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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

It is astonishing how many poets have written about them. Ogden Nash wrote: "Myself, I rather like the bat,/It's not a mouse, it's not a rat", and William Allingham: "Bat, bat, come under my hat,/And I'll give you a slice of bacon." But most of the poets here seem fascinated rather than really fond of them.

from The Times: On a Bat's Wing, edited by Michael Baron
also The Times: Extract from On a Bat's Wing, edited by Michael Baron

[Walt Whitman] called the first phrenology lecture he attended "the greatest conglomeration of pretension and absurdity it has ever been our lot to listen to. . . . We do not mean to assert that there is no truth whatsoever in phrenology, but we do say that its claims to confidence, as set forth by Mr. Fowler, are preposterous to the last degree." More than a decade later, however, that same Mr. Fowler, of the publishing house Fowler and Wells in Manhattan, became the sole distributor of the first edition of Leaves of Grass. Whitman couldn't find anyone else to publish his poems.

from Los Angeles Times: Book Excerpt: From Chapter 1 of 'Proust Was a Neuroscientist' by Jonah Lehrer

If [Ted] Hughes's question was how you use human language to minimise the humanising of nature, [John] Burnside's question is how you use human language to invent the language of the non-human. The narrator must be in some sense aware of, if not accustomed to, the rule of the tundra because he has just described it (that is, invented it in words that it doesn't speak).

from The Guardian: Masters of all they survey

Apple plum, carpet steak, seed clam, coloured wine, calm seen, cold cream, best shake, potato, potato and no no gold work with pet, a green seen is called bake and change sweet is bready, a little piece a little piece please.

from The Guardian: The odd couple

"I am generally thought of as a human paperweight," he [Paul Guest] proclaims to visitors in his windowless office at West Georgia University in Carrollton. "A doorstop. An impediment. A fire hazard."

Cue the irony, the sarcasm, the acerbic humor that underpins the stark, clear, sometimes opposing images in his poetry--work that today will earn him the prestigious $50,000 Whiting Prize, awarded to 10 American writers of exceptional promise.

from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Award-winning poet links art form to influences of daily life
also The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Notes for My Body Double

"In one sense, I feel justified in what I do--I'm supposed to come over here and stop this guy from shooting people with this thing," [Brian] Turner said.

"But I have a little boy walk up to me and say to me in English, 'Let go of my father! My father no bad man. Let free my father!' And when he looked at me, I guarantee he'll remember my face for the rest of his life.

from Times Argus: In poetry, war's grim words

"An Ordinary Day", a poem from Bells of Speech (Ambit, 2006) by Kurdish poet Nazand Begikhani has been selected and nominated for this year's UK Forward Book of Poetry prize.

from Kurdish Aspect: Kurdish Poet nominated for UK Forward Poetry Prize

But the 87-year-old poet remembers the electric shocks and brutal whippings that left his body covered in sores; the hunger that compelled him to eat grass sprouting between the stones of the prison patio; his crumpled mother, clinging to the shins of a prison guard, begging mercy for her bloodied and beaten son.

from The New York Times: Bill in Spanish Parliament Aims to End 'Amnesia' About Civil War Victims

Such a conversation might not take place elsewhere on the continent, but Mr. Simic points out some broader differences between American and European approaches to poetry. "In Europe poetry has always been a literary undertaking, it's really part of literature," Mr. Simic says. "If you write poetry in a serious way you are participating in a very long tradition, over a thousand years . . . they don't have, for example, the tradition of confessional poetry, they never had a Walt Whitman."

from The Wall Street Journal: The Immigrant 'Outsider' Is Now Poetry's Insider

As well as this, [Ciaran] Carson can approach the Táin from the north, as it were: where Kinsella's version seemed to tremble with the foreboding of internecine strife, as something threatening and partly alien, Carson's translation comes out of a long intimacy with the effects of conflict, and even with its untidy and conditional cessation.

Cú Chulainn is a fascinating monster.

from The Guardian: Courage's brutal core

"Like a bolt out of the blue, Freddy watched Lefty's first pitch come bouncing back to him, hissing sibilantly as it cut towards him in wild capers. A real 'grass-cutter,' he [Jack Kerouac] wrote in "Raw Rookie Nerves."

The novella ends with the rookie second baseman turning a triple play, knocking himself out in the process of winning the pennant.

"I think that was going a little too far," Kerouac later wrote of his romantic tale. "But in all seriousness, heroism is still my goal, and I don't care how childish that may be, it's it."

from Colorado Rockies News: Kerouac, baseball and Denver

Great Regulars

No nation has produced better essayists than France, none has produced better composers that the Germans, better painters than the Italians, nor better novelists than the Russians. America invented jazz and still masters the form and, though some may dissent, her record in film is unsurpassed. And the English? The English do poetry.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Liberal: Poetry and the English Imagination

And it is while on Dido's Lament that [Oliver] Sacks makes his greatest point (it underpins all he says), which is that music saves us. "And there is, finally, a deep and mysterious paradox here, for while such music makes one experience pain and grief more intensely, it brings solace and consolation at the same time."

from Bryan Appleyard: The Sunday Times: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks

One weaver, according to the Met catalogue, could produce about one square yard of medium-quality tapestry in a month, but the rate would be slower for the really fine work. It follows that, for any large-scale commission, a considerable number of people would have to be employed.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Life's rich tapestries

As cultural literacy declined with each passing year, these skills at transporting readers become more important--something Updike was worrying about back in 1983. "The world craves book reviews far more heartily than it craves books," he lamented in his introduction to Hugging the Shore. "They excuse us from reading the books themselves."

from John Freeman: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Great review for a great reviewer

Apparently, the mother and the man who used to inhabit the bones had done something "cruel" to the mother's husband. The reader is never told exactly what the act was, but there are many hints that lead to the assumption that they committed adultery, and instead of killing her, the husband killed her lover, and they buried him in the cellar.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Frost's 'The Witch of Coös'

Of course, most people believe those consequences are positive and worth the effort, but according to this wise man, losing one's heart to another merely causes pain and sorrow: "'Tis paid with sighs a plenty/And sold for endless rue."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Housman's Sage Advice

In the first stanza, the speaker describes the melancholy that the human mind encounters in times of stress that causes one to act against one's better interests.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Kipling's 'Helen All Alone'

Sonnet 33 is highly metaphorical; it is, in fact, an extended metaphor. The sun is a metaphor for the artist's talent or muse, and the clouds represent the intermittent lulls in inspiration to create. Therefore the artist can realize that despite the lulls, the talent, like the sun, is always present, always the motivation that keeps the artist's love alive.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 33

But he is not so quick to forgive the bright star, because although the sun is drying his face, the speaker is still counting himself as being injured by the drenching: the "salve" is healing the "wound" but "cures not the disgrace."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 34

One problem here is that the speaker has set up the vast difference between his friend and his foe, yet in the end we wants readers to believe that if he had discussed his anger with the foe, the outcome would have been different, but how can that necessarily be? Because the foe is a foe, it is quite possible that if the speaker had expressed his anger, the foe's reaction might still have triggered his wrath to grow.

from Linda Sue Grimes: William Blake's 'A Poison Tree'

[William] Wordsworth's obvious purpose is to support his notion that a pastoral life is pure, moral, and happy. He believed that living close to nature, living an uncomplicated, spiritual life devoted to honest labor was the ideal. His narrative suggests that if Luke had remained in the natural valley with his parents and continued to live the pastoral life, he would have retained his moral character and saved his parents' later years from grief.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Wordsworth's 'Michael'

Even the edition itself is pretty, hardbound and slender like a book of poems and illustrated with bold drawings in yellow, black and gray that capture the story's stark sentiments. This is one for the bookshelf, a book to be read and saved and rediscovered in adulthood, when it will be remembered as an early lesson in looking for the universe inside every small thing.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Young Adult Reader: 8-year-old learns about the world, through a cat's words

This is perhaps the last complete poem that Nicholas Heiney wrote before taking his own life at the age of 23 after a long battle with severe mental disturbance. It is from an extraordinary book of his poems, sea-logs and journals.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: The sound of silence

Poem: "Jet Lag" by Eve Robillard, from when gertrude married alice.

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

What motivates us to keep moving forward through our lives, despite all the effort required to do so? Here, North Carolina poet Ruth Moose attributes human characteristics to an animal to speculate upon what that force might be.

The Crossing

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 135

[Harley Elliott] suggests all words can limit direct experience of reality. In this case, the monarch butterfly walks on his face, and "blinded by words," he fails to match its "shining light." He addresses his readers and asks us to join in his quandary about how to express relationship with nature. Elliott’s "hinged mosaic" description for butterfly wings here is one of my favorites.

Butterfly Master

from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Harley Elliott (1940 - )

In "Blessing," [Jo] McDougall creates a story with selected details. The Kansas setting is alluded to with the presence of wind, storm and sun. The small-town intimacy with neighbors is suggested by the narrator’s nosiness. How long was the narrator watching in order to see all these details, including hidden panties? The last line opens the scene to larger questions.


from Denise Low: Economy of state’s landscape has influence on Kansas poet

In the beginning, at least, Ray [Raymond Carver] was both obliging and skittish. If I had said, "I think we should print this line upside down," he would have immediately said, "Yeah, yeah, that's a great idea." But then, even if I'd suggested just changing a comma, there would be a pause. I'd hear him take a drag on his cigarette and he'd say: "Oh, oh. Well, let's take another look at that."

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: I, Editor Author

Deploying those images, Robert Bridges (1844-1930), England's poet laureate during World War I, compares inner and outer weather: As reduced air pressure releases the tremendous, sometimes destructive energy of a storm, so, too, can the reduced pressures of custom or inhibition release tremendous, sometimes destructive human terrors, guilts and impulses:

Low Barometer

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

I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem. I am not of the East, nor the West, nor the land, nor the sea . . . My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless.

Rumi, a poet and mystic of Persian culture, was born in what is today Afghanistan and died in what is now Turkey.

from René Wadlow's The Flutes of Dionysus: Newropeans Magazine: Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273)

On the morning of October 27th, [John] Calvin went to see [Michael] Severtus in his cell and told Servetus that he bore him no ill-will and reminded him of how in their early days in Paris, he had worked to convert Servetus from his errors. Servetus did not make a deathbed revision. Servetus was burned on a small hill about a mile outside the city walls of Geneva.

Servetus was the only case of a man put to death for his religious opinions in Calvin's Geneva.

from René Wadlow: Toward Freedom: Michael Servetus: To Kill a Man Does Not Defend an Idea

The author’s position is an odd one. In a sense he is not welcomed by the characters. The characters resist him, they are not easy to live with, they are impossible to define. But finally you find that you have people of flesh and blood on your hands, people with will and an individual sensibility of their own, made out of component parts you are unable to change, manipulate or distort.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Art, truth and politics --Harold Pinter

Humbles by Frances Leviston

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Humbles by Frances Leviston

By Mark Scheel
Pumpkins by corn shock,

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Samhain,' a poem by Mark Scheel

by Michael Ryan

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Insult

A Kosmos
by Rosanna Warren

from The New Yorker: Poetry: A Kosmos

Wanting Sumptuous Heavens
by Robert Bly

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Wanting Sumptuous Heavens

[by Julie Benton Siegel]
That spooky premonition's back again,

from The Oregonian: Poetry

Karen Zaborowski Duffy: When I wrote the poem, all of this came together, and I was keenly aware of the importance of capturing moments, in poetry and in life.

World Series, Game 5

from PBS: Newshour: Poet Reflects on Family and a Trip to the World Series

By Kaitlin Kortonick

Thomas Bowe Elementary School

The Key to Changing the World

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Kaitlin Kortonick]

By Kelsey Little and Megan Hennelly

A Family Bond

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Kelsey Little and Megan Hennelly]

By Davey Meyers

Battle Wounds

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Davey Meyers]

[by Judy Curtis]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Rhythm

Raman Mundair's second collection, A Choreographer's Cartography (Peepal Tree, £8.99), begins with a sequence of poems about Shetland, moves on to encompass global themes of war and exploitation and includes intimate poems about love and desire.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: Sheep Hill, Fair Isle

"On Desperate Days"
By Barry Spacks

from Slate: "On Desperate Days" --By Barry Spacks

Poetic Obituaries

[Qeisar Aminpour's] poetry is composed of simple but effective words and images, along with a unique ability to portray life in contemporary Iran in innovative ways.

Aminpour is noted for his easy-to-understand poems as well as his remarkable skill in giving vivid expression to children's wishes and dreams.

from Press TV: Contemporary Iranian poet dies at 48

I'd like, please, to leave on your sill
Just one cold flower, whose beauty

Would leave you inconsolable all day.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.

Jon [Anderson] was a renowned teacher of poetry, especially in his early years. He told great stories about poets and poetry.

from The University of Arizona Poetry Center: John Anderson

In his own words he wrote furiously from the time he was 12 until his death, on Monday morning, in a hospital in Berlin.

The poet Sargon Boulus, who championed free verse, honored the depth and breadth of the Arabic language and translated the likes of Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and Ho Chin Minh, was just 63 years old.

from The Daily Star: Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus dies at age 63

Shail Chaturvedi, eminent Hindi poet, humorist, lyricist and Bollywood character actor, passed away here early Monday morning.

from The Earth Times: Eminent Hindi poet Shail Chaturvedi dead

[Roy Lowell "Ted" Davee] was a freelance writer of prose and poetry with poems published in more than 80 books. He wrote hundreds of poems, many of which have been published in the Reporter-Times. His favorite subjects were nature, religion and pets. He was especially fond of his poem titled "What I Found on My 75th Birthday."

from Reporter-Times: Ted Davee remembered as a Hoosier poet

Despite her emphasis on good grammar, [Melba] Davis wasn't a curmudgeon about her nouns and verbs.

"She was a gentle teacher," Summerfield said. "It was the joy of learning and the joy of words, as opposed to cracking somebody's knuckles."

Her persnicketiness for pronouns made Davis a supreme proofreader.

from Jackson Hole Star-Tribune: Wordsmith left her mark in Big Horn Basin

[John J.] Donnelly took glider lessons, sailed on the Chesapeake and camped in New England with his family, and enjoyed birding and gardening. He was a talented sketch artist and calligrapher, his son said, and read and wrote poetry.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: J.J. Donnelly, 84, builder and activist

[Stephen P. Ellison] enjoyed reading, writing poetry, and was self taught and played the guitar.

from Newzjunky: Stephen P. Ellison

[Paul Quinn's] crime was to have won a fight with a senior republican who had been bothering his sister.

In a separate incident he had also humiliated the son of another local senior Provisional who had picked a fight with him. Mr Quinn ignored the order to leave, but his concerns were evident in a poem that he wrote and posted on Bebo, the internet networking site.

from The Times: Writing's on the wall for IRA after murder

[Robert Shields] paid bills by teaching, working for a high-school yearbook company and doctoring books for vanity presses. Less lucratively, he wrote an unpublished history of a train-robbing gang, and 1,200 poems, of which he said five, maybe six, were good.

from The New York Times: Robert Shields, Wordy Diarist, Dies at 89

Madhumita [Shukla] was spared brutality before her death, a bullet from a country-made pistol ending her life instantly. But her family isn't happy with the judgement.

"I am not at all satisfied. Why should Amarmani not get the death penalty for what he has done?" said Nidhi Shukla, Madhumita's sister.

from NDTV: Madhumita murder: Amarmani gets life

[Julius E.] Thompson, 61, wrote several books, including two collections of poetry. Considered a specialist in Mississippi history and one of the most highly-published black writers from the Southern state, Thompson was a major proponent of giving MU's Black Studies Program status as a department.

from Columbia Missourian: Director of MU's black studies department dies

[Art Tobergte] lived his motto: "a day is wasted without laughter." He had a passion for loving, serving, and teaching God's people, and was a creative poet who also enjoyed the challenge, fellowship, and exercise of golf.

from The News-Herald: Rev. Arthur L. "Art" Tobergte

Some of her [Ursula Vaughan Williams'] finest work is contained in a series of poems, The Dictated Theme, written in the days after [her husband Ralph] Vaughan Williams died and published in a selection called Silence and Music. These are some of the most moving love-poems written by a woman and explain why, in spite of her gaiety, she could tell a friend in the 1990s: "Ralph has been dead for over 35 years and every year has seemed as long as the first."

from Telegraph: Ursula Vaughan Williams


News at Eleven

"Ah yes," exclaims [Gen Yakuba] Gowon. "You were my house guest."

[Wole] Soyinka tells him of the solitary confinement, the hardship, and Gowon seems genuinely surprised. "I had no idea," he says.

Soyinka breaks the sombre mood with a flash of humour: "Let me tell you publicly, if the boot had been on the other foot, I would have slung your arse in jail much earlier."

from BBC News: Watching Wole's return to Biafra

The police force of the transitional federal government raided the house of Abshir Nor Farah 'Bacadle' in KM4 intersection, south of the capital where he was taken into custody.

from SomaliNet: Somalia: well known poet arrested

Newspaper columnist and poet Fatima Bhutto, the granddaughter of late Pakistani premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, also told AFP in an interview that her aunt's [Benazir Bhutto's] return from exile would plunge the country further into turmoil.

"She insisted on this grand show, she bears a responsibility for these deaths and for these injuries," the 25-year-old said at her plush family home in Karachi two days after the bombings.

from AFP: Bhutto must take responsibility for blast deaths: niece

For example, many years ago, as a lawyer he [Martin Espada] got involved with Lynn English High School parents who were angry at school officials who banned Spanish at lunchtime. Espada showed up at the school to discuss the matter with what he said was his greatest weapon--a copy of the US Constitution. The school backed off its policy, but it inspired him to write "The New Bathroom Policy at English High School."

from The Boston Globe: Latino poet shines spotlight on Lawrence

"I believe that without a harassment restraining order, ([Andrea R.] Campbell) will continue to contact and harass me both at work and home, and that (her) behavior could potentially escalate to physical confrontation, violent behavior, or public disturbances with the intent of disrupting the radio show," [Garrison] Keillor wrote.

from Pioneer Press: Garrison Keillor files restraining order against zealous fan

Kirsch wants to resituate the so-called "Confessional" poets--John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Randall Jarrell, and Delmore Schwartz--as Eliot's "rebellious heirs," prodigal modernists rather than sensationalists who commodified their most painful, private experiences. The vital link between this group and their immediate forebears, Kirsch argues, was their mastery of the art of the objective correlative, which enabled them to "transform experience into art" in a much more valuable and permanent way than their common caricature would allow.

from Christianity Today International: Eliot's Rebellious Heirs

"More and more what I want is some complete saturation of the actual, to feel some part of the real world wanting me to make it into words," he writes in "Fugitive Pieces II." That calling, at once religious, ethical, and aesthetic, is one that only a genuine poet can hear--and very few poets can explain it as compellingly as Mr. [Christian] Wiman does.

from The New York Sun: The Poet's Ambition

A Yorkshire boy in affluent, postwar America, he [Ted Hughes] is amazed by the cars "like wingless airliners streaming through woods" and by the "Himalayan heaps" of food Americans eat. His love letters to Plath flame with physical sensation: "That night was nothing but getting to know how smooth your body is. The memory of it goes through me like brandy."

from The Sunday Times: Letters of Ted Hughes edited by Christopher Reid

But the effect is the same. We have a fleeting sense of Shakespeare's "other" life, the daily, ordinary (or ordinary-seeming) life which we know he must have led, but about which we know so little. He is merely the lodger, the gent in the upstairs chamber: a certain Mr Shakespeare.

from The Guardian: The gent upstairs

Back in the 1960s, Yevgeny Yevtushenko packed out stadiums across Russia, gathering thousands of people who came simply to listen to him reading his poetry. Now, at the age of 74, he plans to do it again. He has booked Moscow's Olimpiisky Stadium--with a capacity of 17,000--for a single date in December, when he will read his work and take part in a staging of a rock opera based on his poems.

from The Moscow Times: The Power of Verse: Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko returns to his roots with a stadium show

The audience plays a key part in this poetic duelling, clapping rhythmically and chorusing the refrains, and the poetry is also allied to dance.

This [Zajal] is a sophisticated art that uses classical allusion, clever turns of phrase, rhyme, assonance, and paranomasia (punning, play on words with similar sounds).

from Middle East Online: Make poetic dueling not war

Great Regulars

It turns out--in a plot twist reminiscent of Auden and Isherwood's The Dog Beneath the Skin (but neither author could have known the Wagner opera)--that the dancing bear is in fact the jeweller's long-lost brother. The marriage is called off and in due course the jeweller, having proved that men are more cunning than women, gets to marry the veiled lady.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Wagner's happy bears prowl again

The poem exemplifies the fact that poetry can function without, or with few, poetic devices. It consists of 28 rimed couplets. It is quite literal and does not rely on metaphor. The Duke has a gift of rhetoric, but not poetry.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Browning's 'My Last Duchess'

The "Buzz" sound would be the sound of the coccygeal center of spiritual energy as it begins its journey up the spine. (Or depending on the spiritual advancement of the speaker, the "om" sound might be described as a buzz.)

With the "Buzz" sound emanating from the departing soul beginning it journey from the coccygeal center, the physical eyesight begins to fail--"then the Windows failed/and then/I could not see to see."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Dickinson's 'I heard a Fly buzz'

The dead man assumes that his girl would have mourned his passing and still might be in mourning.

But the friend replies that the sweetheart is contented, and when she goes to bed at night, she is not weeping. At this point, the reader become suspicious: how does this friend know that the dead man's sweetheart is no longer mourning and that when she goes to bed she is not weeping?

from Linda Sue Grimes: Housman's 'Is my team ploughing'

If the speaker is limiting being true only to himself and a beloved, he is seeking isolation from the world and just how would that improve anything?

On the other hand, if the speaker is really imploring all humanity take this vow of truth, his musings have a far greater universal appeal.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Matthew Arnold's 'Dover Beach'

The point is that early presences give way to later ones.

Then the speaker alludes to the Garden of Eden to emphasize that even paradise cannot stay. And not only did it subside, but also "Eden sank to grief."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Robert Frost's Golden Moments

But ironically, instead of merely lying in the grave, the buried love "doth live." That is the magic of the speaker's talent, that he has the ability to keep his love alive with his poetry. He is once again cherishing his talent for its amazing ability to transform the dead into the living

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 31

In truth, the skill of this poem that seems to belittle his poems once again elevates them to a high stature, while the poet covers his bases just in case a better poet does happen along after his demise. It demonstrates not only the poetic skill that he prizes so, but a certain prescience that he has neither to worry about nor confront.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 32

"Magnetic North" by Linda Gregerson; "Time and Materials" by Robert Hass; "The House on Boulevard Street" by David Kirby; "Old Heart" by Stanley Plumly; and "Messenger" by Ellen Bryant Voigt.

Kirby's the "new guy" in this list of old standards.

from Bob Hoover: Post-Gazette: Lessing unmoved by Nobel

These two poems by Robin Robertson both describe moments in which the past meets the future in the present; what is to come has not yet obliterated what used to be and both are visible.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: As one stage ends, another begins

Poem: "The Pistachio Nut" by Robert Bly, from My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy.

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

When ancient people gathered around the fire at nightfall, I like to think that they told stories, about where each of them had been that day, and what that person had seen in the forest. Those were among our first stories, and we still venture into the world and return to tell others what happened. It's part of community. Here Kathleen Flenniken of Washington tells us about a woman she saw at an airport.

Old Woman With Protea Flowers, Kahalui Airport

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 134

(Note: I could have used "fastidious" or "exacting" instead of "persnickety")

A good poet must love keeping company with words. Words are fascinating to him.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: A poem is made up of the best words in the best order

Even if we don't do anything to them, they will go to hell for these things that they have done. It is really sad that these things happened in a Buddhist country. I don't even know whether to say the prayer, "Sangha saranam gichchami [translation: I seek the refuge of the monks]" or "Sangha saranam gant-gant-mi [translation: I seek the refuge and got caught in death]" [note: punning]

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: RFA Unplugged: Burma: Comedian had 'nice room' in Insein

Some of them were alcoholic and since they were not able to get alcohol, they lost their minds. One died right in front of me. He had to sleep on the cement floor and he was mentally ill and people didn't want to be near him. He was dead in the morning. He was a mentally ill person. [--U Ye Lwin]

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: RFA Unplugged: Burma: A musician's view of Insein prison

Our four score years and ten are indeed a short measure in the music of time. Most of our time is wasted in doubt and pointless activity punctuated by tragedy: The crushed ambition, the silly squabble that turns into a family feud, and the agony of bereavement. Yet when we least expect it, there is a sudden moment of grace--a moment that bathes the mystery of life in the light of perfection.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Today: A Reading of 'Proportion' by Ben Jonson

We've all been there: backs up against the wall, dragged into an argument that appears to have no end. We know we're right, we've stated why and can't understand why the people around us aren't listening! The words go back and forth until the actual point is lost. We just want to have the last word.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Today: A Reading of 'The Last Word' by Matthew Arnold

Also, I think it would be odd to say that hip-hop doesn't get enough attention, that I should correct and pay less attention to this guy reading Sylvia Plath or this young woman reading Langston Hughes and give more attention to hip-hop, as though I'm hogging all the attention. There I am, trying to recognize that people love the poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, our great heritage, and somebody is saying, "You're not paying enough attention to hip-hop!"

from Robert Pinsky: Mother Jones: Spreading the Word

The last phrase [by Mary Kinzie] is no longer a bas relief standing out, polished, "rather good," above the smooth ground. It is desolate. Anger watches it. Fear drains it. Spirit is already gone from it. It is an afterwards, not an apex. Nothing follows.

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

LEDA by Carol Ann Duffy

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: LEDA by Carol Ann Duffy

Man and Derailment
by Dan Chiasson

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Man and Derailment

Consolation and the Order of the World
by Charles Wright

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Consolation and the Order of the World

"It's Sweet to Be Remembered"
by Charles Wright

from The New Yorker: Poetry: "It's Sweet to Be Remembered"

We Hope that Love Calls Us, But Sometimes We're Not So Sure
by Charles Wright

from The New Yorker: Poetry: We Hope that Love Calls Us, But Sometimes We're Not So Sure

[by Pam Crow]
Every year we turn this corner [. . .]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Estelle Zhu

An Artist's Medium

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Estelle Zhu]

[by Lucie Therrien]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Berceuse

Thomas A Clark's poems are as much about the spaces between things as the things themselves, and his eye is that of an artist as well as a poet.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: A Clear Space

"Breasts Like Martinis"
By Jill McDonough

from Slate: "Breasts Like Martinis" --By Jill McDonough

On October 17, 1986, we published a group of nine unpublished poems by [William] Empson: the latest and most personal of them "Letter vi. A marriage", from which the following extract is taken.

from Letter vi. A Marriage

from The Times Literary Supplement: from Letter vi. A Marriage

Poetic Obituaries

[Jana~ Nolley] Bellinger also loved crafts, according to her nieces, and was always making gifts.

"One year for our birthdays, she wrote each one of us a poem and framed it," Nolley said. "Each poem was about us, our children, what we liked to do."

from Central Kentucky News-Journal: Woman dies Tuesday in fatal crash

I first came into contact with Kwesi Brew's poetic dispensations to mankind through the Henry Swanzy anthology to celebrate Ghana's attainment of independence, The Voices of Ghana, (1957) and the Okyeame Magazine whose maiden edition I had the honour of distributing to shops in 1960 from the office of Miss Cecile McHardy, the Secretary of the Ghana Society of Authors (now the Ghana Association of Writers, GAW).

from Accra Daily Mail: The World View of the Psyche of a Poet: a Tribute to Mr. Kwesi Brew

Throughout the 1970s, [Sammy] Duddy would have been a fixture at UDA headquarters on the Newtownards Road, working for years as the organisation's public relations officer. For a time he edited a UDA magazine and later had a book of poetry published.

from Belfast Telegraph: Leading UDA man dies after suffering heart attack

"The company of great thinkers was as essential to him as your daily bread was to you and me."

Mr. [Lester C] Dufford [II] wrote poetry and played drums for several groups, including the Dominoes, the first racially mixed band to perform on the beaches for an integrated audience.

from St. Petersburg Times: Once a professor, later homeless

Christopher Fullick, who worked at Romolo's Ristorante on Route 303, was a waiter by trade, but preferred to be known as an artist and poet. He was a graduate of North Rockland High School and Rockland Community College, his brother said.

from The Journal News: Police investigate death of West Haverstraw man struck by train

But before earning that degree, in the early 1970s, Mr. [Nick] Gallo and his wife [Laurie Brown] were hippies, she said.

Brown said the couple worked from June until October in Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington, picking fruit. On good days, she said, they earned $100 together.

They lived on their savings the rest of the year, with Mr. Gallo writing poetry and Brown doing art projects.

from The Seattle Times: Nick Gallo, curious and fastidious freelance writer, dies at 57

[Martin] Greenbaum, 82, who sat on the 11th Judicial Circuit Court bench from 1984-97, had numerous health problems, said his wife [Shirley Ann Greenbaum], a Miami-Dade County court mediator.

He leaves a family who'll miss his poetry and puns, an office of 25 lawyers who called him the Answer Grape, because he always had the answers, and an NFL stadium.

from The Miami Herald: Dade judge loved poetry, puns

His name is Ioan Grosaru. John was born in the province of Bucovina in the Northern part of Romania. His friends say he was a soldier poet. His passion was to write about what he saw; to write about what he felt and to write about what he believed. He published two books of poetry, "Call from Unknown" and "The Clipper from the Storm".

from Helicopters, Honor, and Healthy Perspectives PROUD in Iraq AT 57!: Who Was John Grosaru?

Roland Mathias, who has died aged 91, was a poet of uncommon intellectual strength and metrical skill, a leading literary critic and editor of a magazine that became an institution, the Anglo-Welsh Review.

from The Guardian: Roland Mathias

[Rev. Robert] Shields told [Michael] Feldman he wrote the base story for Elvis Presley's first movie, "Love Me Tender," although he did not write the screenplay.

He was also a ghost writer and poet. He wrote 1,200 poems, and "at least five of them were good," he told Feldman.

He then launched into a recitation of a ribald poem about Helen of Troy.

from Walla Walla Union-Bulletin: Dayton man, famous for diary, remembered

[Muhammad Siddiq Surwech Sujawali] used to recite his revolutionary poetry in public gatherings of almost all noted politicians and leaders including GM Sayed, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Fazil Rahu, Mumtaz Bhutto and others.

He also wrote and recited Sindhi nationalist poetry during Gen Ayub Khan's tenure when the general made 'One Unit'. Surwech was jailed several times during the tenure of Gen Ziaul Haq.

from The News International: Noted poet Surwech Sujawali passes away

Dutch novelist, poet and sculptor Jan Wolkers--whose sex-charged books helped shake off the shackles of postwar conservatism in the Netherlands--died on Friday at his home on the North Sea island of Texel, his publisher said.

from International Herald Tribune: Jan Wolkers, Dutch novelist, poet and sculptor dies at 81

[3rd article, etc.]


News at Eleven

[Doris Lessing] had to sit for a moment on the steps of her home to digest the news. But she took it with characteristic aplomb. "This has been going on for 30 years. I've won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one, so I'm delighted to win them all. It's a royal flush."

Later, during an interview on Radio 4's "The World at One" program, she commented on her career and the Nobel Prize: "They can't give a Nobel to someone who's dead, so I guess they were thinking they'd better give it to me now before I popped off. This is the way I'm thinking."

from Los Angeles Times: Nobel goes to Doris Lessing

During a recent conversation about his passion for poetry and getting things done, the 67-year-old Moose Jaw man [Gary Hyland] interjects: "To be brutally realistic, I've got maybe six months of life, and I may be bedridden for three or four of those." While resigned to his fate, he's frustrated at being forced to slow down.

The man who helped his hometown become a federally designated 2007 Cultural Capital of Canada was diagnosed at the start of the year with amyotrophic lateral sceloris (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

from The Leader-Post: Final chapter in Hyland's life story takes turn for worse

That time he [Zargana] got five years, several months of which were spent in solitary confinement. Reading and writing were banned, so he scratched poems on the floor of his cell with a piece of broken pottery, and committed them to memory.

Poems--words--have power in Burma, and the military authorities realise it.

from The Guardian: A war on words

This was the moment when my 11-year-old son David, sitting beside me, stopped fiddling with his i-Pod and leaned forward to listen intently. The poem is written as a message from a little boy after Operation Murambatsvina ("filth removal"), in which the Zimbabwean government destroyed 700,000 houses as collective punishment against oppositional communities.

nights with ghosts

from MUT Gegen Rechte Gewalt: Poets Against Dictatorship

"What provoked me was that these posters were displayed under the title 'Poetry on Streets'. I didn't understand what that meant; therefore, I began reading and I discovered that I was reading poetry. The strangest thing of all is that it turned out to be Israeli poetry, and to be honest I was angry."

from Gulf News: Street poems go from bad to verse

Words and music--a union not always equal or necessarily tranquil. Serious words, expressing perceptive thought in an artful way is hardly the norm in jazz or any music, especially since music is generally constrained by beats and measures in a way much modern poetry is not. As such, the combination of the arts of poetry and music is a rarely attempted feat and one that is hardly ever pulled off successfully, with most lyricists reverting to moon and June rhymes and shallow platitudes.

from Sam Sadigursky: "The Words Project"

Like so many other young Yugoslavs Dušan [Simić (Charles Simic)] played chess as a child. The poem he recited on ABC News on the George Stephanopoulos show was Prodigy. It is about the lad who learnt the game from a retired professor of astronomy, who grew up bent over a chessboard, using chipped pieces and missing a white king. It ia a poem about growing up in Belgrade during the Second World War.

from ChessBase News: Charles Simic: 'I grew up bent over a chessboard'

[Alice] Notley's ambition is different; she seeks to establish or continue no tradition except one that literally can't exist--the celebration of the singular thought sung at a particular instant in a unique voice--and it seems she's getting closer to it all the time. As she writes in this collection:

Who do you serve? Do you serve somebody?
I serve the poem, no one.

from The New York Times: A State of Disobedience

Poetry is a vocation: it possesses you. So the choices are either: write poetry or go mad, or: write poetry and go mad. The attrition rate among poets is high, and even given the vocation there is no guarantee that any of what you write will prove to be good or durable. As TS Eliot said, you may have messed up your life for nothing.

from The Guardian: Vocation, vocation, vocation

The fact is that, in all the shortlisted poems, there are going to be ideas, images, lines that will have impressed the judge and these will, given the individual vision of each shortlisted poet, impress in different ways. The shortlist, really, is where the arguments begin; and since I was the sole judge of the competition I had to argue with myself.

Between us, I and myself argued Carole Bromley into first place.

from Yorkshire Post: Competition reveals how poets speak from the heart
also Yorkshire Post: Teacher wins Yorkshire poetry contest
also Yorkshire Post: Teacher wins Yorkshire poetry contest (cont.)

At one minute after midnight on Sunday--notably after deadline--a dark-haired figure in black cape and boots tossed two sheets of paper into The Inquirer's lobby, then fled. They contained only a poem, written in black ink, apparently in third person:

"The War Over E.A.P."

(With Apologies to My Darling, My Darling, Annabel Lee)

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Quoth the blogger: Bring Poe home

Great Regulars

In other words, there is something behind language, it is a window not a wall, a window onto human nature. Language is a product of the way we are made to understand the world from the moment we are born.

But what and where are these ways?

from Bryan Appleyard: The Times: Steven Pinker knows what's going on inside your head

On his [Orhan Pamuk's] essay "How I Got Rid of Some of My Books": "There was a major earthquake in Turkey in 1998 and my library got a crack in it. I have 16,000 books and I was worried that if there was a new earthquake they would fall on me, so I went through my books and pulled out those I don't like, those by writers who don't like me, and other nasty authors who don't matter anymore."

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Loving freedom (but not free time)

"Cut the Grass," from [A.R.] Ammons' 1983 book "Lake Country Effect," has a similar theme. I love how the poem turns on these two lines--"I think how much/revelation concealment necessitates"--as if to say that the self is a vessel of many selves united first by intuition, and then by the desire to understand how the entirety of the inner life transcends the physical world.

Cut the Grass

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry

Just 11 days shy of her 88th birthday, [Doris] Lessing is now the oldest person to have been awarded the prize--a title previously held by Theodor Mommsen, who was 85 when he won the award in 1902. Lessing's laureateship makes this the second time in three years that the award has gone to a British author, following Harold Pinter's in 2005.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Doris Lessing wins Nobel prize

The real crime in the professor's view is to have drawn attention to [Martin] Amis's words. Perhaps it would have been healthier for liberal democracy to have hushed the thing up, so that insensate student radicals do not swarm into Amis's classes on Nabokov and string him up by his thumbs.

[John] Sutherland even gently insinuates that one might be censured for such uncollegial conduct. Perhaps forcible political disagreements with colleagues should land you on the dean's carpet, like playground brawlers before the beak. Would this include feminists objecting to sexist comments?

from Terry Eagleton: The Guardian: commentisfree: Rebuking obnoxious views is not just a personality kink

A harpsichord from outer space: that must have been precisely the designers' aim. The author of this passage was himself a harpsichord-maker (responsible for, among other things, the Zuckermann kits from which people used to build, or try to build, their own harpsichords) and the least likely authority to see the point of this radical rethink.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Keyboard words

The speaker then further boasts, "Dying/Is an art, like everything else,/I do it exceptionally well." However, the reader might wonder, if she does it so well, why has she failed three times?

In verse paragraphs 16 and 17, she describes how "exceptionally well" she does it. Then the bell jar distorted vision kicks in full throttle when she says, after coming back "'A miracle!'/That knocks me out./There is a charge."

from Linda Sue Grimes: October Poet

This sonnet has the "when-then" structure of many of the sonnets. The speaker says that when something happens, then another thing follows it. In this sonnet, in the first stanza, the speaker's "when" clause consists of a looking back on his life: "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought/I summon up remembrance of things past." The "sessions of sweet silent thought" refer directly to the times that he is musing about a poem.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 30

In the third quatrain, the speaker again introduces a new metaphor: this time he compares his ebbing life to a fire that "on the ashes of his youth doth lie." His youth once burned brightly, but now his flame is dwindling, and the very things that fed his youth's flame are being consumed by the low-burning fire of old age.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 73

[Charles Baudelaire] observes himself unmoved as he watches the "hideous pageant"; he is a voyeur; an outsider, transfixed by the frenzied efforts of the gamblers in pursuing their nemesis.

When all around us are focused in one direction we are ignored unless we join in and take the drug, place the bet or swig the drink.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: A throw of the dice

Poem: "A Disappointment" by Louis Jenkins, from North of the Cities.

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

It may be that we are most alone when attending funerals, at least that's how it seems to me. By alone I mean that even among throngs of mourners we pull back within ourselves and peer out at life as if through a window. David Baker, an Ohio poet, offers us a picture of a funeral that could be anybody's.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 133

Obviously in my uncle's case and in the case of these mosques, this rule was broken. So you can say that a neighborhood, a society, is truly unraveling when these things happen. In my view, though, the body is sacred, yet people are raped, maimed, beaten and killed. Breath is sacred, yet we smother it every day. We do not value people either as much as we should. A writer cannot really restore hope to any of that, at least not the kind of writer I am. All I can do is document it. [--Edwidge Danticat]

from E. Ethelbert Miller: Foreign Policy in Focus: Fiesta!:

But Huang [Xiang] hasn't stopped writing. His work includes poems, ballads, meditations in poetry and prose on philosophy and other subjects, a short story, commentaries, and memoirs, making a total of 16 volumes of published work overseas.

Huang arrived in the United States in 1997, publishing a collection of his poems soon afterward.

The Day is Fading

A 16-line poem by Huang Xiang

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Writing Himself Home: Chinese Poet Honored in Pittsburgh

Without spectacular language, the poem attains the conviction of a polished, heartfelt plainness. In a later generation, Philip Freneau (1752-1832) of New Jersey writes a delicate lyric about an American flower. The splendid last lines seem to foreshadow the resourceful, attentive intelligence of Robert Frost:

The Wild Honey Suckle

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

Doris Lessing has remained, in an unfashionably essentialist way, a feminist writer: struggling to conceptualise what makes a woman's experience. That struggle, expressed in profoundly unorthodox genres--whether a painstaking record of daily consciousness or a fantasia on the impossibility of a man-free society--is necessary because Lessing understands only too well the paradox that even an intellect such as hers has been formed in an asymmetric, gendered society.

from Fiona Sampson: The Guardian: Lessing's Nobel is about more than words

(17) My Blood Oath by Zargana

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: (17) My Blood Oath by Zargana

by Christopher Mulrooney

from Guernica: Poetry: 'struth

by Louise Glück

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Marriage

The Spell Cast Over
by Jack Gilbert

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Spell Cast Over

Wheeling Motel
by Franz Wright

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Wheeling Motel

"The News!"
by Raul Amaya

"Who makes the news? The rich and the powerful."--A poem by Raul Amaya

from Newspaper Tree: Poetry: "The News!"

By Jessica Jones

Love Lost

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Jessica Jones]

By Damon Lomax

Delsea Regional High School

A Question to Myself

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

By Catherine Northington


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Catherine Northington]

By Kimberly Pelland

Burlington County College

The Creation of Love

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Kimberly Pelland]

By Emily Tubbs

Haviland Avenue School

What I Didn't Do On My Summer Vacation

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Emily Tubbs]

[by Phyllis Giglio]
Flowers Bloom

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Flowers Bloom

[by Bob Moore]
Message from a Chemist

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Message from a chemist

By Philip Schultz

from Slate: "Failure" --By Philip Schultz

[Sean O'Brien] is also one of Britain's foremost reviewers of poetry, especially for the TLS and The Sunday Times. Four of the poems in The Drowned Book were first published in the TLS: one of them "The Thing" (January 28, 2005), which shows O'Brien's enjoyable talent for invective. As the poem suggests, the poet has recently been working in the theatre.

The Thing

from The Times Literary Supplement: The Thing

Poetic Obituaries

[Lisa Basham] was eager to vote today for the first time in her life--for the Green party naturally, which suited her love of the environment.

This is the girl, after all, who ordered a bamboo-fibre prom dress from the U.S. This is the girl who tried converting her family to vegetarianism and who used to organize neighbourhood kids into litter pick-up crews.

from The Record: Nature lover left her mark on the world

[Sri Chinmoy's] followers said he had written 1,500 books, 115,000 poems and 20,000 songs, created 200,000 paintings and had given almost 800 peace concerts.

Drawing upon Hindu principles, Mr. Chinmoy advocated a spiritual path to God through prayer and meditation.

from The New York Times: Sri Chinmoy, Athletic Spiritual Leader, Dies at 76

According to [Russ] Rutherford she [Kelsey Fuqua] also enjoyed writing creatively.

"The family has found notebooks of poems and song lyrics that Kelsey has written, revealing a very insightful and caring person," he said. "We love her, and we have been forever changed by her life and her presence."

from The Celina Record: Celina mourns after fatal accident

[Joan] Lefkow and [Judy Humphrey] Smith see publishing the poems as a way to put a face on their mother [Donna G. Humphrey] and memorialize the lives of so many women like her, women who battled depression and hard times and kept homes and raised families.

At [Matt] Lauer's request, Lefkow read one of her mother's poems, entitled "Widows":

from MSNBC: Federal judge moves on after murder of family

For years, Dean Johnson was a rollicking fixture in rock 'n' roll clubs, gay bars, drag queen circles and poetry readings. He was 6-foot-6, with a gleaming shaved head, and he often wore outsize sunglasses to match his outsize frame and personality.

from The New York Times: A Fond and Boisterous Memorial Is Held for a Symbol of Gay Night Life

Famous Urdu personality, freedom fighter and social activist Begum Zakia Sultana Nayyar has died at the age of 83 after prolonged illness in Delhi, on 10th October, 2007 .

Poet and writer, she wrote books such as "Beetay Lamhay", " Yaadon Kay Chiragh", "Saghar Nizami: Fun aur Shakhsiat", "Kuliyat -e-Saghar Nizami" and "Vaadiyan".

from Indian Muslims: Famous Urdu personality and freedom fighter Zakia Sultana Nayyar dies

In the little time she had, [Cristina] Perez had launched her own Web site titled "Through the Eyes of a Patient" fully committed to raising awareness for EB.

Among other things, she spent countless hours writing poetry and investing in her online store "EB Home and Health," which catered to those afflicted with the disease by offering them homeopathic products and other forms of alternative medicine.

from North County Times: 'Butterfly Girl' dies at age 24


News at Eleven

To Aurelia Plath 13 May 1963

[Aurelia Plath was Sylvia Plath's mother]

As you understand, your coming over this June presents me with a manifold problem. Naturally, you want to visit the children, but while our memories are still so very raw, this is going to need thoughtful handling. For one thing, what is your state of mind going to be while you are with them? [--Ted Hughes]

from Telegraph: Ted Hughes: a life thrown into turmoil
also Telegraph: Sincerely, Ted Hughes
from Telegraph: Ted Hughes:'I'd like to see the whole truth told'

Reality has become so unreal during the war that the experimental language of modernism suddenly fails [Gertrude] Stein. Despite herself, she can't help but acknowledge the terror and fear, which gives way to a kind of frantic joy at the Liberation, but meanwhile the terror becomes displaced, focusing on the deportation of young Frenchmen rather than on the fate of Jews like herself.

from The New York Review of Books: The Last Act

"Why, 50 years later after a judge ruled that children could read this poem, people are afraid the courts will say that their ears shouldn't hear it," said Ron Collins, a constitutional law instructor and First Amendment advocate who is leading a small group of authors, broadcasters and free-speech advocates pushing to broadcast the poem eventually. "Yet they can go on the Internet and see far, far worse things."

from San Francisco Chronicle: 'Howl' too hot to hear
also Howl Against Censorship

"You just don't want to know how I felt when at first my son did not recognise us at all. I felt like my heart had just been cut by half, and then something almost miraculous happened: after some days at his bedside, his brother started singing a tune they were all familiar with. It was the voice, his brother's singing voice, that brought him back to us: he turned around, and exclaimed: 'Oh, bra Doug, when did you arrive here?'

"Douglas ran towards me, telling me my son's memory was coming back. [. . ."]

from The Times, South Africa: The random return of a poet's life

The faery has lured the child into a trap, our world knows troubles but it has good things too. In the past, faeries were used as a means to scare children into bed: if the child did not go to sleep at bedtime, a faery would come and take it to a world where it would never see its parents again. This is what happens now: the child is taken to another world.

from WaarMaarRaar: Deep Thought

For the poet, the banal sight of the clouds momentarily parting to reveal the moon suggests a woman smoothing "her cloudy locks" from off her face, so she can appreciate her beauty in its full light. Her narcissism recalls the story of the preening youth Narcissus who wasted away because he could not tear himself from his own reflection. Yet her unblinking eye also recalls God himself, brooding over the primordial waters in the Book of Genesis.

from The Epoch Times: Today's Antidote--Classic Poetry: A Reading of 'The Moon and Sea' by George Darley

Sean O'Brien has pulled off an unprecedented third victory in the Forward prize, cementing his place as a Forward favourite by winning the 10,000 prize for best collection with The Drowned Book.

from The Guardian: O'Brien breaks poetry record

The online betting site Ladbrokes saw its credibility soar last year when Turkish author Orhan Pamuk had the site's best odds and ended up taking home the honour.

