Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

August 25th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

We begin this week with poet Ravi Shankar's statements on his arrest for a parking ticket that was not his, an arrest that begins with him being called a "sand nigger" as he is placed in the paddy wagon. I leave all the rest to your discovery, dozens of articles, some on the state of poetry, some on poets, some reviews, and some excellent poetry.

Thanks for surfing through.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Instead of using the resources

to kind of pinpoint those, I think painting everyone with this broad brush particularly innocent Americans is a travesty of individual liberty and in fact of our Constitutional rights as citizens. [--Ravi Shankar]

from NPR: Poet Says He Was Arrested For 'Driving While Brown'
also The Hartford Courant: Making A Joke Out Of Justice


News at Eleven: Besides being horrified,

all [Caryn] Mirriam-Goldberg could think about was the awful timing: Wasn't she just 42, surely too young for this by a decade or two, in the midst of everything she loved? Writing. Encouraging others to write. Agitating. Organizing. Being mom. Being wife.

Of course I know that breasts are just a body part, not a gender identity, but there's something about losing this part of me, this part I would hold gently on cold nights as I slept to keep them warm. This part, round and lovely, traveling effortlessly with me, quiet mourning doves sleeping soundly on my chest.

Needless to say, Mirriam-Goldberg kept a journal during treatment. She called it "Chemopause."

from Kansas City Star: Promoting writing is goal of Kansas poet laureate


News at Eleven: There is naivety, too, though of a

characteristically charming sort, in his stated belief in "the brotherhood of poetry. I felt, with my first poem, that I had entered this brotherhood. Which turned out not to be the case."

The Liverpool poets emerged from the culture created by the beat generation in the United States but while McGough gladly embraced the freedoms proposed by Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, Corso and others, both in verse-making and in everyday life, he was the beat you could take home to meet mum.

from The Guardian: A life in poetry: Roger McGough


News at Eleven: People in a Pakistani frontier region

threatened by the Taliban are trying to preserve a culture rich in poetry and dance from religious extremism.

The culture of the ethnic Pashtun peoples often delights in worldly pleasures--like sex and alcohol--considered un-Islamic by religious conservatives.

from Australia Network News: Poetry confronts the Taliban in Pakistan


News at Eleven: This is good stuff, language which enacts

what it describes, words working naturally for their keep, and the rest of the poem is just as good if not better, becoming a sort of shy metaphor for the human condition, as well as a little swimming lesson.

When [John] Burnside writes like this it is easy enough to see that here is a real poet working somewhere close to the top of his bent.

from Scotsman: Robert Nye on three new volumes of Scottish poetry


News at Eleven: Because of his fierce reticence (rather like

that of Emily Dickinson, whom he admired), [Wallace] Stevens wrote symbolic rather than transcriptive poetry. How differently might a reader take in "Burghers of Petty Death" if it had been called "A Son's Lament for His Dead Parents," or "The Snow Man" if it had been called "Stoicism in a Failed Marriage"? Like Dickinson, Stevens has won a wide audience in spite of the guard he put on his privacy, and we are now better acquainted with his sorrows.

from The New York Times: The Plain Sense of Things


News at Eleven: "Very few people don't have some belief system

that includes something other than themselves. That just seems to be part of the tool kit that we have as human beings."

[Margaret] Atwood herself was, she says, brought up to be "a strong agnostic". Science runs strong in her family. Her father was an entomologist who made studies of bees. Her elder brother is a biologist. "If I get the science wrong," she says, "I hear about it." Her eyes, which appear on my video screen as discrete frozen images, gleam with good humour and the gentle, questioning smile never fades.

from Telegraph: Margaret Atwood


News at Eleven: Now all those people around

the table are gone.

"I really believe that writing about family can give them a little bit of immortality. It was a way for me to take a family of very ordinary people and elevate them into the light, to keep them alive," [Ted] Kooser said.

"I have written a lot of poetry about family members. When someone comes upon a poem about my mother, they come into the light."

From his Nebraska farm near Lincoln, where he serves as a writing professor at the University of Nebraska, the irises of his ancestors still bloom.

from Des Moines Register: Iowa poet hopes his work will inspire others to write about their families


News at Eleven: Of his various artistic pursuits,

[Tamir] Lahav-Radlmesser says: "My writing is autobiographical: family, war, travels, loves, separations. Photography clearly cannot cover these subjects without turning into 'illustration.' I never took a picture of my mother, for example, or anyone else in the family. It would have turned into a sort of concrete 'family album,' and thus would be private in a way that doesn't interest the outsider. Poetry enables me to write about my personal 'case' in a way that makes it universal; it is therefore understood and touches many people. At least that's what I understand from readers' reactions."

In 1996 he had a photography exhibit entitled "Men Urinating," which he photographed at home. "This was another way of creating a portrait of people," he says.

from Haaretz: A man in full


New at Eleven: [Josh Fernandez'] poems have also

been published in Pax Americana, Poetry Now, the Rattlesnake Review and Hardpan. Once locked in a mental institution in Reno after a serious drug dependency, Fernandez is now a competitive marathoner, and he's working on his first novel, Stickup Kid, which he plans to finish in 2010.

The Last Thing He Said

"Be proud because we're Mexicans.

from Sacramento Press: Josh Fernandez--Poet of the Week August 23rd


News at Eleven (Back Page): The Empty Place of Eddie

by Majid Naficy

from Iranian.com: The Empty Place of Eddie


Great Regulars: The mode of transport, horse or mule,

will offer no companionship; though you make the journey together, you are alone. The trail followed is as serpentine and dangerous as a venomous snake, perhaps echoing the snake in the Bible.

We are left with the "thin-flanked belief" of the body as a vehicle of the spirit, but it is not the last journey we will make, hinting at this journey as a prelude to transcendence.

[by Susan Swartwout]

"Ascent to Mountaintop, No Chariot"

from Walter Bargen: The Post-Dispatch: Missouri Poets: Susan Swartwout


Great Regulars: To do this, we need to uncouple our idea

of progress from speed, separate the idea of speed from effi­ciency, pause and step back enough to realize that efficiency may be good for business and governments but does not always lead to mindfulness and sustainable, rewarding relationships. We are here for a short time on this planet, and reacting to demands on our time by simply speeding up has canceled out many of the benefits of the Internet, which is one of the most fabulous technological inventions ever conceived. We are connected, yes, but we were before, only by gossamer threads that worked more slowly.

from John Freeman: The Wall Street Journal: Not So Fast


Great Regulars: The rhetorical heft gained by framing

her feelings in a rhetorical question enriches not only the artistry of the sonnet but also adds intensity to the feelings themselves. The emotion is magnified by the question format. Instead of adding intensifiers such as "of course" or "definitely," her rhetorical question combines those tools into a dramatic concentration of explosive sentiment.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Barrett Browning's Sonnet 8


The speaker spells out her concern that by giving him such gifts as copious tears and unsmiling lips she has to be "counted with the ungenerous." She wishes it were otherwise; she would like to give gifts as rich as the ones she receives.

But because she is incapable of returning equal treasure, she again insists that her lover leave her; she cries, "Out, alas!" Again, elevating her lover to the status of royalty, she insists, "I will not soil they purple with my dust."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Barrett Browning's Sonnet 9


In the first stanza, the speaker makes the perspicacious claim that the soul has no race, no class, and no religious affiliation. These classifications are delusions belonging to the mayic realm of existence which is under time's sway, "These--are Time's Affair." That such classification is artificial and at best a tool of material existence can be inferred from their banishment through death.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Dickinson's Color--Caste--Denomination


The speaker then philosophizes that there are, in fact, many folks who have suffered and continue to do so; of course, she knows this only by word of mouth, not possessing the quality of omniscience. She also has been told that there are many reasons for all this suffering, and "Death" is only one cause, and besides even though "Death" is touted as a onetime affair, in fact, death "only nails the eyes." It does nothing to mitigate the suffering that the real self might be experiencing.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Dickinson's I measure every Grief I meet


By giving the moon its freedom and then demonstrating that mankind possesses even greater freedom, he has already offered all those "sorts of wonder" that "follow" from the possession of that free will and freedom of expression. Human freedom, he has demonstrated, is unequivocal and eternal.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Frost's The Freedom of the Moon


The speaker feels on safer ground to say that the first historian "Herodotus felt danger/only when Xerxes was around." Herodotus, of course, wrote about the Persian King Xerxes' invasion of Greece in the fourth century B.C. Another example of past fears vs. today's fears is that back in the past "Young women/were afraid of wingèd dragons, but felt/relaxed otherwise." Now, of course, women are fearful every time they venture out.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Winch's Social Security


Great Regulars: I will try. I don't know if

you're afraid or not, but I would be, and maybe what you're afraid of is not dying, but rather love. I guess that does sound a little far-fetched, but when you look at it another way, it's the only thing that makes sense.

[by Louise Glück]

Crater Lake

from Kristen Hoggatt: The Smart Set: Ask a Poet: Love of My Life


Great Regulars: Back Yard

by Elizabeth Spires

The Beautiful Lawn Sprinkler
by Howard Nemerov

Back Yard

It didn't rain.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Back Yard by Elizabeth Spires: The Beautiful Lawn Sprinkler by Howard Nemerov


Blackberry Pie
by Jennifer Rae Vernon

is kernels of juice

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Blackberry Pie by Jennifer Rae Vernon


Moving Day
by Ron Koertge

While sitting home one night, I hear burglars fiddling

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Moving Day by Ron Koertge


Skinny-Dipping After Work at the Drive-In
by Debra Nystrom

No moon; the pickup's headlights stare

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Skinny-Dipping After Work at the Drive-In by Debra Nystrom


by Jo McDougall

Growing up in a small town,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Straightpins by Jo McDougall


Vegetable Love
by Barbara Crooker

Feel a tomato, heft its weight in your palm,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Vegetable Love by Barbara Crooker


by George Bilgere

In the morning, after much delay,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Whirlpool by George Bilgere


Great Regulars: It's been sixty-odd years since

I was in the elementary grades, but I clearly remember those first school days in early autumn, when summer was suddenly over and we were all perched in our little desks facing into the future. Here Ron Koertge of California gives us a glimpse of a day like that.

First Grade

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 230


Great Regulars: Temperamentally, the young man--

a teenager, actually--who narrates this poem is neither a contemplative nor a poet; he's a likable, inexperienced pilgrim, compelled by deepening emergency to ponder premature mortality.

The poetry lies less in the line-by-line than in the aggregate. George Shannon is given to plainspoken delivery, even with momentous matters:

from Brad Leithauser: The Washington Post: Undaunted Courage


Great Regulars: Another treasured object is a small piece of

driftwood picked up on a beach in the Hamptons. It flows like the cresting of a wave and is lovely to look at. It serves no practical purpose, but I have become very attached to it, and it too is well traveled.

Many poets have written poems in celebration of the beauty of simple objects such as these. One of my favorites is a poem by Pablo Neruda called "Ode to My Socks." As translated by Robert Bly, the first stanza goes like this:

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: On Poetry: Ordinary objects can become beautiful through words


Great Regulars: Sun Yunxiao, deputy director of the

China Imaginative Fiction Writers' Association, which celebrated its 30th anniversary on Aug. 14, said too little imaginative fiction is available to the nation's schoolchildren, who are fed instead a diet of "correct" answers to fixed questions as part of the national obsession with exams.

"This lack of imagination will definitely have a profound impact on the creative capacities of the nation's youth," Sun was quoted in the official People's Daily newspaper as saying.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Chinese Schools 'Kill Imagination'


Great Regulars: It's as if [James Elroy] Flecker himself

is patching up and repainting the vessel. The "talkative bald-headed seaman" who tells "great lies about his wooden horse" is far from dream-like. This is another moment where fantasy and realism meet.

Finally, the ship returns to its most distant origins. In a visionary metamorphosis, the wood flowers. We continue to be held in the trance of myth, and the imagination that aestheticises it, and feel as reluctant as the poet must have been to emerge from the gorgeous spell.

The Old Ships

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Books blog: Poem of the week: The Old Ships by James Elroy Flecker


Great Regulars: Against this background, it will be clear

that the Sanskrit language has indeed been the soul of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma, Hindu Society, Hindu Culture and Hindu Civilization from the dawn of History. In this context, I cannot resist quoting the truly sublime words of Sampad and Vijay: 'Much like the sacred river Ganga, Sanskrit has flowed across India for thousands of years, embracing and nourishing, but also uplifting and purifying an entire country and its people and creating a unique civilization and culture. It has been the most perfect instrument for expressing the thoughts, feelings, aspirations, knowledge and experiences of this ancient culture called Sanatana Dharma.'

from V Sundaram: News Today: Baritone: If Hebrew for Israel, Why not Sanskrit for India?


Great Regulars: What seems most likely is that an American Mormon

missionary, John W. Yettaw, 54, had already once swam across the lake which borders Aung San Suu Kyi’s home in order to leave with her a copy of the Book of Mormon, the chief text of the faith, and then left also swimming. He would have been contacted by intelligence agents of the Myanmar government on the Thai frontier with the news that Aung San Suu Kyi wanted to see him and that he could again reach her by swimming across the lake. Yattaw claims that the idea came to him in a vision. Both versions may be true. In any case, he swam across the lake.

from René Wadlow: Newropeans Magazine: Anything To Keep Aung San Suu Kyi Out of Burma's Electoral Process


Great Regulars: [by Frank Wilson]


The jewelweed reminded him:

from Frank Wilson: Books, Inq.--The Epilogue: A poem
also Frank Wilson: PodcastMachine: Books, Inq.--The Epilogue Wayfaring


Great Regulars: The Genesis Wafers

Clive James

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: The Genesis Wafers by Clive James


Great Regulars: Flying

by Richard Wilbur

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Flying


The House
by Richard Wilbur

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The House


A Reckoning
by Richard Wilbur

from The New Yorker: Poetry: A Reckoning


Great Regulars: [by Susan Denning]

I have folded them away like sweaters.

from The Oregonian: Poetry: I have tried hard to have appropriate feelings


Great Regulars: By Cecilia Vicuna

)))) Listen

My skull is shaped like a hazelnut

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'Physical Portrait/Retrato fisico'


Great Regulars: "Santiago, Pluperfect"

By Lance Larsen

from Slate: "Santiago, Pluperfect" --By Lance Larsen


Great Regulars: Living in rural Montana and being

preoccupied by our place in and outside the natural world--compromised as it is--I am drawn to both the romantics and the Native tradition of respect for and communication with non-human forms of life. Seeing the geese fly above me one fall morning on my way to get the mail, I began to wonder: What might it mean in this country, at this time, to read the world? What messages do the geese have for me, and, in turn, what part might my attempt at reading play in their flight?

from The Washington Post: Poet's Choice: 'Reading Novalis in Montana' by Melissa Kwasny


Great Regulars: In the Time of Elul

by Cole Krawitz

from Zeek: Poem: In the Time of Elul


Poetic Obituaries: [Stella Akanbi's] mother, who did not want

to be named, said: "Our Stella was a special child indeed. She touched the lives of those who came in contact with her.

"She was a good athlete and represented Milton Keynes in competitions, winning medals. She was also a talented writer who enjoyed writing poetry."

from MK News: Mother's grief at daughter's seaside death


Poetic Obituaries: "I started writing poetry since I was

six years old. I would accompany my mother Vidyavati for community bhajan sessions and often compose my own lines there," he [Gulshan Bawra] reminisced, "From devotional, my verses turned romantic as I reached college," he added. Upon reaching Mumbai, Gulshan saw a big opportunity for his lyrics and thus began his struggle in the film industry . . .

from Screen India: The Indian Express: Lord of the Lyrics


Poetic Obituaries: In later life, he added "Te Ariki" (the chief)

to his name, in memory of his mother.

Alistair [Te Ariki Campbell], who also tutored other writers and was president of New Zealand Pen for a year, was given the Pacific Islands Artist's award in 1997. He received an Honorary DLitt from Victoria University of Wellington in 1999, and in 2005 a prime minister's award for literary achievement. The same year he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

from The Guardian: Alistair Te Ariki Campbell


Poetic Obituaries: Pat [Carrasco]'s many interests included

writing poetry and short stories, crossword puzzles, scrapbooking, her computer, video games and sharing her great culinary passion with the world. She was compiling a cookbook at the time of her death. Pat posted ribbons of "life lessons" in her kitchen. One epitomizes her attitude . . . "Only life lived for others is worthwhile."

from Great Falls Tribune: Patricia Diane Brown Carrasco


Poetic Obituaries: [Darlene Grice Hayward] enjoyed traveling

in later years with her dear friend, Velma Walker, to faraway places. She loved to write poetry, watch the Dodgers, attend Calvary Chapel Fellowship and be with friends and family.

from Nevada Appeal: Darlene Grice Hayward


Poetic Obituaries: "I truly believe she is sorry,"

[Charlotte] Johnson said [of Jaime Schweyer's apology for the vehicular homicide of her daughter Theresa G. Johnson]. "I kind of felt she was old enough to know better. . . . My daughter was a very caring person who liked to write poetry and have fun. This just didn't have to happen."

from Burlington County Times: Hainesport woman gets 7 years for vehicular homicide


Poetic Obituaries: [Brian] Jones was of the view that

the poet has a responsibility to speak for those who have, as it were, no voice.

The attraction of Jones's first two collections lay in the way in which he converted the personal and domestic into telling verse. Even the lyrics had stories to tell that were never merely confessional. When he wrote in a poem that his father was dead (in fact, his father died only recently), Jones struggled to understand why he was receiving calls of condolence. His adult education students readily recall his interest in what he referred to as "poetic li(v)es".

from The Guardian: Brian Jones


Poetic Obituaries: The author or illustrator--often both at once--

of more than 50 books for young people, Ms. [Karla] Kuskin was known in particular for the volumes of rhymed verse she wrote and illustrated. They include "In the Middle of the Trees" (Harper, 1958); "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ" (Harper & Row, 1963); "The Rose on My Cake" (Harper & Row, 1964); and "Soap Soup and Other Verses" (HarperCollins, 1992).

Ideal for reading aloud, Ms. Kuskin's poems are known for their stealthy humor, deceptive simplicity and unforced though carefully worked-out rhymes.

from The New York Times: Karla Kuskin, Creator of Witty Children's Books, Dies at 77


Poetic Obituaries: The police have taken away all of Sabrina Matthews's

journals and the poems her older sisters loved to read. They have pried up sections of tile in the basement, leaving ragged-edged patches of bare grout.

Her parents have installed wrought-iron grating on the window in her upstairs bedroom, where the walls are still decorated with a T-shirt her friends autographed to celebrate their eighth-grade graduation.

from The New York Times: Months After a Girl's Killing, a Limbo Filled With Mysteries


Poetic Obituaries: "Illustration, like translation, is risky business,"

Mr. [Michael] Mazur wrote of his collaborations with the poet Robert Pinsky, whose translations of Dante he augmented visually. "At worst, illustrations can sidetrack the reader by introducing ideas or images that change the meaning of the text, skew its tone, diminish its impact. At its best, though, illustration is a reinvention."

from The Boston Globe: Michael Mazur; artist reinvigorated monotype; 73


Poetic Obituaries: In interviews, both of Jamie [Mitchell]'s parents

said they couldn't have been blessed with a better son.

"He listened, he was considerate, and he never wanted to hurt anybody's feelings," Mitchell said.

The oldest of four brothers, Jamie liked to write poetry and rap songs and to ride dirt bikes with his friend, his parents said.

from The Courier-Journal: Police: Minister admits lying about teen's death


Poetic Obituaries: Before establishing Salon Arts,

Miss [Bridget] Monahan helped found the St Swithun's Dramatic Society.

For many years she produced pageants and plays for St Stephen's Church, she taught violin and cello at the former Sacred Heart College for Boys in Droitwich, gave music lessons at Sunnyside School, published poetry, and was an ardant supporter of both Worcester's Swan Theatre and the Elgar Society.

All of her concerts raised money for charity, often the Musicians Benevolence Fund.

from Worcester News: Woman who gave her life to the arts dies at 99


Poetic Obituaries: [Elizabeth] Mun's family said she enjoyed traveling

with her family and had varied interests, including field hockey, lacrosse, golf, figure skating and photography. Mun hoped to follow in her mother's footsteps and attend Brown University.

But a poem she had published last year in Teen Voices magazine, "The Beach," showed a different side of Mun.

One line reads: "She waited for that moment while drowning in her sorrows. That she could let it all go in just one breath. Now she is gone, an accident so dreary."

from The Eagle Tribune: Andover drinking party death ruled a suicide


Poetic Obituaries: [Richard] Poirier, who was a longtime professor of

English at Rutgers, founded Raritan, an influential literary journal based there, in 1981. The magazine was an attempt--successful, by most standards--to engage both academics and non-academics "in a conversation about literature and culture," in the description of T. Jackson Lears, who took over as editor of Raritan in 2002.

"He really believed that literature was something that could be analyzed and criticized in ordinary language," Mr. Lears said in a telephone interview Monday. "He believed you could be playful and rigorous. And he thought that the academy had cut off criticism from a lot of ordinary readers."

from The New York Times: Richard Poirier, a Scholar of Literature, Dies at 83


Poetic Obituaries: [Judith Ann Rademacher] attended Michigan State University

and earned a degree in journalism with honors in 1950. Her education inspired a life-long love of classic literature, especially Bronte and Tennyson. She kept up her love of learning throughout her life, composing poetry, taking audio courses in history, philosophy and literature.

from Fayette County News: Judith Ann Rademacher


Poetic Obituaries: [E. Muriel Silverwood] had a knack for

creative writing, poetry and short stories and was a published author and well known for her poems. Many of the poems for family members were made into a book and presented to her on her 75th birthday.

from The Hillsboro Argus: Muriel Silverwood, 87, service Sunday


Poetic Obituaries: While in Houston, Ervin Stockwell continued

his passion for many forms of English, American and Greek poetry and literature, from Chaucer to Shakespeare, Mark Twain and Homer. While a new century dawned, emphasizing e-mail and texting, he taught generations of students the value and the beauty of fine literature

from Houston Chronicle: Stockwell taught students value of fine literature


Poetic Obituaries: [Brittany] Wade's family is wearing t-shirts

made in Brittany's memory.

Her photo is on the front and a poem she wrote is on the back.

But unlike the poem, this family is not ready to forgive and forget whoever is found guilty of Brittany's murder.

from WCTV: Man Suspected of Burying Teen Mom Alive Pleads Insanity, Victim's Family 'Outraged'


Poetic Obituaries: [Reed Wood] was a gifted poet

and conversationalist. He enjoyed history and people. Reed's greatest joy was spending time with his family.

from The Spectrum: Lowell Reed Wood


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August 18th PoeticTicker Clinking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

August 18th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

We begin with a very nice review of a book by the daughter of Dylan Thomas, Aeronwy Thomas, who just recently died. Our Back Page article, the eleventh of News at Eleven, is about the J. Frank Dobie's Paisano Ranch, a University of Texas retreat for writers which may be closing. In between you'll find news from around the world, some reviews, some profiles of poets, and a couple poems from the UK. And among the articles in the Great Regulars section, are some excellent poems and interesting points of view. It's all great reading.

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog