Tuesday, February 26, 2008

February 26th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

February 26th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags

Great Regular Robert Pinsky says farewell this week, in his final Poet's Choice column for The Washington Post. I am looking forward to seeing if he replaces this with poetry articles in other publications around the web. Or, who knows what someone so creative will find up his sleeve. But what a wonderful contribution to online poetry that column has been with him as columnist. (Thank you, Robert, for all you do for poetry, online poetry especially.)

Also, a treat in Great Regulars, we have two Sarah Crown links, one is an audio of her interviewing Anna Beer. And much more too, including a FAQ from Fatima Bhutto on people who write to her (e.g., yes, she will marry you), lot's more poetry at both John Mark Eberhart's Parachute and Linda Sue Grimes' Suite101.com. And I'll let you do the scrolling from there. Good stuff.

But don't miss the important items in News at Eleven. We begin with Nathaniel Mackey, and second is John Ashbery, who is likened to a rock star of poetry, a label often worn by Robert Pinsky too. By the way, to read more about Ashbery, scroll to the beginning of Great Regulars, to Bryan Appleyard's link.

It's a good week. Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: There is a cliché about music writing,

sometimes attributed to Thelonious Monk, among others: "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." If so, Nathaniel Mackey is compelled, rather than deterred, by the multiform madness of the enterprise. He is the Balanchine of the architecture dance.

from The New York Times: Jazz Man


News at Eleven: Guernica: Was it useful for you

to know Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler—other young poets, I mean.

John Ashbery: Oh yes. When we were young, we were our only audience. We would write poems and read them to each other, and in fact, for quite a few years, I didn't really think that anybody else was going to be interested. My first book was not at all successful. I'm talking about the Yale University one, which I think they printed 800 copies of, and it took eight years to run out.

from Guernica: Houses at Night


News at Eleven: "Three dangerous moments will come

to you," he [Vyasa] says. "The first will be at the time of your wedding: at that time, hold back your question. The second will be when your husbands are at the height of their power: at that time, hold back your laughter. The third will be when you're shamed as you'd never imagined possible: at that time, hold back your curse."

Panchaali, of course, does none of these and thus launches the conflicts and problems that are the stuff of all storytelling.

from Los Angeles Times: 'The Palace of Illusions' by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni


News at Eleven: [by Susan Tichy]


Three men who look like Bedouin, but are not, pause with their camels in the snow--

from Foreign Policy in Focus: Fiesta!: American Ghazals


News at Eleven: " . . . Australia will notice a New Zealand

writer if someone in New York or London says they are interesting and New Zealand will notice Australian writers (in the same way). Everything has to go back to the old centres that we thought we had freed ourselves from."

The answer, he [Bill Manhire] thinks, would be to encourage much more trans-Tasman travel by publishers and editors of books pages, especially to events such as writers' festivals. But with the internet changing the way readers can access books, he says, maybe these old distribution networks will eventually lose their power, anyway.

from The Age: The accidental poet


News at Eleven: The poem ends: 'This is an illusion:

perspective is everything./Wherever I may stand/the vanishing point is my eye,/the beholden.' To write poems about seeing, you have to disappear; it is essential to relinquish your so-called perspective. The beholden, with its suggestion of gratitude, is for [Sarah] Maguire a self-cure for narrow-mindedness. Egotism dissolves in perception.

from The Guardian: Precise visions and visceral wit


News at Eleven: One often feels while reading his work

that if there is any misstep, any syllable or stress put wrong, not only the poem but its maker will either go up in flames or disappear down a black crevasse. This is the drama of [Robert] Creeley's defining work, and that drama never feels calculated or inauthentic.

from The New York Times: What Is Left Out


News at Eleven: "It's like Frost unplugged,"

said Peter Campion, editor of the journal. "Previously unpublished lectures would drive scholars crazy in and of themselves, but in addition to that, we're getting him in discussion. He's sitting down with a bunch of 20-year-olds and trying to teach them. That involves anecdotes, stories, jokes, funny little disses on his contemporaries."

from GazetteXtra: Poet Robert Frost illuminated by previously unpublished transcript of 1947 Dartmouth lecture


News at Eleven: It is widely expected

among education circles, however, that the Irish syllabus committee of the NCCA will withdraw his poetry from the list of prescribed poets.

The move is the latest in a protracted saga surrounding [Cathal] O'Searcaigh's sexual relations with young men in Nepal, which was brought to light by Gortahork-based film-maker Neasa NiChianáin in her upcoming documentary 'Fairytale of Kathmandu'.

from The Donegal News: Poet to be taken off Leaving Cert?


News at Eleven: Of Thomas Gray: "as if turning your poetry

into published work were mortifying". Of the Alice books: they took "their life from a special relationship with children. They hardly belonged to the realm of commercial authorship". Of Sir Walter Scott: "his anonymity was a way of turning his personal experience into impersonal fiction".

from Times Literary Supplement: Hiding behind the pen


News at Eleven (Back Page): [Xhevdet Bajraj] said it was months

before he could sleep without worrying that someone would break into the house to kill them. (Last week Kosovo formally declared its independence from Serbia, prompting protests in Belgrade.)

For weeks after Bajraj arrived in Mexico City, he sat at his computer, unable to write. Eventually the words came. His first book containing poems written in Mexico, The Liberty of Horror, won Kosovo's top literary prize.

from USA Today: Mex. refuge for world's persecuted writers


Great Regulars: "I don't quite understand about understanding

poetry. I experience poems with pleasure: whether I understand them or not I'm not quite sure. I don't want to read something I already know or which is going to slide down easily: there has to be some crunch, a certain amount of resilience. It's certainly not meant not to be read. But I enjoy only works of art with an element of surprise in them. It's probably an essential feature of any work of art." [--John Ashbery]

from Bryan Appleyard: Carcanet: Interview with John Ashbery


Great Regulars: The readers that write in to me

are critical and aware, they're sharp and impassioned and I'd like to thank everyone of them who has written in with a question or a comment--you've helped me learn so much on this journey of ours.

However, and there is always a however, I do get my fair share bizzarro mail.

from Fatima Bhutto: The News International Pakistan: Frequently asked questions


Great Regulars: Anna Beer talks to Sarah Crown

about her new biography of poet John Milton published 400 years after his birth

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Books: Anna Beer on her new biography of poet John Milton


In the opening section he describes the death of his father in piercing detail, anchoring the exigent crisis with strands of earlier memories ("Appearing in his car on Sunday mornings/Impatient for the whole world to wake up,/He'd arrive for lunch before breakfast") that lend individual texture to this most commonplace of tragedies.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: On your marks


Great Regulars: Clutter

By Alarie Tennille

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Clutter'


Another Spring
By Greg Field

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Field trip


Dawn Harris Rainey reminds us today of the wisdom of the late Wystan Hugh Auden:

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: A Nod to Auden


One Below
by Jon Herbert Arkham

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'One Below'


Through My Window

By Ryan P. Silva

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Student Poem # 3


Jonesburg, GA
By Shane P. Stricker
University of Missouri-Kansas City

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Student Poem # 4


Great Regulars: Ever since I found the mass-market

paperback of a novel by William T Vollmann at a small drugstore in Paris, I thought: retailers can do better.

Coffee shops seem the ideal place to start. Half the people who go to a coffee shop are there to chat. The other half go to read. Why can't Starbucks or Costa give the readers more?

from John Freeman: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Books with everything


Great Regulars: She has enjoyed him carnally:

his nipples are like ripe berries in her hand. He tastes "like grainmeal mingled with beer" and "[l]ike wine to the palate when taken with white bread." "White bread" used to a delicacy only the rich could afford.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Ancient Egyptian Poem


The speaker likens them to Christ who shed his blood for mankind. As the divinity of Christ portended a "better way" of life for those who understood His courage and followed in His brave footsteps, those who understand and follow the courageous path of these brave black soldiers will also find "a better way."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Jamison's 'The Negro Soldiers'


She will be grateful when her sister's soul has departed, and the dying one no longer has to suffer the sorrowful and painful transition she is now undergoing.

