Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31st Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

August 31st forum announcment

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

This week, we kick off our News at Eleven section with "An Ode to the Countryside". The National Trust, a non-governmental charity in England, which protects and opens "to the public over 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments," is looking for the "the best poem about the British countryside." Following this is a link to Ruth Padel's look at Fiona Sampson's Rough Music, followed by two looks at Seamus Heaney's Human Chain. Other names to drop, just for starters, are Roger McGough, W.S. Merwin, Katharine Towers, and Natasha Trethewey.

Thanks are due again to our summer IBPC judge Ruth Ellen Kocher. Her results for August are in. Congratulations to the poets and the poetry boards that sent in the winning poems:

1st Place: The Catch, written by C.J. Costello, from the poetry board The Poets' Graves
2nd Place: A Quieting, written by Michael Harty, from Wild Poetry Forum
3rd Place: Natural Selections, written by Michelle Beth Cronk, from Poetry Circle

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: But whatever the motivation,

this aspiration for green fields and the village has deep roots: for centuries our countryside and its life have been venerated, not to say idealised, and it is in poetry that this has principally taken place. By the end of the 19th century "nature poetry" was a major theme in English literature, and it is from this tradition that the National Trust is seeking to find the nation's favourite poem about the British landscape. Their shortlist of 10, some of which we print here, is indeed pretty short, but you can find more than 100 more such poems in their anthology, Ode To The Countryside and vote for one of those if you wish.

from The Independent: What is the best poem about the British countryside?
then National Trust: An Ode to the Countryside


News at Eleven: But no past is safe from poetry,

and the stakes behind Rough Music are high. Is the persona presented by a poem a mocking effigy, a mask? Music has power to hurt as well as to soothe. "I brought her home/I bring them all home/the bruised, the crushed,/defaced, deflowered/Fruits of love/from the black river."

The "roughness" under the poems' silken surface is the underworld: rape, loss, danger in hidden depths.

from The Guardian: Rough Music by Fiona Sampson


News at Eleven: Elsewhere, he recalls the painter Derek Hill,

at a last meal with the Heaneys, saying that: "He could bear no longer to watch/The sun going down/And asking please to be put/With his back to the window". And a starkly haunting poem in memory of singer and racounteur David Hammond finds in his friend's death "a not unwelcoming/Emptiness, as in a midnight hangar/On an overgrown airfield in late summer".

That's a lovely, if essentially desolating, image and there are others just as fine, though in general the lyrical wattage is lower here than in early Heaney or even than in such later volumes as Electric Light or The Spirit Level.

from Irish Independent: Review: Human Chain by Seamus Heaney
then The Herald: Seamus Heaney: Human Chain (Faber, £12.99)


News at Eleven: My best job, though, was at a technical college

in Liverpool--the Mabel Fletcher--where I taught catering French.

My degree opened me up to this wonderful course where the students were chefs. I knew what un chinois was and why it was called that, but I didn't know what it was used for--sifting flour, it's in the shape of a Chinaman's hat.

Florentine they knew meant something made with spinach but I was able to tell them it was because when Henri II of France married Catherine de Médicis, a princess from Italy, she came from Florence and introduced spinach into the cuisine. That was all fascinating.

from The Connexion: Roger McGough: my love of languages


News at Eleven: "I said something about the conservancy

to [Librarian of Congress] professor [James] Billington and he said, 'Well, I hope you won't make this political.' I said, 'James, every position is political. But I'm certainly not going to use the position to blow my own horn.'"

Billington, who selects the poet laureate, says Merwin is making some of his most universal work right now, adding, "His environmental concerns are very powerful, but they grow out of an even deeper sensibility about human beings and their relation to life and the rest of nature itself."

from Los Angeles Times: W.S. Merwin is green as U.S. poet laureate
then Idaho Mountain Express: Poet W.S. Merwin takes nature seriously
then Los Angeles Times: A W.S. Merwin timeline


News at Eleven: [by Katharine Towers]

In the Oak Woods

I waited to hear

from The Guardian: Extract: The Floating Man by Katharine Towers


News at Eleven: [Natasha Trethewey's] new book, "Beyond Katrina:

A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," is an attempt to stand up for her home state, an effort to preserve the memories of the land in the face of mighty destructive forces, including forces that masquerade as rebuilding.

As low-income housing is bulldozed and casinos rush in to fill the void, the land that she knew continued to disappear even faster, she writes. Trethewey quotes a fellow Gulfport resident who said, "The devastation of the storm will not surpass the devastation brought on by the recovery."

