Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 28th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

September 28th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

Three weeks ago, we headlined with a link to the plight of Tal al-Mallohi, a 19-year-old high school student, who is being held incommunicado in Syria, apparently for her blogging and poetry. This week, we lead with new articles on her, one from Human Rights Watch calling for her release, another from Amnesty International with a call to action, and the third via Ekklesia, which says that she is at "risk of torture in prison." Our next story is on Salman Rushdie, who says that writers "are in more danger perhaps than they've ever been."

But also from News at Eleven, we have links to articles on Modernism, the importance of transit poetry, and the role of poetry in overcoming trauma. We also look at the poets Seamus Heaney, William McGonagall, and Allen Ginsberg. And we have poems in News at Eleven, from Vona Groarke, several Canadian poets, and a new-found bawdy poem that some say came from the pen of John Milton. All this poetry news, just in the News at Eleven section.

In Great Regulars, we have articles from Marianne Combs, Sarah Crown, Carol Ann Duffy, Linda Sue Grimes, Garrison Keillor, Ted Kooser, Luisetta Mudie, Michael Rosen, Carol Rumens, and Frank Wilson, to drop names. And that's just for starters. We have the rest of our Great Regulars section, plus the Poetic Obituaries, this week's news on fellow poets who have died, one being Ali Sher Kurd, "a Baloch lawyer, writer and poet," who was abducted and tortured before being murdered, likely by "intelligence agencies."

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: "Detaining a high school student for nine months

without charge is typical of the cruel, arbitrary behavior of Syria's security services," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "A government that thinks it can get away with trampling the rights of its citizens has lost all connection to its people."

It is unclear why the authorities have detained al-Mallohi. According to her family, [Tal] al-Mallohi, who is in her last year of high school, does not belong to any political group. Some Syrian activists have expressed concerns that security services may have detained her over a poem she wrote criticizing certain restrictions on freedom of expression in Syria.

from Human Rights Watch: Syria: Release Student Blogger Held Incommunicado
then Amnesty International: Urgent Action: Demand Release for Syrian Blogger
then Ekklesia: Teenage Syrian blogger at risk of torture in prison


News at Eleven: Salman Rushdie, a man whose writings put

his own life at risk, says there has never been a more dangerous time for artists who challenge official historical, political and religious doctrine in the world.

"We have to understand that these are days in which writers themselves, not just novelists, not just playwrights and poets, but journalists as well are in more danger perhaps than they've ever been," Rushdie said Monday in an address to a conference of risk-management professionals, meeting in Edmonton.

from Edmonton Journal: Dangerous times for writers, Rushdie says


News at Eleven: In such a disenchanted world,

the world we inhabit now, it's not only pointless but dishonest to write or paint or compose in traditional ways, as though nothing had changed. The old human narrative has been fatally disrupted; it is false to pretend otherwise. Modernism is the anguished response--for Mr. [Gabriel] Josipovici, the only valid response--to this irreparable fracture of the world and the self.

He begins his account with some astute observations on two famous engravings by Albrecht Dürer (his "Melancholia I" and "St. Jerome in his Study" from 1514). Dürer intended the engravings to be complementary; but in fact, as Mr. Josipovici argues, "Melancholia," with its shadows and dozing bats, has come to depict our present state, while "St. Jerome" in its sunny serenity reveals all that we--we moderns--have lost.

from The Wall Street Journal: A Literary Revolution


News at Eleven: Fate

Vona Groarke

I do not know what it is in me that would want to bunker down

from The Irish Times: Fate


News at Eleven: XII

Dubai Sega Canfor's poison spill

from The Tyee: Blockbuster Poem IX
then The Tyee: Ten Blockbuster Poems from The Tyee


News at Eleven: [Allen] Ginsberg scolded his graduate students

when assignments were incomplete or undone. Sloppy mechanics made him cross. On one occasion he made of an example of me over my failure to capitalize the "d" in "Duomo." This, in the era of typewriters, before the advent of Spellcheck. I think that Ginsberg believed being a poet was an important job. Poets keep the world safe for imagination, and imagination preserves the liberty of even those who care as little for it as for poetry. Ginsberg's admiration for nonconformists did not always extend to emerging poets enrolled in his classes. He was one of those who believed poets should read newspapers, and that a poet should know a rule before breaking it.

from The Huffington Post: Allen Ginsberg: Buddhist Rabbi


News at Eleven: [Seamus Heaney] is not the poet he once was. But

then it would be foolish to expect him to remain the poet of 1975's "North," which brought him widespread fame for his deft handling of the Irish political situation in language that dredged up memories of ancient, tribal violence. In his 12th volume, "Human Chain," the images are not quite so immediate, the tone not quite so tense with politics and history.

Heaney has become something else: a personification of an idea of poetry, a squint-eyed, white-shocked sage.

from Plain Dealer: Poet Seamus Heaney writes 'Human Chain' with a mastery of place and name
then BBC News: Seamus Heaney: 'I live in panic over the next poem'
then The New York Times: Ply the Pen


News at Eleven: One transit rider described his epiphany

after reading Mari-Lou Rowley's poem, "Red Dog, Grey Day":

"This poem changed my life. I was on the bus one day, strung out and high, my life was going down the toilet when I read that poem . . . Was I actually a 'dog without a leash' running down the freeway of life, perhaps down to Hades? Some call a thing like that 'a moment of clarity'. I put an end to many years of drug addiction around that time."

from The Tyee: Moving Words: How Poetry Got on the Bus


News at Eleven: Panelist Aimee Le '12 summarized the role of

art and poetry in overcoming trauma.

"Trauma is an event that can't be explained, so it can't be healed until you understand what to heal and how to heal it," she said. "In the world of rational concepts, poetry is a lie. Yet in this same world, trauma is also a lie."

Poetry and art can be the best means of approaching and understanding trauma and can be a powerful tool for addressing injustice in society, Le said.

from The Dartmouth: Panel: Art can fight trauma, injustice


News at Eleven: Dundee-based historian Dr. Norman Watson,

in a book, Poet McGonagall: The Biography of William McGonagall, says that the "Bard of the Silv'ry Tay", may have had Asperger's Syndrome, a disorder on the autistic spectrum.

Dr. Watson cites as evidence the poet's indifference to public humiliation--he spent much of his career being pelted with flour, fish and eggs at public readings and on one occasion was knocked out by a brick--and "an astonishing repetition of phrases" in his doggerel.

Over sixty of his "poems" begin "'Twas", and he constantly used the phrase "beautiful to be seen".

from The Daily Telegraph: World's worst poet 'may have been autistic'


News at Eleven (Back Page): The coarse, and frankly misogynistic verse

likens a young woman to a faggot, a bunch of damp sticks, which, when cast upon the fire, produces moisture "at both ends", like (according to the poem) a weeping virgin when sexually aroused. By contrast, the more sexually experienced woman is more like dry wood, which becomes joyfully enflamed when put on the fire.

It is all rather a long way from the lofty, Christian sentiments of Milton's great epic, Paradise Lost.

However, Batt's operative word is "if". According to Dr Abigail Williams, who is leading a project at Oxford to digitise the major collection of 18th-century poetic "miscellanies" in which Batt found the "Milton" rhyme, "You could become very rich and famous--well, famous, anyway--if you could prove the rhyme was really by Milton. I am pretty certain it is not."

from The Guardian: Did John Milton write filthy, innuendo-laden rhyme?
then The Guardian: Bawdy glee


Great Regulars: [Kathryn Kysar's] poetry book Pretend the World

will be published by Holy Cow! Press in March 2011. Kysar teaches at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and lives in St. Paul.

Bodies of Water

from Marianne Combs: Minnesota Public Radio: State of the Arts: Minnesota Poetry: Kathryn Kysar's "Bodies of Water"


Great Regulars: But when we put the names side by side

rather than talking about them individually, we noticed something about the list: there wasn't a single woman on it.

After lengthy brain-racking, the only women we could think of who'd tried their hand at it were Amelie Nothomb in her Goncourt-shortlisted Une forme de vie, and Gertrude Stein, in her smoke and mirror-filled Autobiography of Alice B Toklas. Is auto-fiction (if that's the right term for it) a male-dominated pursuit?

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Is auto-fiction strictly a boys' game?


Great Regulars: CarolAnn says: This comes from Ann Gray's

heartbreakingly beautiful "At The Gate" (Headland, 2008) a book-length sequence of poems about the death of her partner in a car accident. Using the form of a list, the poem attempts a resurrection in language; things that were once irritating in the security of everyday life seem now to be unreachably precious.Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/09/23/poetry-corner-115875-22581485/#ixzz10mAirsTXGo Camping for 95p! Vouchers collectable in the Daily and Sunday Mirror until 11th August . Click here for more information

from Carol Ann Duffy: The Daily Mirror: Poetry Corner


Great Regulars: The speaker sets the scene by distinguishing herself

and one or more companions from the women who are talking "about the Russians." The scene has gone on "all morning in the strawberry field."

As the women talk, the speaker and her companions "squatted down between the rows" listening. At one point the listeners hear "the head woman say,/'Bomb them off the map.'"

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Sylvia Plath's Bitter Strawberries


Great Regulars: Fall

by Edward Hirsch

Fall, falling, fallen. That's the way the season

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


by Charles Bukowski

my grandmother had a serious gas

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Gas by Charles Bukowski


by Richard Newman

I like my hometown more

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


Picking Pears
by Gary J. Whitehead

I stand on the top rung and the step ladder

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Picking Pears by Gary J. Whitehead


The Return of Odysseus
by George Bilgere

When Odysseus finally does get home

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Return of Odysseus by George Bilgere


by George Bilgere

In the summer twilight,

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


Theories of Time and Space
by Natasha Trethewey

You can get there from here, though

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Theories of Time and Space by Natasha Trethewey


Great Regulars: I love to sit outside and be very still

until some little creature appears and begins to go about its business, and here is another poet, Robert Gibb, of Pennsylvania, doing just the same thing.

For the Chipmunk in My Yard

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 287


Great Regulars: Germany-based poet Xu Pei said that she

would be using this year's festival, in which images of the moon are used to evoke memories of far-off loved ones and times gone by, to remember jailed dissident author Huang Jinqiu, known online by his pen name Qing Shuijun.

"I hope that people will learn from his case," Xu said. "Fellow writers should take it as a warning not to retain any ideal image of the Communist Party."

"He thought that they didn't know he was Qing Shuijun," Xu said.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Warning to Writers At Festival


Great Regulars: The first clear case of infant irony

that I've ever noticed is "Yeah, right!" When did that first weep through our hoard of rhetorical flourishes? Twenty years ago? Just before then, one of my sons had a different routine. Anything that someone said that wasn't to be believed, (ideally as said by an adult in some serious circumstance) you replied with, 'And the three bears.' Very annoying as it's so deflationary.

from Michael Rosen: The Guardian: Sarcasm has always been child's play


Great Regulars: The haunting, painful dream in

which he literally loses his own children expands "Easter, 1944" beyond its wartime setting, opening out to reflect a more universal sadness between children and parents. The child eventually appreciates the parent's point of view, but usually, by then, there really is an unbreakable silence between them.

[by John Lucas]

Easter, 1944

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Books blog: Poem of the week: Easter, 1944 by John Lucas


Great Regulars: There used to be a mural at

Broad and Lombard--part of Philadelphia's Mural Arts Program--that always got on my nerves. It declared that "if you can dream it, you can do." This, of course, is arrant nonsense. I can dream all I want about being a concert violinist, it ain't gonna happen. Ever. There's a reason we distinguish between dream and reality.

I suppose all of this stuff derives from the latter-day preoccupation with self-esteem.

from Frank Wilson: When Falls the Coliseum: That's What He Said: Bumper sticker mentality, self-esteem and second-rate art


Great Regulars: Campus Kitchen

by Amenah Arther

I told him to press 3 as

from The American Muslim: Poetry: Campus Kitchen


Great Regulars: [by Mark Rhoads]

Singing Dylan

I had a cheap guitar

from The Christian Science Monitor: Singing Dylan


Great Regulars: In the City of Roses and Pearls*

by Robert A. Davies

A man jumped off Vista Bridge.

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: Davies and Chaet


Great Regulars: "The Waste Land" explores apocalyptic images

with Biblical allusions while four of his later poems, "The Four Quartets" ("Burnt Norton," "East Coker," "The Dry Salvages" and "Little Gidding"), employ religious symbolism. According to Christis, a religious forum at The University of York, "[Eliot] believed that writing was a way of approaching the great mysteries of human life."

from findingDulcinea: Happy Birthday: T.S. Eliot, Nobel Prize Winning Writer


Great Regulars: Night Drive

by Lydia Fulleylove, shortlisted for the 2010 Forward prize

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Night Drive by Lydia Fulleylove, shortlisted for the 2010 Forward prize


Great Regulars: Untitled

by Roya Zarrin translated from the Persian by Kaveh Bassiri, September 2010

from Guernica: Poetry: Untitled


Great Regulars: By Pat Reed

September 26, 2010

Jessica at nine

Wakes up snuggly and slow

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase: 'Jessica at Nine'


Great Regulars: Peter Ebsworth

on a deserted beach

from Morning Star: Well Versed: Rip Van Winkle wakes


Great Regulars: [by Kary Wayson]

When I met your wife it was

from The Oregonian: Poetry: 'Untitled Manifesto'


Great Regulars: By Matthew Zapruder

)))) Listen

In old black and white documentaries

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'Global Warming'


Great Regulars: By Susan Langan

scolding grackle tirade

from San Antonio Express-News: Poetry: 'Haiku'


Great Regulars: "Doggy Heaven"

By Colin Pope

from Slate: "Doggy Heaven"--By Colin Pope


Poetic Obituaries: [Alissa Blake] enjoyed her daughter,

four-wheeling, riding horses, camping, writing poetry and short stories and spending time outdoors with family and friends.

from Delta County Independent: Alissa Blake


Poetic Obituaries: Robbie [Brown], also known as "River"

to all of his friends across the county, was free spirited and loved to travel and went all over the country. He loved The Grateful Dead, his dreadlocks, writing poetry and had a passion for the Earth, nature, the outdoors and all living things

from The Daily Times: Robert David Brown


Poetic Obituaries: "He was very intelligent--

he loved to solve problems," Hillary Colt Cahan said [of her son Abe Cahan]. While good a math, he also wrote poetry, loved to debate and read classics such as "The Odyssey" and "The Iliad," she said.

His mother recalled his saying that he uncovered something new each time he read his favorite books. She said one of his favorite authors was Kurt Vonnegut, and that he often left book quotes on his Facebook page.

from Towson Times: Towson High graduate, current junior at TU found dead


Poetic Obituaries: [Karen Chamberlain's] poems, essays and stories

have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Hudson Review, The Nation, Poetry, Orion, "The Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature," and "The Geography of Hope: Poets of Colorado's Western Slope." She was honored with a 1983 The Nation/Discovery Prize, a 1989 Fellowship in Poetry from the Colorado Council on the Arts, a 1993 Poetry Program Award from Poets and Writers Magazine and the Poetry Society of America, and a 2004 Contribution-to-Poetry Award from the Sparrows Poetry Festival in Salida.

from The Aspen Times: Karen Chamberlain


Poetic Obituaries: [Nicholas F. Coccaro's] artistic accomplishments

included paintings, poetry, and written works admired for beauty, craftsmanship, wry humor and gentle wit.

from New York Daily News: Wed. 09/22--Death Notices


Poetic Obituaries: [Betty B. Garbus'] greatest love

was to write poetry. She sent samples of her poems to many publications in the U.S., but to no avail. Ironically, her work has just been accepted by the Bellevue Literary Review.

from Republican Journal: Betty B. Garbus


Poetic Obituaries: [Teofila (Sud)] Gonzalez was a proud mother

who loved raising her children throughout the years. She enjoyed drawing, embroidery, writing poems and reading the Bible.

from SouthCoastToday.com: Teofila Gonzalez


Poetic Obituaries: As Stoo Hample, he was the author

and illustrator of a number of books for young children, most notably "The Silly Book" (1961), a classic pastiche of poems, songs, jokes, drawings and goofy remarks. With Eric Marshall, he collected the missives that became the best-selling book "Children's Letters to God" (1966).

from The New York Times: Stuart E. Hample, Humorist and Cartoonist, Dies at 84


Poetic Obituaries: After his [Robert Hanley's] retirement from

the Police Department, he worked as a security consultant and traveled, with Australia, New Orleans and Key West being favorite destinations. He continued his passion for fishing and 16-inch softball, wrote poetry and kept a detailed journal. He was also active in many veterans affairs organizations, such as the Marine Corps League, and was a founding member of the Chicago Police Marine Association.

from Chicago Tribune: Robert Hanley, 1937-2010


Poetic Obituaries: Following in his parents' footsteps, Moe Hein

wrote a number of travelogues, memoirs, a collection of poems and articles on religion. For years, he also volunteered as an English teacher in Buddhist monasteries.

from The Irrawaddy: Poet Moe Hein Dies


Poetic Obituaries: Andriena [Herrmann] sang and yodeled (competitively),

all of her life and played guitar, drums, harmonica and piano, sometimes all at the same time. She wrote poems and song lyrics, loved to read, garden and anything western.

from Princeton Union-Eagle: Andriena Herrmann


Poetic Obituaries: James Jackson Kilpatrick, who died in August

at age 89, was a journalist, columnist, author, editor, and television commentator. He loved and mastered the English language. His genius was not limited to prose and included humorous poetry. His description of American journalism in the first half of the 1950s is illustrative:

from News Blaze: James Jackson Kilpatrick, RIP


Poetic Obituaries: Various left wing and nationalist organisations

including Baloch Student Federation staged a protest on Monday at National Press Club (NPC) to condemn the abduction, torture and subsequent murder of Ali Sher Kurd, a Baloch lawyer, writer and poet.

from Daily Times: Protestors condemn murder of Ali Sher Kurd


Poetic Obituaries: While director [of the Poetry Center at State],

he worked with Julia Vose of Poetry in the Schools and Dr. Harry Weinstein of Mt. Zion Hospital in developing the Writer in Residence in the Community Program. For 11 years the program offered seniors and cancer patients poetry writing events. Poetry was offered as original art that patients could make of what they liked, rather than as a good-for-you pill. Mark [Linenthal] worked with film maker David Myers on a film portrait of poet Theodore Roethke, In a Dark Time. Poet and teacher Kathleen Fraser remembers that in the 1970s "Mark was one of 3 guys on the 20 guy/1 woman Creative Writing Dept. faculty to give unequivocal support to the Women Writers Union in their polite but firm request to study more modernist women writers as Major Authors and helped us win this opening of dialog."

from San Francisco Chronicle: Linenthal, Mark


Poetic Obituaries: [Garland Joseph Monceaux Jr.] was a former welding

inspector for R.C.S., and member of the YMCA. He received awards for writing poetry and enjoyed writing to the editors of the local newspapers. He loved working in grape vine garden.

from Ironton Tribune: Garland Joseph Monceaux Jr.


Poetic Obituaries: Honoured with the Padamshree

and Bharatendu awards, [Kanhaiya Lal] Nandan had worked as editor of Parag, Sarika and Dinman magazines. He had also worked as features editor of Navbharat Times.

Author of more than three dozen books, Nandan was also known as a poet and lyricist.

from Samay Live: Kanhaiya Lal Nandan passes away


Poetic Obituaries: "He was a freedom fighter and went on

to be an MP, but when the ANC requested him to come to the municipality he did not complain."

Apart from being a freedom fighter, [Tendamudzimu Robert] Ratshitanga wrote many books, some of which he wrote while in jail.

In 1988 one of his books, Masase, won the CNA literature award. This happened while he was in prison serving a five-year term for harbouring guerrillas. In 1986 his book, Vhadzimu vha Tshenuwa, was prescribed for Grade 12 pupils.

from Sowetan Live: Poet and activist Ratshitanga is buried


Poetic Obituaries: [Ronald Spencer] performed on radio

and TV as part of the Dalians, and was a member of the Rossendale Male Voice Choir for more than 25 years. A man of faith, he was an active member of Newchurch Methodist Church for more than 40 years.

Mr Spencer was a keen gardener and bowls player. In retirement, he turned his hand to oil painting and writing poetry, and he loved word puzzles, sudoku and quiz shows.

from Manchester Evening News: Ronald Spencer


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21st Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

September 21st forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

We've got poems this week, in our Great Regulars section as usual, but also in News at Eleven. In fact, our headlining link connects to an article about poet Liu Xianbo, who "was sentenced to eleven years in jail last year for his political beliefs and his fight for political reform in China." Poem included. But we have two poems by Paul Muldoon, one in News at Eleven, along with a long-lost poem from a long-dead mother to her then year-old son, now 82. We'll visit two Frost homes, one to encounter Robert Frost, the other Paul Muldoon. Plus more along the lines of reviews and poets in the news. Be sure to check out a couple of the articles that are not in these categories, one by Shane Neilson on auto-inclusion called, Editor, heel thyself, and the other by David Orr on prefacing works with epigraphs called, The Age of Citation. And much more.

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Mayor Jón Gnarr hosted ex-Beijing mayor Liu Qi

at Reykjavík City hall today. Liu Qi is also the General Secretary of the Beijing Communist Party and was chairman of the organizing committee for the Olympics in 2008.

Mayor Gnarr used the occasion and handed the Chinese visitor a letter in which the Reykjavík Mayor demands release of the poet Liu Xianbo from jail.

from Iceland Review: Mayor Jón Gnarr wants Poet free from Chinese Prison


News at Eleven: In one letter from Massachusetts in 1957,

he [Ted Hughes] wrote: "Luxury is stuffed down your throat--a mass-produced luxury--till you feel you'd rather be rolling in the mud and eating that."

In a letter from 1960, Hughes tells his sister [Olwyn Hughes] that "everybody's full of Harold Pinter" following the playwright's first production of The Caretaker in London.

The British Library notes that, in most cases, Plath added her news to the reverse or end of Hughes' letters "providing an interesting juxtaposition of handwriting, opinion and subject matter".

from BBC News: Ted Hughes letters acquired by British Library
then The Daily Telegraph: Ted Hughes: 'I'd rather eat mud than live in America'


News at Eleven: Edwin Morgan's involvement in the "shady

and sometimes dangerous" Glasgow gay scene of the 1950s is revealed in the first major biography of the late Makar.

Beyond the Last Dragon: A Life of Edwin Morgan, by James McGonigal, details the late poet's sometimes violent and hazardous experiences in Glasgow's gay scene as a young academic, when his sexuality was a secret and the gay scene was largely underground.

from Herald Scotland: Sadness, fear and thrill of national poet's secret gay life


News at Eleven: There has always been argument about whether

cultural change should precede, accompany, or follow political change. In this case, the outburst of good writing in the 1980s (which spilled over into the 1990s) clearly presaged the 1997 referendum with its overwhelming endorsement of a Scottish Parliament. Looking back now, I can see how my own book Sonnets from Scotland (1984), which began as a sort of defiant non-acceptance of the failed referendum, fits into an evolving pattern of Scottish culture as wide-ranging, risk-taking, internationally aware. Although it was in a sense a history of Scotland, an alternative history, I gave it a science-fiction setting, with mysterious visitors to the earth commenting on events and experiences in an oblique way, as in the poem called 'The Coin':

from Scottish Left Review: Scottish Fiction: by Edwin Morgan