Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

August 30th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

After spending nearly two years in jail, poet Tran Duc Thach has been freed, as over 10,000 prisoners in Viet Nam have been pardoned. In Bahrain, poet Ayat al-Qurmozi, who was freed from prison earlier this year, has also been included in a royal pardon of protesters in Bahrain. The links to these stories is where we begin News at Eleven this week. It's a very intriguing and interesting week this issue, and we cover both history and the globe we live in. I'll let you get to your clicking and reading.

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Ayat al-Qurmozi, 20, was sentenced

to a year in prison for reciting a poem mocking Bahrain's Sunni rulers and demanding the king step down during pro-democracy protests led by the Shi'ite majority in March and February.

Qurmozi was released in July but banned from travel.

The Information Affairs Authority said in a statement Qurmozi was amongst those declared pardoned by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa during a speech on Sunday.

from Updated News: Bahrain pardons protest poet
then MSN News: Vietnam pardons 10,000 prisoners, few dissidents


News at Eleven: [Walter] Raleigh had laid the foundations

of an empire and left an indelible mark on history. This change in outlook inspired the young John Donne. In his erotic poem To His Mistress Going To Bed, he likened the experience of seeing her naked to the explorations of the transatlantic voyagers.

'O, my America! My new-found land.
My kingdome, safeliest when with one man man'd,
My mine of precious stones, My Emperie,
How blest I am in this discovering thee!'

Donne's poem captured the intense excitement of discovering new love. The discovery of America for the English--the real discovery, which came in the Elizabethan Age, rather than the mere knowledge that America was 'there'--was just as exciting.

from Daily Mail: Pirate who plundered Elizabeth's heart: How Walter Raleigh's silver tongue and broody looks bewitched the Virgin Queen


News at Eleven: It's tempting to see, in the wild

divergence between his [Arthur Rimbaud's] parents' natures, the origins of Rimbaud's eccentric seesawing between literature and commerce.

Certainly the teen-rebel phase that began when he was around fifteen looks like a reaction to life with Vitalie. The frenetic pursuit of what, in one letter, he called "free freedom" runs like a leitmotif through Rimbaud's life: few poets have walked, run, ridden, or sailed as frequently or as far as he did. Late in the summer of 1870, a couple of months before his sixteenth birthday, he ran away from Vitalie's dour home and took a train to Paris: the first of many escapes.

from New Yorker: Rebel Rebel


News at Eleven: These African-American elders of the land

are called the "Gardening Angels" and they have been role models for Detroit's youth for decades. The obstacles they and others face in Detroit--to create change--are enormous, but they fight on by holding to a vision that Levine, in some other poems, not so well received, understands and expresses.

These poems of vision, that fewer wish to discuss, speak to Levine's deep admiration for the Spanish anarchists, especially those who fought in Catalonia, where Barcelona is located. It may seem odd that a Jewish Detroit ex-auto worker has an affection for the defenders of a city in a Catholic country one-third of the way across the world.

from CounterPunch: The Courage of Philip Levine


News at Eleven: It wasn't onerous. The thing

that was onerous, saving your presence, was months of wall-to-wall interviews, and the huge variation between very good interviewers and people who really didn't know anything. There were a few unguessable things, like [an interview for] Oprah's magazine. Wasn't a bad one, either. Then they sent a crew of photographers; it was like Barnum & Bailey arriving with three or four huge trucks.

from Los Angeles Times: Patt Morrison Asks: The poet, W.S. Merwin


News at Eleven: This, he [A.N. Wilson] realised,

is where Tennyson's Ulysses came from. "Dante is walking along in the dark, and he sees these flares. He thinks it's a bit like a peasant in Tuscany seeing fireflies, and then he realises these flares are actually souls in torment. In one of them is Ulysses, and he describes his last voyage--which isn't the same as you get in The Odyssey. He has left his wife and has set out on this journey of intellectual quest which Tennyson makes into his great poem. It's all about intellectual adventure, following an idea wherever it takes you."

We are not now that strength which in the old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are,
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

That last line is not only carved on the wall at the Olympic village but also on a rough cross in the Antarctic to honour Captain Scott's failed attempt to reach the South Pole.

from Scotsman: Edinburgh Festivals: Book festival interview: A.N. Wilson, biographer


News at Eleven: In "The Universe: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack,"

she [Tracy K. Smith] realizes--or maybe just hopes--"Everything that disappears/Disappears as if returning somewhere." On the first day the Hubble's "optics jibed," she writes, "We saw to the edge of all there is--/So brutal and alive it seemed to comprehend us back." It's hard not to hear an echo of Nietzsche in those lines--"And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee"--but for Smith the abyss seems as much a space of possibility as of oblivion:

from New York Times: Poems of Childhood, Grief and Deep Space


News at Eleven: "I've been taking other artworks

and demolishing them and rebuilding them and commenting on them and using bits of them to critique them."

It's an approach that is to the fore in his [John Tranter's] most recent collection, Starlight: 150 Poems, which on Thursday won the Age Poetry Book of the Year award. It is a book of "mistranslations", reworkings and great wit.

Starlight opens with The Anaglyph, a radical reworking of Clepsydra by American poet John Ashbery, to whom the book is dedicated.

from The Age: Poetic dreamer


News at Eleven: Regardless of the content, a villanelle

is about entropy. The slow disordering of love.

I've always been hesitant to say something like that--to claim that a formal construction has an ontological character. But villanelles strike the way that songs written in a minor key do; the actual lyrics can't fundamentally alter the meaning of the thing. The formal narrative is so intense, and so beautiful, that you can stop listening to the words as semantic signifiers and hear them as pure musical characters marching towards their fate.

from National Post: A literary form designed to break your heart


News at Eleven: This concern with what lies beyond,

spiritually or in terms of artistic ambition, distinguishes [Sasha] Dugdale's work. While her earlier books tended to segregate the domestic and the elemental, these areas now seethe through one another with full-throated, full-blooded confidence. Red House marks a thrilling advance and is an exceptional book.

from The Guardian: Red House by Sasha Dugdale--review


News at Eleven (Back Page): Some time has passed since

the literary world has seen a Jewish lesbian poetry anthology. The previous two--"Nice Jewish Girls" (Persephone Press, 1982) and "The Tribe of Dina" (Beacon Press, 1989)--included both poetry and essays, and covered more generational ground than "Milk and Honey," which features only poetry, and a majority of the poets are on the younger side. This is not to say that "Milk and Honey" lacks age diversity, but that it set out specifically to publish contemporary poets (no Adrienne Rich or Gertrude Stein) who represent a particular range of experience unique to Jewish lesbians of this generation.

from Forward: The Arty Semite: Jewish Lesbian Poetry for a New Generation


Great Regulars: To write poetry is to exist in

the present and the past and the future all at once. That's why, when you start to write poems, you quickly discover that the art is big and the poet is not.

An example of this last idea can be found in Elizabeth Alexander's delightful poem on the art of poetry in which she asserts that poetry is simultaneously idiosyncratic and timeless.

Ars Poetica #100: I Believe

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry: A peek behind the scaffolds


Great Regulars: 'What I'm interested in just now,"

says John Burnside, "is the Schrödinger's cat novel: two mutually exclusive possibilities sitting together without cancelling each other out." He achieves just such a balancing act in his latest novel, A Summer of Drowning, in which the narrator, Liv, wrestles with the question of whether a series of unexplained deaths in her island community can be laid at the door of a malign spirit--the huldra--said to haunt the Arctic forests where she lives. "I wanted readers to be able to believe that the huldra exists, at the same time as rationally thinking 'this cannot be'," Burnside explains. "Because, you know, that's how we live our lives."

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: John Burnside: a life in writing


Great Regulars: Drumroll, Maestro!

Thanks to the admirable assiduosity and audacity of Kenneth J. Harvey, Canada's controversial curmudgeonly sweetheart (who happens to be one of our finest fictionalists, BTW), we at In Other Words happily present the 2011 ReLit Shortlist for your food-for-thought chewing and viewing pleasure (with an interview featuring the feisty Newfie to follow early next week concerning rings, strings, details and alternative things):

from Judith Fitzgerald: The Globe and Mail: In Other Words: GiT ReLiT


Great Regulars: Almost 70 books stolen from the

Social Democratic party by the Nazi regime will be returned in a ceremony at the end of August, Berlin's Central and Regional Library has announced.

The books, which include an 1883 English edition of The Communist Manifesto thought to come from the library of Friedrich Engels, who wrote the original with Marx, were confiscated by the Nazi party.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Books stolen by Nazis to be returned


The labyrinthine mind of Jorge Luis Borges was celebrated today by Google with a doodle to mark what would have been the great Argentinian author's 112th birthday.

The search engine's sketch shows an elderly man in a suit looking out over a maze of staircases, buildings and bookshelves--"a wide, fantastic architecture scenery," said Google--in what could be a representation of one of Borges's most famous stories: The Library of Babel.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Jorge Luis Borges' Google doodle celebrates the master of magical realism


Great Regulars: He asks, "Who first from midst the bonds

lifted his eye?" He understands that the burden of living as slaves without the ability to strive for personal gain in the material world would cause most individuals to continue to look down and pity their lot or become angry and full of hatred.

But the songs this speaker cherishes reveal souls that looked to God and the spirit for sustenance--not blaming fellow human beings for their lot, but drawing closer to their own soul and their Maker through the music they created.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: James Weldon Johnson's O Black and Unknown Bards


Great Regulars: VIII

by Robert Hass

Chester found a dozen copies of his first novel in a used book-

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: VIII by Robert Hass


by Grace Paley

My father was brilliant embarrassed funny handsome

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Family by Grace Paley


Great Day in the Morning
by Robert Morgan

My father, when he was surprised

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Great Day in the Morning by Robert Morgan


by Sam Hamill

McNeil Island Correctional Center, I:86

Hunched over hard white bread

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Lifer by Sam Hamill


Pick A Prize
by Jill Breckenridge

August, hot with flies, wasps

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Pick A Prize by Jill Breckenridge


Riding the Red Line
by Eric Nixon

On the subway

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Riding the Red Line by Eric Nixon


by Charles W. Pratt

Now the bumbling bees that hover

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Valediction by Charles W. Pratt


Great Regulars: This week's column is by Ladan Osman,

who is originally from Somalia but who now lives in Chicago. I like "Tonight" for the way it looks with clear eyes at one of the rough edges of American life, then greets us with a hopeful wave.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 336


Great Regulars: Robert Siegel, a poet and fiction

writer who lives in South Berwick, is noted for his poems about nature's creatures. Here, he gives voice to a praying mantis.


from Wesley McNair: The Portland Press Herald: Poetry: Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry


Great Regulars: Authorities in the Chinese capital

have called on major Internet service providers to step up controls over online content, as some companies suspend the accounts of netizens accused of spreading rumors.

Popular microblogging service Sina Weibo recently sent out notices to its 200 million users denying two reports, including one about the killing of a 19-year-old woman.

It said the accounts of users who spread the reports had been "temporarily closed."

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Clampdown on Bloggers, 'Rumors'


Great Regulars: To want to renounce such a world,

to leave it behind, is a recognizable impulse. Most of us have felt it. But "us" needs to be qualified: Renouncing the world is also a luxury. You need to have a place in the world to think of leaving it behind for higher or more spiritual things.

That truth helps explain why Ben Jonson's poem about leaving the world is in the voice of a "gentlewoman" who is not simply "virtuous" but "noble." In the course of her life, she has been in a position to observe the world (which, for her, has been the court).

from Robert Pinsky: Slate: Lost in Court


Great Regulars: Arthur Hugh Clough owes his place

among the great innovators of Victorian poetry to two remarkable verse-novels, The Bothie of Tober-Na-Vuolich and the epistolary Amours de Voyage. "The Bothie" (summed up by Humbert Wolfe as "a school-boy shout on escaping from school into the air") was completed in 1848, the year that Clough, having previously resigned an Oxford fellowship, refused to take holy orders. By the end of the following October he had finished the first draft of Amours de Voyage, again using the classical hexameter to open up new syntactic and idiomatic possibilities in English verse. This week's poem is an extract: the magnificent set-piece that is Letter VII (Claude to Eustace), Canto 2.

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Amours de Voyage by Arthur Hugh Clough


Great Regulars: There is a good deal of discussion

in the halls of the UN, both in New York and Geneva, concerning a possible application of full membership in the UN by the Palestinian Authority. The discussions reflect similar discussions within Foreign Ministries in the hope that there can be an agreed-upon program of action (or non-action) by September when the new General Assembly meets. Currently Palestine has observer status at the UN from a time when liberation movements were given observer status--two organizations for South Africa, one for South West Africa as Namibia was then, and for the PLO. With the changes in South Africa and Namibia, the liberation movement observer status was dropped for the three, and only the PLO remained.

from René Wadlow: Newropeans Magazine: Palestinian Status at the UN: Breaking the Logjam


Great Regulars: Funerals and Marriages

Robin S. Ngangom

from The Caravan: Poetry: Funerals and Marriages


Great Regulars: At Rupa

by Robert A. Davies

A sweet girl is smiling at me.

from CounterPunch: Poet's Basement by Robert A. Davies


Great Regulars: [by Wayne Miller]


After the plane went down,

from Granta: Post-Elegy


Great Regulars: Our Daughter, the Bible Flasher!

By Daljit Nagra

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Our Daughter, the Bible Flasher!


Great Regulars: by Peter Ebsworth

Warminster Council wanted to demolish

from Morning Star: Well Versed: Ending


Great Regulars: Have you ever had a student

fall asleep in class? What do you imagine was going on in that droopy, dreaming head? Here are a couple of ideas along those lines from the worlds of poetry and science, with a poem by David Wagoner, provided by the Poetry Foundation, paired with a Science Times article by Carl Zimmer.

from The New York Times: Poetry Pairing: Ruminations on Sleep


Great Regulars: By Lynnell Edwards

Let's take off those pants and get into the box of reptiles!
--Host Joe Rogan
"Fear Factor: All Female Version"

And it must start, somehow

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'All I Know About Love'


Great Regulars: The audience at the June 1 Hoot

observed a skilled crafter of poetic structure with Adam Shlager's "the hazards of love." The four stanzas each represent a season of the year. In each stanza, the Beloved is represented as a bird that has flown away, leaving the speaker in the poem "far behnd." Also in each stanza, the poet poses a puzzle to the audience, a puzzle he would probably label an "ambiguity." Adam says, "I don't think the reader should know more than the players in the poem."

the hazards of love

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poems from the Hoot: 'the hazards of love'


Great Regulars: By Shanthi Siva

With summer comes

from Post-Bulletin: Poem: County Fair


Great Regulars: Underneath the play, however,

is the pain of being rejected for not being of either the old culture or the new: for having imperfect English and "forget[ting] Chinese he never remembered," like what he [Ken Chen] listened to when his mother played "the Peking opera" on the radio. There is his parents' divorce, and the disillusionment that his wise and patronizing father is perhaps not as sure-footed and well-orientated as he seemed:

My father unlocks the door and says, Dropped the keys in the toilet. But that's what
life is like. You're young . . . you don't understand the world

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Nihilistic Joy


Great Regulars: The sibyl is more powerful than

the god who condemned her because she provides "redemption" while he can only punish. "The Cumaean Sibyl" casts the poet as a modern-day prophet, writing wisdom on "leaves" and surrendering it to a careless audience.

[by Ruth Fainlight]

The Cumaean Sibyl

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: The Cumaean Sibyl


Great Regulars: Salt and Pepper

By Samuel Menashe

Here and there

from Zeek: Salt and Pepper


Poetic Obituaries: If you attended the Peking Duck dinners

I used to organize in Beijing you most likely were left with a strong impression of one attendee, Joseph Bosco, the mustachioed professor who wore the big white hat and talked with a debonair Southern accent; the one who could effortlessly spin yarns and entertain, and who always seemed to have an interesting perspective on any issue that arose.

from The Peking Duck: My friend Joseph Bosco has passed away [July 2010]


Poetic Obituaries: Most recently,

he [Quidare Buffaloe] was taking online college courses. He was very good at basketball and enjoyed writing and reading, according to Ms. [Tab] Gibbens. She said she had known him for a year.

"He wrote poems, rap, just his thoughts," she said.

from Toledo Blade: Man, 23, fatally shot as he talks to friends


Poetic Obituaries: [Roxanna Calley] continued to teach

twelfth grade English Literature at La Grange I.S.D. until retirement in 2004 with 36 years of public school service. She was a member of the Fayette County Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma for 31 years and served as president from 1992-1994, received honors as La Grange High School Teacher of the Year, UIL-Southwestern Bell Sponsor Excellence Award for her LaGrange student contestant's efforts in Literary Criticism and Prose and Poetry, along with being named UT EX Students La Grange High School Teacher of the Year in 1992-1993 and a long-time member of the Fayette County Texas Exes.

from San Saba News & Star: Roxanna (Cecillia Trent) Calley


Poetic Obituaries: [Shawn Richard Diamond] loved to

draw, write poetry and stories, and music.

from Daily Herald: Shawn Richard Diamond


Poetic Obituaries: [Arra M.] Garab began teaching at NIU

in 1966. Five years later he became a full professor. The classes he taught before his 1995 retirement included rhetoric, English composition, poetry and several classes that explored the classic works of Shakespeare and Chaucer.

He was also an ordained Episcopal priest and author or editor of five books and many scholarly articles.

from Northern Illinois University Today: NIU mourns passing of Arra M. Garab


Poetic Obituaries: [Janet C. Glaser] traveled extensively,

teaching English in a newly liberated Poland, climbing the mountain to Machu Pichu, Peru, South America, walking on the Great Wall of China, visiting her sister in Uganda (and later organizing an annual event to support the work of the Buseesa Mission) to name just a few of her many adventures around the world. Jan was a gifted writer and frequently wrote articles for various newspapers and journals as well as exceptional poetry. She was a proud member of the Lake of the Ozarks Writer's Guild.

from Lake Sun: Janet C. Glaser, 78


Poetic Obituaries: [Irene Hanson] will be remembered for

her poems and songs of which she wrote many throughout her lifetime. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren each own a handmade quilt, which she loved doing for each one.

from Barron News-Shield: Irene Hanson


Poetic Obituaries: An avid writer and humorous poet,

she [Alice Hennings] always remembered the special occasions of friends and extended family with a poem, letter, email or card. Even when she was unable to write due to failing health, she continued to write and remember others with the assistance of her caretakers.

from The Aiken Standard: Alice Hennings


Poetic Obituaries: "The poets are:

Lori Bamber, Rachel Baumann, Karen Connelly, Adam Dickinson, Akin Jeje, Sonnet L'Abbé, Larissa Lai, Christine Leclerc, Tanis MacDonald, Sachiko Murakami, Billeh Nickerson, angela rawlings, Adam Sol and Rita Wong."

Here is their poem. We're sadly unable to match the formatting exactly, but we've done our best.

In Memory of Jack Layton
by an optimism of Canadian poets

from The Globe and Mail: A poem for Jack Layton, by 14 Canadian poets


Poetic Obituaries: [Valérie Leblanc] loved the arts

and could often be found writing poems and playing the drums. But her real passion was taekwondo. "She loved that," her grandmother said.

from Ottawa Citizen: Valérie Leblanc wanted to save the world


Poetic Obituaries: "Most editors do not read poetry,"

he [Samuel Menashe] told the reference work Contemporary Authors in 1984. "The poetry editor is almost invariably the house poet or a person who is working with the interlocking directorate of establishment poets. Government censorship could not be more effective, but here you can't be sent to Siberia--you are just kept out of print."

His poetry collections included "Fringe of Fire" (1973), "To Open" (1974) and "Collected Poems," which the National Poetry Foundation published in 1986. After he received the Neglected Masters Award, the Library of America published the collection "Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems" in 2005, with an introduction by Christopher Ricks, another of his British admirers.

from The New York Times: Samuel Menashe, New York Poet of Short Verse, Dies at 85
then The Irish Times: US poet who lived for the here and now
then The Guardian: Samuel Menashe obituary


Poetic Obituaries: [Charles A. 'Charlie' Protheroe] was known to

all as a hard worker who constantly challenged himself to learn more, whether it was building his own home in Edgewater Park in the 1950s, switching from tennis to golf at age 70, learning to use the computer in his 80s, or writing a few poems in his 90s.

from phillyBurbs.com: Charles A. Protheroe‎


Poetic Obituaries: Prof. Mendis Rohanadeera, the prominent

historian, Sinhala Language Guru and Literary great cum poet cum artist has passed away.

from Daily Mirror: Prof. Rohanadeera passes away


Poetic Obituaries: [Prosper E. Sanchez, D.O.] enjoyed life,

had many hobbies and wrote poetry up until his last day. In December 2010, he published his first book of poetry, Bewildered: Poetry of Life, Love, and Nature. At the time of his death, he was working on his second book.

from The Star Democrat: Prosper E. Sanchez, D.O.


Poetic Obituaries: [Susan Fromberg] Schaeffer was the author

of more than two dozen novels, including "Buffalo Afternoon," "The Madness of a Seduced Woman," and "Falling." She was a finalist for the 1975 National Book Award in poetry for "Granite Lady" and three times won the O. Henry Award for short fiction, in 1978, 1997 and 2006. She had also published two children's books.

from Los Angeles Times: Writer Susan Fromberg Schaeffer has died


Poetic Obituaries: [Vernice Tilford] Smith expressed her love

for teaching in a poem she wrote. It reads: "Each morning when I wake, I say 'A child depends on me today' . . . And then, at night, I kneel and pray 'Thank God, I helped someone today.'\u2009"

from American-Statesman: Vernice Tilford Smith, Austin High School's first black teacher, dies at 88


Poetic Obituaries: Prolific to the end of his life,

[Scott] Wannberg gave hundreds of readings, published 10 volumes of poetry and was often included in anthologies, among them "The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry."

His stream-of-consciousness, beat-influenced style, noted for its colorful, often humorous language, touched on seemingly every subject that came to the author's mind: from the death of a beloved cat to the war in Iraq, politics to movies, the wealthy of Los Angeles' West Side to the destitute of its Skid Row.

from The Associated Press: Longtime LA beat poet Scott Wannberg dead at 58