This year, the site has Italian novelist and essayist Claudio Magris in the top spot with 5-to-1 odds, followed closely by Australian poet Les Murray and American author Philip Roth, who is frequently mentioned as a Nobel contender.

from France 24: Date is set for Nobel Literature Prize

The 19th century Scots bard's notorious lament for The Tay Bridge Disaster:

And the cry rang out all o'er the town, Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down

has been challenged in favour of a single appalling last line by a more exotic British versifier, Theophile Jules-Henri Marzials: "Dro /Dead./Plop, flop./Plop".

from The Guardian: New contender for world's worst poem

For me it's one of the greatest works of literature ever produced.

Catullus 64 is full of tricks and false turns, paths that wind back on themselves, and red herrings. At its heart is the story of Ariadne, who helped Theseus kill the minotaur in the labyrinth of Knossos, and whom Theseus abandoned on the deserted shore of Naxos.

from The Guardian: In love's labyrinth

The theme of this year's Cheltenham festival, "What does change mean to use?" is explored in a specially-commissioned poem by the Children's Laureate [Michael Rosen]

Take the thing into your hands

from The Times: A poem by Michael Rosen

Great Regulars

[Bjorn Lomborg] says that polar bears--the poster beasts for the greens--are not dying off as the ice pack melts; in fact, they are increasing in numbers. He accepts that rising temperatures will result in more heat deaths, but there will be far fewer deaths from cold.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Sunday Times: Bryan Appleyard meets Bjorn Lomborg

In Tony Curtis's latest collection, the "crossing over" of the title refers to the movement from one state to another: paintings to poetry, youth to age, life to death.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: On the move

What is this, and how is this done? are the first two questions to ask of any work of art. The second question immediately illuminates the first, but it often doesn't get asked. Perhaps it sounds too technical. Perhaps it sounds pedestrian.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: A touch of expertise

This is not the poetry world's inability to play nice with itself - to hear about that, one need only buy an American poet a beer. This is the poetry world attempting, in an environment where poetry is as marginalised as it's ever been - despite the volume of the stuff being produced - to figure what is good, and why it should matter, and then make those judgments heard.

from John Freeman: The Guardian: Verse-slinging

That's what books really are to children and young people - gateways to new experiences, greater complexities. And what better way to protect them from these things--otherwise known as 'the world'--than by staunching the problem at its source?

This week is Banned Books Week, and once again some of our worst pushers will be forced to own up to their activities.

from John Freeman: The Guardian: theblogbooks: The war on books

In the second the stanza, the speakers shifts his focus from a description to a direct address of the season, speaking to autumn as if it were a person: "Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find/Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,/Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind." Autumn now appears as a woman whose "soft-hair" is blown by the wind.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Keats' 'Ode to Autumn'

Remember "shock and awe"? It's one of those memorable phrases uttered before the United States invaded Iraq four years ago, but it set in motion a unique protest movement that continues to flourish.

It began as a one-man revolt by Sam Hamill, prolific poet and founder of Copper Canyon Press, who was so appalled at the implications of the phrase that he spurned an invitation to read at the White House.

from Bob Hoover: Post-Gazette: Poet remains unbowed against Iraq war

This poem is as sexy as a soft-porn script. However, I once sat on someone's sofa wearing a skirt and got up to find the backs of my legs had been bitten raw by fleas, so I heartily detest them and any sexual analogy escaped me at the time.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: The go-between

Poem: "They'll" by Cheryl Denise, from I Saw God Dancing. Dream Seeker Books, 2005.

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

Children at play give personalities to lifeless objects, and we don't need to give up that pleasure as we grow older. Poets are good at discerning life within what otherwise might seem lifeless. Here the poet Peter Pereira, a family physician in the Seattle area, contemplates a smiling statue, and in that moment of contemplation the smile is given by the statue to the man.

The Garden Buddha

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 132

To paraphrase the wise Greek (Aristotle), humor is a triumph over the annoying. American author Langston Hughes, who used writing to overcome the vicissitudes of racism, incorporated the street slang of Harlem into some of his poems and turned that so-called illiterate speech into a kind of soulful music.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Don't forget, poetry has power to make us laugh

[Edmund Wilson] also reviewed all the new books of the period, which meant that he was writing an early draft of literary history. He wrote the first American review of "The Waste Land," even before T. S. Eliot added the notes, and one of the first reviews of "Ulysses." He was among the first critics to make a substantial case for Yeats as a major poet.

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: A Shaper of the Canon Gets His Place in It

What's getting the heave are most hyphens linking the halves of a compound noun. Some, like "ice cream," "fig leaf," "hobby horse" and "water bed," have been fractured into two words, while many others, like " bumblebee," "crybaby" and "pigeonhole," have been squeezed into one.

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Death-Knell. Or Death Knell.

To put this in the context of our discussion today: poetry can speak decisively to power - perhaps most decisively to power - when it reveals truths by combining hearts with heads. When it presents all sides of an argument and allows us to make our own decisions about what's right and what's wrong. When it is democratic in its appeal to the imagination and our intellect.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: 'Poetry can speak decisively to power'

And wherever I've lived, I've always placed two things at eye level--the tinted photograph of my mother as a girl, and an ancient blue-painted Indian figure I bought in Cawnpore years ago. They are my good luck charms; the presiding spirits of my mixed order and muddle.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Writers' rooms: Andrew Motion

In "Gethsemane", possibly one of the finest Christian poems of our time, she [Mary Oliver] begins:

The grass never sleeps.
Or the roses.
Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until morning.

She then enters the gospel narrative: "Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept."

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: The grass never sleeps

Here from the middle of the volume is a poem of summer. [Robert] Hass uses the name of plants expressively, the way a casting director might use faces. Nature here is attractive, significant, severe and distinctly not human:

That Music

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

But the crucial question is a fairly simple one: How readable is it? The principal reason e-books haven't caught on is that print on a screen hasn't been able to compete with ink on paper when it comes to readability. E-books have, for example, proved less than ideal for reading in full sunlight.

The Sony Reader seems to have solved that problem.

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Sony's e-book, a few glitches yet pretty nifty

The Brooklyn Song
by Patricia Spears Jones

from The Brooklyn Rail: The Brooklyn Song

Early Language, Quite Simply
by Jennifer Bartlett

from The Brooklyn Rail: Early Language, Quite Simply

I start with a few words that make a particular noise, then I go in search of others. As I'm searching for the others, I try to be simultaneously allowing the new ones and those initial ones to inform me of some kind of appropriate patterning device or guiding principle so that they don't simply dissolve into a meaningless verbal porridge like this sentence . . .

from CBC: Words at Large: Poet of the Month: Ken Babstock

Drains by Sean O'Brien

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Drains by Sean O'Brien

Do flying fish have feathers? And does it matter whether they do or not? The warped phrase at the beginning of this exercise slightly bothered me. There's some well-observed description here. I particularly liked: "a silver pool of diminishing movement/between the wooden ribs of the boat".

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Proverbial wisdom

Aubade in Autumn
by Peter Everwine

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Aubade in Autumn

by Richard Kenney

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Coda

[by Rick Piet]
Thank you has replaced Sorry, [. . .]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Jackson Buttery


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Jackson Buttery]

By Alexa Garvey

Eastern Regional High School

Angry Nothings

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Alexa Garvey]

By Audrey Alyse Jenkins

The Bird

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

By John Kampmeyer III

The Squirrel Caper

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by John Kampmeyer III]

[by Tammi Truax]
Haiku for the Crit

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Haiku for the Crit

[by Isabel Grasso]
When the Magic's Gone

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: When the Magic's Gone

In "Mosquitoes" (1982) it is night, and mosquitoes keep [Franz] Wright from sleep; he has no electricity, and so has to hunt them down with a match. The situation is ordinary enough, but Wright's metaphors are all alive with feeling as he addresses the mosquitoes:

Playing your trumpets
thin as a needle
in my ear,

from Powells: Review-A-Day: From the Homicidal to the Ecstatic

This poem, translated from the Catalan by Anna Crowe, appears in Light Off Water: XXV Catalan Poems (Carcanet/Scottish Poetry Library, 8.95). In an everyday scene, the distant past and the present moment overlap, and life seems both unbearably brief and eternal.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: The Egyptian Room

"Against the Grain"
--for Joy Young
By David Gewanter

from Slate: "Against the Grain" --By David Gewanter

Poetic Obituaries

The prolific writer and poet [Deasn Breatnach] died on the same day of his wife Lucy's funeral.

Last night, his daughter Lucilita said her parents were a devoted couple and it was no coincidence that her father died just before midnight on Wednesday, the same day of her mother Lucy's funeral.

from Writer Breatnach dies on day of wife's funeral

Wearing sunglasses and a beige wedding suit, he [Tom O'Driscoll] spoke bravely about his year-long relationship and also read a poem by the vivacious Hannah [Ciobo-O'Driscoll], a talented writer and artist who wanted to be a veterinarian.

from The Daily Telegraph: Final farewell to tragic Hannah

My heart perceives nothing
day to day
summer at its peak in highland

[by Violet de Cristoforo]

A notation suggests that the poem was written when prisoners in the Tule Lake stockade were on a hunger strike.

from Los Angeles Times: Violet de Cristoforo, 90; California haiku poet sent to WWII internment camps

[Zachary] Douglas will be remembered by his large number of family and friends as an artistic young man who composed rap songs, loved to sing and dance, and acted--most notably in the film Legends and briefly alongside his brother Corey in the series The Beachcombers.

from Squamish Chief: Local man found murdered

[Staff Sgt. Darrell Griffin Jr.'s] messages back to his wife, Diana, father, stepmother and five siblings alternated between gruesome details of the horror of battle--a dog dragging away a corpse's head, a body identified only by its shoes because nothing else remained, trucks awash with blood and guts--and tender remembrances of home.

He called Diana frequently and sent her love poems.

from LA Daily News: Father tries to finish story of son killed in Iraq

Despite his extensive academic background, [Bill] Hatke chose a profession as an organic gardener. Patricia Marvin, Bob's wife, said Hatke wrote all winter, anything from novels to epic poems. He then gardened during the summer.

from Lawrence Journal-World: E. Lawrence resident known for simple life dies

[Florence] Keras also continued volunteering at Milford Regional Medical Center, where she had begun a tradition of writing extensive letters from Santa Claus as a hospital fundraiser.

"She was always one to send a note, a funny card to cheer someone up," [Barbara] Brunelli said, adding that her mother also submitted poems and letters to different newspapers in honor of local residents' accomplishments.

from The Milford Daily News: Flo Keras led a full life

[Thomas] Lennox's mother and his two sisters, ages 8 and 15, were too emotionally distraught to attend the trial, his father said.

"He loved women, cars and writing poetry," Lennox's aunt, Dolly McNichol, said. "He was just a sweet, sweet, young man."

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Guilty of killing Delco bizman

"When he suggested I change something it was usually in the direction of the colloquial and plain," Wilbur said. "Bill Meredith's poems, almost from the very beginning, sounded like a civil, witty and serious man conversing with a few friends."

from The Day: At Conn, A Final Ode To Meredith

[Joseph Milledge] left for his second tour just a couple months ago after being there to see his one-year-old son baptized.

His mom said, "You couldn't have asked for a better father or husband. He loved his wife and son. He loved them with his whole being."

She added that her son also enjoyed karate, reading, and writing poetry.

from KETV: Iowa Soldier Killed In Iraq

[Rosetta Moore] loved to write poetry and is a published author. She also was the columnist for the 'Senior Scene' in the Mason Valley News.

She enjoyed the outdoors and the many "critters" on the farm. Rosetta was fiercely patriotic and loved her country.

from Reno Gazette-Journal: Rosetta Moore

The picture that emerged from [Grace] Paley's poems was of a woman connected by ties of affection to babies, friends, her husband, neighbors, the earth and daily life. Her activism grew out of the threat she perceived that war posed to those loved.

On the other hand, David Budbill, who read "The Poet's Occasional Alternative," revealed Paley's love of fun and lack of pretensiousness:

from Times Argua: Paley remembered

"She got me into dancing, and I danced with her," said Kordale Perry, Rochelle [Perry]'s brother. "She had a dance group, it was empire and I was dancing with her sometimes and she made up her own poems, she likes to sing."

from Local 12: WKRC-TV: Family Asks For Help Finding Driver Who Hit Girl

Liam [Rector] told me, during that last summer residency, that he refused to endure again the healing tortures of modern medicine--"healing" if you were lucky--or to put up with an invalid's life. He told me about the shotgun. He didn't tell me that this wasn't hypothetical.

from Newsweek: Elegy for the Executive Director

[Betty Lorene Rossi] became the head of Special Services for Goodview and Central Elementary School. Betty retired in 1985 at the age of 66. A passion for beauty manifested itself in elaborate gardens, poetry, piano playing and singing. It was a demonstration of her love for her family as she shared her adoration of nature and the arts.

from Post-Bulletin: Betty Lorene Rossi--Northfield

Dr [Laxmi Mall (L.M.)] Singhvi was a leading constitutional expert, a distinguished parliamentarian and an expert in public and private international law. Besides being a doyen of the Indian Bar, Dr Singhvi was also a poet, publicist, a linguist and a litterateur.

from Hindustan Times: L.M. Singhvi: A muti-faceted personality

Sepehri (mostly known by his first name Sohrab) was born in Kashan, Isfahan Province on October 7, 1928 and died on April 21, 1980.

He was a notable modern Iranian painter and poet who used the "New Poetry" (blank verse) style.

He is regarded as one of the most famous modern Iranian poets.

from Mehr News: Sohrab Sepehri, man of verse and color

In his last years, he [M N Vijayan] formed the Anti-Colonial Front along with like-minded pro-Left activists, which was after his long innings as the president of the pro-CPM cultural outfit--Pu Ka Sa--the Progressive Arts and Literary Society.

Vijayan stepped into Malayalam literature in the 1950s by writing on the works of poet Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon.

from The Peninsula: Noted Kerala writer-activist Vijayan dies


News at Eleven

Human rights organizations called for the release of Myanmar's best-known political satirist, film star and poet, fearing he has been tortured since his arrest last week in the middle of the night.

Maung Thura, 45, known by the stage and pen name Zargana, was arrested in Yangon, formerly Rangoon, site of the biggest anti-government demonstrations.

from Bloomberg: Burmese Comedian's Arrest Sparks Protests, Concern of Torture

The poet Elizabeth Alexander, who is professor of African-American literature, followed him [Walter Mosley] and American studies at Yale University. Then Rafael Campo, a poet and professor at Harvard Medical School, and Mary Jo Salter, a poet and a professor at Johns Hopkins University quit. Finally at the weekend the poet William Louis-Dreyfus, the president of the board for the past six years, abruptly flounced out.

from The Independent: Poetry in commotion: poets and prejudice

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
There is a field. I'll meet you there.
A soul who lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense."

The Iranian community in the United States several years ago took out a whole page in the New York Times and put just those first two lines as a way of inviting the Americans to meet the Iranians in a place where there is no judgment, out beyond political right and wrong, and moral right and wrong.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Finding My Religion

Though I walk in the vale of death's shadow,
I fear no harm,
for You are with me.

Of course he's right that there are fewer syllables here than in "through the valley of the shadow of death." But if what you're after is condensing, why not something a little wilder, like "deathshadow valley"? Or "death's shadowvalley"? Why use the distinctly 19th century word "vale"?

But therein lies the problem, right?

from The Los Angeles Times: 'The Book of Psalms,' translated by Robert Alter

When [Alice B.] Toklas discovered that [Gertrude] Stein had fallen in love with a woman named May, in a frenzy of rage she destroyed May's letters, which had served as raw material for one of Stein's early novels. By Toklas's own admission, she became irrational about the very word "may." In Stein's poem "Stanzas," every "may" becomes "can," adding illogic to what one critic called "perhaps the dreariest long poem in the world."

from The Washington Post: Staying on

On the next page you'll find one of [Countee] Cullen's most homoerotic poems, "Tableau". We've also included two other pieces, "Incident" and "Brown Girl Dead," which we find absolutely heartbreaking.

from Queerty: Homo History: Countee Cullen

In "My Brother's Grave," [Dorianne] Laux conveys emotion indirectly, through vivid imagery--in her "pulling up/weeds from the roadside, . . ./tough, stringy stems/I had to chew off with my teeth,/the pitiful blossoms sodden, barely there"--and directly, in the final lines: "How could I have imagined then/how alone I would become."

from Salem Monthly: Poetry Collection Offers Simple Language

Lost she was. At a bash to celebrate the mural's completion, legend has it, [Blanca Luz] Brum and Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet, enjoyed a romantic assignation in the pool-house tower while another visiting author, Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, kept a lookout.

"In Buenos Aires," she later wrote of [David Alfaro] Siqueiros, "I untangled myself from his terrible knot."

from The Los Angeles Times: 'Lost' Siqueiros mural to be restored

Rarely did students from mill towns in New Hampshire and Massachusetts have even an inkling of labor history.

"They sort of imagine that factory owners decided, 'I think these people are working too hard. I think they should be working five days a week and maybe get some health insurance,' " he [Charles Simic] said. "This stuns me. I used to ask, 'I mean, your grandparents, don't they ever talk about the old days?' Not a clue."

from Concord Monitor: Poet relishes new challenge

[James] Farrar wrote the following poem, aged 16, watching aerial dogfights over Woodcote during the Battle of Britain.

September 1940

from Wimbledon Guardian: He was a poet and you never knew it

Which books do they ban?

Scholarly books. Virtually all of them.

Once upon a time, many newspapers, like literary publications, printed lists of "Books Received." The quaint notion was that the birth of a book, like a car crash on I-95 or a murder in North Philadelphia, was an event that might interest more people than those directly involved.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: There, in the mirror--a book banner!

Great Regulars

Our minds, our selves, our awareness are merely the outcome of the electrical activity of the few pounds of hyperconnected matter between our ears. All claims to the contrary are wishful thinking or superstitious remnants.

But the materialists have two problems.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Philadelphia Inquirer: A response to atheists, materialists

EE Cummings' wonderful maggie and milly and molly and may sits next to John Masefield's Sea-Fever, followed a page later by Billy Collins' Walking Across the Atlantic.

There are many poems here I remember reading as a child: Victorian triumphs of absurdity like Lewis Carroll's Father William, a work underpinned by a darkened humour and energy:

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: Vibrant children's anthology lacks visual bite

I mean, the best things that happen in poems are discoveries. They're accidents--what comes out of our imagination, out of our deepest self, out of our memory--and when they're good, they always surprise us.

"The Absentee Landlord."

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Charles Simic: From Belgrade to Poet Laureate

No "Beowulf."

"This is getting ridiculous," I say to Sherri, and we walk back down the stairs to the front desk. I ask the man about "Beowulf," and he says three words:

"It's being rested."

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star:

[Daniel J.] Levitin gives an admirable example of a musical illusion: in Sardinian a cappella music, apparently, a fifth female voice emerges from the four male voices when the harmony and the timbres are just right. This fifth voice is called the Quintina.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: The food of love

Bad mistakes had been made, especially in the sale of 19th-century paintings from provincial museums in a period just before they began to be appreciated again. Those museums made very little from these sales, and are never likely now to be able to afford to buy back the sort of thing they lost.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Hanging on

And all this envy of others causes him to disdain the very things he loves most: "With what I most enjoy contented least." He becomes negligent and oblivious even failing to find joy in the things in his life that usually make him happy.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 29

The ludicrous image of a fetus "slouching" toward a geographical location "to be born" is never acknowledged by critics, but it is a serious flaw that simply completes the other serious flaw in Yeats' misunderstanding of the true meaning the Second Coming.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Yeats' 'The Second Coming'

[Chris] Joseph is Digital Writer in Residence at the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University in Leicester, England. His multimedia project Animalamina ( is an unusual and delightful piece of interactive poetry for children. He created it in collaboration with 12 visual artists.

"I think collaboration is very common, and almost essential, for a full multimedia project," Joseph says.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Multimedia: The more the merrier

[Janet] Malcolm herself fumbles the chance to interview [Leon] Katz about the dust-up when she says the two confused the date of their meeting and missed connections. Katz then refused to reschedule.

Malcolm says she understands his reticence: He wants the [Alice B.] Toklas material for himself.

from Bob Hoover: Post-Gazette: 'Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice' by Janet Malcolm

On October 3, the eve of National Poetry Day, a handful of poets will find themselves somewhat richer when the winners of the Forward Prizes for poetry are announced. This week's poem is from the book of shortlisted and highly commended poems. It illustrates our desire to imbue a photograph, icon or memento, with power.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Every picture tells a story

Poem: "The Hunkering" by Donald Hall, from White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946-2006.

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

Sometimes beginning writers tell me they get discouraged because it seems that everything has already been written about. But every experience, however commonplace, is unique to he or she who seizes it. There have undoubtedly been many poems about how dandelions pass from yellow to wind-borne gossamer, but this one by the Maryland poet, Jean Nordhaus, offers an experience that was unique to her and is a gift to us.

A Dandelion for My Mother

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 131

Dylan Thomas ("Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night") revealed he wrote most of his poems with a mental template by which he could visualize the entire poem and arrange where certain key words would fit into the overall pattern for maximum effect. I'm certain many other poets have discovered and applied these playful methods for getting poems started, though they may be abashed to admit it.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Playful poetry can be fun exercise

E. Ethelbert Miller


from E. Ethelbert Miller: Beltway Poetry Quartlerly: The Evolving City

"When we crossed to Anauk Yat from the main road, they followed us. They followed us slowly. Then they beat up the group of women, shouting, 'Beat them. Beat them.' They beat up everyone in sight . . . I saw about 20 people in the prison trucks," he said.

Most of the demonstrators were just saying, 'May we be free from people torturing people.'

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Burma Violence Continues During U.N. Visit

Well, why not? A lyric poem delivers its payload efficiently. It doesn’t require an extraordinary investment of time on the reader’s part. So you can figure out quickly whether you like something. More important, the lyric poem is the most powerful embodiment of the paradoxes of life and art. [--Meghan O'Rourke]

from Meghan O'Rourke interviewed by David Baker: A Conversation with Meghan O'Rourke

In a way, the word "personal" is what diminishes emotion, by bleaching away the social or political meanings of what we feel. That is why Adrienne Rich's poetry has enduring importance. Here is a poem from her new book:


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

In Satori in Paris, Jack--he calls himself by his real name in that book--sees "a half dozen eager or worried writers with their manuscripts" in the office of his French editor. They "gave me a positively dirty look when they heard my name as tho they were muttering to themselves, 'Kerouac? I can write ten times better than that beatnik maniac . . . '" But Jack, sitting there, says, "all I feel like singing is Jimmy Lunceford's old tune:

'It aint watcha do
It's the way atcha do it!'"

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Jack Kerouac's sound of America

It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Anthem --Ayn Rand

'Political' poems are notoriously difficult to write. Finding a tone that refuses to preach, but does not surrender its message, even its fervency, is a challenge. Dan Gerber more than meets that challenge in his poem "2004."


from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Introducing Poetry by Dan Gerber

Hubris by Neil Rollinson

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Hubris by Neil Rollinson

Mambo Cinema
by Barbara Hamby

from Guernica: Poetry: Mambo Cinema

by Cornelius Eady

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Handymen

by Adam Zagajewski

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Karmelicka

Fever too high, her dreams, like her fists . . .
[by Sarah Lantz]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Taylor Bracy

McGowan Elementary School

School's in, School's in

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Taylor Bracy]

By Orunima Chakraborti

My Nature Home

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Orunima Chakraborti]

By Ryan Navin


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Ryan Navin]

Fields of War
[by Ty J.]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Fields of War

Orpheus and Eurydice
in the Lemon Groves
[by David Craig]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Orpheus and Eurydice in the Lemon Groves

The theme for National Poetry Day this year is "dreams", and the Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis is one of the four poets reading in four UK cities in the coming week. Each poet has a postcard poem, and Lewis's evokes the dream of sea-going that outweighs any other passion.

Sea Virus

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"Elegy, Father's Day"
By Kevin Young

from Slate: "Elegy, Father's Day" --By Kevin Young

[Ivan] Lalic died in 1996. The English version by Francis Jones of his poem "Genius Loci" appeared in the TLS of June 6, 1997: it is reprinted in TLS: A century of poems (2002)

Genius Loci

from The Times Literary Supplement: Genius Loci

Given that the poem was not offered for publication, and that it was composed through pain in the last months of Kipling's life (1934–5), it is no surprise if the verse is a little less crisp than some of his best. However rough or ready, though, Rudyard Kipling needs no apology from us.

(Chant Merchant-Maritime of Names)

from The Times Literary Supplement: Namely

In The Beginning
Jake Marmer

from Zeek: In The Beginning: Jake Marmer

Poetic Obituaries

In later years, he would lull himself to sleep by taking virtual walks around La Serenissima--or by reciting Keats to himself. He had, of course, a vast amount of English poetry by heart, and reams of Shakespeare. In fact I never knew anyone with a deeper textual knowledge of Shakespeare--and his Shakespeare lessons had a lasting impact.

from Thought Experiments: A Teacher Remembered

Popularly known as Veechi-Chikkaveeraiah won many a state awards including the Sahithya Academy and Rajyotsava awards.

His works include anthologies of poems--'Pranaya Chaitra', 'Nitya maduvanagitti', 'Navilamane' and others.

from Newindpress: Poet 'Veechi' Chikkaveeraiah passes away

[Shaun Henderson] was well known in Stevenage for his youth work, his musical talent and his poetry.

[Daniel] Ellis, of Wigram Way, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while unfit through alcohol.

from The Comet: Two years jail for death crash driver

Jennie [Knudson] was known for her excellent memory. She could recite the list of United States presidents forward and backward, their vice presidents and secretaries of state, as well as poems from her school days.

from The Creswell Chronicle: Jennie Knudson

When their six children were grown, she [Catharine H. McGlaughlin] joined the faculty of Philadelphia High School for Girls. For 15 years, she taught English and creative writing and was adviser to the staff of the school's literary and poetry publication.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: C.H. McGlaughlin: English teacher, 89

John [Paul Perala] traveled for his job and visited all continents except Australia. He enjoyed playing his drums, listening to music, family activities, car enthusiast, camping, working around the house, traveling, writing poetry, and most of all rocking his children in the rocking chair.

from The Mining Journal: John Paul Perala

[Natalya Pivovarova] studied with the Litsedei clown troupe's studio and conceived Kolibri (Russian for "hummingbirds") as a theatrical project--"a mix of music, poetry and show"--which later developed into a music group. "Then we were carried by different undercurrents and it turned into a musical project. I didn't like it too much because I think on a wider scale," she said in an interview with The St. Petersburg Times in March 2000.

from The St. Petersburg Times: Natalya Pivovarova (1963-2007)

[Donna Riddick-Rosser] wrote poetry, created artistic scrapbooks and painted. Her letters were also cherished by family and friends.

She was also an outstanding cook, famous for her fried chicken, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and, especially, her apple pie.

"People were drawn to her because of her goodwill and generosity," her family said.

from Philadelphia Daily News: Donna Riddick-Rosser, 67, devoted to children

[Nooruddin] Sarki translated Tolstoy's "What's to be done". Besides his letters to and from friends, selected poems of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai's poetry are among his compiled works.

Comrade Roochi Ram, a noted lawyer and Sarki's friend, said Sarki took up hundreds of cases of the political activists free of charge.

from The News: International: Nooruddin Sarki passes away

[Patricia Ann Sparks] will be remembered for her wholehearted laugh, her keen sense of humor and her love for life.

Trish enjoyed baking her famous apple pies for birthdays. She was gifted in poetry and shared that talent with many of her relatives and friends.

from Idaho Mountain Express and Guide: Patricia A. Sparks


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