Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29th Poetic Ticker Clicking

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April 29th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry Month is winding down, and I have been saving the Huntington News poems until now. There are ten links I could find, and they are on our Back Page this week. We headline, though, with Charles Simic stepping down. This is followed by some excellent poems by Mark Doty, then an article about A Coney Island of the Mind turning 50.

I'll leave the dozens of other fine items to your perusal and discovery. Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: A lecture on poetry translation

will be the final time Charles Simic speaks as U.S. poet laureate, the Library of Congress said.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed this past year," Simic said in a news release.

from United Press International: Simic stepping aside as U.S. poet laureate


News at Eleven: Two poems

by Mark Doty

Apparition (Favorite Poem)

The old words are dying,

from Cape Cod Times: In 'Fire to Fire,' Doty gathers poems that reflect recurring themes


News at Eleven: [Lawrence] Ferlinghetti, who now is 89,

looks to the past, present and future. In the middle of the 20th century, he made literature enliven and reshape our lives; in the 21st century, he calls attention to literary history and dedicates his energies to peace and "a rebirth of wonder."

from The Capital Times: Ferlinghetti's 'Coney Island' poems celebrated at 50


News at Eleven: [Skerko] Bekas was not only threatened

by Saddam's tyranny. In 1970, the master poet undertook a pioneering role in a new literary movement in northern Iraq. The motto of that movement was, "Anyone who holds a pen, unite for women's rights!" This motto led to Bekas being included on yet another death list. "Radical Islamist organizations called for my head because I defended the rights of women. They hung fatwas on the walls of mosques," said Bekas.

from Turkish Daily News: Kurdish poet owes his life to his verses


News at Eleven: Pulled up short though we are

by that mundane last line, upon turning the page to "Embodies," we get hammered again with the enormity of our ecological errors: "Deep autumn & the mistake occurs, the plum tree blossoms," and the understatement of "mistake" emanates horror. If they elicit visceral reactions to the ruin of this planet, these poems have done more for Earth than most polemical tirades.

By contrast, "Guantanamo" expresses muted, stilted outrage at political cruelty.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Poetry review: Jorie Graham's 'Sea Change'


News at Eleven: "We have the genes for a tail,

you know," she [Gillian Ferguson] says cheerfully, just one of the many things she learned in the past five years while writing a book of poetry about the human genome project. "For all the things I found out, it was the closeness of the connection to the rest of the natural world that really blew me away. Do you know, we share 75 per cent of the same genes as a pumpkin?"

from The Scotsman: No timorous beastie


News at Eleven: If the poem starts somewhere,

the chances of it going somewhere else seem to be increased. If the poem kind of starts in the middle of some psychic nightmare, it usually is just gonna remain there. So the reason I begin my poems clearly is that I want to get away from that clarity and use the beginning of the poem as a kind of springboard into more ambiguous, more demanding (territory). [--Billy Collins]

from The Wire: the 'convivial' poet


News at Eleven: But his works were as musical

and meaningful as more conventional poetry, too, and a lot more amusing. The minimal poems were eye openers, ear openers and mind openers, and no one else was doing anything much like them at the time, and no one has since.

Granted--as [Aram] Saroyan has--he was smoking a lot of grass at the time.

from The New York Times: Lighght Verse


News at Eleven: It makes one think of songs by Schumann,

more than anything in English poetry, and in fact Mr. [Adam] Zagajewski often invokes music to achieve his effects. In "Music Heard With You," he mentions "Grave Brahms and elegiac Schubert,/a few songs, Chopin's fourth ballad. . . ." Here, one of the risks of being a civilized poet comes into view: the temptation to simply refer to emotions already captured in other artworks, rather than capture them anew.

But in his best poems, Mr. Zagajewski does capture them.

from The New York Sun: David Yezzi and Adam Zagajewski: Songs of Innocence and Experience


News at Eleven: [Frances Wilson] makes us feel

the constraints of the living conditions at Dove Cottage: she counts the number of bedrooms and works out who slept where, with whom, and why. She describes the immense walks that Dorothy [Wordsworth] took, "with mud-encrusted skirts banging against her sturdy legs, her flimsy shoes, her neck and face often wet and cold, her eyes and ears alert to the beauty of every sight" and the disapproving reactions of family and landladies to this bohemian mode of travel.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poor Dorothy Wordsworth


News at Eleven (Back Page): Amy Clampitt (1920-1994)

was a poet whose great love of birds entered her work--they were not just subjects to be observed, but the winged messengers of some of the larger ideas and subtle insights that animate her verse.


from Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Today's Poet: Amy Clampitt
also Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Today's Poet: Wallace Stevens
also Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Today's Poet: Kingsley Amis
also Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Today's Poet: Cynthia Zarin
also Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Today's Poet: Philip Levine
also Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Today's Poet: Mark Strand
also Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Today's Poet: Dan Chiasson
also Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Today's Poet: Julia Hartwig
also Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Today's Poet: Edward Hirsch
also Huntington News: National Poetry Month: A Poem A Day in April . . . Another Poem by Kenneth Koch


Great Regulars: Time for a sonnet,

the final poem for April, National Poetry Month.

This is one of my favorites. It's proof that the sound of language is what makes a poem.

What's so special about what's said here?

from Fleda Brown: Traverse City Record Eagle: On Poetry: Why Shakespeare lasts


Great Regulars: And I felt him coming.

And I said to myself, "This is it. Everybody told me that I was going to get in a fight or get jumped if I lived in this neighborhood. And now it's going to happen."

So I steeled myself, and he rode up next to me, and he looked at me and he said, "You're the poet, right?" [--Terrance Hayes]

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: For Hayes, Pittsburgh and Poetry Are No Strangers

Great Regulars: In Their Dotage

By Philip Miller

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Animal logic


Another poem from Maryfrances Wagner's new book, How Light Subtracts Itself
The African Catfish

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: By popular demand



by James Coffman

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Gift'


The Last Shot
By Maryfrances Wagner
From her new book, How Light Subtracts Itself

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'The Last Shot'



By Timothy Pettet

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Maybe'



By Jon Herbert Arkham

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Solicitation'



By Greg Field

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Solutions'


Great Regulars: The operas were dead.

"Occasional attempts at revival, although revealing untold glories to musicians of sober and patient tastes, have only shown that there is no hope of ever restoring these works to a stage which no longer resorts to extravagant sumptuousness of production for its own sake, nor has any use for the stiff formality of endless successions of da capo arias."

Handel's fortune really was at its nadir when his supporters, not his detractors, spoke in this way.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Past notes


Great Regulars: Many poems feature dogs

doing things more common to people--caring, giving empathy--and people doing dog things--sleeping in parks, visiting dog runs, sticking their nose into the weather.

Cutesy as some of these inversions can seem at first, it's hard to blame [Philip] Schultz for making them: "We all like a little self-rhapsody," he writes, speaking for us and the four-legged.

from John Freeman: The News & Observer: Poems mark hard paths


Great Regulars: Then the speaker becomes fully aware

that the students are not only listening to his poems, but they are also reacting to them. They are no longer "frozen fish"; they are "fish in an aquarium." At this point, he understands that "though I had/tried to drown them/with my words/that they had only opened up/like gills for them/and let me in."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: D. C. Berry's Fishy Metaphor


Then the speaker makes a disheartening pronouncement, immediately followed by an uplifting one. It is quite possible that the soul will fail in its heavenly pursuit; unity with God might remain "ungained," because of "a Life's low Venture," or following an unwholesome path through life.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Dickinson's 'Each Life Converges'


The final stanza celebrates the young soldiers and glorifies further their mission with an extended comparison to "the stars": "As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,/Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;/As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,/To the end, to the end, they remain."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Laurence Binyon's 'For the Fallen'


Great Regulars: With no international observers,

journalists or even tourists allowed to Tibet, I am deeply worried about the fate of the Tibetans. Many of those injured in the crackdown, especially in the remote areas, are too terrified to seek medical treatment for fear of arrest. According to some reliable sources, people are fleeing to the mountains where they have no access to food and shelter. Those who remained behind are living in a constant state of fear of being the next to be arrested.

from Tenzin Gyatso: The Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama: An Appeal To All Chinese Spiritual Brothers And Sisters


Great Regulars: One more strategy

from [Eric Jerome] Dickey:

Spend the first week of your book's release doing events in bookstores that report their sales to the New York Times best-seller list.

Interesting move, one that points up the fact that best-seller figures can be manipulated.

from Bob Hoover: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Literary notes from the road


Great Regulars: The body becomes an open cavern

into which light pours as various internal organs are examined; when the heart, the defunct motor that ran the machine of the body, is severed from the cords that once bound it to the blood supply it finalises any usefulness of the man, it is an admission of his transformation from human being to inanimate organic object.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: Owner of a broken heart


Great Regulars: Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott

is one of the great mongrels of American poetry, serving as a singular melting pot for a variety of traditions--from Shakespeare's English to the patois of his grandmothers, who descended from slaves.

I'm just a red nigger who love the sea,

from Mary Karr: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice


Great Regulars: Poem: "Posthumous"

by Jean Nordhaus, from Innocence.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of April 28, 2008


Great Regulars: I may be a little sappy,

but I think that almost everyone is doing the best he or she can, despite all sorts of obstacles. This poem by Jonathan Holden introduces us to a young car salesman, who is trying hard, perhaps too hard. Holden is the past poet laureate of Kansas and poet in residence at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

Car Showroom

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 161


Great Regulars: If one were forced to select

a single word to exemplify [Elizabeth] Bishop's peculiar charm and power, it might well be "No," which keeps resurfacing at key moments. This was hardly a cry against life's challenges and opportunities. Rather it was a self-reprimand, or a self-exhortation: an internal urging to cast off first impressions, to look deeper and see things afresh. Time and again, an initial image gives way to a truer image: "Are they birds?/They flash again. No. They are vibrations of the tuning fork you hold and strike."

from Brad Leithauser: The Wall Street Journal: The Poet as Survivor


Great Regulars: Whenever it comes to the era known

as the 60s, I go wobbly in the knees. Perspective disappears, and reason evaporates. For me, this tumultuous decade--which in spirit runs from about 1960, with the election of John F. Kennedy, through the end of the Vietnam War in 1975--has a charm and promise all its own, which I associate with a feeling of freedom from old pieties and a sense of fresh possibilities.

from Jay Parini: The Chronicle Review: Sizing Up the 60s


Great Regulars: As English dilutes into a world-language,

becoming considerably more dull and watery than Elinour's noisome brew, we should be grateful to have poets with the courage of their identity, reminding us that English English may be a mishmash but still has a good strong flavour of its own.

[by Jane Holland]

Night Blue Fruit at the Tin Angel

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Poem of the week


Great Regulars: One of the first pieces I wrote

for what would eventually become "Bill's Formal Complaint" is a prose poem titled "Bill." In it, the name "Bill" appears 24 times, the repetition, in and of itself, insisting on the character's existence, if only in the world of the poem. I wasn't convinced until about six months and 15 Bill poems later that he wasn't going away. I couldn't stop following him. [--Dan Kaplan]

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Since Bill is not going away, poet might as well write through him


Great Regulars: Michael Neff is the founder

and director of WebdelSol.Com and it's affiliated literary organizations including the Algonkian Writer Workshops. He is an artist, photographer, also chief editor of Del Sol Review, as well as publisher of the several literary journals including In Posse Review, The Potomac, Perihelion, 5_Trope, and La Petite Zine.

from Belinda Subraman Presents: Michael Neff: writer, editor, publisher and director of WebdelSol.Com


Great Regulars: Purana (Sanskrit: purana), meaning "belonging

to ancient or olden times", is the name of an ancient Indian genre (or a group of related genres) of Hindu or Jain literature (as distinct from oral tradition). They primarily are post-Vedic texts containing a narrative of the history of the Universe, from creation to destruction, genealogies of the kings, heroes and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy and geography.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Puranas, the source of ancient Indian history--I


The Puranas consist largely of the Royal Genealogies and Kshtriyas Ballads and Tales. Dynastic accounts and heroic tales were the principal subjects of the Kshtriya record. These state the succession of Kings, and in that way are historical.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Puranas, the source of ancient Indian history--II


Great Regulars: It may seem lightweight,

but it is also remarkably tensile, an unbreakable thread holding his often startling imagery tightly together. So we can see how "the fluorescent tubing burns like a bobby-soxer's ankles" and recognize immediately "the flushed effulgence of a sky Tiepolo/and Turner had compiled in vistavision."

The style derives, it would seem, from the method of composition: "I don't have to make elaborately sounded structures," [Frank] O'Hara wrote. "I don't even like rhythm, assonance, all that stuff. You just go on your nerve."

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Poet of Pepsis and burgers


Great Regulars: How does anyone become a poet?

And why?" The radio announcer asked. I stared at him blankly. "Come on," he goaded me. "Can’t you at least give me an insight? A metaphor?"

"How does anyone have an orgasm?" I thought of answering. But I thought that might have been rude.

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: How Does Anyone Become A Poet?


Great Regulars: Jhoota Kunda Ballads:

The Ghosts of Cranford Park by Daljit Nagra

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Jhoota Kunda Ballads: The Ghosts of Cranford Park by Daljit Nagra


Great Regulars: The God of Loneliness

by Philip Schultz

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The God of Loneliness


by Matthew Dickman

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Grief


Great Regulars: [by Geri Woodworth]

Reflections (from the other side)

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Reflections (from the other side)


Great Regulars: People are endlessly fascinated in how

a poem is made; here Pamela Beasant neatly dispels any misconception that it is an art that could be quickly learned or lightly practised in her precise portrait of Norman MacCaig. From Running with a SnowLeopard (Two Ravens Press, 2008).

How long does it take to write a poem?

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week


Great Regulars: "Abundance"

By James Longenbach

from Slate: "Abundance" --By James Longenbach


Poetic Obituaries: [Bryan Antoine] Adams [Jr.] overcame his shyness

through writing and performing rap songs, his mother said. Mangana encouraged her son to take a poetry writing class at Howard County Community College and his father encouraged him to take theater classes, Adams Sr. said.

Adams was still working through the grief of losing his toddler son by writing rap songs about the boy, Mangana said, adding that she believes that the young father and son are now united in heaven.

from Columbia Flyer: Hundreds mourn man slain in Wilde Lake


Poetic Obituaries: [Anne Chapman] was widowed in 1985

and spent her later years writing stories, poems and books.

Her last work was a collaboration with Glasgow University about midwifery in the city's Rottenrow Hospital during the war.

from Hamilton Advertiser: Well-known district midwife dies aged 91


Poetis Obituaries: The IRA planned to shoot him

but the officer charged with the task called when Betjeman was "out of Dublin for a spell". This allowed time for the man to read some of his poems. He came to the conclusion that the author of the lines . . .

Miss J Hunter Dunn, Miss J Hunter Dunn,
Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun

. . . could not possibly be a spy, and he was spared.

When he died she attended his memorial service in 1984. She told her son, Ed, she had never had an affair with him. "I was in love with Dad," she added.

from Independent.ie: The poem that saved a terribly English spy from death in Dublin


Poetic Obituaries: [Hazel E. Ehresman] enjoyed giving readings,

writing poems, and stories from "Elizabeth's Pen," as well as gardening, flowers, pastel painting, sewing and arts and crafts.

from Post-Bulletin: Hazel E. Ehresman--Racine


Poetic Obituaries: [Lois Marguerite Eshman] was a member

of the local Artisans' Guild, the Marion Area Fine Arts Society, and a 60-year member of Epworth United Methodist Church. She was honored by various organizations in recent years and was recognized as the Marion Poet of the Year and the Artist of the Year. She deeply held the convictions of the Democratic Party and longed for an end to violence.

from Lancaster Eagle Gazette: Lois Marguerite Eshman


Poetic Obituaries: [Jamie Heard] also had a passion

for reading, playing the piano, and writing poetry. According to friends, Heard was known as "Mr. Have You Read That Book?" because of his penchant for reading everything he could get his hands on. Khan said the last book his friend had been reading was the Quran.

from The Retriever Weekly: Student found dead in Erickson Hall


Poetic Obituaries: [Nadia Kajouji's] mother, Deborah Chevalier read some

of her daughter's poetry during the one-hour service, including a poem written three months before the teen graduated high school.

"I am comfortable in my own skin and I know who I am for the first time," she read to mourners, who filled the hallways and overflow rooms. "For the first time I am at peace," the poem said.

from The Ottawa Citizen: Hundreds mourn 'beautiful angel'


Poetic Obituaries: [Terry "Jody" Rader] Learn was an avid poet

and artist, Laurent said, with eyes so dark her mother called her "my black-eyed beauty."

"When someone takes drugs, they take a risk and it makes everything go wrong," Laurent said tearfully. "She was a wonderful girl. No one can take that away from me."

from Belleville News-Democrat: Mother mourns death of daughter; dancer's death called an overdose


Poetic Obituaries: [Edward] Archie Markham adopted his alter egos

to explore different experiences and avoid the sort of stereotypes which he felt dominated too much of the discourse of the 1970s and 1980s concerning black writing. While he refused to be shackled by his West Indian origins, his adoption of pseudonymous identities drew on the Caribbean tradition of using masks to speak in voices in dialogue and allow contradiction with themselves.

from Telegraph: EA Markham


Poetic Obituaries: As a combatant in the Republicans' struggle

of 1936-39 against the Fascist forces of General Franco, Rosario Sánchez Mora became an expert in the use of explosives.

She acquired from her comrades the nickname "la Dinamitera" (The Dynamite Girl), and was immortalised in a poem by the Left-wing writer Miguel Hernandez.

from Telegraph: Rosario Sánchez Mora


Poetic Obituaries: [Audrey M. O'Connor] then was employed

by the Pentagon for 2 years in the Military Intelligence Division. Mrs. O'Connor was employed for several years at the Hattie Larlham Foundation as an aid, as a bus driver for Happy Day School and from 1987 until her retirement in 2003 as a teacher at the Garrettsville Christian School. Audrey had a gift for writing poems and for recycling anything and everything.

from Ravenna Record Courier: Audrey M. O'Connor


Poetic Obituaries: [Rustam Sani's] writings covered

a wide range of topics including politics, socio-economics, history, culture, statistics and literature.

His anthology of poems, Riak-Riak Kecil, composed in 1977, was published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Rustam won the National Literature Award for 1988/89.

from The Star: Rustam Sani dies, aged 64


Poetic Obituaries: Philip Sargeant was not like any other

architect of his era. By the age of 18 he had established a reputation as an actor, painter and poet and his aim in life went far beyond the creation of a few admired buildings, clever newspaper articles, paintings, poems and badly recorded stage appearances.

Sargeant, who has died of cancer, aged 75, was born and lived in Surrey Hills with his family in comfortable circumstances.

from The Age: A life of many talents lived to the full


Poetic Obituaries: But it was after leaving the legal world

that he [Douglas Teesdale] managed to indulge in another of his passions. He became a prominent seller of antique books and had several books published, including an anthology of poems. Most of all though he savoured the time he spent with his six grandchildren.

from Edinburgh Evening News: Skilled advocate for whom family always came first


Poetic Obituaries: Some practitioners encourage patients

to write stories, letters, essays or poems and to recall actual events in which they vanquished a concern or responded to a family member with cathartic satisfaction.

A practitioner of narrative therapy, Dr. Gene Combs, an associate professor of psychiatry and family medicine at Loyola University in Chicago, said Mr. [Michael] White emphasized the need to "elevate the person you're working with, instead of elevating the therapist," so that discussions with patients, alone or in family groups, can ensure that individuals are not viewed as "generic carriers of problems, or only as pathologies and not people."

from The New York Times: Michael White, 59, Dies; Used Stories as Therapy


Poetic Obituaries: Larry [Yeoman] had a passion for life.

His sense of humor was the most resonating part of his personality. He loved golf, good food, Las Vegas, writing silly poems, St. Patrick's Day and being Santa Claus to countless children over the years.

from Oneida Dispatch: Lawrence H. Yeoman


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 22nd Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
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