Tuesday, November 27, 2007

November 27th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

November 27th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags

There is a battle for our freedom of expression taking place across the globe. In the first article we link to, Wu Qiang has been arrested for carrying an illegal book of poetry into China. His whereabouts are unknown.

In our second link, in a co-headliner, women's rights activist and poet Taslima Nasrin (pictured above) has been move to Delhi for her safety. There is a fatwa against her, which means vicious world-criminal clerics, falsely posing in their roles as religious authorities, have placed money on her head, and are causing her holy hell.

In our third article, Gao Qinsheng, Shi Tao's mother, confronts the chief executive officer of Yahoo! about his apology for helping send her innocent poet son (pictured above) to Chinese jail for 10 damn years. Note, at the blog, there is a video up that reveals Yahoo!'s attitude toward Shi Tao's plight.

Our fourth article is about Samina Malik, the "lyrical terrorist" who has been jailed in Great Britain after her poetry made Scotland Yard suspicious that she may yet abet an act of terrorism. Jailed for being a suspect in an uncommitted terrorist act.

There is also background video at the blog on Samina and Taslima at their respective posts. I call them here by their first names, to be sure they are humanized in the relating of events, that you view them as sisters and daughters.

What can you do to help these people and the cause of poetic license and freedom? In the case of China, be prepared to Boycott next summer's Beijing Olympics. Shi Tao's plight is often associated with this cause. Watch Yahoo!'s behavior and be alert to boycott them as well. They are feeling like profits cannot be affected by their actions. Wu Qiang's plight is too new, but be prepared to inject his name into the Beijing boycott terms.

In August, Clattery Machinery on Poetry called upon writers to pen articles in support of Taslima Nasrin, starter references and pictures supplied: Taslima Nasreen: Women’s Rights vs the Holy Hell.

At that site, there is also an urgent call as Samina Malik awaits sentencing: World Samina Malik Day December 6th. Please do what you can, while we still may.

Of course, there is much more to read than this. There are 45 other important articles on other poetry and poets.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog


IBPC Newswire


News at Eleven: A Chinese student studying in the U.S.

was arrested in China on November 12 for possession of a poem collection about the June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre.

The student, Wu Qiang, was on a trip to Jilin Province in North-eastern China to visit his parents.

from Epoch Times: Returning Chinese Student Arrested for Political Poems


News at Eleven: The 45-year-old [Taslima Nasrin]

was taken to a safe house in Rajasthan for a night only to be then moved to a government apartment in New Delhi, guarded by police.

In brief telephone interviews with Indian journalists, Nasrin [or Nasreen] said she just wanted "to head back home as soon as possible". She added: "I have no place to go. India is my home and I would like to keep living in this country until I die."

from The Guardian: Bangladeshi writer goes into hiding


News at Eleven: "You just said in the hearing

that your mother brought you from Taiwan to the free world of the United States and created the conditions for your success. So you, as good a person as you are, why did you think that if Shi Tao was also an outstanding person you instead helped the evil laws that threw him into hell?" Gao [Qinsheng, Shi Tao's mother,] asked [Yahoo chief executive officer Jerry] Yang.

from Asia Times: Yahoo's apologies won't free dissidents


News at Eleven: My verse is a sort of tribute

to her [Samina Malik], in a way--it's a long time since we've banged someone up for writing a poem or two. The Americans tried to convict Ezra Pound and we incarcerated Oscar Wilde, of course. But in both of those cases it was for stuff they did in their spare time, when they weren't writing poetry, i.e. treason and sodomising men respectively.

from The Spectator: Free speech and the 'lyrical terrorist'


News at Eleven: To his credit, [Charles] Bukowski seems

to have recognized that; "this then/will be my destiny," he writes in "The Poetry Reading," originally published in the 1972 collection "Mockingbird Wish Me Luck":

scrabbling for pennies in dark tiny halls
reading poems I have long since become tired
and I used to think
that men who drove buses
or cleaned out latrines
or murdered men in alleys were