For her own sake, and for her hometown, she wanted to put up a literary marker. "My intent is to create some kind of monument, not a static monument but a living monument."

from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Mississippi poet Natasha Trethewey writes of Katrina's broad impact


News at Eleven: "Raystown River Trout" is the antithesis

of a fly-fishing-as-spiritual-practice poem: after the thrill of reeling in a fish downstream from a leaking mine, the speaker finds

". . . just this prism
flash gone gray and my sick wish
not to have caught it; I wished I'd cut
the line before the glitter got away."

from New West: "God, Seed" Celebrates Nature and Laments Environmental Degradation


News at Eleven: Carved by Edward Onslow Ford,

the life-size, white marble sculpture of the naked, drowned poet [Percy Bysshe Shelley] is supported on a bronze plinth resting on the shoulders of two winged lions and the muse of poetry. It is as if the poet's lifeless form had washed up on shore in Italy and been transported to an academic cloister in the heart of England. He lies on his side on a patch of sand--his eyes closed, his mouth half open, his long hair replicating the effect of cascading water.

The sculpture is the embodiment of youthful loss and wasted possibility.

from Aiken Standard: Poet memorialized by the college that expelled him


News at Eleven: And among the countless writers

who have ridiculed Wordsworth in his simplistic mode, Catherine Maria Fanshawe (who was one of the earliest) stands out by virtue of her ability to make you see why the poet should have written in this way:

There is a river clear and fair
'Tis neither broad nor narrow;
It winds a little here and there--
It winds about like any hare;
And then it holds as straight a course
As, on the turnpike road, a horse,
Or through the air an arrow.

That ought to be utterly plodding. But it is curiously soothing as well, even idyllic, like a homely but serene Dutch landscape. And somehow all the more idyllic for being comic.

from The Wall Street Journal: Book Excerpt: 'The Oxford Book of Parodies'
then The Times Literary Supplement: Parody, the vile art


News at Eleven (Back Page): Poetry rained from the skies

on Saturday night in Berlin as 100,000 bookmarks printed with poems by 80 poets from Germany and Chile were dropped on the city from a helicopter.

Lasting for half an hour, the initiative was intended as a protest against war and a message of peace, as well as a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the independence of Chile.

from The Guardian: Berlin 'bombed' with poetry


Great Regulars: I am, at these moments, in a state of bliss,

at least a tenth of the way to being a cowboy.

This turns to ecstasy when one of the cowboys says I am a 'natural'. I glow and mutter into Dwight's ear, "Hear that, you ornery bastard?" He nods, but then he nods all the time as all horses do when they are walking.

I check my politics. Yes, I am drifting detectably to the right. There is something definitely conservative if not downright Republican about being on a horse in Montana.

But nothing, surely, is as Republican as a gun in your hand.

from Bryan Appleyard: via The Sunday Times: The Magnificent One


Great Regulars: What we've seen is that the way that the world responded

to the other disasters you mentioned, such as the tsunami and the earthquake in Haiti, hasn't been replicated here. We know that the United Nations said that if you work out all the money pledged to the victims of the Haiti eathquake, if you work it out per person, it amounts to about $450 per Haitian. But if you work out the amount of money pledged to Pakistan, it works out to about $3 per person. There is a distinct lack of trust when it comes to the government in Pakistan.

from Fatima Bhutto: Uprising Radio: Fatima Bhutto Criticizes Pakistan Govt and US in Flood Relief Efforts (click "this segment")


Great Regulars: [Mark Conway's] work has appeared

in The Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Gettysburg Review, Bomb, The Walrus and elsewhere. Conway directs the Literary Arts Institute at the College of Saint Benedict.

Here's a poem from Conway's new collection:

Tarot Card of the Dreaming Man, Face Down

from Marianne Combs: Minnesota Public Radio: State of the Arts: Minnesota Poetry: Mark Conway's "Tarot Card of the Dreaming Man, Face Down"


Great Regulars: CarolAnn says: This perfect little poem

comes from 'The Losing Game', RV Bailey's new pamphlet in memory of her partner of 44 years, the poet UA Fanthorpe. (Mariscat Press.) Like the other 11 poems therein, this one somehow salvages consolation from deep sadness.

from Carol Ann Duffy: The Daily Mirror: Poetry Corner


Here, the summer season of 'soft fruits' can also be read as a period of happiness as a wife and mother which is now over.

The woman's 'children' are now birds who plunder the fruit.

from Carol Ann Duffy: The Daily Mirror: Poetry Corner


Great Regulars: Award-winning author and CanLit Champ

Jean Baird, George [Bowering]'s wife and right-hand dame, made it all possible; thus, without further blabboo, we at "In Other Words" proudly present "The ABCs of the NHL," one of our national treasure's/living legend's first publication of poetry ever for you to view, too:

The ABCs of the NHL

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: World-Exclusive: George Bowering's poetic debut


And, finally, in the interests of full-disclosure, the good Lard and bum Leg willing, come hell or high howling, yours truly will unveil the first set of chapbooks (upon which I am now working), published by a new imprint under the umbrella of Cranberry Tree Press, "Judith Fitzgerald Presents." The first Series, we report with understandable enthusiasm and gratitude, will feature cover art-work by Leonard Cohen, including the one you see at the top of this page, "Burning Bush."

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: Muse Flashes from Points Elsewhere


Great Regulars: Now the speaker will have to be content

to "muse" on the "memory" of the island and the pleasurable summer days she has just concluded there.

Then again, as is expected in a well-crafted, traditional villanelle, the speaker's mind returns to the melancholic prompt; this time she repeats, "The ferry is no simple pleasure boat."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Linda Pastan's Leaving the Island


Great Regulars: And in every story, she [Robin Black] creates

wonderful little images, sees symbols, double meanings, poetry everywhere. A woman in "Tableau Vivant" picks off her nail polish and the small piles of it are like "fancy-dress pencil shavings." Clara, of "Immortalizing," has several such moments: "A streetlight comes on. Clara waits to see how long it will take another to join it. A minute passes, two minutes. Nothing. They must have different levels of sensitivity, she thinks. They must believe different things about what darkness is."

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Stories sparkling with poetic vision


Great Regulars: Breakfast at the Road Runner Cafe

by William Notter

CAFE still burning in neon after sunup,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Breakfast at the Road Runner Cafe by William Notter


by James Wright

She's gone. She was my love, my moon or more.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Complaint by James Wright


Excerpt from Paradise Lost
by John Milton

(Eve speaks to Adam)

With thee conversing I forget all time,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Excerpt from Paradise Lost by John Milton


I Ride Greyhound
by Ellie Shoenfeld

because it's like being

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: I Ride Greyhound by Ellie Shoenfeld


Island Cities
by John Updike

You see them from airplanes, nameless green islands

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Island Cities by John Updike


The Nose on Your Face
by Susan Browne

In all your life, you will never see your actual face.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Nose on Your Face by Susan Browne


This Night Only
by Kenneth Rexroth

[Eric Satie: GYMNOPÉDIE #1]

Moonlight now on Malibu

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: This Night Only by Kenneth Rexroth


Great Regulars: [Frank Kermode] was one of the last exemplars

of an ideal that dates back at least to Matthew Arnold: the ideal of the literary critic as the humanist par excellence. What gave the critic his special authority was the way that he thought and wrote at the intersection--of the classics and the contemporary world, of literature and society, of the academy and the common reader. As Kermode recognized, few professors of English aspire to that kind of role anymore: "This is an age of theory, and theory is both difficult and usually not related to anything that meets the wider interest I speak of."

from Adam Kirsch: Slate: The Literary Critic as Humanist: Frank Kermode, 1919-2010, exemplified an ideal that is dying.
then Frank Kermode: Telegraph: A memory for poetry


Great Regulars: I've read dozens of poems written about

the events of September 11, 2001, but this one by Tony Gloeggler of New York City is the only one I've seen that addresses the good fortune of a survivor.

Five Years Later

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 283


Great Regulars: [by E. Ethelbert Miller]

When did we begin to wear sneakers to funerals

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-notes: So This Is What the Living Do


Great Regulars: We might also infer that,

where Church and state attempt to control women's bodies, rebellious leaps and shouts may be fun but are also more significant politically than they may first appear.

"Pier" is reproduced here by kind permission of the author and Gallery Press. Enjoy--but if you're inspired to jump into the sea from a height, please do it with due care.

Pier by Vona Groarke

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Books blog: Poem of the week: Pier by Vona Groarke


(New to) Great Regulars: [by Pat Tompkins]

At the Marsh

a lone egret stabs

from The Christian Science Monitor: At the Marsh--A poem


[by Lois Silverstein]


somewhere another woman is cooking pears

from The Christian Science Monitor: Pears--A poem


[by Patricia A. McGoldrick]

Territorial Preserve

Grackles are sounding worried--

from The Christian Science Monitor: Territorial Preserve


[by Jean Chapman Snow]

That's the Way the Wind Blows

I hadn't planned to do my wash today

from The Christian Science Monitor: That's the Way the Wind Blows


[by Fonda Bell Miller]

To Do List for Saturday

Do laundry

from The Christian Science Monitor: To Do List for Saturday


[by Katelyn Sack]

'Where did I put the night?'