The speaker attempts to report as calmly and objectively as possible as she, at the same time, dramatizes the event that is so crucial, so vitally important.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: 'On the Death of Anne Brontë'


His creations remain with him, and even if his muse roves far from him, his inspirational urges cannot range farther than his thoughts. And through his poems, "I am still with them and they with thee." He is, therefore, never without his love, his muse, his inspiration.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 47


Great Regulars: His mention of metal combs recalls

the days when remedies for head lice were combed through the hair with just such combs; there is a punitive and controlling aspect to the use of these. And when he complains that he is sick of his annuals, I imagine that it is because his brain has developed beyond them, even while being artificially constrained by his medication.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: A suspicious degeneration


Great Regulars: Poem: "Water"

by Robert Lowell from Selected Poems.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 25, 2008


Great Regulars: America's answer to Amy Winehouse

may just be a former wedding singer whose résumé includes a lengthy stint as a prison guard. Atlanta-born Sharon Jones is a decade or two older than Winehouse, but the big-voiced African-American singer is doing her part to revive old-school soul music--and she's doing it without emulating Winehouse's tabloid-magnet antics.

from David Kirby: The Christian Science Monitor: Why Sharon Jones is the new face of old soul music


Great Regulars: A child with a sense of the dramatic,

well, many of us have been that child. Here's Carrie Shipers of Missouri reminiscing about how she once wished for a dramatic rescue by screaming ambulance, only to find she was really longing for the comfort of her mother's hands.

Medical History

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 152


Great Regulars: In the next section, the poet [Albert Goldbarth]

does look at the desiccated animal remains, but without poetic metaphor. He accepts "hard summer; the land enameled." He accepts life disintegrating into dust. Then he finds solace in prayer and love.


from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Albert Goldbarth (1948 - )


Great Regulars: With the exception of Martin Luther King's,

most political oratory is decidedly un-poetic and political poetry should not emulate a stump speech. You can write about the topics of war, poverty, racism, sexual abuse or other social problems, and perhaps you can move people to alter their way of thinking. If you want to motivate people to take some sort of action to make our country (and our world) a better place to live, then you must first move them.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Political poetry must first move the reader with an idea


Great Regulars: "The situation is quite serious,"

Sandra Boss, interim chairwoman of the Mount's board, said in a telephone interview from London, where she works. "On the one hand, the Mount [Edith Wharton's estate in Lenox, Mass.] is winning awards for preservation and is internationally renowned as an institution. And it's well run from an efficiency perspective. We've made great progress by cutting costs and raising revenues. On the other hand, our current debt levels are unserviceable and unsustainable. We're not in control of our own destiny unless we can mount a restructuring of our debt."

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Landmark Massachusetts Building Where Wharton Wrote Faces Foreclosure


Great Regulars: Nothing changes the pain of suffering,

the humiliations of aging, our inability to change the past, guess the future, or capture the elusive present. We are thrown into the world and have barely a minute to make sense of it before we vanish.

It is the "moving finger" of the artist, poet, or otherwise, that helps us see through what is mere convention and face whatever lies outside—chaos or higher vision.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A Reading of The Moving Finger by Omar Khayyam


Great Regulars: For this, my farewell

"Poet's Choice" column, here are two poems related by a form: the sonnet.

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


Great Regulars: [Brigit Pegeen Kelly] moves straight on,

into the mystery of metamorphosis. This dead creature "[ . . . ] tricked//our vision: at a distance she was/for a moment no deer/at all//but two swans: we saw two swans" and "this is the soul: like it or not". It is transformation which animates, often beautifully, even in death.

Yet, ambitious as this might seem set against our own poetic norms, it is not enough for Kelly.

from Fiona Sampson: The Guardian: The transforming soul


Great Regulars: by Annette Marie Hyder

Your teeth flash halos of hate
as you try to turn my wine into water
lessen the loaves
subtract the leaven of pleasure
from this experience
leaving it flat like matzo bread.

Posted on February 21, 2008

Your company, a crown of thorns

from Donna Snyder: Newspaper Tree: Poetry: "Your company, a crown of thorns"


Great Regulars: In 1924, [A A] Milne published

a book of children's poems entitled 'When We Were Very Young', with drawings by Punch illustrator, Ernest Shepard. This book includes a poem about a Teddy Bear who 'however hard he tries grows tubby without exercise'. This was Pooh's first unofficial appearance in A A Milne's writing.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Inventing Wonderland --Fantasies of A A Milne


Dr. [Elisabeth] Kubler-Ross was greatly influenced by the poems of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) in his famous work 'Gitanjali' and other works. Almost every chapter in her famous maiden book called "On Death and Dying" carried a quotation from the writings of Tagore. She was very fond of the following lines of Tagore in his "Stray Birds":

'Death belongs to life as birth does The walk is in the raising of the foot as in the laying of it down'

from V Sundaram: News Today: Philosopher of death and dying


Great Regulars: There are relatively few new outbreaks

of violence. The current violence over Gaza has been with us at least since 1948, as has the division of Kashmir between India and Pakistan or the discontent of ethnic minorities in Burma. The violence in Sudan began on the eve of independence in 1956 and has been with us, in one form or another, since.

