Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February 27th Poetic ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

February 27th forum announcement

Please note that the below announcement was written and posted at 20-something poety forums last night. Blogger kept signing me out, and only tonight can I post again. And I still had six posts to put up, including the time-sensitive link to the article on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 200th birthday.)


Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags

Blogger is down for my account, so leave the Poetry & Poets in Rags blog link be for a while. It is not in this announcement post. Go with the usual one above at the IBPC site. I will speak of my experience with Google's Blogger below.

This is our biggest issue ever.

It is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 200th birthday! In his day, he was bigger than any writer alive today, certainly any American writer. His impact on culture was huge. We are remiss, forgetful, and misunderstand him, if he and his works are not on our syllabi.

Also in News at Eleven, note the article on Maurya Simon. She is confirmed as our IBPC judge for July-August-September this year. She was our first contact at UC Riverside, and brought us our terrific judge from last year, Judy Kronenfeld, also from that college. Maurya herself was referred to us by Robert Pinsky. And we are currently in communication with another poet and teacher there, the esteemed Chris Buckley. New names, new friends. These are great people and fabulous poets.

We have two additions to Great Regulars this week. First, The American Muslim has been publishing very good poetry that has made News at Eleven, so they're in.

For our second addition to Great Regulars: PBS is bringing a series of articles written by Jeffrey Brown as he travels in the Middle East. It's called "Voices of Conflict." Here is how it is billed: "A series of reports from Jeffrey Brown, who travels to the Middle East to provide insight into the lives of Israeli and Palestinian poets by the NewsHour." We have the first four installments.

Back to the blog, and how Blogger is both incapable of not going down frequently, but also has seriously blundered in their decisions for writers. Blogger may never solve the problem that is keeping me from posting, or may take days like they did last time. As I have with one of my blogs, I may need to switch Poetry & Poets in Rags over WordPress.

Since becoming owned by Google, Blogger has become a recklessly arrogant company. They have no compuction with revealing pen names of writers. In fact, they have decided to do it. That is the prerogative of the writer: only. This could get one of us hurt, harassed, or killed. And it does not matter whether we are in Eritrea or the USA, does it? There are plenty of killers to go around.

Blogger Support has received numerous e-mails from me outlining their blunder, and they choose to do nothing about it. I don't like them now. Those who are making decisions are not nice people. It has been clearly explained to them. However, in the outside chance that it is a matter of the staff being incapable of addressing issues or understanding them, they are dangerously incompetent. Or maybe just viciously remiss.

Decisions were made at the programming level. Instead of protecting bloggers, they've decided to put us at risk. Probably most, maybe all, other blog companies would not do this. I know that WordPress asks the blog owner which name posts should be attributed to. Why would they do otherwise? The WordPress people are real people, as I am sure other blog companies are too.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags


IBPC Newswire


News at Eleven: But for its time, the poem

was remarkably sensitive, portraying the Indians with dignity as humans rather than simply as savages. The lament for the warring tribes still has power in today’s tumultuous world.

I have given you lands to hunt in,
I have given you streams to fish in,
I have given you bears and bison,
I have given you roe and reindeer,
I have given you brant and beaver,
Filled the marshes full of wild-fowl,
Filled the rivers full of fishes;
Why then are you not contented?
Why then will you hunt each other?

from MSNBC: Happy 200th birthday, Longfellow


News at Eleven: Already an academic

and an internationally-published poet when she came to Australian from Romania in 1996, Ioana Petrescu swiftly joined the Friendly Street Poets and began writing poems about place "as a way of getting acquainted with my new home".

from The Advertiser: Well versed


News at Eleven: Suddenly people got greedy once

the money was released. What a surprise.

The Windy City worthies on the review's foundation board hired a Wall Street wheeler-dealer and amateur poet named John Barr to lead them into this promised land of poesy where starving poets would be a thing of the past.

from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Frontlines of poetry war nasty


News at Eleven: Not content with imprisoning

the authors, the Pentagon has refused to declassify many of their words, arguing that poetry "presents a special risk" to national security because of its "content and format".

from The Guardian: 'Inside the wire'


News at Eleven: Abramek Koplowics, a blond-haired,

blue-eyed boy, was killed in an Auschwitz gas chamber in 1943 at the age of 14.

