Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

April 28th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

We know who England's next poet laureate will be. But we also know who was named as Canada's fourth Parliamentary Poet. These are our top two stories. In Great Regulars, you'll also find two poems by and two interviews with outgoing Poet Laureate Andrew Motion.

But back up to News at Eleven. The third story is about women writers in Afghanistan, just how much so many want to be educated and to write, and just how dangerous that can be, maybe moreso now than ever.

We have dozens more links to poems and articles about poets and poetry. Thanks for surfing by on your way out to the world.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Ms Duffy, 53, who is known for her emotional style

of writing, has been chosen by the Government to succeed Andrew Motion.

She has won out after Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, introduced a new "selection process" for the role, with the general public given more of a say.

Poetry lovers were encouraged to "vote" for their preferred candidate by writing in to ministers, while the views of writers and academics were also canvassed.

from Telegraph: Carol Ann Duffy tipped as new Poet Laureate
also Independent: Carol Ann Duffy: A poet laureate with a twist
also The Scotsman: After 340 years, Scot set to be named as new Poet Laureate


News at Eleven: Quebec poet, editor and translator Pierre DesRuisseaux

has been appointed Canada's fourth parliamentary poet laureate.

DesRuisseaux, 63, is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, as well as fiction and non-fiction works. His poetry collection, Monème, won the Governor General's Literary Award in 1989.

His bilingual anthology of 25 English-Canadian poets, Contre-taille, was nominated for a Governor General's Award in 1996.

DesRuisseaux has also written on popular culture in Quebec, including the Livre des proverbes québécois and Dictionnaire des expressions québécoises.

from CBC News: Quebec's Pierre DesRuisseaux named parliamentary poet laureate


News at Eleven: "We were very excited

at the time of the end of the Taliban," she continues. "I dreamt of being a professor, of our group becoming a cultural association for the city's women. But everything went wrong. Nadia was killed . . . She had great spirit, but we could see she was facing problems. She was trapped." Nadia [Anjuman]'s few poems from that time talk of her as "a bird without wings".

"I remain, but remain a broken pen", ends one.

"If I was to say the situation of women is better, that would be untrue," says Leila [Razeqi].

from The Sunday Times: The defiant poets' society
also TimesOnline: Photo Gallery: Literacy in Afghanistan


News at Eleven: [Woeser's] visits to Tibet are even more tightly scrutinized.

The police track her every move, interrogating any friend who dares to meet with her. "Most of my friends no longer have the guts to see me," she said.

During her last visit in August, public security officials searched her mother's home in Lhasa, confiscating computers and subjecting Ms. Woeser to eight hours of questioning. When she returned home, her mother, fearful for her safety, begged her to pack her bags and go. "That was one of the most heartbreaking moments," she said.

from The New York Times: A Tibetan Blogger, Always Under Close Watch, Struggles for Visibility


News at Eleven: Here, from "Our Savage Art,"

is a taste of [William] Logan on the warpath: "The only way Ammons could have improved 'Ommateum' would have been to burn it"; "Almost everything Graham writes offers the swagger of emotion, pretentiousness by the barrelful and a wish for originality that approaches vanity--she's less a poet than a Little Engine that Could, even when it Can't"; or, on Billy Collins: "He's the Caspar Milquetoast of contemporary poetry, never a word used in earnest, never a memorable phrase. . . . If such poems look embarrassing now, what are they going to look like in 20 years?"

from The New York Times: Samurai Critic


News at Eleven: My heart sank. It sank even further

when two days later an immensely long letter arrived [from Philip Larkin] containing no fewer than 15 suggested changes, some of them substantial. He took issue above all with the heart of my profile, the character sketch that I had composed with such care.

"Oh dear, this final character sketch! I do want to sound less of a simple-minded book-drunk, if you can manage it; I want to sound more guarded, more complex, more like a person who could possibly write a good poem. It's absurd to write a character sketch of oneself, but I'll try anything to avoid wearing the particular garment you have woven for me. Using the properties you've mentioned as far as possible, I'd prefer something along these lines . . ."

from Telegraph: Philip Larkin


News at Eleven: "It's a way to go beyond the surface of things,"

he [Mark Doty] explains by phone from his Chelsea apartment in New York. 'There is the rich and satisfying experience of not just writing, but of thinking and perceiving. A poem is always more than a description. It's not enough to just point to the world, its beauty or its terror. A poem has to move beneath that and make a claim on meaning. We want to look at things and ask, `What do you have to say about that?' The sound of frogs--'What does that mean to you?'''

from Miami Herald: Poet looks below surface to find deeper meaning


News at Eleven: "A Human Eye" collects short essays and

book reviews published over the past 12 years. In it, one can find some of the central concerns that have animated this writer since the 1960s. Rich continues to refuse to separate the artistic from the political, and she articulates in powerful ways how a truly radical political agenda can draw upon an aesthetic vision. In an essay on the poet Muriel Rukeyser, Rich says that Rukeyser "was one of the great integrators, seeing the fragmentary world of modernity not as irretrievably broken, but in need of societal and emotional repair."

from San Francisco Chronicle: 'A Human Eye,' by Adrienne Rich


News at Eleven: The metaphore in this b. is a sort of

eloquence built upon three words that bear more than one connotation. The verb râdihazhînî from the infinitive râhazhândin to wave and shake, describes the spiritual condition of the poet who is shaked by his love, hubb, for Him ( literally: it is Your love) so that he laments. But love, the sufi love, can also shake the poet physically when he is obsessed by ecstasy. The relation between love and the condition of being shaked is, morely, poetic and phantastic. Inorder to conceive the other aspects of the picture we have to reconsider the word h§ubb, love.

from The Kurdish Globe: Aesthetical Aspects in the Poetry of Mala-ye Jaziri--Part IV
also The Kurdish Globe: Aesthetical Aspects in the Poetry of Mala-ye Jaziri--Part I
also The Kurdish Globe: Aesthetical Aspects in the Poetry of Mala-ye Jaziri--Part II
also The Kurdish Globe: Aesthetical Aspects in the Poetry of Mala-ye Jaziri--Part III


News at Eleven: Lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to a machine,

while his [John Updike's] children and grandchildren visit, he asks himself: "Must I do this, uphold the social lie/that binds us all together in blind faith/that nothing ends, not youth nor age nor strength?" Elsewhere, he simply refers to "our wastrel lives." Certainly in youth we all spend our days as if there were an infinite number of tomorrows.

Several poems in "Endpoint" recall Updike's early years in Shillington, Pa. He remembers the "peppy knockout" cheerleader, later in life struck down by Parkinson's disease, and the friend whose "wild streak/was tamed by diabetes," which claimed his toes and feet. As man and writer, he is grateful for all they gave him:

from The Washington Post: Does Updike's Last Verse Hit Its Mortal Mark? Plainly.


News at Eleven (Back Page): Grasping a champagne flute and sporting a T-shirt

emblazoned with the slogan "Tenement Glasgow--taking the biscuit", Edwin Morgan, Scotland's best-loved living poet, yesterday opened the archive which celebrates his life and work.

This trip to the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, where the collection will be housed, was a rare outing for Morgan. For years he has been suffering from cancer and has been largely confined to his rooms in a nursing home in Glasgow.

from The Times: Birthday champagne as Edwin Morgan, 89, opens own archive
also Scottish Poetry Library: Our sweet old etcetera . . .: Photos, as promised . . .


Great Regulars: The poem "Cyclops Country" is from my 2001 book

published by Harmonic Balance. It is a poem about growing old in the suburbs, where life is mostly suspended in waiting. We pretend to have some control over our lives, so tools are arranged precisely. A single out-of-place tool suggests how fragile the illusion of control is. Husbands stand by mailboxes looking for the letter that will inform them that they've been drafted into the legions of death while wives tell stories trying to make sense of it. The what and the when of it all we can never really know.

Cyclops Country

from Walter Bargen: The Post-Dispatch: Writer turns his verse on suburbs


Great Regulars: Since 2001, Pakistan has been a country in decline.

We suffer a suicide-bombing rate that surpasses Iraq's. The billions of dollars we have received have not made Pakistan safer, they haven't made our neighbors safer, and they've done nothing in the way of eradicating terror. Instead, we now have our own version of the Taliban busy blowing up trade routes and flogging young girls.

The Taliban and their ilk, on the other hand, are able to seat themselves in towns and villages across Pakistan without much difficulty largely because they do not come empty-handed. In a country that has a literacy rate of around 30 percent, the Islamists set up madrassas and educate local children for free.

from Fatima Bhutto: The Daily Beast: Stop Funding My Failing State


Great Regulars: No matter how complex the ideas in the poem,

no matter how difficult some of the language might be, there would always be the recognizable real world in it, and real people who could always choose to get their raincoats cleaned instead.

[by Ted Kooser]

Selecting a Reader

First, I would have her be beautiful,

from Fleda Brown: Traverse City Record-Eagle: On Poetry: Keeping readers awake


Great Regulars: Several years ago I had the wonderful opportunity

to travel through Israel and the West Bank to talk to Palestinian and Israeli poets. Among the remarkable writers I met there and the one who made the greatest impression on viewers (I still have people talk to me about him) was Taha Muhammad Ali, who in addition to writing is a shopkeeper of a souvenir shop in Nazareth.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Conversation: Adina Hoffman, Author of the New Biography of Poet Taha Muhammad Ali


Great Regulars: According to those in the know (and, trust me

on this, no one knows more about these things than the Literary Editor of The Telegraph, Sam Leith), Britain is set to get its first female Poet Laureate with the appointment of Carol Ann Duffy to the historic post.

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: And, Britain's Newest Poet Laureate is . . .


American Poet Laureate (1973-1974) Daniel Hoffman: The seeming simplicity of Frank Wilson's "Still Point" repays a close reading. Ten musical lines evoke, "As everything spun round/About the silence that he found/He had become," a man unable to "keep in touch" with others. The distracting grandeur of the natural world is economically embodied in two modest images, "a drooping bough,/A flitting bird." These, casually enlisting his notice, stir him to feel "alive awhile."

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: In celebration of planetary poetry month 14


"Tusking," published in March 1986, was the first of his poems to appear in the TLS: a powerful frightening parable of coloniser and colonised, it is untypical of Imlah's work only in its short lines. Everything else: the distinctive voice, a mixture of forthrightness and delicacy, the clear echoes of pre-twentieth-century verse (Browning, ballads, nursery rhymes), the vivid economical evocation of place and action, the delight in sly subversion of conventional views and images--in this case, of Englishness--is to be found throughout [Mick] Imlah's later work and is here combined with unforgettable freshness and verve.


from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: In celebration of planetary poetry month 20


The speaker of this poem is at once defeatist and fainthearted (yet still a romantic). On top of all it all, she seems a little exasperated with herself, with her inability to fully interact with her world, but resigned to that, resigned to the world--or certain parts of it--always being too much to take at once. In the end, in what seems almost a parody of courtly love, the speaker's romantic side must remain hidden, for her eyes only, hidden from her sweetheart the drunk, but happily, through the art of poetry, not from us.

[by Meaghan Strimas]

Nod to the Drunkard I Once
Sat Next to in the Park

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: In celebration of planetary poetry month 21


A theme throughout Paul [Vermeersch]'s work is empathy for the animal world that never loses its human subjectivity, one that is committed to seeing the unique "otherness" of the wild rather than only its anthropomorphised translation. This selection is from a three-part poem for Koko, the most famous resident of The Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California; it demonstrates his unique ability to speak simultaneously to the specific while pointing a finger at a world hidden beneath it.

Ape (part one)

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: In celebration of planetary poetry month 22


And so one has the experience of entering and leaving--a forest, a day, a life--knowing that all will turn back on itself in fulfillment, precisely the sort of immortality that will dwarf the giant redwoods and make their rings seem to spread like ripples on a pond. (One final note: Read this poem and you will know what the real California feels like.)

[by John Timpane]

Big Basin

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: In celebration of planetary poetry month 23


In "Show Your Work!," an incisive essay he penned for The Poetry Foundation Online (which garnered an overwhelming response from readers in its comments' section stretching into next week), Matthew Zapruder explained the way in which the Velvet Underground lead him to conclude American poetry's in the poorhouse because its critics fail to do the job implicit in that description of same:

Today, in American poetry, very few critics take it upon themselves to examine the choices poets make in poems, and what effect those choices might have upon a reader. As a consequence, very few people love contemporary American poetry. Many more might, if critics attempted to truly engage with the materials of poetry--words and how they work--and to connect poetry with an audience based on an engagement with these materials.

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: Matthew Zapruder takes contemporary critics to task


Great Regulars: Addressing God directly, the speaker is seeking

an answer to the question of why people, particularly poets, no longer demonstrate a deep devotion to God. In the past, many "Martyrs" burned for God, even as they maintained interest in other things. He suggests that "poetry" has become mere decoration, dedicated to romantic love that eventually fades. He wonders if poetry simply exists to serve venality.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: April Poet--George Herbert--Sonnet I


The speaker then avers that the feeling she is experiencing is that of "a perfect rest" that has spread from her "brow" and over her "breast" and thus the rest of the physical person. She metaphorically faces the west, seeing "the purple land," while her consciousness continues to deepen. Averring that she "cannot see the grain" nor can she "feel the rain/Upon her hand," she demonstrates that her physical body has become unresponsive to physical stimuli.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Christina Rossetti's Dream Land


In the first septain, the speaker portrays herself as "a possessed witch," who has gone out prowling the night in search of evil. On her metaphorical broomstick, he has flown over the "plain houses," looking "light by light" for something that she cannot identify, perhaps some way to fill what she perceives in a hole in her soul.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Sexton's Her Kind


The speaker sarcastically proclaims that she would have him excuse her, when she knows that it is her beauty, not her sparkling personality or intelligence, which has captured his imagination, a situation that the speaker finds inimical to his true interests: "Her pretty looks have been my enemies."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 139


The speaker, while remaining civil, does get in a zap here and there. By condescendingly remarking, "If I might teach thee wit," he implies that she is really too dull to be taught wit by him. But if, by chance, he could teach her to be clever, it would be better that they were not lovers. But because they are in relationship, he insists that she has to tell him what she means, because he is unable to glean her obfuscating communications.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Shakespeare Sonnet 140


Great Regulars: The poem is accessible and innocent,

and its dialogue will enable an animate reading. Its themes are powerful: the loss of leaving a homeland and the isolation of an immigrant's life.

My yellow poem, for mature audiences, will be one of Kim Addonizio's poems (meaning, Cassy, if you don't make a mature audience, this poem's not for you):

You Don't Know What Love Is

from Kristen Hoggatt: The Smart Set: Ask a Poet: Pocket Prose


Great Regulars: Autopsy in the Form of an Elegy

by John Stone

In the chest

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Autopsy in the Form of an Elegy by John Stone


by Edward Hirsch

It's that vague feeling of panic

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Commuters by Edward Hirsch


From a Bus Window in Central Ohio, Just Before a Thunder Shower
by James Wright

Cribs loaded with roughage huddle together

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: From a Bus Window in Central Ohio, Just Before a Thunder Shower by James Wright


by Sharon Bryan

Middle age refers more

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Foreseeing by Sharon Bryan


Homage to Roy Orbison
by Irene McKinney

If I can touch the voice of Roy Orbison

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Homage to Roy Orbison by Irene McKinney


Paper, Scissors, Stone
by Tom Wayman

An executive's salary for working with paper

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Paper, Scissors, Stone by Tom Wayman


That Time of Year
by Philip Appleman

So April's here, with all these soggy showers,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: That Time of Year by Philip Appleman


Great Regulars: Bill Holm, one of the most intelligent

and engaging writers of our northern plains, died on February 25th. He will be greatly missed. He and I were of the same generation and we shared the same sense of wonder, amusement, and skepticism about the course of technology. I don't yet own an Earbud, but I won't need to, now that we have Bill's poem.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 213


Great Regulars: [Charlie] Plymell celebrates details of geographic places

in many of his poems, whether Paris, Utah, Baltimore, or Nueva York. Like many Kansans, he is an inveterate traveler, and he has some of the best highway poems. "Not a Regular Kansas Sermon" references Kansas culture in several ways: the subsistence living, with pear cactus and jackrabbits making a meal; and a faith that makes psychological survival possible. He has a declamatory style, with the ability to compress stories to their barest, most gleaming bones.

Not a Regulars Kansas Sermon

For my mother in the hospital

from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Charlie Plymell (1935-- )


Great Regulars: Bargains

The people covering their faces

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-Notes: Bargains


Free Fall

When the bearded man on the screen

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-Notes: Free Fall


Lessons from Houdini

You practice disappearing

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-Notes: Lessons from Houdini


Great Regulars: But preserving the childlikeness, the great problem,

I think, for every writer as they get older, but perhaps especially for people who volunteer to put themselves in the front line in the way that you and I have done and articulate all the time every day our ideas about poetry, about poetry's merits and values and all these things, is that the saying of it invades the quiet, and in a crucial sense, unthinking bit of our minds, which is so crucially the place that the poems originate in. The whole business of getting older is about becoming, among other things, is about becoming more worldy wise, more expressive about the things that happens to us. That's not good for writing, becuase it distorts the balance between the known and the unknown, the sayable and the difficult to say in our make-up.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Andrew Motion and Michael Rosen on children's poetry


Last month over 150,000 people were using it in a regular way--by which I mean not just people logging on thinking it was something to do with poultry--they really meant to be there.

This new fangled thing the web has established two very beautiful ancient truths about poetry--one is that people like listening to it and reading it, and the other is that a poem has as much to do with the sound it makes as it does with what the words mean on the page.

from Andrew Motion: BBC News: Last words of a Laureate: Motion bows out


Only a certain precision and delicacy in the diction, and the occasional slight swelling of tension at line-endings, distinguish the poem from prose – but do so securely. Truth to memory of the repeated, unvarying event is the only 'effect' the poem reaches for, preparing in this way for the quietly visionary close and the sense of reality altered for ever. Here, it is only the 'big green metal grass-basket' that declares itself 'By Royal Appointment'.

The Mower

from Andrew Motion: The Times Literary Supplement: The Mower


Andrew Motion's 'Recession' poem:

Poor Alistair Darling's new budget

from Telegraph: Poet Laureate Andrew Motion laments burden of recession in new poem


Great Regulars: In sight and sound, the poem is plotted to perfection.

With the precision of Hitchcock, Tennyson lets us see the eagle from every angle. We start with a close up of the "crooked hands," pan up to the sun blazing above us, take in a 360 degree tracking shot of the sky, and then gaze down at the sea below us. We return to the eagle (perhaps zooming in on his watchful eye) and then, in a blur of feathers, he disappears.

Alliteration and rhyme help us to taste the scene on our tongue.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A Reading of 'The Eagle' by Lord Alfred Tennyson


Sir Arthur's name appears to be concocted from King Arthur and a convenient rhyme with Hellvellyn, yet it has a strange ring of truth to it. Like Eleanor Rigby's, his name is so evocative it's hard to believe no such person ever existed.

His grave rests in a secluded spot "by the side of a spring" on "the breast of Helvellyn"--a mountain in the Lake District in the North West of England. Nature, often so vengeful in the Coleridge's work, assumes a comforting maternal aspect.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A Reading of "The Knight's Tomb" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Although it has often been dismissed as dated and jingoistic, I find it far more profound than it may initially appear. Its Latin title translates as "the torch of life," and it describes a light of inspiration that burns in every age.

The poem begins with a cricket match on the green of Newbolt's old school, Clifton College in Bristol, England. However, we could be watching any cricket match in any park across the world, or, for that matter, any game of baseball.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A Reading of 'Vitae Lampada' by Henry Newbolt


Great Regulars: I began to notice it around Easter,

the season of resurrection, the season of regeneration. The daffodils were peeking up out of the seemingly still-frozen ground. The magnolias had come into bloom, their spoon-size petals opening wide. And I started feeling . . . better. Not "recovered," the way one feels after a flu. But . . . better. I suppose this isn't a surprise. I simply conform to the clinical norm: Studies show many mourners begin to feel less depressed around four months after the death.

from Meghan O'Rourke: Slate: The Long Goodbye: What Is It Like To Recover From Grief?
also Meghan O'Rourke: Slate: The Long Goodbye: Watching Someone You Love Accept Death


Great Regulars: [W.S.] Merwin was among those who, in the 60s,

began to loosen the screws of formal verse. He grew into his mature style in the later 60s and 70s, when he moved toward the curiously impersonal voice and "open" style that have become his trademark. As he began to write his own kind of free verse, he layered image upon bright image, allowing the lines to hang in space, largely without punctuation, without rhymes, as in the final stanza of "Thanks," where he writes with a kind of graceful urgency:

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: Why WS Merwin deserves his second Pulitzer prize


Great Regulars: In his "asylum" poems, [Ivor] Gurney sometimes hurls

himself into a desperate argument with God and fate, but not here. Here, like his remembered self, he quietly shoulders the final disappointment. The farmer has other business to attend to, and the poet is driven on by his clamouring private demons. There is no self-pity or recrimination. The end of the poem is wonderfully matter-of-fact, with the precise measurement of the field ("fifteen acres") a peculiarly haunting detail, almost an acknowledgement that something apparently trifling has imprinted itself on the poet's mind, intense and unforgettable.

The Mangel-Bury

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Books blog: Poem of the week: The Mangel-Bury by Ivor Gurney


Great Regulars: These issues of death and grief

are approached with humanism and humility. From "The Visit": "The once-master of my universe/walks with an unsteady gait/My own mortality/slaps me in the face." [Belinda] Subraman's helplessness in the face of her father's death is totally frank, yet, in "River of Life," she answers the question of how she deals with dying in her job as a nurse, saying, "I am filled with joy/for a painless passing/surrounded by love./I feel sadness/for the breaking/of an intimate bond."

from Donna Snyder: El Paso Times: Hospice nurse-poet uniquely qualified to write about death


Great Regulars: As the American Poet Jimmy Santiago Baca

(Born in 1952) puts it: 'When you work at a poem long enough--if you just do that one poem and don't worry about anything else--that the imagery of one verse line exudes a sparkling fountain of energy that fills your heart". By making us stop for a movement, poetry gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves as human beings on this planet and what we mean to each other.

Sublime poetry gives us revelations, flashes which illuminate those things which are mysterious to us. Victor Hernandez Cruz is a Puerto Rican poet, who was born in 1949 in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Why do we need to read great poems?--I


Bill Moyers declares in his introduction 'Poets live the lives all of us live with one big difference. They have the power--the power of the word--to create a world of thoughts and emotions others can share. We only have to learn to listen . . . Democracy needs her poets, in all their diversity because our hope for survival is in recognizing the reality of one another's lives'.

The setting in which Bill Moyers has interviewed great American Poets like W S Merwin, Claribel Alergria, James A Autry, James Santiago Baca, Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, Lucille Clifton, William Stratford, Victor Hernandez Cruz, Rita Dove, Carolyn Forche, Donald Hall, Joy Harjo, Adrienne Rich, Stanley Kunitz, Li-Young Lee, Linda McCarriston, Octavio Paz etc. is the Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersy's Historic Village of Waterloo. Bill Moyers says that during the 1994 Dodge Poetry Festival he came upon thousands of poetry lovers, from a score of States, having the best time of their lives.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Why do we need to read great poems?--II


Great Regulars: "Yes," I said to myself.

"That's exactly what is on display here." And so I made my way back, reveling in the wondrous all and nothing Bonnard had managed to capture. In the meantime, my mind had automatically made one of those associative leaps it does so well on its own: It reminded me of something I had read on the bus trip to Manhattan. It was in Josef Pieper's The Silence of St. Thomas: " . . . it is part of the very nature of things that their knowability cannot be exhausted by any finite intelligence . . . the very element which makes them capable of being known must necessarily be at the same time the reason why things are unfathomable."

from Frank Wilson: When Falls the Coliseum: That's What He Said: The wondrous all and nothing


Great Regulars: Jerusalem

By Khalil

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: Khalil and Mankh


Great Regulars: By Glynn Tiller

He sees scars on the face of the lake

from Express-News: Poetry: 'From the Pit to the Bells'


Great Regulars: This week's Poetry Corner features the work of Jim Powell,

the author of "It Was Fever That Made The World" and the translator of "The Poetry Of Sappho" and "Catullan Revenants." He was awarded a CCLM Younger Poets Prize in 1986 and a MacArthur Fellowship (1993-1998), and was the Sherry Poet and Lecturer at the University of Chicago in 2005. He is a fourth generation native and lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. see poems . . .


from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Belly, Bass, Again, Wood, Smaller


Great Regulars: The Fox and the Girl

by Gillian Clarke

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: The Fox and the Girl by Gillian Clarke


Great Regulars: Forgotten Fountain

by W. S. Merwin

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Forgotten Fountain


by Ange Mlinko

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Treatment


Great Regulars: [by Melissa Madenski]

My friend no longer

from The Oregonian: Poetry: Daily News


Great Regulars: By Carl Phillips

Now the leaves rush, greening, back. Back now,
the leaves push greenward. --Some such song, or

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'To Drown in Honey'


Great Regulars: [by Patricia Jabre]

Still Morning

I I stir in bed

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Still Morning


Great Regulars: This poem by Scotland's National Poet takes us directly

into that experience of clarity that comes when scaffolding is taken down, a feeling city dwellers will identify with. The Edwin Morgan Archive at the Scottish Poetry Library formally opens on 27 April, Morgan's birthday. It contains over 2,500 items, including A Book of Lives (Carcanet, £9.95) from which this poem is taken.

The scaffolding has gone. The sky is there!

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week


Great Regulars: "Eurydice: 1887"

the flax spinners of Laren, spinning in the old tradition, as painted by Max Liebermann
By Avery Slater

from Slate: "Eurydice: 1887" --By Avery Slater


Great Regulars: When friends' infant daughter, Natalie Joy Hertel-Voisine,

died suddenly, I knew that a child's death is beyond words. I wished I were a painter or a composer when, in response to my "Let me know what I can do," my devastated friends immediately responded, "Write a poem."

I knew that for her elegy to mean anything to them, it would have to speak to the powerful physicality of a parent's relationship with a young child and, in particular, the goofy, sweet physicality of Natalie's own spirit.

I thought of the extraordinary notes by Stéphane Mallarmé that make up "A Tomb for Anatole," which Paul Auster had assembled and translated. Mallarmé's son Anatole, sickly throughout his brief life, died at 8 years old, and the fragments Auster assembled were discontinuous and truncated notes toward a text the French poet had never written.

from The Washington Post: Poet's Choice: Susan Wheeler on 'Song for the Spirit of Natalie Going'


Poetic Obituaries: [Deborah Digges] oldest son, Charles, said he "strongly questions"

whether his mother's death was a suicide. She often exercised at the stadium, no one saw exactly what happened and she left no note, he said.

"Given that much of her work is a celebration of life and nature, I feel the circumstances of her death are inconclusive," he said.

Digges, who lived in Amherst, joined the English faculty at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., in 1986 after publishing her first collection of poems, "Vesper Sparrows." It won New York University's Delmore Schwartz Memorial Prize for best first book of poetry.

from Los Angeles Times: Deborah Digges, distinguished poet and memoirist, dies at 59


Poetic Obituaries: [June Fulbrook] travelled widely in Europe

and was one of the founder members of the Henley Poetry Group. With a continuing passion for education, she attended classes at Henley College. She had a particular interest in local history, even in her seventies.

She celebrated her 75th birthday by attending the WOMAD festival in Reading.

from Henley on Thames: Teacher with zest for life


Poetic Obituaries: Like his legendary Guru, [Kalamandalam] Kesavan too

has displayed his prowess in vocal music, in the composition of new Kathakali plays, histrionics and even in poetry.

He has, many a time, handled the role of vocalist in Kathakali performances. Of the umpteen new plays he has composed over a long period of time, 'Ekalavyacharitam' and 'Sohrab and Rustom' have won the admiration of viewers for their theatrical panache and thematic novelty. Among his poems, 'Karkotakan' has some memorable lines.

from Kerala online: Kalamandalam Kesavan passes away


Poetic Obituaries: [Mary Lucille Streacker Miller] taught in Vigo, Parke,

and Greene Counties. She was a chapter member of the Terre Haute Writers Club and the Poets Study Club which were active in the 1940's. Her hobby was writing. Her poetry, stories and children's plays often appeared in children's magazines in her working years.

from The Tribune Star: Mary Lucille Streacker Miller


Poetic Obituaries: Sources said that family members of Bantu [Mwaura],

who was also a renowned thespian, director, poet and storyteller, had reported him missing on Friday. Bantu was a respected poet whose work in English, Kiswahili and Gikuyu has been published in several journals.

from The Standard: Human rights activist Bantu Mwaura found dead
also Global Voices Online: The News of Bantu Mwaura's death shocks Kenyan bloggers


Poetic Obituaries: [Franklin Rosemont] published several volumes of poetry:

he is a relatively minor poet, exceeded by the work of Penelope and other figures in the Chicago group, but Rosemont, laudably, never saw his writing about surrealism as being separable from his practice as a surrealist. He insisted, even as older groups were struggling, that surrealism remained a viable revolutionary mode of poetic life. Less well-known than the anthology of Breton's writings is its introduction, published separately in Britain as André Breton and the First Principles of Surrealism. In this he insisted that surrealism is not "a mere literary or artistic school," but "an unrelenting revolt against a civilisation that reduces all human aspirations to market values, religious impostures, universal boredom and misery."

from World Socialist Web Site: Franklin Rosemont (1943-2009): Leading US surrealist and anthologist of André Breton dies


Poetic Obituaries: Gayle Ronan Sims, 61, of Merion, who lyrically

described the lives of the famous, the infamous and the ordinary as an Inquirer obituary writer, died April 16 of multiple organ failure following a double lung transplant.

This weekend, at its convention in Charlotte, N.C., the Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW) plans to announce the creation of a special award named for Ms. Sims, to be given only occasionally to writers of the highest dedication and distinction.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Inquirer obituary writer Gayle Ronan Sims dies


Poetic Obituaries: Among these, Shahriar had the greatest influence on the teenager Bijan [Taraqqi

(or Bijan Taraghi)], and inspired him to write his first collection of poems "The Song of Fall". Taraqqi's other poetry collections are "A Window to Garden", "Fire Remaining from the Caravan" and "Behind the Walls of Memories".

Taraqqi began his collaboration with Radio Iran in 1954, and many of the great composers of that time, among them Ruhollah Khaleqi, Parviz Yahaqi, Ali Tajvidi, and Homayun Khorram, asked him to write lyrics for their compositions.

from Payvand Iran News: Iranian songwriter Bijan Taraqqi dies at 80


Poetic Obituaries: [Deborah Thompson] took great pleasure in cooking

for family and friends, writing poetry, and listening to classic country music.

from Foster's Daily Democrat: Deborah Thompson


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21st Poetic Ticker Clicking

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