Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October 30th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

October 30th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags

It's Halloween tomorrow, and for the occasion we headline with a link to a book about bat poetry--as in the flying creature. But also occasional is our Back Page link, brought to us by Major League Baseball, about Jack Kerouac and his love of the game.

Could this be a coincidence? Could it be that on the 50th anniversary of the publication of On the Road, Kerouac's Red Sox played Neal Cassady's Colorado Rockies in the World Series at the baseball diamond in Denver? If you think not, then is it a coincidence that a batsman named Mike Lowell, whose last name happens to be the name of Kerouac's hometown, was named the MVP? Or that the Red Sox won on the road? Or that this was the 103rd World Series, and on page 103 of my copy of On the Road, Kerouac writes, "I was going home in October. Everybody goes home in October"--what Lowell did in Denver. Coincidence? Further on that same page:

"The bus roared through Indiana cornfields that night; the moon illuminated the ghostly gathered husks; it was almost Halloween. . . . I cut right along. I wanted to get home.

"It was the night of the Ghost of the Susquehanna."

Is it a coincidence, then, that the Susquehanna rises as the outlet of Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, the home of Baseball's Hall of Fame, where Lowell, now, will become immortalize?

Or a coincidence that Boston Red Sox fans sing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" as a victory song, diamond as in baseball diamond, Caroline being a variance of Carolyn, as in Carolyn Cassady, Neal's wife with whom Kerouac had an affair, and Neil being a variance of Neal Cassady? Is Kerouac saying that the "I" of Sal Paradise was at those games?


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog


IBPC Newswire


News at Eleven: It is astonishing how many poets

have written about them. Ogden Nash wrote: "Myself, I rather like the bat,/It's not a mouse, it's not a rat", and William Allingham: "Bat, bat, come under my hat,/And I'll give you a slice of bacon." But most of the poets here seem fascinated rather than really fond of them.

from The Times: On a Bat's Wing, edited by Michael Baron
also The Times: Extract from On a Bat's Wing, edited by Michael Baron


News at Eleven: [Walt Whitman] called the first phrenology lecture

he attended "the greatest conglomeration of pretension and absurdity it has ever been our lot to listen to. . . . We do not mean to assert that there is no truth whatsoever in phrenology, but we do say that its claims to confidence, as set forth by Mr. Fowler, are preposterous to the last degree." More than a decade later, however, that same Mr. Fowler, of the publishing house Fowler and Wells in Manhattan, became the sole distributor of the first edition of Leaves of Grass. Whitman couldn't find anyone else to publish his poems.

from Los Angeles Times: Book Excerpt: From Chapter 1 of 'Proust Was a Neuroscientist' by Jonah Lehrer


News at Eleven: If [Ted] Hughes's question was how

you use human language to minimise the humanising of nature, [John] Burnside's question is how you use human language to invent the language of the non-human. The narrator must be in some sense aware of, if not accustomed to, the rule of the tundra because he has just described it (that is, invented it in words that it doesn't speak).

from The Guardian: Masters of all they survey


News at Eleven: Apple plum, carpet steak,

seed clam, coloured wine, calm seen, cold cream, best shake, potato, potato and no no gold work with pet, a green seen is called bake and change sweet is bready, a little piece a little piece please.

from The Guardian: The odd couple


News at Eleven: "I am generally thought of

as a human paperweight," he [Paul Guest] proclaims to visitors in his windowless office at West Georgia University in Carrollton. "A doorstop. An impediment. A fire hazard."

Cue the irony, the sarcasm, the acerbic humor that underpins the stark, clear, sometimes opposing images in his poetry--work that today will earn him the prestigious $50,000 Whiting Prize, awarded to 10 American writers of exceptional promise.

from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Award-winning poet links art form to influences of daily life
also The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Notes for My Body Double


News at Eleven: "In one sense, I feel justified

in what I do--I'm supposed to come over here and stop this guy from shooting people with this thing," [Brian] Turner said.

