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News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

A Chinese student studying in the U.S. was arrested in China on November 12 for possession of a poem collection about the June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre.

The student, Wu Qiang, was on a trip to Jilin Province in North-eastern China to visit his parents.

from Epoch Times: Returning Chinese Student Arrested for Political Poems

The 45-year-old [Taslima Nasrin] was taken to a safe house in Rajasthan for a night only to be then moved to a government apartment in New Delhi, guarded by police.

In brief telephone interviews with Indian journalists, Nasrin [or Nasreen] said she just wanted "to head back home as soon as possible". She added: "I have no place to go. India is my home and I would like to keep living in this country until I die."

from The Guardian: Bangladeshi writer goes into hiding

"You just said in the hearing that your mother brought you from Taiwan to the free world of the United States and created the conditions for your success. So you, as good a person as you are, why did you think that if Shi Tao was also an outstanding person you instead helped the evil laws that threw him into hell?" Gao [Qinsheng, Shi Tao's mother,] asked [Yahoo chief executive officer Jerry] Yang.

from Asia Times: Yahoo's apologies won't free dissidents

My verse is a sort of tribute to her [Samina Malik], in a way--it's a long time since we've banged someone up for writing a poem or two. The Americans tried to convict Ezra Pound and we incarcerated Oscar Wilde, of course. But in both of those cases it was for stuff they did in their spare time, when they weren't writing poetry, i.e. treason and sodomising men respectively.

from The Spectator: Free speech and the 'lyrical terrorist'

To his credit, [Charles] Bukowski seems to have recognized that; "this then/will be my destiny," he writes in "The Poetry Reading," originally published in the 1972 collection "Mockingbird Wish Me Luck":

scrabbling for pennies in dark tiny halls
reading poems I have long since become tired
and I used to think
that men who drove buses
or cleaned out latrines
or murdered men in alleys were

So why, then--in L.A., anyway--does he remain a sacred cow?

from Los Angeles Times: 'The Pleasures of the Damned' by Charles Bukowski

[David] Solway brings into stark reality harsh truths that we must recognize, that terror and anti-Semitism are intimately linked as they have been before; that our very civilization is under prolonged attack; and that, for too many years, we have evaded the truth, craving ". . . asylum in conciliation, sophistry, and equivocation." David Solway reminds us of a primordial lesson: the Jews are the canaries in the mineshaft of history.

from The Suburban: Of Poetry and Power

Another quality which the Old Irish poet shares with his Japanese counterpart is a quality we might call "this worldness"--both are as alert as hunters to their physical surroundings--and yet there is also a strong sense of another world within this "this worldness", one to which poetic expression promises access.

from The Guardian: The pathos of things

"I remember starting [the collection]," [W.S.] Merwin says. "The first one of them was 'To the Unlikely Event,' and it came from being on an airplane for the umpteenth time listening to the speaker say, 'In the unlikely event of a water landing,' and all that airline lingo that they go into, which is a deformation of the English language, and I thought, 'In the unlikely event, what do they mean in the unlikely event?'

from Metroactive: Present in Company: Translator and poet W.S. Merwin muses on the importance of nothing

I have met a first-rate American poetess. She really is good. Certainly one of the best female poets I ever read, and a damned sight better than the run of good male. Her main enthusiasm at present is me, and she thinks my verses are as good as I think they are and has accordingly and efficiently dispatched about twenty five to various immensely paying American Mags. So. She has published stories and poems in some of the top American journals.

[--Ted Hughes]

from The Age: Love, Ted

[Ted Hughes] essay ‚ÄúSuperstitions‚Ä? (in Winter Pollen, 1994) mounts a concessive defence of astrology: ‚ÄúTo an outsider, astrology is a procession of puerile absurdities. A Babel of gibberish‚Ä?. It has no way of shedding its mistakes as science does. Yet, reviewing Louis MacNeice‚Äôs Astrology, Hughes offers up Evangeline Adams as testable data, showing that astrology works, whether as magic or as a science.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Ted Hughes untamed

Too much study of the Bible is either completely dismissive of it, or excessively reverential. It doesn't allow for creative, imaginative engagement with it, recognising its limitations and delighting in it as a resource through which to stimulate understanding, rather than a book of moral precepts. Blake is as indignant as anyone about those elements in the Bible which have been used to condone injustice, oppression and preoccupation with tradition.

from The Guardian: Comment is free: Face to faith

Great Regulars

Elizabeth Samet: As "The Iliad" shows warriors reveling in the battlefield, it also shows a warrior, like Hector, realizing the costs of war, realizing in the scene when he takes leave of his wife and son, realizing what he has to leave behind. And I think it's necessary for soldiers to realize both the rewards and the costs of their profession.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour:

"I'm not in the least bit penitent," says dovegreyreader. "I scribble and I'm proud of it and to my knowledge no one has died as a result ... Nothing sacred about my books; they are living and working extensions of my mind which, as I get older, is feeling slightly more full to overflowing . . . To get a book that has someone else's marginalia is even more special.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: From the blogs

A poem is a work of the imagination, and the self you create on the page isn't the same person who washes the dishes and goes to the grocery store and tries to figure out how to fix the computer. It's a deeper self, or maybe a self you can't actually access in your daily life.

Or maybe it's a self you don't, or can't, show to anyone in your daily life. It's a part of you, but not the factual part, if that makes any sense.

[--Kim Addonizio]

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Interview: Author Kim Addonizio is fearless in verse and prose

Once a single forgery from their garden workshop had been detected (by means of a cuneiform spelling mistake), it became possible to identify the atelier.

Generally speaking, we are susceptible to forgeries, ready to be hoodwinked, when the forger has understood and devised what it is we would most like to own.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Fakes and counterfeits

[Ha] Jin's descriptions of Nan's journey back to the page are amusing, with enough veiled references to well-known poets and writers to keep a literary sleuth busy. The book ends with an epilogue made up of Nan's poems, which refer to moments you'll recognize in the book. This, too, is clever.

But the truest weave of this book needs no decoding.

from John Freeman: Philadelphia Inquirer: A heartbreaking tale of newcomers to U.S.

One might point out that nature is not the perfect model this speaker seems to believe it is. The speaker has no way of knowing if the birds are really always so cheerful, and why should they be? They surely suffer greatly trying to procure their daily sustenance, building nests for their babies, whom they then must teach to be independent.

from Linda Sue Grimes: 'Patience Taught By Nature'

He tries to convince her that by remaining in bed with him, she is saving time instead of wasting it, because he is sure that she "had rather lie in bed and kiss/Than anything."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Wilbur's 'A Late Aubade'

If you listen you can hear it roaring inside her [Natalie Babbitt's] sentences, as if you were holding a shell to your ear: "The edges of the roads are lost now in drifts of sand, and the grass, thinner, like the trees, is rough and tall, rising, kneeling, rising, kneeling, as the breeze combs by."

Set in an unspecified bygone era of buggies and lanterns but free of fancified old-timey verbiage, this book is a little gem--something to read in one evening, tucked up in bed.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Young Adult Reader: A girl, a grandmother, a cottage, and the music of the sea

Poem: "Coats" by Jane Kenyon , from Constance.

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

Great cultural shifts are always like this. Medici Florence saw a Renaissance occur amidst wars with the papacy and the other city-states. Shakespeare's was an age of theater and global exploration but also conflict with France and Spain as well as civil strife. In 1950s Paris, Sartre and Beauvoir and Camus reinvented literature and philosophy while France struggled to extricate itself from Algeria and Indo-China.

from David Kirby: South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Forty is not just an age, it's part of history

You've surely heard it said that the old ought to move over to make room for the young. But in the best of all possible worlds, people who love their work should be able to do it as long as they wish. Those forced to retire, well, they're a sorry lot. Here the Chicago poet, Deborah Cummins, shows a man trying to adjust to life after work.

At a Certain Age

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 139

[Gloria Vando] regales her readers with dramatic stories set in Sarajevo, Vietnam, Korea, San Juan, New York, and Kansas City. She personalizes political comment by adding emotional reactions to factual events. She also tells her own larger-than-life stories in well wrought verse.

"Orphans" is one of these stories.

from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Gloria Vando (1936 - )

For years, Ms. [Amy] Beckwith thought the letter might be important, but she put off doing anything about it until she happened to be listening to the audio version of Ms. [Hermione] Lee's biography of Wharton, published earlier this year by Alfred A. Knopf. "I got to the part where she says that Lily's death was 'probably an accident,' and I thought, 'Well, let's not be so sure about that,'" Ms. Beckwith said. "That was what prompted me."

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Wharton Letter Reopens a Mystery

Ilan Stavans has edited a new, bilingual selection of Neruda, as translated into English over the years by many hands. Among the poems that have influenced poets all over the world is "Tonight I Can Write," published when Neruda was in his 20s. The graceful, penetrating translation is by W. S. Merwin:

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

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

[Kathleen] Halme conjures such spirits as Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens and Marianne Moore, but she speaks for herself.

"The mind wants more/than an urgency of images, words/furred and folded up like bats/hanging starched and knee-locked in the ward," Halme writes. Then she gives the head its due without shortchanging the heart.

from B.T. Shaw: The Oregonian: Four poets are Oregon finalists

In some communities, people keep doubling the number of lamps every day from the day of Deepavali till Karthigai Deepam and thus the burning lamps present an enchanting spectacle during the night.

One of the earliest references to the festival can be seen in the Ahananuru, a book of poems, which dates back to the Sangam Age (200 B.C. to 300 A.D.).

from V Sundaram: News Today: Karthigai Deepam or Kartik Purnima

The parents of the boy in question have alleged that the 150-year-old Doveton Corrie Group of Educational Institutions punished their son Kaushik Ram by asking him to stand in the centre of the playground for more than an hour for coming to school with mehendi on his hands, besides suspending him and imposing the fine on him.

from V Sundaram: News Today: 'Paganish', 'Heathenish' Indian Christianity-I

[Joanna Martin] is the independent producer of The Poetry Box on Community TV, and a winner of the Mary Lönnberg Smith Poetry Award. She is a mother of two and has been a nurse at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz for 22 years, 11 years in Cardiac Care.

Middle-Aged Dating in Santa Cruz County

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Poetry by Joanna Martin

Missing Things by Vernon Scannell

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Missing Things by Vernon Scannell

The New Monastics
by Dennis Brutus

from MR Zine: "The New Monastics"

Alba Red
by Richard Kenney

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Alba Red

by Gerald Stern

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Lorca

Subject, Verb, Object
by James Richardson

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Subject, Verb, Object

By Austin Tally

The Dentist

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Austin Tally]

By Ryan Fisher, Rachel Henry, Stephanie Choe, Matt Bergan, Robert Stehm, Alison Brennan, Frank Brennan and Alexa Aulicino By Alana Pecchioli, Audrey Bishop, Eddie Runquist, Sarah Farkas, Morgan Kennedy, Sophia Riviello, Jackson Blanchard and Joey Cody

Cinnaminson Project Challenge 3A

Inspired by the quote "For food and for the roof above us/And light and warmth and those who love us, we give thanks," third graders in Cinnaminson's gifted program contributed stanzas to the following Thanksgiving group poems. They attend Rush Intermediate School. Once a month, they spend a "challenge" day with teacher Elaine Mendelow at the Memorial School.

Giving Thanks

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Memorial School students]

[by Judy Curtis]
Poem: In Dreams

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: In Dreams

[by Isabel Grasso]
Poem: Sturgeon

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Sturgeon

Writers often talk about "showing, not telling" in their work, creating images and ideas powerful enough not to need further explanations. Here, Andrew Forster evokes the endlessly subtle American poet Elizabeth Bishop, queen of "show, not tell", but the poem is also about what writers, and readers, search for.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: Elizabeth Bishop at Outer Banks

"Twenty-First Century Exhibit"
By Tom√°s Q. Morin

from Slate: "Twenty-First Century Exhibit" --By Tom√°s Q. Morin

An interest in poetry now developed alongside his boxing and drinking, and [Vernon] Scannell was eventually able to live as a freelancer. His prose account of his placement in the 1970s as Arts Council "Resident Poet" in the "new" village of Berinsfield, Oxfordshire, is as appalling in its way as any of his war stories.

Vernon Scannell was still writing poems in the last weeks of his illness. The TLS published "Views and Distances" on January 8, 1999.

Views and Distances

from Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Views and Distances

Poetic Obituaries

Besides being a Master Gardener and avid ice fisherman, he [Bill Cox] also loved learning, music, poetry, visiting and spending time with his family.

Schafer said he also enjoyed the little things in life, like watching and listening to the birds.

County Administrator Brian Bensen said Cox was a true gentleman who cared about preserving heritage.

from Star News: Community giver passes away

Candace Richardson, 54, who supplied horses and buggies to area parades and events, and her son Shane Eichthaler, 15, a prize-winning cowboy poet, were fatally injured when their 1991 Volvo and a sport utility vehicle collided about 10:30 a.m. on U.S. 380.

from Star-Telegram: Woman, son killed in wreck near Decatur

Known for his booming voice, stern and imposing physical presence and sometimes irascible temper, Fernan Gomez appeared in more than 200 films, directed another 20 and wrote novels, plays and poetry.

from PRAVDA.Ru: Spaniards pay respects to Spanish actor Fernan Gomez

[Keith Hunt] enjoyed and lettered in all sports, especially excelling in baseball and boxing. His favorite class was speech with Mrs. Evans. He loved poetry and reciting for school and community programs.

from Idaho Mountain Express and Guide: Keith Hunt

Kate Mehigan, above, who wrote a book about her battle with cancer to give strength to other young sufferers, has died, aged 14.

My Story, about her fight against the disease, so impressed the children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent that it invited her to meet its patron, Cherie Blair, at her 50th birthday party in 2004.

from The Times: Girl who wrote inspirational book about fight with cancer dies at 14

In "Beirut Seizures," [Hassib] Mroue captured the horrors of the Lebanese Civil War, the Israeli invasion and the human cost of such wide-scale violence. He never spared his readers the truth, and he didn't mask brutal realities with palatable images. His depiction of violence in Lebanon was visceral, and his ability to paint a landscape of horror and loss was profound.

from The Daily Star: Coming full circle: insight into the work of Hassib Mroue

[R] Nirmala, a native of Jog in Shimoga, was a lecturer. She received Karnataka Sahitya Academy award in 1997 for her Chalmere Luna, a collection of essays. She has also penned Pachchepairu and Uriva Olevale Munde (collection of poems).

from Writer Nirmala passes away

[Milo] Radulovich retired in 1994. Twice a widower, he enjoyed writing and translating poetry and was active in the Serbian church in Jackson.

He also was clearly pleased when "Good Night, and Good Luck" thrust his case back into the spotlight.

"It's been a very valuable experience for me," Radulovich said. "There is a kind of resonant note to the case. Americans have an inherent feeling for fairness."

from The Record: Radulovich, who had role in fall of McCarthy, dies

This rough diamond of a man [Vernon Scannell] would recite Marvell's To His Coy Mistress when close to tears (from his memoirs I can perhaps tell why). If only we had known that he also wrote the stuff, wrote of a life without direction which, none the less, "Ran like a fuse/And brought me to you/And love's bright, soundless detonation".

Keats, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Hardy, cascaded from the walls.

from The Guardian: Created on a canvas of needless pain: a poet who inspired the underbelly
also The Times: Vernon Scannell


News at Eleven

In 1943, when the sisters were 17 and 20 years old, they were sent to Nazi forced labor camps--first, Skarzysko-Kamienna and then HASAG-Buchenwald--where they wrote these poems, now translated into English by the poet Fanny Howe and collected in a volume entitled A Wall of Two: Poems of Resistance and Suffering from Krakow to Buchenwald and Beyond.

from Nextbook: Four Poems from A Wall of Two

Dear Noguchi,

I am profoundly surprised by the letter that you have written to me: neither its temper nor its contents harmonise with the spirit of Japan which I learnt to admire in your writings and came to love through my personal contacts with you. It is sad to think that the passion of collective militarism may on occasion helplessly overwhelm even the creative artist, that genuine intellectual power should be led to offer its dignity and truth to be sacrificed at the shrine of the dark gods of war.

from Japan Focus: Seduced by Nationalism: Yone Noguchi's 'Terrible Mistake'. Debating the China-Japan War With Tagore

'We got to Vienna, and in the station I bought a copy of The Times and thought Auden would like that. And he looked at the front page and he called out, "Chester! Chester!" and Chester came out of the kitchen. And Auden said, "Joe Orton's been murdered by his boyfriend!"?' [James] Fenton chuckles. 'And what was really impressive to me was that I'd read that story. But the story didn't include the word "murder" and it didn't contain the word "boyfriend". But it was completely clear to him.'

from Telegraph: James Fenton: 21st century renaissance man

[Charles Simic] went home and scratched out a few verses. He knew immediately they were terrible, but even the terrible ones worked on girls (in a 1998 interview with the Cortland Review, Simic recalled trembling "at the memory of a certain Linda listening breathlessly to my doggerel on her front steps"), and he found exhilaration in the act of writing.

from Wednesday Journal: Simply Simic

"Robert Hass' poetry is richly intelligent and keenly felt in the way it sees and hears the world around us. We come away from his poems with a fresh perception of our surroundings, and with a renewed conviction that this fragile world of ours is deeply worthy of our care." [--Tony Cascardi]

from UC Berkeley News: Robert Hass wins 2007 National Book Award for his latest poetry

Matthew [Sweeney] says he wrote 'Cows on the Beach' when "I was gathering momentum for the first of my children's books that Faber did,'The Flying Spring Onion' in 1992. I was home in Ballyliffen and I went down to Pollan Strand one day and it was empty except for two cows that had broken out of a field and were strolling down the beach.

from Derry Journal: Ballyliffen poem on 11 plus

In those early days it was the province only of scholars who preoccupied themselves with questions such as whether the manuscript was the product of two different scribes transcribing an earlier original.

They engaged in close study of its measure and meter, its heavy use of poetic 'kennings'--evocative euphemisms describing the sea as the "whale-road" and so forth--and its preoccupation with Anglo-Saxon alliteration. They were denizens of dusty diphthongs. Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagumpeodcyninga prym gefrunonhu oa æpelingas ellen fremedon.

from Irish Independent: Screen saxon violence

With few exceptions, serious poets stopped writing directly to or about God.

Enter Mark Jarman, Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt and the author of nine books of poetry, including the recently released Epistles, a collection of 30 prose poems based loosely on the epistles of St. Paul.

from Nashville Scene: A Poetry of Body and Soul

In another, he [John Trudell] spoke of a "yellow ribbon around my brain."

Trudell didn't apologize for the lack of sunshine and light in his words as he described a government and society he said mines the humanness from individuals and leaves behind the toxic waste of fear, doubt and insecurity.

"We're chasing chaos," he said.

The way out, he said, is not violence.

from The East Oregonian: Poet, activist shares his unique slant

Reached by cell phone in Caracas, Venezuela, [Amiri] Baraka said he was outraged by the court's decision, calling it further evidence of a right-wing agenda in government.

"I'm a citizen. How can I not have a claim to First Amendment rights? I thought that was guaranteed by the Bill of Rights," said Baraka, who was at an international book fair to give a speech titled "Is Revolution Possible in the United States?"

from The Star-Ledger: U.S. justices refuse Baraka's case over loss of post

I think I might be in trouble. Now that Samina Malik, the self-styled "lyrical terrorist", has been convicted for the possession of "records likely to be used for terrorism", I'm expecting a raid. When the police come to my house, they'll find a shelf full of books glorifying terrorism.

from The Guardian: Terror stricken
also The Times: Think no evil? Are you serious?
also Clattery MacHinery on Poetry: World Samina Malik Day December 6th

Great Regulars

Stuart is in no mood to answer such questions. "Just get the books," he says, with an imperious wave of his claw. And so you retreat to your library or, rather, to a large advisory panel consisting of the brilliant, the gifted, the great, the good and me. You keep the brief simple: five books to explain Britain to an alien. What do you get?

from Bryan Appleyard: The Times: Is this really what we are?

I was shocked and fascinated to learn how "green" the Nazis were and what far-reaching plans they had for controlling the genetic destiny of the entire planet. [--Diane Ackerman]

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Diane Ackerman in Portland

I saw him seven months ago on a cold, rainy weekday in Provincetown, and besides the fact that he did not stand and kept a throw over his lap, he seemed sharp and well. He warmed to talking quickly, his raspy voice ranging over all the old battles (and some new ones) with a self-retrospective quality that was weirdly charming. [--John Freeman on Norman Mailer]

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: From the blogs

There's something regenerative in the act of boarding a train in one place and disembarking in another, without having actively engaged in the process at any juncture; it transports, in both senses of the word. Perhaps Larkin has it best at the end of The Whitsun Weddings when, the journey "nearly done", he reflects on "all the power/That being changed can give".

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Poetry's railway lines

"What some people would like to see as a film of Beowulf is an empty stage, onto which an elderly English professor walks," he says. "He proceeds to read the entire poem, in as best an Old English accent as he can muster--and then walks off."

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Horrors or huzzahs? Beowulf gets the Hollywood treatment

Anyone who has any great interest in poetry will agree that we need a complete edition of the works of TS Eliot. Me, I can't wait. The admirable Auden edition, to which a new volume of the collected prose is just about to be added, keeps moving forward.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: The need to complete

The speaker has been implying all along that his own soul is this "infinitely gentle/Infinitely suffering thing," which is being stifled by all the ugliness in his environment. All he can do is frame the ugliness into images that may report his ultimate understanding, which is superior to others: "You had such a vision of the street/As the street hardly understands."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Eliot's 'Preludes'

But then the speaker says to the sonnet: no dear sonnet, you need not change chameleon-like, you have my heart because you belong to me, and my skill has made you truthful and valuable, and you will reflect well on me through the skill I have employed to create you.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 96

The vines are so large and tangled that they remind the speaker of "Nineveh's prophet" over whom a gourd grew to protect from the sun. This prophet allusion is to Jonah, who was sent by God to Nineveh to warn the people that if they did not correct their evil ways, their city would be destroyed.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Whittier's 'The Pumpkin'

Last month, Radiohead released its new album, In Rainbows (, as a download and asked people to pay whatever they wanted for it. A few weeks later hip-hop artist Saul Williams did more or less the same thing with The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust, the album he produced without a record company. Visitors to the Web site ( can pay either $5 or nothing.

from Katie Haegele: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Why creative people are putting their work free on the Net

For a moment, it could be a land where life is about to begin, but then she tells us that "here there was no sea,/here there could be no dawn." So any hope of life to come is removed; this place is born of the loss of her father and her mother's murderous betrayal.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Life before my father's murder

Poem: "When I Am Old" by Ray Nargis, from Almost Tomorrow.

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

You've surely heard it said that the old ought to move over to make room for the young. But in the best of all possible worlds, people who love their work should be able to do it as long as they wish. Those forced to retire, well, they're a sorry lot. Here the Chicago poet, Deborah Cummins, shows a man trying to adjust to life after work.

At a Certain Age

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 138

Acorns and wind are familiar images to Midwestern readers, and here these natural forces suggest wholeness. The last two lines are the sonnet's couplet, with the surprising final chord--acceptance of "luck." The mother empowers her orphaned (or fatherless) daughter by framing her within a larger cosmos.


from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Gloria Vando (1936 - )

Although I'm concentrating on animals as poetic symbols, I don't mean to suggest they are in any way superior to other types of symbols. They are simply the most obvious, and the best suited for use as illustrations.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Animals are some of poetry's most indelible symbols

As is so often the case in [Stephen] King, the horror without is merely a manifestation of the evil within--in this case, as it turns out, paranoia and religious extremism--but it's horror nonetheless. The mist turns out to conceal, among other things, giant bugs and tentacled creatures.

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: A Foggy Reunion With Horror's Master

As [David] Moody says [of Ezra Pound]: "He had called for slaughter in a war without truce, meaning it metaphorically. The real thing seemed to him the final stupidity of the world he had wanted to destroy, a mindless murdering contest between detestable 'teutonic atavism' and 'unsatisfactory Democracy'."

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Waging war on the sublime

A 29-year-old leading monk in the recent demonstrations against the Burmese military regime, U Gambira, has been charged with treason by the junta, according to his family. The punishment for high treason in Burma is a life sentence or death. U Gambira was arrested from a hiding place in Kyaukse, central Burma, in early November. His mother, Daw Yay, spoke to RFA's Burmese service, and read a poem she composed:

In Mother's Heart

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Monks' Leader Detained: A Mother's Lament

The ceremonious gathering to eat sumptuous food is a basic ritual, involving memory and family or communal ties. The holiday of Thanksgiving in that sense is primal, as well as American. Mark Strand's New Selected Poems includes an evocation of food's deep meanings, appropriate to the holiday, though the dish is not turkey:

Pot Roast

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

[Susan Gillis:] Does food in my poems stand for that larger idea of nourishment? It's hard to resist supposing so. But I haven't consciously meant to lean on it as symbol or metaphor in this way. It's just that there tends to be food around when important moments occur.

When I'm writing well I often forget to eat.

from CBC: Words at Large: Poet of the Month: Susan Gillis

Country Station by Fleur Adcock

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Country Station by Fleur Adcock

In her new poems, Tina Chang steps from the terrain of history and loss navigated in her gorgeous first collection, Half-Lit Houses, toward the various places where one can sense the weight and the tug of public and private danger. Here, speakers move with quicksilver fluidity between the surreal or imagined and the grave realities of the worlds that contain them. --Tracy K. Smith

Strange Theater

from Guernica: Poetry: Three Poems [by Tina Chang]

Terrance Hayes is constantly pushing toward new possibilities for private inquiry and new structures against which to ballast his buoyant and boundless sense of language. These poems marry swank and swagger to what I like to think of as a 21st Century gravitas. --Tracy K. Smith

God is an American

from Guernica: Poetry: Three Poems [by Terrance Hayes]

Aaron Smith is an expert at locating the spaces within spaces. In these three poems, he zeroes in on the places where doubt and possibility collide and unsettle our beliefs. They are graceful, full of humility and hard fact, and they aren't afraid of making you laugh to yourself, or better--at yourself. --Tracy K. Smith

Mailbox Blue (Ars Poetica)

from Guernica: Poetry: Three Poems [by Aaron Smith]

Kyle Booten, the youngest writer in the group, is an undergraduate student of creative writing whose poems dwell in imaginative spaces on the far side of history. I'm dazzled by his ability to balance arresting beauty and lyrical grace with a mischievous wit that moves quietly and steadily throughout his poems. --Tracy K. Smith

Country Parson's Epitaph

from Guernica: Poetry: Two Poems [by Kyle Booten]

David Semanki's terse and elegant poems study the weight of gestures, silence, hope and misgiving as they exist within his human subjects. His gaze is cinematic in its precision, spotlighting the emotional and narrative significance of small yet key details within the everyday world: street lamps, roadside weeds, chimes in a courtyard, the frost on a window. --Tracy K. Smith

Film Study: Transcendence

from Guernica: Poetry: Two Poems [by David Semanski]

Sean Singer's obsession with jazz has not subsided. On the contrary, his new poems continue to push and bend the jazz lexicon, racing toward the lives and voices that sit at its center. With sonic agility, these poems stride and comp and croon and whimper in service, not just of music, but of the aches and the dilemmas that make music necessary. In the two poems included here, he channels legendary musicians Charlie Parker and Hank Mobley. --Tracy K. Smith

"This one's my Cadillac. This one's my house."

from Guernica: Poetry: Two Poems [by Sean Singer]

By Jon Herbert Arkham

Who is this fellow?

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'November Ghost,' a poem by Jon Herbert Arkham

First Snow
by Louise Gl√ľck

from The New Yorker: Poetry: First Snow

Ordinary Life
by Adam Zagajewski

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Ordinary Life

[by Caitlin Dwyer]

Smoke, like a lazy son, meanders [. . .]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Lauren Davis

Burlington Township High School

I Am Not Alone

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Lauren Davis]

By Lauren Griffith

I Am Poem

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Lauren Griffith]

By Allison Mongan

Night Snow

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Allison Mongan]

[by Janice B. Mulcahey]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Cycle

[by Bob Smith]
The Silent Invaders

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: The Silent Invaders

It is easy to imagine that parts of the Scottish coastline haven't changed since longboats landed on the shore. But it is difficult to write a poem as fresh and spare as this one by Caithness writer Donald Mackay, as vivid as a film but hinting at much older storytelling.

The Vikings are Coming

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"Definition of Stranger"
By Idra Novey

from Slate: "Definition of Stranger" --By Idra Novey

The translator, publisher and occasional poet James Michie has died at the age of eighty. His versions of Catullus, of La Fontaine's Fables and Virgil's Eclogues are among the best in English; and for thirty years, as "Jaspistos", he set a literary competition in the Spectator. On January 7, 1983 the TLS published his seasonal poem "The Last Wasp".

The Last Wasp

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: The Last Wasp

Poetic Obituaries

Artistic, she [Mellie Marie Broussard] painted, wrote poems and was working on the story of her life.

She planned dinners and get-togethers, [daughter Mona] Hester said, for 15 and 20 family members, especially at holidays.

from SunHerald: Mother took care of others

[Alfred J. "Jack" Clegg] wrote poetry and novels, she said, and enjoyed horseback riding, skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving and travel. He had an eclectic art collection and collected classic cars, his wife said, and had raced his Ferrari at Pocono International Raceway and at Watkins Glen International.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Alfred 'Jack' Clegg, 68, longtime businessman

[Jane Cooper's] most recent book, "The Flashboat: Poems Collected and Reclaimed," was published in 2000.

"I have boxes more," she said of her many unfinished works in a 1996 interview with the Times Union of Albany, N.Y. "Some are quite publishable," she added, but they were not yet up to her standards. "I've always been a rather slow writer," she said.

from Los Angeles Times: Poet Jane Cooper dies at 83

Many of [Landis] Everson's early poems were about the past or the process of writing ("Sometimes you write poetry about poetry /you can't help yourself /your fingers stray down there where there is still feeling"). Recent poems, though, have a subtle air of prophecy:

First you have to end it
if you want to begin. rain before the clouds and the exit
is where the subway enters.

The judge who sentences us is smiling.
He knows a crime is uncommitted.
After his judgment.
I left. So our tears will flow to no subject or object.

from Poetry Foundation: In Memoriam: Landis Everson, 1926-2007

[Lorraine Getz] enjoyed collecting plates, gardening, walking, world traveling, corresponding with friends, visiting with relatives, canning and baking. Getz also loved poetry, playing the violin, piano or playing board games, especially Scrabble.

from Alexandria Echo Press: Pedestrian killed in Nokomis crash

Here, reprinted from the BBC website, is Gwyn Thomas's tribute to [Ray] Gravell:

from Sports Journalists' Association News: Wales' bards and poets pay tribute to Gravell

Jack Kerouac in a plaid shirt, on a stage, arms thrust wide, February 15, 1959.

