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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

But here a dark figure is marking the houses
and calling the ravens, and the ravens come.

--Anna Akhmatova, 1919

from The New York Review of Books: Translations of Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva by Paul Schmidt

Together, the two books speak volumes about 20th-century American poetry, showing, in multiple ways, how one can savor and live fully within a single moment -- an example being the following poem from Robert Creeley's collected works, 1975-2005.


from Santa Cruz Sentinel: Robert Creeley's poems from the last 30 years are published

In a sense, Brandi's work is all about traveling inner and outer landscapes. His poems and drawings may be thought of as of notes to fellow travelers. He traces the roots of his work to a tradition hailing back to the poet-painters of ancient China and Japan.

"At 16 I got my first old Chevy and drove down to Mexico," he said.

from Santa Fe New Mexican: Broadsided by déja vu

"To write is powerful, even dangerous," she [Laura Tohe] wrote in the introduction to "No Parole Today."

"Writing is a way for me to claim my voice, my heritage, my stories, my culture, my people, and my history."

from Casa Grande Dispatch: Writing about family helps us understand, Navajo woman says

Spiritual chickens are not the centre of the story, only the means by which the chicken-eater is forced to call into question his idea of what to believe and what not to believe. Our eyes, as we know, can deceive us, or there would be no magicians and illusionists.

from The Times: What fowl deed is this?

The eight poems from Elizabeth Bishop, for example, start with two of the "Songs for a Colored Singer," which turn up the volume of what follows; and Emily Dickinson takes on a blues rhythm, the dashes of her punctuation becoming a kind of hunh:

The Rose did caper on her cheek--
Her Boddice rose and fell--
Her pretty speech--like drunken men--
Did stagger pitiful--

from The Times Literary Supplement: Fenton on love

The high court in Rangoon has dismissed appeals lodged on behalf of two men sentenced to 26 years imprisonment for writing and distributing a politically sensitive poem.

Aung Than, a National League for Democracy member from Bago division, and Zayar Aung, a law student, were both arrested on May 29 and sentenced to 26 years in prison over the publication of a book of poems titled Daung Man (A Peacock's pride).

from Democratic Voice of Burma: Rangoon court dismisses poets' appeals

"In writing tanka, I could not express my true feelings as tanka's rigid structure, the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable pattern, hindered it. Tanka's form creates a kind of wistful melody. Even if I want to express joy or other feelings, the end result is invariably melancholic," [Enta] Kusakabe said in his office in Tokyo.

from Daily Yomiuri: Gogyoka poetry going strong

The Nigerian poets, according to Professor [Ben] Obumselu, require a great deal of artistry to continue to remain relevant in the nation?s new political order. As he noted, "When they have done this, they would have been working profoundly towards contributing to national development."

from Vanguard: At Unizik, poets talk politics: . . . as Yaps honour Vanguard for literary contributions . . .

"It is important that the work leaves the house and makes its way in the world. But when you read this stuff you have to take responsibility for it in a way that you don't want. The work isn't you. It's supposed to proceed from a more generous instinct than that." [--Don Paterson]

from The Guardian: Leading light

Here's an example of just how ripe the dialogue gets:

Steve Allen: "Oh teletype rolls . . . Where do you get it?"

Jack Kerouac: "Uh?"

SA: "Where do you get the paper?"

JK: "Eh? . . . Teletype paper."

SA: "And where do you get it?"

JK: "A very good stationary store . . . And when I write my symbolistic, serious, impressionistic novels, I write them in pencil."

from The Guardian: Arts Blog: In search of a movement to give us some direction

Great Regulars

Waltz with the Wind

[by C.C. Bosley]

from Bill Diskin: The York Daily Record: Poetryork: Poetry as psychotherapy

Some of his [Dennis Camire's] recent poems have appeared in Off the Coast Magazine and in The Taj Mahal Review; a few of his poems, too, will be appearing in Poetry East Magazine and in the anthology The Best of Moon Pie Press Volume #2. This poem first appeared in Off the Coast, Jan/2006.

For My Father
Gutting My First Whitetail Deer

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Stories from the heart of hunting season

One can't help thinking of Emily Dickinson's "I taste a liquor never brewed," and seeing the "little Tippler/Leaning against--the Sun." The speaker is so identified with the hummingbird that he can make it clear to us what the hummingbird must be experiencing, like his own soul mad with divine ardor.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Thomas James Martin's 'A Southern Line'

This poem demonstrates a humble charm: it is a prayer to open the poet's heart to the Divine Beloved--"Master Poet"--without unneeded words and gestures. A vain poet produces ego-centered poetry, but this poet/devotee wants to be open to the simple humility of truth that only the Divine Beloved can offer his soul.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Rabindranath Tagore: Indian Nobel Laureate

Poem: "This Is the Hay That No Man Planted" by Elizabeth Coatsworth.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of November 27, 2006

Hard to see past the metallic mist
or through the canopy of supposed reality
cast over our world, bourn that no creature ever born
can pry its way back through, that no love can tear.

No book of poems worth its purchase price can be limited to a "theme" (and no reader should try to impose one), but it doesn't hurt to say that Kinnell is a student of opposed realities and the often porous borders that separate them.

from David Kirby: The New York Times: On the Borderline

The first poem we ran in this column was by David Allan Evans of South Dakota, about a couple washing windows together. You can find that poem and all the others on our website, Here Tania Rochelle of Georgia presents us with another couple, this time raking leaves. I especially like the image of the pair "bent like parentheses/ around their brittle little lawn."

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 087

The poem is less about its razzle-dazzle images, pleasurable though they are, than about the process that moves through them, and keeps moving: the restless, always-surprising process of life, and of the mind keeping up, for as long as it can.

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice


[by Jared Llund]

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Poetry

Laid next to one another, poems such as "Wichita Vortex Sutra," "Kansas City to Saint Louis," and the wonderful "Iron Horse" present a panorama seen through eyes like no others.

Ginsberg was the kind of poet who needed to get rolling, to feel the vatic, ecstatic surge of image and inspiration buoy him up.

from John Timpane: Philadelpia Inquirer: Reading, looking at Allen Ginsberg


by Alice Major

from Edmonton Journal: The Poetry Project

This month, we introduce Curt Anderson, whose work has appeared in magazines including Poetry, Barrow Street, Poetry East and Bitter Oleander. He has been featured in "The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002: Ninety Years of America?s Most Distinguished Verse Magazine" (2003). Two small press chapbooks have also been published, "Umbra" from Standing Stones Press and "Bent Antenna" from detour press.

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner

On Raglan Road by Patrick Kavanagh

from The Guardian: Original poetry: On Raglan Road by Patrick Kavanagh

[Dan Lewis] might write about the everyday but often presents his images and stories with a philosophical twist that not only makes his listeners stop and think but keep on thinking for quite a while. He has been published in a number of poetry journals

Quechee Gorge

from The Hopkinton Crier: Poem Prescription

By Karin L. Frank

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Insomnia'

This World
by Kobayashi Issa

from MR Zine: Kobayashi Issa, "This World"

by Adrian V. Nunez

Van Gogh prayer

from Newpaper Tree: Poetry

"At the Optometrist's Office"
By John Hodgen

from Slate: "At the Optometrist's Office" By John Hodgen

Poetic Obituaries

We're here because, whatever else she was--and she was many things, to many people--by the end of her life Gwyneth [Barber-Wood] was, inescapably, a poet, and a poet of a high order: someone whose poems our children's children will be reading in school long after we're dead. So I am to talk about her poetry.

from Jamaica Gleaner: Gwyneth, 'a poet of high order'

But to many, [Marcus] Cassel was more than a football player. He was a friend, brother and mentor. His brother, Jason, who is 18 months younger, has a similar smile. They also shared an interest in poetry.

from LA Daily News: Cassel's smile won't ever fade

In Portugal, [Mario] Cesariny was a part of the Surrealist Group, a gathering of Portuguese artists that included Antonio Pedro and Alexandre O'Neill, and later parted with it to create the Dissident Surrealist Group.

from International Herald-Tribune: Portuguese surrealist poet and painter Mario Cesariny dead at 83, reports

In the field of education her [Undine Giuseppi's] work includes Nelson Readers, Backfire, Anthology of Poetry for use in Caribbean Primary Schools.

In addition she wrote biographies of Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Learie Constantine, and insurance executive Russell Tesheira.

from Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday: Undine Giuseppi is dead

Demand No. 27 was that Mr. [David H.] Jarrett be named dean of men.

Many of the demands were met, and Mr. Jarrett was named dean of men, a position he held until retiring in 1980.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: David H. Jarrett, 92, educator

[Josephine W. Johns] wrote poetry, served as clerk of Newtown Square Friends Meeting, and was a cellist with the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Josephine W. Johns: Probation officer, 87

In the 1990s he [Juice Leskinen] cut back on his live performances and recorded less, but started to write more: poetry, prose, columns, and song lyrics for other artists.

Juice Leskinen studied to be a translator in the early 1970s, but his musical career took over before he completed his studies. During his 33 years as a recording artist he released 26 albums.

from Helsingin Sanomat: Juice Leskinen, Finnish rock music icon, dies at 56

[Keith Page] was the star of the show in his weathercasts and magic performances. He began every weather segment with a poem, all original and none of them ever repeated, according to Mr. Page's biography on the WICD Web site.

from The News-Gazette: WICD-TV weatherman Page dies at 76

But in recent months, Tsog [Shagdarsüren] had decided to put his energy into translating Mongolian literature into English. He and I spent August preparing Ancient Splendor, an anthology of Mongolian poetry from the earliest sources until the communist era, and had only in the last few weeks finished our translation of poetry by six of Mongolia's most important young poets.

from Mongolia Web News: Mongolia Loses Cultural Enthusiast

The diminutive 77-year old nun and activist [Sister Rita Steinhagen] died Tuesday after a lengthy illness. "She was a renaissance gal, a writer, a poet, very spiritual, in a non-dogmatic way, and a great friend to many people," recalled fellow activist and friend Marv Davidov.

from KARE 11 TV: Sister Rita, a woman of conviction, dies

Kumalau [Tawali] said it all through his poetry, being one of the first of Papua New Guinea's poets to do so.
His work is studied at schools and universities everywhere, among them the famous poem "The Bush Kanaka Speaks", which often poses as one of the country's most significant commentaries ever made in its bid to gain political independence from Australia.

from The National: The passing of a great poet

Mr. [Jerry Lane] Warrington was known for his beautiful poetry and comical tales. He was the author of two books, "Thinkin' Tho'ts" and "Truths, Exaggerations and Other Lies."

He graduated from Collinwood High School in 1949 and served in the Korean Conflict from 1953-54. He retired from the Woodmen of the World as state manager of Pennsylvania and northern Ohio in 1994.

from Times Daily: Jerry L. Warrington


News at Eleven

a grave lit by acetylene
in which, though she preceded him
by a good ten years, my mother's skeleton
has managed to worm
its way back on top of the old man's,
and she once again has him under her thumb.

The young [Paul] Muldoon watched TV and went to the movies once a week; and if as a young boy he read many books, they failed to make much of an impression.

from The New York Times: Word Freak

But I prefer to see this as a poem of gentle persuasion. For me the word "wait" does not apply to a person leaving a party or dinner or gathering too early, but someone who would like to leave life before it is properly over; "Wait./Don't go too early" asks the writer. If his tone be kindly, then the words caress.

from The Times: Time is on your side

infinitesimally small: mass
without space, where each light,
each life, put out, lies down within us.

This mulching of life into life, and then into dust, has never been a "transition" to Kinnell; he will not flinch at what it means, how it cannot be reversed. And yet he will not lose hope, nor joy, nor desire in the face of its awful, unbendable reality.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: A poet of nature, death, family--and love triumphant

The title alone of "Television Was a Baby Crawling Toward That Deathchamber," written in the early '60s, demonstrates all of these quailities, as does this snippet from its expansive tirade against media mind control:

mature capitalists running the State Department and the Daily News Editorial hypnotizing millions of legional-eyed detectives to commit mass murder on the Invisible/which is only a bunch of women weeping hidden behind newspapers in the Andes, conspired against by Standard Oil.

from The New York Times: Howler

Therefore, anyone can find the Sana'ani chant in the wedding parties in Taiz, Raima, Ibb, and other governorates, said Jamil al-Qadhi, the general secretary of the Yemeni Chanters Association. But these chants have very little written history. They were traditionally memorized and passed orally from one generation to the next. For this reason, many of the poems have vanished over the years.

from Yemen Observer: Sana?ani chant spreading beyond the city

There's actually an odd correlation between these ideas: poetry is either inadequate, even immoral, in the face of human suffering, or it's unprofitable, hence useless. Either way, poets are advised to hang our heads or fold our tents. Yet in fact, throughout the world, transfusions of poetic language can and do quite literally keep bodies and souls together--and more.

from The Guardian: Legislators of the world

"Poets appear in numbers according to exactly how confusing the world is. It's sourced in crisis. After the serenity of the post-Second World War world, with Vietnam everyone was writing poetry." A similar trauma has happened as a result of Sept. 11. "Suddenly, the poets are out again."

from The Globe and Mail: Poets aplenty, but who's reading the verse?

For the past 30 years, [Nathaniel] Mackey has also single-handedly served as editor of the literary journal "Hambone," which brings together diverse strands of innovative work from both established and emerging writers.

Known as an authority on the relations between African and African American music and writing, Mackey has edited an influential anthology, "Moment's Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose" (1993), and produced a poetry CD in collaboration with contemporary jazz musicians.

from UC Santa Cruz: UC Santa Cruz literature professor Nathaniel Mackey wins National Book Award

Muthobi Motloatse's theatre piece, 'Nkosi -the Healing song' is a typical example of the fusion of the language of story telling, music, dance and drama. Here the barriers between the audience and the performer were broken, and in the words of a character in 'Nkosi- the Healing Song', "myths, legends and facts are interwoven and the story can "begin in the ending and end in the middle."

from Africa: Beyond the Fad to Poetry for Social Change

Many of his [Louis Riel's] writings were later translated imperfectly into English by French-speaking people who did not know Michif.

"This is the first poem that I know of that he wrote in English, because all of his work has been translated from French to English. So for me, that's what's exciting about reading it," [Maria] Campbell said.

from Saskatoon StarPhoenix: Louis Riel poem arrives at U of S

I heard puns that made sense, perhaps, only to me. In a game, we'd say we were "injured" which, in my mind, made us like "Injuns" who, it seemed to me, had been grievously wronged.

from The Guardian: Caught between two cultures

Great Regulars

[Carolyn Locke's] poems have been published in various publications and have received several awards.

After you have your house warmed with fresh hot bread, you need a poem for the rest of your meal. M. Kelly Lombardi is a practicing and teaching poet who lives in coastal Washington County in a book-filled, music-laden house with her faithful dog, Lucca.

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: Baking bread on a raw November day

Dylan Thomas' father had been a robust, militant man most of his life, and when in his eighties, he became blind and weak, his son was disturbed seeing his father become "soft" or "gentle."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Dylan Thomas' 'Do Not Go Gentle'

"A Boy's Thanksgiving Day" is a poem written by Lydia Maria Child. It was published in 1844 in the collection, Flowers for Children, Vol. 2 and later set to a melody and retitled, "Over the River and Through the Wood."

Here is the original poem with all twelve stanzas, which I'm sure you will recognize, and I?ll bet you know the melody:

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: A Thanksgiving Poem

Poem: "Where are Men When they're Not at Home?" by Reid Bush, from What You Know. © Larkspur Press.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of November 20, 2006

Except for all those patriotic servicemen, a century ago tattoos were the tribal marks that you paid somebody to cut into your skin so that everyone would know you belonged to a world populated by crooks and creeps, along with a few bored aristocrats who would probably have been attracted to living a life of crime had their trust funds not rendered it redundant.

from David Kirby: Dallas News: Rockwell, meet inkwell

Linda Pastan, who lives in Maryland, is a master of the kind of water-clear writing that enables us to see into the depths. This is a poem about migrating birds, but also about how it feels to witness the passing of another year.

The Birds

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 086

In a more conventional relationship, this "bravado and posturing" ([Zachary] Leader's phrase) would almost certainly have proved disastrous. Here it encouraged an existence that was rackety, promiscuous, sometimes painful (and, yes, "aggressive"), but also supportive in so far as it allowed [Kingsley] Amis to feel that he could write out of feelings that he felt were honest.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: The naughty boy from Norbury

But [Lucy] Larcom manages to communicate the conviction of her young soldier, and her own. That conviction, and the simple terms of the poem's closing lines, generate real emotion, in part because the phrase "we'll all be glad and gay" is shadowed by doubt--and by the unprecedented violence of the Civil War. The boy's interest in "Mary Ann," reveals his vulnerability.

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

Like Emily Dickinson, who wrote in the common meter of Christian hymns, Strand's poems echo the conventions of faith in order to question faith's foundation, to "open the dictionary of the Beyond and discover/what one suspected, that the only word in it/is nothing."

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Mark Strand's latest book explores language's limitations

[Mike] Allen's poems work best when his bizarre lyricism is put in the service of a scary and taut narrative, as in "The Dream Eaters."

According to this little ditty, "when a dream attains substance and shape . . . it also becomes edible." Our speaker "learned of these things and more/the day I tasted my own dreams for the first time."

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Strange poetry from the dark regions

From Book 1 of Paradise lost by John Milton

from The Guardian: Original poetry: From Book 1 of Paradise lost by John Milton

-Dan Lewis

Great Blue

from The Hopkinton Crier: Poem Prescription: Dan Lewis: A man of many words and works

'Annals of the Once and Future Earth'

By Robert C. Jones

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Annals of the Once and Future Earth'

"Marking the Lambs"
By Kimberly Johnson

from Slate: "Marking the Lambs" By Kimberly Johnson

Poetic Obituaries

Luke [Carter-Schelp]'s version of the poem described a small leprechaun figurine that he had. His mother [Val Carter] changed the words to describe her son.

"I once had a boy not an ordinary boy. A boy that was very special to me," she read. ". . . .The little guy was as bright as night skies."

from Business Gazette: Community remembers energy, enthusiasm of middle school student

[Molly Anne Densmore] had taken piano lessons since she was in grade school and had taught herself how to play the guitar, but recently spent most of her time writing poetry because it was easier on her muscles, Michael Densmore said.

"She wrote about everything - people, events going on," he said. "She wrote about the military, the highs of life, the lows of life and everything in between. There was nothing she wouldn't write about. She could write about any subject there was, and was very good at it."

from The Flint Journal: Woman had flair for writing poetry

[Prime Minister Bülent] Ecevit used to think that the literary genre in which Turkey had advanced the most was poetry, saying: " . . . because Turkish people have a very strong tradition of poetry. Our villagers' conversations are like verse. In addition, most of the letters I receive from citizens are written in the form of verse. Our people reveal not only their emotions but also their thoughts via poetry. In my opinion we have a very strong tradition of folk poetry, which is a tradition that mingles with Turkish folk Sufism. I believe, with the effect of these, the genre at which Turkish literature has advanced the most is poetry."

from Turkish Daily News: Poet Ecevit: Not an 'ivory tower poet,' but a 'poet of the people'

Profile: Melvin Fridh
Age: Died at 87
Residence: Loves Park
Accomplishments: Partner in Fridh Corp. and John Fridh & Sons construction; member of Local 792 Carpenters Union for 60 years; also accomplished poet, serving as poet laureate of Loves Park.

from Rockford Register Star: Service today for businessman, poet

"So it is that though a poem has a fixed form, standing as the poet left it when he gave it to a scribe or to the press, ballads alter with every singer," Friedman wrote.

from Los Angeles Times: Albert B. Friedman, 86; authority on folk ballads

[Steven Kublin] especially enjoyed writing poems which he would then read to his friends and relatives on their wedding days.

As he got older, Kublin became something of a wanderer who picked up odd jobs along the way. Over the years he had traveled throughout the entire country, never staying in one place for long.

from The Eagle-Tribune: Andover man lived peaceful life, died violent death

Byron R. Pilbeam, Sr., 78, a retired overhead crane operator and a longtime director of Dundee Little League who wrote poetry, owned and raced stock cars, and wrote a newspaper column for 12 years, died of pulmonary fibrosis Tuesday in his home here.

from The Toledo Blade: Poet, farmer wrote for newspaper in Dundee

Authorities say the Halloween arson is the deadliest fire in Reno and its largest suspected mass murder.

According to [Jeremy] Wren's obituary, he was a free spirit who loved fishing, poetry, cooking and skiing.

from Reno Gazette-Journal: Two more Mizpah victims identified


News at Eleven

This find is of particular interest for several reasons. It is almost certainly [Siegfried] Sassoon's last childhood effort at composition before a new tutor, the hearty athletic Cambridge graduate Clarence Hamilton, made him feel that writing poetry was rather "priggish".

from The Times: Memoirs of a poetry-writing boy

About the politicization of [John] McCrae, particularly with Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan, [David] Kilgour says, "The poem is written from a standpoint of a pacifist. But I don't know how someone can read the last [verse] and think McCrae was opposed to fighting tyrants. I think if he was alive now he would have supported our troops in Afghanistan."

from Proud poppy legacy

'He went through very earthy and very gritty experiences. As our young men are finding now in Iraq and particularly in Afghanistan over this [last] summer period, gun battles when people are shooting at you, the adrenaline pumps, and this of course is what Owen knew in spades: explosives, explosions, things that just happen and can blow people apart. I've seen that: someone that you're talking to one moment who is a human, live, living person, actually the next moment is all over the place, and you realise that life is quite a tenuous thread.' [--General Sir Richard Dannatt]

from The Observer: No one better captured the pity of war, says British army chief

"I've heard that there's a monument somewhere in Norway to the ship and crew we trained to take on the Nazis," Ferlinghetti says. "Someday, I'd like to get over there to see it."

'Dragon's Teeth'
By Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 2003

from San Francisco Chronicle: Poet Ferlinghetti chased subs in WWII

"I mean, the virtual world is a bit paradisal, isn't it?" explains [Seamus] Heaney. "You waft at angelic speed through the airways. So I bring the Tollund Man into this insubstantial world, and he's smelling of peat and grass and turf and water and he's calling us back to the first place."

from Radio Netherlands: Seamus Heaney: "Bogging In Again"

[Don] Paterson gives the sonnets, perhaps for the first time in English, a true sense of an inhabited skin, a pulsing body responding to the life of the senses.

"Ultimately there is only one poet," Rilke wrote in a letter of 1920, "that infinite one who makes himself felt, here and there through the ages, in a mind that can surrender to him."

from The Guardian: The singer sung

It's his use of poets as a lens that makes this opening section more than a story of Chile's struggles; moreover, [Martin] Espada suggests in the opening eponymic poem that poetry has an unusual importance for Chileans.

from Bookslut: The Republic of Poetry by Martin Espada

Instrumental in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s as well as the Black Arts Movement in the late 1960s, [Frank Marshall] Davis would describe his boyhood in Kansas as a "hellhole of inferiority."

In third grade, he was about to be lynched by white children when an adult made the children remove the noose from his neck.

from Wichita Eagle: Ark City native left mark in journalism, poetry and jazz

by Corrine Fitzpatrick

The Transcendent Brow of a Househusband or
The Point of Origin for Her Departure Was

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry by Corrine Fitzpatrick

By Sherwin Bitsui

from The Arizona Daily Star: Master of words

Leon Gellert writes of a crippled comrade that: "Since nowadays of cheer there is a dearth/'Twas smiles or tears, and so he chose the mirth." A hospital orderly reflects on "the jokes that kept us sane," and wonders if: "It may be in peace, when the sufferings cease/We'll be sadder, aye sadder, than now."

from The Guardian: View from the ground

Great Regulars

"When I was in the desert I would find a secluded location, either behind some sandbags or in a concrete bunker where I could gather my thoughts to write or draw. Wherever I may be, I find a way to create my own little tranquility, and that serves as my staging table." [--Hollie Hinton]

from Bill Diskin: York Daily Record: Poetryork: Poetry offers tranquility to American soldier

"What brought me to the woods was the prospect of living with nothing between me and the earth ? none of the electronic gibber-jabber. I craved directness and quiet. What brought me to the woods was an impulse to get lost, to almost literally be off the map." [--Baron Wormser]

from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets:

Geoffrey Chaucer demonstrated the ability to live in the world but not be of it.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Geoffrey Chaucer Still Gathering Fans

About the poem, Frost asserted, "You have to be careful of that one; it's a tricky poem--very tricky." And he is, of course, correct. The poem has been and continues to be used as an inspirational poem, one that to the undiscerning eye seems to be encouraging self-reliance, not following where others have led.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Robert Frost's Tricky Poem

Poem: "Kryptonite" by Ron Koertge, from Fever. © Red Hen Press.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of November 13, 2006

The Illinois poet, Lisel Mueller, is one of our country's finest writers, and the following lines, with their grace and humility, are representative of her poems of quiet celebration.

In November

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 085

"Not a poet in an age worth crowning. All good poetry . . . flown." So say some readers about modern poetry, and so, too, says Ben Jonson (1572-1637) about his own time, in his poem "A Fit of Rime Against Rime."

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

Important themes in her [Stella Díaz Varín's] poetry include death, love and a lack thereof, and the precariousness of existence. ?Of premature death? encapsulates these themes with a brevity that makes it hard to avoid a difference in length between the original and the translation.

de la Prematura Muerte

from Cate Setterfield: The Santiago Times: Chíle's Poets in Translation: Stella Díaz Varín

Oblivious to my environs and indifferent to everything else around me, I feel encased in the capsule of a motionless bubble. Max Ehrmann produces this sublime effect most of the time.

Max Ehrmann in his poem eheu! spoke for all of us:

from V Sundaram: News Today: Max Ehrmann on the business of life

[Laurence Binyon] is best known for the poem For the Fallen, written while sitting on The Rumps, Polseath Polzeath, Cornwall, and first published in The Times in September, 1914. The seven-verse poem honoured the World War I British war dead of that time and in particular the British Expeditionary Force, which had by then already had high casualty rates on the enlarging Western Front.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Remembering a brave lost generation

Rather, "it proposes God as the answer to questions science was never intended to address," such as why there is something and not nothing and what life means. It is, he [Francis S. Collins] adds, "not intended as a scientific theory" and "can be tested only by the spiritual logic of the heart, the mind, and the soul."

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: A scientist's willing leap for morality

The Children [1914-18] by Rudyard Kipling

from The Guardian: Original poetry: The Children [1914-18] by Rudyard Kipling

1. Decide on your subject. Don't rush into it. If it makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck you have probably chosen well. It must have something to do with taboo. Anything that could prove difficult.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Tim Liardet's workshop

by Andrzej Bursa translated by Kevin Christianson and Halina Ablamowicz

from Guernica: Poetry: Complaint/Za_alenie

'Annals of the Once and Future Earth'
By Robert C. Jones

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Annals of the Once and Future Earth'

The Elect Shun Mourning & Celebrate
by Dan Wilcox

from MR Zine: "The Elect Shun Mourning & Celebrate"

by Jenni Burton


from Newpaper Tree: Poetry

"My Almost-Daughter, My Nearly-Was Son"
By Chris Forhan

from Slate: "My Almost-Daughter, My Nearly-Was Son" By Chris Forhan

Poetic Obituaries

[Marine Pvt. Christopher Adlesperger] was a gifted artist and liked poetry. He thought he might enjoy college.

"I had dinner with him the first week he was at UNM, and he said he loved it," Wanda Adlesperger, Chris' grandmother, said.

from The Albuquerque Tribune: Father of Marine killed in Iraq finally allows himself time to grieve

Prominent Port Elizabeth teacher, book reviewer and academic Dr Ida Bell has died after a long illness.

from The Herald: Death of Dr Ida Bell, teacher and scholar of English poetry

Entertainment was his [Ed Bradley's] refuge from the pressures of network news, he said, noting that in the early 1970s he tried to become an expatriate poet, writer and jazz lover in Paris. When he ran out of money, he took a job with CBS television, where he would spend the rest of his career.

from New York Daily News: Ed Bradley, trailblazing reporter, 65, dies

Assunta [Femia] regarded the phalluses as glorifications of male power in a place sacred to the divine feminine. She destroyed them all with a hammer, celebrating the feat with an triumphant poem, "i smashed the phalloi."

Assunta proved to be too radical for the Radical Faeries, and a parting of the ways followed.

from Bay Area Reporter: Poet Assunta Femia dies

A lover of children, Rosella [M. Hollen] served as foster parent and hosted fresh air children. She was an accomplished poet and enjoyed drawing.

from tyronepa: Rosella M. Hollen

Martha [Kuopus] was very gifted in writing, having written many stories, songs and poems. She had a love for the outdoors, and in her younger years loved to pick blueberries, fish and cross country ski. She loved to spend time with her grandchildren, often taking them for sleepovers, day trips to museums, out to eat and to various parks.

from The Mining Journal: Martha M. Kuopus

[Milton Levy's] sometimes cranky, sometimes laudatory, but always entertaining poems were a mainstay of the TAB?s opinion pages for 15 years until a stroke forced him to stop in 2003.

Levy, 91, died of a heart attack on Oct. 28 at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

from Newton Tab: A farewell tribute to Newton's 'Poet Laureate'

At John F. Kennedy Middle School and Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, [Luis Andrew] Martinez exhibited the charisma and the values that later earned him a following at UC-Berkeley. He refused to wear designer clothes because many students couldn't afford them and was famous for taking dates to the library or to the woods to write poetry.

from San Mateo County Times: A charismatic life, and tragic death

"Most of all, he was a poet," Rick Moulin said [of Pete B. "Tennessee" Maxwell]. "He'd say, 'I just wrote a poem,' and then he'd say it out loud, from his head. He never wrote them down on paper. They were serious, about love, about my grandmother, about dying. That was how he expressed his emotions."

from The Kansas City Star: Wrestling fan was most of all a poet

The poem [by Lance Cpl. Ryan McCaughn] is called "Soldier," and its seven verses are based on the words pride, courage, protect, war, peace and sacrifice. The second verse reads:

Many soldiers have had to experience the ultimate sacrifice
Even in death a soldier will show pride
All you can do is hope that they finally found peace
People have to replace the fallen and show courage
And fight so that their children do not know war
After all one of the goals of a soldier is to protect.

from Concord Monitor: 19-year-old Marine killed in Iraq

Although he [Jack Palance] enjoyed raising cattle, he was a vegetarian who had painted abstract landscapes since the 1950s, loved trees and wrote poetry. He wrote and illustrated a book with the non-villainous title of "The Forest of Love: A Love Story in Blank Verse" that was published in 1996.

from Los Angeles Times: Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance dies

[Stanley Pryke] was a poet and an intellectual and yet he was also a career officer in the British army and one who clearly had great memories of the Second World War. How can I reconcile this contradiction?

from Hamilton Spectator: Remembering My Father

[Kate] Rawson took the junior school into the top 1% of schools nationally for the last three years and was delighted to achieve other honours for the school, such as Investors In People, the Threshold Poetry Prize and two Arts Mark Gold awards.

from Chard and Ilminster News: Kate Rawson: "A great loss to the community"

Music wasn't the only thing he [Malachi Ritscher] immersed himself in, either: He was an active anti-war activist, an avid photographer, a collector, a reader, and a writer. He painted watercolors, wrote poetry, dabbled with various musical instruments, and grew peppers for his own hot-sauce recipe.

from Pitchfork: Malachi Ritscher, 1954-2006

Born in Golpaygan, a town in western Iran, [Abbas] Sarmadi was a prolific writer whose best known books are "The Encyclopedia of Great Artists in Iran and the Islamic World" and "Rassam Arabzadeh: Innovator of Persian Rugs".

from Mehr News: Iranian author Sarmadi dies at 67

[Dr. Don] Veller was a member of the Indiana University, Florida State University and National Golf Coaches Association Halls of Fame. He also wrote a regular golf column that appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat and a book of his golf poems was recently published.

from CSTV: Former FSU Football Coach, Golf Coach And Professor Emeritus Dr. Don Veller Dies


News at Eleven

Afghan national Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost was arrested without a warrant on 29 September in Peshawar. His whereabouts are now unknown and he is at risk of torture.

This is thought to be due to his criticism of Pakistani agencies which had earlier arbitrarily arrested, detained and unlawfully transferred him and his brother to US custody.

from Amnesty International: Pakistan: "Disappearance"/fear of torture, Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost (m)

The motive for the attack is not known. However, [Jevrem] Brkovic told the press that he believes that it was carried out by "murderers and gangsters who recognised themselves" in characters in his recent novel, "A Duklja Lover", set in the criminal underworld.

from International Freedom of Expression eXchange: Writer severely injured in shooting, his driver murdered

This started life in French as "Comment dire"; but "what is the word" is much more suggestive than "comment dire", since "what" is perhaps the answer, as Anthony Cronin points out: "The uncertainty which had been given expression in Watt, the first work of his maturity, is echoed in his last, for this was Samuel Beckett's last piece of writing".

from The Times Literary Supplement: Watt is the word

It was probably [Sir William] Davenant himself who, to his mother?s dishonour, first suggested that Shakespeare might be his biological father. From this, a tradition developed, identifying Davenant?s mother with the Dark Lady of the sonnets.

from The Sunday Times: Theatre: Don't forget this fellow of infinite zest

Emily Dickinson has appeared in at least two anthologies of homosexual poetry, with lyrics such as the following:

Happy--Letter! Tell Her--
Tell Her--the page I never wrote!
Tell Her, I only said--the Syntax--
And left the Verb and the Pronoun--out!
Tell Her just how the fingers--hurried--
Then--how they--stammered--slow--slow--
And then--you wished you had eyes--in your pages--
So you could see--what moved them--them--so--

Tell Her--it wasn't a practised writer--
You guessed--
From the way the sentence--toiled--
You could hear the Boddice--tug--behind you--
As if it held but the might of a child!
You almost pitied--it--you--it worked so--
Tell Her--No--you may quibble--there--
For it would split Her Heart--to know it--
And then--you and I--were silenter!

Tell Her--Day--finished--before we--finished--
And the old Clock kept neighing--'Day'!
And you--got sleepy--and begged to be ended--
What could--it hinder so--to say?
Tell Her--just how she sealed--you--Cautious!
But--if she ask 'where you are hid'--until the evening--
Ah! Be bashful!
Gesture Coquette--
And shake your Head!

from The Guardian: 'Don't ask, don't tell'

[Allen] Ginsberg scholars aren't sure why he mentions Canada and Paterson in this portion of "Howl." Ginsberg doesn't explain in his notes. But Bill Morgan, a Ginsberg biographer, thinks Paterson represents Ginsberg and Canada is an allusion to his friend Jack Kerouac, whose parents were French-Canadian.

"who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a/trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic/City Hall,/suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings/and migraines of China under junk-withdrawal/in Newark's bleak furnished room."

from The Star-Ledger: The 'Howl' heard 'round the world

"My relationship with women starts with my mother, who encouraged me to read and write poetry. I have a lot of respect for women. A poet who lives without a woman," [Farouk] Shousha says, "is a poet who is divorced from the universe. In the absence of women, there is no real life, only a desert.["]

from Al-Ahram Weekly: Farouk Shousha: Cry my beloved language

When asked how he hopes to be remembered, [Robert] Bly answers at first in a light way: "Oh, I don't care." Then quotes from one of his more cryptic poems:

"Don't hope for what will never come.
Give up hope, dear friends.
The joists of life are laid on the wind . . ."

from Voice of America: Poet Robert Bly Gives Voice to Men's Movement

We all have this need for spiritual refreshment, for a completing "meaning" of our existence, a thirst for communion with 'whatever gods may be,' whether we can ascribe to them personalities or not.

One of the secrets of poetry is that it means more than it says, it instructs by indirection, by reminding of us of what we already understand about the world.

from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Critical Mass: The value of verse

Silence is part of the enterprise. If you have nothing to say don't force it. The trouble is, you do acquire a lot of skills over the years. It is possible without knowing it to produce forgeries. [--Michael Longley]

from Belfast Telegraph: Longley: why poetry is better than sex

But [Sue] Savage-Rumbaugh says Kanzi also understands words that aren?t a part of his keyboard vocabulary; she says he can respond appropriately to commands such as "put the soap in the water" or "carry the TV outdoors."

About a year ago, Kanzi and his sister, mother, nephew and four other bonobos moved into a $10 million, 18-room house and laboratory complex at the Great Ape Trust, North America?s largest great ape sanctuary, five miles from downtown Des Moines.

from Smithsonian: Speaking Bonobo

Great Regulars

In the debris left behind by a flooded river he [Roger Moulson] imagines seeing his elusive neighbour Mary ("the way she dressed/like a princess in clothes she never washed/and wore to rags"), recast half as Ophelia and half as the Lady of the Lake: "I looked deep in the willows/fearing to see lodged in a twisting fork/a face, a limb, a hand offering an apple."

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: Over the world's edge

'Ennui', the newly discovered undergraduate sonnet by Sylvia Plath (read it in full here), is very much about craft, about delivering a tough resonant argument. It is concerned with the art of rhetoric, densely and self-consciously built, full of literary references and brandishing its knowingness.

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian's Arts Blog: Plath's sonnet of sophisticated hopelessness

When I think of Osip Mandelstam, I'm convinced that writing poetry is a subversive activity--that all activities of the imagination are subversive--whether the art is published or unpublished. (Why is it so few understand this fact as well as political tyrants do?)

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry

[Philip Booth] has received numerous awards, including two Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships, and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He leads us into the autumn of life with grace, power and tenderness.


from Elizabeth W. Garber: Village Soup: A Year of Poetry from a Wealth of Maine Poets: The crisp bite of fall apples

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal:
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

You, of course, recognize the line, "Into each life some rain must fall.? You will find that line in his poem called "The Rainy Day.? No doubt it is this Longfellow poem that helped spread the use of "rain" as a metaphor for the melancholy times in our lives.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Rescuing Longfellow

As he [Donald Hall] focuses on this issue, he levels some important criticism at contemporary poets and poetry.

His first point claims, "I see no reason to spend your life writing poems unless your goal is to write great poems."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101: Donald Hall on Ambition

Like Visiting a Museum

The web site is overflowing with historical and current information about poetry. You can read, you can watch videos, you can search, you can ask a librarian, and you can even go shopping. It?s like visiting a museum?without leaving home.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101: Poetry at the Library of Congress

Poem: "Unforeseen" by Reid Bush, from What You Know.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of November 06, 2006

Many of this column's readers have watched an amaryllis emerge from its hard bulb to flower. To me they seem unworldly, perhaps a little dangerous, like a wild bird you don't want to get too close to. Here Connie Wanek of Duluth, Minnesota, takes a close and playful look at an amaryllis that looks right back at her.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 084

[Lynda] Hull understood the way our idea of glamour can be informed by the music and manners of our parents' generation. The sounds, sights and paraphernalia of adult life exert an endless allure, the charm of sexuality before it can be quite apprehended:

The Charmed Hour

from Robert Pinsky: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

In the following poem, "The Land of Night," [Jorge] Tellier focuses on nature and an idealized vision of the past. The voices of humans and of civilization are blotted out; only the grass and bats can speak.

La Tierra de la Noche

from Cate Setterfield: The Santiago Times: Chile's Poets in Translation: Jorge Tellier

Here are a few funny letters from very famous people in history--in politics, in literature and the fine arts.

Introducing letters from politicians during the last 200 years, Charles Osgood comes out with this light hearted and hilarious free verse:

from V Sundaram: News Today: Famous people and funny letters

As for teaching the Bible as literature, that might be the best way of communicating its spiritual message. If the scriptures were treated with the respect and attention we give to poems and novels and plays, with an appreciation for their often rich ambiguity, they would touch readers--in the way poems and novels and plays do.

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: 'God Delusion' author: Read Scripture

Not Only Parallel Lines Extend to the Infinite by Jane Hirshfield

from The Guardian: Original poetry: Not Only Parallel Lines Extend to the Infinite by Jane Hirshfield

By Jo McDougall

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner

Spearmint tea, tracks and trestles
By Mickey Cesar

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase: Spearmint tea, tracks and trestles

The poem is called "Partisan." This poem is a kind of response to the idea of partisanism.

We're all, when we vote, partisans of some sort, but like many of us, I feel like a lot of other people feel like these days we have just a bit too much partisanship.


from PBS: Newshour: Poet Robert Wrigley Reads Verse About Partisanship

By Billy Collins

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

By Debra Nystrom

from Slate: "Twins" By Debra Nystrom

Susan H. Case

from Zeek: Bzura: Susan H. Case

When She Goes Out Alone
Hedva Harehavi

from Zeek: When She Goes Out Alone: Hedva Harehavi

Poetic Obituaries

[Ras Benji] was also the founder of the musical group Jah Foundation which consisted of many legends such as dub judah, pax nindi and many more, they toured the world and also played alongside the great jah shaka at the albany many times.

He was a poet, a singer, a producer, a teacher but most of all a mystical leader.

from Reggae Live: Death of a southeast Legend, Ras Benji

A friend to many, Jimmy [James Garner Brown] was a teacher, a preacher, a writer and a philosopher. And he was a lover of literature, poetry, history and nature.

Although he was progressive in his thoughts and attitude, he longed for the simplicity, honesty and sincerity of earlier times.

from The Dickson Herald: James Garner "Jimmy" Brown

Yet, by conviction, [Bülent] Ecevit was the most left-wing of his contemporaries and no charge of material corruption was ever laid at his door.

A cultivated man, he wrote poetry and seemed to care about human rights in a country with a poor record in that field.

from The Times: Bülent Ecevit

Jorge Gonzalez read a presentient poem written by Nayanci [Gonzalez] just 23 days before she died, entitled, "A Day Begins Without Me."

Wooden silhouettes were set up in the quad to represent victims of domestic violence in the county, a project funded by the Alameda County District Attorney?s Office. Each silhouette tells a brief story of a life that was taken by violence.

from San Leandro Times: Students Remember Slain Classmate

Paul Jamieson, a retired professor of English at St. Lawrence University and a well known Adirondack author, died at the age of 103 on Sunday.

Jamieson wrote "Adirondack Canoe Waters: North Flow," which is still a widely used guidebook among paddlers, and he also edited "The Adirondack Reader."

from Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Ad'k author Jamieson dies at 103

[Lila] Rutherford enjoyed reading, wrote poetry and collected stamps as a hobby. She taught piano lessons for a while, as well, sharing her love of music with children.

"I just remember her as being very self-disciplined and very intellectual," said Dorothy King, who worked in the food services department with her years ago.

from Corsicana Daily Sun: Rutherford dies at 98

Vincent Schiller "knew the market and was a great source of information about the city and region. He took pride in his work and in presenting accurate sales material," said [Gari] Brindle, who is retail advertising director for The Inquirer and Daily News.

Mr. Schiller wrote several radio scripts and poetry that was published in The Inquirer.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Vincent Schiller: Newspaper employee, 94

"Sophie ceased looking at the pictures--all became a blur--and her eyes sought instead the window flung open against the October sky where the evening star hung, astonishingly, as bright as a blob of crystal," [William] Styron wrote. "An agitation in the air, a sudden thickening of the light around the planet, heralded the onset of smoke, borne earthward by the circulation of cool night wind. For the first time since the morning Sophie smelled, ineluctable as a smotherer's hand, the odor of burning human beings."

from CNN: 'Sophie's Choice' author William Styron dies

Pam [Woolwine] was employed by The American Club for more than 22 years as a waitress which was a job she dearly loved. She loved dolphins, writing poetry and spending time with family and friends.

from The Sheboygan Press: Pamela J. Woolwine


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