"But I have a little boy walk up to me and say to me in English, 'Let go of my father! My father no bad man. Let free my father!' And when he looked at me, I guarantee he'll remember my face for the rest of his life.

from Times Argus: In poetry, war's grim words


News at Eleven: "An Ordinary Day", a poem

from Bells of Speech (Ambit, 2006) by Kurdish poet Nazand Begikhani has been selected and nominated for this year's UK Forward Book of Poetry prize.

from Kurdish Aspect: Kurdish Poet nominated for UK Forward Poetry Prize


News at Eleven: But the 87-year-old poet [Marcos Ana] remembers

the electric shocks and brutal whippings that left his body covered in sores; the hunger that compelled him to eat grass sprouting between the stones of the prison patio; his crumpled mother, clinging to the shins of a prison guard, begging mercy for her bloodied and beaten son.

from The New York Times: Bill in Spanish Parliament Aims to End 'Amnesia' About Civil War Victims


News at Eleven: Such a conversation might not take place

elsewhere on the continent, but Mr. Simic points out some broader differences between American and European approaches to poetry. "In Europe poetry has always been a literary undertaking, it's really part of literature," Mr. Simic says. "If you write poetry in a serious way you are participating in a very long tradition, over a thousand years . . . they don't have, for example, the tradition of confessional poetry, they never had a Walt Whitman."

from The Wall Street Journal: The Immigrant 'Outsider' Is Now Poetry's Insider


News at Eleven: As well as this, [Ciaran] Carson can

approach the Táin from the north, as it were: where Kinsella's version seemed to tremble with the foreboding of internecine strife, as something threatening and partly alien, Carson's translation comes out of a long intimacy with the effects of conflict, and even with its untidy and conditional cessation.

Cú Chulainn is a fascinating monster.

from The Guardian: Courage's brutal core


News at Eleven (Back Page): "Like a bolt out of the blue,

Freddy watched Lefty's first pitch come bouncing back to him, hissing sibilantly as it cut towards him in wild capers. A real 'grass-cutter,' he [Jack Kerouac] wrote in "Raw Rookie Nerves."

The novella ends with the rookie second baseman turning a triple play, knocking himself out in the process of winning the pennant.

"I think that was going a little too far," Kerouac later wrote of his romantic tale. "But in all seriousness, heroism is still my goal, and I don't care how childish that may be, it's it."

from Colorado Rockies News: Kerouac, baseball and Denver


Great Regulars: No nation has produced better essayists

than France, none has produced better composers that the Germans, better painters than the Italians, nor better novelists than the Russians. America invented jazz and still masters the form and, though some may dissent, her record in film is unsurpassed. And the English? The English do poetry.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Liberal: Poetry and the English Imagination


And it is while on Dido's Lament that [Oliver] Sacks makes his greatest point (it underpins all he says), which is that music saves us. "And there is, finally, a deep and mysterious paradox here, for while such music makes one experience pain and grief more intensely, it brings solace and consolation at the same time."

from Bryan Appleyard: The Sunday Times: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks


Great Regulars: One weaver, according to the Met catalogue,

could produce about one square yard of medium-quality tapestry in a month, but the rate would be slower for the really fine work. It follows that, for any large-scale commission, a considerable number of people would have to be employed.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Life's rich tapestries


Great Regulars: As cultural literacy declined

with each passing year, these skills at transporting readers become more important--something Updike was worrying about back in 1983. "The world craves book reviews far more heartily than it craves books," he lamented in his introduction to Hugging the Shore. "They excuse us from reading the books themselves."

from John Freeman: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Great review for a great reviewer


Great Regulars: Apparently, the mother and the man

who used to inhabit the bones had done something "cruel" to the mother's husband. The reader is never told exactly what the act was, but there are many hints that lead to the assumption that they committed adultery, and instead of killing her, the husband killed her lover, and they buried him in the cellar.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Frost's 'The Witch of Coös'


Of course, most people believe those consequences are positive and worth the effort, but according to this wise man, losing one's heart to another merely causes pain and sorrow: "'Tis paid with sighs a plenty/And sold for endless rue."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Housman's Sage Advice


In the first stanza, the speaker describes the melancholy that the human mind encounters in times of stress that causes one to act against one's better interests.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Kipling's 'Helen All Alone'


