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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

[Charles] Dickens was referring to Fanny Longfellow's shocking death six years earlier, apparently after her dress was ignited by candle wax as she was sealing an envelope containing a snippet of hair from one of her six children. [Henry Wadsworth] Longfellow's white beard hid scars from wounds he suffered while trying to smother the flames.

from Smithsonian Magazine: Famous Once Again

Dr Swaab said: "Since her death her work hasn't been well-represented even in the major collections of Victorian women poets, even though she has a lot to say to female readers today. This may be because she is still seen by many academics as a sacrificial offshoot of the family business, having devoted so much of her time to editing her father's work."

[by Sara Coleridge]

Doggrel Charm

from Telegraph: Coleridge's daughter hid her poetic passions

"I hope you are as warm as I am; as serene in your room as I am here," the young lieutenant [Wilfred Owen] says, his attempt to reassure so telling of that bond between mother and son. "Of this I am certain, you could not be visited by a band of friends half so fine as surround me here. There is no danger down here or if any, it will be well over before you read these lines."

from The New Zealand Herald: War poet's last post of hope from a tiny cellar

It helps only a little to know that this dreadful mess was called "Chaplinesque." One of Crane's friends later knocked on his door with Charlie Chaplin in tow, and the three went out on the town until dawn. Having learned this, a hundred American poets will begin odes to Angelina Jolie.

from The New York Times: Hart Crane's Bridge to Nowhere

Many, like Virginia Woolf, were struck by his [Thomas Hardy's] kindliness, and he insisted on calling himself an "evolutionary meliorist," not a pessimist. But [Claire] Tomalin quotes an astonishing letter of condolence that he wrote when Henry Rider Haggard, the adventure writer, lost his 10-year-old son: "To be candid, I think the death of a child is never really to be regretted, when one reflects on what he has escaped."

from The New York Times: Thomas Hardy's English Lessons

Poetry, said LKJ, is "a way of grieving, a way of remembering. . . .And that's when the personal and the particular become universal, because we all lose our loved ones, and we all know what it is to suffer loss." When the NPR host asked [Ted] Kooser what he thought of LKJ's work, Kooser replied, "I wish I could write a poem like that."

from The Progressive: Linton Kwesi Johnson Interview

"Governments in our part of the world," he [Ibrahim Nasrallah] continues, "have sole ownership and full authority over all means of expression, from school books to the media." If a writer tries to work outside the system, "the government will try either to buy or punish him or her, as has been the case with myself and many others".

from The Guardian: Writing of Jordan, dreaming of Palestine

DH [Doug Holder]: What has your experience been like as a Haitian American in academia?

DLG [Danielle Legros Georges]: Wow. Doug, man. I don't know if I want to go there. It has its challenges especially in this enlightened area in which we live. It's probably no different from any industry where you are not in a majority. There is a lot of freedom in the academy. It is a complicated question.

Another Ode to Salt
Danielle Legros Georges

from The Somerville News: Danielle Legros Georges

[Torquato] Tasso's poem practically begged other artists to borrow and steal. Even Milton filched a scene (a conclave of devils in Hell). Tasso's descriptions also seem directly inspired by the artistic milieu around him. "And now he sees a woman's face arise/and now her breasts and nipples, and below/where modest eyes would be ashamed to go./So would a goddess or a nymph arise / from the stage in the theater at night."

from The Washington Post: Torquato Tasso, a Poet Both Obscure and Ubiquitous

But the metrical sprawl produces moments of real bathos; "a tragedy where I played a leading role myself" is far weaker than the equivalent lines in Surrey or Dryden, and the declining stars passage comes across as overwritten and too intent on provocative effect ("dank," "sweeping"). The last 60 years or so have not produced a verse rhetoric that will sustain a long poem, except as a series of jolting fits and starts, so jolting fits and starts are what we get.

from The Washington Post: The Founder of Rome

Fair fa' your-honest sonsie face,
Great Chieftain o' the Puddin-race
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe or thairm.
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang as my arm.

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Millions of Scots, from Aberdeen to Adelaide, will hear these words this week as they celebrate the Jan. 25th birthday of Robert Burns.

from The Edmonton Journal: Raise a dram or two

Great Regulars

[Micheal O'Siadhail] opens with an animated examination of the chaotic state we're in, painting a convincingly bleak picture of a fatally destabilised globe in which "shifting landscapes shape and are reshaped" and there is a real chance that "what's knitted over centuries/Could unravel half-noticed".

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Plunging headlong into the abyss

Happy are men who yet before they are killed
Can let their veins run cold.

Does this rhyme? Yes and no. "killed" and "cold" are what is technically known as a para-rhyme--a not-quite rhyme. Owen uses such verbal near-misses to magnificent effect (brothers/withers, fleers/flowers, groined/moaned), to create an eerie effect of dissonance.

from Terry Eagleton: The Times: How to Read a Poem: Part 2: Rhyme and metre

Today that wholesome sense of a season with its own characteristics and merits has been undermined by anxiety, the press has been full of letters recording strange out-of-season flowerings and we are perhaps in danger of falling out of love with the mildness for which we used to be envied by gardeners in, say, New England. We look at a flower in bloom and think: O my God--it's a freak!

from James Fenton: The Guardian: How does your garden grow?

Dylan Thomas has fashioned a remarkable drama, portraying his youth and the farm where he spent it. His colorful language use describes the setting in such as way that it communicates true feeling without becoming sentimental in it execution or maudlin in its discovery.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Dylan Thomas' ''Fern Hill'

Poem: "The Past Is Still There" by Deborah Garrison, from The Second Child. © Random House.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of January 29th, 2007

Grief can endure a long, long time. A deep loss is very reluctant to let us set it aside, to push it into a corner of memory. Here the Arkansas poet, Andrea Hollander Budy, gives us a look at one family's adjustment to a death.

For Weeks After the Funeral

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 096 (pdf)

[Ruth Padel's] aim (which she calls "a quiet bid" but is in fact pretty noisy and passionate) is to shake lethargic booksellers and literary editors into giving poetry more space, and to bolster the "many people [who] have lost confidence in approaching poems" and who "sense there is something there they may need but do not know how to go about getting it".

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Following on

[Charles] Bernstein deliberately writes with the crudity of a beginner, and with an ironic distance from that crudity, though he means everything he says. That's a complicated process, and a complicated conception, but the poem's actual lines are immediate and--phrase by phrase--uncomplicated: "A democracy once proposed/Is slimmed and grimed again/By men with brute design/Who prefer hate to rime."

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

That moment is often loaded with irony ("Here is the war. Where is the enemy?"--a line for our times) or self-deprecation (as in "Chases in Arras," in which the speaker is awakened by a drunk playing the trumpet in the middle of the night at the Jersey Shore).

from John Timpane: Philadelpia Inquirer: Finding a world of happiness in the heart of home

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a coloured pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling. This, however, is not generally a part of the domestic apparatus on the premises.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: On lying in bed --G K Chesterton

We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them. Under the oldest mouldiest conventions, a man of native force prospers just as well as in the newest world, and that by skill of handling and treatment. He can take hold anywhere. Life itself is a mixture of power and form, and will not bear the least excess of either.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Skating well --Ralph Waldo Emerson

The cry is essential to cante. Not unlike the guitar, in fact, the voice of the cantor is considered an instrument of the cry, the cry that dares to break the silence, just as the hands are an instrument to break the stillness, as are the feet.

The Cry

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Living Inside a Poem

City lilacs by Helen Dunmore

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: City lilacs by Helen Dunmore

[by Ibrahim Nasrallah]

from The Guardian: Salvos of Mercy: A selection of poems by Ibrahim Nasrallah

'Forgotten History'
By Walter Bargen

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Forgotten History'

By Beverly Boyd


from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Voices From the Internment Camps
[by Margaret Chula]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

At the January Hoot, Fred Samuels read a poem that could serve as the basis for a New Year's resolution for us all:

Musings at the New Year

allegro preachy

from Portsmouth Herald News: Spotlight Poems from the Hoot

by Ian McDonough

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: Sighting

"Tarot Card of the Dreaming Man, Face Down"
By Mark Conway

from Slate: "Tarot Card of the Dreaming Man, Face Down" By Mark Conway

Twenty-five years ago this month, the TLS published a page of six poems by Paul Muldoon; the following week it had occasion to print this piece, small, but pregnant with possibility.

The Son of the King of Moy

after the Irish

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the week

Poetic Obituaries

[Christopher Chapman] liked writing poetry and playing the guitar. He loved crowds and liked to be the center of attention. He loved snow.

And he loved helping people.

from Potomac News: Death shows dangers of inhalants

In 2002, [Ismail] Cem founded the New Turkey Party (YTP) along with HŁsamettin ÷zkan, known as the right arm of Ecevit and 65 deputies from the DSP.

On Monday ÷zkan said: "I am deeply moved by the passing away of my political comrade. He left us great memories and hope saying 'I did my best, you finish the rest' just like he wrote in his poem 'Farewell.'"

from Turkish Daily News: Ismail Cem, man of peace, passes away

Becky Combs, 89, a retired Montgomery County elementary school principal who volunteered with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, died Jan. 11 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring of complications from a stroke.

from The Washington Post: Longtime Montgomery Co. School Principal Becky Combs

[Karmenu Ellul Galea's] works were published in several literary magazines and newspapers, amongst others Il-Pronostku Malti and il-Malti. He published a book of poems titled Twemmini. Other publications include It-Trejdunjonizmu f'Malta (four volumes), L-Istorja tat-Tarzna and Pijunieri tas-Sigurta' Socjali.

from The Malta Independent: Death of veteran trade unionist

The young baseball player [Anthony Leland Gee] "did a lot in 16 years - he was energetic, he was talented, he was modest, and he loved life," his mother said.

Although his four siblings and step-siblings were all older, he was "in many ways like the father--he had such wisdom and zest," Kathryn Gee said. A budding poet, he was "extremely loyal to his family" and cared for the family's dog and two cats, she said.

from Vallejo Times Herald: Hunt persists for shooter of baseball player

Recently, however, she [Illeana Hess] was starting to turn her life around, he said.

"She loved to write, mostly poetry and lyrics to songs," George Hess said. "She was finding her way."

from Asbury Park Press: How did Illeana die, grieving family asks

Apart from establishing the vanguard cultural organisation in 1961 along with some other enlightened persons, he [Wahidul Huq] also founded a number prominent cultural and poetry recitation organisations like--Kanthashilon, Nalonda and Anandadhani.

from Drishtipat Group Blog: Wahidul Huq - A legend in the cultural world passes away

A person punished all day by the sun, by a thirst that can't be satisfied, maltreated and weakened, has to sleep.

He has to. And then he cannot!

It is too stuffy. Damp, sticky air fills the room. But then, it's not air. It's wet cotton. Inhale, and it's like swallowing a ball of cotton dipped in warm water. It's unbearable. It nauseates, it prostrates, it unhinges.

[--Ryszard Kapuscinski in The Soccer War]

from The Independent: Kapuscinski: A disptach from the late master of reportage

Tin Moe died gracefully, and the nation lost a great national poet who deserves to be honored in his homeland, but the military leaders clearly are afraid of a poet and his poems.

An excerpt from Tin Moe's poem Meeting with the Buddha (2000) captures the power of his spirit and words:

Meeting with the Buddha

from The Irrawaddy: The Great Poet Is Dead But Not Forgiven

"He was reserved, but when he knew you, a friendly, witty guy. He was more of an artist, poet, philosopher," said Robert Olsen [of Army Spc. Toby Olsen]. "We couldn't understand him taking the path (the Army). He was trying to make ends meet; it was something to give him a further education."

from Honolulu Star Bulletin: Mililani graduate dies in Iraq attack

[Carla Ann Pulliam] had various talents and enjoyed painting and beading, making her own jewelry. She also wrote, whether it was journals, writing letters or poetry.

from Idaho Mountain Express: Carla Ann Pulliam

"Her work also deals with the human condition in this, our 21st century."

Among [Juanita] Tobin's published books of poetry are the titles Under the Crooked Pine and The Ransom Street Poems.

Tobin's final poem was written in haiku form and reads:

from The Mountain Times: Poet Juanita Tobin Dies


News at Eleven

[Jumah al-]Dossari, who denies any connection to Al Qaeda or terrorism, and has never been charged with any such crime, has repeatedly attempted to commit suicide while imprisoned. His most recent attempt, according to Amnesty International, was in March 2006, when he tried to slit his throat.

Death Poem

By Jumah al-Dossari

from Harpers: The Waste Land: Declassified poetry from GuantŠnamo Bay

"Qazi is being punished for his dissent," Dr [Hanif] Sharif said. He said the police picked up [Mubarak] Qazi when he was on duty at the Pasni Fish Harbour.

"A poet represents public aspirations," he said. "He can be enchained but not his views."

from Daily Times: Baloch authors want nationalist poet released

Recommended actions:

Please send courteous letters in Azeri, Russian, English, Turkish or your own language.

Express concern about allegations that the criminal charges againsthat the criminal charges againsthat the criminal charges against Sakit Zahidov were politically motivated and that the heroin was planted on him in order to incriminate him.

Express concern that Sakit Zahidov was not given a fair trial and about the uncertainty surrounding the evidence on which the conviction was based.

State that Amnesty International is calling for an immediate retrial in line with international fair trial standards.

State that the Azerbaijani authorities must ensure that no criminal charges are brought against journalists solely as a result of their lawful exercise of their right to freedom of expression.

Urge the Azerbaijani government to implement the March 2003 recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the July 2005 recommendations of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Representative on Freedom of Media, in regard to freedom of expression.

from Amnesty International USA: Azerbaijan: Appeal Cases: Well-known satirist Sakit Zahidov imprisoned following an unfair trial with questionable evidence

Asa Boxer is the true warrior bard. A Montreal poet and critic who won the 2005 CBC Literary Award, the Good Soldier learned the meaning of sacrifice in the Israeli Defence Forces. He has published work in magazines such as enRoute, Poetry London, ARC, and Books in Canada. This piece was selected from his first book of poems, The Whim Wheel, which is forthcoming with Signal Editions.

Terror in Jerusalem

from Maisonneuve: Truly Verse-atile

The Sunlight on the Garden

from Collected Poems by Louis MacNeice

from The Times: Our greatest forgotten poet

One day while [James] McKusick was working in the Huntington Library, [Paul] Zall walked up to him and plopped a 2-foot-tall stack of documents on his desk.

It was a tower of manuscripts, clippings, lists, handwritten notes--Zall's entire Coleridge/Goethe/"Faust" translation journey.

Handing it over, Zall said to his young charge: "I bequeath this to you--Godspeed."

from Missoulian: UM Honors College dean cracks mystery of Coleridge and 'Faust'

[Robert] Fagles's ear for linguistic currency is evident in his working of one of many well-known lines from the fourth book, improbe Amor, quid non mortalia pectora cogis: "Love, you tyrant! To what extremes won't you compel our hearts!" The main point of difference with Fitzgerald's translation--"Unconscionable Love,/To what extremes will you not drive our hearts?"--is subtle.

from The Sydney Morning Herald: The Aeneid

If he [Daljit Nagra] causes offence, he believes at least it generates a debate about how British Asians represent themselves. "Should we be selling ourselves or should we be honest? There's an attempt in the poems to be really honest and present the community as it really is."

from The Guardian: The bard of Dollis Hill

This "bitter ballad" gives a chilling perspective on the laws that once ruled race relations in the South.

"When you give voice to people, you get inside history," [Kevin] Young says. "Individual moments and personal experiences become larger than themselves."

from The Boston Globe: With history as his muse, a poet finds new voices

Thus I; faltering forward,
Leaves around me falling,
Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward,
And the woman calling.

The poem offers an extraordinary example of how poetic meter can subtly shape our perception of time. The rhyme scheme acts out a powerful sense that the crux of the matter was long past.

from Slate: A Pessimist in Flower

Linda Pastan wrote of Noah preparing the ark: "He had precise instructions from above" while "God went about his usual business/somewhere else./Who worried about the children still stranded on their failing rooftops; the abandoned animals who didn't/make it to the ark; the way so many deaths seemed an almost incidental/part of the story?/Did anyone give instructions/from above, and when?"

from The Boston Globe: Verse by verse, poets seek meaning amid the ruins

Great Regulars

The alliterative form is remarkably flexible across a range of tones and subjects, but my favourite passages have always been the evocations of bleak northern weather and terrain that permeate the poem: "The werbelande wynde wapped fro the hyghe/And drof uch dale ful of dryftes ful grete" (adapted by [Simon] Armitage as "then a whip-cracking wind comes whistling between hills/Driving snow into deepening drifts in the dales").

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: theblogbooks: A knight to remember

A milkman with a literary education might notice that the note on the doorstep reading "two skimmed, two semi-skimmed and one full cream" is an iambic pentameter. Too much of this verbal sensitivity would bring daily life grinding to a halt. If you want a thriving economy, it is best not to have too many poetry critics around.

from Terry Eagleton: The Times: How to Read a Poem

Now 78, he [Donald Hall] does not think highly of some of his own poems.

"There's too much of it I despise, especially in the early work. It seems to me that I was striking poses, or trying to make poems when I didn't have anything to make."

So is there such a thing as "too young" when it comes to being a poet?

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Poet laureate offers us a taste of stone

So instead of a discussion and reading of three of America's greatest bards, Hamill collected a group of "anti-war" poems, slapped together a book, Poets Against the War, and flung up a web site with the same title. And poetry suffered another defeat at the hands of these "poets," who decided it was better to promote a slog of doggerel than present a useful discussion of three of America's best poets.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Poetry and the American Voice: A Squandered Opportunity

The poet, Edwin Arlington Robinson, has composed nearly perfect poem in its truth about life, its sense of the nature of human personalities, its rhythm, its rime scheme, and it does all this while remaining quite literal without one metaphor or simile.

from Linda Sue Grimes:

"No sooner had I left A./Than I started doubting its existence" the poet writes. Not only does the place cease to exist in reality for him, but now he is wondering if it was ever there at all.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Try to see it my way

Poem: "Into the Lincoln Tunnel" by Deborah Garrison, from The Second Child. © Random House.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of January 22, 2007

Literature, and in this instance, poetry, holds a mirror to life; thus the great themes of life become the great themes of poems. Here the distinguished American poet, John Haines, addresses--and celebrates through the affirmation of poetry--our preoccupation with aging and mortality.

Young Man

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 095

[Lewis Hyde's] thesis is that "to count, measure, reckon value, or seek the cause of a thing" is to step outside of what he calls the circle of giving. In addition, he suggests quite movingly that "the creative spirit moves in a body or ego larger than that of any single person".

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: The gifted self

This moment is a defining instance of perception.

A new collection spanning 30 years of work by Ellen Bryant Voigt begins with a memorable, eloquent poem of this kind:

The Hen

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

Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American to win a Nobel Prize, died 50 years ago this week. Following news that her executor Doris Dana passed away in November, commemorations of Mistral's death have been marred by controversy surrounding the distribution of funds from the sale of her works.

from Cate Setterfield: The Santiago Times: Chile: Financial Wrangles Mar the Anniversary of Gabriela Mistral's Death

I read Brian Doyle's new book of poems, "Epiphanies & Elegies: Very Short Stories," on a rainy day in a noisy coffee shop, a few hours after hearing about the poll. By the last page, I felt a resonance: In large part, Doyle steeped this work in love.

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Doyle fixes vision in the right place, for good and bad

The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: The 'available' citizen --Henry David Thoreau

Edward Thomas on the Lagans Road by Seamus Heaney

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Edward Thomas on the Lagans Road by Seamus Heaney

by Chinese poets translated by Geoff Waters

Lodging at the Stone Creek Way-Station, Hearing a Woman Crying by Li Duan (ca. 780)

from Guernica: Poetry: Four Poems on War from the Tang Dynasty

by Chinese poets translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping

To the Tune of "Magpie on the Branch"

from Guernica: Poetry: Four Erotic Poems

'Another Side of Absence'

by Timothy Pettet

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Another Side of Absence'

By Joy Clumsky


from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Edinburgh After Francis Thomson

Allan Crosbie

We can't think of a better way to start January than with this poem from the new collection by the Edinburgh-based poet.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

Winter 1 by Patrick Lane

Patrick Lane is one of Canada's foremost poets, and 'Winter 1' comes from Syllable of Stone, the first volume of his poetry to be published in the UK. There's a sense of depth and stillness to this meditative poem, which was written during a freezing Saskatchewan winter.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

It Was Cool Inside the Chapel
by Jane Holland

A poet, novelist, editor and former professional snooker player, Jane Holland's poetic interests are as varied as her career. Her second collection, Boudicca & Co, is concerned with re-imagining myth and mythic characters, with English histories and landscapes, as well as with weighted moments such as this one.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"Sitting in the Last of Sunset, Listening to Guests Within"
By Eric Paul Shaffer

from Slate: "Sitting in the Last of Sunset, Listening to Guests Within" By Eric Paul Shaffer

"With Her Lips Only" by Robert Graves

First published by the TLS in 1953, Graves's unrhymed sonnet, depicting an almost involuntary but quietly resentful fidelity, is one of the most frequently reprinted of his later poems.

With Her Lips Only

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week

Poetic Obituaries

[Ben Shalamov] described one of the men as Armenian, and said he had told people he had an ex-wife and two children in Russia.

Often the man, who looked to be in his 50s, would sit on benches in the neighborhood, smiling and reciting poetry as people walked by, Mr. Shalamov said.

from The New York Times: 2 Men Are Found Dead in Brooklyn Garage Where Fire Broke Out

[Abdurrahman] Ba'ekr is known as one of Yemen's leading men of literature, thinking and history. He is among very few thinkers who enriched the Yemeni and Arab library with important contributions ranging from literature, history and politics with about 20 works.

from Yemen Times: Yemen loses leading man in literature

Poets and literary figures, from across the Atlantic and within the country, condoled the death of acclaimed Urdu language poet Mohsin Bhopali. They credited him with breathing life into Urdu poetry at a stage when the 80s dictatorship had almost suffocated it.

from Daily Times: Bhopali: the poet who breathed life into Urdu during the dictatorship

[John Taylor Caldwell] was even invited to join the staff of Amalgamated Press but characteristically put his unpaid political work first. He had a deep love of poetry, and from his adolescence an abiding fascination with the life and work of Thomas Chatterton, but most of his own poetry remained unpublished.

from John Taylor Caldwell--seaman and anarchist--1911-2007

Lillian Feder, 83, Distinguished Professor Emerita of English and Classical Literature at the City University of New York, died Friday at Treasure Coast Hospice following a lengthy illness. She was an internationally known author of five books and numerous scholarly essays on classical literature.

from TCPalm: Distinguished Jensen Beach professor, 93, dies

[Cheryl Green] was 14, an eighth grader who loved junk food and watching Court TV with her mother and had recently written a poem beginning: "I am black and beautiful. I wonder how I will be living in the future."

from The New York Times: Racial Hate Feeds a Gang War's Senseless Killing

Mrs. [Mary] Hallahan loved to crochet and she gave homemade blankets to local hospitals for premature babies. Each design was different, to the point where she almost ran out of ideas, Mulcahy said. She taught her children to crochet as well.

She loved card games, cooking, and dancing. She enjoyed poetry and liked cutting different sayings out of newspapers, [Katherine] Mulcahy said.

from The Boston Globe: Mary Hallahan, 79

There are a lot of questions surrounding the mysterious homicide of 18-year-old Lupita Hernandez, who was passionate about poetry and songwriting, and her family said she had high aspirations as an honor student at Jane Adams High School.

from MSNBC: Slaying Of Girl Found On Doorstep Mysterious

Mrs. [Geraldine] Schaefer was a registered nurse at the House of the Good Samaritan Hospital for over thirty years, retiring in 1980. She was a member of Hope Presbyterian Church and enjoyed writing poetry and spending time with family.

from Newzjunky: Geraldine Schaefer

My father [John Sheridan], under the tutelage of the Christian Brothers, read the classics of the English language, mastered Latin, became an expressive pianist, an accomplished artist especially good at portraits, a lover of the pure beauty of mathematics, which led him to his profession of accountancy, a poet who could equally write lyric or nonsense verse, a director of plays for the Catholic Youth Organisation, a composer of sweet melodies, and much much more.

from The Australian: The best of a generation straight, decent and steadfast

[Annemarie H. Smith] memorized and could recite over 100 poems (some lengthy epics!), as well as the classic French book, The Little Prince.

from Oshkosh Northwestern: Annemarie H. Smith

[Norman L. Smith] was employed by General Electric in Syracuse as a wireman until his retirement in 1983. Mr. Smith then returned to live in Carthage.

He was an avid sportsman, who enjoyed fishing and hunting, a musician, who played the piano and guitar and loved to write poetry. One of his poems was published in the Carthage newspaper.

from Newzjunky: Norman L. Smith

Manhattanville College President Richard Berman said in an interview yesterday that [Joseph] Zahornacky was a gregarious and social student, as well as an avid guitarist who wrote songs and poems.

"He was a very talented and creative, artistic sort of person," Berman said. "He would spend a lot of time sort of playing and composing poems or music."

from Greenwich Time: Missing student found dead in Bridgewater

Bill [Ziehms] worked for James River Paper Mill until his retirement in 1992. He loved opera, cooking, and was a passionate and published poet.

from Green Bay Press-Gazette: Ziehms, William H.


News at Eleven

One of the judges, the poet Elaine Feinstein, was astonished to learn that Letter to Patience [by John Haynes] had been rejected repeatedly. "We were knocked out by the ease with which he could control the pace of his three-line verse and the richness of the things he remembers about Nigeria," she said.

from The Times: Poet's letter from an African bar beats literati to take top prize

Heaney's work was chosen from a shortlist of 10 and he wins a £10,000 prize.

Rattlebag: Listen to a Seamus Heaney interview, first broadcast in April 2006
Morning Ireland: Seamus Heaney reads a poem from his 'District and Circle' collection

from Radio TelefŪs …ireann: Heaney is winner of TS Eliot Prize

Visit the library's Sir John Ritblat Gallery, and you will be able to see that Blake notebook on display. It contains the original draft and sketches for "The Tyger", one of the most loved and enigmatic of his Songs of Experience. If you visit the museum's website (, you will be able to turn the pages of the notebook online, magnify details and read the curator's notes.

from The Independent: William Blake: Angels and demons

"Belief is not easy," she [Mary Oliver] notes in "In the Storm," "But this much I have learned--/if not enough else--/to live with my eyes open."

Close readers will see there is no "new" Oliver, just the abiding, celebratory voice that proclaims in "On Thy Wondrous Works," "So it is not hard to understand/where God's body is, it is/everywhere and everything./And I bow down/participate and attentive."

from Bay Area Reporter: Better nature after incalculable loss

In her wonderful novel The Hearing Trumpet, the surrealist novelist Leonora Carrington has her 92-year-old heroine muse on her past desire to write poetry:

At times I thought of writing poetry myself but getting words to rhyme with each other is difficult, like trying to drive a herd of turkeys and kangaroos down a crowded thoroughfare and keep them neatly together without looking in shop windows. There are so many words, and they all mean something.

from The Guardian: End of the line

With this link established, other associations begin to show themselves: The "massive breastwork" (a kind of fortification) that the Irish built is evoked in the poet's mind by the sight of Carlotta's clinging wet suit, whose breast hides an ailment no mail can protect against.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Multitude of rhyme, depth of impact

[Richard] Wilbur is regarded, not always to his liking, as a leading "formalist"--"formal" can be found near "formaldehyde" in the dictionary, he jokes--a master of traditional, tempered verse that can seem old-fashioned in more radical times. "Spare us all word of the weapons, their force and range/the long numbers that rocket the mind," he once wrote.

from The Juneau Empire: Richard Wilbur looks back on rare life of a happy poet

If I wrote much more, would anybody read it? Does anybody read it now? There can be such a thing as too much poetry, and I try not to write it. [--John Ashbery]

from The New York Times: Well Versed

"Enter death as you enter your home, undressing flesh, putting on your slippers and old pyjamas," is a verse of [Carlos Nejar's] poem Smoothness (Lisura). "The shoes side by side. I will wear them, loose and huge, and maybe damaged, like two old sailors," says an excerpt of the Sonnet of Quiet Shoes.

from Brazil-Arab News Agency: Grandson of Arabs, poet from Porto Alegre

But why is the Arts Council paying a poet to follow the England cricket team? What are poets-in-residence for anyway?

The roots of the phenomenon can be traced back 40 years, says the Arts Council's senior strategy officer for literature, John Hampson.

from The Guardian: It's just not cricket

For this Detroiter [Tatiana Ziglar], the camera's clicking and the recorder's rolling because a poem she penned in class has been selected by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser to be showcased in the 93rd edition of "American Life in Poetry," a weekly column syndicated across the country and here in MT's pages. His print column has an estimated 2 million readers each week.

from Metro Times Detroit: Seashell sanctuary
also, from last week, Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 093

Great Regulars

He becomes a shape, a sign, a scratch. Mutating from man to means, from means to art, he dramatizes the poetic act and becomes just one of thousands, one of millions, a thing in time, a timeless thing.

Answers to Letters

[by Tomas Transtromer]

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry

There is a savour of nostalgia to Jane Hirshfield's latest, TS Eliot-shortlisted collection: a fin-de-siŤcle awareness of time's passing, audible in the title and echoing all the way down to individual images of "erosive mountains", "eclipsable moons", "last autumn's chastened berries".

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Afterthoughts

When we try to interpret this poem in terms of hyperbole, we discover that it simply does not work. For example, the first claim that women's lives have not changed since people first learned to sharpen knives with a grinding wheel. We have to wonder how that can be.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Boland's 'It's a Woman's World'

Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem "The Snow-Storm" was published in 1841; about twenty-two years later (1862), Emily Dickinson composed "It sifts from Leaden Sieves"; therefore, she no doubt had read and enjoyed Emerson's drama focusing on the behavior of snow.

Dickinson often practiced rewriting other people's work, especially poems.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Drama in Snow Poems

This tiny Emerson poem continues to attract attention, because of the ambiguity of the word "hypocritic." Readers choose sides in the debate according to the meaning of "hypocritic days." One side claims that the days are "actors"; while the other argues that they are "deceivers."

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Emerson's Transcendentalist Poem

While attending a boarding school in Derry, [Seamus] Heaney's four-year-old brother was killed in a car crash. The following is one of two poems Heaney wrote on this subject:

Mid-Term Break

from Linda Sue Grimes: Heaney Wins T. S. Eliot Prize

It's got to be done, but just why is unclear. Yes, it's never-ending, but loyalty to the task is its own reward

by U. A. Fanthorpe
(Selected Poems, Penguin)

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Times2: Roll that stone

"What's in My Journal" by William Stafford, from Crossing Unmarked Snow.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of january 15, 2007

While many of the poems we feature in this column are written in open forms, that's not to say I don't respect good writing done in traditional meter and rhyme. But a number of contemporary poets, knowing how a rigid attachment to form can take charge of the writing and drag the poet along behind, will choose, say, the traditional villanelle form, then relax its restraints through the use of broken rhythm and inexact rhymes. I'd guess that if I weren't talking about it, you might not notice, reading this poem by Floyd Skloot, that you were reading a sonnet.

Silent Music

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 094

The poem builds or acts out with language what is barely noticed or taken for granted in life. In Steve Orlen's "Family Cups," the idea of something being full or empty becomes literal as well as emotional. Here, the objects that contain a family's history are actual containers.

Family Cups

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

This week: The work of Stephen Kessler, who many consider to be a local legend. He is a poet, essayist, editor, translator and publisher. In the '80s, Kessler founded the Santa Cruz weekly newspaper, The Sun. The following poems will appear in his forthcoming book, "Burning Daylight."

Discourse on Rhyme

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry

The Sensitive

In the world of the occult, a sensitive is someone gifted with the power of psychometry--the art of "reading" a person merely by touching an object associated with them. This workshop asks you to apply the same technique to writing: to reveal select details about a person by focusing on an object that belonged to them.

from The Guardian: Poetry workshop: Julia Copus's workshop

VI by John Haynes

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: VI by John Haynes

'One Below'
By Jon Herbert Arkham

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner


By Mary Reavis

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

The thing they all share is that they're heavily image-driven. Again and again, Transtromer delicately delivers something entirely and freshly new to tickle his reader's literary palate. Try this for example:

Sailor's Yarn

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Tickling the Literary Palate

"Death's Doorman"
By Daniel Bosch

from Slate: "Death's Doorman" By Daniel Bosch

Poetic Obituaries

Grace [Bushman] was a published poet with many of her poems published in numerous magazines. She was very artistic and loved crafting and painting.

from Stevens Point Journal: Grace Bushman John J. Bushman

You didn't have to know Babs Christy very well to know she got a great deal of enjoyment from helping others.

It wasn't just part of her job as coordinator of the Lehigh United Way House, it's part of who she was. If she saw a need, she felt it was her responsibility to fill it.

If you were struggling, you could lean on Babs.

from The News-Press: Babs Christy left lasting legacy in Lehigh Acres and beyond

In her lifetime, Mary DeVries witnessed technological advances ranging from the invention of the automobile, to cloning and the birth of the Internet.

DeVries, believed to be Grand Traverse County's oldest resident, died Jan. 13 at age 106.

from Traverse City Record-Eagle: A century plus

"In my 100 years I have seen a lot of changes around me in the world, but the elements that inspired me to write remain constant all through my life on this earth," he says.

[Jawdat] Haydar says his poems often carry a message.

from North Texan: "Life is a gift"

A Scot from Edinburgh, Mr [Shaun] Henderson had lived with his partner in Stevenage for 12 years.

He was well known within the community for his youth work, his poetry and musical talent.

from The Comet: Father of four dies in van collision

Deputy Culture Minister Adalat Veliyev spoke about his rewards.

"Nabi Khazri played a great role in the propaganda of the Azerbaijani literature. His death is a great loss for us. But his creative activity, his poems will always live," he said.

from Azeri-Press Agency: People's poet Nabi Khazri buried

[Mrs Joyce Green] said: "My uncle [Bernard Robinson] had probably kept pigeons for longer than anyone else in Burnley, and it's fair to say they were his life. He would spend hours down at the pen and raced them all over. Indeed, he particularly loved cross-channel racing.

"He was also a very fit man and still lived in his own house right up to his death. He never drove a car and used to transport the pigeons in a basket on a pram which he would push around. He also enjoyed writing poetry."

from Burnley Today: Top pigeon fancier Bernard dies

Ruknuddin Baida Shabbir, one of the finest contemporary Naiti poets, breathed his last at midnight.

from Bhatkallys News: Baida Shabbir is no more

Chih-Ree Sun was passionate and energetic.

Credited with breaking new ground in modern physics as a professor at the State University of New York in Albany, he danced his way through life and spent time writing Chinese poetry after he retired.

from The Miami Herald: Chih-Ree Sun, 83: Physics professor who later turned to the arts

Mainstream media have yet to acknowledge the death of Robert Anton Wilson, prolific futurist author and countercultural icon who passed away early yesterday (January 11). He had been suffering from post-polio syndrome. Caregivers read all of his late wife Arlen's poetry to him at his bedside and e-mailed me that "he was quite cheered up by the time we left. He definitely needed to die. His body was turning on him in ways that would not allow him to rest."

from The Huffington Post: Literary Loss


News at Eleven

"You don't expect to understand quantum physics or an algebraic equation, or even Beethoven's late quartets, without studying," she [Helen Vendler] says by way of addressing my opening comment about how readers often feel intimidated by poetry.

from The Boston Globe: Poetry is hard work, and it should be, says professor

Poetry: Train to Gwalior

Amitabh Mitra

from Poetry: Train to Gwalior

One point of dispute is the notorious passage in Gerontion (1919): "My house is a decayed house,/And the jew squats on the window-sill, the owner,/Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp,/Blistered in Brussels, patched and peeled in London."

Although the speaker is an invented character, it is surely understandable that Julius finds these lines offensive.

from The Sunday Times: A poet cornered

For one thing, he [Allen Ginsberg] saw patients far more unhinged than he. "The people here see more visions in one day than I do in a year," he wrote to Kerouac. "Allen did not successfully confront the boundary between unending madness and temporary collapse," [Janet] Hadda writes, "until his sojourn at the Psychiatric Institute."

from Los Angeles Times: Before 'Howl,' the hospital

[Qin Zhongfei] was released only after several out-of-town newspaper articles related his fate and the central government in Beijing stepped in to halt the prosecution.

What happened to Qin, a mild bureaucrat in the county education department, was by any measure an abuse of power by local authorities here in the remote and wooded hills of central China.

from The Washington Post: As Grip of Censors Endures in China, A Satirical Poem Leads to Jail Time

Kim [Yi-won] was quoted by The Korea Times' sister newspaper the Hankook Ilbo as saying that when she found out that Ma [Kwang-soo] used her poem in his book last November, she confronted the professor. Ma reportedly admitted that he found the poem to be so good that he could not resist including it in his book.

from The Korea Times: Professor Steals Student?s Poem

They get their revenge when an army of mice scales the walls of the tower on the Rhine where the Bishop has taken refuge and devour him, and not with kisses. [Christopher] Irmscher plausibly suggests that Longfellow transforms the Mšuseturm of Bingen, besieged by "the patter of little feet", into a "Bluebeard-like fortress" in which the possessive father wishes to imprison his daughters.

from Times Literary Supplement: Longfellow's neglect

"I'm utterly exhausted, worn to a frazzle," she [Stevie Smith] declares. "When I'm asked on the Day of Judgement what I remember best and what has ruled my life, I think I shall say: Being tired, too tired for words."

from The Hindu: Drowning, not waving

No matter what the subject, [Thomas] Hardy devoted his poetry to laying out his magnificently sombre, completely disillusioned view of the world. The central fact of that world was the disappearance of God, and with it any reason for believing in providence or justice.

from The New Yorker: God's Undertaker

Anyone can criticize. We here at the book department are prepared to act by offering NEA Chairman Dana Gioia grass-roots ideas, proposals from the very people he's trying to reach--the good, old U.S. taxpayer.

We are soliciting your ideas to pass along to Chairman Gioia.

from Post-Gazette: Let voices be heard on NEA's plans

Was it difficult for the men to get into poetry? Didn't they think it was a little la-di-dah? Nah, they say. Everyone's got poetry in them; the trick is to let it out. "Poetry doesn't have to be academic or pretentious," says Bergin.

from The Boston Globe: How do I build thee? Let me count the ways.

Great Regulars

"I read it more seriously than any sane person would," he says, "and if anything is less than (the writer's) best level, I point it out."

[Gary] Fisketjon's usual method is to give a manuscript one thorough edit, what he calls "a long, one-sided conversation" with the author, "like looking at it with a fresh pair of glasses."

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Is Gary Fisketjon the best editor in America?

However depressing the content of the poem, if you've managed to write one, and get it published, then you are going to be in a good mood (at the very least about that one important thing). So it is that a last line, expressing the deepest spirit of depression, may be written in a mood of complete professional elation.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Less deceived

The mother hears the little breathing sounds as the infant sleeps under baby blankets decorated with pink roses. As the mother listens, the silence surrounding the baby noises becomes loud like a far off ocean, but as soon as the baby cries, the mother rushes to her infant immediately.

This act reveals the closeness the mother experiences for her child.

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Plath's 'Morning Song'--A Handful of Notes

The theme is the same in each poem. They show the great philosopher-poet at work offering his advice directly, literally, in "Write it on your heart" and indirectly, but dramatically, more poetically, in "Days."

from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Ralph Waldo Emerson--Philosopher-Poet

"One asks for mournful melodies;/Accomplished fingers begin to play": The Chinese men's listening to mournful melodies parallels the Western theatre audience watching Hamlet or King Lear, and as they watch, "Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,/Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay," that is, they are detached, whether listening to the mournful melody or chanting in worship.

from Linda Sue Grimes: W. B. Yeats' "Lapis Lazuli"

Here is a chap besotted with a nurse, wrapping himself in a sort of bondage bandage in the hope that she will minister to his fever

The Invisible Man in Love
by Bill Greenwell
(Impossible Objects, Cinnamon Press)

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Erotic emergency

Poem: "The Art of Storytelling" by Louis Simpson, from The Owner of the House: New Collected Poems 1940-2001.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of January 08, 2007

Maybe the kids in Paris were onto something: For a new medium to have legs, first there has to be a new revolution.

from David Kirby: Newsday: A pumped-up volume on radio

Newborns begin life as natural poets, loving the sound of their own gurgles and coos. And, with the encouragement of parents and teachers, children can continue to write and enjoy poetry into their high school years and beyond. A group of elementary students in Detroit, Michigan, wrote poetry on the subject of what seashells might say if they could speak to us. I was especially charmed by Tatiana Ziglar s short poem, which alludes to the way in which poets learn to be attentive to the world. The inhabitants of the Poetry Palace pay attention, and by that earn the stories they receive.

Common Janthina

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 093

"And by the time of the Summer of Love, in the late '60s, it was over. That was the end of it. Every kid who was on the loose turned up, and it was no longer our thing. It was a fashion." [--Robert Stone]

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Counterculture Lion, Back in His Tidy Jungle

Sadly, however, "The Little Book of Plagiarism" appears to be original. It's a useful and remarkably concise overview of the subject, and is in almost every respect a typically Posnerian production: smart, lucid, a little self-satisfied and tilting noticeably toward the economic-analysis end of legal theory.

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Plagiarism: Everybody Into the Pool

Having registered my complaints, let me say unequivocally that there is no better anthology of American poetry on the market. This is a generous and large-hearted book, full of delights and wonders, and [David] Lehman deserves our gratitude.

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: At this moment in taste

Anyone eager to apply this little 17th-century scene to the wars and amours of the present, as chronicled in the newspaper stories of 2006, should reflect on the figure of Diana, whose "chase had a beast in view," which suggests that all human pursuits, compared to their first, beautiful, newborn hopes, may become somewhat beastly.

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

Ballade of a Special Edition by Amy Levy

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Ballade of a Special Edition by Amy Levy

By Judith Bader Jones


from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

In the Albina Press Coffee Shop Sunday Morning

. . . .by Melissa Madenski

from The Oregonian: Poetry

The (fairly) good news
By Erin Gautsche

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: The (fairly) good news

"Lincoln Road"
By Campbell McGrath

from Slate: "Lincoln Road" By Campbell McGrath

"Going Out at Dawn" was one of half-a-dozen [Ivor] Gurney pieces we published in October 1978.

Going Out at Dawn

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the week

(Ahmed Mohammed Al-Shami apologetically portraying the current lot of his people; reproduced in English with thanks to Al-Ummah Newspaper for the Arabic version)

It only seems fitting at this juncture that this Literary Corner should commence with a look at one of the greatest recent losses to modern Yemeni literature.

from Yemen Times: Literary Corner

Poetic Obituaries

[Richard J. Brockbank] was known by many as a quiet and caring individual who brought comfort to those dealing with health problems or experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one.

He published a book of poetry last year entitled Dick's Poems. It is a selection of poems he wrote for his family from 1964 to 2006 at Christmas time.

from Barron News Shield: Hospital chaplain killed while crossing highway

" . . . .One dream is that someone will knock on the door and I will open it and they give me a check for $150,000 for the magazine. Second dream is that someone knocks at the door and I open it up and he gives me a corned beef sandwich. . . ." [--Itche Goldberg]

from The Washington Post: Itche Goldberg; Promoted Yiddish Culture

"'This is what I'm going to do to make money'" [Jenna] Cropley remembered him [Justin Kautz] ing. "'How is making wood things going to change anybody? My writing is my real work, that's what will impact people.'"

from New West: Jackson Hole Skier Lived The Life

Mr Jones "Lloyd] said: "It is a tragic loss and we are utterly bereft that Sophie is no longer with us. Sophie died from heart failure due to malnutrition, which was caused by the anorexia."

Poem written by Sophie [Mazurek]:

Who Am I?

from The Shropshire Star: Family speaks to help other girls

Outside of academia and research, [A. Richard] Newton maintained a strong interest in spirituality and Eastern and Western philosophy, formed during his years as a student at UC Berkeley. He also enjoyed poetry, painting and hiking in the outdoors.

from UCBerkeleyNews: Richard Newton, engineering dean and technology visionary, dies at 55

Yes, the citizenry was also so cruel
But, ultimately, we too wanted to get killed

(coloquial for the last line: 'we were suckers for punishment'; this is NOT a translation, just conveying the essential meaning)

from All Things Pakistan: Munir Niazi (1928-2006): Mohabbat abb nahiN ho gi

"All day I've been holding onto the fact that in the end at least he knew someone had come for him - and to the foolish hope that he was not cold," wrote Pam Nomura, Hugh [Ogden]'s former student and colleague at Trinity College, where he was an English professor. Instinctively, she got it right; Hugh was all about warmth.

from Hartford Courant: Remembering A Poet With A Perfect Touch

Politically active, class conscious and joined to the world as if every soul were a soul mate, [Tillie] Olsen countered the literary myths of her male peers. She immortalized the woman who stayed home, carried an emotional burden and held things together for her family.

from Santa Cruz Sentinel: Influential writer Tillie Olsen dead at 94

Sergio Pelico was a little boy with a big heart.

A week before he died--after accidentally hanging himself while apparently imitating the death of Saddam Hussein--he wrote his mother a poem.

from KHOU-TV: Hanging victim wrote mom a Christmas poem

Anwar Pirzada, who was described as an expert on Sindhi history and language, died of cancer Sunday morning at the Liaquat National Hospital (LNH) at the age of 62.

from Daily Times: Expert on Sindh passes away

[Janice M. Schomberg] was a member of St. Paul's U.C.C. where she formerly sang in the choir, taught Sunday School and was the Sunday School Superintendent. She enjoyed music, creative writing, poetry, reading, and wrote a novel entitled "Butterflies Are Free To Fly".

from Sheboygan Press : Janice M. Schomberg

[Rev. Erik John Vincent] was an avid reader and classic literature buff. He was especially interested in World War II history. He had translated poetry, especially hymns, into English and wrote his own poetry.

from The News-Herald: Rev. Erik John Vincent


News at Eleven

In an audio slide show, examines the origins of the song, its appeal and the way it is sung by a variety of Pittsburghers, including South Side performance artist and torch singer Phat Man Dee, "Pittsburgh's Tartan Tenor" Robert Murdoch and East Pittsburgh hip-hop artists and brothers Adam and Benjamin Powell.

from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Auld Lang Syne" Pittsburgh style
also Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Do revelers really know what they're singing?

"I dwell in Possibility," says Emily Dickinson, "a fairer House than Prose,/More numerous of Windows,/Superior--for Doors." Czeslaw Milosz felt poetry was what we have to fight with against nothingness. It was about life and for life. "Out of reluctant matter/What can be gathered?/Nothing, beauty at best./And so, cherry blossoms must suffice for us/And chrysanthemums and the full moon."

from The Guardian: Turn over a new leaf

I noticed that the lines created a perfect triplet of three lines of three syllables with rhyme. Of course they should occur three times in a poem. But the poem's length? The most magical number would be ninety-nine; the sum of the sums of divisors of the first eleven integers.

from The News & Observer: Song of Joy
also, with stanza breaks preserved: Song of Joy

"I don't know that we really think any thoughts; we think connections between thoughts. That's where the mind moves, that's what's new, and the thoughts themselves have probably been there in my head or lots of other people's heads for a long time. But the jumps between them are entirely at that moment." She [Anne Carson] says, "It's magical."

from The Guardian: Magical thinking

Indeed, [Nate] Mackey may be the least conventional poet to win the National Book Award since William Carlos Williams took home the first back in 1950 for Paterson, which was put out by the upstart imprint, New Directions, which would go on to publish Splay Anthem more than a half-century later.

from Metro Silicon Valley: Creative Alchemy

It's not simply that he pops up in Eugene O'Neill, LeRoi Jones and Lemony Snicket; J. Robert Oppenheimer is said to have had [Charles] Baudelaire in his coat pocket during the first atomic test. Harold Bloom wrote a book about him; so did Sartre.

from The New York Times: Invitation to the Voyage

Maybe this gentle, fiercely clever man, so obviously unimpressed by observations from outside the immediate creative point, might just be seduced by some academic whimsy. Those mysterious "woodwoses" who attack Gawain on his journey; what if the word is only a corruption of wuduwealsa, a native Celt turned savage after the Saxon conquest. What does he think of that, then?

from The Independent: Simon Armitage: Under a bardic Curse

[Jack Prelutsky] found a TV documentary on the giant snake from the Amazon, noticed the coincidence of syllables, and inspiration struck. His poem begins:

"Oh sleek bananaconda
You longest long long fellow,
How sinuous and sly you are,
How slippery, how yellow."

from News 1130: Kids poet Prelutsky, author of 'Scranimals,' still humble despite success

In a review of the 1958 Collected Poems (the book that famously sold in its hundreds of thousands), Philip Larkin commented: "I hereby offer to correct the proofs of [John] Betjeman's next book of poems for nothing, if that is the only way to protect them from such blemishes". (He cited the perpetuation of "Chirst" for "Christ" and "that I wanted" instead of "what I wanted".)

from The Guardian: Feeling his way to posterity

He was content to be a good minor poet. Yet [WH] Auden's second-rate poetry is better than any of his contemporaries' first-rate. And his chatty-wise music is nearly always interesting.

from Telegraph: The engaging, enraging Auden

[Jack Kerouac] read avidly from the local library, but refused to enter, choosing instead to have a librarian retrieve his books while he waited outside. He drank at home late into the night, playing music from his vast collection of reel-to-reel tapes, often blasting macabre selections from requiem Masses past midnight.

from The New York Times: For Kerouac, Off the Road and Deep Into the Bottle, a Rest Stop on the Long Island Shore

Great Regulars

Very little biographical information on the anonymous Gawain poet survives, but his dialect indicates that he hailed from the northwest Midlands--Lancashire or West Yorkshire--which provides [Simon] Armitage (a Huddersfield man) with a geographical link to the work. It will be interesting to see whether he chooses to tease this out in his translation.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Back to Gawain

It's hard to imagine the Kansas City literary community without Bill Hickok and Gloria Vando Hickok.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Writers' Champions Will Stay in Place

But the blasphemy charge can be denied with a closer look at what the poem actually does, especially in the last three lines of the last stanza: "For heft--them Pound for Pound--/And they will differ--if they do--/As Syllable from Sound."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Emily's Brain

The following poem is my wish for a prosperous new year for all poets and poetry lovers. Happy New Year!

New Year for the Poet

from Linda Sue Grimes: New Year for the Poet

Poem: "Pandora" by Kelley Jean White, from Body Language. © The Library of America.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of January 01, 2007

You go off to a party with expectations of hilarity and camaraderie and wind up in a cacophonous room packed with people shouting at people two feet away. You eat shrimp and drink various grain- or grape-based beverages and drive home legally drunk and wake up at noon with chainsaws in your head and one eyeball half out of its socket.

from Garrison Keillor: Yankton Press & Dakotan: Out With The Old

Home is where the heart . . . Well, surely we all know that old saying. But it's the particulars of a home that make it ours. Here the poet Linda Parsons Marion, who lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, celebrates familiarity, in its detail and its richness.

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 092

Allusion, association, meter, syllabics, perfect rhyme, near-rhyme, vocabulary, etymology, geography, history, biography, bibliography, philosophy, psychology, homonyms, synonyms--heck, even poets' surnames, nicknames and words that don't appear in their poems--[Paul] Muldoon brings all to bear, finding meaning in what comes to mind.

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Harnessing the mind--times two

"What do you know about this business?" the King said to Alice.

"Nothing," said Alice.

"Nothing whatever?" persisted the King.

"Nothing whatever," said Alice.

"That's very important," the King said, turning to the jury.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Alice's evidence --Lewis Carroll

Love Poem in the Key of Frog

by Kerry Mulholland

from Edmonton Journal: The Poetry Project: Love Poem in the Key of Frog

Breakfrost by WN Herbert

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Breakfrost by WN Herbert

'Italian Keepsakes'

by Judith Bader Jones

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Italian Keepsakes' by Judith Bader Jones

Deer Magic

By Denise Low

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

"Against Endings" appears in "Facts About the Moon" (W.W. Norton & Co.; 2006) by Dorianne Laux, winner of Oregon Book Awards' 2006 Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry.

from The Oregonian: Poetry

Elizabeth Bolden, 116, world's oldest
[by Elizabeth McDonnell]

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Elizabeth Bolden, 116, world's oldest

Makeover for a Kahn Masterpiece
[by Scott Glassman]

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Makeover for a Kahn Masterpiece

A Theory's Evolution
[by Charles Bernstein]

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: A Theory's Evolution

Jane Eslinger read this poem during the December open mic pointing out an easy model for us to turn to as we seek simplicity in our lives and peace with ourselves.

Be the Dog

from Portsmouth Herald News: The Portsmouth Poetry Hoot

"Self-Portrait as Alcibiades"
By J.D. McClatchy

from Slate: "Self-Portrait as Alcibiades" By J.D. McClatchy

The woman refused to go to the hospital, remembers Patrick Lane, 67. Then only 21 years of age, Lane, who was the industrial first aid man at a remote mill town, protested, but the woman insisted her baby would be born in the camp with only Lane to assist.

"I was frightened. I boiled a lot of water and did a bunch of stupid things people did back then," says Lane.

from Victoria Times Colonist: Poems for the holiday

[Carla] Funk is anything but formal. The University of Victoria creative writing instructor is famous among students for carting plastic ice-cream pails of homebaked cookies to exams.

Of her cow-clad poem Fumbling Toward the Star, Funk admits, "I really did have to wear a cow costume."

from Victoria Times Colonist: Poems for the holiday

"All our religious holidays, they all speak to that global dread," says [Isa] Milman. "We live in a shattered world. But like a cracked vessel, light does shine through."

Leonard Cohen Speaks to Me About That Old Fear of Darkness Never Ending

from Victoria Times Colonist: Poems for the holiday

The Orange Came First
Ruth Knafo Setton

from Zeek: The Orange Came First: Ruth Knafo Setton

Poetic Obituaries

Relatives remembered [Army Pvt. 1st Class Joe Luis] Baines as a smiley teen who enjoyed macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, poetry, basketball and singing. He grew up in the city's South Ward and attended Louise A. Spencer School through the eighth grade.

In September 2005, he enlisted in the Army after graduating from Summit Quest Academy, a program for troubled youth in Ephrata, Pa.

from The Star-Ledger: Grief and anger, side by side

Over a bare-boned rhythm, [James] Brown shouted:

I worked on a job with my feet and my hands
But all the work I did was for the other man
Now we demand a chance to do things for ourself
We're tired of beatin' our head against the wall and workin' for someone else

It was incendiary stuff, and it attracted black rebels even as white radio programmers backed away.

from Reason Magazine: Father of Funk: The life and afterlife of James Brown

"Interactions between women and men play an important role in her [Chandralekha's] work," noted an art historian, adding that, "in transforming an old tradition she has been in search of the roots of womanliness".

In the 1960s, she gave up performing and chose to become a writer and a woman's and human rights activist for 12 years and turned to writing poetry.

from Telugu Portal: Chandralekha will be remembered for rebellion, innovation

[Jane Iris Crutchfield] was a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society of female educators.

In retirement, Ms. Crutchfield enjoyed taking trips to faraway places, including Australia, China, Egypt and Russia. She also spent more time on her hobbies, gardening and reading poetry and literature.

from The Washington Post: Jane Iris Crutchfield, 92; Elementary School Librarian

Joyce [J. Gifford-Bateman] also did volunteer work for a battered women's clinic. Most recently she was very excited and proud to learn that she was chosen as a semifinalist in an International Open Poetry contest and her poem is going to be published in the book "Immortal Verses" in the winter of 2007.
On Feb. 16 2006, Joyce married her longtime love and soul mate of 18 years, Dennis Bateman.

from The Black Hills Pioneer: Joyce J. Gifford-Bateman

[Carole J. Harvey] was always ready with a story or a poem to make you laugh and took great pleasure in linking the past to the present through memories shared.

from Escanaba Daily Press: Carole J. Harvey

[Bernard G. Hassemer] devoted his career to helping students learn and love chemistry. After retiring from Arrowhead in 1988, he and his wife moved to Delaware to be near the Ocean, which they both loved. He loved writing Poetry, in which he won many awards from Who's Who of Poetry and was a member of the International Society of Poets.

from Lake Country Reporter: Bernard G. Hassemer

[John Heath-Stubbs's] long hair was unwashed and uncombed, and he had only a few yellowing teeth. Although blind, he rolled his big eyes in a peculiar fashion, and seemed to rivet you with them when he wished to make an emphatic point.

from The Guardian: theblogbooks: Remembering John Heath-Stubbs (1918-2006)

[Spc. Jordan William Hess] could bench-press 300 pounds and then go home and write poetry. He learned the art of glass blowing because it seemed interesting and built a computer with only a magazine as his guide. Most recently, he fell in love with a woman from Brazil and took up digital photography, letting both sweep his heart away.

from The New York Times: 3,000 Deaths in Iraq, Countless Tears at Home

Miss [Adele V.] Holden wrote of two lynchings that occurred not far from her home--but also of how there were times of black and white cooperation.

"I never doubted my worth as a person. My father was a good person, but he was very stern about certain things," she said in a 1999 Sun interview. "He taught us to value ourselves. We had enough guidance to know we were as good as anybody else out there, black or white."

from The Baltimore Sun: Adele V. Holden

An accomplished poet and journalist, who fled Iraq under the former dictator's regime, al-Nassar believes Saddam [Hussein] received his just reward when he was hanged Saturday morning in Baghdad. "Emotionally, I can't be objective," explained al-Nassar, who has lived in Edmonton since 1998. "I am against capital punishment, but Saddam deserved it for what he did to the people."

from CanWest News Service: Iraqi Canadians ponder life without Saddam

[Cheridah Anne Johnson] read and loved poetry. For that reason, her family will always remember her with love when they read the words of one of her favorite poems, When the Frost Is on the Punkin, by James Whitcomb Riley.

from Wausau Daily Herald: Cheridah Anne Johnson

A rapper, poet and self-taught expert on ancient African civilizations, [George] Jolly devoted his life to subverting stereotypes of black American culture through programs aimed at helping young people develop pride in themselves and their heritage.

from The Plain Dealer: George Jolly, 58, scholar, poet, expert on African, black history

[Donald Murray] had worked for Time magazine, and then went on to a prolific freelance career, turning out pieces for The Saturday Evening Post, Reader's Digest and the era's other so-called slick magazines. Add to the pile more than ten books of fiction, memoir, poetry--and, his first love, ignited as a boy prowling the stacks of the Wollaston, Mass., Public Library--the craft of writing

from Poynter: An Appreciation of Don Murray: The Things He Gave

Among his [Munir Niazi's] famous anthologies of Urdu poems are "Taiz Hawa Aur Tanha Phool", "Jungle Mein Dhanak", "Dushmanoon Kay Darmiyan Sham" and "Mah-i-Munir". In the Punjabi language, he authored "Safar di Raat", "Char Chup Cheezan" and "Rasta Dasan Walay Tarey".

Niazi, a master of poetic imagery, was bold enough to experiment with many genres of poetry and is credited with creating a distinct style, rhythm and diction. Mythology, nostalgia, haunting romance and a belief in the supernatural are some of those themes that find frequent mention in his poems.

from Dawn: Munir Niazi passes away

[Hugh Ogden] wrote several poetry books, won honors from the National Endowment for the Arts and Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry.

In a statement on his faculty Web site, Ogden wrote that he focused much of his writing on the mountains, lakes and people of northern Maine.

from WOOD TV8: Conn. professor drowns after falling through ice on Maine lake

In 1976, [Elizabeth "Libbye" Higgins] Sciutto joined Newsweek magazine, from which she retired in the late 1980s.

She continued her lifelong mission by writing poetry, said her son, Jim Sciutto, a senior foreign correspondent for ABC News.

from The Courier-Journal: 'Libbye' Sciutto dies; was film editor at WHAS and worked for magazines

The representative poet of her generation, Perveen Shakir has given the most beautiful female touch to Urdu poetry. The hallmark of her poetry was freshness, romantic idealism, open and fearless self-expression. Her diction, though modern, had a shade of traditionalism in it.

from The News, International: 'Perveen Shakir gave beautiful female touch to Urdu poetry'

[David Brian] Williams also was a noted poet, actor and musician. He graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1975 in Gary, Ind.

from The Clarion-Ledger: Longtime Jackson city employee remembered

He never made it in country music, but Mr. [Joseph Bernard] Zak had an unlikely second career in song--after his 70th birthday, he became a lyricist and occasional singer for a punk rock band on the Lower East Side called Team Spider.

Mr. Zak became a minor icon to fans a fraction of his age.

from The New York Times: A 'Family' Mourns a Punk Rocker Who Defied His Age: 80


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