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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


A Hollywood [Florida] woman who wrote poems about a stormy, violent relationship was slain early Thursday morning just hours after attending a poetry reading at a popular downtown nightspot.

Police found the body of Lorie Nicholson-Tennant, 25, shortly after 4:25 a.m. in her locked bedroom in the 6700 block of Forrest Street, dead from a ''severe trauma to the body,'' said police Capt. Tony Rode.

from The Miami Herald: Poet's tormented life ends in night of terror, then also Arrest Made In Hollywood Poet's Murder

It was on the night of August 24-25 that [Thomas] Chatterton died in his garret in London. It was established that the cause of death was arsenic poisoning and an inquest declared he had committed suicide in a fit of madness.

A popular and enduring image arose of a neglected genius who took his own life at a young age - driven to despair by poverty and bitterness at his failure to get published.

from 24 Hour Museum: New Research Suggests Tragic Poet May Not Have Killed Himself

Relatives of Omar Moisés Ruiz Hernandez were prevented from giving him medication, letters or magazines when they made a three-monthly visit on August 13th. They said he was being denied the treatment he needed for his high blood pressure. On the same day it was learned that the wife of Normando Hernandez Gonzalez had not been allowed to visit him. The prison authorities ruled without explanation that visits were had been suspended until further notice.

Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta on August 11th ended a hunger strike he had started on July 26th to protest against his prison conditions. The same day he was moved from "Kilo 7" to "Kilo 8" prison in Camaguey. His mother said the guards beat him as soon as he arrived at the new prison.

from Canada Newswire Telbec: Cuba - Raul Rivero's wife speaks out against a change in prison treatment designed to "humiliate" him

"It was impossible to imagine it inside [Iraq] while I was in exile. In separating me from my country Saddam had effectively silenced my voice."

It was only on further investigation that [Nabeel] Yasin discovered what had truly happened. The female poet (who still wishes to remain anonymous) had kick-started a journey that ended in Iraq. At the end of 1995 a lone copy was smuggled across the Jordanian border, legend has it, in a lorry carrying food supplies.

from Guardian Unlimited: Poetry to the people

In a world obsessed with pigeonholes, it also works against Hong Kong's expat poets that they cannot be easily classified. "I lack a niche or a slot or a label," said [Mani] Rao. "Why would any festival invite an Indian writing in English based in Hong Kong?

"They would look for a Chinese dissident, or a Chinese person writing in English, representing the post-colonial face of the city."

from Hong Kong's poets are crossing cultural barriers

What we have heard and continued to hear are the same subjective voices in imagined superiority, crooning the same monotonous things in the same monotonous formats, assuming to teach us about what even a lay man on the streets already knows - politics. For God's sake, where are the narrative poems? Where are those short poems of inventive directness and immediacy? Where are those poetic vignettes of the Nigerian life? Life is vast and endless. Our poetry should reflect that vastness and endlessness.

from Nigeria: THE aRTS

Week after week, month after month, she [Kay Ryan] continued with her distinctive approach, writing short poems even when long narratives became the fashion. She also stuck with her signature style, which is complex, multi-layered, and sometimes sly, rather than trying to write more conventional lyrics.

Her poems, she says, don't begin with a simple image or sound, but instead start "the way an oyster does, with an aggravation."

from The Christian Science Monitor: Poet Kay Ryan: A profile

The measured near-rhyme of ''summer,'' ''aroma'' and ''sofa'' is a characteristic Justice touch; his poems often edge toward rhyme, achieve it and then play with the expectations that have been created. In particular, [Donald] Justice likes odd chords built on rich rhyme and identical rhyme; each stanza of the poem ''Sadness,'' for example, offers couplets like, ''And night crept down with an awful slowness toward the water; / And there were lanterns once, doubled in the water.'' Patterns like this appear alongside conventional repetitive forms like the villanelle, and the effect is like overhearing a song in which all the notes are echoes, and all the echoes notes.

from The New York Times: 'Collected Poems': The Ironist of Nostalgia

When in 1972, the exiled poet Joseph Brodsky came from Russia to the United States, [Czeslaw] Milosz wrote him a letter. He did not know the much-younger Russian, but wanted to welcome him, to offer him support. "I suspect that you are very worried," he wrote, "like all of us from our part of Europe, brought up on the myths that the life of a writer ends when he leaves his native country. But it is only a myth, understandable in countries where the civilization remained for long a rural civilization, in which the 'soil' played a great role. Everything depends on the individual and on his internal health."

from Transitions Online: The Fence Jumper

Of his 45 odes, Pindar (c518-438 BC) composed 14 for Olympic victors, totalling nearly 1,000 verses. These poems stood at the head of his collection, just as Olympia was the apex of contests.

Pindar and his audience inherited from the epic tradition of Homer the view that immortal fame (kleos) alone survived one's achievement (arete) - and that poetry preserved it better than any other form.

from Athens News: The poet who spoke for Greece


Poetry & Poets in Rags of 8/17 and 8/24/04, with a special section on Czeslaw Milosz

"I'm going to try to spend a good part of my time talking to teachers and librarians," he [Ted Kooser] said. "They are really on the front line getting people to read."

While small children often enjoy poetry, Kooser said, as they age and read poetry in school, "poetry becomes a chore." Rather than perpetuate the thought that poetry needs to be deconstructed for hidden meanings, then, Kooser said he wanted to spread the word that poetry was fun.

from Daily Nebraskan: Poet laureate plans to welcome the nation to poetry

[Billy] Collins says [Ted] Kooser is distinguished from the rank and file by two things. First, Kooser has spent most of his life in the corporate world. "I won't be the first or the last to compare him to Wallace Stevens," says Collins, referring to the sublime Connecticut poet who was also an insurance executive.

And Kooser is from the Midwest. Collins suggests that Kooser's appointment is "an intentional pick." He says, "The middle section of the country needed greater poetic representation."

from The News Tribune: Ted Kooser named poet laureate

Anthony Hecht has called him the supreme heir of Wallace Stevens. There are parallels. There is an Americanness about [Donald] Justice. Consider some of his individual titles: Southern Gothic, Crossing Kansas by Train, The Tourist From Syracuse, Sunday Afternoon in Buffalo, Texas. Justice, also a painter, celebrates American painters, including Charles Burchfield, and American writers Henry James and Weldon Kees.

from Houston Chronicle: Poetic justice for Justice

[Donald Justice's] work shows an ease with academic rigour in form as much as content: in an early volume he brings off a cool sestina set in Kathmandu (a tricky word to insert into so tight a verse scheme), and later books contained versions of Lorca, a sonnet on Henry James and a lament for a bassoonist friend.

Through all this, he preserved an elegiac strain. He resembled Wallace Stevens in the care he would take to find the right image to describe a fleeting frame of mind, even when that was a bleak business.

from Donald Justice

But Collected Poems reveals the depth of [Donald] Justice's playfulness, his painterly silliness. In Self Portrait as Still Life, he even imbues fruit with a righteous modesty.

The newspaper on the table,
Confessing its lies.
The melon beside it,
Plump, unspoiled,
Trying to forget
That it was ever wrapped up
In anything so
Scandalous, so banal.

from Sun-Sentinel: Fluent in his art's many forms

[Michael] Longley has stopped drinking and smoking, but is diabetic and acknowledges he should lose some weight. "Great poetry is written by young men," he says. "Then comes middle age and all these crises which I have been through, like drinking too much. Then, somehow, if you can get through that middle stretch, you break through to something else and I feel that my last few books have been my best."

from Guardian: Middle man

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker has released a surprise new work, a riveting poem addressed to the CEO of KFC parent company Yum! Brands, David Novak, asking that he try to imagine himself in the place of one of the 750 million chickens who suffer and die each year on the factory farms and in the slaughterhouses of KFC suppliers.

from PETA Media Center: Pulitzer Prize Winner Sends CEO Poetic Plea for Corporate Compassion

About five months ago [Fadel] Jabr was hired to deliver papers for City Pulse. A link at the bottom of one of his e-mails led to a Web site in English and Arabic for an esteemed Iraqi poet. In 1992 one of his compositions, "The Biography of a Creature," earned him the al-Aqlam literary journal's prize for poetry. How would such a man end up distributing our paper in the chilly climes of Michigan?

from Lansing City Pulse: Biography of a poet: The long road from Iraq

"To find Garcia Lorca's body will be a hugely important and cathartic chapter in Spain's history," [Ian] Gibson said.

But it is also a dimension of its modern politics. For years, the parties of the right and the left have danced around the issue of the Spanish Civil War.

The right-of-center government of the former prime minister, Jos Maria Aznar, had "done everything it could to slow down and to suppress the process of uncovering the grave and other graves," Gibson said.

from The Boston Globe: Via a grave site, Spain relives harsh divisions

But [Humayun] Azad's distraught family alleged foul play in reaction less than a week after he sought safety in Germany in the wake of a death threat in June. Latifa Kohinoor, wife of Azad, demanded an inquiry and alleged: "He was killed in a conspiracy. I don't believe it was a normal death. He was killed in a planned way."

The 57-year-old who was surviving with his wife, son Anannya Azad and daughters Mouli Azad and Smita Azad, wrote more than 60 books of poetry, novels, articles and comparative literature and was a staunch feminist and a fearless critic of human rights violations. Azad received the Bangla Academy Award in 1996.

from Humayun Azad found dead in Germany

The first line of the newly discovered work reads: "And yet - but after death there's no 'and yet'."

"It's a very good poem," says James Booth, professor of English at the University of Hull, where Larkin later worked as librarian, and literary adviser to the Philip Larkin Society. "It is an unpublished poem. Anything by Larkin is of interest to literary people."

from The Australian: Archives yield previously unknown Larkin lament

"You have to get across to them that the work is separate from them. That's what good work is: a life independent of the life of the author. So you have unintended qualities in the prose - personal tics, pretending to write, instead of really writing. All writers have to go through this and get it past them. I try to make that quicker for them rather than longer." [--Frank Conroy]

from Grand Forks Herald: Frank Conroy to Leave Iowa Writing Program

What of all this is true of Amichai? For him, there is not a single "I," and within the one body, many live: "After everything I do, they march / As at funerals: the child I was years ago, / The boy in his first love, the soldier I was / In those days, the gray-haired man I was an hour ago, / And others, strangers too, that I was and forgot, / One of them may be a woman" (translated by Benjamin and Barbara Harshav in "Yehuda Amichai: A Life of Poetry 1948-1994," HarperCollins, page 373). Amichai brings to the poem the wealth of indeterminate possibilities that live side by side.

from Haaretz: The many 'I's of Amichai

If the new poet laureate could grant my one wish, he would take up the bully pulpit for poesy and encourage teachers to bring back the rote learning of poems. It's out of fashion and that's a loss of considerable magnitude. Memorization encourages an appreciation for the sounds and rhythms of language. Youngsters are flooded with the idioms of rap, rock (hard and soft) and rock and roll, which represent their generation in slang, but they lack the discipline to understand their literary heritage as revealed in poetry.

from Tallahassee Democrat: In summer of hot air, memorizing poems sounds ideal

This is where we come back to language. For languages erect their own outposts of sensibility -- not that you can easily marshal arguments to support this kind of nebulous statement. Nor had this kind of perception anything to do with a colonial hangover (though critics might believe otherwise). One saw squalor and chaos for what they were. They registered themselves on the cornea. No alibis are needed here.

In university one had been brought up on a diet of Shelley and Keats. When you left the campus you faced harsh reality around you -- drought, poverty and communal riots. One needed a harsh language, words with a saw-edge, words which rasped and got into you like the shards of a broken bottle. Slowly, almost unconsciously the poems developed a vocabulary and a soundscape of their own. [Keki Daruwala]

from The Daily Star: On Writing in English: an Indian poet?s perspective

I never go looking for ideas for poems. When one arrives, it is as a sensation, which I can best describe as a sense of connections being made. Sometimes there is a phrase to go on immediately; otherwise it might take a while to emerge.

This sensation may be equivalent to your "flash of inspiration" in that it is unprompted and mysterious. As the poet Michael Longley once said, "If I knew where poems came from, I'd go there." Occasionally, the poem arrives entire but more often the idea waits years to find its missing part, and then becomes something altogether different. [--Lavinia Greenlaw]

from Maisonneuve Magazine: Tipping Towards the Light

Special Section: Czeslaw Milosz Dies

When he crafted his autobiography, "Native Realm," in 1959, Czeslaw Milosz chose the following opening lines: "For many centuries, while kingdoms rose and fell along the shores of the Mediterranean and countless generations handed down their refined pleasures and vices, my native land was a virgin forest whose only visitors were the few Viking ships that landed on the coast."

Milosz's lengthy and abstract description of his "native land" - Lithuania - is a fitting start to the story of his life, since for him the search for self and gaining deeper understanding of one's home were parallel and inseparable pursuits.

from The Baltic Times: Czeslaw Milosz - Lithuania's native foreign son

Milosz's death this month at age ninety-three could hardly be called early or unexpected. And yet, perhaps because he was most of all a poet of memory--of the precise detail, stubbornly held for years against the blind wash of time--his death now seems to me unbearable: a real thing, a good thing, wrenched away, as though a warning that nothing from the past survives. O my love, where are they, where do they lead, / The flash of a hand, the line of movement, the swishing icy ground?

from The Standard Reader: Czeslaw Milosz, 1911-2004

As a Polish Christian, Milosz was also known as a Catholic author, a point about which he would offer some rather amused comments. "I may be too much of a sinner and heretic to be considered a real Catholic intellectual, although I would like to be considered a Catholic intellectual," he said. But, he added, "A priest who studied my work decided there is no obstacle to calling me a Catholic intellectual, even though I do not call myself a Catholic poet."

Toward the end of his life, he expressed nostalgia for the older traditions of the Catholic church, such as the Latin Mass. "I recently tried to attend a church with the Latin Mass but such changes are irreversible," he told me. "It doesn't work for me. It is impossible to return to it; something was lost that cannot be regained."

from Tech Central Station: On the Death of Czeslaw Milosz

When Milosz received the Nobel Prize, he had been teaching in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at Berkeley for 20 years. Although he had retired as a professor in 1978, at the age of 67, he continued to teach and on the day of the Nobel announcement he cut short the celebration to attend to his undergraduate course on Dostoevsky.

from UC Berkeley News: Nobel poet Czeslaw Milosz of Poland and Berkeley, one of the icons of the Solidarity movement, dies

These may seem remote origins but they help explain why Milosz was tempted by - and protected against - the ideological delusions of the 20th century. His writing reverberates with dialogues: ecstatic celebration of nature, yet repulsion at its indifference to human misery; stubborn fidelity to Catholic ritual, yet dismay at the simplistic evasions of theology; a fierce appetite for life endlessly renewed, yet a strong sense of obligation to remember those otherwise lost in the oblivion of history.

from The Australian: Bernard Lane: World according to Milosz

Robert Hass, a UC Berkeley professor and former U.S. poet laureate who translated about a dozen of Milosz's poetry books, said, "He had a huge appetite for life, but he'd seen so much horror that he didn't think he should like life.

"He had the idea that he could somehow redeem all the suffering if he could find a way to grasp the nature of his own experience of life and words. That was his great quest. It's the passion that made him a great poet."

from San Francisco Chronicle: Czeslaw Milosz: 1911-2004: Nobel poet, UC prof -- voice of moral clarity


Poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Justice, a Miami native and author of more than 10 books, died Friday from pneumonia at a nursing home in Iowa. He was 78.

from The Miami Herald: Donald Justice: Writer won Pulitzer Prize for his poetry

On the surface, "Hapax Legomena" can be read as a love lyric, though underneath there are references to a painting owned by the French psychiatrist and philosopher Jacques Lacan, which had a Gustave Courbet work painted underneath it; the last line refers to a phrase in the Koran.

from Forward: Psalm 151: Hapax Legomena

A 16-year-old boy named Alfred Tennyson wrote this imaginative picture of sub-sea life, which wasn't published until 1830. He wasn't Lord yet, he wasn't England's poet laureate yet. He was never a diver. Scientifically, it's a mess. Tennyson thinks sponges grow like oaks and that squids and octopuses (polypi) have "giant fins."

But the poem is still anthologized and remains a scary, magnificent mind-picture of what lies beneath the mysterious sea, "below the thunders of the upper deep."

from The Palm Beach Post: Under the Sea

Needless to say, images evoke emotion. Sometimes, they even compel us to form stories, interpreting what we see.

Such was the inspiration for these poems and photographs. Students in Angelia Perkins' advanced photography class at Lawrence High School anonymously submitted photographs to peers in Joy Clumsky's creative writing course last spring.

from Lawrence Journal-World: Darkroom poetry

At the closing Olympic ceremony in Athens on August 29, a British former Olympic fencer, Dame Mary Glen-Haig, will recite lines in a poetic form first heard there 2,500 years ago:

Blessed precinct of the land of Athena ...
Now as for a second time with good fortune
You have welcomed these contests here
Let us celebrate you with Pindaric song.

The occasion is expected to shiver the spines of listeners with a sense of history. The treasure is a Pindaric ode - a strict verse form which is regarded as one of the most perfect and most imitated in poetry.

from The Guardian: Oxford pays its debt to ancients in Pindaric song

Or when, in "The Naiad's Complaint", she [Isabella Lickbarrow] declares: "Nor greater pleasure could Columbus feel / When first beyond the transatlantic deep / His wandering eye beheld another world, / Than I, when in my wanderings I have found / Some sweet sequestered spot unknown before."

This may sound like Wordsworth, but when these poems were written, neither of the long poems for which he is best known, "The Prelude" and "The Excursion", was in print.

from The Guardian: Out of poverty, riches

"The truth, I think, is that he was very insecure about his work, and as a critic himself he was very critical of [it]," [Lucina] Prestige says [of George Bruce]. "He was certainly worried about how he might be received, and when he was working on Pursuit he said he did not want it to be published until after his death. A lot of artists feel very vulnerable and exposed when they put their work into the public domain, and George was worried that he wouldn't be well received."

Buoyed by the critical response to Pursuit, encouraged by Prestige, and possibly also in response to the devastating loss of his wife, Elizabeth, in 1994, Bruce went into creative overdrive in his 90s.

from The Guardian: Standing in his own shadow

[Chinua] Achebe describes the manger scene erected by nuns outside a hospital, then focuses on an onlooking woman so poor she cannot even spare an homage in the now-devalued currency. "Her/ infant son flat like a dead lizard/ on her shoulder his arms and legs/ cauterized by famine was a miracle/ of its kind." When pointed toward the manger, the boy manages only a "look of total/ unrecognition and he began again/ to swivel his enormous head away."

from San Francisco Chronicle: Politics of suffering made human by Achebe's verse

Deep in the bowels of the State Library in Berlin, the yellowing pages of German newspapers tell the forgotten story of a mass poetic enthusiasm unseen before or since.

The 90-year-old pages crackle as they turn from headlines proclaiming mobilisation and predicting swift victory, to thousands of poems.

from BBC News: Germany's poetic euphoria

Imagine a Middle East in which Arab and Jew make poetry together rather than battle one another. Utopian? Naive? Away from the headlines about bombings and army incursions, promising Arab Israeli and Jewish Israeli poets have been coming together to study their art, learning about verse but also using the creative process as a bridge across a national and linguistic divide.

from The Christian Science Monitor: Love of verse unites Arabs and Jews

Many of the fledgling writers encountered here are despairing and angry, they said, that their stories are being told, inadequately and inaccurately, only by the news media and civilian authors. One is Staff Sgt. José Torres, 27, from Lorain, Ohio, who was dreadfully injured in Nasiriya, Iraq, shortly after the war began and who has written, he said, some 200 pages describing the day that changed his life and its aftermath.

from The New York Times: Trying to Make the Pen as Mighty as the Sword


Nevertheless those historians also mention poems written by the Umayyad survivors and their followers wailing over their fallen brethren:

Those are my people / I swear they lived in dignity / And now they race to their doom / For what other reason, if not for this / Should on old man weep / Those are my people / As if they were death's own / As if it was theirs and theirs alone / Even if this was fair / Still it is unfair . . .

from The Daily Star: Revenge as poetry and poetry as revenge

Sahir [Ludhianvi] ends parchaiyan with a powerful plea against future wars:

guzishta jang mein ghar hi jale, magar is baar
ajab nahin, ke ye tanhaaiyaan bhi jal jaayen
guzishta jang mein paikar jale, magar is baar
ajab nahin, ke ye parchaiyan bhi jal jaayen

[In the last war, homes were burned, but this time
Even the loneliness may burn away
In the last war, only bodies burned, but this time
Even the silhouettes may burn away]

Strange then, that in 1971, when the left parties in India assumed a strident anti-Pakistan position, Sahir dutifully churned out Jang hi sahi [Let there be war]:

hum aman chaahte hain, magar zulm ke qilaaf
gar jang laazmi hai, to phir jang hi sahi

[We desire peace, but a peace that opposes tyranny
If war is inevitable, let there be war].

from The Poetry Of 'No'

When he [Osip Mandelstam] started to write again, in 1930, he was more shockingly explicit than ever in his resistance to the "wolfhound age." It was a poem about Stalin that led to his first arrest in 1934:

Our lives no longer feel ground under them.
At ten paces you can't hear our words.

But wherever there's a snatch of talk
it turns to the Kremlin mountaineer,

the ten thick worms his fingers,
his words like measures of weight,

the huge laughing cockroaches on his top lip,
the glitter of his boot-rims.

After his imprisonment, Mandelstam was physically and mentally shattered; he even tried to commit suicide by jumping out a window.

from Nextbook: Poetic Injustice

When he was released, Kyi Tin Oo told DVB that he was likely to die more than a year after his release and that he had the urge to write poetry all the time despite having to struggle for his survival constantly.

"With these diseases, I won't last long," he predicted in a prophetic way. He added that the way the junta treated him and his fellow political prisoners, it was clear that the generals want them to be extinct.

from Democratic Voice of Burma: Renowned Burmese poet, Kyi Tin Oo passed away

[Lilian Moore's] "Little Raccoon" series, which is still in print in the United States, was translated into Russian and has sold more than 375,000 copies in Russia.

Ms. Moore began writing poetry for children in the late 1960's. In books including "I Thought I Heard the City" and "Sam's Place: Poems From the Country," she explored her own childhood memories and wrote about the joy of finding beauty in familiar and unexpected places.

from The New York Times: Lilian Moore, 95, Who Wrote Books for Children, Is Dead

Yet for many people, the process of socialization doesn't quite work. The values they acquire from all the well-meaning authorities don't fit them. And it is these people who often become obsessed readers. They don't read for information, and they don't read for beautiful escape. No, they read to remake themselves.

from The New York Times: The Way We Live Now: The Risk of Reading

On the one hand, you're a cynic, anti-religious; on the other hand, you have written about religious symbols and holy places with great veneration. When do you suddenly turn from one thing to another?

[Haim Hefer's response:] "Places are my geography, and I'm cynical about people's behavior."

How do you explain the maqamas, like "The Paratroopers Cry" [a poem written after the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967] and your participation in the Messianic festival surrounding the Western Wall?

"`The Paratroopers Cry' was adopted into the Reform prayer book. What do you want me to tell you?"

from Haaretz: Our Gang

The only thing I know is that I should give my brain a break to survive. And Lee [Seong-Sun] tells me how in his "I've Given Up Q & A:"

Entering the mountain, I've given up Q & A,
Looking at the trees calmly, watching the clouds silently,
so walking the road, Only these count now.
Here, words are shit.

from The Korea Times: [Random Walk] A Bad Time for Lyrics

The poems about the Iraq war make it clear that he thinks there is little humor to be found. In one responding to the news that President Bush was not attending the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, Mr. [Calvin] Trillin wrote:

At least there's no Bush eulogy
On why they had to die.
It's better that they're laid to rest
Without another lie.

from The New York Times: Sensing Political Crime Drives Him to Rhyme

[Metin] Kazas said the Mevlevi way is about exploring the boundless potential of love, for God and for humanity.

Dervishes are just one form of a mystical branch of Islam known as Sufism. They are followers of the classic poet and writer Jalaluddin Rumi, who is credited with profoundly shaping the arts, music and literature of the Muslim world.

from Deseret News: Whirling Dervishes

Special Section: A Week to Tweak Technique

Again, I think the overarching error of current poets is a persistent tendency to indulge themselves in extended imagery, detail, and word play before ever getting to the point, if there is one. As I have said of MFA programs, presently estimated to turn out some 20,000 "professional poets" a year, their tragicomedy is teaching students how to say something before they have something worth saying. As is said of the dead atheist, "All dressed up and nowhere to go."

from Melic Review: Towards a New Direction in Poetry originally published in Tryst: Towards a New Direction in Poetry

"Ironic juxtaposition" is the fancy term for what happens when two disparate things are placed side by side, one commenting upon the other.

This effect can work in music, in the visual arts, and in poetry:

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky,
Like a patient etherized upon a table . . .

from Poynter Online: Writing Tool #16: Odd and Interesting Things

Think about what you?re not told in Catch-22, for example, or about the blanks you fill in any first person narrative.

Contemporary readers don't want to be spoon-fed everything there is to know; they want to use their own knowledge to draw conclusions. Yes, their picture may ultimately differ from yours, the author's, but if they get a picture at all, you've succeeded.

from Authorlink: The Art of Fiction: Getting Personal

Take this sentence: "When it comes to doing native-motif woodcarvings, few can beat the artisans of Pakil for sheer craftsmanship." By departing from the S-V/C norm, that sentence somehow more strongly conveys certitude and conviction. This reordering of sentence elements, in fact, can enliven otherwise bland statements, and true inversions--the kind whose sentence elements are transposed within the main clause itself--simply carry that process to even more arresting, often even more pleasing extremes.

from The Manilla Times: Even more pragmatic uses of inversion--II

The most evocative of poets are those who could "see" through the eyes of a child. Wordsworth wrote: "My heart leaps up when I behold/ a rainbow in the sky./ So was it when I was young/ So is it now I am a man/ So be it when I grow old/ Or let me die!/ The child is father of the man/ And I could wish my days to be/ bound each to each by natural piety".

When a child asks for the moon, as Krishna did of his mother Yashoda, it is reflective of an unsullied perspective that helps the child identify seamlessly with the cosmos.

from The Times of India: Need to nurture that childlike perspective

Also, [Matthew] Rohrer has said that "I Hail . . ." began as a technical challenge: to write with only colons for punctuation, so that "the build-up makes every element of the poem seem to play an equally important role. Kind of like when every kid gets a trophy." The effect is cumulative, with all those colons elaborating and implicating what follows and where one thing invests possibility in the next.

That's how it often is with poetry. The poet reinvents the shape and facts of experience into an overriding feeling.

from The Oregonian: Challenging old styles with new inventiveness


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