Sonnet 33 is highly metaphorical; it is, in fact, an extended metaphor. The sun is a metaphor for the artist's talent or muse, and the clouds represent the intermittent lulls in inspiration to create. Therefore the artist can realize that despite the lulls, the talent, like the sun, is always present, always the motivation that keeps the artist's love alive.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 33


But he is not so quick to forgive the bright star, because although the sun is drying his face, the speaker is still counting himself as being injured by the drenching: the "salve" is healing the "wound" but "cures not the disgrace."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 34


One problem here is that the speaker has set up the vast difference between his friend and his foe, yet in the end we wants readers to believe that if he had discussed his anger with the foe, the outcome would have been different, but how can that necessarily be? Because the foe is a foe, it is quite possible that if the speaker had expressed his anger, the foe's reaction might still have triggered his wrath to grow.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: William Blake's 'A Poison Tree'


[William] Wordsworth's obvious purpose is to support his notion that a pastoral life is pure, moral, and happy. He believed that living close to nature, living an uncomplicated, spiritual life devoted to honest labor was the ideal. His narrative suggests that if Luke had remained in the natural valley with his parents and continued to live the pastoral life, he would have retained his moral character and saved his parents' later years from grief.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Wordsworth's 'Michael'


Great Regulars: Even the edition itself is pretty,

hardbound and slender like a book of poems and illustrated with bold drawings in yellow, black and gray that capture the story's stark sentiments. This is one for the bookshelf, a book to be read and saved and rediscovered in adulthood, when it will be remembered as an early lesson in looking for the universe inside every small thing.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Young Adult Reader: 8-year-old learns about the world, through a cat's words


Great Regulars: This is perhaps the last complete poem

that Nicholas Heiney wrote before taking his own life at the age of 23 after a long battle with severe mental disturbance. It is from an extraordinary book of his poems, sea-logs and journals.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: The sound of silence


Great Regulars: Poem: "Jet Lag"

by Eve Robillard, from when gertrude married alice.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of October 29, 2007


Great Regulars: What motivates us to keep moving

forward through our lives, despite all the effort required to do so? Here, North Carolina poet Ruth Moose attributes human characteristics to an animal to speculate upon what that force might be.

The Crossing

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 135


Great Regulars: [Harley Elliott] suggests all words

can limit direct experience of reality. In this case, the monarch butterfly walks on his face, and "blinded by words," he fails to match its "shining light." He addresses his readers and asks us to join in his quandary about how to express relationship with nature. Elliott’s "hinged mosaic" description for butterfly wings here is one of my favorites.

Butterfly Master

from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Harley Elliott (1940 - )


In "Blessing," [Jo] McDougall creates a story with selected details. The Kansas setting is alluded to with the presence of wind, storm and sun. The small-town intimacy with neighbors is suggested by the narrator’s nosiness. How long was the narrator watching in order to see all these details, including hidden panties? The last line opens the scene to larger questions.


from Denise Low: Economy of state’s landscape has influence on Kansas poet


Great regulars: In the beginning, at least, Ray [Raymond Carver]

was both obliging and skittish. If I had said, "I think we should print this line upside down," he would have immediately said, "Yeah, yeah, that's a great idea." But then, even if I'd suggested just changing a comma, there would be a pause. I'd hear him take a drag on his cigarette and he'd say: "Oh, oh. Well, let's take another look at that."

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: I, Editor Author


Great Regulars: Deploying those images, Robert Bridges

(1844-1930), England's poet laureate during World War I, compares inner and outer weather: As reduced air pressure releases the tremendous, sometimes destructive energy of a storm, so, too, can the reduced pressures of custom or inhibition release tremendous, sometimes destructive human terrors, guilts and impulses:

Low Barometer

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


Great Regulars: I am neither Christian, nor Jew,

nor Gabr, nor Moslem. I am not of the East, nor the West, nor the land, nor the sea . . . My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless.