Sixty-four years later, [Eliezer] Grynfeld, 83, found an unlikely place to publish "Private Creations," his younger stepbrother's poetry collection: an Israeli Web site written in Farsi aimed at convincing the people of Iran of the Holocaust's historical truth.

from Newsday: History's witness


News at Eleven: In an elegy for his teacher,

the philosopher Henryk Elzenberg, [Zbigniew] Herbert writes that "Your severe gentleness delicate strength/Taught me to weather the world like a thinking stone." And in a poem called "Pebble," he writes: "The pebble/is a perfect creature [ . . . ] its ardor and coldness/are just and full of dignity."

from Los Angeles Times: 'Collected Poems' by Zbigniew Herbert


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

News at Eleven: Why do you pay so much attention

to the dead masters? And why are you so obsessed with technique? Don't be offended, but sometimes I find you much too hermetic. And your rhyme patterns: they are so obvious, so childish.

from The Guardian: Stepping stones


News at Eleven: [Maurya] Simon told [Eliane] Aberdam

she had written the libretto for Tamar for her own composer father, who refused to set it to music--he found the odd phrase lengths awkward.

But Aberdam, whose works have been premiered in Hungary, France, Israel and throughout the United States, was up for the challenge.

from The Providence Journal: URI professor teams with Pulitzer-nominated poet in opera


News at Eleven: I have also invited five musicians

from different musical backgrounds--Natalie Merchant, Alexander Balanescu, Antony Hegarty, of Antony and the Johnsons (and his arranger Nico Muhly), Mira Calix and Gavin Friday--to set a sonnet of their choice.

Merchant had already chosen sonnet 73 before I started, but interestingly, without my imposing any constraint on choice for the other composers, there were no clashes.

from The Guardian: The perfect form


News at Eleven: For readers who enjoy verbal

detective work, such as performed above with "Filigrane," [John] Ashbery's poetry is truly interactive, even more so than reading always is.

The downside is that reading words linked purposely to undermine their own meanings, to not make conventional sense, can be monotonous and exhausting, even if one is fascinated and impressed with the process.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Words of whimsy from a true original


News at Eleven (Back Page): Hanging from the front

of the table, glittery glass letters spelled out "P-O-E-T."

Then [Amy] Allin, 39, sat and waited for the curious who jogged, bicycled or simply walked along the path 30 feet away.

from The Seattle Times: Bringing poetry to the people


(New to) Great Regulars: "Plonter" or "Tangle" is a kind of

'reality' play that explores both sides of the violent and painful struggle between the Israelis and Palestinians, to let each really see the 'other.'

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poetry of the Middle East: Encountering the "Echoes and Layers" of the Middle East


(New to) Great Regulars: We're here to talk with Taha Muhammed Ali,

a self-described "half shopkeeper, half poet." I've been aware of the "poet" Muhammed Ali for about a year, through a translation of his work titled, "So What." First, we meet the "shopkeeper."

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poetry of the Middle East: In Nazareth, With Taha Muhammed Ali, "Half Shopkeeper, Half Poet"


(New to) Great Regulars: [Samih al]-Qasim himself is considered

one of the most important Palestinian poets and a leading figure in Arabic literature worldwide. He is worldly, refined, mannered but not at all cold.

He directs our time with him and the hospitality flows.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poetry of the Middle East: Samih al-Qasim, in Rama: "Today, a Book Is Answered by a Gun"


(New to) Great Regulars: Apparently, a group of young "thugs"

had come by the cafe today to demand that it remain closed during the mourning period. They threatened more violence. On our arrival, a well-armed fellow guards the door and our young poets are understandably frightened.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poetry of the Middle East: Mixed Moments from a Day


Great Regulars: At times, his [Daljit Nagra's] language makes

thematic statements: nouns, for example, regularly edge out conventional verbs (a young girl yearns "To Aeroflot the savage miles/in a moment", a "bent-neck/man . . . trays us with milky sweets") in a manoeuvre that acknowledges the sway of materialism in wealthy, capitalist Britain, where possessions are worth more than actions.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: A flighty mix-up country


Great Regulars: From the island of Vulcano, "fretted

with lava-juts, leaching saffron and orange", to the coastline "where cliff and sand are blanched from the pumice workings", he [Andrew Waterman] eschews picture-postcard prettiness for scenes of volatile, elemental beauty.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Volatile beauty


Great Regulars: When Shakespeare writes in his sonnets:

When my love swears that she is made of truth I do believe her, though I know she lies we can either read it literally, or as meaning: "When my love swears that she is truly a virgin, I do believe her, even though I know she has sexual intercourse."

from Terry Eagleton: The Times: How to Read a Poem: Part Five: Ambiguity


Great Regulars: There is a sleight of hand

at work here. Poets are the con-artists of language. They make us believe for a bewitching moment that only this set of words could possibly stand for this set of things--if this were actually true, language would come grinding to a halt.

from Terry Eagleton: The Times: How to Read a Poem: Part Six: Imagery


Great Regulars: [Craig Raine] does not understand

that Eliot's poetry is not a question of meaning in the first place. The meaning of a poem for Eliot was a fairly trifling matter. It was, he once remarked, like the piece of meat which the burglar throws to the guard dog to keep him occupied.

from Terry Eagleton: Prospect Magazine: Raine's sterile thunder


Great Regulars: What happened after Auden's death

in 1973 was very interesting: a gradual process by which all kinds of Auden poems found their way into public consciousness. The old rows we used to have were forgotten. Auden's new readers came at him with a less prejudiced eye.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Poet of the century


Great Regulars: The speaker's claim is that courage

is demonstrated by ordinary events in life, and her first example is a child taking its first step. The speaker thinks "the child's first step" is "as awesome as an earthquake."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Anne Sexton’s 'Courage'


Great Regulars: Here the speaker extends

the metaphor begun in the third stanza that the bird is not just aimlessly wandering but is being infallibly guided by that Power, and even though this bird is alone, while such birds usually form v-shapes with other birds as they traverse the heavens, he is "not lost."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Bryant's 'To a Waterfowl'


Great Regulars: These samples of images

from contemporary poems belie [Robert] Bly's claim.

Perhaps, Bly's idiosyncratic definition follows from the unmeritorious assertion that our poetry is without the image. The image as defined by Bly cannot be found in any poetry, because no such image can exist.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Imagism vs Picturism


Great Regulars: Instead of exaggerating the beloved's

physical features by comparing them to the sun, coral, snow, roses, perfumes, goddesses, the speaker in the Shakespeare sonnet 130 declares that he can proclaim his love for her while maintaining her humanness.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 130


Great Regulars: [Jackie] Kay asks us if

we ever called back a lost word, like calling back the sea — and of course the sea will not come because it answers only to the pull of the Moon. The idea of the word is cast out on to the image of the ocean and into the vast space that the ocean occupies, and is lost.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Lost and gone for ever


Great Regulars: Poem: "Snow-Flakes"

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 26, 2007


Great Regulars: Here the Maine poet, Wesley McNair,

offers us a vivid description of a man who has lived beyond himself. I'd guess you won't easily forget this sad old man in his apron with his tray of cheese.

The One I Think of Now

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 100


Great Regulars: [W.H. Auden] included in his poetry

every sort of thing that attracted his eye, every sort of word or speech he heard or read. He devised a tone, a feeling of wry, informed and doom-ridden attentiveness, as seen here:

The Fall of Rome

(for Cyril Connolly)

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice


Great Regulars: The raison d'etre of poetry,

as of other forms of literature, is ending this dictatorship. 'It is man's only recourse against both meaningless noise and silence. That is why poetry which is the perfection of speech--language speaking to itself --is the invitation to enjoy the whole of life'.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Sham Lal--A Himalayan journalist


(New to) Great Regulars: Moses Addresses God

by Charles Upton

from The American Muslim: Poetry: Moses Addresses God


(New to) Great Regulars: Preparation For Salat

by Mustafa Paul Bergner

from The American Muslim: Poetry: Preparation For Salat


(New to) Great Regulars: Something to Do With A Man Named Joseph

by Mustafa Paul Bergner

from The American Muslim: Something to Do With A Man Named Joseph


Great Regulars: The end of writing is to instruct;

the end of poetry is to instruct by pleasing.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Neither tragedy nor comedy --Samuel Johnson


Great Regulars: Ten ways of Looking at PB Shelley

by Hugo Claus

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Ten ways of Looking at PB Shelley by Hugo Claus


Great Regulars: 'Cold Time Testament'

By Suzanne Rhodenbaugh

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Cold Time Testament'


Great Regulars: Imperious Child

By Katie Lashbrook

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase


Great Regulars: Man and Camel

[by Mark Strand]

from The Oregonian: Poetry


Great Regulars: The poet W.H. Auden was born

a century ago, on Feb. 21, 1907. His characteristic blend of the formal and the demotic is fully on display in the following poem.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Atlantis


Great Regulars: Sometimes we can weave

our daily lives into a cocoon of security so tight it can deaden rather than protect, as evoked by this faintly ominous poem by Irish poet Tom Duddy, from a recent booklet published by Scottish pamphlet press HappenStance.