As governments are largely unwilling to admit that they are unable to cope with a new downward spiral of tensions and violence, it is up to non-governmental organizations to sound the warning bell.

from René Wadlow: media for freedom: Acting in Time


Great Regulars: [Glenn] Reynolds, who knows

his away around the First Amendment, thinks that "the press establishment's general lack of enthusiasm for free speech for others (as evidenced by its support for campaign finance 'reform') suggests that it'll be happy to see alternative media muzzled. "

"You want to keep this media revolution going?" he asks. "Be ready to fight for it. "

from Frank Wilson: Books, Inq.: The Epilogue: Her wish . . .


Consider just one aspect: the slave who stood behind the general in the triumphal chariot and held above the honorand's head a golden crown while whispering, "Look behind you. Remember you are a man." Beard, who holds a chair in classics at Cambridge University, points out that this "has become one of the emblematic trademarks of the triumph," even figuring, in slightly different wording, in the closing sequence of the film Patton.

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: A tradition not so well understood after all


Great Regulars: Count ten

by Arnold Wesker

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Count ten by Arnold Wesker


Great Regulars: Near Field

by W. S. Merwin

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Near Field


Rain Light
by W. S. Merwin

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Rain Light


A Single Autumn
by W. S. Merwin

from The New Yorker: Poetry: A Single Autumn


Great Regulars: --Vi Gale (1917-2007)

Born in Sweden and raised in Clatskanie, writer and publisher Vi Gale lived in Portland for 67 years. She began writing short stories and poetry in the 1950s, and her early books of poetry--including "Love, Always," in which "In a Loud Whisper" appears--were published by Alan Swallow in Denver. In 1974 she founded Prescott Street Press, publishing original work by some of Oregon's best-known poets, as well as translations.

from The Oregonian: Poetry


Great Regulars: By Nicole Naticchia


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Nicole Naticchia ]


Great Regulars: [by John J. Witherspoon]


from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Winter


Great Regulars: Toby Barlow's first book, Sharp Teeth,

is a verse novel about werewolves. This makes it not only a decisive answer (nay!) to the age-old question "Is long-form monster poetry dead?" but also a perfect marriage of form and subject: Both the werewolf and the verse novel (which lopes across the centuries from Pushkin to Browning to Vikram Seth) are shaggy hybrids that appear once in a blue moon and terrify everyone in sight.

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Sharp Teeth


Great Regulars: Gerry Cambridge opens a window

on American poetry for UK readers, and in the 21st issue of The Dark Horse offers stimulating criticism alongside poems from both sides of the Atlantic.

He includes this touching and many-layered meditation on time and memory from the distinguished American poet Rachel Hadas.


from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week


Great Regulars: "The Room"

By Michael Chitwood

from Slate: "The Room" --By Michael Chitwood


Poetic Obituaries: Mrs. [Mavis] Biesanz authored

"The Costa Ricans," published in 1988 and "The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica" published in 1998, both with her son Richard and his wife, Karen Zubris Biesanz.

from A.M. Costa Rica: Prolific author and observer of Tico life, Mavis Biesanz, dies at 88


Poetic Obituaries: [Brian Hill] also wrote poetry

and short stories, Rees said.

A graceful writer, Mr. Hill began his blog in December 2003 as physicians were diagnosing why "my left arm and leg are . . . acting funny. Lazy. Tingly. I have noticed myself stuttering, using the wrong word sometimes (broccoli instead of ravioli), slurring words, and 'mix-mashing' syllables . . . or just not remembering the word I need. I counted this up to getting older and having two small children."

from San Francisco Chronicle: Brian Hill dies--he blogged about his illness


Poetic Obituaries: Moving from Canton, Zaughn [Jones]

was a homemaker. She was an active member at Howland Community Church where she attended. Zaughn was an avid golfer, enjoyed swimming, reading and poetry. She was very talented as an artist.

from Tribune Chronicle: Zaughn Jones 1920-2008


Poetic Obituaries: [Arun Kale's] first poem collection "Rock Garden"

was published in 1993, following which his other collections including the popular 'City of Siren' went on to recieve accolades.

He was elected as a President of the proposed Akshar Manav Sahitya Sammelan to be held on Feb 26-27 at Bhosi in Chandrapur district.

from The Hindu: Poet Arun Kale passes away


Poetic Obituaries: [Amelia R. Lockhart-Battenhausen] was smart,

funny and artistic, with a flair for writing poetry and loved the outdoors. Her adoration for children was well known, as was her uncanny ability to find the humor in every situation.

from Parkersburg News and Sentinel: Amelia R. Lockhart-Battenhausen


Poetic Obituaries: Mrs [Kim] Roye described her son [Jerome Roye]

as "a very artistic boy", who loved to draw, paint, write poems and write his own music.

He also worked for a company called Hatlow Entertainment designing t-shirts and clothing.

He had recently been commissioned to paint graffiti in a pub opposite Herne Hill station.

from Croydon Guardian: Mum's tribute to son killed in Streatham crash


Poetic Obituaries: The community was saddened by

the death of Omena native and long-time resident Barbara Foltz Schneidewind. Barbara was a talented writer of poetry and children's books.

from Leelanau Enterprise: Omena news


Poetic Obituaries: M. Shivanna (72), a Non-Resident Indian,

who participated in the poetry reading session of 9th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, died here on Friday following cardiac arrest.

from The Hindu: NRI poet dies after recital


Poetic Obituaries: Jonathan Tyler, 18, was a gifted poet

who moved to Gilead this winter to work as a lift attendant at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry.

The three inseparable friends went to nearby Gorham, N.H., on Saturday night to fuel up Tyler's 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse and to buy cigarettes after a day's work.

from Sun Journal: 'Good boys' Community mourns teens killed in crash


Poetic Obituaries: [Tara Lynn] Woodman was wearing

a 2004 "Just Move It" T-shirt when found and had participated in an event in Chinle where she received one of the shirts, Lewis later learned.

Her uncle, Mark Forster, spokesman for the family, said Friday, "She was a very fine poet and a very good athlete. She ran track and participated several times in the 'Just Move It' events."

from Gallup Independent: Navajo woman's body is identified


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February 19th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February 19th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags

We begin this week celebrating and representing Black History Month. You'll find the poetry of Countee Cullen in the first two articles we link to.

I just discovered Great Regular Jeff Baker's blog: Bookmarks. Check it out, and discover for yourself the poetry in the Great Regulars section.

Click into the blog for the embedded video in Poetic Obituaries. I love the Smoky Dawson song (he passed away), and there are more.

Again this week on our Back Page, yet more journalist and poet arrests in Burma. It seems every human rights organization in the world is calling for the "despotic regime of General Than Shwe" to release the poets from Insein and the other prisons. But what kind of idiot declares war on his own country's poets? I am calling for the junta to confirm for themselves the only reasonable acknowledgement that can be made at this point, note the paucity of sane leadership in him, increase the size of their tofu snacks, and physically remove him.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Poems such as "Floodtide:

For the black tenant farmers of the south" by Aksia Muhammad Toure or June Jordan's "In Memorium: Martin Luther King, Jr.", Julia Field's "Poems: Birmingham 1962-64", and the many poems of Ishmael Reed, Richard Wright, Conrad Kent Rivers, Keorapetse W. Kgositsile., and a hundred more. Here are just a few.

Scottsboro, Too, Is Worth Its Song: A Poem to American Poets

from North Lake Tahoe Bonanza: Poet's Corner: 20th century Black history through poetry


News at Eleven: [Countee Cullen] advised black writers

to "let art portray things as they are, no matter what the consequences, no matter who is hurt is a blind bit of philosophy ... Every phase of Negro life should not be the white man's concern. The parlor should be large enough for his entertainment and instruction."

How revealing. In his own terms, Cullen merely stated that black art was to instruct the white reading public.

from The Capital: Our Legacy: Thank you, Countee Cullen, for your brilliance