Rumi, a poet and mystic of Persian culture, was born in what is today Afghanistan and died in what is now Turkey.

from René Wadlow's The Flutes of Dionysus: Newropeans Magazine: Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273)


On the morning of October 27th, [John] Calvin went to see [Michael] Severtus in his cell and told Servetus that he bore him no ill-will and reminded him of how in their early days in Paris, he had worked to convert Servetus from his errors. Servetus did not make a deathbed revision. Servetus was burned on a small hill about a mile outside the city walls of Geneva.

Servetus was the only case of a man put to death for his religious opinions in Calvin's Geneva.

from René Wadlow: Toward Freedom: Michael Servetus: To Kill a Man Does Not Defend an Idea


Great Regulars: The author’s position is an odd one.

In a sense he is not welcomed by the characters. The characters resist him, they are not easy to live with, they are impossible to define. But finally you find that you have people of flesh and blood on your hands, people with will and an individual sensibility of their own, made out of component parts you are unable to change, manipulate or distort.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Art, truth and politics --Harold Pinter


Great Regulars: Humbles

by Frances Leviston

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Humbles by Frances Leviston


Great Regulars: By Mark Scheel

Pumpkins by corn shock,

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Samhain,' a poem by Mark Scheel


Great Regulars: Insult

by Michael Ryan

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Insult


A Kosmos
by Rosanna Warren

from The New Yorker: Poetry: A Kosmos


Wanting Sumptuous Heavens
by Robert Bly

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Wanting Sumptuous Heavens


Great Regulars: [by Julie Benton Siegel]

That spooky premonition's back again,

from The Oregonian: Poetry


Great Regulars: Karen Zaborowski Duffy: When I wrote

the poem, all of this came together, and I was keenly aware of the importance of capturing moments, in poetry and in life.

World Series, Game 5

from PBS: Newshour: Poet Reflects on Family and a Trip to the World Series


Great Regulars: By Kaitlin Kortonick

Thomas Bowe Elementary School

The Key to Changing the World

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Kaitlin Kortonick]


By Kelsey Little and Megan Hennelly

A Family Bond

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Kelsey Little and Megan Hennelly]


By Davey Meyers

Battle Wounds

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Davey Meyers]


Great Regulars: [by Judy Curtis]


from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Rhythm


Great Regulars: Raman Mundair's second collection,

A Choreographer's Cartography (Peepal Tree, £8.99), begins with a sequence of poems about Shetland, moves on to encompass global themes of war and exploitation and includes intimate poems about love and desire.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: Sheep Hill, Fair Isle


Great Regulars: "On Desperate Days"

By Barry Spacks

from Slate: "On Desperate Days" --By Barry Spacks


Poetic Obituaries: [Qeisar Aminpour's] poetry is composed

of simple but effective words and images, along with a unique ability to portray life in contemporary Iran in innovative ways.

Aminpour is noted for his easy-to-understand poems as well as his remarkable skill in giving vivid expression to children's wishes and dreams.

from Press TV: Contemporary Iranian poet dies at 48


Poetic Obituaries: I'd like, please, to leave on your sill

Just one cold flower, whose beauty

Would leave you inconsolable all day.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.

Jon [Anderson] was a renowned teacher of poetry, especially in his early years. He told great stories about poets and poetry.

from The University of Arizona Poetry Center: Jon Anderson


Poetic Obituaries: In his own words he wrote furiously

from the time he was 12 until his death, on Monday morning, in a hospital in Berlin.

The poet Sargon Boulus, who championed free verse, honored the depth and breadth of the Arabic language and translated the likes of Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and Ho Chin Minh, was just 63 years old.

from The Daily Star: Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus dies at age 63


Poetic Obituaries: Shail Chaturvedi, eminent Hindi poet,

humorist, lyricist and Bollywood character actor, passed away here early Monday morning.

from The Earth Times: Eminent Hindi poet Shail Chaturvedi dead


Poetic Obituaries: [Roy Lowell "Ted" Davee] was a freelance writer

of prose and poetry with poems published in more than 80 books. He wrote hundreds of poems, many of which have been published in the Reporter-Times. His favorite subjects were nature, religion and pets. He was especially fond of his poem titled "What I Found on My 75th Birthday."

from Reporter-Times: Ted Davee remembered as a Hoosier poet


Poetic Obituaries: Despite her emphasis on good grammar,

[Melba] Davis wasn't a curmudgeon about her nouns and verbs.