I could have sworn I left it by my shoes, neatly lined up by the door

from The Christian Science Monitor: 'Where did I put the night?'


Great Regulars: [by Lee Carlson]

whatever life brings

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase: 'Free Fall'


Great Regulars: I Like the Wind

by Robert Wrigley

from The New Yorker: Poetry: "I Like the Wind"


Western Conifer Seed Bug
by Cleopatra Mathis

from The New Yorker: Poetry: "Western Conifer Seed Bug"


Great Regulars: [by Andrew Michael Roberts]

My mother, the incredible shrinking woman.

from The Oregonian: Poetry: 'The Legacy'


Great Regulars: By Natasha Trethewey

)))) Listen

--After Katrina, 2005

At first, there was nothing to do but watch.

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'Watcher'


Great Regulars: [by Jim Noucas]


Coming home at the break of dawn,

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Portsmouth


Great Regulars: Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been

shows [Chase] Twichell to be an ever-dark, deep, sonorous, serious, and changing voice. For example the ecologically mindful poems from The Ghost of Eden (1995) speak directly to the reader in a manner reminiscent of Denise Levertov's poems of environmental concern such as "The Stricken Children." (In fact, the word "stricken" appears a number of times in the selections from The Ghost of Eden.) In one poem Twichell writes:

from Powells: Review-A-Day: An Elegiac Ouvre


[Stephen Burt's] latest collection of essays and reviews, Close Calls with Nonsense, will introduce more readers to several lesser known poets, such as Laura Kasischke, Liz Waldner, Juan Felipe Herrera, New Zealand's James K. Baxter, D. A. Powell, Allen Peterson, Terence Hayes, Donald Revell, August Kleinzahler, and H. L. Hix. Burt also critiques several poets whose work he sees as partly coming from John Berryman (Mary Jo Bang, Mark Levine, Susan Wheeler, Kevin Young, and Lucie Brock-Broido).

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Reading New Poetry: Close Calls with Nonsense


Great Regulars: By Sheila F. Sanchez Hatch

Silver chain link fences

from San Antonio Express-News: Poetry: 'West Side Glory'


Great Regulars: "Through a Glass Darkly"

By Traci Brimhall

from Slate: "Through a Glass Darkly"--By Traci Brimhall


Poetic Obituaries: During those years, she [Roberta Dorr] researched

her published historical novels, which she wrote after moving to Maryville. Titles include "David and Bathsheba," "Solomon's Song" and Queen of Sheba."

In the mission field, Dorr taught school to children in the Gaza area, and worked in the mission. A strong Christian, Dorr would rise at 4 a.m. to pray and read religious works. She often shared her faith with her family in poems she wrote.

from The Daily Times: Writer, missionary Roberta Dorr dead at 88


Poetic Obituaries: Upon graduating, Kim [Edgecomb] began work at

Upon graduating, Kim [Edgecomb] began work at St. James Mercy Hospital, then worked in the secretarial field for several years before starting her own business, Kimberlee Kreations & Singing Telegrams. Following her retirement, she became a published freelance writer. Kimberlee enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, singing, playing the piano and sharing her gift of poetry.

from Hornell Evening Tribune: Kimberlee K. Edgecomb


Poetic Obituaries: Outspoken about politics, he [Ahmad Faraz] went

into self-imposed exile during Zia-ul-Haq's era after he was arrested for reciting certain poems at a mushaira criticizing the military rule.

He stayed for in Britain, Canada and Europe for six years before returning to Pakistan, where he was initially appointed Chairman Academy of Letters and later, Chairperson of the Islamabad based National Book Foundation for several years. He has been awarded with numerous national and international awards.

He was awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2004 in recognition of his literary achievements. He returned the award in 2006 after becoming disenchanted with the government and its policies.

from SAMAA: Ahmad Faraz's 2nd death anniversary today


Poetic Obituaries: The authorities closed his [Rodolfo Fogwill's] bank accounts

and arrested him for "economic subversion". Thrown into jail, he could not pay his debts, and so eventually was tried for fraud.

When he came out, he wrote a story, Muchacha Punk (Punk Girl), which won a prize and led him to dedicate himself to literature. He founded his own publishing company, Tierra Baldía (Waste Land), where he published his poetry and stories, as well as that of young Argentine poets such as Osvaldo Lamborghini and Néstor Perlongher, and then began to write his own novels.

from The Guardian: Rodolfo Fogwill obituary


Poetic Obitaries: Arab poets have always enjoyed a lofty status.