So why, then--in L.A., anyway--does he remain a sacred cow?

from Los Angeles Times: 'The Pleasures of the Damned' by Charles Bukowski


News at Eleven: [David] Solway brings into stark reality

harsh truths that we must recognize, that terror and anti-Semitism are intimately linked as they have been before; that our very civilization is under prolonged attack; and that, for too many years, we have evaded the truth, craving ". . . asylum in conciliation, sophistry, and equivocation." David Solway reminds us of a primordial lesson: the Jews are the canaries in the mineshaft of history.

from The Suburban: Of Poetry and Power


News at Eleven: Another quality which the Old Irish poet

shares with his Japanese counterpart is a quality we might call "this worldness"--both are as alert as hunters to their physical surroundings--and yet there is also a strong sense of another world within this "this worldness", one to which poetic expression promises access.

from The Guardian: The pathos of things


News at Eleven: "I remember starting [the collection],"

[W.S.] Merwin says. "The first one of them was 'To the Unlikely Event,' and it came from being on an airplane for the umpteenth time listening to the speaker say, 'In the unlikely event of a water landing,' and all that airline lingo that they go into, which is a deformation of the English language, and I thought, 'In the unlikely event, what do they mean in the unlikely event?'

from Metroactive: Present in Company: Translator and poet W.S. Merwin muses on the importance of nothing


News at Eleven: I have met a first-rate American poetess.

She really is good. Certainly one of the best female poets I ever read, and a damned sight better than the run of good male. Her main enthusiasm at present is me, and she thinks my verses are as good as I think they are and has accordingly and efficiently dispatched about twenty five to various immensely paying American Mags. So. She has published stories and poems in some of the top American journals.

[--Ted Hughes]

from The Age: Love, Ted


News at Eleven: [Ted Hughes] essay "Superstitions"

(in Winter Pollen, 1994) mounts a concessive defence of astrology: "To an outsider, astrology is a procession of puerile absurdities. A Babel of gibberish". It has no way of shedding its mistakes as science does. Yet, reviewing Louis MacNeice's Astrology, Hughes offers up Evangeline Adams as testable data, showing that astrology works, whether as magic or as a science.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Ted Hughes untamed


News at Eleven (Back Page): Too much study of the Bible

is either completely dismissive of it, or excessively reverential. It doesn't allow for creative, imaginative engagement with it, recognising its limitations and delighting in it as a resource through which to stimulate understanding, rather than a book of moral precepts. [William] Blake is as indignant as anyone about those elements in the Bible which have been used to condone injustice, oppression and preoccupation with tradition.

from The Guardian: Comment is free: Face to faith


Great Regulars: Elizabeth Samet: As "The Iliad"

shows warriors reveling in the battlefield, it also shows a warrior, like Hector, realizing the costs of war, realizing in the scene when he takes leave of his wife and son, realizing what he has to leave behind. And I think it's necessary for soldiers to realize both the rewards and the costs of their profession.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: West Point Professor Seeks Paths to a 'Soldier's Heart'


Great Regulars: "I'm not in the least bit penitent,"

says dovegreyreader. "I scribble and I'm proud of it and to my knowledge no one has died as a result ... Nothing sacred about my books; they are living and working extensions of my mind which, as I get older, is feeling slightly more full to overflowing . . . To get a book that has someone else's marginalia is even more special.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: From the blogs


Great Regulars: A poem is a work of the imagination,

and the self you create on the page isn't the same person who washes the dishes and goes to the grocery store and tries to figure out how to fix the computer. It's a deeper self, or maybe a self you can't actually access in your daily life.

Or maybe it's a self you don't, or can't, show to anyone in your daily life. It's a part of you, but not the factual part, if that makes any sense.

[--Kim Addonizio]

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Interview: Author Kim Addonizio is fearless in verse and prose


Great Regulars: Once a single forgery from their garden workshop

had been detected (by means of a cuneiform spelling mistake), it became possible to identify the atelier.

Generally speaking, we are susceptible to forgeries, ready to be hoodwinked, when the forger has understood and devised what it is we would most like to own.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Fakes and counterfeits


Great Regulars: [Ha] Jin's descriptions of Nan's journey back

to the page are amusing, with enough veiled references to well-known poets and writers to keep a literary sleuth busy. The book ends with an epilogue made up of Nan's poems, which refer to moments you'll recognize in the book. This, too, is clever.

But the truest weave of this book needs no decoding.

from John Freeman: Philadelphia Inquirer: A heartbreaking tale of newcomers to U.S.


Great Regulars: One might point out that nature

is not the perfect model this speaker seems to believe it is. The speaker has no way of knowing if the birds are really always so cheerful, and why should they be? They surely suffer greatly trying to procure their daily sustenance, building nests for their babies, whom they then must teach to be independent.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: 'Patience Taught By Nature'


He tries to convince her that by remaining in bed with him, she is saving time instead of wasting it, because he is sure that she "had rather lie in bed and kiss/Than anything."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Wilbur's 'A Late Aubade'


Great Regulars: If you listen you can hear it roaring

inside her [Natalie Babbitt's] sentences, as if you were holding a shell to your ear: "The edges of the roads are lost now in drifts of sand, and the grass, thinner, like the trees, is rough and tall, rising, kneeling, rising, kneeling, as the breeze combs by."

Set in an unspecified bygone era of buggies and lanterns but free of fancified old-timey verbiage, this book is a little gem--something to read in one evening, tucked up in bed.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Young Adult Reader: A girl, a grandmother, a cottage, and the music of the sea


Great Regulars: Poem: "Coats"

by Jane Kenyon , from Constance.

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


Great Regulars: Great cultural shifts are always like this.

Medici Florence saw a Renaissance occur amidst wars with the papacy and the other city-states. Shakespeare's was an age of theater and global exploration but also conflict with France and Spain as well as civil strife. In 1950s Paris, Sartre and Beauvoir and Camus reinvented literature and philosophy while France struggled to extricate itself from Algeria and Indo-China.

from David Kirby: South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Forty is not just an age, it's part of history


Great Regulars: You've surely heard it said

that the old ought to move over to make room for the young. But in the best of all possible worlds, people who love their work should be able to do it as long as they wish. Those forced to retire, well, they're a sorry lot. Here the Chicago poet, Deborah Cummins, shows a man trying to adjust to life after work.

At a Certain Age

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 139


Great Regulars: [Gloria Vando] regales her readers

with dramatic stories set in Sarajevo, Vietnam, Korea, San Juan, New York, and Kansas City. She personalizes political comment by adding emotional reactions to factual events. She also tells her own larger-than-life stories in well wrought verse.

"Orphans" is one of these stories.

from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Gloria Vando (1936 - )


Great Regulars: For years, Ms. [Amy] Beckwith thought

the letter might be important, but she put off doing anything about it until she happened to be listening to the audio version of Ms. [Hermione] Lee's biography of Wharton, published earlier this year by Alfred A. Knopf. "I got to the part where she says that Lily's death was 'probably an accident,' and I thought, 'Well, let's not be so sure about that,'" Ms. Beckwith said. "That was what prompted me."

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Wharton Letter Reopens a Mystery


Great Regulars: Ilan Stavans has edited a new,

bilingual selection of Neruda, as translated into English over the years by many hands. Among the poems that have influenced poets all over the world is "Tonight I Can Write," published when Neruda was in his 20s. The graceful, penetrating translation is by W. S. Merwin:

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

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


Great Regulars: [Kathleen] Halme conjures such spirits

as Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens and Marianne Moore, but she speaks for herself.

"The mind wants more/than an urgency of images, words/furred and folded up like bats/hanging starched and knee-locked in the ward," Halme writes. Then she gives the head its due without shortchanging the heart.