"That was when he was reading from 'On the Road' at a poetry gig on East Second Street. This was the first time I shot him. One of my great photos." [--Fred McDarrah]

from The Villager: Fred McDarrah, 81, photographer of Beat Generation

Valerie [Grosvenor Myer] was well-known for her literary contributions, sense of humour and her flamboyant hats.

She had been a critic, poet, biographer, playwright, editor and teacher during an impressive career spanning more than 50 years.

from The Ely Standard: Novelist's final note to husband

In a review of contemporary poetry in The Sunday Telegraph in 2003 [Vernon] Scannnell observed: "Apart from the so-called "Performance Poets", whose burblings can rarely stand scrutiny on the page, there are two kinds of poet writing today: the first seeks the approval of the loftier academic criticism and ignores the needs and possible limitations of the common reader and the second, as Thomas Hardy put it, wishes 'to touch our hearts by showing his own and not to exhibit his learning, or his fine taste'."

from Telegraph: Vernon Scannell

Hungary was on Tuesday mourning the passing of Magda Szabo, one of the nation's most loved and respected authors who died on Monday night aged 90. "Not long ago millions in Hungary and abroad alike lionized her, and every one of them were amazed by the dignity and life force that shone out of here even in her 90s," Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said in a statement.

from Hungary mourns death of much-loved author Szabo


News at Eleven

An elliptical stroke of genius.

And yet the more one reads these lines [by Ivor Gurney], the more other meanings assert themselves. Why "minds" and not "mind"? Is the object of 'War made' the hells, or the minds? Or both at once, the inner war-torn mind being Hell, anyway?

from The Guardian: Strange hells

They are staking a tremendous lot on this great advancing movement as if it succeeds the war won't go on for long. You have no idea what enormous issues depend on the next few days.

This will be my last letter most likely for some time as we won't get any time for writing this next week, but I will try & send Field post cards.

Well so long dears. Dear love John. [--John Kipling]

from The Sunday Times: My doomed dear boy John Kipling

And as literature approaches our own times we see an even more dramatic shift in how poetry and war combine. Where poets used to write about war, now they almost exclusively write against it. And more often than not, they write against it from a distance.

from Ottawa Citizen: Where have the war poets gone?

One of the most famous of the odes is the one that includes the line "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" ... "it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."

I didn't understand at the time that that was a poem about a Roman war in Iraq! It was about the Romans putting down Parthian insurgents in an imperialist war, which seemed too good to be true. And it's about the difference between the bravery of soldiers and the kind of courage that doesn't get you into unnecessary wars.

from Berkeleyan: Robert Hass: Eight years of activism, writing, and reflection

Comparisons are odious. But the strange fact is that [Robert] Hass is best when, within his own range, he aspires to a Strand-like coolness, while [Mark] Strand, in his sublime recent work, has found (always at a slant) a way of sounding like a confidant. Both long ago outgrew the manners that made them famous; their recent poems feel like repudiations of early, too easy mastery.

from The New Yorker: Late and Soon

A new Hollywood film opening in theatres Friday employs special-effects wizardry to tell the story of Beowulf, but a just-released illustrated edition of the epic tale from a UW English professor comes much closer to showing us the world where the action takes place.

from University of Wisconsin-Madison News: Beowulf's world comes to life in new book
also University of Wisconsin-Madison News: Beowulf expert says Hollywood makeover may do justice to epic poem

"The poem was a way for me to try to answer why Susan Smith invented a black kidnapper," said [Cornelius] Eady, who is the director of the creative writing program at the University of Notre Dame.

The poet had no intention of turning his work into a stage play when he began writing the 2001 book of poetry.

from The Pensacola News Journal: Brutal Imagination

[Samina Malik] told the court that she had initially used the pseudonym Lyrical Babe and had changed it to Lyrical Terrorist. "It was only because it was a cool name. It doesn't mean I'm a terrorist. It is just a user name."

She added: "I feel ashamed. This was me showing off, trying to be something I wasn't, trying to get that popularity from male users."

from The Times: Poetic shop assistant guilty of building library of terror

Then they said, 'Since you have not cooperated with us, every time you go abroad you will have to undergo a special check.' After that they asked me if I [Shmuel Yerushalmi] would now write a poem about the Shin Bet, so I told them I would write whatever I like. A few days later I wrote the poem, 'Fascist Police State.'"

from Haaretz: Big brother is reading your poetry

"Now I have been tried three times for this. My family is frustrated as well. I want this to end. I will be sent to jail for between a year and a year and a half this time if they find me guilty."

Kyaw Thu Moe Myint will be tried for illegal publishing under section 17 of the Printers and Publishers Registration Act.

from Democratic Voice of Burma: Poet to be retried for illegal publishing

"A poem sometimes possesses rhyme or meter, though this is not necessary," [U.S. District Judge John F.] Keenan wrote. "A poem is typically free from the usual rules of grammar, punctuation and capitalization." In a footnote, he cited testimony that before "World War Two, a poem almost always had rhyme or meter." Now, "the popular definition of poem has become much more lenient."

from Asbury Park Press: Judge rules on what makes a poem

Great Regulars

Selected from "Ovid's Poetry of Exile," translated by David R. Slavitt, Johns Hopkins University Press

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry

Responding to the fact that a new volume of poetry, no matter how outstanding, is highly unlikely to receive more than a single print run, it [the Poetry Book Society] has launched a "Back in Print" list, dedicated to the reissuing of major collections from the UK's finest poets.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Another chance to read

Some journalists who've seen screenings have asked the writers why they changed the story. The Web is replete with postings from folks who've seen the trailers and reacted negatively to various elements, such as the sexuality of Angelina Jolie, who portrays Grendel's mother.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Horrors or huzzahs? Beowulf gets the Hollywood treatment

Through the years, that would be my experience with [Norman] Mailer; to read him was to be alternately vexed and dazzled. I couldn't wait to read Harlot's Ghost, his 1991 novel of espionage ‚ÄĒ then couldn't abandon it fast enough. But 1997's The Gospel According to the Son was captivating, an imaginative first-person life of Christ.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Norman Mailer: A blend of beauty and the boast

The website is unrestricted and you can print off any image. A battle was won before this was allowed to happen, and the result is that anyone--student, teacher or amateur--can get hold of a decent A4 reproduction of the drawing or print they are interested in, for personal use.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Rembrandt reaches the web

The artist and the poem can never completely merge, but they share the same "sweet hours" that they steal "from love's delight." The artist, during his creative periods, is sometimes deceived into thinking the poem will always complement his creativity, but then the dark times return again and again to enhance their separation.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 36

The "bums in doorways": "the white/slugs of their bodies gleaming through slits in their/suits of compressed silt, the stained/flippers of their hands, the underwater/fire of their eyes, ships gone down with the/lanterns lit."

These fine images deserve a better place to reside. The poem is unconvincing and seems to exist for the sole purpose of displaying a few well-wrought images.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Sharon Olds' 'The Victims'

The British, including the poet's father, have fought to hold their island and have risen to fight injustice, including the rise of Hitler's Nazi Germany, and even now fighting the unjust and dangerous ideology of Islamofascism in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But the speaker in this poem claims that these young soldiers are "Lives Lost in Vain," that is, the lives of these fallen heroes are considered wasted.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Two Children's Poems

Has "Dad" cracked under the pressure of being responsible for the upkeep of his family? Perhaps as a result of an oppressed existence, and in a moment of madness, he imagines the freedom of flying without even a microlight, forgetting about the inevitable crunch at the end. Or maybe oblivion appeals?

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Flight of fancy

Poem: "Letter of Recommendation" by Robert B. Shaw, from Solving for X.

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

Here's a fine seasonal poem by Todd Davis, who lives and teaches in Pennsylvania. It's about the drowsiness that arrives with the early days of autumn. Can a bear imagine the future? Surely not as a human would, but perhaps it can sense that the world seems to be slowing toward slumber. Who knows?


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 137

[Norman Mailer's] editor, Jason Epstein, said of this period, "There are two sides to Norman Mailer, and the good side has won."

In 1984 Mr. Mailer was elected president of PEN American Center, the writers' organization, and was the main force in bringing together writers from all over the world for a much publicized literary conference called "The Writer's Imagination and the Imagination of the State."

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Norman Mailer, Towering Writer With a Matching Ego, Dies at 84

[Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang] ". . . . repeated his apology. He said Shi Tao is a good person and I have let him down. How do you think I will feel if something happens to him during 10 years of labor camp, and I lose my son?

I said that people were more important than money, and that perhaps he believed that money was more important that a person's life? He said, yes, yes, and kept nodding and apologizing to me.

[--Gao Qinsheng]

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: RFA Unplugged: The cyberdissident's mother and the cyberdissident's wife

With thousands of others (including Mailer), I marched on the Pentagon in 1967. This was one of the first major anti-Vietnam marches, and I remember eagerly buying Armies of the Night (1968), Mailer's compelling account of that protest. I was, however, dismayed by the focus on himself: the Vietnam War was not about him.

from Jay Parini: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Mailer's talent was never as big as his ego

The distinguished fiction writer Margaret Atwood is also a terrific poet. She even writes memorable poems about being a poet, for example, "The poet has come back . . . ," a sharp reminder that poetry is not merely good thoughts well expressed:

The poet has come back to being a poet

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

Far from confessional surrender, this strategy allows the writer to construct and control her own authorial presence. Material normally open to speculative literary biography--[Jackie] Kay's adoption, her ethnicity, sexuality, even her own parenting--is rehearsed, and therefore to some degree determined, on the page.

from Fiona Sampson: The Guardian: The map on her face

Today, we speak of Latin as a "dead" language. If it is dead, [Nicholas] Ostler argues, the seeds of its demise may have lain within what gave it life: the very institutions (Rome, Christianity, scholastic learning, humanism) that disseminated it so wide and fierce.

But Ostler wonders aloud: Is it really dead?

from John Timpane: Philadelpia Inquirer: The epic, and relevant, story of the Latin language

No, [Harry] Mount says, "the really useful thing about Latin is . . . that it will help you to understand Latin, in which some of the most stirring prose and poetry ever was written."

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: Seize the Latin, or fun with a dead language

[Norman Mailer's] death "is a huge loss," John Freeman, president of the National Book Critics Circle, said in a telephone interview last night.

"No one invented as many forms as he did, from new journalism . . . to a certain kind of war novel which, in some ways, didn't exist before he wrote it and changed the way people would write about war in fiction," Freeman said.

Mr. Mailer did nothing small.

from Frank Wilson, contributor: Michael D. Schaffer: Philadelphia Inquirer: An American literary giant

from Goodbye Tissues
by Deborah Meadows

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: from Goodbye Tissues

by Carmen Gimenez Smith
Fortune: A Conversation

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry:Poetry by Carmen Gimenez Smith

Editor's note: This week we feature the work of Barbara Leon, an Aptos resident and a writer/editor in the natural health field. Her poetry has appeared in americas review, the Anthology of Monterey Bay Poets, Bathyspheric Review, BorderSenses, Calyx, Crab Orchard Review, In Our Own Words, Paterson Literary Review (Honorable Mention 2007 Allen Ginsberg Awards) and Porter Gulch Review (2004 Poet of the Year).

Elkhorn Slough in Springtime

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry by Barbara Leon

The Silent One by Ivor Gurney

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: The Silent One by Ivor Gurney

By H.C. Palmer

Turbine towers stalk,

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Prairie Towers,' a poem by H.C. Palmer

by Michael Longley

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Cloudberries

Visiting the Library in a Strange City
by Franz Wright

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Visiting the Library in a Strange City

By Madeline Bowne

Pleasant Valley School

Waiting for Autumn

from Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Madeline Bowne]

By Allison Cavanaugh

Each scene is slowly fading

from Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Allison Cavanaugh ]

By Megan McFarland

Are You Alone

from Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Megan McFarland]

[by Judy Curtis]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Harmony

Your Cup of Tea
[by SGP]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Your Cup of Tea

Ippolit Konovaloff

Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology (1915) is an American classic, a series of poems in the voices of people buried in a fictional small town in the American Midwest. This poem's uneasy combination of war and peace will bring to mind other poems about war, both then and since.

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week:

--By Frank Bidart

from Slate: "Candidate" --By Frank Bidart

Poetic Obituaries

[Jonathan] Chapman's mother sat with a picture Jonathan drew of his family when he was in kindergarten and talked about missing the poems her son wrote to her.

"I will never be the same. That was my baby," she said.

from WUSA 9: Family, Friends Grieving Over Loss Of Teens

Family was important to Sam [Grenz] and he enjoyed every opportunity to spend time together. He had incredible creativity and a particular talent for art, Poetry, and construction.

from KXMB: Samual J. Grenz

[James Michael Jones] also sang and wrote music, wrote poetry, drew and took photographs.

"He was real active in his church. He was a complex young man. He thought in an abstract manner you and I wouldn't understand," James Jones said. "It made sense when you had a discussion with him, you thought he was in left field. After you thought about it and pondered, he really had good points. He broke it down to the very simple parts of the discussion. It's hard to describe."

from The Dispatch: Shooting victim remembered for his generosity

This, in the end, is why he [Norman Mailer] chose the technique he did. "Once History inhabits a crazy house," he informs readers who might be puzzled by the choice, "egotism may be the last tool left to History."

There's more. Much more.

But as Dick Fontaine said: To see Norman Mailer clearly, you have to read "Armies" for yourself.

from The Washington Post: Army of One

[Susanne Steinem Patch] enjoyed collecting minerals and objets d'art, and making jewelry, much of which she donated to raise money for the FTC's day-care center. She also enjoyed memorizing and writing poetry and reading mysteries.

from The Washington Post: Susanne Steinem Patch, 82; Gem Expert

[Aloysius John Pereira] also wrote poems under the pen-names of Louie Pereir, Louiebaba, Bamnnalo Pilo.

He has won first prize for 8 consecutive years for his poems in "Raknno" Literary Competitions.

from Daijiworld: Mangalore: Well-known Konkani Poet 'Louie Pereir' is No More

[Paula Riker] published her light poetry about local dogs as "Going to the Dogs and Other Species" (Golden Quill Press) and took the Great Writers School correspondence course and studied writing with poet Lisa Grannel.

from The Villager: Paula Riker, 83, a woman of eclectic interests

Paul Roche, who died on October 30 aged 91, was a critically acclaimed poet and novelist, and translated Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Sappho and Plautus; he also conducted a 32-year relationship with the Bloomsbury painter, Duncan Grant.

Editions of Roche's works have sold in their hundreds of thousands, and are still used as standard texts in many schools and colleges in America and Europe

from Telegraph: Paul Roche

Father [Chad] Varah, who was said to be able to recite every poem he had ever heard, was more curious than concerned about death, because of his belief in reincarnation. His favorite three words of advice were intended to provide a sense of proportion: "It doesn't matter."

from The New York Times: Rev. Chad Varah, Anglican Priest Who Helped the Suicidal, Dies at 95

"The one line that sticks with me is 'the trees are melting black.' It was late fall, and the trees had no leaves. He saw how those limbs were etched against the sky, and he described them the way a poet would."

Though she gained fame through her son [Kanye West], becoming one of the higher-profile mothers in hip-hop, Ms. [Donda] West also was an academic and former chairwoman of the English Department at Chicago State University.

from Chicago Tribune: Kanye West's mom dies


News at Eleven

During a recent ceremony at Assumption College, Mrs. [Gertrude] Halstead read one of her poems, "the hanging tree," which recalls her childhood memories of a massive tree on a hilltop at the side of a road in Germany where people had been hanged in the past for various wrongs.

Using her special "Halsteading" technique, she carefully spaces words so an image appears on a printed page of her works.

from Worcester Telegram & Gazette: City honors its poet laureate: Demons vanish as Halstead talent infuses poetry

On June 7, 1944, at the height of the deportation of Hungarian Jews, Szenes crossed the border into Hungary. She was caught almost immediately by the Hungarian police, and although tortured cruelly and repeatedly over the next several months, refused to divulge any information.

from IsraCast: Hannah Szenes (1921-1944)

[Nadia] Anjuman's work evokes "a great sorrow directly linked to her status as a woman and an Afghan," says Leili Anvar, a literature expert who has translated some of her poems into French.

Under the Taliban, girls could not go to school, women were barred from working and confined largely to their homes.

from AFP: Afghan woman poet Nadia Anjuman remembered two years on

Life as an ordinary person is a faraway bliss for her [Taslima Nasreen].

"It is more so because since the attack on me in Hyderabad in August. I have been confined to my house in Kolkata for three months and went out only three times. So coming to Taiwan is a relief for me," she said in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

from Digital Journal: Bangladeshi writer to fight for human rights despite fatwa

© Simon Armitage, 2007

Laura's poem The Manhunt

from The Sunday Times: Battlefield salvos

A huge row has broken out in Tamil Nadu over state Chief Minister and DMK strongman M Karunanidhi penning an ode in support of slain LTTE leader Thamilselvan. Predictably first off the block in taking on Karunanidhi is his chief rival DMK supremo J Jayalalithaa.

from Jaya slams Karuna for Pro-LTTE poem

They resisted the rule of parents whom they considered disgraced by lives led in all too quiet desperation. They cried for youth, honesty, an unwritten future. Thus, [Yevgeny] Yevtushenko's discomfort in the present may stem from the fact that he, the most brightly burning of sons, now finds himself a father, forgotten by the young, his face creased from worry about how he will be judged by that ultimate arbiter--history.

I. "So youth asked if childhood would help,

and childhood smiled and promised it would."

from Bookslut: A Man of the '60s: Yevgeny Yevtushenko Parachutes into the 21st Century and Finds the Landing Rocky

Mr. [Wilfrid] Meynell recorded the visit [by Francis Thompson] thusly: "The door opened and a strange hand was thrust in. The door closed but Thompson had not entered. Again it opened, again it shut. At the third attempt a waif of a man came in. No such figure had been looked for; more ragged and unkempt than the average beggar, his feet without stockings, showing through his boots, his coat torn and no shirt."

He looked so thin and haggard that "he seemed in the last stage of physical collapse."

from National Catholic Reporter: A misfit poet of heaven

[Ted Hughes] attended committee meetings of angling associations. He did research. He spent money on river restoration. He sent a copy of The Poisoned Womb, a rather creaky polemic by John Elkington on the impacts of chemicals on human reproduction, to Margaret Thatcher. He even sat on a committee for the National Rivers Authority, when some of his readers might have preferred him to focus on the day job.

from The Guardian: Portrait of a poet as eco warrior

[Robert] Hass still appears skeptical of poetry like this. He admits to arguing from facts he doesn't possess. And his avidity for the light of "reason" flickers with sarcasm. This is loose language, but he gives it his best shot:

from Slate: When Poetry Meets Politics

Poet Richard Marggraf Turley has won the Keats-Shelley Prize for Elisions, his work on the subject of slavery

Elisions explores the contradictory attitudes towards slavery in the early 19th century. A boss describes his engines--but his language betrays the dark heart of his business.

from Telegraph: Elisions by Richard Marggraf Turley

Great Regulars

However, she [Frances Leviston] now finds herself pitched into competition with some of contemporary British poetry's leading lights. Edwin Morgan, Leviston's senior by over 60 years, is widely regarded as one of Scotland's greatest living poets, while Sean O'Brien's scooping of the 2007 Forward prize for his latest collection The Drowned Book makes him the only poet to have won the award three times.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: First collection vies with established names for TS Eliot prize

The Guardian First Book Award is unique among book prizes as it is open to all first-time authors and because of the input of readers' groups. The groups are based in seven Waterstone's stores across the country and their views are given voice in discussions on the seven-strong panel of judges by Waterstone's Stuart Broom.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: From Bangladesh to Baghdad: the Guardian book award

Roosting fruit bats flit from trees, loot last light, fly

from thunder's heat-charged columns to the sun-

spilled crimson of the lake's sheen.

[--Graham Mort]

Verbs pursue each other through the lines in a rush of assonance, braiding together a verse already pinned by the central half-rhyme of "trees", "heat" and "sheen"; creating the impression of an integrated universe while simultaneously miming the skittering coherence of the bats' flight.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Sex, death and foxes

[Archer Milton] Huntington himself wrote poems about Spain. He had a mission in life, and it was a big enough mission to prevent him from falling victim to a narrow obsession.

Every wall, every vitrine, every drawer of his museum is crammed with objects illustrating the history of glazed pottery, of decorated tiles, of Hispanic lustreware, of Roman mosaic, of textiles and so on.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Memories of Spain

[Lydia Davis'] "Television," for instance, begins with a series of riffs on why we watch the flickering screen. Each line manages to weave sociological and sensory insights:

We listen to the ads until we're exhausted, punished with lists:

they want us to buy so much, and we try, but we don't have a lot of money. Yet we can't help admiring the science of it all.

from John Freeman: The Philadelphia Inquiere: Varieties of Disturbances

The speaker then reasons why Lincoln would be distressed and unable to rest: he is thinking about the conditions of the world. He thinks about "men and kings." He stresses over the struggles of poor people and "sins of all the war-lords."

These worldly problems "He carries on his shawl-draped shoulders now/The bitterness, the folly and the pain." The figure paces the town at midnight because of the many worries that trouble the citizens.

from Linda Sue Grimes: November Poet --Vachel Lindsay

The muse has given in to laziness perhaps, but even overzealousness could qualify as a "sensual fault" as well.

Whatever the fault is, it has prevented the speaker's talent from creating at the top of his ability, which he feels is a stain on his poetry and ultimately his reputation.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 35

[Garrison] Keillor has been tricked by Eliot's poem, and in Keillor's comment about the poem, two assertions demonstrate his misunderstanding: 1) "small, dark mopefest of a poem": This is a false assertion because the poem is too funny to be a "dark mopefest," plus it is really a longer poem than most lyrics, and 2) "old Pru worries about whether to eat a peach or roll up his trousers": This assertion is partially false also. While "old Pru" does ask if he dares "eat a peach," he does not question whether he will roll up his trousers.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Tricked by J. Alfred Prufrock

[Elizabeth] Gregory's inference of sexuality from these lines demonstrates the interpretive fallacy of "reading into" a poem something that is not there, and her assertion that "the boy's activities are unmistakeably (sic) sexual" strains reason. The "lexical choices" to which Gregory refers are, no doubt, the words "riding," "stiffness," "hung limp," and "launching out too soon."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Tricked by Robert Frost

The speaker approaches the dead enemy in his coffin, and instead of cursing him and taking joy in his death as the ordinary person would do, the speaker proceeds to "Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin." He kisses the face of the enemy.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Whitman's 'Reconciliation'

Every verb is chosen for its ability to propel us forward. "All of the sights of the hill and the plain/Fly as thick as driving rain" also brings to mind the manner in which rain hits the windows of a train, streaking horizontally as the train is driven forwards.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Track Record

Poem: "Gate C22" by Ellen Bass, from The Human Line.

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

Here's a fine seasonal poem by Todd Davis, who lives and teaches in Pennsylvania. It's about the drowsiness that arrives with the early days of autumn. Can a bear imagine the future? Surely not as a human would, but perhaps it can sense that the world seems to be slowing toward slumber. Who knows?


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 136

[Jonathan] Holden uses a passel of rich descriptive verbs, like "pirouette" and "stab," to describe reflexive movements of the birds and players. These contrast to hesitations--reflection and philosophy--in the poem. Instinct keeps us alive, even when in the dark of night.

Night Game

from Denise Low: Lawrence Journal-World: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Jonathan Holden (1941 - )

If you've seen the film "Il Postino," you probably remember the scene where the actor playing the part of Pablo Neruda explains the meaning of the term "metaphor" to his new friend, the postman. Pablo Neruda: "When you say ‚Äėthe sky weeps,' what do you mean?" Mario Ruoppolo (the postman): "That it's raining." Neruda: "That's a metaphor."

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Nothing like a good simile, metaphor

[Elizabeth D.] Samet describes a general, lecturing at West Point, who shows a slide with the headlines "My Lai," "Tigris Bridge," "Pat Tillman," "Haditha" and "Abu Ghraib." The point of his lecture--Samet describes him as "outraged"--is the responsibility of officers to speak out against negligence, abuse and criminal conduct: bound by their honor.

West Point--unlike many campuses where the English department has dwindled away from such notions--adheres to the idea that the general's project has some relation to the student of Samet's who reads Wallace Stevens's poem "The Idea of Order at Key West" while on active duty in the Iraqi desert.

from Robert Pinsky: The New York Times: The Things They Carried

[Reed Whittemore's] new prose memoir, by quoting entire poems, encloses what is in effect a "Selected Poems." Whittemore dips a word like "correct" into the cleansing, restorative medium of his understated wit, in "On the Death of Someone Close":

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

It's great to be back as Poetry Curator of Newspaper Tree with Sito Negron as editor. I already have some great poetry lined up for the coming issues, so get ready to rock. For our first installment, I have selected several pieces submitted by artists from throughout the United States, each of whom have a connection to la frontera. In honor of the recent visit to the beautiful Plaza Theater by legendary blues great Mr. Johnny Winter, here is a sampling of wintertime blues on the border. Long live the Blues!

from Donna Snyder: Newspaper Tree: Tumblewords Poetry: The Blues

The emphasis here is on developing a writing process that prioritises experience as a starting point for writing poetry, and foregrounds the materiality of language.

I want to show you how, in a poem, language can be drawn from the tangible world and turned in the imagination of the poet into artifice--a step away from experience without the loss of the trace of that primary reality.

from The Guardian: Poetry workshop: Eleanor Rees's workshop

Bread and Butter by Jo Roach

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Bread and Butter by Jo Roach

In this haunting poem, Cynthia Cruz channels a street-savvy child-speaker who wields language by turns agile and coy, by turns grim and cacophonic, to weave the various loose ends of her life into a single, fluid plea. --Tracy K. Smith


from Guernica: Poetry: Cinderella

By Mark Scheel

Tonight marks season's

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: "First Freeze," a poem by Mark Scheel

The Japanese Garden

by Jean Valentine

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Japanese Garden

The Panorama

by Yusef Komunyakaa

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Panorama

"Equinox"--which originally appeared in [Joy] Harjo's book "How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems" (W.W. Norton, 2002)--appears in the new anthology "We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon" (Interlink Books, edited by Kathy Engel and Kamal Boullata).

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Samantha Nash

The Halloween Plan

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Samantha Nash]

The Glance

[by Chris Vaughan]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: The Glance

The Way to Work

[by Ronald Tomanio]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: The Way to Work

Jane Hirshfield is a US poet who reveals how the simplest things are the most important. Between Hallowe'en, All Souls Day and Bonfire night, there are plenty of chances to think about this witty, gentle, unsettling poem from her latest collection, After.

The Dead Do Not Want Us Dead

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"A Wedding at Cana, Lebanon, 2007"

By Tom Sleigh

from Slate: "A Wedding at Cana, Lebanon, 2007" --By Tom Sleigh

The best known of these pre-Remembrance poems is [Thomas] Hardy's "Song of the Soldiers", whose repeated phrase, "Men who march away" gave Ian Parsons the title for his anthology of poems of the First World War (1987). Hardy's poem was printed in the TLS of September 10, 1914.

Song of the Soldiers

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Song of the Soldiers

Rodger Kamenetz

The Real

from Zeek: Three Poems by Rodger Kamenetz

Poetic Obituaries

[Robert] Goulet won a Grammy Award for best new artist of 1962.

He became a spokesman for the American Cancer Society after surviving prostate cancer, which was diagnosed in 1993.

In a 2006 poem on his Web site, Goulet mused on the thrill of first experiences: "I'll probably never be that young and green again, and I miss it."

from Bloomberg: Goulet, Dapper Singer, `Camelot' Star, Dead at Age 73 (Update1)

[Duncan] Grant was passionate about the history, geography and wildlife of the North. He pored over journals of early explorers such as Alexander Mackenzie and Benjamin Franklin. Then he'd take off in his plane and look for the places they'd been.

"He was passionate about these men and the challenges they'd faced. He could recite poetry, passages from Mackenzie's journal, Robert Service," said Cheryl [Grant].

from Northern News Service: Pilot and student of the North Duncan Grant dies at 86

The youngest of two children, Elizabeth [Greenhalgh] enjoyed art and photography and played the guitar, in addition to writing poetry, said Chariho Supt. Barry Ricci. She had expressed an interest in becoming a lawyer, but her mother said Elizabeth had most recently been interested in becoming an English teacher.

"She loved to write," she said.

from The Providence Journal: 2 Hopkinton teens die in car accident

[Christine J. Hogan] attended St. Jude Catholic Church and was a scholarly member of the International Thomas Merton Society. She was a published poet and playwright. Mrs. Hogan had served as a docent at Kenmore Plantation and as a volunteer at George Washington's Ferry Farm.

from The Free Lance-Star: Christine J. Hogan

[Margaret Legum's] granddaughter, Mariam Wheeldon, remembered Legum as an extraordinarily engaging person who was "concerned about economic justice and the poor".

Wheeldon said that Legum had a great love for poetry, so much so that she published an anthology titled Learning to Saunter earlier in 2007.

from Mail & Guardian: Journalist Margaret Legum passes away

In the balmy weather there, Mr. [Alann] Lewis wrote, published and produced six plays. Four of his works were performed or given staged readings. He also penned short stories and children's stories. He also held playwriting workshops from his home. He published his first book, a collection of poems, last year. His wealth was gone, but he managed to scrape together enough cash to live.

from The Washington Post: Alann Lewis; Vagabond Turned Playwright

Those contacts and travels served his children well when it came time for them to travel through Europe, [Samuel P.] Meyers' oldest son, Stephen Meyers, said.

He said that as important as his father's career was to him, after retirement his dad focused on introspection through the writing of poetry.

"It was a whole different side of him than was there in his professional life," he said.

from The Advocate: Noted LSU professor, researcher dies

WH Auden included two of his [James Michie's] poems--Park Concert and Arizona Nature Myth--in his published commonplace book, A Certain World (1970). He also held the highest opinion of Michie's verse translations.

"Horace has always been one of my favourite poets," Auden wrote, "and I have often toyed with the idea of translating him. After reading Michie's translation [of the Odes] however, I see that I must dismiss the idea. I do not expect to read a better one." Michie's version, first published in 1964, was several times reprinted by Penguin.

from Telegraph: James Michie

A poet, historian, gastronome, environmentalist and romantic, he [Eric C. Rolls] published more than 20 books, including a two-volume history of Chinese immigration, "Citizens " and "Sojourners ", "Celebration of the Senses" and "Australia: A Biography ".

"A Million Wild Acres", his 1981 history of the conquest--and destruction--of the Australian wilderness was his "masterpiece", said the historian Tom Griffiths.

"It was such an original voice and made such an impact. He was really a very significant Australian writer."

from The Sydney Morning Herald: Author Rolls dies aged 84


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