Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 27th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

January 27th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags



This morning, as I was compiling this column, I was going back and forth about what should be our headliner. Many excellent articles have come out on Robert Burns, this past Sunday being his 250th birthday, celebrated in fine fashion worldwide. And yet Elizabeth Alexander's inauguration poem was getting more and more reviews and critiques. I was leaning toward the poem. What's bigger than the biggest poem ever, in terms of immediate audience followed by such intensity of coverage? Then the sad news came that John Updike died. In my searches, this story at least equals the intensity of coverage that took place last week after the inauguration. That's amazing. That makes this easily the biggest week for poetry news since Poetry & Poets in Rags began.

You will find stories about John Updike, Elizabeth Alexander's poem or the inauguration, and Robert Burns, throughout News at Eleven and Great Regulars. Also, in News at Eleven and Great Regulars are some remarkable poems, and other articles, important items that can be overshadowed in a week such as this, so please surf through.

Thanks for clicking in.

Yours,
Rus

Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

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IBPC Home

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News at Eleven: John Updike, the kaleidoscopically gifted writer

whose quartet of Rabbit Angstrom novels highlighted so vast and protean a body of fiction, verse, essays and criticism as to place him in the first rank of among American men of letters, died on Tuesday. He was 76 and lived in Beverly Farms, Mass.

from The New York Times: John Updike, a Lyrical Writer of the Ordinary, Is Dead at 76
also The Boston Globe: Acclaimed writer John Updike dies at 76
also Telegraph: John Updike: a life in quotes
also NPR: Updike's 'This I Believe' Essay
also Scientific American: The Dance of the Solids

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News at Eleven: This is, of course, Americana;

most of us can find ourselves somewhere in those words.

Early on, the poem acts as a quiet metaphor for the coming of Barack Obama. "All about us is noise," [Elizabeth] Alexander writes seemingly as a set-up. This is followed by several scenarios about the daily struggle: "Someone is stitching a hem," "A farmer considers the changing sky," "A teacher says 'Take out your pencils. Begin.'" and the best one of all--"Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice."

from EbonyJet: Praise Song: The Morning After
also Yale Daily News: Inaugural poem garners praise
also The Weekly Standard: A Distinctly American Poem
also Home-Schooled By a Cackling Jackal: I planned to stay quiet on the inaugural poem and . . .
also Comedy Central: The Colbert Report: Elizabeth Alexander

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News at Eleven: A torchlit procession led by a giant

illuminated sculpture of Tam O'Shanter marched from Robert Burns' birthplace in Alloway to the auld Brig O'Doon on Saturday night (24th January) as part of the celebrations for the poet's 250th anniversary.

Having watched scenes of the poet's birth through the windows of the old cottage, the procession, led by pipers and drummers, paused under a series of arches en route which lit up as the procession arrived.

from Scotland on TV: Robert Burns: Burns fireworks light up old Brig O'Doon
also Scotland on TV: Robert Burns
also Scotland on TV: Burns Supper
also Scotland on TV: Homecoming 2009

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News at Eleven: 1. Sorley Maclean, Hallaig

This is a dark, difficult painful poem, appropriately enough since it is about the Clearances in the Highlands.

. . . I will go down to Hallaig,
to the sabbath of the dead,

from The Times: The Top 10 'other' Scottish Poems

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News at Eleven: [by Pascale Petit]

Self-Portrait with Fire Ants

To visit you Father, I wear a mask of fire ants.

from OhmyNews International: Pascale Petit: A Poet With a Mission: An alchemist of the question and the answer

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News at Eleven: [by Dr. Rowan Williams,

Archbishop of Canterbury]

One by one, the marks join up:
easing their way through the broken soil,

from The Guardian: Arabic Class in the Refugee Camp

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News at Eleven: Poetry is the richest history we have

of our inner life. But the history of the present is still being written, and the excitement of the new can be bewildering: every poem about using a microwave starts to look sexier than Shakespeare's sonnets. Eliot's "sense of fulfilment" is less easily had. Ezra Pound, his severer friend, used to lament that "the thought of what America would be like if the classics had a wide circulation troubles my sleep".

from Telegraph: The meaning of modern poetry

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News at Eleven: But despite these antagonisms and differences,

academia is vital to poetry. The very traditions and canons that many poets draw on for inspiration and legitimacy were formed by university syllabuses and scholarly editions; the rescue of forgotten figures, and the gradual downgrading of once major poets, combine to alter the contemporary landscape as well as that of the past. And graduate readers still make up an influential segment of the audience for literary work.

from The Guardian: Books Blog: Why poetry needs a professor
also The Guardian: Oxford hunts for new professor of poetry

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News at Eleven: Past efforts to draw in co-sponsors

for an event so deeply affiliated with Dodge were unsuccessful, he said: "People think we have plenty of money. But if other New Jersey institutions wanted to join us, we would welcome that."

That makes sense, too. Drew University is already partnering with the foundation to digitize the old tapes of poets reading their work at the festival.

We hope that when the economy rebounds others will step up, including corporations and individuals in the private sector, to support what has surely become a state treasure.

from The Star-Ledger: Losing Dodge Poetry Festival is a loss for words

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News at Eleven: What lies behind the continuing popularity

of Robert Burns? Why do people in far-flung countries celebrate his birthday each year with set-piece Burns suppers, culminating in solemn toasts to the Immortal Memory? No other poet – with the exception of Shakespeare – appears to generate such long-lived, heartfelt affection; no other poet’s words are sung by vast crowds in a thousand distant cities each New Year when Auld Lang Syne is given voice. Burns is simply universal.

from Telegraph: The Bard: a Biography by Robert Crawford--review

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News at Eleven (Back Page): I polled Scottish foodie friends

who told me a) I just didn't get it (but then I was English so I wasn't meant to) b) what was all this once a year nonsense? And c) if an Englishman ever wrote about it he'd get lynched.

from The Guardian: The haggis challenge
also The Guardian: How to make your own haggis (21 pictures)
also The Guardian: Burns is alive and kicking, 250 years after his birth
also The Guardian: Robert Burns

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Great Regulars: Contemporary art has the useful ability

to claim both spirituality and secularity. It's new, it's not religious, but it's not shopping--well, it is for Saatchi, but you get my meaning. The new art boom in Arab countries is said to be clear evidence of a new secularisation that may help to loosen the grip not just of the shoppers but also of the theocrats and the jihadists. It's a lot to ask of art, but on the other hand, the art may just be a symptom of wider social change.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Sunday Times: Islam stripped bare

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Great Regulars: Fast-moving, conversational, acerbic,

heavily influenced by the New York poets of the 50s, [Robert] Rehder's writing darts across the page in restless couplets weaving the anecdotal and the aphoristic with self-parodying immediacy--"I like movies where guys triumph/Against the odds.//And I'll probably be watching one/When I die."

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: Please sir, send me a Nobel Prize

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Great Regulars: These are, necessarily, poems of deep

introspection, in which manic episodes, escape attempts and the baffling helplessness of incarceration are examined with agonised honesty.

The risk with a collection such as this [by Sarah Wardle] is that the subject matter will smother the verse.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Poetry borne out of stress

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The pithiness, click of rhyme and smoothly insistent rhythm show why [Wendy] Cope is, as the cover has it, "one of Britain's best-loved poets". This is likeable verse: witty, memorable, immediately relevant.

For all that, it's difficult to see why, exactly, Faber has chosen this moment to produce Cope's Selected.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Two Cures for Love: Selected Poems

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Great Regulars: [Mark] Doty's best work makes us highly

aware of bodies in space, dignifies what Andrei Codrescu once roughly called the "wind-borne meat comet" with all its gestural mystery, whether it is the figure of a homeless man or the dying body of a lover.

"I swear sometimes/when I put my head to his chest/I can hear the virus humming/like a refrigerator," Doty writes in "Atlantis," a long poem that manages to be about the specter of AIDS without assuming a reader's pity.

from John Freeman: Poet Mark Doty makes the familiar exotic in 'Fire to Fire,' his collection that won the National Book Award

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Great Regulars: The speaker asserts that Pop thinks his

grandson is just a "green young man/Who fails to consider the/Flim and flam of the world."

Pop advises his grandson that his sheltered existence is responsible for the young man’s ignorance of the "flim-flam" world. The speaker just stares at the old man, who seems to exhibit a facial tick, with his eyes darting off "in different directions/And his slow, unwelcome twitches."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Obama's "Pop"

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The speaker then produces once more a reason that the young man should marry, "So that eternal love in love’s fresh case/Weighs not the dust and injury of age." Also, by producing heirs who will continue the beauty and love of the two generations, the young father abolishes the curse of father time’s imposition of "necessary wrinkles."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 108

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He demands that she not visit his resting place but instead merely "let the wind sweep" in place of her skirts swishing around his grave. And because she would not cry for him, he demands she not appear but let the "plover cry." He welcomes a crying bird and imagines its plaint more appropriate than the "foolish tears" of his faithless former love.

Thus, he demands that she "go by."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Tennyson's "Come Not, When I am Dead"

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The human individual is capable of speaking "loud and clear" and "with meaning new." While all other divinely-inspired, natural creatures may partially express the spirit of the Supreme Intelligence, the human individual may "fully declare/Of One that’s everywhere."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Yogananda's "One That's Everywhere"

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Great Regulars: The 21st century is regarded as a century of

information revolution. And yet some countries of the world, which includes China, impose restrictions on the free flow of information. Such actions are anachronistic and hence there is no way that these can be sustained in the long run. Therefore, I believe that China too will soon become more liberal in terms of disseminating and sharing information.

Last year, many Chinese intellectuals came out with a number of articles and other campaign activities, calling for freedom, democracy, justice, equality and human rights in China. Particularly in a recent development, we saw an increasing number of people from all walks of life signing up to an important document called the Charter '08. This is indicative of the fact that the Chinese people, including the intellectuals, are beginning to demonstrate their deep yearnings for more openness and freedom in their country.

from Tenzin Gyatso: The Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama: H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama's Message to the Chinese People

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Great Regulars: There's been grumbling in the po-biz division

of the lit world about Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural poem, "Praise Song for the Day." Part of it stems from the dreaded "instant analysis" nature created by the demands of the media.

David Ulin of the Los Angeles Times, for example, was expressing his unhappiness less than 24 hours after hearing it while the bloggers were busily pounding away at the keyboard before the applause died and Alexander sat down.

from Bob Hoover: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Inaugural images drown poem

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[John Updike's] fiction first appeared in the New Yorker magazine in the 1950s after he dropped plans to be a painter and became a full-time writer. He also wrote prolifically about novels, writers and art in numerous essays collected in a half dozen books as well as three autobiographical works. He started his career as a poet, releasing nine poetry collections.

from Bob Hoover: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Novelist John Updike dies at 76

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Great Regulars: Many of [John] Updike's reviews and short stories

were published in The New Yorker, often edited by White's stepson, Roger Angell.

By the end of the 1950s, Updike had published a story collection, a book of poetry and his first novel, "The Poorhouse Fair," soon followed by the first of the Rabbit books, "Rabbit, Run." Praise came so early and so often that New York Times critic Arthur Mizener worried that Updike's "natural talent" was exposing him "from an early age to a great deal of head-turning praise."

Updike learned to write about everyday life by, in part, living it. In 1957, he left New York, with its "cultural hassle" and melting pot of "agents and wisenheimers," and settled with his first wife and four kids in Ipswich, Mass, a "rather out-of-the-way town" about 30 miles north of Boston.

from Hillel Italie: KTAR: John Updike, prize-winning writer, dead at age 76

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Poetry nominees were August Kleinzahler's "Sleeping It Off in Rapid City," Juan Felipe Herrera's "Half the World in Light," Devin Johnston's "Sources," Pierre Martory's "The Landscapist" and Brenda Shaughnessy's "Human Dark with Sugar."

For criticism, finalists included Richard Brody's "Everything Is Cinema," Vivian Gornick's "The Men in My Life," Joel L. Kraemer's "Maimonides," Reginald Shepherd's "Orpheus in the Bronx" and Seth Lerer's "Children's Literature."

from Hillel Italie: Associated Press: Marilynne Robinson finalist for critics award

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Following the world's most awaited oration--President Barack Obama's inaugural speech--poet Elizabeth Alexander echoed the new leader's tribute to daily labor, his call for responsibility and his reminder of the sacrifices that made his election possible.

"Say it plain: that many have died for this day," Alexander, 46, said Tuesday during her brief reading, in which she also spoke out to the world about "love that casts a widening pool of light, love with no need to pre-empt grievance."

from Hillel Italie: Associated Press: Poet offers `praise song' for Inauguration Day

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Great Regulars: This winter I heard Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney

recite to a packed crowd an early poem that's among his most celebrated. "Digging" starts off tracing the poet's break from his sod-cutting father in Northern Ireland. The pen he holds as a gun in the opening lines suggests Heaney is a kind of stickup man at first, taking aim at his father for doing undignified work, which Heaney must "look down" on. And though digging makes "a clean rasping sound," the old man is a comic, almost feminized figure, "his straining rump among the flowerbeds."

Digging

from Mary Karr: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

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Great Regulars: The Crocodile

by Lewis Carroll

How doth the little crocodile

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Crocodile by Lewis Carroll

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Fishing
by Kate Scott

Sam was a galunky kind of guy,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Fishing by Kate Scott

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On the Assembly Line
by Virgil Suarez

Cousin Irene worked in the cold of a warehouse

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: On the Assembly Line by Virgil Suarez

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Personals
by Robert Phillips

I'm honest, discreet, and no way a lech.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Personals by Robert Phillips

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A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns

Oh my luve is like a red, red rose,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns

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Snow
by Debra Nystrom

--for Brad

Fifteen below and wind at sixty,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Snow by Debra Nystrom

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Snowfall In The Afternoon
by Robert Bly

I
The grass is half-covered with snow.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Snowfall In The Afternoon by Robert Bly

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Great Regulars: Over the next days, [Allen] Ginsberg personally

bathed the man in the Ganges; tended to his ear, which was infested with maggots; fed him, took him to a doctor, showed him how to take penicillin. When the man started to recover, Ginsberg and Orlovsky took him to a hospital, where his family finally reclaimed him.

"Anyway, that’s my soap opera for the month," Ginsberg wrote self-deprecatingly. But there is no mistaking the genuine compassion and selflessness of his actions.

from Adam Kirsch: Nextbook: The Reader: Dear America

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Great Regulars: Here's a fine poem by Chris Forhan of Indiana,

about surviving the loss of a parent, and which celebrates the lives that survive it, that go on. I especially like the parachute floating up and away, just as the lost father has gone up and away.

What My Father Left Behind

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 200

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Great Regulars: With nightfall, aging begins, and also

a process of confusion. [Kevin] Young uses vivid comparisons to explain this mystery: strips of bark on the ground are a coded text. Darkness is like dangerous depths of water. In the last two lines is another shift, as mosquitoes bite: "Wish /them well. Wave." The poem tells us to embrace the dark.

Childhood

from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Kevin Young (1970-)

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Great Regulars: Although it is still an affirmation of

an important kind for poets in general, I consider it strange that none of these presidents called upon the U.S. poet laureate to pen their praises.

This may be because of the continuing disconnect between government and the arts, especially poetry, in this country. Whereas in many other countries, not only are poets given an equal place with presidents and prime ministers, they actually become presidents or senators themselves (e.g., Vaclev Havel in Czechoslovakia and Pablo Neruda in Chile).

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Poets face difficult task when writing for new president

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Great Regulars: Elegance, grace, style have returned

to the White House. What we are looking at are people in love and loving on the world stage. Much has been written about the marriage between Barack and Michelle Obama. I still tell everyone that I feel good every time I see them holding hands, husband and wife as true partners. But what does the Obama family reflect when it comes to the family image?

from E. Ethelbert Miller: NPR: Weekend Edition Sunday: An Image Of Obama Family

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I found [Elizabeth] Alexander doing what Obama did in his address. Alexander stands in front of us as mother and comforter. An ordinary woman in extraordinary times? This complements the humility expressed by Obama. For a moment Elizabeth Alexander is not a Yale professor she is a woman going about her daily work. She hears the music created by the people. If her words seem more prose than poetry, it's because she is saying it plain. This is a praise song in which the words of remembrance do the heavy lifting.

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-Notes: The Poem

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The Institute for Policy Studies recently launched a petition calling for 1 percent of the stimulus package to be spent on the arts. This arts stimulus initiative wouldn't just boost funding for public programs. The money could create workplace arts and reading programs, increase fellowship and scholarship support for artists, foster cultural exchange programs with other nations and support artist- and writer-in-residence programs in schools and public libraries, and more. Proponents also are calling for the establishment of a cabinet-level post for culture and the arts in the Obama administration and beyond.

from E. Ethelbert Miller: Institute for Policy Studies: Unleash the Arts: 1 percent of the Stimulus Package

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Great Regulars: What I prized most about [John] Updike,

though, was his marvellous ear for a sentence. In the stories especially, he caught the shimmer of light on the grass, for example, with uncanny skill. He could describe a twitching face, a wrinkled elderly hand, a fond gesture of affection, with shocking ease. I doubt I shall ever forget the painful stories about a family coming apart in Problems (1979); 'Separating' is one story I've read again and again through the years, with increasing admiration.

My guess is that he will long be remembered as a master of the short story, the American equivalent of Maupassant.

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: American splendor

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For poet Elizabeth Alexander, Barack Obama's inaugural speech must have felt like a hard act to follow. I'm a great admirer of Alexander's work--she has a delicate touch, and her poems cut deep. In the circumstances, I think she did a fine job. Yet it was Obama's speech that rang in the world's ear, as only the purest poetry can.

But could it truly be termed "poetry"?

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: Could Obama's speech be called poetry? Yes, it could

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Great Regulars: "I tie my Hat--I crease my Shawl" presents

those ordinary, domestic, and personal actions of the body as a dutiful surface overlaying a mystery: a time, "some way back," when life delivered an unspecified blow so severe that existence stopped.

That great loss has left a great, invisible hollow. Despite the absolute emptiness--or because of it, she says--daily actions are performed "precisely" and with "scrupulous exactness" by one who keeps on living after life actually has closed. (Dickinson's poem No. 1732 begins "My life closed twice before its close.")

from Robert Pinsky: Slate: The mystery of the unspoken in Emily Dickinson's "I tie my Hat--I crease my Shawl"

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Great Regulars: To use this ancient form was an idea

with exciting potential, but, as it turned out, the title of Elizabeth Alexander's inauguration poem was more inspired than the poem itself.

"Each day we go about our business,/walking past each other, catching each others'/eyes or not, about to speak or speaking," Alexander begins: not a riveting start. "All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din . . ." The "thorn" image is picked up later: "words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,/words to consider, reconsider". In a poem concerned with language and human encounter, brambles may not be the sharpest metaphorical image for the curse of Babel.

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Books blog: Elizabeth Alexander's praise poem was way too prosy

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The Movement of Bodies [by Sheenagh Pugh] is not a description of the painting. However, [Joseph] Wright is known to have based his Philosopher on Godfrey Kneller's portrait of Sir Isaac Newton, and the way Newton gazes at the figure to his right in the picture might just suggest the way he stares at "the young mathematician" in the poem, dreamily distracted from his rational preoccupations, suspended in that state of blind attraction and gravitational upset which is said to make the world go round.

The Movement of Bodies

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Books blog: Poem of the week: The Movement of Bodies

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Great Regulars: The answer is outside our window.

Astronomers look
for the beginning
and find there is no end.

[--Belinda Subraman in Approaching The Veil, Scientifically]

from Belinda Subraman Presents: Blue Rooms, Black Holes, White Lights

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Great Regulars: The image the sentence should bring to mind

is that of a salmon struggling against the current of the stream on its way to spawn. The point is that, so long as we live, we are surrounded, like a fish in water, by a medium of being that is pressing always against us, and that to cease struggling against that pressure means to die.

This quote, in fact, is irreducible. Like a poem, it means only what it says precisely as it says it. It cannot be translated into a platitude.

from Frank Wilson: When Falls the Coliseum: That's What He Said: Life against the current

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Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

I simply do not find this coherent. Are we meant to contrast the second and third examples, who live by "do no harm" or "take no more than you need" with those who live by "love thy neighbor" or are they all meant to be contrasted with "the love beyond" that follows? And what exactly is that love, if it isn't "love thy neighbor as thyself" (which, by the way, is only half of the admonition).

from Frank Wilson: Books, Inq.--The Epilogue: The inaugural poem (cont'd.) . . .

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Great Regulars: With precious few exceptions, all the books

on style in English are by writers quite unable to write. The subject, indeed, seems to exercise a special dreadful fascination over schoolma’ms, bucolic college professors, and other such pseudo-literates. One never hears of treatises on it by George Moore or James Branch Cabell, but the pedagogues, male and female, are at it all the time.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Literature, style and ideas --H.L. Mencken

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Great Regulars: [Charles L.] Dodgson, throughout his life,

loved children. Some theorize that it’s because he grew up entertaining his younger siblings, or because he had a stammer and was shy with adults. At Oxford, he became friends with the children of his college dean, Henry Liddell. Dodgson would tell the girls, Alice, Edith and Lorina, all sorts of stories, and sometimes the girls were characters in those tales. In 1862, Alice asked him to write one of the stories down, so he did.

from findingDulcinea: Happy Birthday: Lewis Carroll, Author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

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Great Regulars: For this workshop, I'd like you to write

an elegy. The following are a few notes which may be helpful but are certainly not binding: you should write what you like!

Formally, though, an elegy is a poem written in elegiac couplets; a line of hexameter followed by a line of pentameter. That definition, however, pays no regard to the poem's particular subject or tone: more generally, an elegy is a poem of lament (in any form), perhaps on the death of a beloved person, or on any such grievous loss.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: David Constantine's workshop

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Great Regulars: Army Cats

by Tom Sleigh

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Army Cats





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True Love
by Barry Gifford

from The New Yorker: Poetry: True Love




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Great Regulars: Writer Brian Gard participated in

Word & Hand 1and 2, and his work has appeared in Open Spaces. This sonnet is from a book manuscript that is nearly complete. Gard received a master's of arts in literature from the University of the Pacific, and he occasionally is a guest lecturer on the history and structure of the sonnet for Portland State University. President of Gard Communications, he serves on the Board of Trustees of Willamette University and is a recent past chair of the boards of Literary Arts and Oregon Business Association.

from The Oregonian: Poetry: #48

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Great Regulars: by Robert Burns

Is there for honest Poverty

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'A Man's A Man for A' That'

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Great Regulars: [by M.K. Lisi]

Through A Glass Darkly

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Through A Glass Darkly

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Great Regulars: By Valerie Gillies

Tomorrow we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, and here we have some words from his mother, touchingly imagined by Valerie Gillies in The Spring Teller (Luath, £12.99).

Ah'm gaun tae the well

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: Robert Burns's Mither at the Well Grant's Braes, East Lothian

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Great Regulars: [by Peter Cole]

The Ghazal of What Hurt

Pain froze you, for years-and fear-leaving scars.

from Zeek: Four Poems by Peter Cole

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Poetic Obituaries: Ms. [Paulette] Attie graduated UCLA

cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She was the recipient of a National Poetry Award in 1998, five ASCAPlus Awards for songwriting, from 2000 to 2004. She was the first woman performer elected into the Friars Club in 1988. Her book, The Seven Keys to Live a Masterful Life, which incorporates her life philosophy, is about to be published.

from Back Stage: Paulette Attie, Singer, Actress, and Author, Dies

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Poetic Obituaries: [Theresa Boyd] was a 1966 graduate

of West Muskingum High School and was formerly employed by The Zanesville Times Recorder and Putnam Transfer. She was a member of The Market Street Baptist Church in Zanesville and The First Baptist Church in Coshocton. She enjoyed writing poetry, singing, gospel music and church activities.

from Zanesville Times Recorder: Theresa Michelle 'Terry' Boyd, 62

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Poetic Obituaries: [Timothy Bolton] was a graduate of

Chelmsford High School with the class of 2005. Tim attended the Grace Community Church of Chelmsford, MA, and the First Baptist Church in Reading, MA. He loved animals and enjoyed music, writing poetry and camping.

from The Lowell Sun: Timothy Bolton

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Poetic Obituaries: Dave [Haddock] said: "She was extremely

eccentric and, for the last 20 years of her life, lived in her own world of poems and Gracie Fields.

"All she wanted to do was write poems. She wrote a whole life story of Gracie Fields in verse and had letters from the Queen, Charlie Chaplin, Margaret Thatcher and others thanking her for her poems."

Many of Beryl [Down]'s poems recall staff and life at Rossiter's, particularly members of the Rossiter family.

from Herald Express: Open invite to poet's funeral

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Poetic Obituaries: A man of equability, handsomeness and charm,

John [Fairfax] avoided the poetry scene, quietly producing his own work--including Adrift on the Star-brow of Taliesin (1974) and Bone Harvest Done (1980), and co-authoring with [John] Moat several guides to writing. His anthology of space poetry, Frontier of Going (1969), included Norman Nicholson and Edwin Morgan as "dreamers of the world, rhymers of moon and dune", while as editor of the Phoenix Press he gave a platform to younger poets, including his partner from the mid-1980s to the mid-90s, Sue Stewart.

from The Guardian: John Fairfax

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Poetic Obituaries: [Mick Leigh] began writing poetry as therapy

for the pressures of work, and eventually began to perform it publicly--a move that ultimately led him back to England, initially to Westbury, where he had a sister-in-law.

He wrote two poetry books for children, The Big Book of Bonza Poems, and for adults, Soul of the South.

from Wiltshire Times: Aussie poet Mick Leigh dies

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Poetic Obituaries: [Liang Yusheng's] writing career started

at Sin Wan Bao, which asked him to pen a kung fu series in 1954, capitalizing on a martial arts fever in Hong Kong sparked by a public duel between two rival fighting styles. Liang went on to write 36 novels over a three-decade career before retiring in Sydney.

Liang's work reflected his knowledge of Chinese literature and history. He often opened his novels with a poem and included characters interested in literature.

from PR-inside.com: Chinese martial arts novelist Liang dies

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Poetic Obituaries: [James McNeal] started his teaching career

as a 7th- and 8th-grade science teacher at Strawberry Mansion Junior High School. He later taught biology and chemistry at South Philadelphia High School, after which he moved on to Parkway Delta.

One of his books, "Thoughts in the Black Experience," could be found in the New York Public Library and its Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, his family said. He also wrote a manuscript, "Life in a Plain Brown Bag," and a number of poems.

from Philadelphia Daily News: James McNeal, 66, innovative teacher

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Poetic Obituaries: [William J. Pomeroy] continued to pour out

a torrent of books and articles: "Apartheid, Imperialism, and African Freedom"; "Apartheid Axis: United States and South Africa"; "American Neo-Colonialism: Its Emergence in the Philippines and Asia"; "Guerrilla Warfare and Marxism"; a volume of poetry, "Beyond Barriers"; and a collection of short stories, "Trail of Blame."

Among his most touching books, is "Sonnets for Celia," a slim volume of love poems he composed for his wife while they were in prison.

from People's Weekly World: William J. Pomeroy, Philippine freedom fighter, dies

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Poetic Obituaries: [Evelyn Thompson] had a special gift

for writing poetry for everyone, on every occasion. Her Christian faith and her family were important to her.

from Hillsboro Argus: Evelyn Thompson, 92, service Saturday

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Poetic Obituaries: [John] Updike said that his aim was

to "give the mundane its beautiful due", and he had an uncanny ability to find the right words to conjure up scene and character. His description of "the physical fact of a horse--the pungent, assaultive hugeness of the animal and the sense of a tiny spark, a gleam of skittish and limited intelligence, within its monstrous long skull"--is immediately evocative. Likewise his "clean, sad scent of linoleum", or the "hoarse olfactory shout" of a football stadium. Adam Mars Jones declared that, if he should ever go blind, tapes of Updike's novels would be his best reminder of the visual world.

from Telegraph: John Updike
also The Guardian: John Updike, chronicler of American loves and losses, dies at 76

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day Poetic Ticker Clicking

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