However, in London in March 2002, [Ghazi al-]Gosaibi wrote a poem called You Are the Martyrs, an ode to a Palestinian teenager, Ayat Akhras, who had blown herself up weeks earlier in a Jerusalem supermarket, killing two Israelis and injuring 28 others. The poem, which praised Akhras as the "bride of the heavens" who "stands up to the criminal" and "kisses death with a smile" outraged Israeli and much western opinion. The poem lambasted "a White House whose heart is filled with darkness". Gosaibi was promptly recalled as ambassador. Some thought that he had written the poem with just this in mind, to be able to return to Saudi Arabia and continue his reforms.

from The Guardian: Ghazi al-Gosaibi obituary


Poetic Obituaries: [Carol] Kline said her nephew [Army Staff Sgt. James R. Ide V]'s

Christian faith was a large part of his life and that he often made reference to the Bible in conversations. Ide also enjoyed writing poetry and riding motorcycles and was endlessly curious about the world, Kline said.

from St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Soldier from Festus killed in Afghanistan


Poetic Obituaries: Yesterday, family and friends filled

Gargus Catering and Banquet Center for a memorial service in honor of [Brent] Kandra. It was standing room-only crowd as those who knew and loved Kandra paid their respects. Filing past a childhood photo of Kandra embracing two dogs, mourners left cards and had the opportunity to read through a grade-school poem book authored by Kandra in 1997 on his favorite topic--animals.

from The Morning Journal: Service honors man killed by bear


Poetic Obituaries: [Edgar H. Koch] was awarded a

Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Masters in Creative Writing-Poetry Concentration. While serving as a United Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1996-1998, he restarted his poetic life. He wrote and had published an original book of poems titled First Silence. When his Peace Corps commitment ended in August 1998, he retired to Two Rivers, having traveled full circle. There he continued to celebrate life and share his experiences by way of person and pen.

from Herald Times Reporter: Edgar H. Koch


Poetic Obituaries: Eleanor [M. Kotchou] had artistic talents,

which she expressed in paintings, sketches, and poetry. She loved working crossword puzzles and crocheting dozens of beautiful afghans for her loved ones.

from Mansfield News Journal: Eleanor M. Kotchou


Poetic Obituaries: [Tracey Ann Krupinski] enjoyed hanging out with

her "girls," playing with her cat Draven, writing poetry, listening to music and spending time with her family.

Her life was colorful; her will to live incredible, her impact on many powerful.

from Pocono Record: Tracey Ann Krupinski


Poetic Obituaries: Alec [Loverink] was gifted with a beautiful voice

and performed in plays and musicals. She loved the arts, music, movies and her poetry.

from Austin Daily Herald: Aleczandra Ray Loverink, 20


Poetic Obituaries: Like Edwin Morgan's work and life,

the national poet's funeral--held yesterday in the Bute Hall at the university where he studied and worked--contained humour and solemnity, wisdom and wit, and a myriad voices and sounds, from jazz and Burns to The Beatles and experimental Russian poetry.

In the hour-long service, friends and colleagues of Morgan, who died last week aged 90, read several of the Makar's poems, while saxophonist Tommy Smith improvised a jazz lament to Morgan's poem Wolf.

from Herald Scotland: Morgan's funeral marked in music and verse


Poetic Obituaries: [Dr. Eugene "Gene" Norman] loved gardening,

and kept a large square foot garden in his yard for many years. He wrote poetry and enjoyed calligraphy. Gene was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which he enjoyed very much. He was very interested in his American Indian Heritage, which led him to explore many facets of The First Nations.

from Green Bay Press Gazette: Norman, Dr. Eugene "Gene"


Poetic Obituaries: Enjoying her retirement she [Donna J. Sartor] created

the Sartor Christmas Village which she constructed. Donna was known best for the crafts she created. Painting, sewing and embroidering are just a few. Many of which she had entered in local county fairs to only receive blue ribbons. She wrote poetry for family, enjoyed her yard and baking.

from Port Clinton News Herald: Donna J. Sartor


Poetic Obituaries: "She was in very high spirits and looking forward

to her first visit to that part of the world," said [Irina] Krogan [of Irina Shekhets]. "Irina had it all. She was smart and talented. She wrote beautiful poetry. She also loved he outdoors and athletics. She hoped to run in the Philadelphia marathon in November."

from NY Daily News: Brooklyn Law School graduate Irina Shekhets dies in Nepal plane crash on her 30th birthday


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24th Poetic Ticker Clicking

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Blog Entry Tape: