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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

But for its time, the poem was remarkably sensitive, portraying the Indians with dignity as humans rather than simply as savages. The lament for the warring tribes still has power in today's tumultuous world.

I have given you lands to hunt in,
I have given you streams to fish in,
I have given you bears and bison,
I have given you roe and reindeer,
I have given you brant and beaver,
Filled the marshes full of wild-fowl,
Filled the rivers full of fishes;
Why then are you not contented?
Why then will you hunt each other?

from MSNBC: Happy 200th birthday, Longfellow

Already an academic and an internationally-published poet when she came to Australian from Romania in 1996, Ioana Petrescu swiftly joined the Friendly Street Poets and began writing poems about place "as a way of getting acquainted with my new home".

from The Advertiser: Well versed

Suddenly people got greedy once the money was released. What a surprise.

The Windy City worthies on the review's foundation board hired a Wall Street wheeler-dealer and amateur poet named John Barr to lead them into this promised land of poesy where starving poets would be a thing of the past.

from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Frontlines of poetry war nasty

Not content with imprisoning the authors, the Pentagon has refused to declassify many of their words, arguing that poetry "presents a special risk" to national security because of its "content and format".

from The Guardian: 'Inside the wire'

Abramek Koplowics, a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy, was killed in an Auschwitz gas chamber in 1943 at the age of 14.

Sixty-four years later, Grynfeld, 83, found an unlikely place to publish "Private Creations," his younger stepbrother's poetry collection: an Israeli Web site written in Farsi aimed at convincing the people of Iran of the Holocaust's historical truth.

from Newsday: History's witness

In an elegy for his teacher, the philosopher Henryk Elzenberg, [Zbigniew] Herbert writes that "Your severe gentleness delicate strength/Taught me to weather the world like a thinking stone." And in a poem called "Pebble," he writes: "The pebble/is a perfect creature [ . . . ] its ardor and coldness/are just and full of dignity."

from Los Angeles Times: 'Collected Poems' by Zbigniew Herbert

Why do you pay so much attention to the dead masters? And why are you so obsessed with technique? Don't be offended, but sometimes I find you much too hermetic. And your rhyme patterns: they are so obvious, so childish.

from The Guardian: Stepping stones

[Maurya] Simon told [Eliane] Aberdam she had written the libretto for Tamar for her own composer father, who refused to set it to music--he found the odd phrase lengths awkward.

But Aberdam, whose works have been premiered in Hungary, France, Israel and throughout the United States, was up for the challenge.

from The Providence Journal: URI professor teams with Pulitzer-nominated poet in opera

I have also invited five musicians from different musical backgrounds--Natalie Merchant, Alexander Balanescu, Antony Hegarty, of Antony and the Johnsons (and his arranger Nico Muhly), Mira Calix and Gavin Friday--to set a sonnet of their choice.

Merchant had already chosen sonnet 73 before I started, but interestingly, without my imposing any constraint on choice for the other composers, there were no clashes.

from The Guardian: The perfect form

For readers who enjoy verbal detective work, such as performed above with "Filigrane," [John] Ashbery's poetry is truly interactive, even more so than reading always is.

The downside is that reading words linked purposely to undermine their own meanings, to not make conventional sense, can be monotonous and exhausting, even if one is fascinated and impressed with the process.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Words of whimsy from a true original

Hanging from the front of the table, glittery glass letters spelled out "P-O-E-T."

Then [Amy] Allin, 39, sat and waited for the curious who jogged, bicycled or simply walked along the path 30 feet away.

from The Seattle Times: Bringing poetry to the people

Great Regulars

"Plonter" or "Tangle" is a kind of 'reality' play that explores both sides of the violent and painful struggle between the Israelis and Palestinians, to let each really see the 'other.'

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poetry of the Middle East: Encountering the "Echoes and Layers" of the Middle East

We're here to talk with Taha Muhammed Ali, a self-described "half shopkeeper, half poet." I've been aware of the "poet" Muhammed Ali for about a year, through a translation of his work titled, "So What." First, we meet the "shopkeeper."

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poetry of the Middle East: In Nazareth, With Taha Muhammed Ali, "Half Shopkeeper, Half Poet"

[Samih al]-Qasim himself is considered one of the most important Palestinian poets and a leading figure in Arabic literature worldwide. He is worldly, refined, mannered but not at all cold.

He directs our time with him and the hospitality flows.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poetry of the Middle East: Samih al-Qasim, in Rama: "Today, a Book Is Answered by a Gun"

Apparently, a group of young "thugs" had come by the cafe today to demand that it remain closed during the mourning period. They threatened more violence. On our arrival, a well-armed fellow guards the door and our young poets are understandably frightened.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poetry of the Middle East: Mixed Moments from a Day

At times, his [Daljit Nagra's] language makes thematic statements: nouns, for example, regularly edge out conventional verbs (a young girl yearns "To Aeroflot the savage miles/in a moment", a "bent-neck/man . . . trays us with milky sweets") in a manoeuvre that acknowledges the sway of materialism in wealthy, capitalist Britain, where possessions are worth more than actions.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: A flighty mix-up country

From the island of Vulcano, "fretted with lava-juts, leaching saffron and orange", to the coastline "where cliff and sand are blanched from the pumice workings", he [Andrew Waterman] eschews picture-postcard prettiness for scenes of volatile, elemental beauty.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Volatile beauty

When Shakespeare writes in his sonnets: When my love swears that she is made of truth I do believe her, though I know she lies we can either read it literally, or as meaning: "When my love swears that she is truly a virgin, I do believe her, even though I know she has sexual intercourse."

from Terry Eagleton: The Times: How to Read a Poem: Part Five: Ambiguity

There is a sleight of hand at work here. Poets are the con-artists of language. They make us believe for a bewitching moment that only this set of words could possibly stand for this set of things--if this were actually true, language would come grinding to a halt.

from Terry Eagleton: The Times: How to Read a Poem: Part Six: Imagery

[Craig Raine] does not understand that Eliot's poetry is not a question of meaning in the first place. The meaning of a poem for Eliot was a fairly trifling matter. It was, he once remarked, like the piece of meat which the burglar throws to the guard dog to keep him occupied.

from Terry Eagleton: Prospect Magazine: Raine's sterile thunder

What happened after Auden's death in 1973 was very interesting: a gradual process by which all kinds of Auden poems found their way into public consciousness. The old rows we used to have were forgotten. Auden's new readers came at him with a less prejudiced eye.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Poet of the century

The speaker's claim is that courage is demonstrated by ordinary events in life, and her first example is a child taking its first step. The speaker thinks "the child's first step" is "as awesome as an earthquake."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Anne Sexton's 'Courage'

Here the speaker extends the metaphor begun in the third stanza that the bird is not just aimlessly wandering but is being infallibly guided by that Power, and even though this bird is alone, while such birds usually form v-shapes with other birds as they traverse the heavens, he is "not lost."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Bryant's 'To a Waterfowl'

These samples of images from contemporary poems belie [Robert] Bly's claim.

Perhaps, Bly's idiosyncratic definition follows from the unmeritorious assertion that our poetry is without the image. The image as defined by Bly cannot be found in any poetry, because no such image can exist.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Imagism vs Picturism

Instead of exaggerating the beloved's physical features by comparing them to the sun, coral, snow, roses, perfumes, goddesses, the speaker in the Shakespeare sonnet 130 declares that he can proclaim his love for her while maintaining her humanness.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 130

[Jackie] Kay asks us if we ever called back a lost word, like calling back the sea -- and of course the sea will not come because it answers only to the pull of the Moon. The idea of the word is cast out on to the image of the ocean and into the vast space that the ocean occupies, and is lost.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Lost and gone for ever

Poem: "Snow-Flakes" by Henry Woodsworth Longfellow.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 26, 2007

Here the Maine poet, Wesley McNair, offers us a vivid description of a man who has lived beyond himself. I'd guess you won't easily forget this sad old man in his apron with his tray of cheese.

The One I Think of Now

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 100

[W.H. Auden] included in his poetry every sort of thing that attracted his eye, every sort of word or speech he heard or read. He devised a tone, a feeling of wry, informed and doom-ridden attentiveness, as seen here:

The Fall of Rome

(for Cyril Connolly)

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

The raison d'etre of poetry, as of other forms of literature, is ending this dictatorship. 'It is man's only recourse against both meaningless noise and silence. That is why poetry which is the perfection of speech--language speaking to itself --is the invitation to enjoy the whole of life'.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Sham Lal--A Himalayan journalist

Moses Addresses God

by Charles Upton

from The American Muslim: Poetry: Moses Addresses God

Preparation For Salat

by Mustafa Paul Bergner

from The American Muslim: Poetry: Preparation For Salat

Something to Do With A Man Named Joseph

by Mustafa Paul Bergner

from The American Muslim: Something to Do With A Man Named Joseph

The end of writing is to instruct; the end of poetry is to instruct by pleasing.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Neither tragedy nor comedy --Samuel Johnson

Ten ways of Looking at PB Shelley by Hugo Claus

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Ten ways of Looking at PB Shelley by Hugo Claus

'Cold Time Testament'
By Suzanne Rhodenbaugh

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Cold Time Testament'

Imperious Child

By Katie Lashbrook

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Man and Camel
[by Mark Strand]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

The poet W.H. Auden was born a century ago, on Feb. 21, 1907. His characteristic blend of the formal and the demotic is fully on display in the following poem.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Atlantis

Sometimes we can weave our daily lives into a cocoon of security so tight it can deaden rather than protect, as evoked by this faintly ominous poem by Irish poet Tom Duddy, from a recent booklet published by Scottish pamphlet press HappenStance.

The Delivery Man
by Tom Duddy

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"November Symphony"
--after O V de L Milosz
By Steve Kronen

from Slate: "November Symphony" By Steve Kronen

For forty years, from 1961 until his death in 2001, the magazine was edited by Alan Ross, who had served in the Royal Navy from 1942-47, and whose poems on naval conflict are the most substantial group to have come out of the Second World War. Ross's strong links with the TLS included his officiating as umpire at the paper's annual cricket match. "Destroyers in the Arctic" was first published in 1952.

Destroyers in the Arctic

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week

My stories, which were short
Grew fas . . . and have lost their charm of innocence
I bereave for a time that has since passed
And today there is no more time for reading . . .

The actual number of words in Arabic is less than half of the words above (with every effort made to make the translation as concise as possible). Yet, the choice of words is so expressive.

from Yemen Times: Literary Corner: Dead, but still he is in good health

Poetic Obituaries

P. Bhaskaran, one of Kerala's finest lyricists, a poet of immense calibre and a President's Medal-winning filmmaker, died here on Sunday. He was 83.

One of the few in Malayalam to combine literary and directorial skills, his contributions to both aspects of filmmaking have been equally outstanding.

from The Hindu: Lyricist-filmmaker P. Bhaskaran dead

Mr. Bones has been given his own personal space, along with the curious clues held in the belongings he died with. Discovered by a pipeline crew, his effects include a book of classic literature and another on poetry.

from Toronto Sun: Mystery of Mr. Bones

Jeremy Brazzel's mother said he was a jokester and that he loved life, football and poetry. That's how she hopes people will remember him.

And in the wake of a tragedy early Sunday morning, Jeremy's mother, Sondra Hightower, his family and an entire community are mourning the loss of three of its youth.

from The Huntsville Item: Three Huntsville residents killed in Montgomery County

India's press registrar Amitabha Chakrabarti, who also served state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan in a series of important assignments and spent his free time dabbling in poetry and music, has died of a massive heart attack, the family said Sunday.

from India eNews: Press registrar Amitabha Chakrabarti dead

As editor of "The Ladder" from 1963-66, [Barbara] Gittings transformed the publication into a cutting-edge magazine.

With [Kay Tobin] Lahusen's help, she added "A Lesbian Review" to the title and featured prominent lesbians on the cover.

from PrideSource: Gay pioneer Barbara Gittings dies, 75

In a condolence statement given Friday, the Prime Minister said late [Mohan] Koirala who reached modern Nepali poetry to a highest position by devoting for a long time, was known as a distinguished and avante garde poet in the field of modern Nepali poetry and had worked actively in the historical revolution of 1950 from the front in Biratnagar.

from The Rising Nepal: PM expresses grief

[Sham Lal] earned great journalistic reputation with his column, "Life and Letters." In this column, he discussed and dissected modern thinkers, poets, playwrights and novelists. In 2001, a collection of these columns was published under the title "A Hundred Encounters."

from The Hindu: Veteran journalist Sham Lal dead

[Robert Ndabezinhle] Mele will be remembered for his acting on the popular ZBC TV drama, Kukhula Kokuphela, in which he played the role of a stammering sidekick of corrupt company boss, Silandulo (Felix Moyo).

from Actor Robert 'Donga' Mele dies

Sharma Pathak has to his credit four very valuable works on literary criticism both in English and Assamese. These are Assam's Men of Letters (Vol-I & II), Natun Kabiloi Mukali Chithi, Sahitya Bithika and Sahitya Ballari. He has about 18 anthologies of his self-composed poems. The most popular among them are Basundhara, Basanta Sena and Priyambada.

from The Assam Tribune: JN Sharma Pathak passes away

A poem [Nicole] Schiffman wrote as a high school senior about the Iraq war, which was read by her father, took on awful new meaning at her funeral.

The poem, titled "Simple Word," began: "Innocent lives to be lost, Love destroyed in only minutes, Fear entering everyone's lives, Children hearing the unimaginable. Having to bury the one they raised."

from Newsday: Final farewell to slain friends

"She would come wheeling up the aisle in her wheelchair, I'm sure they were expecting some very quiet voice," said Pete White, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, a nonprofit group that works on behalf of the homeless and poor in downtown Los Angeles, of which [Donna] Valiente was a member. Instead "you have this lioness roaring from her wheelchair."

from Los Angeles Times: Donna Valiente, 48; activist and poet was a vocal advocate for aid to homeless on L.A.'s skid row

[Charles Thomas Wilkerson] found out last month that his reserve corps would be activated for duty. He was to be in Iraq for about a year, she said.

Wilkerson was an honor student who excelled at everything he did, his mother said. He had a passion for music and often composed songs and poetry.

from Houston Chronicle: Marine reservist, who was weeks away from Iraq tour

Great Armenian poet of Constantinople Zahrat died at the midnight of February 20 in Turkey, at the age of 83.
As Chairman of Union of Writers of Armenia, Levon Ananian characterized, Zahrat is the huge oak of the Diasporan poetry, whose literary heritage had a deep and stable influence upon modern poetry of not only Diaspora, but also Armenia.

from Armenia--Diaspora: Zahrat Was One Of Great Figures Of Armenian Poetry, Literary Critic Suren Danielian Says


News at Eleven

Below is an example of a duilian , loosely translated into English:

May the shining stars bless our generations.
May our great virtue always bring success.

When I was little, during the Cultural Revolution, my father, who was a professor, was labeled as an "intellectual," and as punishment we were sent to live in the countryside in the northeast of China.

from The Epoch Times: Writing Chinese New Year Poetry

[Henry I.] Schvey's find also was fortuitous for [Tennessee] Williams' fans, who otherwise might never have known of its existence. Titled "Blue Song," the long-lost work had never been published--and possibly never read--until The New Yorker magazine ran it in December. The blue book now is part of the University Libraries Department of Special Collections.

Blue Song

from Washington University Record: Lost Tennessee Williams poem published

Diane Garden, our poet for this week, teaches creative writing to gifted students at Daphne High School and lives in Mobile. Her poems have appeared in Jewish Spectator, Presence Africaine, MidAmerica and other magazines. Negative Capability published her chapbook, The Hannah and Papa Poems. In 1988, she won the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award for the best poem in the Midwest Poetry Festival.

Measures to Movements

-After Degas' Portrait of Estelle Musson

from Lagniappe: The Literary Art

'The singing will never be done:'
I hear the karanga: in New Zealand, women lead a song of welcome to the dead when the bodies of the fallen are brought home, preparing a sound gate through which the warriors pass into the marae, the communal sacred home that houses the umbilical cords of the tribe.

from Arabesques: Re-Reading Siegfried Sassoon: Everybody Sang

"Kings destroy a town when they enter it."

by Karima Omar

from The American Muslim: Poetry: "Kings destroy a town when they enter it."

[President] Johnson's voice-over included a line taken (and slightly misquoted) from one of [W.H.] Auden's most famous poems: "We must love one another or die." This was from "September 1, 1939," which portended the war in Europe. Auden was so distressed by its use in the campaign ad that he frantically began rewriting many early poems that he feared could be used for similar purposes.

from The Los Angeles Times: W.H. Auden's 'Selected Poems'

Suddenly, 62 years after the poem's composition, "the unmentionable odour of death/Offends the September night" in Manhattan--not as distant metaphor but as hideously local fact. "September 1, 1939" became the thoughtful New Yorker's post-September 11 standby, e-mailed, photocopied and recited at memorials.

from The Independent: WH Auden: The scourge of a sick England

Justine E. Marks, who lives in central Maine, recently printed a copy of Longfellow's poem "The Village Blacksmith" off the Internet, to share with a friend.

"I read it all the way through and got choked up," she said.

The poem reminded Marks of a blacksmith in Burnham who she knew when she was a young girl.

from Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram: And he still has clout

Always in [Derek] Walcott posture is evident: the sound the voice makes in walking, sitting, leaning, slouching, stooping; its sound in heat, lust, joy, grief, fatigue: "Time takes one hand and helps us up the stair"--here a drawn-out abstraction suddenly quickens, comes alive, turns iambic, does what it says; the verse is constantly trembling with a sense of the body in time, the self slung across metre, whether metre is steps, or nights, or breath, whether lines are days, or years, or tides.

from The Guardian: Lines on the horizon

In a great chain of poetic being, Girly Man features doggerel, haiku, list poems, lyric poems, sonnets, satires and translations. In addition, [Charles] Bernstein also offers a tale, a meditative poem, a confessional poem, a nursery rhyme, a dream poem, a serial poem, a collaboration poem and a ballad.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: His most emphatic, rewarding poems yet

[Ted] Genoways says what he likes about [Joseph] Kalar is his defiance in the face of a very difficult life.

"He's foul-mouthed, he's occasionally rude, and to me all of this seems appropriate to his circumstances. This is his anger coming through," says Genoways.

from Minnesota Public Radio: Joseph Kalar's poems re-emerge from the Depression

Great Regulars

"Much niggly bitching in the wake of Stef Penney winning the Costa book of the year award," notes Madame Arcati. "The central niggle is that Penney's novel successfully evokes the barren tundra of northern Canada even though she's never visited the country. Her starting point for 'colour' was the library not the airport: oh woe! [. . .]"

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Arts blog: A week in books blogs

So, Valentine's Day is not my thing. But I do like poetry. And occasionally, poetry plays a part in the whole Valentine's Day scheme. So I was intrigued when I received a note from a reader a few weeks back. "My name is Melissa Tressler," she wrote. "And I need your help. I wrote a poem for someone that I would like to get to him via the newspaper."

from Bill Diskin: The York Daily Record: Poetryork: Poetry and love (no candy hearts)

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, . . ."

So begins "Howl," one of the most controversial and important poems of the post-World War II generation.

from Sandy Mitchell: Allen Ginsberg's Howl

Unlike many contemporary poets who want to shock, disturb, protest, or simply express an airy nothingness, [Dana] Gioia's poems demonstrate a poet whose skill and devotion to his craft result in an art that is useful, insightful, entertaining, and educational. Simply put, his poems are real poems.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Dana Gioia's 'Words'

One of [Rita] Dove's best known poem is titled "Parsley," which she read at the White House. This poem was motivated by the "creativity" of the dictator Rafael Trujillo, who slaughtered thousands of Haitians because they could not pronoun the Spanish "r" correctly.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Rita Dove

So far, the speaker has mused that he shall compare the poem to a summer day, and the summer day is losing: even before summer begins, the winds of May are often brutal to the young flowers; summer never lasts long; sometimes the sun is too hot and sometimes it hides behind clouds, and besides everything--even the good things--in nature diminishes in time.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 18

If you are a beginning poet, you might do well to consider the following oath, which I have recreated, based on the Hippocratic Oath to which physicians swear at the beginning of their careers.

As I begin my career as a poet, I solemnly swear to the following covenant to the best of my ability:

from Linda Sue Grimes: To Aspiring Poets

"To the last feast of isolation, self-invited,/They flock," [W.H.] Auden writes, and I want to applaud because that is exactly what gamblers do; they invite themselves; it is their decision to gamble. They flock, because they are weak-willed and many.

from Frieda Hughes: The Sunday Times: Losers and limbo

Poems: "Essential" and "Employed" by Beverly Rollwagen, from She Just Wants. Nodin Press.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 19, 2007

My maternal grandparents got their drinking water from a well in the yard, and my disabled uncle carried it sloshing to the house, one bucket of hard red water early every morning. I couldn't resist sharing this lovely little poem by Minnesota poet, Sharon Chmielarz.

New Water

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 099

That [Constantine] Cavafy's love life was homosexual and covert adds to the emotion.

Robert Frost, equally sensual in his own way, wrote this explicitly and effectively heterosexual poem:

Putting in the Seed

from Robert Pinsky: Slate: Great Poems About Sex

It's part of [Yehuda] Amichai's syncretic genius, and his poise, that he can so dryly include Holocaust imagery such as the empty cans of lethal poison, the eyeglasses and the false teeth.

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

The winners (in order, from top to bottom) are: Tolstoy's Anna Karenina; Flaubert's Madame Bovary; Tolstoy's War and Peace; Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita; Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Shakespeare's Hamlet; F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby; Proust's In Search of Lost Time; the stories of Anton Chekhov; and George Eliot's Middlemarch.

An unexceptionable list, right? Well, only until you start thinking about it.

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Author, author! Ten times over

Questions I by Edwin Morgan

from The Guardian: Saturday Poem: Questions I by Edwin Morgan

Ode to a Postbox by Aidan Andrew Dun

from The Guardian: Ode to a Postbox by Aidan Andrew Dun

But as oceans, trees and skies die in front of us, and the world and all its strange wonders are desanctified, our exercise is to seek out the overfamiliar and disregarded, the rejected, marginalized and faceless even, and to load these obscure players in life with larger significance.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Aidan Andrew Dun's workshop

'Two Fathoms Deep'
By Michael Paul Novak

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'Two Fathoms Deep'

By John Clifford

Poetic Motion in Plain Prose

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Appalachian Apogee
[by Ed Johnson]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

Mary Jo Salter, Poet: Well, I think the best way to think of it is as a game, because otherwise, if I take myself too seriously, I won't be able to do it at all.

Brad Leithauser, Poet: Well, it's funny, when you get to your 50s, to be playing a big game at all.

from PBS: Newshour: Married Poets Craft Love Poems by the Clock

"Otto Frisch Discovers Fission, 1938"
By John Canaday

from Slate: "Otto Frisch Discovers Fission, 1938" By John Canaday

Wednesday, February 21 marks the centenary of the birth of W. H. Auden. He was already seen as something of the grand old man by 1957, when the TLS marked his fiftieth birthday by publishing this poem by the New England poet Richard Eberhart, remembering a meeting soon after Auden's arrival as a migrant to the USA.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: "To Auden on his Fiftieth" by Richard Eberhardt

Poetic Obituaries

Mr. [Fred] Bowen wrote poetry and took part in a regular writing circle, where he gave impassioned readings of his own work. The war in Vietnam was a regular theme. Yet he also wrote optimistic, funny and ironic pieces.

from Seattle Times: Through his life, Fred Bowen carried Vietnam War with him

I am Tequila Mockingbird. Yes, I am related to Isaiah Mockingbird, and yes, I am that face in the moon on the cover of the Carson's record album. And the Marshmallow beer girl, and that's me on every stick of Land O'Lakes butter . . . I can trace my lineage back to the beginning of time when the world was nothing but a scrap of mud on the tip of a loon's nose.

(from her [Diane Burns'] 1993 essay
"Tequila Mockingbird")

from The Villager: Diane Burns, Native American Lower East Side poet

Elizabeth Jolley, an internationally admired WA author who is credited with changing Australians' appreciation of their own literature, has died, aged 83.

Her remarkable literary range included 14 novels, poetry, short stories and radio plays.

from The West Australian: Elizabeth Jolley, WA treasure, dies at 83

[Robert Kirby] won an array of prizes; those from the English Academy pleased him most. He was a master of the barbed skit, balanced on the idea of a free society. Dulcie [his wife] has thousands of his poems, many about love, the quality that his critics unerringly missed.

from Mail & Guardian: Errant to the end

Nearly 800 people--about half of them students from Aquinas Institute--gathered Tuesday to remember a man who saw God in all of creation.

Michael J. Krupiarz, a theology teacher, a poet, a firm believer in the potential of people, a devoted father and husband, died Saturday.

from Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Aquinas teacher M.J. Krupiarz mourned

Working as the sole writer, editor, illustrator, platemaker, compositor, proofreader and pressman, he [Joseph Low] published limited editions of short stories and poetry, illustrated with his own wood and linoleum cuts. The first of these was titled "Heads" (1960).

from The New York Times: Joseph Low, 95, Illustrator of Children's Books, Dies

Florence Melton will forever be immortalized in the schools of adult Jewish education around the world that bear her name.

Melton, who died Feb. 8 in Boca Raton at age 95, was a philanthropist, entrepreneur, lecturer, yoga teacher and poet who stayed active even in her advancing years.

from The Florida Jewish News: Founder of Melton Mini-School dies

At the World Stage in Leimert Park, a performance gallery where artists gather to share and hone their craft, Merilene M. Murphy was a poet and a master of the practical.

As a volunteer she helped book the featured poets who read their work each Wednesday night, upgraded the website, sent out a weekly update to keep artists informed and helped create a buzz about the good things happening at "The Stage."

from Los Angeles Times: Merilene Murphy, 51; poet, literary activist and publisher

[Danilo Torres Rodriguez] worked for Radio Liberacion and wrote cultural essays and poetry for various newspapers. He was the first political secretary of the Sandinista Front in Esteli after the group drove out former dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979 and took control of Nicaragua.

from The International Herald Tribune: Journalist stabbed to death in Nicaragua

[Thomas] Rosenmeyer was able to draw skillfully both on philosophically-based aesthetic theory - including German as well as Anglo-American - and on an impressive range of literary-critical models that were the fruit of his wide and deep reading, Griffin said.

In his early career, Rosenmeyer published numerous articles on Plato.

from UC Berkeley News: Thomas G. Rosenmeyer, professor of Greek and comparative literature dies

A 1997 graduate of Katy High School, he [U.S. Marine Sgt. James R. Tijerina] was on the football team when the Tigers won the state championship that year. Last Christmas Eve, he placed first in a 5-K race at Camp Taqaddum among 250 troops, with a time of 18 minutes and 46 seconds.

Rev. Monsignor Jack Dinkins, who presided over the ceremony, said a poem Tijerina wrote expressed how he interpreted life and revealed all he was trying to be in life.

from Houston Chronicle: Katy community says goodbye to a Marine


News at Eleven

We feel refreshed, the way we do when we're in love.

I've chosen two poems--"For What Binds Us," by Jane Hirshfield, and "Touch Me," by former U.S. Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz--that seem to complement each other.

from The News Journal: In love's realm, poetry is the native language

The trick with [John] Ashbery is to relax. You are not going to get what you expect, nor, in all likelihood, what you want. But what you will get will be beautiful, strange and, above all, unique. Ashbery is stricken by the sheer discreteness of things.

"You shall never have seen it just this way / And that is to be your one reward," he wrote in "The Ecclesiast" and, in "Houseboat Days," "but it is the nature of things to be seen only once."

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: A poet with a gift for the odd and unique

Billy Collins, speaking for the unperturbed, offered a method for coping with the deluge. "I suggested that the Poetry Foundation buy a ship, an Aristotle Onassis-type, hundred-and-ninety-foot luxury cruiser," he told me. "You'd call it the Poetry Boat, and take it around the coast of the world, then back it into the harbor in Saint-Tropez and I could give a reading on the stern."

from The New Yorker: The Moneyed Muse

Poetry's critics charge that "it should be less gloomy, more genial, less jagged and modern, more charming, something you can hum along with or chuckle at," he said. Nostalgia for the "good old days when poetry was sung or chanted to people who were happily chewing slices of venison and drinking mead or sarsaparilla" is nothing new, said [Robert] Pinsky.

from UC Berkeley News: Poetry's 'inherited and inexhaustible mystery'

In spite of the hoo-ha, [James] Fenton remains an extraordinary poet with something original to disclose. The publication of his "Selected Poems" gives American readers an excuse to lay encomiums aside and discover Fenton for themselves.

from The New York Times: Informal Menace

"Like a lit fuse looking for Lethe" is [Charles] Wright at his best, but "snakes through our bones" is Wright at his most sublime. He is a religious poet in the way Emerson was a religious thinker, but there's a slight undertow of sadness in his poetry. Call it a melancholy transcendentalism.

from The Brooklyn Rail: Looking for Lethe

As for his politics, [W.B.] Yeats was hardly a democrat, and he did not care much for "progress"--which makes him an odd choice for people who hope to turn Iraq into a vibrant democracy. Yeats was attracted to fascism, and he rebelled as a youth against the adults' talk of progress by embracing its opposite. "I took satisfaction in certain public disasters, felt sort of ecstasy at the contemplation of ruin," he once wrote.

from The New York Times: What W. B. Yeats's 'Second Coming' Really Says About the Iraq War

"My veil is not a kerchief," reads the poem.

"It's my skin/My modesty, my dignity, my respect.

"And if you, old-stock immigrant/You have neither faith nor law/And you spent your youth drunk/And went from one male to the next/That's not the case for me."

from The Gazette: Muslim poem stirs up yet more controversy

"Fessehaye ["Joshua" Yohannes] surrendered to the police during the week of 18-23 September 2001, after around 10 other journalists and many members of the political opposition had been arbitrarily arrested and the privately-owned press had been "suspended" by the authorities. Ten detained journalists were transferred to undisclosed locations in April 2002, after going on hunger strike to demand the right to appear in court.

"Their hands permanently manacled, the detainees at Eiraeiro are just given just bread, lentils, spinach or potatoes to eat. Their hair and beards are shaved once a month. All they have for beds are just two sheets. They sleep on the ground. Any contact with other prisoners or with guards is absolutely forbidden."

from Reporters Without Borders: Sources say writer and journalist Fessehaye "Joshua" Yohannes has died in detention

The truth is that most of his [Johan Ludvig Runeberg's] work can be compared only with the work of European romantics like Shelley, Keats and Hugo.

Who has given the wind wisdom,
Lent the air a tongue so lightsome,
Ready speech to the yard's rowan,
And the small birds' tender bevy?
(From the poem "All seemed to be speaking, speaking")

from Newropeans: Johan Ludvig Runeberg

"I'd like to cite Pablo Neruda's Veinte Poemas de Amor as a favorite book of love poems. No. 14 has a singular combination of mystery, sensuality and desire that culminates with the closing lines: 'Quiero hacer contigo/lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos'; I want/to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees." [--Arthur Sze]

from Sante Fe Reporter: Love and Sex 2007: Roses Are Red/Is the Love Poem Dead?

Great Regulars

Within his [C. K. Williams'] very first line he must create immediate drama; there's no time to warm up the poem's theme or subject or to ease into the poem's narrative. In other words, the game is always on.

This last point relates to something that's also central to lyric poetry--that poems don't build from a valley to a peak. Consider this image instead: A poem consists of a series of peaks with bottomless ravines in between.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Fixed in space, a poet's eight lines frame meaning

"These damn silences and pauses are all to do with what's going on . . . and if they don't make any sense, then I always say cut them. I think they've been taken much too far these silences and pauses in my plays[" --Harold Pinter]

from Olivia Cole: The Sunday Times: Cut the pauses ...says Pinter

The surprise success of The Tenderness of Wolves follows an upset in the earlier round of voting when the Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney was beaten to the poetry category prize by John Haynes with Letter to Patience. The collection, a 52-canto sequence in iambic pentameter that took him 13 years to write, was partly based on Haynes's experiences as a teacher in Nigeria and is only his third published work.

from Michelle Pauli & Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Surprise win for Canadian epic at inaugural Costa award

Some poems make a terrible racket: Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored . . . By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis . . .

The metre of these lines, by Julia Howes and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow respectively, is so thumpingly regular that it cramps the reader's style.

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

Poems do not come marked F major or B minor. Because there is no face-to-face context to determine exact significance, poetic language is bound to be more ambiguous than speech. What you hear as absurdly grandiloquent is passionately persuasive for me.

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

The book in question is About Alice, [Calvin] Trillin's remarkable 96-page remembrance of the woman he married in 1965 and loved so many years. The emotions it taps have made it an immediate success.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Calvin Trillin's love letter

The terms of the challenge (you can find it still on stipulated that, for an example to be valid, the subject must experience severe trauma (abuse, a near-death experience, etc), develop amnesia for that trauma for months or years afterwards, then recover that lost memory at some later time.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Received wisdom

But then we are told more specifically what we are to understand about Ty Kendricks: The Negro he shot "must have been dangerous" because he was running plus as a rookie, Ty had the opportunity to "prove himself a man."

It is at this point that we realize that we are being led astray. Surely, there has to be more to it than that.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Brown's 'Southern Cop'

It is this vague line that detracts from the perfection of this sonnet. This vagueness motivates critics to peer into the poet's life for possibilities for meaning. While looking at the biography of poets can certainly enrich the poet's work for readers, it is a flaw if the reader feels the biography a necessity in understanding any part of the work.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Hayden's 'Those Winter Sundays'

The protestors passed out copies of ]Langston] Hughes' poem, "Goodbye, Christ," even though they had not secured permission to copy and distribute it. A few weeks later, The Saturday Evening Post, heretofore no friend to Black writers, also mentioned in the poem, also printed the poem without permission.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Hughes' "Goodbye, Christ"

On the ancient Greek stage, a dramatic production often featured a chorus, which was a group of speakers, who commented on the action of the play. When a single individual sang or spoke more personally and accompanied himself on a lyre, the verse was called lyric.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Lyric Poetry

An art student in my English Composition class at Ball State University painted a lovely little scene depicting the meaning of this poem: she painted the red wheelbarrow and the chickens, of course, but what demonstrated that she understood the meaning of the poem was that in the wheelbarrow she placed a mound of soil with a house setting on top and a corn stalk growing out of the soil.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Williams' 'The Red Wheelbarrow'

This poem examines the relationship between the sexes on the basis that the core of any female's nature is found in her instinct to defend her family: The Himalayan peasant shouts to scare off "the he-bear in his pride", but the she-bear would not be so easily frightened; she would rend "the peasant tooth and nail./For the female of the species is more deadly than the male".

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: The stronger sex

Poem: "My Methodist Grandmother Said" by Mary Mackey, from Breaking the Fever: Poems. Marsh Hawk Press.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 12, 2007

A horse's head is big, and the closer you get to it, the bigger it gets. Here is the Idaho poet, Robert Wrigley, offering us a horse's head, up close, and covering a horse's character, too.

Kissing a Horse

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 098

"And look at these," she [Amy Stewart ] said, grabbing a bunch of French tulips from the Netherlands. "This is a really high-end flower," she explained. "It's not just the size, but the petal count, the delicacy of the color. It's a luxury item, like fine wine. One of the things growers are always complaining about in America is that people here have no way of comparing flowers except by price. We don't have a sense of quality."

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: The Romance of a Dozen Roses, the Gritty Reality of a Truckload

[Shakespeare] writes a sonnet into Act I, scene v of the play. Its lines are shared by the foolish, ardent teenagers. They each speak one line of the final, clinching couplet:

ROMEO [ to JULIET, touching her hand]

from The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

Sri Guruji's life was soft and gentle. Yet Sri Guruji continues to live in our midst giving us this vital message even today:

When life begins

from V Sundaram: News Today: Grand centenary fete for Guruji in TN

[Yevgeny] Yevtushenko now teaches Russian and European poetry and film at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma and at Queens College of the City University of New York.

One of the greatest poems in the history of not only Russian literature but world literature is Yevtushenko's 'Babi Yar.' Let us hear the sublime lines of this supreme timeless poet:

from V Sundaram: News Today: An unacknowledged legislator of Russia

by Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle

In the Still Cave of the Witch Poesy

from The Brooklyn Rail: Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle

by Mary Donnelly


from The Brooklyn Rail: Mary Donnelly

by Garrett Kalleberg

A Mania, More or Less

from The Brooklyn Rail: Garrett Kalleberg

Utility is the great idol of the time, to which all powers do homage and all subjects are subservient. In this great balance of utility, the spiritual service of art has no weight, and, deprived of all encouragement, it vanishes from the noisy Vanity Fair of our time. The very spirit of philosophical inquiry itself robs the imagination of one promise after another, and the frontiers of art are narrowed, in proportion as the limits of science are enlarged.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Above necessity and neediness --J C Friedrich von Schiller

The hushed reverence of the gallery can fool you into believing masterpieces are polite things, visions that soothe, charm and beguile, but actually they are thugs. Merciless and wily, the greatest paintings grab you in a headlock, rough up your composure and then proceed in short order to rearrange your sense of reality . . .

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: The power of art --Simon Schama

Phoning Home
by Leslie-Anne Taylor

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner

There is also some great detail here: the "swing-bulb/and its eave-divided darknesses", "the dusk spreading its eight arms/into my head", and "the sun, a god weeping hornets" are all memorable images, easy to visualise, and all three depict the idea of loneliness or absence.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Close readings
also: The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Julia Copus's poetry workshop shortlist: part two

To a Friend who wished to give me half her sleep by Sara Coleridge

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: To a Friend who wished to give me half her sleep by Sara Coleridge

'February Secrets'
By Robert C. Jones

from The Kansas City Star: Poet's Corner: 'February Secrets'

By Dan McCarthy

The Day Anna Nicole Died

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

The South Also Exists
by Mario Benedetti

from MR Zine: "The South Also Exists"

"Lightning Strike in Paradise"
By Andrew Hudgins

from Slate: "Lightning Strike in Paradise" By Andrew Hudgins

[W.H.] Auden published some of his best poems in the TLS. This one, "The Trial", was included in the 100-page special number, "American Writing Today", published on September 17, 1954, to which Auden also contributed an essay, "How Cruel is April?".

The Trial

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the week

Poetic Obituaries

[Rachel Lacy] Crites, who suffered from depression in the past and was still being treated when she disappeared, also posted a disturbing poem on her MySpace site dated May 13, 2006.

"Have you ever been haunted by an angel," the poem reads, "who sings songs of the night in your head. You know he is warm and gentle, but his face is frighteningly dead."

from Loudoun Times-Mirror: Double teen suicide leaves unanswered questions

[Ralph de Toledano] wrote 26 books, including "Seeds of Treason" (1950), "Nixon" (1956), "The Goldwater Story" (1964), "Lament for a Generation" (1960) and "Cry Havoc: The Great American Bring-down and How It Happened" (2006). He also wrote several books on jazz, two volumes of poetry and two novels.

from The Washington Post: Ralph de Toledano, 90; Ardent Conservative

[Julia] Eckert-MacLean resided in this area for 10 years and was inspired by its beauty. The following is taken from the poem she wrote about the bay.

By Heaven's 'Poet's Bend'

from Northern Life: Poet inspired by north's beauty

[Benedict Kiely's] forte, however, was the short story. An early story, King's Shilling, was published in the Irish Bookman, and later stories appeared in the New Yorker, the Kenyon Review and other American magazines. At his best, Kiely came close to matching Frank O'Connor, who championed his work, and Sean O'Faolain.

from The Guardian: Benedict Kiely

The plan has been to construct a museum and cultural center on the property, using as many materials as can be salvaged from the former Silver Spring church near Morse and Jackson streets in Pendleton. Ms. [Lenora Vance] Robinson dreamed of opera performances and poetry readings taking place at the site, Ms. McConnell said.

from Anderson Independent Mail:

[Roshundalyn] Scribner may have died young, but she made the most of her 17 years. As the top-ranked student of her senior class, she was poised to become valedictorian this spring. But teachers say it was her award-winning poetry that made her the voice of Hall High.

from KATV Channel 7: Community Pays Final Respects to Hall High Student

[Lizzie White] kept a thick journal of her life in and out of hospital in Port Elizabeth and in Grahamstown, including bits of letters, images of cherubs, pizza receipts and even scraps of her reviled test results. She wrote poetry and a book which started with the words: "Treasure your life, for you never know when it will end."

from The Herald: Cancer claims plucky teen

"We have received from at least three different sources that don't know each other this very, very sad information about Joshua that says that, after having been treated several times in different hospitals in Asmara, he was taken back to Eiraeiro where he died of the very extremely harsh and dreadful conditions of detention in this facility," said Reporters Without Borders' Leonard Vincent [of Fessehaye 'Joshua' Yohannes].

from Voice of America: Press Watchdog: Eritrean Government Caused Playwright's Death


News at Eleven

[C.K. Stead] was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature in 1985, and his appointment as an additional member of New Zealand's highest honour puts him in an elite club limited to only 20 living people at any one time.

from The New Zealand Herald: Special Honours: C.K. Stead

Huang Xiang (China), age 65, is one of the greatest poets of 20th century China and a master calligrapher. As a result of ideas expressed in his poetry, he spent more than 12 years in Chinese work camps and prisons, where he suffered physical and psychological torture. His family was also mistreated. He has lived in the United States since 1997 and advocates for human rights issues in China, even though he receives anonymous phone calls warning him to stop if he ever wants to visit China.

from Human Rights Watch: Banned, Censored, Harassed and Jailed

Galing said he later utilized his early years as fodder for his larger body of work. In his most recent collection, "Buying a Suit on Essex Street" (Iniquity Press), Galing writes about his boyhood urban retreat--the fire escape on his tenement building over the bustling immigrant filled streets of the Lower East Side.

Fire Escape

from The Somerville News: Ed Galing--A poet of the Greatest Generation

Equally striking are the poems in which [Samih] al-Qasim forgoes irony and struggles directly with the paralysis induced by acute existential bewilderment. In "The Ugliest of Words," the speaker is baffled by a flurry of questions about a plot of land that is perhaps a symbol of Palestine itself: "What should I do with the narcissus?/The apricot?/The crowns of rugged trees?/What should I do with the finest/of my wildflowers? What?"

from The Nation: Lines of Resistance

[Daljit Nagra's] hope now is that he can make enough of a living from poetry to cut his teaching to three days a week, thus buying himself time to write, a modest ambition that stands in touching contrast to the scale of his achievement so far.

In a White Town [extract]

from The Guardian: Hilda Ogden is my muse

If there had been no revolution, [Anna] Akhmatova could have made her seductive nature her subject, in the manner of Edna St. Vincent Millay but to even greater effect. History denied her the opportunity to sublimate her frailties. It made her a heroine instead.

from Slate: Anna Akhmatova

The philosopher Montaigne, faced with the same deep dread of death, decided that the only way to overcome it was to avoid its contemplation, instead acting as an uneducated peasant whom "nature teaches not to think of death except when he actually dies". Larkin's poem ends on a similar note, and here the end of contemplation is brought about by nature.

from The Age: The medicine that is poetry

There is no doubt about the origin of [Frances Coffin Boaz's] "Summer Night in De Soto."

On a summer night
There is a murmuring among the trees
That back the river;

from The DeSoto Explorer: De Soto poet's world can still be found

[WH] Auden was not a pacifist. He registered for the US draft and was called in September 1942. He was turned down for being a homosexual, a rejection that made him feel 'very much sunk'. Still, by the end of the war, he did manage to get into uniform, and he served on the US Strategic Bombing Survey in Germany

from The Guardian: In praise of a guilty genius

Between these extremities lie the hackneyed ("the great and the good", "crystal clear", "hadn't a clue", "you'd better believe me", "no way") and the awkward ("she was intimately entwined with that knowledgeable man"), while there's also plenty of high-spirited wordplay ("a liking for laiking such lively games" and "offing the offal" and "Oh fiddlesticks to the fee!").

from The Guardian: Green giant

Home to more than 7,000 audio files of poets reading their work, PENNsound has had nearly 11 million visitors since its launch in January 2005. It's the brainchild of the poet Charles Bernstein, an English professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Al Filreis, Kelly Professor of English and director of Penn's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW), where the archive is housed.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Penn online poetry project rooted in culture of accessibility

Great Regulars

On another occasion [WH] Auden said that he had only once encountered pure evil in a person, and that was when he met Yeats.

If this comes as a surprise, considering that the most famous tribute to Yeats on his death is Auden's elegy, you have to remember that for Auden there was always a case pro and con, as far as Yeats was concerned.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: A voice of his own

But the repetition of "miles to go before I sleep" is intriguing; therefore, critics have scoured the poem to support the notion that the speaker of this poem would like to remain here and possibly commit suicide. If the speaker is contemplating suicide, he suddenly and inexplicably snaps out of that alluring thought back to his commitment to keep his promises.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Frost's Snow and Woods

Alec B. Stevenson suggested the title for magazine, The Fugitive, about which Allen Tate says, "a Fugitive was quite simply a Poet: the Wanderer, or even the Wander Jew, the Outcast, the man who carries the secret wisdom around the world."

from Linda Sue Grimes: The Fugitive Movement

The following discussion analyzes [Langston] Hughes' "Harlem: A Dream Deferred" in terms of theme and literary devices; then it offers a commentary to help the student understand some of the subtle features of the poem:


Having to postpone one's deepest desires can lead to destruction.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Hughes' 'Harlem: A Dream Deferred'

One of her [Sara Teasdale's] most anthologized poems is "Barter," which I had the pleasure of studying as a freshman in college; the poem appeared in the 1963 second edition of Laurence Perrine's widely studied Sound and Sense; Perrine remained loyal to the poem, including it through the eighth edition:


from Linda Sue Grimes: BellaOnline: Sara Teasdale's Legacy of Spiritual Joy

[Emily Dickinson] was even nicknamed "the nun of Amherst." She did study the Bible. She had attended church as a child and young adult. But when she chose to cloister her life, she really began to live, to observe nature in birds, flowers, and the people who visited her father's home.

from Linda Sue Grimes: The Nun of Amherst

Sitting before another Major Poet, the writer's interest has long since evaporated. "Forgive us," he says, without meaning it: "We know all about you." The Major Poet is a continuation of all the other Major Poets who have read here; they have become interchangeable.

from Frieda Hughes: The Sunday Times: Bored to death

Poem: "In the Middle of the Road" by Elizabeth Bishop, from The Complete Poems: 1927-1979. The Noonday Press.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 05, 2007

It's a guy thing, shoveling snow. It's a form of marking. You shovel the walk to show other males that you're on the scene and operating at full capacity lest they think about stealing your woman, though ironically your shoveling has made it easier for them to reach your house.

from Garrison Keillor: The redemptive power of cold weather

Though parents know that their children will grow up and away from them, will love and be loved by others, it's a difficult thing to accept. Massachusetts poet Mary Jo Salter emphasizes the poignancy of the parent/child relationship in this perceptive and compelling poem.

Somebody Else's Baby

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 097

And that's the problem (if it is a problem). Had Frost's journals contained a study of Walter Benjamin, or a series of sympathetic and incisive observations about Gertrude Stein's "Tender Buttons," he possibly could be made to fit into the American experimental lineage.

from David Orr: The New York Times: Frost on the Edge

Hearing poetry can be plainer, more central and more immediate than any of that. Listen to "Nature, That Washed Her Hands in Milk," by Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), as it comes out in your own actual or imagined voice. Don't stop for the rhymes--they will take care of themselves. Just hear the words you say:

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

What are the traits that distinguish 'creative people'? If we have to put it in one word, what makes their creative personalities different from others, we have to call it 'Complexity'. By this I mean they show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contrary extremes - instead of being an 'Individual', each of them is a 'Multitude'.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Dimensions of creativity

It's as though an executioner decided to entertain the crowd with an elaborate tap dance before getting down to the messy business of lopping off some poor sap's head.

It may well be that Amis has tried the impossible.

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Amis' imagining of gulag suffering

Mar Sarkis by Peter McDonald

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Mar Sarkis by Peter McDonald

By Janet Conner

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

By Lee Carlson

from Lawrence Journal-World: Poet's Showcase

Some art does not do a thing in the way of overcoming ugliness; in fact, it just compounds the problem. This is probably the ugliest statue in the whole state. It's the Goddess of Liberty, which normally resides on top of the state capitol, which houses the state legislature, which is bad enough without having this thing up there.

from PBS: Newshour: Columnist Molly Ivins Dies at the Age of 62

We know that food isn't just food, it's part of social, cultural, and personal history; this poem by Alan Peacock illustrates perfectly how very closely food and feeling are intertwined. It comes from Open-mouthed: Food Poems, a collaboration by four English poets.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"Major Third"
By Jeffrey Bean

from Slate: "Major Third" By Jeffrey Bean

The Hidden Ones
Steve Tarlow

from Zeek: The Hidden Ones: Steve Tarlow

Poetic Obituaries

Whitney Balliett, 80, a jazz reporter who spent more than four decades writing thousands of graceful and definitive stories for the New Yorker magazine and helped create one of the finest jazz programs on television, died Feb. 1 at his home in Manhattan, N.Y. He had liver cancer.

from The Washington Post: Whitney Balliett; Jazz Reporter Known for Poetic Prose

Reading through the books he made from pieces published here--"American Singers," "American Musicians"--one is grateful for their range of reference and their near-encyclopedic knowledge of the music, but what delights and amazes is the quality of his line, what William Shawn, the former editor of this magazine, once called his "genius for saying in words how a particular musician or musicians sound."

from The New Yorker: Whitney Balliett

[Margaret Bottoms] also enjoyed looking at the stars, collecting seashells and writing poetry and stories. She also loved writing letters to her family and many friends. She was a lady full of stories from her past; she could keep you entertained for hours.

from Mattawa Area News: In Loving Memory: Margaret Bottoms

From the mid-1960s on, Ms. [Maureen] Cannon's rhymed observations about modern life proliferated in publications like Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal and Reader's Digest. She was a regular contributor, always in verse, to the Metropolitan Diary column of The New York Times and to Jersey Diary, in this newspaper's New Jersey Weekly section.

from The New York Times: Maureen Cannon, 84, a Poet of the Everyday, in Light Verse, Dies

A biography of Ylli Dervishi that was being prepared for an Albanian community newspaper by his high school chum has become an obituary after Dervishi, 49, died in a hit-and-run accident early yesterday.

from Toronto Star: Poet killed in hit and run

An English major at the University of Washington, Mr. [Murray] Ferguson studied under acclaimed poet Theodore Roethke and remained an avid poetry fan.

In 1990, his friend Terry Gleason suggested creating a poetry club with just two rules, Mr. Ferguson recalled in a UW newsletter last year: "First, that we start every meeting with a drink. That, of course, got me interested. Second, that whoever is host sets all the other rules. That's worked perfectly all these years."

from The Seattle Times: A model neighbor and father on Queen Anne

[Jack] Hayes, a longtime Roswell resident, was a writer all his life. A poet since childhood, in 1991, he was a Georgia Poetry Award winner. He also won the national Rainmaker Prize for poetry and a scholarship to the prestigious Breadloaf Writers Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont, his son said.

from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Jack B. Hayes dies, 60, poet, reporter

[Molly Ivins] was known for hosting unforgettable parties at her Austin home, which would feature rollicking political discussions, and impromptu poetry recitals and satirical songs. At one such event, I noticed her dining table was littered with various awards and distinguished speaker plaques, put to use as trivets for steaming plates of tamales, chili and fajita meat.

from Memphis Flyer: Columnist Molly Ivins Dies of Breast Cancer at 62

As [Ilya] Kormiltsev's son claims, doctors of the respectable hospital practically refused to struggle for life of the patient.

A month ago, English doctors diagnosed with spine cancer in the fourth stage.

from Regnum: Doctors in UK refused to struggle for life of prominent Russian poet

"They were just loving people," said family member Cynthia Lamnick. "For this to happen, we're just all numb. It's bad enough when you bury one, but this is hard."

Friends said that 19-year-old Katie [Lunsford] liked to write poetry.

from WXIA-TV Atlanta: Man Faces Judge in Three Fatalities

When he was younger, [Sam] Pasternak was active in the local music scene and tried to promote Kansas City performers and composers. In his later years he liked to write poetry.

Gary Pasternak described his father as a good talker with a lively sense of humor.

from Kansas City Star: Co-founder of Cake Box bakery had the right recipe for living

[Sidney] Sheldon, who started his writing career at age 10 by selling a poem for $10 in his native Chicago, began his play-writing career in college, contributing short plays to drama groups at Northwestern University.

He got his first job in Hollywood reading scripts at Universal Studios for $22 a week.

from The Desert Sun: Sidney Sheldon prolific valley author dies at 89

[Stephen Smith Jr.] also enjoyed eating scrambled eggs and grilled cheese on weekends late at night. He played chess and pool with his step-father, Robert Wentz.

"He used to get mad at me all the time, when I beat him (in chess)," Wentz said.

Not only did Smith aspire to be a rapper, he also wrote poetry and drew, Wentz said.

from The New Age-Examiner: Son remembered

In this progressive scholarly environment, he finally felt at home and concentrated on poetry, theater, and writing.

Eric [Weinberger] became involved with the civil rights movement after his introduction to the New England Committee for Nonviolent Action, in Connecticut, where he first began his lifelong commitment to nonviolent action as a means to achieve social change.

from Z Magazine: Eric Weinberger, 1932-2006

[Darlene] Wright-Wesley also lamented that she [Deanna Wright-McIntosh] is now receiving mail from colleges in her daughter's name.

"In the 15 years that we were blessed to have her, she had a tremendous, positive impact on people of all walks of life," she recalled, stating she also had three poems published."

from DelcoTimes: 'Evil on Prowl' Haymes sentenced to life in prison


July 2003
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