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Four poets are Oregon finalists


Great Regulars: In some communities, people keep

doubling the number of lamps every day from the day of Deepavali till Karthigai Deepam and thus the burning lamps present an enchanting spectacle during the night.

One of the earliest references to the festival can be seen in the Ahananuru, a book of poems, which dates back to the Sangam Age (200 B.C. to 300 A.D.).

from V Sundaram: News Today: Karthigai Deepam or Kartik Purnima


The parents of the boy in question have alleged that the 150-year-old Doveton Corrie Group of Educational Institutions punished their son Kaushik Ram by asking him to stand in the centre of the playground for more than an hour for coming to school with mehendi on his hands, besides suspending him and imposing the fine on him.

from V Sundaram: News Today: 'Paganish', 'Heathenish' Indian Christianity-I


Great Regulars: [Joanna Martin] is the independent producer of The Poetry Box on Community TV, and a winner of the Mary Lönnberg Smith Poetry Award.

[Joanna Martin] is the independent producer of The Poetry Box on Community TV, and a winner of the Mary Lönnberg Smith Poetry Award. She is a mother of two and has been a nurse at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz for 22 years, 11 years in Cardiac Care.

Middle-Aged Dating in Santa Cruz County

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Poetry by Joanna Martin


Great Regulars: Missing Things

by Vernon Scannell

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Missing Things by Vernon Scannell


Great Regulars: The New Monastics

by Dennis Brutus

from MR Zine: "The New Monastics"


Great Regulars: Alba Red

by Richard Kenney

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Alba Red


by Gerald Stern

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Lorca


Subject, Verb, Object
by James Richardson

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Subject, Verb, Object


Great Regulars: By Austin Tally

The Dentist

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Austin Tally]


By Ryan Fisher, Rachel Henry, Stephanie Choe, Matt Bergan, Robert Stehm, Alison Brennan, Frank Brennan and Alexa Aulicino By Alana Pecchioli, Audrey Bishop, Eddie Runquist, Sarah Farkas, Morgan Kennedy, Sophia Riviello, Jackson Blanchard and Joey Cody

Cinnaminson Project Challenge 3A

Inspired by the quote "For food and for the roof above us/And light and warmth and those who love us, we give thanks," third graders in Cinnaminson's gifted program contributed stanzas to the following Thanksgiving group poems. They attend Rush Intermediate School. Once a month, they spend a "challenge" day with teacher Elaine Mendelow at the Memorial School.

Giving Thanks

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Memorial School students]


Great Regulars: [by Judy Curtis]

Poem: In Dreams

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: In Dreams


[by Isabel Grasso]
Poem: Sturgeon

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Sturgeon


Great Regulars: Writers often talk about "showing,

not telling" in their work, creating images and ideas powerful enough not to need further explanations. Here, Andrew Forster evokes the endlessly subtle American poet Elizabeth Bishop, queen of "show, not tell", but the poem is also about what writers, and readers, search for.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: Elizabeth Bishop at Outer Banks


Great Regulars: "Twenty-First Century Exhibit"

By Tomás Q. Morin

from Slate: "Twenty-First Century Exhibit" --By Tomás Q. Morin


Great Regulars: An interest in poetry now developed

alongside his boxing and drinking, and [Vernon] Scannell was eventually able to live as a freelancer. His prose account of his placement in the 1970s as Arts Council "Resident Poet" in the "new" village of Berinsfield, Oxfordshire, is as appalling in its way as any of his war stories.

Vernon Scannell was still writing poems in the last weeks of his illness. The TLS published "Views and Distances" on January 8, 1999.

Views and Distances

from Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Views and Distances


Poetic Obituaries: Besides being a Master Gardener

and avid ice fisherman, he [Bill Cox] also loved learning, music, poetry, visiting and spending time with his family.

Schafer said he also enjoyed the little things in life, like watching and listening to the birds.

County Administrator Brian Bensen said Cox was a true gentleman who cared about preserving heritage.

from Star News: Community giver passes away


Poetic Obituaries: Candace Richardson, 54, who supplied horses

and buggies to area parades and events, and her son Shane Eichthaler, 15, a prize-winning cowboy poet, were fatally injured when their 1991 Volvo and a sport utility vehicle collided about 10:30 a.m. on U.S. 380.

from Star-Telegram: Woman, son killed in wreck near Decatur


Poetic Obituaries: Known for his booming voice,

stern and imposing physical presence and sometimes irascible temper, Fernan Gomez appeared in more than 200 films, directed another 20 and wrote novels, plays and poetry.

from PRAVDA.Ru: Spaniards pay respects to Spanish actor Fernan Gomez


Poetic Obituaries: [Keith Hunt] enjoyed and lettered

in all sports, especially excelling in baseball and boxing. His favorite class was speech with Mrs. Evans. He loved poetry and reciting for school and community programs.

from Idaho Mountain Express and Guide: Keith Hunt


Poetic Obituaries: Kate Mehigan, above, who wrote

a book about her battle with cancer to give strength to other young sufferers, has died, aged 14.

My Story, about her fight against the disease, so impressed the children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent that it invited her to meet its patron, Cherie Blair, at her 50th birthday party in 2004.

from The Times: Girl who wrote inspirational book about fight with cancer dies at 14


Poetic Obituaries: In "Beirut Seizures," [Hassib] Mroue captured

the horrors of the Lebanese Civil War, the Israeli invasion and the human cost of such wide-scale violence. He never spared his readers the truth, and he didn't mask brutal realities with palatable images. His depiction of violence in Lebanon was visceral, and his ability to paint a landscape of horror and loss was profound.

from The Daily Star: Coming full circle: insight into the work of Hassib Mroue


Poetic Obituaries: [R] Nirmala, a native of Jog

in Shimoga, was a lecturer. She received Karnataka Sahitya Academy award in 1997 for her Chalmere Luna, a collection of essays. She has also penned Pachchepairu and Uriva Olevale Munde (collection of poems).

from Newindpress.com: Writer Nirmala passes away


Poetic Obituaries: [Milo] Radulovich retired in 1994.

Twice a widower, he enjoyed writing and translating poetry and was active in the Serbian church in Jackson.

He also was clearly pleased when "Good Night, and Good Luck" thrust his case back into the spotlight.

"It's been a very valuable experience for me," Radulovich said. "There is a kind of resonant note to the case. Americans have an inherent feeling for fairness."

from The Record: Radulovich, who had role in fall of McCarthy, dies


Poetic Obituaries: This rough diamond of a man [Vernon Scannell]

would recite Marvell's To His Coy Mistress when close to tears (from his memoirs I can perhaps tell why). If only we had known that he also wrote the stuff, wrote of a life without direction which, none the less, "Ran like a fuse/And brought me to you/And love's bright, soundless detonation".

Keats, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Hardy, cascaded from the walls.

from The Guardian: Created on a canvas of needless pain: a poet who inspired the underbelly
also The Times: Vernon Scannell


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

November 20th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

November 20th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags

On Thursday, here in the USA, it will be Thanksgiving Day. And if you're here for the food, both Robert Pinsky and the CBC's Poet of the Month, Susan Gillis, are serving it up in Great Regulars. Then keep reading through to the Poetic Obituaries. Some people important to poetry will be missing for the holidays this year.

The entire week is packed with great poetry and information. We begin in News at Eleven with translation by Fanny Howe--not to be missed. And we move to Japan for letters from Tagore and Noguchi. The third story is an excellent one on Great Regular James Fenton--again, not to be missed. It's just that kind of a week.

On the back page, we follow up with a story in Great Britain, the one about Samina Malik, the online poet who called herself the "Lyrical Terrorist." She has become famous, not for her poetry which isn't that good, not for her online name that indicates the genre she has chosen to write into, and not for striking terror into anyone at all, certainly not for any terrorist act--but for an unjust conviction in Great Britain's system of justice--this misunderstood, imprisoned, prosecuted, and now convicted online poet.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog


IBPC Newswire


News at Eleven: In 1943, when the sisters

were 17 and 20 years old, they were sent to Nazi forced labor camps--first, Skarzysko-Kamienna and then HASAG-Buchenwald--where they wrote these poems, now translated into English by the poet Fanny Howe and collected in a volume entitled A Wall of Two: Poems of Resistance and Suffering from Krakow to Buchenwald and Beyond.

from Nextbook: Four Poems from A Wall of Two


News at Eleven: Dear Noguchi,

I am profoundly surprised by the letter that you have written to me: neither its temper nor its contents harmonise with the spirit of Japan which I learnt to admire in your writings and came to love through my personal contacts with you. It is sad to think that the passion of collective militarism may on occasion helplessly overwhelm even the creative artist, that genuine intellectual power should be led to offer its dignity and truth to be sacrificed at the shrine of the dark gods of war.

from Japan Focus: Seduced by Nationalism: Yone Noguchi's 'Terrible Mistake'. Debating the China-Japan War With Tagore


News at Eleven: 'We got to Vienna, and in the station

I bought a copy of The Times and thought Auden would like that. And he looked at the front page and he called out, "Chester! Chester!" and Chester came out of the kitchen. And Auden said, "Joe Orton's been murdered by his boyfriend!"?' [James] Fenton chuckles. 'And what was really impressive to me was that I'd read that story. But the story didn't include the word "murder" and it didn't contain the word "boyfriend". But it was completely clear to him.'

from Telegraph: James Fenton: 21st century renaissance man


News at Eleven: [Charles Simic] went home

and scratched out a few verses. He knew immediately they were terrible, but even the terrible ones worked on girls (in a 1998 interview with the Cortland Review, Simic recalled trembling "at the memory of a certain Linda listening breathlessly to my doggerel on her front steps"), and he found exhilaration in the act of writing.

from Wednesday Journal: Simply Simic


News at Eleven: "Robert Hass' poetry is richly intelligent

and keenly felt in the way it sees and hears the world around us. We come away from his poems with a fresh perception of our surroundings, and with a renewed conviction that this fragile world of ours is deeply worthy of our care." [--Tony Cascardi]

from UC Berkeley News: Robert Hass wins 2007 National Book Award for his latest poetry


News at Eleven: Matthew [Sweeney] says he wrote

'Cows on the Beach' when "I was gathering momentum for the first of my children's books that Faber did,'The Flying Spring Onion' in 1992. I was home in Ballyliffen and I went down to Pollan Strand one day and it was empty except for two cows that had broken out of a field and were strolling down the beach.

from Derry Journal: Ballyliffen poem on 11 plus


News at Eleven: In those early days it was the province

only of scholars who preoccupied themselves with questions such as whether the manuscript was the product of two different scribes transcribing an earlier original.

They engaged in close study of its measure and meter, its heavy use of poetic 'kennings'--evocative euphemisms describing the sea as the "whale-road" and so forth--and its preoccupation with Anglo-Saxon alliteration. They were denizens of dusty diphthongs. Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagumpeodcyninga prym gefrunonhu oa æpelingas ellen fremedon.

from Irish Independent: Screen saxon violence


News at Eleven: With few exceptions, serious poets

stopped writing directly to or about God.

Enter Mark Jarman, Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt and the author of nine books of poetry, including the recently released Epistles, a collection of 30 prose poems based loosely on the epistles of St. Paul.

from Nashville Scene: A Poetry of Body and Soul


News at Eleven: In another, he [John Trudell] spoke

of a "yellow ribbon around my brain."

Trudell didn't apologize for the lack of sunshine and light in his words as he described a government and society he said mines the humanness from individuals and leaves behind the toxic waste of fear, doubt and insecurity.

"We're chasing chaos," he said.

The way out, he said, is not violence.

from The East Oregonian: Poet, activist shares his unique slant