"She was a gentle teacher," Summerfield said. "It was the joy of learning and the joy of words, as opposed to cracking somebody's knuckles."

Her persnicketiness for pronouns made Davis a supreme proofreader.

from Jackson Hole Star-Tribune: Wordsmith left her mark in Big Horn Basin


Poetic Obituaries: [John J.] Donnelly took glider lessons,

sailed on the Chesapeake and camped in New England with his family, and enjoyed birding and gardening. He was a talented sketch artist and calligrapher, his son said, and read and wrote poetry.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: J.J. Donnelly, 84, builder and activist


Poetic Obituaries: [Stephen P. Ellison] enjoyed reading,

writing poetry, and was self taught and played the guitar.

from Newzjunky: Stephen P. Ellison


Poetic Obituaries: [Paul Quinn's] crime was to have won

a fight with a senior republican who had been bothering his sister.

In a separate incident he had also humiliated the son of another local senior Provisional who had picked a fight with him. Mr Quinn ignored the order to leave, but his concerns were evident in a poem that he wrote and posted on Bebo, the internet networking site.

from The Times: Writing's on the wall for IRA after murder


Poetic Obituaries: [Robert Shields] paid bills by teaching,

working for a high-school yearbook company and doctoring books for vanity presses. Less lucratively, he wrote an unpublished history of a train-robbing gang, and 1,200 poems, of which he said five, maybe six, were good.

from The New York Times: Robert Shields, Wordy Diarist, Dies at 89


Poetic Obituaries: Madhumita [Shukla] was spared brutality

before her death, a bullet from a country-made pistol ending her life instantly. But her family isn't happy with the judgement.

"I am not at all satisfied. Why should Amarmani not get the death penalty for what he has done?" said Nidhi Shukla, Madhumita's sister.

from NDTV: Madhumita murder: Amarmani gets life


Poetic Obituaries: [Julius E.] Thompson, 61, wrote several

books, including two collections of poetry. Considered a specialist in Mississippi history and one of the most highly-published black writers from the Southern state, Thompson was a major proponent of giving MU's Black Studies Program status as a department.

from Columbia Missourian: Director of MU's black studies department dies


Poetic Obituaries: [Art Tobergte] lived his motto:

"a day is wasted without laughter." He had a passion for loving, serving, and teaching God's people, and was a creative poet who also enjoyed the challenge, fellowship, and exercise of golf.

from The News-Herald: Rev. Arthur L. "Art" Tobergte


Poetic Obituaries: Some of her [Ursula Vaughan Williams'] finest

work is contained in a series of poems, The Dictated Theme, written in the days after [her husband Ralph] Vaughan Williams died and published in a selection called Silence and Music. These are some of the most moving love-poems written by a woman and explain why, in spite of her gaiety, she could tell a friend in the 1990s: "Ralph has been dead for over 35 years and every year has seemed as long as the first."

from Telegraph: Ursula Vaughan Williams


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 23rd Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

October 23rd forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags

Around the world there is bigotry, bombs are going off, shots are being fired, arrests are being made, and our poets are in the middle of this fray, making the news, including Poetic Obituaries.

News at Eleven begins and ends with attempts at harmony. But, you'll also find the turmoil, and what poets want for the world. As ever, we also look at what poets want for poetry.

We get multiple columns from Great Regulars: Linda Sue Grimes, Luisetta Mudie, Christopher Nield (who's back), and Robert Pinsky. And among the poems from Great Regulars, The New Yorker gives us three by Charles Wright.

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog


IBPC Newswire


News at Eleven: "Ah yes," exclaims [Gen Yakuba] Gowon.

"You were my house guest."

[Wole] Soyinka tells him of the solitary confinement, the hardship, and Gowon seems genuinely surprised. "I had no idea," he says.

Soyinka breaks the sombre mood with a flash of humour: "Let me tell you publicly, if the boot had been on the other foot, I would have slung your arse in jail much earlier."

from BBC News: Watching Wole's return to Biafra