The Delivery Man
by Tom Duddy

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week


Great Regulars: "November Symphony"

--after O V de L Milosz
By Steve Kronen

from Slate: "November Symphony" By Steve Kronen


Great Regulars: For forty years, from 1961

until his death in 2001, the magazine was edited by Alan Ross, who had served in the Royal Navy from 1942-47, and whose poems on naval conflict are the most substantial group to have come out of the Second World War. Ross’s strong links with the TLS included his officiating as umpire at the paper’s annual cricket match. "Destroyers in the Arctic" was first published in 1952.

Destroyers in the Arctic

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week


Great Regulars: My stories, which were short

Grew fast . . . and have lost their charm of innocence
I bereave for a time that has since passed
And today there is no more time for reading . . .

The actual number of words in Arabic is less than half of the words above (with every effort made to make the translation as concise as possible). Yet, the choice of words is so expressive.

from Yemen Times: Literary Corner: Dead, but still he is in good health


Poetic Obituaries: P. Bhaskaran, one of Kerala's finest

lyricists, a poet of immense calibre and a President's Medal-winning filmmaker, died here on Sunday. He was 83.

One of the few in Malayalam to combine literary and directorial skills, his contributions to both aspects of filmmaking have been equally outstanding.

from The Hindu: Lyricist-filmmaker P. Bhaskaran dead


Poetic Obituaries: Mr. Bones has been given his own

personal space, along with the curious clues held in the belongings he died with. Discovered by a pipeline crew, his effects include a book of classic literature and another on poetry.

from Toronto Sun: Mystery of Mr. Bones


Poetic Obituaries: Jeremy Brazzel's mother said

he was a jokester and that he loved life, football and poetry. That's how she hopes people will remember him.

And in the wake of a tragedy early Sunday morning, Jeremy's mother, Sondra Hightower, his family and an entire community are mourning the loss of three of its youth.

from The Huntsville Item: Three Huntsville residents killed in Montgomery County


Poetic Obituaries: India's press registrar Amitabha Chakrabarti,

who also served state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan in a series of important assignments and spent his free time dabbling in poetry and music, has died of a massive heart attack, the family said Sunday.

from India eNews: Press registrar Amitabha Chakrabarti dead


Poetic Obituaries: As editor of "The Ladder"

from 1963-66, [Barbara] Gittings transformed the publication into a cutting-edge magazine.

With [Kay Tobin] Lahusen's help, she added "A Lesbian Review" to the title and featured prominent lesbians on the cover.

from PrideSource: Gay pioneer Barbara Gittings dies, 75


Poetic Obituaries: In a condolence statement given Friday,

the Prime Minister said late [Mohan] Koirala who reached modern Nepali poetry to a highest position by devoting for a long time, was known as a distinguished and avante garde poet in the field of modern Nepali poetry and had worked actively in the historical revolution of 1950 from the front in Biratnagar.

from The Rising Nepal: PM expresses grief


Poetic Obituaries: [Sham Lal] earned great journalistic

reputation with his column, "Life and Letters." In this column, he discussed and dissected modern thinkers, poets, playwrights and novelists. In 2001, a collection of these columns was published under the title "A Hundred Encounters."

from The Hindu: Veteran journalist Sham Lal dead


Poetic Obituaries: [Robert Ndabezinhle] Mele will be remembered

for his acting on the popular ZBC TV drama, Kukhula Kokuphela, in which he played the role of a stammering sidekick of corrupt company boss, Silandulo (Felix Moyo).

from Actor Robert 'Donga' Mele dies


Poetic Obituaries: Sharma Pathak has to his credit

four very valuable works on literary criticism both in English and Assamese. These are Assam's Men of Letters (Vol-I & II), Natun Kabiloi Mukali Chithi, Sahitya Bithika and Sahitya Ballari. He has about 18 anthologies of his self-composed poems. The most popular among them are Basundhara, Basanta Sena and Priyambada.

from The Assam Tribune: JN Sharma Pathak passes away


Poetic Obituaries: A poem [Nicole] Schiffman wrote

as a high school senior about the Iraq war, which was read by her father, took on awful new meaning at her funeral.

The poem, titled "Simple Word," began: "Innocent lives to be lost, Love destroyed in only minutes, Fear entering everyone's lives, Children hearing the unimaginable. Having to bury the one they raised."

from Newsday: Final farewell to slain friends