Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

November 24th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

It's a wide-ranging week and a full one too for poets and poetry in the news. The articles we link to come from all over the world, and cover people and places, scientific study and religion, books and films, prisoners and birds, the ancient and the current, war and peace, and so much more. No unified theory of poetry here, but a lot of compelling reading for you. In Great Regulars the holiday season is brought in, Belinda Subraman begins a new series, Linda Sue Grimes joins Garrison Keillor with seven posts, Roger Robinson calls us to write on fatherhood, and there are just so many excellent poems to be found. We begin, though, in News at Eleven, to find out what Philip Larkin really thought of his mum and dad.

Also this week, we congratulate the poets who wrote the winning poems for November's InterBoard Poetry Community. Alice Folkart's poem Certain in my Immortality - 1947 won the whole shebang for Blueline Poetry Forum. Jessica Haynes' poem String theory (Shrodinger’s coffin), workshopped at MoonTown Café, came in second. Clothespin by Sarah J. Sloat of Desert Moon Review came in third. And snagging an honorable mention for Poet's Graves is 'Appy 'Our by Stuart Ryder.

Many thanks to Majid Naficy for the time and care in selection, and the wonderful commentary he gave for the poems this month. Thanks also to you for clicking in. I'd better let you get to reading.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: "They **** you up, your mum and dad,"

wrote Philip Larkin. "They may not mean to, but they do."

He went on to say that children simply inherited their parents' faults and told his readers that they should actually avoid having children.

But unpublished letters from Larkin to his parents Sydney and Eva show that he enjoyed a closer relationship with them than he portrayed in poems such as This Be The Verse.

from Telegraph: Philip Larkin's love for mother and father shown in letters


News at Eleven: A racy new film, Schiller,

portrays the poet as a dashing, flame-haired womaniser, mixing high philosophy with simple lust, and dramatises his feverish search for recognition and success as an author.

Meanwhile, a string of biographies have revealed, among other things, that piano music and foul apples inspired [Friedrich von] Schiller to write, that a brothel visit probably triggered his first passionate scribblings ("Your glances, when they smile love, could stir marble to life"), and that the loves of his life were two aristocratic sisters to whom he penned a joint love letter.

from The Guardian: Friedrich von Schiller: the Romantic lover


News at Eleven: [T.S. Eliot's and Ezra Pound's] understanding

of each other was close because they were both poets: reading these letters, one senses that Eliot finds it hard to let himself be open with anyone who doesn't have the skill to do what he does. With a fellow poet, he can discuss what is really important to him in language he knows will be understood.

Also, while he was socially adept and keen to become more so, Eliot's intimate world remains exceptionally small.

from Telegraph: T.S. Eliot does not correspond with his letters


News at Eleven: [Kelly] Cherry, deft and witty,

considers an array of infinitely complex concepts--beauty and truth, "creation and consciousness," time and chance, pain and forgiveness, the mind-body problem and the work ethic--in beautifully distilled and perfectly metered lines. Clever, riddling and covertly intense, these are epigrammatic poems to read and read again.

from The Kansas City Star: Kelly Cherry's "Girl in a Library" and "The Retreats of Thought"


News at Eleven: Eventually [Taha Muhammad] Ali, a savvy entrepreneur,

ran a kiosk from his family home. He built a small but bustling business, with an eye turned towards his fiancee, Amira, betrothed to him since birth, "whose trickling laughter and graceful gait," [Adina] Hoffman writes, "had entered his bloodstream so profoundly that she almost seemed to be part of him . . ."

Amira's presence, along with the gentle Galilee, softened the rough contours of Ali's early life.

from Electronic Intifada: A Palestinian century in a poet's life


News at Eleven: The road to exile for many Kurdish writers

convicted of disseminating terrorist propaganda because of the lyrics to a song or poem they wrote or recited passed through Diyarbakır Prison, now infamous for the torture inflicted upon its inmates. Following their time there, they were forced by varying circumstances to flee the country. Among them are writers, politicians, intellectuals and artists, names such as Kemal Burkay, Yılmaz Çamlıbel, Günay Aslan, Şükrü Gülmüş, Vildan Tanrı Kulu, Garip Dost and Şivan Perver--and most of them are still waiting for the right time to return to their country.

from Today's Zaman: Democratic initiative beacon of hope for exiled writers


News at Eleven: Yet "Peace" did not come to us pure

and Greek.

Aristophanes was censored down to the 1960s in England. Christian audiences find offensive the explicit sexual and political language of Aristophanes. Each time Aristophanes comes to the stage, the censor is kept busy.

In the case of the Getty presentation, the censorship and misinterpretation were minimal if not insignificant. Aristophanes attacked the merchants of weapons. We heard nothing about those merchants in the English translation.

from The Hellenic News of America: Aristophanes speaking truth to power at the Getty Villa


News at Eleven: Cock-Crows by Ted Hughes. Hughes is one

of the great bird poets. This is an orgiastic firework display of common hens calling to the dawn, as seen from the height of the hill.

The Exposed Nest by Robert Frost. The lines "We saw the risk we took in doing good,/but dared not spare to do the best we could/though harm should come of it" stay with me. It's about covering up an exposed bird's nest, but it could be about Iraq, Afghanistan . . .

from The Guardian: Simon Armitage and Tim Dee's top 10 bird poems


News at Eleven: Among the most valuable pieces

in the collection is a signed draft version of [Stanley] Kunitz's poem "My Mother's Pears," which Kunitz dedicated to the Stockmals, according to the university. The pear tree that he and his mother planted when he lived in the house remains to this day. The Stockmals would send a box of fresh pears to Kunitz and his wife each year.

from Cape Cod Times: Keeping alive the P'town home of poet Kunitz


News at Eleven: Walking through the simple abode,

you can almost hear [Robert] Burn's mother, Agnes, gently singing one traditional Scots song after another to her eldest boy, and her cousin, Betty Davidson, holding Burns spellbound with tales of ghosts and witches.

Next on your list must be Kirk Alloway and its graveyard. Burns loved this old church--already in ruins in his time--so much he buried his father in its grounds, and it is the inspiration for his most famous poem, Tam o'Shanter.

from Malaysia Star: His legacy burns on


News at Eleven (Back Page): The critics concerned themselves with

things like repetitions and contrasts of themes and meanings. The poets, however, paid attention to repetitions and contrasts of vowels and consonants, rhythmic patterns, and all kinds of features of the sound of the poems. To be sure, there was a certain amount of overlap, but nevertheless, the poets and the critics were reading poems quite differently.

Now, it turns out, they may have been using different systems in their brains.

from Psychology Today: Poets vs. Critics: Different Brain Systems


Great Regulars: It's the holiday season, ready or not,

and books do make great gifts when thought is given to making the right choice. In difficult economic times, spending $40 or more on a coffee-table book feels like an extravagance to many shoppers. Cheaper alternatives abound, however. Here's a list of books worth giving, all of high quality and none more than $30:

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Holiday gift guide: Books under $30


Great Regulars: You might want to save this poem

to read at your Thanksgiving dinner. It worked for me.

[by W.S. Merwin]


from Fleda Brown: Traverse City Record-Eagle: On Poetry: A Thanksgiving blessing


Great Regulars: The BFI, who commissioned the work,

weren't consulted and so naturally aren't thrilled: 'While the BFI applauds and welcomes recent work to improve the tunnels leading from Waterloo to the IMAX cinema, we are disappointed that the poem originally commissioned for the space has been erased. It was a much loved piece of inspiring poetry which helped to transform the space and we would very much like to see the poem reinstated by Network Rail who are responsible for that area.'

from Olivia Cole: The Spectator: Lost poem in the Lost City


Great Regulars: In the nightmare? I walked along the edge

of a cliff, last in line behind father, mother and brother, until I declared that I wanted to be the leader. Soon after taking up this position, I turned back to find them all gone; then, I looked down to a bus zooming along the highway at the base of the cliff, my mother's arm waving goodbye out the window. It's a remarkable little sexist fable, crystallizing all that I had absorbed about a girl's proper place. [--Susan Holbrook]

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: Susan Holbrook: POETSMART™


Great Regulars: She is asking her lover if

it is really true that he would miss her if she died.

But she dramatizes this simple notion by asking her questions in such vivid manner. She wonders, "would the sun for thee more coldly shine/Because of grave-damps falling round my head?" She may be echoing her lover's words, but she enhances them by placing them in question form.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Barrett Browning's Sonnet 23


They were also quite adept with the women who partied with them; they "knew beautifully how to give to women." They knew how to be warm and inviting, to offer "the tropics, of our love." They also knew when "to persist" and also when to slow down.

They "knew white speech," and they also became very proficient at bringing about the outcomes they desired just by a skilled look.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Brooks' Gay Chaps at the Bar


The speaker shifts from the possibilities of the man's past to what he is now observing: the speaker sees the man at a "yard sale" on a rather cool morning, but the man is wearing a "tight black T-shirt," and he has his sleeves "rolled up to show us who he was."

The speaker assumes that the man is still quite proud of his dagger-through-heart tattoo, because he has it displayed so prominently even on "this chilly morning."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Kooser's Tattoo


Unfortunately, Putt accidently killed the man while in commission of the robbery. This unintended felony then got Putt "tried and hanged." And he says, "That was my way of going into bankruptcy." He thinks he is quite clever in comparing his crimes to what he assumes to be crimes of others that he only vaguely understands.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Masters' Hod Putt


She then says that that man is her husband. She accuses him of horrifying cruelty: he "robbed me of my youth and my beauty." This robbery continued for a lifetime; she died "wrinkled and with yellow teeth." He broke her pride and caused her to feel "shameful humility."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Ollie and Fletcher McGee


The speaker creates an extended metaphor likening her scrutiny of "the book of myths" to diving down to a shipwreck. She compares herself to the divers who plunge deep below the Atlantic to gather information about the Titanic. The speaker, therefore, has made a judgment about that "book of myths"; it is like a giant ocean liner that hit an iceberg and sank into the sea, and now this brave speaker will determine the cause and possibly salvage whatever she can from the "wreck."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Rich's Diving into the Wreck


In the sixth stanza, the devotee sweetly reminds the Lord of the many little notices he takes of the Divine presence in the physical world: he feels Him in the breeze, he senses the love of the Divine in the warmth of the sun, he sees the Lord's face in "colorful scenery," and he sees God dancing "in the waves." He knows that God is dancing over his own thoughts as the Blessèd One eternally continues, "To listen to my soul song."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Yogananda's Listen to my Soul Song


Great Regulars: Ah, fall. The season of spookiness,

of football, and of leaf-peeping is about to give way to the interminable holidays, but readers of young adult books can hold onto autumn a little longer. The ever-growing genre continues to turn out interesting books, and this season gives us tons of new titles to be excited about: nonfiction on surprising topics, and novels nuanced enough to appeal to readers of any age. Here are just a few.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Young-adult nonfiction and novels


Great Regulars: T.J. Stiles' biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt,

"The First Tycoon," was the nonfiction winner. Keith Waldrop's "Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy" won for poetry. The young people's literature award went to Phillip Hoose's "Claudette Colvin," based on the true story of an early civil rights heroine, who was shaken with emotion as she joined Hoose on the stage.

from Hillel Italie: Associated Press: Colum McCann novel wins national award for fiction


Great Regulars: My spiritual director, Joan, asked me:

"What if the solution to all of your problems is spiritual? You've been in therapy for 15 years, you've done self-examination, you've read all this philosophy. What if by spiritual practice, [your depression] can be solved, not just incrementally but completely?"

So I decided, maybe I'm just going to give this a whole–hearted try. Joan taught me a centering prayer.

from Mary Karr: Time: Mary Karr on Becoming Catholic


Great Regulars: Diagnosis

by Sharon Olds

By the time I was six months old, she knew something

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Diagnosis by Sharon Olds


Farley, Iowa
by Christopher Wiseman

The farm is gone. The Comer farm is gone.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Farley, Iowa by Christopher Wiseman


Head Cheerleader
by Jack Ridl

At halftime, she finds

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Head Cheerleader by Jack Ridl


My Love For All Things Warm and Breathing
by William Kloefkorn

I have seldom loved more than one thing at a time,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: My Love For All Things Warm and Breathing by William Kloefkorn


by Wendell Berry

Though he was ill and in pain,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: XI. by Wendell Berry


What the Dark-Eyed Angel Knows
by Eleanor Lerman

A man is begging on his knees in the subway. Six-thirty

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: What the Dark-Eyed Angel Knows by Eleanor Lerman


Where They Were and What They Were Doing
by Matt Cook

I was looking through Milwaukee newspapers

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Where They Were and What They Were Doing by Matt Cook


Great Regulars: Lots of contemporary poems are anecdotal,

a brief narration of some event, and what can make them rise above anecdote is when they manage to convey significance, often as the poem closes. Here is an example of one like that, by Marie Sheppard Williams, who lives in Minneapolis.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 243


Great Regulars: There is a precariousness about haikus.

They are such delicate things, and getting them right is an art. It is all too easy to wobble.

But Van Rompuy's nature poems, even the bad ones, are much better than those about politics.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Politics needs poetry--so hooray for Herman Van Rompuy


Great Regulars: Why is it only now that we discover

that the rescue party consists of three men too? Are they doomed to vanish as well, in a series of inexplicable disasters? Worse, in this uncanny atmosphere, can we really believe in their confident distinction between the living and the dead? Doesn't the "endless while" suggest not only a psychological state of profound shock but also a spiritual reality?

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: An Extract from ‘Flannan Isle' by Wilfrid Gibson


Great Regulars: It seems to combine elements both from

that safe-as-houses mediaeval form, the sestina, and from the intricate pantoum: its accumulative structure also suggests folk-tales such as The House That Jack Built. The invented form is solidly put together, with its dense packing of repeated lines and end-words. But, as the poem literally builds itself, adding an extra line stanza by stanza, it lures the reader constantly to the invisible and illusory.

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Books blog: Poem of the week: Reconstruction by Zoë Skoulding


Great Regulars: Original poetry and music from around

the world this time featuring Jim Clark, Dee Sunshine, Tom Bradley, Tree Riesener, David Seddon, City of Statues, Linda Benninghoff, Swapan Basu, Shanti Perez and Casey Mensing.

from Belinda Subraman Presents: GAS Original Poetry and Music Variety Show


Great Regulars: Writing about Freud, who believed

"not only that our ephemeral nature has to be accepted, but that it is a guarantee of human meaning," she [Eva Hoffman] cites his meeting with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, "who experienced a terror of mortality and who disconsolately felt that the transience of all things human meant that, ultimately, they had no value; they didn't count."

from David L. Ulin: Los Angeles Times: 'Time' by Eva Hoffman


Great Regulars: At Rest

We lie here silent in the dark,

from Frank Wilson: Books, Inq.---The Epilogue: A poem . . .


Great Regulars: Still Morning

from The Shadow of Sirius, by W.S. Merwin

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Still Morning


Great Regulars: Sometimes in poetry it's good

to focus on a specific relevant moment and then explore what lesson you learnt from that moment that you carry with you all your life. Finding greater significance in small seemingly insignificant moments is always a good route to a poem.

So now we've looked at the poems here are a few stimulus questions to help you create your own poems about fatherhood.

Choose a simple task that the father in your poem does and examine its wider significance to you now

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Roger Robinson's workshop


Great Regulars: The Big Sleep

by Philip Schultz

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Big Sleep


by Sarah Arvio

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Wood


Great Regulars: [by Andrew Michael Roberts]

i am only half myself.

from The Oregonian: Poetry: What I Know of the Moon


Great Regulars: [Keith] Waldrop also teaches at Brown

University and has served as co-editor of Burning Deck Press with his wife, poet Rosmarie Waldrop, since 1968. The two poems he reads below are from "Transcendental Studies."

Soft Hail

)))) Listen

Afterward, to tell how it was possible to

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poems: Keith Waldrop, 2009 National Book Award Winner


Great Regulars: [by John J. Witherspoon]

my tree's habit

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: My Tree's Habit


Great Regulars: [Tony] Hoagland begins this small collection

with what might seem a proper conclusion: "so we were turned into Americans / to learn something about loneliness," critiquing and mourning the cataclysm of American complacency. His poems are concerned with America's history, the way that we are drowning and yet still refuse to reform--to "take it personal" as he calls for in one poem.

from Powells: Review-A-Day: The Poet as Magellan


Great Regulars: By Sara Hall

He feeds you beautiful words,

from San Antonio Express-News: Poetry: 'hopeless addiction'


Great Regulars: "Funeral"

By Rosanna Warren

from Slate: "Funeral" --By Rosanna Warren


Great Regulars: Eelworks

A new poem by Seamus Heaney

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Eelworks


Great Regulars: I'm in the habit of keeping a small 3x5

notebook with me, and while we were walking on one recent visit, I wrote down the opening sentence of what became this poem. The rest of the poem came about quickly, as a fairly straight report of that visit and my attempt to think along with it while my kids and I wandered the halls. We were there on a day they were cleaning out one of the rooms near the main lobby. It was summer, and there was watermelon.

from The Washington Post: Poet's Choice: 'Watermelon in the Afternoon' by John Gallaher


Poetic Obituaries: [Carl M. Block] then worked as

the head mechanic for Amoco Oil Co. in Commerce City, CO. On Aug. 24, 1974 he was united in marriage to Judith Alexander at Longmont. Carl was a member of VFW and American Legion. He was a man of many talents from poetry to art.

from The Messenger News: Carl M. Block


Poetic Obituaries: Writer, poet, playwright and translator Kristina Brenk,

who was best known for her books for children and as the editor of the legendary children's book series "Cebelica" (Honey Bee), died in Ljubljana on Friday aged 98.

from Slovenian Press Agency: Children's Writer Kristina Brenk Dies


Poetic Obituaries: [Bessie L. Cheney] was a member of

Kiantone Congregational Church, where she served as Sunday school superintendent and president of the Ladies Aide. At the church, Bessie was known for her cheerful outlook and spur of the moment poetry.

from The Post-Journal: Bessie L. Cheney


Poetic Obituaries: In the early 1960s [Jeff] Clyne also

played in the jazz-and-poetry group New Departures, containing the poets Michael Horovitz and Pete Brown, the tenor saxophonist Bobby Wellins and the pianist-composer Stan Tracey. From this came Tracey's own quartet, which in 1965 recorded his suite, Under Milk Wood.

from Telegraph: Jeff Clyne


Poetic Obituaries: People on Hornby described [Tempest Grace] Gale

as an energetic young woman who moved to the island at age 13 and was well known through her teens for her creativity and spirit. In recent years, she had emerged as a talented artist tackling everything from sculpture to performance, most notably spoken poetry and music.

Gale travelled around the island on a unicycle, recited poetry from stilts and adopted a punk-inspired Gothic look.

from The Victoria Times Colonist: Police investigate death of young Hornby Island musician


Poetic Obituaries: After he [Kenneth Andrew Gram] graduated in 2005

from Carlsbad High School, he studied literature and creative writing, and graduated this year from the University of California, Santa Cruz, they said. He wrote poetry and was a published poet.

He had spent the past couple of months traveling.

"Ken loved his friends in Maryland," the family said in the e-mail, later adding, "Ken's humor, creativity, and quirky spirit will be missed by all of us."

from The Baltimore Sun: Former Edgewater resident found slain


Poetic Obituaries: Gary [C. Gray] demonstrated his love

to his wife in many ways such as writing poetry "Jeanie My Garage Door Opener" and bringing her home crazy daisies for special occasions. He was a wonderful provider retiring from General Motors as a tool and die maker after 41 years.

from Mansfield News Journal: Gary C. Gray


Poetic Obituaries: [William J. "Bill" Green] was very active

in the church, reading his Bible and teaching salvation to those he met. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother who enjoyed hunting, fishing, writing poetry and painting.

from Morning Sun: William J. "Bill" Green


Poetic Obituaries: After the surgery, [Yale] Huffman wrote a poem

to [Dr. Michael] Sarche and often took his doctors out to lunch on the anniversary of the operation.

Huffman loved poetry classics and memorized long portions of poems, said his daughter, Martha Jane Kreager Cline of Carlisle, Pa.

He often wrote poems to family members on birthdays and anniversaries.

from The Denver Post: Yale Huffman, well-known Denver attorney, dies at 93


Poetic Obituaries: [Dell Hymes'] most important books include

"In Vain I Tried to Tell You: Essays in Native American Ethnopoetics" and "Foundations in Sociolinguistics: An Ethnographic Approach."

Dr. Hymes considered becoming a poet like his college friend Snyder, but he pursued a different path, either because of his greater fascination with anthropology or perhaps because he feared he had insufficient talent, his son Robert said. Dr. Hymes never lost his love for the art form, however, and continued writing throughout his life.

from The Washington Post: Linguistics, anthropology scholar


Poetic Obituaries: [Daul] Kim, who was known in fashion circles

for being feisty and sensitive, wrote about the high and lows of her hectic life on the international modelling world, her feelings and her life off the catwalk in her blog at http://iliketoforkmyself.blogspot.com/.

Some posts were stream of consciousness jottings, others resembled a young girl's attempts at poetry.

from Telegraph: Daul Kim: model 'had become fed up with work'


Poetic Obituaries: Bill [Murray] enjoyed many outdoor

activities with his family and friends, including hiking, skiing and rafting. He was also an avid traveler who visited numerous destinations throughout the world. He loved both reading and writing poetry and dedicated many hours to the craft.

from Concord Monitor: William J. Murray


Poetic Obituaries: [Arnold D. Roberts] traveled to Asia,

Africa, Canada and Mexico to draw and photograph people, then returned home to paint. His ardent love for music inspired him to occasionally write poetry to accompany his paintings.

from The Daily Times: Arnold D. Roberts


Poetic Obituaries: Mehdi Sahabi, as well as a being a great

translator and sculptor painted and wrote poems too. He worked for 8 years at the Keyhan newspaper and later continued his commentating on Payyam Emruz, writing a column called 'An Outsider's Look'.

from Payvand Iran News: Mehdi Sahabi (1943-2009): A Translator and an Artist


Poetic Obituaries: An internationally-acclaimed Sanskrit scholar,

Prof. [Mukunda Madhava] Sharma made wide-ranging contributions to Sanskrit literature, especially in the realms of poetry and poetics, history and epigraphy. A prolific writer and an accomplished critic, he authored 43 books besides over 260 research papers and articles in Sanskrit, English, Assamese, Bengali and Hindi. During his two-year stay in Indonesia from 1983 to 1985 as Visiting Professor in Udayana University, Bali, he mastered Bahasa and wrote a book in that language.

from The Assam Tribune: Mukunda Madhava Sharma passes away