BEST OF 2004

BEST OF 2003

BEST OF 2002

BEST OF 2001

BEST OF 2000



Powered by Blogger


News Articles, with Rus Bowden


News at Eleven

A reader in love with [C.P.] Cavafy has no choice but to own several, since it often happens that where one translator comes up short, the other does better. Every time I'm struck with admiration for the poetic qualities of Haviaras's translation (he even manages to reproduce the rhymes of some of the early poems), I recall a poem Sachperoglou has done exceedingly well. Such as 'Ithaca':

from London Review of Books: Some Sort of a Solution

The junta increased U Win Tin's sentence by 10 more years. They put him alone in his cell. The cell was 8.5 x 11.5 feet. There was only a bamboo mat on the concrete floor. Sleeping, eating, walking and cleaning the bowels were done in the very same place. He could not see the sun, the moon or the stars. He was intentionally barred from breathing fresh air, tasting nourishing food and drinking a drop of fresh water. The worst thing was throwing the old writer into solitary confinement in such a cage for two decades.

from Asian Tribune: Burma's Longest Serving Prisoner of Conscience Must Be Free

"I can't take it anymore like this, I am leaving finally," Taslima [Nasreen] said. "They did not even allow me to go back to Kolkata to collect my things, you guys are there, take care of those."

They won, secular India lost. Taslima is finally leaving India for Europe, unable to cope up with life in solitary confinement in the dungeons of "safe house"- or should we call it gulags for cultural offences? - that exists in free India. Safe houses are nice places to keep safe from species like a "Muslim woman writer with a big mouth."

from Sify News: Goodbye Taslima, Welcome India without slogans

When he is not at his cottage in Donegal composing poetry or attending literary functions in Dublin, [Cathal] O'Searchaigh spends a good deal of his time in Nepal where he has raised money for charities over the past ten years and adopted a son.

But his preference for sex with younger men has placed him at the centre of a public storm in Ireland, with calls for his poetry to be taken off the syllabus.

from The Guardian: Film sparks storm over Irish poet

But [Dan] Chiasson teases us with his description of the dirtiest poem in the anthology, W.H. Auden's "The Platonic Blow," which Chiasson can only call "is the dirtiest verse written since Rochester--I can't even talk about it here."

So how dirty is it, really?

from New York Magazine: How Dirty Is That Auden Poem That Was Too Dirty for the 'Times Book Review'?

Can it be that William Wadsworth's or Paul Violi's best erotic poems are better than Frank O'Hara's second or 10th or 50th best? I'd like to see someone make that case.

It's good to encourage people who otherwise wouldn't read older poems to take a little Hart Crane with their Mark Doty, but it's odd to leverage a few old names merely to inflate the value of the new ones.

from The New York Times: Hot or Not

The Academy of American Poets has announced the launch of a mobile poetry archive which provides free and direct access to the entire collection of over 2,500 poems on, as well as hundreds of biographies and essays, all in the palm of a hand.

from Wireless and Mobile News: 1st Mobile Poetry Archive Launched for National Poetry Month & Beyond

Five years ago, on the same day that British and American troops marched into Iraq, poets convened in St Andrews for the first day of the StAnza Poetry Festival. The invasion formed an uncomfortable backdrop to the festival that year – sitting listening to poetry felt like fiddling while Rome burned.

This year, on the first day of StAnza, an explosion claimed 11 more lives in Baghdad, a reminder that the occupation continues.

from The Scotsman: Chapter and verse

Samuel Johnson gave the poem first place "among the productions of the human mind."

But it is now the quadricentennial of [John] Milton's birth in 1608, and it is startling that this work, once central to the literary and religious experience of the English-speaking world, is so much a curiosity, sentenced to the margins by its preoccupations with biblical interpretation, condemned by the density of its prosody, which does not instantly seduce but, instead, commands the reader to give way before it, persisting until no resistance is possible.

from The New York Rimes: A Giant's Roaring, Faintly Echoed

Our images of Hell, the devil and the fall of man have been irrevocably shaped by [John] Milton's versions of them. His "Areopagitica" remains one of the foundational texts of the argument for freedom of speech.

The closing lines of "Lycidas", his elegy for an acquaintance drowned at sea, have always seemed to me one of the most moving passages in English verse.

For so to interpose a little ease,
[/. . . .]

from Telegraph: English poetry masters: John Milton
also Telegraph: English poetry masters: Percy Bysshe Shelley
also Telegraph: English poetry masters: Christina Rossetti
also Telegraph: English poetry masters: Robert Browning

In this series, the Guardian brings together seven of the greatest poets of the 20th century.

Each booklet includes a generous selection of the poet's best known and most acclaimed work.

from The Guardian: Great Poets of the 20th Century
also The Guardian: A poetry of atonement: Rowan Williams on WH Auden
also The Guardian: The mother of so much: Margaret Drabble on Sylvia Plath
also The Guardian: Foreword: Jeanette Winterson on Ted Hughes
also The Guardian: Playing the common world's melody: John Banville on Seamus Heaney
also The Guardian: Happy warrior, embittered pacifist: William Boyd: Siegrfried Sassoon
but also The Guardian: commentisfree: This great poets list has only one woman. About right, too

Great Regulars

Claire Ridley, the UK marketing manager of the game, showed me, with a noticeable degree of pride, a rather gentle Spore tribe she had created. I asked her what would happen if she just left them alone. "They would die of hunger," she said with a note of real anxiety. "You have to nurture them and look after them."

from Bryan Appleyard: The Times: Bryan Appleyard tries out Spore and creates his own species

Now Powell's has taken another step into the collector market and started a limited-edition, subscription-only book club. It features independent and small-press books in original sets with extra goodies such as CDs or DVDs, cookies or chocolates, and promotional material.

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Bookmarks: Powell's starts limited-edition book club

[Tom Paulin] is wondrously nimble at tracking a pattern of sound through a text, though the process rapidly become repetitive and over-technical: "There are three ih sounds in the next stanza, two in the next stanza, along with two i sounds. Then in the last stanza there are a total of nine ih sounds and three i sounds . . ."

You can, in short, read too closely, just as you can squash your nose up against a canvas until the painting fades to a blur.

from Terry Eagleton: The Times: The Guardian: A puritan at play

Gunter Grass Reads Gabo
By Evan Fleischer

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Don't tell Gunter about this one

Approaching Fifty

By Tina Hacker

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Life begins at . . . ?

I have some great news: Washburn University's Woodley Press soon will release Lindsey Martin-Bowen's first full-length poetry collection, Standing on the Edge of the World. The poet generously agreed to give Parachute a preview:

Everyone Connects Kansas with Oz

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Oz? It's over the rainbow

Iowa Poet Laureate Robert Dana today joins Kansas' Denise Low and Missouri's Walter Bargen on the roster of state poet laureates featured on Parachute.

Blood Harvest
By Robert Dana

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: The Poet Laureate Project, Part 3

The author of today's poem is 12 years old; he lives in Independence, Missouri.

Wood Carving

by Danny Mallinson

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Prodigy

A poem by Linda Rodriguez:

I Could Live in the Library

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: The stacks are nice this time of year

When [Stanford] White was shot dead by Harry K Thaw in 1906 and his mansion was sold off, Hearst and John D Rockefeller "fought like schoolboys" over the stained-glass windows, the weather vanes, the doorways and the ceilings. I was told once of a Rockefeller property where there were two huge Renaissance fireplaces--in the squash court.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Restoration and removal

The speaker assumes that if is difficult for many citizens to understand the purpose of the death of soldier, so he is going to explain why that difficulty exists: "It is because like men we look too near,/Forgetting that as fitted to the sphere,/Our missiles always make too short an arc."

Many ordinary citizens cannot see the bigger picture in the cosmic scheme of things: they "look too near."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Robert Frost's 'A Soldier'

Carl Sandburg is an excellent poet, who has written many fine poems, but this is not one of them. Nevertheless, because beginning students/readers of poetry need to be able to compare the well-written and the not-so-well-written works, it is important for those students/readers to experience even the uninspired work of the best poets.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Sandburg's 'Young Sea'

That is how I feel about this poem: "Here" is where "the blockage" is; it is also the present moment (and place) in any of our lives. The "ache" appears to be the ache of ageing--even the poet's doctor says "I have that, we all have". "Here" is also wherever the poet is.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: Here, by Ken Smith (Shed: Poems 1980-2001, Bloodaxe)

In "Carrion Comfort," [Gerard Manley] Hopkins refuses to feast on the rotten meat of melancholy, though he can barely long for day and stave off suicide. Hopkins's syntax is so mangled, the lines so packed with heavy plodding accents and stilted comma stops, that he speaks as if through a chokehold. Yet somehow the depth of his suffering proves the vigor of his faith.

Carrion Comfort

from Mary Karr: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice: Lenten remorse: Hopkins's dark night of the soul

Poem: "Fishing On The Susquehanna In July" by Billy Collins, from Picnic, Lightning.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of March 17, 2008

The American poet Elizabeth Bishop often wrote of how places--both familiar and foreign--looked, how they seemed. Here Marianne Boruch of Indiana begins her poem in this way, too, in a space familiar to us all but made new--made strange--by close observation.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 155

For a while it all got pretty nasty; there were even suggestions that [Philip] Larkin's books might be banned from some libraries. But what is his reputation today, 23 years after his death? Even though the heat of debate has died down a bit, he remains a divisive figure.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: The quarrel within ourselves

In one scene, I try to hold a fellow student crushed by a tank, and realize his two legs are gone, with only blood gushing from his body. Such scenes are rewound and played again, night after night. No time for healing after such an event.

It has been 18 years since I set foot in my hometown.

from Luisetta Mudie: ClatteryMacHinery on Poetry: Life and Death from Beijing: a Poetry Sequence by Luisetta Mudie and Dreamer Fei

The key is to rethink the traditional roles of art and science, to find a middle ground where we might frame aesthetic solutions to scientific questions, or apply a scientific rigor to the challenges of art.

"[T]he fused method that results," he [David Edwards] argues, "at once aesthetic and scientific--intuitive and deductive, sensual and analytical, comfortable with uncertainty and able to frame a problem, embracing nature in its complexity and able to simplify to nature in its essence--is what I call artscience."

from David L. Ulin: Los Angeles Times: 'Artscience' by David Edwards

In "God Particles," [Thomas] Lux's 11th volume of poetry, readers are confronted by the brutality, banality and violence of the modern world. But they also encounter God particles scattered throughout--an instance of kindness, a reason for joy, an impulse to forgive.

Lux, recipient of the 1995 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for "Split Horizon," is known for his uncompromising and bold poetry.

from David L. Ulin: Los Angeles Times: 'God Particles: Poems' by Thomas Lux

That's a gorgeous image, and exactly right, for this is what we are, brief sparks flashing, momentary bursts of illumination animated by a creative force so indifferent that "it/exaggerates our self-/importance even/to think you would/ignore the prayer."

At the heart of this, of course, is God--or a conception of eternity at any rate. For [Alan] Shapiro, that's less a source of comfort than of silence, a caesura in the face of everything we cannot know.

from David L. Ulin: Los Angeles Times: Songs of experience, of loss and longing

The number one way to combat counterfeiting of U.S. currency, Don Drosehn says, is not through the complicated patterns of engraving, or the red and blue threads in the paper, or even the watermark of a bill.

“Nothing is as effective as the feel,? says Drosehn. He proceeds to take a bill out of his pocket, grasping it in his fingers at the edges and pulling.

from Andrew Varnon: UMass Amherst: The Buck Starts Here

by Jonathan Musgrove

The Day I Saw the Emperor's Clay Soldiers

from The Atlantic Monthly: Poetry: The Day I Saw the Emperor's Clay Soldiers

by Paul Muldoon

The Windshield

from The Atlantic Monthly: Poetry: The Windshield

The Woman who Worries Herself to Death by Kathryn Simmonds

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: The Woman who Worries Herself to Death by Kathryn Simmonds

Sean's suggestions for adding drama to poetry

A fundamental skill is the ability to dramatize a poem, to give it the sense of three-dimensional life, rather than simply let it comment on its subject. Few of us are sufficiently remarkable to have interesting general opinions about life, but if we renew proverbial truths in fresh contexts we may be on to something.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: Sean O'Brien's workshop

Found Myself in Search of Matthias & Paul
by Robert Gibbons

from Guernica: Poetry: Found Myself in Search of Matthias & Paul

By Martin Zehr
She fumbles in her purse for reading glasses

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: Between the Lines: 'Waiting to Read'

For the Prisoners of Guantanamo
by Dennis Brutus

from MR Zine: For the Prisoners of Guantanamo

by Les Murray

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Midi

On Beauty
by James Longenbach

from The New Yorker: Poetry: On Beauty

Pharaoh's Daughter
By Erika Meitner

from Nextbook: Pharaoh's Daughter
also Nextbook: North Country Canzone

Pancho Savery's poem "Full Moon" is the winner of Hubbub magazine's 2008 Stout Award and will appear in Volume 24 of the magazine, available Monday. Savery teaches English, Humanities and American Studies at Reed College, and his poems have appeared in journals such as Rainy Day and Hanging Loose.

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Lauren Syphers

The Ginger Jar

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

[by Jane Allen]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Memories

[by B. Kelton]
An Ode to the Overgrown Forest

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: An Ode to the Overgrown Forest

In themselves, the visual components are hardly enough for a poem: but once [Charles] Wright has mediated the landscape--through an aphorism, a few metaphors, some minatory concepts, an evanescent life-cycle, a hope, and a regret--the painting-poem assumes that atmosphere of visual intensity, intellectual spareness, and colloquial interruptions by which we recognize Wright's hand. The poet uses a palette of strictness and grayness and deadness, but at the end creates a change in hue:

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Snatched from the Air

In his new bi-lingual collection Nort Atlantik Drift (Luath, £15), Robert Alan Jamieson takes the reader on a journey to the rhythms and voices of Shetland, creating a lyrical blend of mythology, autobiography and culture. He appears at the StAnza poetry festival this weekend.

Laamint fir da tristie

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week: Robert Alan Jamieson

"planting daffodils"
By Charlotte Boulay

from Slate: "planting daffodils" --By Charlotte Boulay

Poetic Obituaries

A powerful writer known for his uncompromising stand, [Padma] Barkataki's creations encompassed diverse realms from short story and novel to drama and poetry to children's literature and translation works. He was also an acclaimed critic and prose writer. Realism had been Barkataki's forte, and his works touched the deepest chords of the reader.

from The Assam Tribune: Padma Barkataki passes away

With painter Don Kommit, [Angela] Costa founded the Silk City Poets in Paterson, N.J., a poetry performance group in the early 1970s. She received the William Carlos Williams Poetry Award in 1975, and, in New York, studied with Diane Wakowski and Ntozake Shange. Various literary magazines and anthologies (Black Creation, Diversitas and Howling Dog) published her work. She often read on WBAI ("Ghosts in the Machine") and appeared on Manhattan Cable's "Radio Thin Air."

from Downtown Express: Angela Costa, 54, Tribeca musician and writer

[Tanikka] West said her family belongs to Restoration Christian Center and that Sydney [Dailey] participated in volleyball, chorus and dance at school. She enjoyed writing poetry.

"She wrote about her family. She wrote about things she loved, flowers and wanting her family to be happy and being happy herself," she said.

from Tulsa World: Mother: Victim was harassed

"All his students knew his passion for literature, the sharpness of his insights, the breadth of his knowledge, and his certainty that a poem or a novel could make a difference in lives," [Roland] Dille recently wrote [of Clarence Glasrud] in the school's alumni magazine. "And all of them knew that he was always there for them, a man unable to find any question silly, a man whose every response avoided condescension."

from The Forum: Former MSUM professor Clarence 'Soc' Glasrud dies at age 96; called 'a legend in his own time'

In 1983, she [Marcia E. Hensley] began her work as a co-owner with her husband in a newspaper business. During their time in the business, the couple moved back and forth several times between Minnesota and Iowa. Mrs. Hensley retired in 2001, and the couple moved to Luverne in June 2003. She was a member of ARC and enjoyed writing poetry, spectator sports, and working alongside her husband.

from Post-Bulletin: Marcia E. Hensley--Rochester

During World War II, she [Elizabeth L. Hoadley] served with the U.S. Navy as a nurse.

Following her military service, she worked as a nurse in the family nursing home in West Franklin and later at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia.

She traveled throughout the United States over the years and enjoyed motorcycles. She also wrote poetry.

from Concord Monitor: Elizabeth L. Hoadley

Janet said that [her daughter] Kayley [Howson], a former pupil of Rosehill Primary School and Gawthorpe School, loved her music, reading and writing poetry.

She said: "Kayley had trouble expressing her feelings to people but somehow she could find the words to write poetry. We didn't realise how much she had written--but we found hundreds of poems. [. . ."]

from Lancashire Telegraph: Pink tribute to tragic girl

[Ryan Kell] was an artist, drawing, painting and writing poetry, and had played bass guitar for several local bands, Paul Kell said.

Ryan worked for a construction business owned by his stepfather, Brad Darrell, and had learned to install tile. Paul Kell said his son learned guitar from Darrell and had picked up his artistic talents from Cynthia.

from Canton Repository: N. Canton man's body found after fall into pit

[Virginia Fedor Poole] was noted there both for her ability to memorize and recite long poems and for her imitation of the child actress of the 1940s, Margaret O'Brien. In high school, Virginia not only performed in school plays, but acquired the "Jini" spelling of her nickname.

from Vineyard Gazette: Virginia F. Poole, 73, Touched Island With Enthusiasm for Life

Months after her initial diagnosis, she [Martha Rapaport] wrote transcendent poems and let herself be photographed bald from chemotherapy, then sent that transformational project, called "In the Spirit of Healing," to health centers to inspire others.

from The Virginian-Pilot: Troupe's founder had creative, healing roles

As a publisher, [Jonathan] Williams produced more than 100 books with some of the 20th century's best poets and photographers.

Among Williams' first titles was Olson's "Maximus Poems," an influential landmark in contemporary poetry.

But Williams saw no barriers between high and low art, writing, by turns, elegant and earthy poems inspired by rusted roadside signs and classical forms.

from Asheville Citizen-Times: Poet, photographer and publisher Jonathan Williams dies at 79


News at Eleven

Poetry is written out of the true self, in all its complexity, in all its saving incoherence, its authentic internal contradictions, its existential candour, a self utterly remote from the self deduced by the world, the glib caricature we recognise reflected in the eyes of others, "eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase".

from The Guardian: All jokes aside
see The Guardian: Great poets of the 20th century: Eliot
and The Guardian: Great poets of the 20th century

By writing in the English vernacular and moving from alliterative to metrical arrangements of sound, his [Geoffrey Chaucer's] work was the incubator for modern English prosody.

from Telegraph: English poetry masters: Geoffrey Chaucer

"Old Poets", from Elaine Feinstein's aptly titled new volume Talking to the Dead, reflects that "We were so sure/The words of their poems would last,/and that the next generation/would be equally in love with the past". If "love" can encompass every shade of rivalry and argument, she has every right to her confidence. