Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

May 27th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

We begin this week with the new Children's Poet Laureate of Wales. Our next link is to an article about the next poet laureate of Great Britain, which could be a woman (finally). And our third is about the poet laureate of the United States. Dozens of stories later, we end with the obituary of America's poet laureate of the hymn. In between, we have other laureates and potential laureates, some history to go with the conjecture, some great finds, remarkable assertions, and poetry.

Enjoy the links.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: The Children's Poet Laureate is

a joint scheme between S4C, The Welsh Books Council, the Welsh Academy and Urdd Gobaith Cymru. Its aims are to raise the profile of poetry amongst young people and to encourage them to create and enjoy poetry. Ifor ap Glyn becomes the ninth poet to hold the position.

from Daily Post North Wales: Ifor ap Glyn is Children's Poet Laureate


News at Eleven: Chloe Garner, director of the Ledbury Poetry Festival,

has made an impassioned call for the appointment of a female poet laureate to redress the imbalance in the 22 male laureates chosen over three centuries.

Yesterday, Ms Garner wrote a letter to the Queen, Gordon Brown, the Tory leader David Cameron, and the Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, in which she calls for the appointment of a female poet laureate when the position falls vacant next year.

from The Independent: Queen is asked to appoint first female Poet Laureate after 22 men in 340 years


News at Eleven: This poem has his [Charles Simic's]

characteristic ingredients, and they are as fresh as ever: Something rare and beautiful that's missing, a chance comic encounter that feels vaguely aggressive and deceptive ("She could be making it all up"), and in which, despite its apparent slightness, the poet finds himself entangled forever.

And why, years later, do you still,
Off and on, cast your eyes to the ground
As you hurry to some appointment
Where you are now certain to arrive late?

from The New York Times: 'One or Two Murderers in Any Crowd'


News at Eleven: Few poets since William Carlos Williams

have done more for the Garden State, or rendered with such mixed feelings what they saw there.

North Jersey also gives [August] Kleinzahler his other great subject: American masculinity, the qualities we attribute to tough guys and men. Kleinzahler's sole book of prose, "Cutty, One Rock," begins and ends in the Fort Lee of his youth, a gruff, if upscale, Mafia stronghold. "Boys are formed by the playgrounds they come from," he wrote there. "Ours was violent, noisy and profane."

from The New York Times: Witness for the Transit
also The New York Times: Excerpt: 'Sleeping It Off in Rapid City'


News at Eleven: "He is dead," [John] Burnside replied.

Mike was sad for him, sorry about his loss. "I guess you miss him," he said.

That's when Burnside told his lie--or, at least, let an untruth hang in the air.

He didn't contradict Mike. He was silent, leaving Mike with the impression that he had had a normal, everyday childhood, that he had had "a regular dad" in a normal, loving household, like Mike's. And that, yes, he missed his father.

from The Sydney Morning Herald: Words to touch the invisible


News at Eleven: "None is high or low, all men (and women) are equal,

And none is either king or subject of anyone.
We all share happiness and sorrow equally. None
Has the right to hoard. Would some shed tears
To put light on to another's room to enlighten the fate
Of the few keeping the millions remained ill-fated?
It is not the law of Islam."

[Kazi] Nazrul [Islam] had his humanity in the light of Islamic liberalism. He had profound faith in Islam. "Love for humans is the best prayer of Allah." He said: "When you do not expect sorrow, pain, torment and indignity for yourself, you must not wish them for your brothers. Do not take your meal keeping your neighbours starving."

from The Daily Star: The rebel poet


News at Eleven: A poet has the responsibility

to point out the ills of society, to call attention to what is happening and awaken the people's consciousness for genuine social change, he said.

He [Bienvenido Lumbera] debunked claims that the words used by a poet were solely the poet's own. "It is important to point out that the words used by the poet are already used by other people in the community and have acquired meanings that embedded itself into the poem," he said.

from Philippine Daily Inquirer: Poetry, politics and political killings


News at Eleven: Its very completion must have seemed

like divine Providence to Milton. Even while writing it, he believed that he shared a muse with Moses and King David and that she visited him nightly in his dreams; he woke up and dictated his poem in seemingly preformed stanzas. The palpable exhilaration of the poem's composition, and the heavy burden of its complex meanings, contributes to the thrilling tension of "Paradise Lost."

Milton's burning question, how things could have gone so wrong in human affairs, is carried back to the moment when "our first parents" ate the apple and brought "death into the world, and all our woe."

from The New Yorker: Return to Paradise


News at Eleven: The movement from rhetoric to clowning,

from elegy to irony, from self-pity to self-mocker--such a common movement in modern American poetry--is related rather to the modern American poet's fear of the solemn and the naive.

Nevertheless, the American poet is concerned with the eternal verities, not with making casual yet precise observations or capturing the mood or impulse of the moment which is the concern of so many modern English poets.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Then and Now


News at Eleven: On one side of the strip

is a poem about Mt. Asaka, in present-day Fukushima Prefecture, while the other side bears a poem about Naniwazu, an ancient port in Osaka.

The poem on Mt. Asaka included in "Manyoshu" is described by Ki no Tsurayuki, a renowned poet of the Heian period (794-1192), as an archetypal poem in the preface of "Kokin Wakashu," a compilation of waka poems.

Since the strip is believed to have been made during the same period that "Manyoshu" was compiled, the discovery is of considerable importance to studies of the collection.

from Daily Yomiuri: Ancient poem found on wood strip


News at Eleven (Back Page): But the catastrophe that destroyed

so many lives has also taken a toll on a region rich in antiquities. Here along the quilt of jagged peaks that stretch north toward the Tibetan plateau, 184 historic sites were damaged or destroyed in the span of five minutes, according to a preliminary government tally. The home of Li Bai, one of China's most revered poets, was shaken apart.

from The New York Times: Stillness Returns, Sadness Lingers


Great Regulars: By H.C. Palmer

Den annexed, he waits--

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Coyote Haiku # 3'


By Jon Herbert Arkham

So which is the myth?

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'The Gloaming'


By Alarie Tennille

IBM Corp. and the National Geographic Society
will announce a project today to collect
at least 100,000 DNA samples from people
all over the globe to trace the routes
of human migration.
April 14, 2005 San Francisco Chronicle

Sent my DNA

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Letters From Home'


By d. douglas

Millie comes and sits beside me

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'The man with the hole in his head'


By Pat Daneman

My son is learning at last everything I never

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Phone Call from a Movie Set Somewhere in Kansas'


By John Mark Eberhart

On Stratocaster Road, all the noises belong to you.

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'On Stratocaster Road'


Great Regulars: Perhaps the chattiness of the style

seemed self-indulgent. Perhaps it seemed camp, a term Auden actually uses in the course of the review, although in an unusual form. He liked pioneering current slang in print (long before it became routine for writers to switch between the language of High Seriousness and smart argot), and lexicographers may be interested in a couple of early uses of the term "trade", to mean (strictly) heterosexual men selling sexual favours (to men or women).

from James Fenton: The Sunday Times: The Complete Works of WH Auden: Prose, Volume III 1949-1955 edited by Edward Mendelson


Great Regulars: Adrienne Rich's "Living in Sin"

is one of the world's best free verse poems.

The poem is one lump chunk on the page but sections itself by lines: 1-7, 8-14, 15-22, and 23-26. The visual ("a pair of beetle-eyes would fix her own"), auditory ("each separate star would writhe / under the milkman's tramp"), and olfactory ("last night's cheese") imagery is superb, precisely supporting the theme of disillusionment.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Rich's 'Living in Sin'


The pseudo-scientific principles that became widespread with the rise of Darwinism led to the failure to grasp spiritual truths that appear in scriptural texts. Thus the notion of a virgin birth becomes, not only not debatable, but the object of scorn and ridicule.

The speaker in [Malcolm M.] Sedam’s poem, posing as "Joseph," therefore puts words in that ancient wise man’s mouth whose ideas Joseph would find outrageous: "Some things were never explained to me." Everything he needed to know was, in fact, explained to him by the angel that appeared to him.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Sedam's 'Joseph'


But soul love beckons with a perpetual "summer’s welcome," even though it is rarer than the vestiges of ordinary love. The lovers will yearn three-times more strongly for this level of soul love, even before they are aware of that yearning.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 56


The speaker does not question his Muse as a demanding lover might, out of jealousy, question a lover about his whereabouts. He refuses to behave like "a sad slave." He does not blight his mind and heart with wild imaginings that his Muse is off cavorting with others.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 57


Great Regulars: On one volume, "No Man's Land,"

Ruth Fowler's narrative of her time working as a dancer in a Times Square strip club, I sarcastically summarized:

"Cambridge University graduate strips . . . emerges to write about it. When I took a jaundiced stance on the book, publicist Kate Lloyd told me, 'Ruth's editor has assured me of the book's veracity (as has Ruth herself.)' "

from Bob Hoover: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Publishers, newspapers, Unite!


Great Regulars: Pain's narrow horizon (for pain makes

one very focused--on the pain--and usually excludes a wider vision) is an echo of the narrow horizon that is the little wood with its trees.

The pleasure of owning a piece of woodland; to preserve it from development or assault from the slashers and burners, and to add it to one's own home as an annex of sorts must be a joy.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: Taking stock of the wood


Great Regulars: Such feeling in such a small space.

These haiku prove that in a secular culture, the stadium--from little league through the majors--may be the closest many Americans get to a house of worship, which is why I end with Raffael de Gruttola's meditation on eternity:

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


Great Regulars: 250 I shall keep singing!

by Emily Dickinson

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: 250 I shall keep singing! by Emily Dickinson


Boarding House
by Ted Kooser

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Boarding House by Ted Kooser


Family Group, Late 1930s
by Christopher Wiseman

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Family Group, Late 1930s by Christopher Wiseman


by Richard Newman

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Fireflies by Richard Newman


The Lost House
by David Mason

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Lost House by David Mason


The Man Next Door Is Teaching His Dog to Drive
by Cathryn Essinger

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Man Next Door Is Teaching His Dog to Drive by Cathryn Essinger


What We Want
by Linda Pastan

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: What We Want by Linda Pastan


Great Regulars: In "The Moose," a poem much too long

to print here, the late Elizabeth Bishop was able to show a community being created from a group of strangers on a bus who come in contact with a moose on the highway. They watch it together and become one. Here Robert Bly of Minnesota assembles a similar community, around an eclipse. Notice how the experience happens to "we," the group, not just to "me," the poet.

Seeing the Eclipse in Maine

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 165


Great regulars: And I invite all you fearless

readers (I really do love puns) to post your own haikus in the 'comments' section. (Though please refrain from the likes of "Max Ross: Egomaniac/ where's Whitman? Or Eliot?/They're better than you" and so on. Unless you have one that's really, really good.)

Also, for those interested, I found the header illustration here.

So here goes:

Fat green leaves beaten

from Max Ross: The Rake: Cracking Spines: Poem Worth Reading


Great Regulars: [Jean] Passerat's poem is beautifully

simple--and an absolute devil to translate. "J'ay perdu ma tourterelle" it begins: "I have lost my turtledove." Amanda French seems to be the latest person to have had a shot at it. Unfortunately, she clogs the rhyme scheme by re-iterating her "dove/love" rhyme in every stanza. However, she has written a fascinating paper to accompany the translation, which you can read here.

Jean Passerat's poem is reproduced below. I've followed the original spellings, designed to enhance the rhyme scheme. Stanza-breaks are inserted for clarity.


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


Great Regulars: Here's an example: I remember waking

on the morning of the autumn equinox in 1997, shortly after turning 50, with a line of poetry in my head: "I feel my body letting go of light." I wrote it down immediately, before losing it, and in the act of writing I realized several things about the line: that it was iambic pentameter; that it was obviously connected both to the Earth's seasonal turn toward lessening light at equinox and to my own turn toward older age; and that although it sounded dark, ominous, it felt uplifting and positive to me. [--Floyd Skloot]

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: To Floyd Skloot, poetry emerges from emotional intensity and 'insistence'


Great Regulars: Didi Menendez is a Cuban-born American

artist and author. She is also the publisher for MiPoesias, http://www.mipoesias.com ,OCHO and Oranges & Sardines. Her series The American Poet Portraits is gaining momentum. http://americanpoets.blogspot.com/

from Belinda Subraman Presents: Didi Menendez: Poet, Artist, Publisher


Great Regulars: by Jane Hirshfield

Vinegar and Oil

from The Atlantic Monthly: Poetry: Vinegar and Oil


Great Regulars: A London Symphony

by Jo Shapcott

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: A London Symphony by Jo Shapcott


Great Regulars: The Crows at 3 A.M.

by Stanley Plumly

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Crows at 3 A.M.


by Arda Collins

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Low


Great Regulars: By Tali Bumgardner

Kellman Academy

One flag for the soldier that has died

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Tali Bumgardner]


By Hunter McGowan


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Hunter McGowan]


Great Regulars: [by Lucia H. Stumreiter]

In Memory of MRM

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: In Memory of MRM


Great Regulars: "Memory"

By Judith Harris

from Slate: "Memory" --By Judith Harris


Great Regulars: "Let's make a baby," said Rita.

by Roman Baenbaev, Translated by Adriana X. Jacobs, May 22, 2008

from Zeek: Poem: "Rita" by Roman Baembaev


[by RBarenblat]

From The Brakhot Cycle

One whose dead lies before him

from Zeek: Three Poems from The Brakhot Cycle


Poetic Obituaries: [Saleh ibn Abdullah Al-Malik] wrote a number

of books and conducted field research on social, political and economic topics.

Hamad Al-Qadi, a member of the Shoura, said Al-Malik’s death was a big loss not only for the Shoura but also for the Kingdom. “He was a good parliamentarian, a poet and a linguist,” Al-Qadi said.

from Arab News: Shoura Sec. Al-Malik, 67, Passes Away


Poetic Obituaries: Zachary Fitzgerald, one of Lauren Barrett's cousins,

read a poem written by Lauren Barrett which he hoped would inspire those who knew her.

"I've got two arms strong enough to hold the weight of the world . . . " Fitzgerald read from Lauren Barrett's poem.

"If she can have that strength and know that much about herself, it can help all of us," Fitzgerald said.

from Poughkeepsie Journal: Family, friends mourn loss of teen killed in crash


Poetic Obituaries: [Don Becker's] personal struggles

had long been documented, battling mental illness throughout a life of varied creative pursuits, including comedy albums, one-man plays and even children's stories.

In 2001, the Denver International Film Festival screened the Robin Beeck documentary "A Farewell to Arms," which detailed Becker's unusual story--including the loss of his arms in a 1986 train accident. (One of them was successfully re-attached.)

from The Denver Post: Don Becker stood up for local scene


Poetic Obituaries: For 25 years Carol managed

the poetry business that filled the Bly house, doing farm work as well as working on the literary reviews, The Fifties and The Sixties, edited by Robert together with William Duffy. She also served as hostess for the many poets--among them Bill Holm, Donald Hall and James Wright--who visited, serving dinners to guests but exacting chores in return.

from Duluth News Tribune: Carol Bly's friends recall passion, conscience


Poetic Obituaries: NACRO also encouraged Steven [Bosanquet]

to deal with his problems in a more positive way by writing poetry and as an artistic person, creating amazing drawings.

As well as trying to promote greater understanding of the illness that is drug abuse, the family are keen to remember the good times with Steven.

from The Flintshire Standard: Wrexham family's plea after drug addict found dead


Poetic Obituaries: [Ronald G. Crawford] loved hunting

and fishing, playing cards and board games, especially Scrabble. And he loved writing poetry. He was everyone's handyman; whenever anyone needed anything he was always there.

from Tribune Chronicle: Ronald G. Crawford 1930-2008


Poetic Obituaries: George Garrett died this weekend.

The former Virginia poet laureate and University of Virginia professor had an international reputation and a profound impact on Grounds, especially concerning UVA's Creative Writing Program.

from NBC 29: Poet Laureate, UVA Professor Dies
also Inside UVA: In age of narrow specialization, a writer who does it all


Poetic Obituaries: Lois Hirshkowitz, 72, of New York City,

who was a founding director in Lakewood, died Tuesday, May 20. She was a founding director of Lakewood Prep, a founding editor of Barrow Street poetry journal, and author of four books of poetry.

from Asbury Park Press: Lois Hirshkowitz, 72, of New York City, who was a founding director in Lakewood


Poetic Obituaries: Reginald Franklin Lockett touched people's

lives through his artfully chosen words, poignant themes and sincere friendships. The accomplished educator and award-winning poet was much loved in Oakland's literary community and beyond. He published several books and countless articles and served as a tenured professor at San Jose City College for the past 20 years.

from Oakland Tribune: Oakland's unofficial poet laureate dies at 60


Poetic Obituaries: Professor [Winston] Napier specialized

in critical theory, 20th-century African American literary culture, and African American philosophical thought. A former editor of the Howard University Journal of Philosophy, he published in Literature and Psychology, The Massachusetts Review, New Literary History, and The Village Voice Literary Supplement. He was editor of the acclaimed book "African American Literary Theory: A Reader." In his research, Professor Napier explored the intercultural dynamics responsible for the unique structure and configuration of black expressive discourse.

from Clark University: University Communications: In Memoriam: Winston Napier, E. Franklin Frazier Chair and Associate Professor of English


Poetic Obituaries: In eulogies at the burial,

he said, the late Ngugi [wa Mirii] was described as unique in many ways and a remarkable man of many dimensions: a poet, pan-Africanist, artist, publisher, writer, filmmaker, media analyst and freedom fighter.

"We noted that Ngugi, Kenyan-born, had become a Zimbabwean citizen, and that he had embraced as his own the Zimbabwean struggle against imperialists," Mr [Chinondidyachii] Mararike said.

from allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Ngugi Laid to Rest


Poetic Obituaries: [Reuben Pakaenda] knew the power of art

as a tool. In 2004, he eventually published 13 brilliant poems in the ZPH anthology called Zviri Muchinokoro Kunaka! alongside his heroes, Ignatius Mabasa and Chirikure Chirikure.

He wrote about the joys of friendship and the frailty of the human soul. The book is now on the Advanced Level school syllabus.

That publication gave Reuben intense joy and confidence. At writing workshops in Chiredzi, Mudzi, Abre Acres, Chinyaradzo . . . you would see the glitter in his eyes as he volunteered to perform new and old poems.

from allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Writer Pakaenda Dies


Poetic Obituaries: "We were not only father and son.

We were the best of pals and we laughed a lot together. He was bright and witty and the best of company." [--Jim Queally]

He described Ian [Queally] as a "very bright and multi-talented young man" who played guitar, wrote his own poetry and was also a "useful" actor.

from Irish Independent: TV star's heartbreak as son dies


Poetic Obituaries: The following day when Mark [Speight]

had still not arrived home, [his daughter] Kirsty searched his room and found the journal in which he wrote his thoughts and poems.

There, she found a note which showed the true depths of his despair.

Carmen says: 'It was on a side of A5 and had been ripped out of the main pad. It said that he couldn't believe he and Natasha had only been together five years.

'Then he'd written, "I've tried to carry the load but the burden is too heavy to bear. I love my family and Tash's family very much. I'm sorry I can't be strong anymore."

'It ended with the words, "Please make sure you set up The Natasha Collins Trust and publish these poems."

from The Mail on Sunday: 'I honestly don't think he planned suicide'--The mother of his overdose girlfriend on the tragic death of Mark Speight


Poetic Obituaries: [Juanita Tucker] helped start the community paper,

Christmas Bell Ringer, and was its editor for many years. She also wrote a column about Christmas that ran in the Orlando Sentinel.

A poet and artist, she painted the baptistery at the Fort Christmas Baptist Church and has even been credited with helping bring electricity and dial telephones to Christmas.

from Orlando Sentinel: Juanita Tucker, 101, was longtime postmaster and booster of Christmas


Poetic Obituaries: [Jaroslav] Vajda, of Webster Groves, Mo.,

died last week at the age of 89, and left the world of hymnody--the art of composing of sacred songs in praise of God--very different from when he entered it.

"He was more or less the dean of hymn writers in North America," said Carl Daw, executive director of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada at Boston University.

from Coulee News: Poet laureate of American hymns dies at 89


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

May 20th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

We begin half way around the world from here in New England, in Tibet. Our second story in News at Eleven takes us to Korea. The next two are in Pakistan. And then another pair of articles reflects the Middle East.

It's SRO in our next section, with 30 Great Regulars showing up to give us 39 items to click into, multiple items coming from John Mark Eberhart, Linda Sue Grimes, Frieda Hughes, V Sundaram, and The New Yorker. Also with two articles, Fatima Bhutto is featured in both Great Regulars, as one herself, and in the third article in News at Eleven.

Plus we have respects to pay, as 13 poets from around the globe are in Poetic Obituaries.

A very full week. Thanks for surfing by.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: On March 10, 2008, about 300 of us

gave up everything we owned in India to begin a long march back to Tibet. The only things we have with us now are our sleeping bags, mattresses and mobile phones. I have spent my whole life looking for a place I can call home. I was born in India, but my family were refugees from Tibet, a country presently torn by strife and chaos. I am also a Buddhist--and believe in the basic principle that Buddhism has the power to change people's minds, and bring long-term happiness and peace to them. [--Tenzin Tsundue]

from Daily News & Analysis: The long walk home