Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

October 27th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Kay Ryan, the US Poet Laureate, launched a new community college project that she calls "Poetry for the Mind's Joy." A federal judge in NH is allowing New England College's suit against former faculty member Anne Marie Macari and rival school Drew University to go forward. John Keats didn't have to die, it seems, but for the treatment he received from his doctor for "consumption". These are our first three articles, linked to from News at Eleven.

Some of our political poets in Great Regulars are bringing forth important perspectives through their articles. Among the poetry and other items in this section, check out René Wadlow's take on consensus in the UN, Luisetta Mudie on the suddenly-banned Chinese writers at the Frankfurt Book Festival, and Fatima Bhutto's look at the manufacturing of fear and the Chinese whispers in Pakistan.

And before you go, take a scan through our Poetic Obituaries. As always, some of us are missing.

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Today marks the official launch of [Kay] Ryan's

project "Poetry for the Mind's Joy," an initiative through which she hopes to draw national attention to community colleges, as well as drawing the colleges' attention to poetry. She plans to do so in a variety of ways: for starters, by reading her poetry at community colleges across the country--and this she has already begun, with a reading at the College of San Mateo, in California, last month.

from Inside Higher Ed: Poetry for Community Colleges
also PBS: Newshour: Poet Laureate Kay Ryan Pushes Verse for Community Colleges


News at Eleven: A federal judge has refused to dismiss

a lawsuit accusing a poet of stealing a master's degree program and its faculty from New England College and recreating it at a rival school in New Jersey.

The case is a dispute "over poetry in motion," U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Laplante wrote Friday in denying Drew University's request to either dismiss the lawsuit or move it to a New Jersey court.

New England College, a small liberal arts school in Henniker, N.H., is suing Anne Marie Macari , the former director of its low-residency Master's of Fine Arts in Poetry program , and the New Jersey school where Macari now directs a similar program.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: NH judge refuses to dismiss poetry program lawsuit


News at Eleven: When [Dr. James] Clark finally diagnosed consumption,

he put [John] Keats on a starvation diet of just an anchovy and a piece of bread a day to cut the flow of blood to his stomach. "You cannot think how dreadful this is for me," [Joseph] Severn wrote to a friend. "The Doctor on the one hand tells me I shall kill him to give him more than he allows--and Keats raves till I am in a complete tremble for him."

Clark, who went on to be employed by Queen Victoria, also recommended heavy bleeding.

from The Guardian: Doctor's mistakes to blame for Keats's agonising end, says new biography


News at Eleven: In fact when [W.H.] Auden died in 1973

(three years before [Benjamin] Britten) the composer didn't even attend his memorial--though his music was played at it. So this last meeting between the two is [Alan] Bennett's brilliant conjecture.

Nevertheless, it leads us straight to the heart of one of the most gripping and symbolic relationships in 20th-century culture: gripping because it was a real clash of two mighty creative minds; symbolic because it was so redolent of the political, artistic and sexual times in which it was nurtured--the 1930s, or (as Auden labelled it), the Age of Anxiety.

from The Times: Auden and Britten: a tale of hidden desires


News at Eleven: But if any of you have ideas

toward this end--how we receive the warrior and how we apply healing to the larger community, I am very interested in what you have to say.

I will sign off here with a prose poem I wrote after the museum visit.

[by Brian Turner]

Call It Leaves and Rain

from The New York Times: Home Fires Blog: To Bedlam and Back


News at Eleven: Unable to ignore the uses

to which his work will be put, he is beset by images of the child who will be killed by the gun barrel he is fashioning, the young men who will jump from the army transport planes he helps to build. A smart grammatical turn in the final lines of "Bread and Blood" gives what could be stodgily polemical an extra edge:

but I can't let go of that bomb bay door handle
in my hand
those bomb bay doors are open
and in one split second
the bombs will drop
the bread on my table

Away from the factory floor, [Fred] Voss offers us vignettes of domestic strife and affection.

from New Statesman: Working man's blues


News at Eleven: "It's the idea that land is part

of all things, and that land is a part of the concept of the wholistic nature of all creation. Land and its abilities sustain life; people and their abilities sustain life. This is an Indigenous world view."

If you talk to [Simon] Ortiz long enough (and it just takes a few moments) you'll hear his mantra of "land, culture, and community," and you'll also hear him refer often to language--how his two languages inform his perception of the world.

from Arizona State University News: Simon Ortiz creates 'A Poetic Legacy'


News at Eleven: Accordingly, Thomas Hardy's 'The Darkling Thrush'

is one of two poems included about the mistle thrush rather than the song thrush or the simple thrush, which also have two poems each. As Tim Dee explains in his foreword; where more than one poem is included it is in the hope that the echoes in the poems give 'a ghostly sense of birds through the human centuries'. This would stand as a good description of the impact of the anthology as a whole.

from Telegraph: The Poetry of Birds edited by Simon Armitage and Tim Dee: review


News at Eleven: It was a string of oranges on a nail

that captured Brian Johnstone's eye: a vivid fragment of the past. "I was struck by the poignancy of that, that someone hung those up to use and they're still there. As if someone just walked out the door and left it, which is such a metaphor for the way we go out of life."

So it became a poem, "On Minos Street".

from The Scotsman: Interview: Brian Johnstone, poet


News at Eleven: Who's Afraid of Jerusalem?

A Poetic Response to Jay Michaelson

By Michal Govrin
[Translated by Betsy Rosenberg]

from Forward: Who's Afraid of Jerusalem?


News at Eleven (Back Page): Yiannis Ritsos, the great Greek poet

whose books were burned before the temple of Zeus in Athens by the Greek colonels, has a poem about the eye of Geo Milev (1895-1925), the Bulgarian poet. Milev had a blue glass eye, and when he was arrested and burned alive by the police, all that was left of him in the crematorium was the blue glass eye. This is from the poem of Ritsos:

His eye is being kept in the Museum

from The Guardian: The poetic gaze


Great Regulars: Each show is filmed twice--

usually a matinée and an evening performance--to make sure they get the right shot. With 13 cameras shooting continuously, this means editing from 26 versions of the play, a long process.

On the basis of what I've seen, the results are superb. When I visited Digital Theatre's Soho office, I was glumly expecting the usual deadness of the filmed stage performance. What I got was something quite new. Thanks to the editing and the multiple points of view, you feel inside the piece in a way that compensates for the loss of that flesh-and-blood thing.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Sunday Times: Why would you download plays?


Great Regulars: It is this impulse to draw things together,

to at least glimpse even if not to see things whole, that makes these poems so memorable and so moving ("I think of those I loved and saw to die . . . I brushed them off,/those valorous, in my unseemly haste/of greedy living, and now must learn from them.").

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: Endpoint and Other Poems by John Updike and Capillarity by Arto Vaun


Great Regulars: There are stories being whispered in Pakistan

these days, and their veracity is hard to gauge. No one knows what is real anymore in this country that seems hell-bent on self-destruction. In fact, our chief industry now seems to be the manufacture of fear, and everyone's on the assembly line. The combination of ever-present violence and lack of reliable information has made us a country of debilitating Chinese whispers.

from Fatima Bhutto: The Daily Beast: Terrified Whispers in Pakistan


Great Regulars: The poem represents a failed attempt

to castigate a religion for admonishing humanity against the evils of overindulgence in the sex instinct. The speaker resents being told "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

He does not want to control his sexual urges, so he attempts to equate those base urges with the naturalness of a garden with sweet flowers, while equating the religion with a chapel that is shut and priests in black who would deprive him of his unbridled lust.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Blake's The Garden of Love


In this long versagraph, the speaker demonstrates the efficacy of acquiring the ability to experience samadhi. He first iterates that this ability is the one that gives "hope." In the darkness that earth life expresses, "My little soul will breathe with the Eternal Breath"; this ability assures the hope of eternal life and overcomes the human being's greatest fear, death.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Yogananda's To the Aurora Borealis


Great Regulars: Stephen Dunn's "Sadness,"

holds a lot of promise here:

It was everywhere, in the streets and houses,
on farms and now in the air itself.
It had come from history and we were history
so it had come from us.

Sadness had come from history, from time's passing, and because we are the only beings who measure time's passing and term it "history," it had really come from us.

from Kristen Hoggatt: The Smart Set: Ask a Poet: Sad Sack


Great Regulars: Baptism

by Ted Thomas Jr.

Cold wind.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Baptism by Ted Thomas Jr.


The Campus in Wartime
by Marvin Bell

Sweet corn sweetens the air by the gas station

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Campus in Wartime by Marvin Bell


The Digging
by Rennie McQuilkin

It's that time of year,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Digging by Rennie McQuilkin


by Louis Jenkins

It turns out that the drain pipe from the sink is attached to nothing and

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Gravity by Louis Jenkins


I Had Been a Polar Explorer
by Mark Strand

I had been a polar explorer in my youth

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: I Had Been a Polar Explorer by Mark Strand


by Kay Ryan

Patience is

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Patience by Kay Ryan


The Speaker
by Louis Jenkins

The speaker points out that we don't really have much of

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Speaker by Louis Jenkins


Great Regulars: It's likely that if you found the original

handwritten manuscript of T.S. Eliot's groundbreaking poem, "The Waste Land," you wouldn't be able to trade it for a candy bar at the Quick Shop on your corner. Here's a poem by David Lee Garrison of Ohio about how unsuccessfully classical music fits into a subway.

Bach in the DC Subway

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 239


Great Regulars: Poetic Moments

This morning (unlike other mornings)

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-Notes: Poetic Moments


Great Regulars: All this means that when two Australian friends

of mine contacted me a few years ago and said Jane Campion was trying to get hold of me, I felt an odd mixture of surprise and pleasure (my affection for her work had already made me think of her as a sort-of friend). All was revealed when she rang a few days later: she'd been reading my biography of Keats and wanted to make a film about him. Could we meet the next time she was in London? She needed – she said this laughing – to make sure that she knew what he meant by "negative capability".

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Rebel Angel


Great Regulars: Dissident Chinese writer Bei Ling

said he was originally invited by the organizers of the 61st Frankfurt Book Fair to attend the closing ceremony as a guest speaker, with a possible opportunity to make a short speech.

"However, just before the closing ceremony, I received a phone call from the director of International Affairs of the book fair, telling me that the German Foreign Ministry had decided not to invite me to speak at the closing ceremony," Bei said.

He said fellow Chinese author Dai Qing, who has also published outspoken views about the Communist Party, was similarly struck off the list of speakers at the last minute.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Banned Writers Slam Book Fair


Great Regulars: My second son, Eddie, helped me write

the poem about him creating havoc in a supermarket. But Eddie died of meningitis when he was 18. He appeared to have flu (and I did check for meningitis symptoms) so I put him to bed with paracetamol and we chatted. I went in at 6am the next morning and he was dead. I went crazy really, but I did ring the ambulance. They told me to pull him out of bed.

from Michael Rosen: The Guardian: My family values


Great Regulars: [Samuel Taylor] Coleridge's theme of crime

and punishment is so elemental and passionately forged that it seems irrelevant to object that the sin of albatross-shooting is, actually, rather minor, and the horrific punishments disproportionate. The power of the story may well be founded on its symbolic relation to the poet's own sense of worthlessness and impotence, as expressed in a letter to his friend, John Morgan:

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Books blog: Poem of the week: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Great Regulars: A: For a good number of the poems

in "Starting From Anywhere," I'd copy someone else's phrase or sentence at the top of a page and then see what it might prompt. I still have no idea where the voice came from in the book's last poem, except that somehow it was prompted by a sentence in a biography of Philip Larkin.

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Poetry: Poet Lex Runciman on writing verse


Great Regulars: Now there is a seventh idea developing,

increasingly articulated but not yet manifested as consensus. The idea is that there is a relationship between security, development, and human rights. "It is clear that security cannot be enjoyed without development, that development cannot be enjoyed without security, and neither can be enjoyed without respect for human rights" as stated by the former Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

from René Wadlow's The Flutes of Dionysus: Newropeans Magazine: The United Nations as One Mind


Great Regulars: I find no difficulty with the thought

that this moment of my being contains somehow the whole of my past and that my future is but the continuing expansion of that same past (incorporating, of course, this present moment). But that this moment is somehow connected to the whole of time I can only assent to intellectually, the way I can assent to the idea that I am somehow connected to the whole universe. I can think it, but I don't really feel it.

from Frank Wilson: When Falls the Coliseum: That's What He Said: Eternity is actually the absence of time


Great Regulars: Mother Country

by Leonard Cirino

after Rimma Kazakova

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: Three Poems by Leonard J. Cirino


Great Regulars: Editor's note: Juanita Brunk grew up in

Virginia. These poems are from her collection of poetry, "Brief Landing On The Earth's Surface," which was chosen by Philip Levine for a Brittiingham Prize. She recently returned from a year in Asia with her teenage son and is back in New York City, where she has lived for many years.

On This Earth

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: When Just a Sentence Changes


Great Regulars: Asking for Everything

by Lilah Hegnauer

from Guernica: Poetry: Asking for Everything


Great Regulars: 'Prelude'

By Beverly Boyd

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase: 'Prelude'


Great Regulars: Letter to Tsvetaeva

by Nina Zivancevic

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Letter to Tsvetaeva


My Great-Grandmother's Bible
by Spencer Reece

from The New Yorker: Poetry: My Great-Grandmother's Bible


Great Regulars: And I was immeshed with a lifelong

binge alcoholic. I was immeshed with the emotionally unpredictable. I grew up in that space between my father's enormous potential and everything he did not accomplish. And I think that's what my poems and stories are all about, in some way, even when I'm writing about anything else.

from PBS: Newshour: Poet Sherman Alexie Talks 'Faces' and 'War Dances'


By Jim Harrison

From "The Golden Window"

I hope to define my life, whatever is left,

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'The Golden Window'


Great Regulars: [by Sharron Jenks Kettles]

I heard a very mournful cry . . .

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: I heard a very mournful cry . . .


Great Regulars: Fluidity (and also desire, chance, and resistance)

are central ideas in this book, so it follows that [Lisa] Robertson would call upon the Epicurean philosophers: "Lucretius says the soul, the speaking, thinking force that flows through a girl/Is part of life not less than hand, foot or eyes are vital." The idea that the body and spirit are made of the same material is compelling to Robertson, whose poetics reside in a mixing of physical phenomena with philosophical inquiry.

from Powells: Review-A-Day: The Poetry of Whiplash


Great Regulars: "Thoreau's Beans"

By David Roderick

from Slate: "Thoreau's Beans" --By David Roderick


Great Regulars: The older we get, the less pressing

the past and future become, the more our memories and expectations blur, the more time tricks and treats us, much like children in the end--homebound ghosts and goblins in the dark, haunted and haunting, free of old grievances, grateful for momentary, abundant, undeserved gifts.

The older we get, likewise, the less we seem to count. Which accounts, I suppose, for the title of this 15-line poem.

from The Washington Post: Poet's Choice: "Refusing at Fifty-Two to Write Sonnets" by Thomas Lynch


Poetic Obituaries: [Naomi J. Brown] and her husband owned

and operated Shabbona Camping Resort for a number of years.

A member of New Hope Presbyterian Church in Coal City and the Eastern Star, she was known for her love of painting and writing poetry, and she truly enjoyed the time spent with her grandchildren.

from Morris Daily Herald: Naomi J. Brown


Poetic Obituaries: Dave [Caufman] enjoyed hunting,

fishing, spending time at the cabin he bought in 1965, writing poetry, oil painting, tinkering with his model trains and HAM radios and participating in numerous civic organizations.

from Mankato Free Press: David Earl Caufman


Poetic Obituaries: Marie [E. Hinz] loved poetry

and had her poems published. She was a homemaker and had five children. She loved to cook and was a wonderful mother.

from Oshkosh Northwestern: Marie E. Hinz


Poetic Obituaries: Professor [Roger] Hornsby had wide interests

in the study of the ancient world and the teaching of the languages it spoke. His publications focused on Latin poetry and included Reading Latin Poetry (1967), Patterns of Action in the Aeneid (1970) and numerous articles and reviews in professional journals.

from Iowa City Press Citizen: Roger Hornsby, 83


Poetic Obituaries: Last night friends paid tribute to

the "devoted" pensioners as Kenyan police held two suspects over their murder.

Retired Mr. [Norman] Joel, known as Tony, was stabbed 17 times and suffered severe head wounds. Mrs. [Rita] Joel, a keen poet, was knifed 11 times.

from Daily Express: Holiday Couple Knifed to Death


Poetic Obituaries: To neighbors, she [Louise "Lady" Johnson] was a beacon.

They kept watch when family members weren't around, took care of her lawn, and dropped by to chat. For the last four years, they held a birthday party for her.

"I was her yard boy," said Chris Boswell, 56, who cut the grass and--along with other neighbors--made her lawn look good. "We wanted everything right for her."

In appreciation, she wrote Boswell three poems. One had the lines, "You have worked so hard in boiling sun, now it's time to have some fun. ..."

from The State: 108-year-old woman 'was hard not to love'


Poetic Obituaries: In the early 1970s, [Michael] Kabotie

founded a group of painters called Artist Hopid, which was dedicated to new interpretation of traditional Hopi art forms. After that, Kabotie painted, made jewelry, wrote poetry and essays, and lectured around the country. Kabotie's paintings and silverwork have an organic graffiti-like quality with dynamic motion and symbolism, with a rich color palette on canvas and an added dimension when rendered in silver.

from Auction Central News: In memoriam: Native-American artist Michael Kabotie, 67


Poetic Obituaries: Lee [Knoll] was a graduate of

Midwood High School in New York and attended Cumberland County College for writing and poetry. Several of her works were published in poetry books.

from The Daily Journal: Leona 'Lee' A. Knoll


Poetic Obituaries: Lenore Kandel hung out with Beat poets

and was immortalized by Jack Kerouac, wrote a book of love poetry banned as obscene and seized by police, and believed in communal living, anarchic street theater, belly dancing, and all things beautiful.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Lenore Kandel--'The Love Book' author--dies


Poetic Obituaries: [Martin R. Miller's] many interests included

playing guitar and harmonica, writing songs and poetry. He also enjoyed fishing and camping especially with his grandson, Aaron.

from Palladium-Item: Martin R. Miller


Poetic Obituaries: [Marvin] Sieger survived a shooting in 1987,

when robbers cornered him as he returned home late one night.

After his brush with death, he became a prolific poet and member of the poetry club in Trump Village.

from New York Daily News: Poet and ex-driver for Daily News, Marvin Sieger, at 84


Poetic Obituaries: Mr. Taylor served as a trustee

of the Abbot Public Library, in Marblehead, and was a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society and Saint Botolph Club. In 1967, he was director of publications at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Robert Sundling Taylor was born in Newton. His parents were Elsie (Sundling) and Frank M. Taylor, a traveling salesman. Mr. Taylor began going with them to the Museum of Fine Arts and Gardner Museum when he was 10. At 14 he sold his first piece of writing, a poem, to The Portland (Maine) Evening Express.

from The Boston Globe: Robert Taylor, 84; critic was man of letters, connections


Poetic Obituaries: In letters from Death Row,

[Cameron Todd] Willingham often seemed thoughtful and introspective, sometimes expressing himself in poetry. He never wavered in maintaining his innocence throughout his 12-year confinement.

"Although I am imprisoned, I am more free than any soul can be," he wrote in a 10-line verse to conclude a letter to his stepmother in 1994.

In a letter to Kuykendall in 2000, Willingham told of enduring memories of his children.

from The Star-Telegram: Inside the case at the center of Texas' death penalty dispute


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

October 20th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

The blog posts of the Poetry & Poets in Rags links for this week begin with five black and white photos in a row. The reason? It is the week of unearthing. Federico Garcia Lorca's body is about to be exhumed, if he's where they think he is, where a stone plinth is near a lone olive tree. In Australia, they are relooking at Breaker Morant's court martial, most likely to pardon him. "Shoot straight, you bastards," he said to the firing squad. A poem is now attributed to Dorothy Parker, the only one about her heartbreaking relationship with Charles MacArthur. "How like me, to put all my eggs into one bastard," she said. Sixteen unpublished poems by Rabindranath Tagore have come to light, as has a hundred-year-old poem by feminist Alison Uttley. Caroline Alexander brings us new insights into the reading of Iliad. Richard Moore brings us to when science and poetry mingled. And to round out our look into the past, you can look forward to an article about the futurist Naphtali Imber. There are more than these in News at Eleven, and yet more excellent articles in Great Regulars, which is why they're great regulars. Check out the poetry, but also, for instance, note how E. Ethelbert Miller and Fatima Bhutto differ on Obama receiving the Nobel.

In IBPC news, we welcome new judge Majid Naficy! He kicks off the autumn season with results for October. Congrats to Anna Yin of PenShells for her 1st place poem "Rain", Walter Schwinn of Mosaic Musings for his 2nd place poem "Forbidden Lullaby"..., Mandy Pannett of The Write Idea for her 3rd place poem "Without salt", and Christopher T. George of FreeWrights Peer Review for his HM "Bills and Yet More Bills".

Thanks for surfing in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog