twilight, Celtic Lifestyles and
2001: Burch had the first five poems in the
inaugural issue of Romantics Quarterly,
which led off with "Goddess." Burch's villanelle "Ordinary Love" won the
Swinburne poetry award and a $100 prize, then was published and nominated for the Pushcart
Prize. Burch had seventeen poems in the first four issues of
Romantics Quarterly. "What the Poet Sees" and "The Locker" won Poem
Kingdom contests and small cash prizes. "Poetry" and "The Watch"
published by The Lyric, "The Composition of Shadows" by Iambs &
Trochees, "What the Poet Sees" by Byline, "Memory" by
Carnelian, and "Will There Be Starlight" by The Word (UK).
Four poems each appeared in The Bible of Hell,
Poetry Magazine and Unlikely Stories. "Flight 93" and four other
poems were published by Poetry Super Highway. Two poems appeared in
Ironwood, two in Poetic Reflections, three in Poetically
Speaking, four in Poetry Magazine.
2002: Burch wrote a how-to book for Practicum Strategies that earned
nearly $3,000 in royalties. "Pan" and "Imperfect Sonnet"
were published by
Poetry Porch. Four poems were read on the How Sweet the Night
poetry CD, published by Romantics Quarterly. "Redolence" appeared in
The New Formalist and "She Gathered Lilacs" in the Neovictorian/Cochlea.
"The Watch" and two other poems appeared in Carnelian. Burch
spotlight poet for and had eight poems in Triplopia. Four poems appeared in
The Eclectic Muse; editor Joe M. Ruggier recited one of the poems over
the phone to another editor. (Another rare event.) "Warming Her Pearls" and two other erotic poems
appeared in Erosha. Burch was the first featured poet with five poems in
Poetic Ponderings. Eight poems were published by the Net Poetry & Art
Competition, which asked Burch to serve as a judge. "She Was Very Strange, and
Beautiful" was published by Numbat (Australia). Nine poems appeared in two
issues of The Lyric, including "Frail Envelope of Flesh," "The Wonder Boys" and "Roses for a
Lover, Idealized." An early prose version of "Salat Days" won an honorable
mention in the 2002 Writer's Digest personal essay contest.
2003: "See" placed third out of 18,000 overall entries in the big Writer's
Digest poetry contest, while "At Wilfred Owen's Grave" placed seventh,
winning $475 together. Both poems appeared in Writer's Digest The Year's Best
Writing. "Distances" and "Fair Game" appeared in Verse Libre.
Seventeen poems and two reviews appeared in Romantics Quarterly. "At
Tintagel" was published by Fables.org, "Ordinary Love" by
Poetic Voices. "At Wilfred Owen's Grave" by Rogue
Scholars, "Violets" and four other poems by Muse Apprentice
Guild. Four poems appeared in the anthology The Birth of Crystals.
"The Peripheries of Love" earned second place in a poetry
contest, winning a silver medal. "She Was Very Strange and Beautiful" placed
third in a People's Poet reader poll.
2004: "Auschwitz Rose" appeared in the Neovictorian/Cochlea. The poem
made Joe Ruggier jump out of his bus seat when he read it! (Another rare
event.) "The Composition of
Shadows" appeared in Contemporary Rhyme, "Neglect" and four other
poems in Mindful of Poetry, "The Folly of Wisdom" and five other
poems in Romantics Quarterly, "Neglect" and "Epitaph"
in Voices for Africa, "The Highest Atoll" in
IBPC News and Useless Knowledge, "Fahr an' Ice" in Light Quarterly,
eight poems in Poet's Haven,
three poems and a review in The Eclectic Muse (Canada).
2005: "Pan" and five other poems appeared in The Chariton Review, "Pity
Clarity" in Contemporary Rhyme and the Columbus Dispatch
newspaper, "Myth" and three other poems in the anthology There Is
Something in the Autumn, "Pfennig Postcard, Wrong Address" in the
Holocaust anthology Blood to Remember, "Ali's Song" and four other
poems in Black Medina, six poems in Nutty Stories
(South Africa), three in Triplopia, eight in The Eclectic Muse
(Canada), eleven in the Neovictorian/Cochlea. "Melting" is voted the best poem in
2006: "Isolde's Song" is published by
The Raintown Review and nominated for the Pushcart
Prize. "Excerpts from 'Poetry'" places fourth in the Margaret
Reid poetry contest, winning $100. A number of Burch's poems are translated into
Farsi and published in Iran. "Tremble" and "Brother Iran" appear in Farsi
translations by Dr. Mahnaz Badihian on MahMag (Iran). Six poems are
published by Kritya (India). Poetry Life & Times begins to
publish Burch's poems in volume. Thirty of Burch's poems are featured at
Famous Poets & Poems. Sixteen poems appear in Sonnetto Poesia
(Canada). "The Effects of Memory" is read as part of the Candlelight Reading
Series, on Valentine's Day. "U.S. Verse, After Auden" is published by
The Barefoot Muse, "Salat Days" as flash fiction in A
Flasher's Dozen, "Learning to Fly" in the anthology The
Book of Hopes and Dreams. Burch has three poems in The Centrifugal Eye,
five poems in Barbitos, four poems in a Katrina Anthology
and six poems in The Journals. "Indestructible, for Johnny Cash" is
published by Strong Verse. "Flight 93" appears in My Beautiful New
York. Four poems appear in the anthology Somewhere Along the Beaten
Path. "The Secret of Her Clothes" appears in the Velvet Avalanche
anthology. "The Composition of Shadows" is published by Candelabrum.
2007: "Break Time" finishes third in a Sonnet Writers poetry contest,
winning $50. "Leaf Fall" earns high distinction in the Tom Howard poetry contest
and wins $100. A children's poem "The Aery Faery Princess" appears in Whimsy.
Another children's poem, "The Dromedary," appears in Umbrella/Bumbershoot.
"For All That I Remembered" and "The Peripheries of Love" are translated into
Russian by Yelena Dubrovin and published by Gostinaya. Burch has three
poems in Thanal Online (India), four poems in the Anthology of
Contemporary American Poetry, four poems in the anthology Captivating
Poetry, five poems in Strange Road, three poems in Triplopia,
three poems in Freshet, and six poems in Other Voices International,
including the Holocaust poems "Cleansings" and "Auschwitz Rose." Poets for
Humanity publishes "Epitaph for a Darfur Child." Voices Israel
publishes "I Pray Tonight." (The poem will later go viral.) Deronda Review publishes "Leaf Fall,"
"Autumn Conundrum" and "Piercing the Shell." Nine poems are published by
homeless advocate, poet and artist Judy "Joy" Jones as part of an On the
Road with Judy interview. "Poetry" appears in the anthology Sailing in
the Mist of Time.
2008: "Discrimination" is published by
Trinacria and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
"Mother's Smile" places first in a Penguin Books (UK) Valentine's Day poetry contest and
appears in the anthology Poems for Big Kids. Comasia Aquaro translates
"For All That I Remembered" and "Isolde's Song" into Italian. "Homeless Us" is
published by Street Spirit. Fullosia Press publishes "Flight
93" and two other poems. Jewish Letter publishes Russian translations
by Vera Zubarev of "Leaf Fall" and other poems. Two poems appear in Deronda
Review and Voices Israel, three in Freshet and The
Eclectic Muse (Canada), four in Trinacria, six in Poetry Life
2009: Burch's letter opposing torture is published
by TIME and quite possibly read by millions.
Burch publishes Richard Moore's last essay, "A Life." Burch's tribute poem "Kin
(for Richard Moore)" is published by Able Muse. The Boston Globe
cites Burch's interviews with Richard Moore in his obituary. "Auschwitz Rose" is
published by Verse Weekly. "Leaf Fall" appears in The Raintown
Review, now being edited by Anna Evans. Burch begins writing letters to the
editor of The Tennessean; three of his first four letters earn three
stars (the highest rating). He will have over a hundred letters published by the
the next decade. He also has a letter in one of the world's largest-circulation
newspapers, The Hindu. Burch has two poems in Light, two in
The Lyric, two in The Chimaera, three in Freshet,
three in Lucid Rhythms.
2010: Burch authors the Burch-Elberry Peace
Initiative for Israel/Palestine and it is published by United Progressives and
the National Forum of India, among others. Burch has five
letters in Nashville's City Paper and is invited to become a regular
columnist, which he accepts. He has one letter in USA Today, three
in The Washington Times, and 35 more in The Tennessean. Burch's
essay on Formal Poetry is translated into Vietnamese and published by Ai Huu
Ninh Thuan. His poem "Epitaph" goes viral and is published 400 times before
he loses track. Stremez publishes five Macedonian translations
by Marija Girevska. Fullosia Press publishes twenty poems and essays.
Litera (UK) publishes seventeen poems. Poems About publishes thirty
poems. Burch has three poems in Freshet, six in Trinacria, and
six more in The New Formalist.
2011: "Just Smile" is published by
Victorian Violet Press and nominated for the
Pushcart Prize. This is Burch's fifth Pushcart nomination.
Fullosia Press publishes 29 poems and articles. Six letters are published
by the Knoxville News Sentinel. Forty letters and articles are
published by the Nashville City Paper. Twenty-seven poems are published
by Inspirational Stories, six by Trinacria, six by
Victorian Violet Press, five by The Eclectic Muse (Canada), three by
The Flea, two by The Lyric. "For Rhonda, with Butterflies" is
nominated for a Best of the Net award by Victorian Violet Press.
2012: Burch's first poetry collection,
Violets for Beth, is published by White Violet
Press. Burch has two poems in the first issue of Angle.
Six poems are published by Poem Today, six by Victorian Violet
Press, eight by Artvilla, eight by Poet's Corner
including a translation of "Caedmon's Hymn," ten by
The Eclectic Muse (Canada), fifteen by Fullosia Press. Five
letters appear in the Knoxville News Sentinel, eight in The
Tennessean. Burch's "bowlers" joke is published by the Washington Post.
"Come!" earns fifth place in the 2012 Writer's Digest Rhyming Poetry
contest, winning $50. "Hiroshima Shadows" is translated to
Thai and published in Thailand, Japan and New Zealand.
2013: Burch's second poetry collection,
O, Terrible Angel, is published by Ancient
Cypress Press. Burch's translation of Rilke's "Autumn Day"
appears in Measure, along with his translations of the Anglo-Saxon poem
"Wulf and Eadwacer" and the Middle English poem "How Long the Night." Eight poems appear in Boston Poetry Magazine, eleven in
FreeExpression (Australia), twelve in Complete Classics, twelve in
Poems About, fourteen in Poetry in Progress, five in
Fullosia Press, four in Shot Glass Journal. "Willy Nilly" appears
in The Road Not Taken, "Lean Harvests" in The Rotary
Dial. Thirty letters and/or
articles appear in the Nashville City Paper. Ten letters appear in
2014: Burch publishes his translations/modernizations of Scots dialect poems
by Robert Burns, and they quickly go viral. By now Burch's poems are going viral so frequently that he seldom bothers to
submit poems to traditional publishers. "Epitaph," "Neglect," "Something," and
"Auschwitz Rose" are among his most popular poems on the Internet, along with
his translations of Basho, Bede, Bertolt Brecht, Robert Burns, Caedmon, Thomas
Chatterton, Deor, William Dunbar, Ahmad Faraz, Atilla Ilhan, Allama Iqbal, Ono
no Komachi, Rainer Maria Rilke, Sappho, Thomas Wyatt, and various Urdu and
anonymous Anglo-Saxon poets.
2015: Jasper Sole does YouTube readings of "Something," "Moments" and "Enigma."
Promosaik (Denmark) publishes six poems. Poem Today publishes
four poems. Life & Legends publishes three poems. Asses of
Parnassus publishes "Nun Fun Undone" and a Sappho translation. Brief
Poems publishes a Sappho translation. AZquotes publishes fourteen
Trump jokes and epigrams.
2016: BBC Radio 3 publishes fourteen Sappho translations. Two of
Burch's Trump jokes are published on CNN.com. A number of other jokes go viral
and are published on various "best Trump joke" pages. Asses of Parnassus
publishes six poems. Better Than Starbucks publishes four poems.
Brief Poems publishes six poems. "Conformists of a Feather" wins first
place in the National Poetry Month Couplet Competition. "Pilgrim's Fealty"
finishes second in a quatrain contest. "Isolde's Song" is published by The
Orchards. Comasia Aquaro translates four poems into Italian and publishes
them in La Luce Che Non Muore. Glass Facets of Poetry
publishes five poems. "Child of 9-11" and an essay appear in Elephant
2017: Burch's mock "Trump Inauguration Speech" is published by the
Washington Post, earning some raves and a special mention by the editor in
charge of the competition. Burch is the Spotlight Author of the bilingual
literary journal Setu for the month of March, 2017. "I Pray Tonight" is
set to music and played at a benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane
Harvey, helping to raise $8,000 in aid.
2018: "Auschwitz Rose" is published by the European Union Erasmus Project and is
studied by advanced students from multiple member nations. "Ebb Tide" appears in Southwest Review, earning $50. Burch's googleyup "Does your virginity grow back?" earns second place in a
Washington Post contest. (This had more to do with "thinking outside the
box" than writing.) AZquotes has now published more than 40 poems
and epigrams. Brief Poems publishes 15 poems, including translations of
Sappho, Basho and Ono no Komachi. Better Than Starbucks publishes five
original poems and five translations, including a translation of Adi Wolfson's
environmental poem "Bureaucracy." Blue Unicorn publishes "Styx"
Possible Argument for Mercy" is accepted for publication by First Things.
2019: Better Than Starbucks publishes "Salat Days" and three Native
American translations. Bewildering Stories publishes five poems,
including Holocaust poetry translations of Paul Celan's "Death Fugue" and "O,
Little Root." Poem Today publishes three haiku translations. Six poems
are translated into Hungarian by István Bagi and published by Versforditas
(Hungary). "If You Come to San Miguel" is published by Muddy River Poetry
Review. "Excerpts from the Journal of Dorian Gray" is published by Dusk
& Shiver Magazine. PoemSeeker.com publishes 32 poems. Engpoetry.com
publishes 25 poems. Oxford University called The HyperTexts "dynamic
and challenging" with a "different approach" to poetry, on its ARCH resource
page for the Arts & Humanities.
"How Can We End Ethnic Cleansing Forever?" is studied by a class taught by
Michael Seeger. More than a
hundred Burch poems have gone viral at this point. YouTube videos by Lillian Y.
Wong of "Ali's Song," "Something" and "Survivors" have several thousand views
2020: Including poems that have gone viral, Burch now has over 5,000
publications and begins calling himself "one of the world's most-published
complete unknowns." Burch is asked to join the board of the international
literary pulication Borderless Journal and accepts.
2021: Burch has the first five poems in the first issue of New Lyre.
2022: Including poems that have gone viral, Burch now has over 5,000
publications. Burch now has 41 poems set to music by 23 composers, poems
translated into 15 languages, and has been quoted or otherwise cited in 404
scholarly articles on Academia.edu.
Notes for Archivists, Anthologists, Biographers and Scholars:
When I count publications, I do NOT include poems that I have published myself
via The HyperTexts, or poems that I have posted on websites like
AllPoetry, HelloPoetry, PoemHunter, PoetrySoup, Quora, and WritersCafe. If I
counted those publications, I would have substantially higher numbers, but I
only count publications made by others. Why did I self-publish with the sites I
just mentioned? First, my goal as a writer was always to be read, and I make no
apologies for that. These large websites attract large numbers of readers and I
believe that, because my poetry is much better than that of the "average bear,"
I had a distinct edge and was smart enough to take
advantage of it. If the literary elitists disapprove, so what? I would much
rather be read than have the approval of uppity snots. Second, because I knew I
wouldn't be around forever and wouldn't have control over THT when I was gone.
Replicating my poems on multiple websites was a way of "backing up" my poems and
creating redundant copies of them. I make no apologies for giving my poems the
best chance to survive me and to be read in the future.
When I am no longer alive, I intend for my writings to be put in the public
domain for noncommercial purposes. If there are profits, royalties should go to
my estate and heirs. But if people like my work enough to share it, and aren't
profiting financially, let them share away.
If you are a biographer, it may interest you to know that I was incredibly
ambitious as a poet in my early teens. I didn't just want to be a poet, I wanted
to be a poet future readers would remember, the way I remembered my favorite
poets. I wanted to be a great poet, a "capital p" Poet. Whether I succeeded or
not, only time can tell, only the future can say. While self-praise is a dubious
enterprise, I will say that I think some of my Sappho translations are the best
ones out there, and major poets have translated her over the centuries. I think
my Basho and Issa translations are some of the best out there, and they have
been widely translated also. Ditto for my translations of Baudelaire, Burns,
Brecht, Dunbar, Radnoti, Rilke, Tagore, and any number of Urdu poets.
If you have access to my computer files, the critical files are Submit*.wpd (the
poems in their final forms as they were submitted for publication),
WorkInProgress*.wpd (the original and revised versions of nearly all my poems),
and Poem.dbf (a database of when and where my poems were published). There are
also multiple versions of Auschwitz Rose, with the one with the most
current time stamp being the most critical.
Michael R. Burch Related Pages:
Literary Devices: Definitions and Examples,
Epigrams and Quotes,
Nature and Animal Poems,
Free Love Poems,
Poetry by Michael R. Burch,
Poems about Time and Death,
Poems about EROS and CUPID,
Poems about Icarus,
Auschwitz Rose Preview,
Did Lord Bryon inspire the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley?,
Understatement Examples from Shakespeare and Elsewhere,
Ancient Egyptian Harper's Songs
You can find Burch's analysis of his poems here: "Auschwitz Rose" Analysis,
"Will There Be Starlight" Analysis,
"Davenport Tomorrow" Analysis,
"Passionate One" Analysis,
"Self Reflection" Analysis