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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

Kerouac is quite explicit about it: the trips in "On the Road" were made for the purpose of writing "On the Road." The motive was not tourism or escape; it was literature.

In fact, Kerouac began the book before his first trip with Cassady, which they took in the winter of 1948-49.

from The New Yorker: Drive, He Wrote

But it is also true that those rags--ghosts from the inevitable future, time bombs woven into our very DNA--are with us even when we're at our most transcendent. If, in some sense, that's a form of failure, it's the same failure we all face, the failure to sustain ourselves in the face of eternity, to build a firewall against the void. No one ever tried harder [than Kerouac]--making his friends into mythic figures, turning his adventures into heroic legends, creating a cosmology around the essence of the self.

from Bookforum: Roamin' Legions

This unifying effect was most glaringly captured when the TV stations of both Hamas and Fatah threw their support behind the unsuspecting Tamim [Al-Barghouti], broadcasting his poems repeatedly, and urging people to vote for him, catapulting him from a little-known young poet into a symbol of national resistance and unity.

from The Electronic Intifada: Arab poetry's sometimes subversive answer to "American Idol"

"Money," by Carmine Starnino, is a brief history of coinage. It is also a meditation on our need for certainty, for truth worthy of a capital T. Not least, it is a wonderful cascade of sounds and images:

"Their misshapenness strikes the table in tiny splashes,/like still-cooling splatters of silver. Stater and shekel,/mina and obol. Persia's bullion had a lion and bull."

from The Seattle Times: "Bestov, schmestov," but these poems are pretty darned good

"Art sometimes replaces those things that we lose in life. That's one of the functions, anyway. Maybe all poems are responses to something we're missing. I think a lot of painters, for example, are like that. What they want to see isn't there, so they paint it. Anyway, this poem was certainly an example."

from The Day: The Latest 'Frame' [--J.D. McClatchy]

This is all too much. It's bad enough that we have to be told, in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary, that the detainees at Guantanamo Bay are perfect innocents. To now be lectured that their militant calls for jihad and their vulgar imprecations against America are also great poetry is an insult to basic intelligence quite beyond the pale.

from FrontPage Magazine: Poems from Guantanamo

But while Mr [John] Makinson insisted Penguin had acted ''professionally and ethically" throughout, he did admit: ''I think it would have been more appropriate to have given some attribution to Mr [Stuart] Silverstein for those poems; it's just a personal opinion that I have based on my reading of the situation subsequent to my deposition in the initial case here."

from Telegraph: Penguin's in a flap over Dorothy Parker

"For me always to have a poem accepted by the New Yorker had a magical aspect," he [Paul Muldoon] said. "To see a poem published there had a magical aspect. To open up the magazine each week and see what the poem selection might be has a magical aspect, and I want to be part of that magic."

from The Daily Princetonian: Muldoon to be editor at New Yorker

"The problem with any talk of it being magical is it is imbedded in such a great deal of hard work and willingness to tolerate frustration and failure," [Kay] Ryan says. " I mean you have to have a great capacity for failure to write, and a great capacity for humiliation."

from Marin Independent Journal: Kay Ryan rises to the top despite her refusal to compromise

". . . Those who wish to deny women their rights in the name of tradition will obviously oppose me; those who wish to remain in the darkness of superstitions and religious blindness will obviously oppose me. I have seen that attitude in all fundamentalists; be it Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, whatever, it is the same." [--Taslima Nasreen]

from World Socialist Web Site: Bengali writer, Taslima Nasreen assaulted by mob led by Indian legislators

Suddenly, in a world without Heaven, Hell, the soul, and eternal salvation or redemption, the theological stakes seem more local and temporal: "So teach us to number our days." Psalm 23, again, is greatly refreshed by translation. Everything is clearer, seeming to have been rinsed not in the baptismal water of the New Testament but in the life-giving water of the desert.

from The New Yorker: Desert Storm

Great Regulars

The Wiegands' [Shirley A. Wiegand and Wayne A. Wiegand] appearance in Kansas City is timely in another respect, too: The American Library Association's Banned Books Week begins Sept. 29, providing an annual reminder that there always seems to be someone out there who thinks the written word is dangerous, seditious, morally bankrupt, filthy or whatever.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Beware: The written word has been on trial

One of the artists began to weep. He ran to the room of his son, the painter Horace Vernet. "Horace! Horace! Come here."

"What is it?"

"We're all in tears!"

"Why, what's happened?"

"It's Monsieur Berlioz singing Gluck. Yes, monsieur," he said to Berlioz, "it's enough to lay one flat . . ."

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Left hand Gluck

The Navy has won the latest round in a court battle over conducting high-intensity sonar tests off Southern California's coast. On Aug. 30, a federal appeals panel--the first of two such panels to hear the case--voted 2-1 that testing may continue because of prevailing national security interests, despite a possible threat to marine mammals, including whales and dolphins.

from John Freeman: The Log: Navy Gets Go-Ahead for Offshore Sonar Tests

The drunken portrayal of the street lamps offers further evidence that the speaker is possibly so drunk that his thoughts and memories are misaligned: "Every street lamp that I pass/Beats like a fatalistic drum." It's no doubt the speaker's head that is beating like the "fatalistic drum."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Eliot's Rhapsody on a Windy Night

The main theme in Larkin's "Here" is suggested in the last three lines of the third stanza and the first line and a half in the fourth stanza: "And out beyond its mortgaged half-built edges/Fast-shadowed wheat-fields, running high as hedges,/Isolate villages, where removed lives//Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands/Like heat."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Philip Larkin's 'Here'

This distinction indicates that the speaker is not referring to physical distance; he is not on a journey and separated from another person. He is separated from his God-given talent by writer's block. As day and night conspire to keep him tired and his creative juices blocked, he feels each day adds an additional weight of separation from his beloved duty of writing.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 28

Those victors do not understand victory as well as the defeated understand it.

The speaker here exaggerates the notion of the defeated by saying they lay "dying"--this exaggeration is one of the reasons that readers may misunderstand and claim that the speaker is referring to a Civil War battle.

from Linda Sue Grimes: 'Success is counted sweetest'

Words matter, so they should be treated with respect. What is heard cannot be unheard, what is read cannot be unread; thoughtful responsibility travels with the use of words.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Wearing down to shreds

Poem: "The Fabric of Life" by Kay Ryan, from Say Uncle: Poems.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of September 24, 2007

You could do the same with James M. Cain's "The Postman Always Rings Once," Dickens's "The Tale of One City," and Virginia Woolf's "About Halfway to the Lighthouse, More or Less."

These new releases might still prove too trying for the average reader, though. Are four Karamazov brothers too many for you? How about just "Dmitri Karamazov"? (He was always my favorite.)

from David Kirby: The Christian Science Monitor: How to Get People to Read the Classics

A number of American poets are adept at describing places and the people who inhabit them. Galway Kinnell's great poem, "The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World" is one of those masterpieces, and there are many others. Here Anne Pierson Wiese, winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, adds to that tradition.

Columbus Park

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 130

It put me into a rage.

Over time I came to understand that it is not that one should not write about people "outside" their own category, but that the necessary order of the work is to first examine the relationship one has to others, as honestly and fully as one can, and that this can happen, in part, in the process of writing. [--Anya Achtenberg]

from E. Ethelbert Miller: Foreign Policy in Focus: Fiesta!: Interview with Anya Achtenberg

It's Keats and [Bob] Dylan--not just because that formulation fits well into the diverse society that we inhabit, but because Dylan is good enough to be called the heir to (several) great traditions as well as an artist speaking about recognisably "modern times".

"I consider myself a poet first and a musician second," he once said.

from Andrew Motion: The Times: Andrew Motion explains why Bob Dylan's lyrics should be studied in schools

One question in particular recurs: Is death the annihilation of an individual consciousness, or does it lead to something else? And, in a universe that is incalculably large, what does the death of one mere person--a single human--signify? How could it not mean something?

from Meghan O'Rourke: Slate: Wrinkles in Time: Rereading Madeleine L'Engle

"Glory be to God for dappled things," writes Gerard Manley Hopkins in his poem "Pied Beauty," and "Love has pitched his mansion in/The place of excrement," says William Butler Yeats's character in "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop." Cate Marvin begins her exhilarating, fierce new book with a poem in that tradition of embracing the foul with the fair.

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

Kissers are not conscious of most of that. And perhaps that's best and it would ruin the moment to be thinking, mid-kiss, "OK, I give Ease of Embrace a 7.3, Scent is a nice 8.0, and while Moistness is a 3.6 (too sloppy by half), I'm getting a big 9.7 on Inter-Lip Conformation." People just don't do that. Still, they are doing more than they realize.

from John Timpane: The Courant: Kiss And Tell

In this week's Poetry Corner, GT features the work of Joseph Millar, the author of "Fortune," published by Eastern Washington University Press. His first book, "Overtime," (EWU, 2001), was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. He spent 25 years in the East Bay working as a telephone installation foreman. He now lives in Eugene, Ore., and teaches at Pacific University's Low Residency MFA Program.


from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Poetry by Joseph Millar

Ever After by Dennis O'Driscoll

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Ever After by Dennis O'Driscoll

Dream with Flowers and Bowl of Fruit
by Deborah Warren

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Dream with Flowers and Bowl of Fruit

by Jason Shinder

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Living

We sat in rear seats but now . . .
[by Harry Griswold]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Lily Kristina Feldman
Van Zant Elementary School

My life is like the beach waves

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Lily Kristina Feldman]

By Audrey Alyse Jenkins

Of Death

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Audrey Alyse Jenkins]

By Damon Lomax
Delsea Regional High School

We'll Find A Way (Never Give Up)

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Damon Lomax]

By Shreya Patel

The Colors of the Rainbow

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Shreya Patel]

To Enzi
[by Warren Le Mon]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: To Enzi

The Wild Vine
[by G. G. Malloy]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: The Wild Vine

"Poem for My Daughter Disparaging the Gossamer Depictions of the Women of Certain Southern Texts"
By Adrian Blevins

from Slate: "Poem for My Daughter Disparaging the Gossamer Depictions of the Women of Certain Southern Texts" --By Adrian Blevins

Since Pea Soup (1982), [Christopher] Reid has published five further volumes. For eight years he was poetry editor at Faber; he now teaches at the University of Hull. His edition of the Letters of Ted Hughes is forthcoming.

The naive reader

from The Times Literary Supplement: The Naive Reader

Poetic Obituaries

[Patricia J. Birenbaum] was a very accomplished pianist and as a young adult she was invited to play for Lawrence Welk. She shared her gift of music by teaching piano and accordion lessons for many years.

She was a very artistic and creative person. Pat enjoyed writing poetry, quilting, basket weaving, cooking, canning, caring for her flower gardens, sewing and homemaking.

from Sheboygan Press: Patricia J. Birenbaum

Philip Callow, the writer and poet who died on Saturday aged 82, began his career as a novelist in the 1950s with gritty portrayals of working-class life, but later turned to biography, producing lives of authors ranging from DH Lawrence to Robert Louis Stevenson and of the painters Van Gogh and Cézanne.

from Telegraph: Philip Callow

Several gunmen in a car shot Jawad al-Daami, 40, a line producer for the independent Cairo-based Al-Baghdadia, in the head in Baghdad's southwestern neighborhood of Al-Qadissiya at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, a source at the channel told CPJ. The source said that al-Daami was heading home southwest of Baghdad. He added that al-Daami, a well-known poet, had gone to Baghdad to attend a cultural conference on his day off from work.

from Committee to Protect Journalists: Iraqi producer murdered in Baghdad

[Robert F. Hayes] enjoyed cooking, fishing, camping, drawing, writing poems, and playing the guitar.

from Robert F. Hayes

[Stella Herrick] also wrote poetry.

Stella had strong ideas about most everything and shared her advice liberally--most of it with an eye to the safety of her family: Don't eat spinach. Don't eat hamburger. Don't go out wearing your expensive jewelry. Don't take airplanes (she had never flown.)

from The Orange County Register: A woman on the move

The death of Qurratulain Hyder marks the end of an era of the finest writing in Urdu. Hyder, also known as Ainee Apa, dominated the world of Urdu literature for over six decades.

from Jahane Rumi: In search of the unsearchable: ". . . O, my soul! where would you find your house?"

In the introduction to his book Arctic Dreams and Nightmares, [Alootook] Ipellie writes, "Like many of my peers, I would never again pursue my traditional culture and heritage as an Inummarik, a real Inuk. Once embedded in a southern environment, I was trained largely to cope with the white, Angle-Saxon, Euro-Canadian culture."

It was a transition that would shape his work for the rest of his life.

from Northern News Services: Renowned Inuit artist and writer passes away

[George Kolodzey] enjoyed science fiction, Jane Austen's novels and Pushkin's poetry, was a "killer chess player," loved classical music and the ballet, played tennis and taught English to Chinese students at Penn's Medical School.

"They were impressed by his Peking duck," Jody said.

He spoke several languages, including Latin.

from Pocono Record: Tobyhanna vet was fearless, peace activist

A former colleague believes the public never got to see broadcaster Robin Kora at his best.

The 58-year-old teacher, actor, newsreader and poet died over the weekend.

from Actor, Poet and Newsreader Robin Kora Dies (scroll 1/3 down)

Andrea said she went through some of [Connor LaFrance's] her son's poems and one read, "I am an original from God," and she said that was the truth.

"We will keep him in our hearts," she said. "We'll cherish him forever."

She said he is up there, riding around at 100 mph.

from The Saratogian: 'He died doing what he loved'

[Alice C. LaMoreaux] enjoyed writing poetry, painting pictures, and playing board games and cards.

Miss LaMoreaux was a home economics teacher in Coshocton and in Loudonville in the 1940s.

from The News-Herald: Alice C. LaMoreaux

This piece is a tribute to Vijayarangan, who was born on September 21, 1924, at Karuvadikuppam in Puducherry. A poet, who took up the cause of the working class and the downtrodden, the bearded 'Tamizh Oli', as he was known, spoke up for the eradication of casteism and poverty.

from The Hindu: Poet Tamizh Oli remembered

[Joseph Flanner Patterson, Jr.] compiled a book of medical experiences in WWII and authored six books of poetry. His poem "The River and the Bridge" commemorates the 1999 dedication of the Neuse River Bridge and is inscribed on a plaque at Union Point Park.

from Sun Journal: Joseph Flanner Patterson Jr., M.D.

A LifeSkills of Dayton student working part-time at a Wendy's restaurant, [Steven Adrian] Smith had published a poem and hoped to join the military after graduation.

from Dayton Daily News: Teen dies 6 weeks after being hit by car

[Julie] Tracy was an award-winning editor of the JMHS literary magazine.

In March, following a motor vehicle accident that claimed the lives of Jackson Memorial students Andrew Miller, 17, and his sister Shatone Glover, 16, Tracy put her literary skills to use and penned the following poem:

from Tri-Town News: Accident claims lives of three young women

Ernest Peter Uiberall, 95, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who was an interpreter at the Nuremberg war crimes trials and during the early stages of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 26 at his home in Alexandria.

Col. Uiberall, who went by Peter, was born in Vienna. Part of the Viennese literary scene in his youth, he helped launch two magazines, studied at the University of Vienna and received a diploma in French language and literature from the University of Grenoble in France.

from The Washington Post: Lt. Col. Ernest P. Uiberall, 95; Interpreter at Nuremberg War Trials


News at Eleven

Exactly 15 men looked on.

Here on Mutanabi Street, the capital's 1,000-year-old intellectual core, they had come to celebrate and witness the first Friday in more than a year in the city without a curfew from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

from The New York Times: A Baghdad Book Mart Tries to Turn the Page

Today International PEN, ARTICLE 19 and the International Publishers Association issued an open letter to the newly-elected President of Turkey Adbulah Gül. The letter calls for the abolition of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code.

from International Freedom of Expression eXchange: Alert: Joint Action: International PEN, ARTICLE 19 and IPA call for abolition of Article 301

This is the irony--Aurangzeb's daughter was an antithesis of her father's persona and politics. Zeb-un-Nissa was both a Sufi and a gifted poet. The Divan-i-Makhfi--a major divan--is credited to her name. Given her father's dislike for poetry, she could only be makhfi--the invisible. There was subversion too--like all rebels she attended and participated in the literary and cultural events of her age, dressed in her veil.

from All Things Pakistan: Zeb-un-Nissa

The man who has been vilified as an over-sexed Regency dandy was in fact, with the possible exception of Napoleon, "the most important European in the first half of the 19th century". He was, [Dr. Alan Rawes] Rawes said, "bigger than Shakespeare".

from The Independent: The Big Question: Was Byron a 19th-century giant--or just an early exponent of celebrity hype?

Writers don't make much money from what they do. They write because writing matters to them. They may be crotchety about getting the right words on paper, but they tend to be generous in helping others. It's the quality of the work that a real writer cares about, not the ego.

This contemporary sonnet by Don Patterson is about exactly that:


from The News Journal: State's first poet laureate bids farewell

The ending line, "the bright gravel of stars," is an inversion, where earth and sky reverse positions, echoing the poem's theme. This dizzying image shows the possibilities for language to surprise and delight.

Great Blue Heron

By Steven Hind

from Lawrence Jounal-World: Poem's simplicity deceptive

It is a motif that occurs in the earliest poems in this book and which is consciously returned to in the last, The Space Between: here, [Anthony] Thwaite hears a rat in his roof and lets it live, not because the poet has come to terms with his cohabitant, but because the rat is beyond his grasp, so deeply embedded in the structure of his property that he can no longer reach it.

from The Times: Collected Poems by Anthony Thwaite

Although Edward Lear suffered illness all his life, he lived to be 76. Just before he died, he wrote:

No more my pen: no more my ink:
No more my rhyme is clear.
So I shall leave off here I think,
Yours ever,
Edward Lear

from The Los Angeles Times: He wrote 'The Owl and the Pussycat'

"The way digital poetry experiments with language raises questions and challenges conceptions of literature that were formed by printed books," says Maria Engberg, who has examined what this entails for literary scholarship.

from Uppsala universitet: Newsdesk: Computer poetry pushes the genre envelope

A central force in Charles North's new collection, Cadenza, his eighth book of poems, is a conversational imperative that demonstrates how the act of looking and thinking can be converted into the act of creating a poem via dialogue--thus encouraging more looking, thinking and conversation.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Patter up: Verse that covers all the bases

We can say "I poured water into the glass" but not "I poured the glass with water." What accounts for this curious difference between "load" and "pour"? Pinker claims that pouring merely lets a liquid move under gravity's influence, whereas loading is motion determined by the human agent. "Pour" and "load" thus belong to different microclasses, and these microclasses reveal how we construe events.

from The Los Angeles Times: 'The Stuff of Thought' by Steven Pinker

Great Regulars

The issue of violence, abuse and our ambivalent, voyeuristic relationship to it continues to be an ongoing thematic concern for me, and I hope to create dialogs with the audience on these issues.

Throughout the book, [John] Fox uses works by famous and unknown writers to illustrate how poetry sheds light on dark places, and shapes hearts and minds.

from Lisa Alvarado: Blogcritics: Poetic Medicine--The Healing Art of Poem-Making

A park's "benches" and "trees" are overlaid with ghosts of the city's seafaring past, the "you" of the poem "mending ship's sails on the dilapidated bandstand"; in other poems the city is "ruled by wolves" or devoured by its citizens, "gnawing at bricks . . . /Gobbling cornice like icing".

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Harbour bound

My prediction is that, as far as poetry readings are concerned, the old days of anarchy and amateurism will soon be over, and that producers and directors will take control. The familiar recipe--get half a dozen people together, ask them to read for 20 minutes each, cross your fingers and sit back--will come to seem not good enough.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Reading the room

Every one of our writing labs is started by a local group, and every one addresses itself to that specific area. We just like the small scale. Let's rent a space, let's hire one person and then worry about the rest, but the important thing is the small thing.

from John Freeman: The Guardian: 'We never feel any sort of ownership'

Lacking "wit and sense" such a jealous lover finds "The fault, wherewith fifteen is lost" and "he that brings the racket in is double diligence." He loses his joy in fantasy and instead of easily returning the volley of love messages, loses his patience and fails to play as a tennis player who out of anger breaks the tennis racket and stalks off the court.

from Linda Sue Grimes: De Vere's Love and Tennis

"Birches" consists of sixty lines, divided into two verse paragraphs of 41 and 19 lines. This poem is unrimed free verse, which Frost did not wholly endorse. He claimed that writing free-verse was like playing tennis without a net.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Frost's 'Birches'

Yet going past this absurdity, the reader understands that once the tiger has ripped the victim's throat, the victim would be dead and incapable of uttering anything further, must less the ridiculous line "I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!"

from Linda Sue Grimes: McKay's 'America'

In the first quatrain, the speaker tells his God-given talent that he is sending this poem to confirm the fact that he accepts the duty his writing talent places upon him. He is not just writing these clever little verses to show off his intelligence; he is writing out of a true call to duty that his talent requires of him.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 26

The addressee seems to be far from the speaker: "from far where I abide." And though his eyelids are "drooping," the thoughts of the addressee keep them "open wide." So there he is, lying in bed in total darkness, eyes wide open seeing only what "the blind do see," as he contemplates and muses on the addressee.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 27

This poem weighs the old-fashioned learn-by-rote manner of teaching, against the learn-as-you-play more liberal style, and finds that poetry, although included as something creative to do along with "Projects" in this new, experimental way of teaching, is not itself actually taught because it has rules, and no one "knows enough/To know how the rules work".

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Undisciplined freedom

Poem: "The judge was decent, but..." by Donald Hall, from The Old Life.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of September 17, 2007

North Carolina poet, Betty Adcock, has written scores of beautiful poems, almost all of them too long for this space. Here is an example of her shorter work, the telling description of a run-down border town.

Louisiana Line

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 129

Williams' poem is effective because of the implied reality. Give the reader a sensory experience to hold onto and you are halfway home. Convinced of the concrete actuality of an experience, your reader will be ready to make the leap to a metaphysical truth.

from A.S. Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: On Poetry: Proof heightens sense of place

They do not explain what those mysteries mean. What true poets do is capture some of this mystery. And true poets will be the first to honestly admit they don't know how they do it. Most likely it isn't deliberate. You get at the meaning indirectly.

from A.S. Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Poets don't have to be clever to convey meaning in work

For college teachers, September is the month of returning to work, often with mingled feeings of eagerness and dread. Here are two poems about the academic profession.

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

The combinations
Of the world are unstable
By nature. Take it easy.

But [Kenneth] Rexroth's Taoism had an activist tone to it. His "take it easy" is an echo of Pete Seeger's trade-union organizing song Talking Union which ends "Take it easy, but take it."

from René Wadlow: Newropeans Magazine: The Flutes of Dionysus: Kenneth Rexroth: The Poetry of Relevance

In this month's Poetry Corner, we feature Patricia Zylius, a copyeditor who lives in Santa Cruz. She gardens, practices tai chi, walks and listens mostly to music written before 1750 and jazz. Her poems have appeared in the Porter Gulch Review, the Monterey Poetry Review, and caesura.


from Good Times Weekly: Poety Corner: Poetry by Patricia Zylius

Unrhyming Pop Song by Ian McEwan

from The Guardian: The Original poetry: Unrhyming Pop Song by Ian McEwan

Song of a Wanderer by Sasha Dugdale

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Song of a Wanderer by Sasha Dugdale

Two Poems
by George Szirtes
Questions for Stan Laurel

from Guernica: Poetry: Two Poems

Between the Lines: Poem by Todd Hanks

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: Poem by Todd Hanks

Not for Chopin
by Arda Collins

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Not for Chopin

On a Passenger Ferry
by Jean Valentine

September 24, 2007

(For Grace Paley)

from The New Yorker: Poetry: On a Passenger Ferry

by J. D. McClatchy

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Resignation

--Yannis Ritsos

translated by Paul Merchant, Portland

During a single month in 1979, the Greek poet Yannis Ritsos wrote 336one-line poems and published them as a collection in 1980.

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By John Farr
Moorestown High School
The Giant Sequoia Tree

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: [by John Farr]

By Madelyn Savitch

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: [by Madelyn Savitch]

By Jessie Siek
Naptime Math

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: [by Jessie Siek]

[by Kasey Kulesza]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Lightning

Really Brown
[by Bob Mangion]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Really Brown

Adam Thorpe's fifth collection, Birds with a Broken Wing (Cape, £9), has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize. It is haunted by "the slight bruise of doubt", by what's lost, secret, or misunderstood--as in this first poem of two about Beirut. While the poet escaped, the situation has stalled.

Ambiguity 1958

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"When I Think About the Time the Man Asked Me To Stop Fidgeting With My Pencil"
By Christopher Cunningham

from Slate: "When I Think About the Time the Man Asked Me To Stop Fidgeting With My Pencil" --By Christopher Cunningham

Poetic Obituaries

In a poem he [WWII POW Peter Allain] wrote to Mae, he said to remember that he loved her but that every day he got a little weaker and more mixed up in the head.

"The women we married paid a fearful price too," he wrote. "They would hear the crying out in the night, and hear us screaming as our nightmares haunted us like ghosts. To many of us, it is still occurring 60 years later."

from Bradford County Telegraph: WWII POW Peter Allain dies

Ari D. Brown-Weeks, 23, was one of five soldiers who died in the accident in Baghdad. His father, Jon Weeks of West Leyden Road, said yesterday the Army informed him and his wife, Karyn Brown, of their son's death.

Weeks said his son was a talented athlete and writer who liked poetry.

from The Republican: Soldier killed in Iraq crash

As well as An Angel at my Table, her film work included The Audition, 1989, directed by her daughter Anna.

[Edith] Campion's publications included A Place to Pass Through and Other Stories in 1977 and a novel, The Chain in 1979.

She had many stories and poems published in Islands, Landfall and the NZ Listener, as well as readings of her work on Radio New Zealand.

from Stuff: Kiwi actress Edith Campion dies

Over the last few years, Marian [A. Gerrity] enjoyed reading and writing poems and playing the slot machines in Green Bay.

from Appleton Post-Crescent: Gerrity, Marian A.

In life, he [H. Eugene Johnson] wrote 3,000 poems. At the end, he reflected on death, God and faith.

from St. Petersburg Times: Philosopher, poet, religious man, lawyer

[Kim Mitchell] Kogon is a member of the Delaware Track and Field and Pike Creek Valley Running Club halls of fame.

She was working as a law librarian at the Wilmington firm of Connolly, Bove, Lodge & Hutz before her fall. She also had been a writer, poet and physical therapy assistant.

from The News Journal: Record-setting runner Kogon dies at 44

A well-known communist poet in Orissa, Dasuram Majhi, has died of the waterborne disease cholera, which officials say has already killed over 140 people in three tribal-majority districts of the state.

from Leftist Orissa poet dies of cholera

The College alumni include the poets Desmond O'Grady and John Liddy. Mrs. [Nora] McNamara helped edit and publish the nascent literary efforts of both these poets.

from Limerick Post: Late Nora McNamara changed face of education in Limerick

[Donald Plucknett] enjoyed traveling, reading and writing on a wide range of subjects, especially genealogy. He also loved singing, writing and performing music.

In 1989, he published a book of poetry, "The Roof Only Leaked When It Rained," which recalled his days in Nebraska.

from The Washington Post: Tropical Agriculture Expert Donald Plucknett, 75

Recently he'd spend many hours on his daughter Lisa's farm in York, sitting under a shade tree and watching the horses in the field, the rooster in the garden, and the goats playing in their pen.

Edward [Schenker] was an avid reader. Poetry brought him great joy and he often quoted wisdom from his favorite poets: Longfellow, Kipling and Emerson.

from Foster's: Edward Schenker

What set her apart as being an unusual artist is that her works were also accompanied by her poems which echo the theme of the paintings.

Gussie [Loftin Townsley] has been quoted as saying, "I get something on my mind . . . after a while it'll get so it bugs me and it won't turn loose until I paint it. I've lost more sleep trying to figure out how to tell a story on canvas."

from The Town Talk: Gussie Loftin Townsley

As a boy, he [J.H. "Adam" Watson] learned a vast amount of English poetry, apparently because his mother, who never mastered Spanish, had no idea what else to teach him.

from The Washington Post: J.H. Watson, 93; British Envoy, Scholar

PNP Chairman Robert Pickersgill says Councillor [Jean] White, who was elected to the Clarendon Parish Council in 2003, wore her different portfolio hats with distinction.

He also lauded her as a mother of the Spaldings community who wrote poetry and songs and led the Spaldings Primary School to win several medals at Jamaica Cultural Development Commission competitions over several years

from Radio Jamaica: PNP Councillor dies suddenly


News at Eleven

Asked, late in his life, what On the Road was actually about, Jack Kerouac replied, "It was really a story about two Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God. And we found him."

from Weekly Dig: On the Road at 50

I didn't eat. I hardly slept. When I finished the book a first time, I read it again. And again.

At some point during those fateful days in 1993, my life changed forever. Losing myself in "On the Road" finally enabled me to see why the entire town of Northport was so enamored with Jack Kerouac—in addition to being an epic local character, the guy was like Mozart with words.

from World Hum: Kerouac! Kerouac! Kerouac!
also World Hum: Jack Kerouac's 'On the Road': 22 Great Links

According to Kerouac, a Times Square hustler called Herbert Huncke coined the term. Kerouac said: "Huncke appeared to us and said 'I'm beat' with radiant light shining out of his despairing eyes...a word perhaps brought from some Midwest carnival or junk cafeteria." Gary Snyder said: "I'm not a Beat poet. I never did know exactly what was meant by the term Beats."

from The Guardian: theblogbooks: Do we need to keep the Beats in their box?
also The Guardian: theblogbooks: Beats week

As he listened Wednesday to different voices begin a marathon reading of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," Kerouac fan Frank Wagner found each reader sparked a similar reaction.

"I found myself tapping my foot," Wagner said. "You get the rhythm, you get the feel, you get the beat."

from San Francisco Chronicle: 'On the Road' Marathon Honors Kerouac

The works are titled "Evening and Night on Primrose Hill" "To a Tramp Met in the Holidays in Monmouthshire" and "Enchantment". All three were published, unsigned, in the school magazine, The Gresham, between 1922 and 1925, when Auden was a clever, pink-faced 15-year-old. Two of them are among the earliest poems he ever wrote. But all three shed light on his major influences and the state of his adolescent mind.

from The Independent: Auden: The lost poems

Belfast poet Michael Longley has been appointed the new Professor of Poetry for Ireland.

The writer, who was born in 1939, is the fourth person to hold the post.

from BBC News: Longley new professor of poetry

"I have friends who are married to lawyers and medical professionals, and I don't know how they can live with someone who is not a poet. I never have to explain to someone else when I suddenly disappear into a room to write a poem or take off to Macon to ride around town with Sam and Dave's horn-player. She knows exactly what I'm doing because she does the same thing."

from Tallahassee Democrat: The omnivorous poet

("Beauty had to fail at something/ in order to be really beautiful/why not at you?") Others, on the other hand, brilliantly encapusulate vague youthful drives. "Words can't be separated from their semantics," says Ann Cotten.

from The impertinent muse

Does it matter?--losing your sight? . . .
There's such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.

Sassoon's poetry, like that of Owen and Edward Thomas, or the memoirs of Robert Graves and Edmund Blunden, affirms its authority through the tense meeting of duty and doubt. Above all, we value it, almost a century on, as the work of a man who was there, as something beautifully crafted, coolly observant and morally irrefutable.

from The Guardian: In the line of fire

As it turns out, Alabama has an authentic, vibrant modern poetic culture that would be the envy of any state, a fact that "Whatever Remembers Us" demonstrates in forceful and convincing fashion. There are over 150 selections in the anthology (by far the majority by Alabamians), most dating from the last 50 years.

from Press-Register: 'Whatever Remembers Us' gives state poetry a magnificent showcase

We want to present some of the many Philomene Long poems that have appeared in the Mirror, however, since they are lengthy (and brilliant, of course), some have been edited. It's not that we want to mess with the great words of the great Beat Queen of Venice, it's just that we want to print a nice sampling of her work. We truly hope Philomene, wherever she is, is okay with that.

from Santa Monica Mirror: In the Words of Philomene Long

Great Regulars

For Plumly, who was born in Ohio in 1939, the luminous moments of a poet's personal history are always gestating in the imagination. "Silent Heart Attack" is a wonderful example of this sort of gestation. The poem begins with an assessment about silence as "another kind of violence"--a provocative claim, to be sure, and one that asks the question, what is the nature of silence exactly?

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry

Audrey Sprenger: Part of the reason Kerouac, you know, I think had trouble fitting into the academy and the publishing world in the beginning had to do with the fact that they didn't quite know where to put him. He was, like I mentioned, an incredibly disciplined, accomplished writer who could write in any genre, yet who, at the same time, decided to try and defy the rules and play with the rules

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Kerouac's "On the Road" 50th Anniversary Celebrated

"I don't know what marriages are like in general," she [Joyce Carol Oates] says, "but there are many things which I don't talk about with my husband. We discuss practical problems, but I wouldn't sit down with him and talk about the distant past. It's somewhat in contrast to other Americans, who feel that they have to confess things, but I'm really not like that. It all comes out in the writing; that's enough. And my husband doesn't read my writing either."

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: The grandmother of invention

Has the shortlist lived up to the promise of the longlist? And what about the inclusion of McEwan? To my mind, On Chesil Beach is a very slender book for a Booker shortlistee (though perhaps that's sizeist of me).

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Here it is: the Booker shortlist

As Billy [Mills] points out, this poem reveals a clear debt to [William Carlos] Williams' 'This is Just to Say', particularly in the final lines, and in the cleanness and simplicity of the language, too. What do you think of it?

Anecdote of Tangerines by Lew Welch

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Poem of the week

In "River-doors", he [Sean O'Brien] describes the "foul yawn of low tide" working its way into "estuarine polyps and leathery excrescences", the viscosity of his language providing a gratifying echo of the foetid water's slurp and suck.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Water, water everywhere

Sometimes faintly amusing, but more often simply poignant, these three-line stories were exercises in compression. "On the bowling lawn a stroke levelled M André, 75, of Levalloi. While his ball was still rolling he was no more."

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Not with a bang

When other poets were being grouped in schools of poetry through poetic theory, Frost objected to being included in any group, claiming that he was a lone wolf. He felt that if poets needed that kind of thing, they should do it, but he preferred to remain independent.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Robert Frost

In the third quatrain, the speaker offers another comparison of the fickleness of fame and favor. Warriors who have fought many winning battles are held in high esteem, but when one defeat comes, the warrior loses all of his accolades: "from the book of honour" he is erased.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 25

[Will] Brown, the Cloudy Day Art podcaster, enjoys the accessibility of the medium, but he doesn't consider it his mission as a podcaster to circumvent traditional poetry forums.

"Our foremost goal as poets who podcast, blog, and self-publish should be to simply connect people to poetry. Anything else that results is just the fruits of the seed we are planting," Brown says.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Podcast options aplenty for poetry

The cycle of love, marriage, infidelity, anger, recrimination, forgiveness, mistrust, can always lead back to love, only for the cycle to begin again.

MacNolia is talking to her husband, John, who, as I understand it, has become an eponym for "appetite,/Lack of trust" and "lust and lies".

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Vicious circle

Poem: "Late For Summer Weather" by William Carlos Williams, from The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams: Volume 1 1909–1939.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of September 10, 2007

Our poet this week is 16-year-old Devon Regina DeSalva of Los Angeles, California, who says she wrote this poem to get back at her mother, only to find that her mother loved the poem.

Snip Your Hair

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 128

No one seems to realize how conventional we all were--we all came from such Victorian houses. Jack was the kid of immigrants. He and Neal were perfect gentlemen. They respected women. Old-fashioned values were part of their consciousness. [--Carolyn Cassady]

from Meghan O'Rourke: Slate: On the Road Again

How differently do you think On the Road would be regarded today if it had been called a memoir when it was published? Evaluated as a traditional novel, it has plenty of failings of characterization and plot. One of the strangest things about On the Road as a novel is how little we know about Sal Paradise, how little the "I" actually speaks (in conversation) or self-interrogates; he is, rather, an "eye."

from Meghan O'Rourke: Slate: On the Road, Revisited

[Margaret] Atwood looks around her at a world full of dark figures and forebodings, as in "The Singer of Owls", a haunting poem about a man who "wandered off into the darkness" as a boy. "He preferred dim corners, camouflaged himself/with the hair and ears of the others,/and thought about long vowels, and hunger, and the bitterness of deep snow."

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: Open and shut case

[Stanley] Plumly's tribute has a similar quality of quiet depths, something like a sublime wryness.

Paradox and the relation between enduring stone and fluid life also characterize Plumly's meditation on the great Italian modernist Eugenio Montale:


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

Wild Turkeys: An Essay
Eco Poetry Contest Winner

John Timpane

After a local paper spotted wild turkeys back in the neighborhood, supposedly a sign of an improved ecology.

from John Timpane: GreenFest Philly: Wild Turkeys: An Essay

Many people have one of these things - an exquisite physical gift; mastery of music; audience connection. Almost no one, and maybe only a handful in the world in any one generation, has them all.

Pavarotti had them all.

from John Timpane: Hartford Courant: Pavarotti: Three Parts In Beautiful Harmony

Sleepy Little Essay on Good and Evil
by Ann Lauderbach

from The Brooklyn Rail: Sleepy Little Essay on Good and Evil

Three Poems by Elizabeth Robinson
by Elizabeth Robinson


from The Brooklyn Rail: Three Poems by Elizabeth Robinson

This poem has a good sense of rage about it. I want to quote, though, a piece of advice from Ezra Pound that seems relevant: "Don't use such an expression as 'dim lands of peace'. It dulls the image. It mixes an abstraction with the concrete. It comes from the writer's not realizing that the natural object is always the adequate symbol."

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: John Hartley Williams's poetry workshop

This poem has a good sense of rage about it. I want to quote, though, a piece of advice from Ezra Pound that seems relevant: "Don't use such an expression as 'dim lands of peace'. It dulls the image. It mixes an abstraction with the concrete. It comes from the writer's not realizing that the natural object is always the adequate symbol."

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: After words

Ashbah by Brian Turner

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Ashbah by Brian Turner

Bad Dreams Are Good
by Joni Mitchell

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Bad Dreams Are Good

by Les Murray

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Fame

By Amber Darnell
Bellmawr Park Elementary

As I swim, I'm floating

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Amber Darnell]

By Stephanie Dodds
Stupid Little Bug

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Stephanie Dodds]

By Coleen Kulik
Burlington County College

Is Life so Surreal . . . or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Coleen Kulik]

By Scott Nickelsberg
Glen Landing Middle School

6th grade, one jumbled mess of problems:

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Scott Nickelsberg]

Just for Today
[by Jean Whitman Mayotte]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Just for Today

My Problem
[by John J. Witherspoon]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: My Problem

The Irish poet Eavan Boland writes with particular grace and authority of the domestic life that was for so long not considered a suitable subject for poetry, giving the realities of suburban life an almost mythic significance. Her new collection, Domestic Violence (Carcanet, £8.95) is shortlisted for the Forward Prize.

The skies above Dundrum tonight, unusually,

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: Neighbours

"In Another Country"
By Gail Mazur

from Slate: "In Another Country" --By Gail Mazur

The four pieces printed in that issue marked a late return (here in his eighty-fifth year), after long experimentation with poems in standard English, to the lyrics in a composite Scots or "Lallans" with which MacDiarmid had made his name in the 1920s and early 30s.

The poems were accompanied at the time with the following glossary:
kittled, tickled; lift, sky; lourd, heavy; marrow, equal; clarsach, harp; lichtnin', lightning

Ulysses' Bow

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Ulysses' Bow and The Black Rainbow Over the Minch, by Hugh MacDiarmid

Poetic Obituaries

Gerald J. "Jerry" Barke, 39, Green Bay, died Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, at his home. He was born April 26, 1968, in Green Bay, to Gerald Jerome Flaws and Rosemary Barke. Jerry was a member of the International Society of Poets and enjoyed composing and publishing his poems and short stories.

from Green Bay Press-Gazette: Barke, Gerald J. "Jerry"

Maurice E. Beckett's monthly article "Notes from Tryon Estates" were printed for eight years in the Tryon Daily Bulletin and a book of verse, In that Small Town of Long Ago, was published in 2003. He was a student of Cherokee Indian archaeology and wrote another book, in verse, of tales from Cherokee legends.

from Times-News: Maurice E. Beckett, 94

"He was a warrior poet. Spirit of a warrior, heart of a poet, mind of a scholar. They came together in Jay."

[Army Staff Sgt. Jason M.] Butkus, 34, was killed in Baghdad when his Humvee was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.

from The Record: Fallen soldier recalled as a 'warrior poet'

In total the prolific academic [Phan Cu De] published nearly 30 books on literary theory and criticism including Tieu Thuyet Viet Nam Hien Dai (The Modern Vietnamese Novel) and his first critical study of modern poetry in Vietnam, the New Poem Movement.

from VietNamNet Bridge: Literary expert dies at age 74

[Anne Delich] cherished a writing tablet in which she'd written poems she'd studied during eighth-grade poetry hour at her church. She kept it in her nightstand drawer nearly all her life. She pulled it out and recited with gusto refrains from such beloved poems as "Casey at the Bat" and "Excelsior," [Marcia] Braun said.

"It was beautiful to see her reciting them," she said. "She treasured that little booklet."

from The Kansas City Star: Tribute: Anne Delich had a passion for poetry, a flair for fashion

The life of the Black Country's "godfather" of entertainment could soon be honoured with a blue plaque near his childhood haunts.

Flat cap-wearing poet Harry Harrison died from a heart attack last month at the age of 85, shortly after suffering a stroke.

from Express & Star: Fans want plaque for Harry

But it wasn't until the 1980s when he [Terry Hetherington] started writing poetry, following the death of his wife Rita through motor-neurone disease.

Despite starting relatively late in life, he soon carved out a place in the nation's heart as one of the country's best poets.

from Evening Post: Happy Times Recalled at Poet's Funeral

"Why does anybody tell a story?" she [Madeleine L'Engle] once asked, even though she knew the answer.

"It does indeed have something to do with faith," she said, "faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically."

from The New York Times: Madeleine L'Engle, Writer of Children's Classics, Is Dead at 88

Dasuram Majhi, the controversial Kui poet who was arrested for Naxal activities, was reportedly one of the victims of the disease. Majhi, a top leader of Bashadhara Dalam of the CPI (Maoist), was wanted by the police for long.

from Kui poet dies of diarrhoea

[Howard Miller] spent his 45th wedding anniversary on June 30 at downtown Joliet's fine arts fair.

Howard's poem, "The Junker's Prayer," graced the back of "the cards they put out at the funeral home," Rita said. "He could not pass up a junk pile or a dumpster."

from The Herald-News: Joliet man was one-of-a-kind

[Kyle] Quinn penned a poem right there, on the spot, to read to everyone, [Janemarie] Cloutier said.

"It was about the poetry reading itself, and it was lovely," she said. "It was about the joy of finding other people who loved writing as much as he did."

from The Intelligencer: Warminster man dies in beating

Cookie Thomas' own words, though, make it impossible to keep her loss at arm's length. No child can live in her neighborhood and not know the decay, the danger, but she chose to see something else. Her poem reflects the whimsy of young girls across America, the kind whose hair is still six shades of shiny and who skip through the day with hearts about to burst with the simple joy of being alive.

from The Plain Dealer: Losing Cookie was everyone's loss
Also The Plain Dealer: A poem by Asteve' "Cookie" Thomas


News at Eleven

Nearly 40 years after his death, and a half century after the release of his most famous novel, On the Road, Kerouac remains an author who inspires motion. Students still re-enact his rambling, improvised trips across the country. Baby boomers retrace their own youthful journeys. Tourists seek out Kerouac landmarks, like this mill town the author left as a teenager but to which he always returned.

from The Record: Kerouac's ode to beat society

Kerouac's first book became something of a bible for pampered, middle-class white kids who felt they were missing out. As such it had something to say to millions of potential readers and helped rewire an entire culture. Kerouac didn't do this alone, of course.

from The Sydney Morning Herald: On the road again

"When a writer doesn't show his face," Don DeLillo wrote portentously in his 1991 novel, "Mao II," "he becomes a local symptom of God's famous reluctance to appear."

God's--or at least [Thomas] Pynchon's--heir apparent may be Denis Johnson, an esteemed if not widely known poet and novelist who spends much of his time in northern Idaho and whose new novel, "Tree of Smoke," is one of the season's most eagerly awaited.

from Los Angeles Times: Reclusive writers leave their words at face value

A lot of writers, live, simply don't do their work justice, which is hardly surprising. In one sense at least, writing and performing are polar opposites: one is about as anti-social as a career can get, while the other is definitely, to some degree, about attention seeking. And just because you can write a voice well doesn't mean you can speak in it.

from The Guardian's theblogbooks: Authors should be seen and not heard

It's the best way of remembering something; an oral technique I learned from my mother when she was telling me stories about hyenas and rabbits. She would string them together, and then link them up and then loop them again, and again . . ." His [Jack Mapanje's] hands trace curves in the air.

from The Guardian: Rhyme and treason

"After carefully considering the facts of this case, along with the recommendations from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I believe the right and just decision is to commute [Kenneth] Foster's sentence from the death penalty to life imprisonment," [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry said in a statement.

from Los Angeles Times: Texas governor calls off execution

Reporters Without Borders welcomes the life sentences which a Port-au-Prince court yesterday passed on two men, Alby Joseph and Chéry Beaubrun, for the abduction and murder of Jacques Roche, the head of the Le Matin newspaper's arts and culture pages. Roche was kidnapped on 10 July 2005 and was found dead four days later.

from Reporters Without Borders: Two men get life for Jacques Roche murder in sign of justice finally moving into action

[Germaine Greer] likes to think that William spent long hours teaching Ann to read as she watched her cows grazing on the common. She pictures him writing Venus and Adonis at the kitchen table, and reading out passages to make her blush or laugh, and she imagines Ann "enjoying the poem's lightness of touch, even as she shrank from its rampant sexuality."

from The Sunday Times: Shakespeare's Wife

Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy was considered by T. S. Eliot to be "the highest point that poetry has ever reached or ever can reach". While in his A Defence of Poetry Shelley declared: "Dante was the first awakener of entranced Europe; he created a language in itself music and persuasion out of chaos of inharmonious barbarisms . . . he presided over the resurrection of learning."

But such plaudits were not always forthcoming.

from The Times: Divine inspiration

These poets adopted to use the colloquial diction and the paradox in order to get the reader of the poem involved, sharing with the poet what he is feeling and trying to react against. This is seen in Donne's poem The Sun Rising when he says:

Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run ?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

from Yemen Times: John Donne & the Metaphysical Poetry

. . . So Rhys plays now so happily
To the angels in the crowd
And every time he hits the net
They roar his name so loud.
Have fun my little blue boy
You're safe and in God's care
Til it's time for me to get my boots
And join with you up there

Similarly, when the Princess of Wales died, there was an immense outpouring of grief. Instead of sending flowers, many mourners wrote poems to express their sense of despair.

from Yorkshire Post: Poetry in emotion . . . inspiration behind the lines of public grief

Great Regulars

Music--the most intimate resting place of our souls--continues to hint at something more, something, as Bergman and Wittgenstein saw, not quite of this world; something better. The truth, whatever the explanation, is that we all aspire to the condition of music.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Times: The science of music

They are a far cry from the Aztec world. Still, watching people's reactions this summer, it seems to me that these enormous flowers, these intense colours, retain a power to make people happy. Surely gardens were once like this, before good taste took some of the fun away.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Blooming marvellous

As we approach that great book's 50th anniversary on Wednesday, with tributes going off like fireworks and an exhibition about to open at the New York Public Library, one has to wonder: what does all this expensive ephemera tell us?

The question was on my mind as I passed by 454 West 20th Street this week, the red brick townhouse where Kerouac composed the scroll while high on coffee.

from John Freeman: The Guardian's theblogblooks: Off the road: Kerouac's forgotten abode

"There are sunflowers and prairie-snowballs and long green fields, and snow mountains: as I said to somebody, 'I am Rubens and this is my Netherlands.'"

Something happened between 1951 and 1957 that made Kerouac a writer rather than a painter of words and "On the Road" the book it is today.

from John Freeman: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 'Road' work

In the third verse paragraph, the reader learns that the speaker likes to fold things up because she wants "To scale all love down/To a cupped hand's size." She called her "folding" up of things she loves an act of "sublimation." She has the need to purify and control her own emotions.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Tiempo's 'Bonsai'

The X-ray plate of the ten-year-old girl, who has swallowed a toy car complete with driver, is one of the slides on display. Armitage likens it to a photograph of a human soul because there is no substance; the image is ethereal and other-worldly (inner-worldly). It is not hard to imagine that this could be what our soul might look like if only we could see it: a transparency of our corporeal form.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Destiny's children

Poem: "Three Songs at the End of Summer" by Jane Kenyon, from Collected Poems.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of September 03, 2007

Poet Marianne Boruch of Indiana finds a bird's nest near her door. It is the simplest of discoveries, yet she uses it to remind us that what at first seems ordinary, even "made a mess of," can be miraculously transformed upon careful reflection.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 127

The caller said the dispute stemmed from a plan to revive the traditional Tashi Sholpa opera performance, which was once the main highlight of the annual Yogurt Festival, lasting several days in pre-1959 Tibet.

But Chinese officials quashed the idea, and the monks refused to participate at the thangka ceremony in protest, the caller said.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Tibetan Monks in Protest Over Opera Ban

"Still," she writes in the beautiful last stanza, "why do I feel so responsible/for the wailing from shattered houses,/for birth defects and unjust wars,/and the soft, unbearable sadness/filtering down from distant stars?"

Some of the poems meditate on the responsibilities of the poet.

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: Open and shut case

The poem has a cheering quality that might at first be invisible, or mystifying: How can this account of a death from cancer have a kind of smiling, humane element? The answer to that question is in the gift of imagination: in this case, literally a gift, the final scene being given by the poet to the dying man's children, or to us readers.

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

[Richard Jones] is editor of "Poetry East," for which he received a CCLM Editors Award. He has also edited two critical anthologies, "Poetry and Politics" and "Of Solitude and Silence: Writings on Robert Bly." He is a professor of English at DePaul University and lives in Chicago.

Cherries in the Snow

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Poetry by Richard Jones

Lament by Joanna Boulter

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Lament by Joanna Boulter

Lovelier Near the End
by Mark Bibbins

from Guernica: Lovelier Near the End

Between the Lines
By Maril Crabtree

from The Kansas City Star: Poetry: Between the Lines

Postcard form Palestine
Djamal Benmerad

from MR Zine: Djamal Benmerad, 'Postcard form Palestine'

The one great loss is forgotten, [. . .]
[by Robert Hoeft]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Alison Garahan
I Love You

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Alison Garahan]

By Nikita Rao

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Nikita Rao]

By Christine Schmidt
West Deptford High School
From East to West

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Christine Schmidt]

La Lune
[by Lucie Therrien]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: La Lune

Open Fields
[by Ed MacDonna]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Open Fields

The Dynamics of Balsa (Association for Scottish Literary Studies, £6.95) is the intriguing title of this anthology of new Scottish writing, celebrating its 25th year. Editors Liz Niven and Brian Whittingham chose from around 1,000 anonymous submissions and included this cinematic little poem by Leslie Dargie--her very first publication.

The Doctor Smoked a Pipe

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"Bad Annunciation"
?ca. 1500, Jean de Flanes
By Joanie Mackowski

from Slate: "Bad Annunciation" --By Joanie Mackowski

Through the guileless language of the phrase-book entries, the reader can reconstruct the story of a military action against part of a city, which might (as the title warns) apply anywhere. As many of his poems suggest, [James] Fenton was once a war correspondent.

Lines for Translation into Any Language

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Lines for Translation into Any Language, by James Fenton

From Hombre de paso/"Just Passing Through" (1981) to La vida al contado /"Life in Installments" (1992) and beyond, there's a bizarre quality to his verses, a proneness to archaisms, an endearment of symbols, as if [Isaac] Goldemberg's contemporaries were not Raúl Zurita, Alberto Blanco, Homero Aridjis, and other poets from the Spanish-language Americas today, but Dante and Milton and perhaps Goethe.

from Zeek: Poems--With an Introduction by Ilan Stavans

Poetic Obituaries

"He had such unconditional love. He just accepted people the way they were, and he was always so generous. You could never outgive him."

Father [Joseph Crawford] Allen was also renowned for his religious-inspired poetry, which he often recited during Mass.

from The Decatur Daily: Longtime Athens priest dies from wreck injuries

[Roger Amaral] also wrote poetry and engraved glass, Roger Amaral Sr. said last night.

"He was very good at what he did," the father said. "I enjoy my sons, and as I'm saying that, the other two are here crying. I don't know what we're going to do."

from The Eagle-Tribune: Derry man dies in crash; Police: Speeding contributed to accident

[Katherine Laura Beller] gave unselfish support to her husband's career and followed her own intellectual pursuits which included Canadian literature, art history, architecture, poetry and psychology. Her creative endeavours encompassed playing the piano, interior design and working in her beloved garden.

from Guelph Mercury: Beller, Katherine Laura (nee Marshall)--Pass away

Beat legends Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, whose world Philomene [Long] would later join, as well as artists Jackson Pollock and William de Kooning, were but a few of those laying the groundwork for the Beat explosion (in the neighborhood where she lived) that would forever change the world, and continue to influence Philomene to this day.

from Santa Monica Mirror: Philomene Now In Poets Heaven

Friends from El Paso remembered [Lt. Col. Will] McDonald as a warrior poet with a rough exterior, a warm heart and a red Mazda Miata convertible.

"He was a spectacular human being who embodied core values in his soul that you generally don't encounter in the military, don't encounter in politics and don't encounter in men," said Bill Herring, a friend for nearly two decades.

from El Paso Times: Husband of ex-El Paso lawmaker remembered

Alice [Morrow] was a member of the National Association of Woman Workers, The American Association of University Woman, The National Education Association, Alpha Delta Kappa, The International Clover Poetry Association, The Shore National Network of Poets Society and the Commanders Club of Disabled American Veterans.

from Foster's: Alice Morrow

She was named New York State's first official state author in 1986, but Grace Paley was really poet laureate of the front stoop, a writer who turned the voices of the neighborhood into lasting art. She took seriously the concerns of home, sidewalk, city and the world, and stood up for social justice and peace, sometimes landing in jail for her protests.

from The Jewish Week: Amazing Grace

[Dora Smith] was a past president of 3 Garden Clubs. Dora was also a sculptor and a published poet. She served as director and treasurer of the Englewood Area Writers Guild and founded the Poetry Pod.

from The News Journal: Smith, Dora

At an early age, he [John Wallowitch] was picking out songs on his grandmother's piano. He also had poems printed in a children's column in the old Philadelphia Bulletin.

He attended the former Edgar Allen Poe Elementary School and went on to Vare Junior High School, where he would sneak into the building after hours to play the piano. A teacher caught him once and, instead of reprimanding him, offered him free piano lessons.

from The Philadelphia Daily News: John Wallowitch, 81, composer


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