Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

September 25th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

This is John Keats, this is John Keats on drugs. That's the most frequent story in poetry this week, and the one we begin our News at Eleven section with. The second and third stories are about great poets with remarkable artistic bents, Lawrence Ferlinghetti then Edward Lear. Our Back Page echoes our headliner, as Santa may give up smoking. The question is, would that leave us with cold turkey at Christmastime.

We have remarkable stories in between, of course, and the entire Great Regulars and Poetic Obituaries sections that follow, lots to fill your poetic pipe with. I'll stop writing and let you get your fix. Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: "Keats's odes of spring 1819 have often

been read as his most 'philosophical' engagement with the intractable contraries of beauty and mortality, time and eternity," added [Nicholas] Roe. "To find those two odes and, I suspect, La Belle Dame sans Merci, arose from opium reveries gives us a less intellectual or 'philosophical' Keats, and a poet who is closer to the mystical aspects of Romantic tradition associated with Blake, Baudelaire, Coleridge, De Quincey, Yeats, Huxley and Bob Dylan."

In his book John Keats, published by Yale University Press, Roe claims that "to be 'half in love with easeful death'," as Keats wrote in Ode to a Nightingale, is the hallmark of the confirmed addict.

from The Guardian: John Keats was an opium addict, claims a new biography of the poet
then Financial Times: Beauty that must die


News at Eleven: These days, the poet is gravitating to painting.

George Krevsky, [Lawrence] Ferlinghetti's longtime gallerist, said, "When I first met Lawrence, I said, 'I've met two great poets--you and Robert Frost,' and he said, 'You should see my paintings.' "

For Ferlinghetti, painting is a "lyrical escape," a way to express himself that has more immediacy than his poems.

"It's easier to get high doing a painting," he said, walking home from the North Beach cafe.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Lawrence Ferlinghetti's indelible image


News at Eleven: The Ashmolean in Oxford on Thursday

opens a show celebrating the talents of [Edward Lear,] a man rightly known for his nonsense verse, but who was also much more than that.

"I think he's probably the best ornithological illustrator that ever was," said fan and collector David Attenborough. "They are magnificent--not only scientifically correct but as works of art, they are amazing."

from The Guardian: It's not all nonsense: exhibition shows the artistic side of Lear


News at Eleven: [Bill Manhire] wrote the poem,

Erebus Voices, quickly. "I'm someone who doesn't believe in this thing called inspiration. Hard work is the thing that produces possibility."

Deadlines are a creative constraint, rather like the exercises Manhire has foisted on his writing students over the years, such as asking for a story constructed only from words found on a newspaper's racing page.

Such exercises work, says Manhire, because "if you insist on a really ridiculous set of rules it makes people more inventive".

from Sunday Star Times: The wizard of odes


News at Eleven: Sometimes, in that state of receptivity,

something occurs (is said or spoken through a writer) that the writer never could have imagined beforehand. The act of writing itself brings one into a relationship with imagination, memory, music, silence, diction, syntax, language, and history, all at the same time. To write not knowing where you're going is an act of faith that something will come of it that is more than one could have hoped or imagined. [--Marie Howe]

from The Huffington Post: Poetic Justice: Marie Howe Named New York Laureate


News at Eleven: It is when [John] Fowles is concentrating

on the natural world, the world beyond the self's narrow coordinates, that the most achieved poetic events unfold. "Accipiter" is both poem and bird as Fowles engineers new word-combinations, lines as mobile frame-works, in order to harness and release the sparrow-hawk's dynamic thrust: "slit//the hurtle/the tilt and swathe". Too often, we come up against language as its deadest (if not deadliest).

from The Guardian: John Fowles: Selected Poems--review


News at Eleven: Imbris Delapidato describes rain that's

"not a true rain," but rather, "a dense shower accompanied by strong, gusting winds." The poet then gives her definition: "Cold winds fling this rain in brittle handfuls/against the house, fling it stinging against/skin. Gravelly bursts invert umbrellas,/zing/pepper the face. "

Pluvia Pertendo is, as it turns out, "a true rain, light but steady.

from The Chronicle Herald: Two new poets off to strong starts


News at Eleven: I was very happy to find that [George] Bacovia's

poems were translated into English. The book titled "Poems" was published by Stress Publishing House Bucharest in 1995. It contains Bacovia's main volumes: Lead (1916), Yellow Sparks (1926), With you (1930), Comedies at heart (1936), Bourgeois Stanzas (1946) and Poems (1957).

If I may make a recommendation: on rainy autumn days, when you want to adapt your mood to the atmosphere but, at the same time to be filled with peace and tranquility then sit down on a comfortable old chair near the fireplace and open the Bacovia's book. What could you read? Just listen to his words:

from Romania Insider: Romanian literature: George Bacovia--The poet of grayness


News at Eleven: Of which the poetry in The Land's Meaning:

New Selected Poems [by Randolph Stow] is a prime example--the counterpoint between an archaic formalism and a fraught investigation of literal and psychological landscapes exposing our own fragile sense of self and place in an ancient land not our own. From Stow's The Singing Bones: "Out there, beyond the boundary fence, beyond/the scrub-dark flat horizon that the crows/returned from, evenings, days of rusty wind/raised from the bones a stiff lament, whose sound/netted my childhood round, and even here still blows."

"It's often said (Stow's) poetry, while being quite radical in content, is less so formally," Kinsella says. "I argue that's untrue. There are things happening within those formal constraints that are really interesting and dynamic."

from The West Australian: Dynamic poet of the land


News at Eleven: Little is known about Rabbi Meir

and it is not clear whether or not he completed his writing after fleeing England, but his connection to the town is made clear in one poem, where the initial lines are an acrostic that spell: "I am Meir, son of Rabbi Eliahu, from the city of Norwich which is in the land of isles called Angleterre. May I grow up in the Torah of my Creator and in fear of him; Amen, Amen, Selah."

from The Jewish Chronicle: The medieval Jewish poet who preceded Chaucer


News at Eleven (Back Page): Late last year, Canadian independent publisher

and smoking cessation advocate Pamela McColl decided to "update" the nearly 200-year-old poem by deleting mention of the stump of his pipe and the wreath of smoke around his head--a move she hopes will deter children from picking up a pack.

The cover of the book, published this month by Grafton and Scratch and, according to Ms. McColl, picked up this week by Indigo booksellers, proclaims to have been "edited by Santa Claus for the benefit of children of the 21st century."

from National Post: After 200 years, Santa kicks a bad habit: Publisher, activist edit Twas The Night Before Christmas, take away St. Nick's pipe
then Global Montreal: After 200 years, Santa kicks a bad habit: Twas The Night Before Christmas takes away St. Nick's pipe


Great Regulars: At the heart of the poetry of poise is a

poet's capacity to shift frames, slide in and out of metaphor and slip from literal to figurative storyline and back, all the while illuminating cohesion in language and feeling.

One poet who has mastered this sort of poise is Rodney Jones, a rural Alabamian, born in 1950, whose poems cherish anecdote and place with a skeptical obsession with faith.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry: When a poem makes a pivot, readers flex along with it


Great Regulars: Natasha Trethewey: Yes.

I'd like to read a poem that's a slightly different take on the elegy, because my father is still alive.


--For my father

I think by now the river must be thick

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey Talks About Her New Job and Fourth Book


Great Regulars: As part of Tuesday's event, [John] Medeiros

will read from his first collection of poetry, titled couplets for a shrinking world.

Here's a sampling:

Facing North

from Marianne Combs: Minnesota Public Radio: State of the Arts: Minnesota Poetry: 'Facing North' by John Medeiros


Great Regulars: A flurry of £100 bets on Bob Dylan

has seen the singer-songwriter leapfrog over the likes of Philip Roth and Cormac McCarthy to become the second favourite to win the Nobel prize for literature this autumn.

Dylan is now at 10/1 to win the award, with only the cult Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami in a better position with odds of 7/1, according to Ladbrokes.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Bob Dylan's Nobel odds rise, but not his chances


The EC said in its official journal today [PDF] that it had found in a "preliminary assessment" that the publishers Hachette Livre, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster, and the retailer Apple, had, by "jointly" moving to an agency model for ebooks, "engaged in a concerted practice with the object of raising retail prices of ebooks" or preventing ebook discounting in Europe, in breach of European law.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Ebook prices under more pressure after European Commission statement


Great Regulars: Iran's government has long since distanced itself

from Khomeini's decree, his fatwa, but anti-Rushdie sentiment remains. A semi-official Iranian religious foundation headed by Ayatollah Hassan Saneii has raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million after recent protests against an anti-Islamic film that helped lead to riots around the Middle East. But Rushdie, who called the movie "the worst video on YouTube," says Saneii has long offered a bounty and few people have taken him seriously.

from Hillel Italie: Associated Press: Salman Rushdie dismisses latest death threat


Great Regulars: Cezanne's Seclusion

by Stephen Dobyns

"I have begun to think," he wrote in a late letter,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Cezanne's Seclusion by Stephen Dobyns


by George Bilgere

I love the hoses of summer

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


No Difference
by Shel Silverstein

Small as a peanut,

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: No Difference by Shel Silverstein


A Pot of Red Lentils
by Peter Pereira

simmers on the kitchen stove.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: A Pot of Red Lentils by Peter Pereira


Things You Can't Do in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, #11
by Bobby Byrd

The metal blue sky, the sun

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Things You Can't Do in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, #11 by Bobby Byrd


To Ninety
by Robyn Sarah

A city sparrow

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: To Ninety by Robyn Sarah


Great Regulars: The Talmud goes on to give several criteria

for identifying an am haaretz: "anyone who does not tithe his produce properly," "anyone who does not recite the Shema in the evening and the morning," "anyone who does not wear tefillin," "anyone who does not have a mezuzah on his home's entrance." Finally, the most sweeping definition of all: "even if one read scripture and studied Mishna, but did not serve Torah scholars"--that is, did not master Gemara--"he is an am haaretz." By that definition, of course, 90 percent of modern Jews fall into this shameful category.

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: Talmudic Pride and Prejudice


Great Regulars: It's the time of the year for school supplies,

and here's a poem by Daniel J. Langton about just one of the items you'll need to pick up. Langton lives in San Francisco.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 392


Great Regulars: Exceptional poets inspire editors to compile

the poets' work for the future. Among those whose collected or selected works have been published recently are Tate, a former Kansas Citian; Wendell Berry, an activist farmer-poet; the late Lucille Clifton, an African-American woman whose work centers on justice; and C.P. Cavafy, an Egyptian poet of the Greek diaspora. All these versifiers continue to influence poets today.

from Denise Low: The Kansas City Star: Collected works tell poets' life stories


Great Regulars: I found myself caught up in what you

could call a world historical event. You could say it's a great political and intellectual event of our time, even a moral event. Not the fatwa, but the battle against radical Islam, of which this was one skirmish. There have been arguments made even by liberal-minded people, which seem to me very dangerous, which are basically cultural relativist arguments: We've got to let them do this because it's their culture. My view is no. Female circumcision--that's a bad thing. Killing people because you don't like their ideas--it's a bad thing. [--Salman Rushdie]

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Life During Fatwa: Hiding in a World Newly Broken


Great Regulars: Today, the Traffic Signals

All Changed for Me

By Martin Steingesser

It's all language, I am thinking

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


Great Regulars: According to Minnehaha and Edwin [Symmes],

the life of their adopted son [Robert Duncan] was thick with mystical truths: he had lived on the doomed continent of Atlantis in a previous life; it was necessary for his birth mother to die so that he could achieve his destiny with his true parents; and it was considered "very lazy" of him to want to be a poet. "You have been a poet already in so many lives," his Aunt Fay chided.

It was a childhood whose memory Duncan seemed to enjoy being haunted by, for throughout his career he would return to the fact of his mother dying in childbirth, to the apocalyptic specter of Atlantis and to his adoptive family's hermetic doctrines.

from Ange Mlinko: The Nation: The Unconquered Flame: On Robert Duncan


Great Regulars: by Paul Taylor

a Romanian medical official

from Jody Porter: Morning Star: Well Versed: Paul Taylor--Much Better (Lines taken from the Morning Star, January 17 2012)


Great Regulars: What would you go back and change?

The night that Eddie died. He would say (and he did say) that he didn't feel very well and I would interpret that as "I am dying" and I would rush him to hospital.

from Michael Rosen: The Financial Times: Small Talk


Great Regulars: [Ailbhe] Darcy was born in 1981 in Dublin,

now lives in Indiana, and co-edits the Irish e-journal Moloch. Her work is funny and stylish, with an agile, zesty erudition and no lack of political fire. But the quieter poems are appealing, too--poems like Silt Whisper, which is oblique and tender, and reminds us that poetry's language needn't always strive to say it all. The strategy of writing as if slightly out of breath is nicely chosen.

Silt Whisper

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Silt Whisper by Ailbhe Darcy


Great Regulars: No More Water, But

often we see the hot bright flames

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: 'No More Water, But' by Judith Arcana


Great Regulars: Event Horizon

by Joan Annsfire

Gathered at the threshold of the possible

from CounterPunch: Poets' Basement: Annsfire and Davies


Great Regulars: Editor's note: Siobhán Campbell is the author

of numerous pamphlets and collections of poetry, including "The Permanent Wave" (1996), "The Cold that Burns" (2000), "That Water Speaks in Tongues" (2008), "Darwin Among the Machines" (2009), and "Cross-Talk" (2009), which explores Ireland in the aftermath of its turbulent peace process. Originally from Ireland, Campbell has lectured in the Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs at Kingston University in London, England.


from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: The Poems of Siobhán Campbell


Great Regulars: So Where Are We?

So where were we? The fiery

from Granta: Lawrence Joseph


Great Regulars: The Easel

By Sharon Olds

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: The Easel


Great Regulars: This week's Poetry Pairing matches

Walt Whitman's timeless poem "I Hear America Singing" with "Occupy Wall Street: A Frenzy That Fizzled," a DealBook column that assessed the impact of the Occupy Wall Street movement on its first anniversary.

from The New York Times: Poetry Pairing: 'I Hear America Singing'


Great Regulars: By Hugh Martin

--Jalula, Iraq

A rope of black smoke

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'Intravenous'


Great Regulars: By Jane Belau

The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN


from Post-Bulletin: Poem: '9/11'


Great Regulars: [By D. Ellis Phelps]

i cannot carry all these coins

from San Antonio Express-News: Poem: 'Dreaming in Noir'


Great Regulars: Helen is a woman cursed with

a form of beauty that is sexually alluring. In most of literature, Helen's the mythic version of Jayne Mansfield, "the girl [who] can't help it," but with serious consequences. In H.D.'s poem, Helen isn't seen through the eyes of an appreciative lover, but of the envious mob. She's the dangerous woman, one the haters would be willing to burn at the stake.

from Slate: The Mythic Love Poem


Great Regulars: But the poet is not suggesting that the

Tory islanders are failing to live up to their legendary past. The past is another country. Here, it seems, neither post nor poetic form deserve to be used for any other purpose.

[by Kevin Crossley-Holland]

A Way of Life

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: "A Way of Life"


Poetic Obituaries: The Polish-born [Haim] Hefer, who spent more

than a third of his lifetime in Tel Aviv, divided his time in recent years between there and Ein Hod. Though known primarily for his prolific output of songs and poems, he had also been involved in illegal immigration, and in his youth had smuggled Jews out of Syria. Later Yigal Allon, one of his Palmah commanders--who had since become a politician--sent him as a cultural emissary to Los Angeles, from whence he returned with the founding residents of Karmiel. During his Palmah days, he had also been a kibbutznik, and his Palmah superiors had sent him to Kibbutz Dafna.

from Jerusalem Post: National treasure Haim Hefer laid to rest in Ein Hod
then The New York Times: Haim Hefer, Israeli Songwriter and Poet, Dies at 86


Poetic Obituaries: James D. Quinton was a British fiction and

poetry writer. His two novels Touch and The Victorian Time Traveller and his two poetry collections Street Psalms and The City Is On Fire And Has Been For Weeks are now available as rematered second editions. Recently published poetry has appeared in BoySlut, Rusty Truck, Gutter Eloquence, Blacklisted Magazine, Dead Snakes and Spudgun Magazine. He was also managing editor of Open Wide Magazine.

from Fox Chase Review: RIP James D. Quinton 1977-2012


Poetic Obituaries: [Muzaffar Razmi] wrote three books and

was famous for his Urdu poetry.

One of his books 'Lahmon ki Khattah' was released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2004.

from Press Trust of India: Urdu poet Muzaffar Razmi dies


Poetic Obituaries: [Louis Simpson] received the 1964 Pulitzer Prize

in poetry for his collection "At the End of the Open Road." The volume was one of more than 18 books of poetry he produced over six decades, including "Searching for the Ox" (1976), "In the Room We Share" (1990) and "The Owner of the House" (2003).

"At the End of the Open Road" contained many of the salient characteristics of his writing: everyday imagery, wry turns of phrase and a contrarian, at times darkly disillusioned view of the American dream.

from The Washington Post: Louis Simpson, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, dies at 89
then Los Angeles Times: Louis Simpson dies at 89; Pulitzer-winning poet
then Frontpagemag.com: Louis Simpson R.I.P.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 18th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

September 18th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

We have a remarkable issue this week, lots of important events and views in poetry. We begin with Natasha Trethewey officially beginning her stint as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. This is followed by a New York Times article on Stephen Burt, which headlines "Poetry's Cross-Dressing Kingmaker."

Then we have Javier Sicilia and the Caravan for Peace finishing it's journey across the USA. The Caravan has been our lead story most weeks since it began. The next two stories in News at Eleven this week have also taken the lead spot during this time: the capture, imprisonment, and subsequent release of poets Farid Huseyn and Shahriyar Hajizade from Iranian prison; and the now free-to-travel Aung San Su Kyi coming to the USA to accept the highest civilian award.

I almost have to speak of the remarkable next article, but will leave that, the rest of News at Eleven, all of Great Regulars, and all of Poetic Obituaries to your discovery. Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: On Thursday night, [Natasha] Trethewey addressed

a packed crowd in the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson building. She was opening the 2012-13 literary season. So many fans came to celebrate that a group of us had to watch her on TV in an "overflow room." The audience was younger than I expected, and more diverse. I saw kids in lanyards snapping pictures on their iPhones, scruffy loners in thick glasses, girls in leggings, women in headscarves, married couples in jackets and heavy jewelry.

from Slate: The Poet Laureate's Inaugural Reading
then The Georgetowner: New Poet Laureate Writes by the Power and Pain of Memory


News at Eleven: We mistrust our own tastes,

so we rely on the tastemaker.

Burt is not the only young scholar whose reviews introduce new poetry to the masses, but he alone seems to be everywhere. He reviews for Web sites, magazines and major newspapers, including this one. He networks at conferences, on campuses, on Facebook. And he is a passionate booster of poets he loves. Not everyone believes he's a great critic, but few doubt that his opinions help dictate who becomes part of the canon (and thus college syllabuses and high-school classes) in the way that the opinions of Bloom and Vendler and Stanford's Marjorie Perloff (all of whom are around 80 years old) have for the last several decades.

from The New York Times: Poetry's Cross-Dressing Kingmaker


News at Eleven: Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, who just

wrapped up a tour of the United States with other members of his Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, said he will take a break for a couple of months to return to his academic pursuits and privately mourn the violent death of his son in 2011.

Sicilia told reporters here after an appearance before the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that he will not participate for the time being in the activities of the MPJD, made up of dozens of relatives of victims of drug-related violence in Mexico.

from Hispanically Speaking News: "Caravan for Peace" Leader To Take A Break After U.S. Tour
then CNN: A father's plea: End the war on drugs


News at Eleven: Bahram Surgun, who invited the young

poets [Farid Huseyn and Shahriyar Hajizade] to Iran, was sentenced to 3 years home imprisonment.

 The young poets noted they were charged in for not having a permission document and for provocation against Iran: "Information on our activity in favor of Israel or engaging in drug smuggling is nonsense. After the arrest in Iran, we didn't assume that why this issue had been politicized in such a way".

from News.Az: Person inviting Azeri poets to Iran punished


News at Eleven: According to Burma's 2008 Constitution,

framed under the previous military junta chief Than Shwe, any Burmese national whose relatives are foreign citizens or hold foreign citizenship is not qualified to serve as president or vice-president.

Aung San Su Kyi's late husband Michael Aris is British and their two sons Alexander Aris, 39, and Kim Aris, 34, whose names were only this month removed from a long-secretive immigration blacklist, are British citizens.

Like the law preventing Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president, which many suspect was specifically designed by Than Shwe to clip her political ambitions, there are other key constitutional provisions aimed at keeping the military at the levers of power and blocking the growth of democracy in the once pariah state, rights groups say.

from Radio Free Asia: Suu Kyi's 2015 Dilemma
then Radio Free Asia: Suu Kyi Arrives in US


News at Eleven: [Simkha-Bunim Shayevitch] goes on to confess:

"I swear to you that I have never in my life experienced such bitterness. In the month of Sivan my father died, and after 30 days so did my mother. And how it grieves my conscience that I could do nothing to save them! Now I am forced to watch my 5-year old daughter and my wife waste away. The child is frequently ill, while I haven't got the slightest means (to save her)."

He also confides to [Shmuel] Rosenstein, "I am in the process of writing a long poem about the ghetto. Our colleague, Mrs. Ulinover, pressed my hand, saying that the poem will be a monument to our experiences in the ghetto, and other such superlatives . . ."

from Tablet: The Last Poet of Lodz


News at Eleven: [Natasha] Trethewey begins her exploration

with "Miracle of the Black Leg," a poem about a mythical transplant procedure in which a black man's leg was removed to save a white patient. As she notes in a brief introduction, "pictorial representations" of this event date to the 14th century. The details change in each version, but the white man is always depicted as superior:

from The Washington Post: 'Thrall' by Natasha Trethewey, the poet laureate of the United States


News at Eleven: "I didn't get Y characteristics that much

until I had a boy. But I've entertained a lot of little boys in my house over the last 10 years, and they have taught me a lot. And my boy, and some of those boys, and some of those lessons and ideas appear in these poems. Maybe not literally, but the ideas that came from my observations of them. I was really conscious when I was writing that I not be invasive and that my kid, when he's older, not be embarrassed by anything I write." [--Leslie Adrienne Miller]

from MinnPost: Brought to you by the letter Y: Leslie Adrienne Miller's new poems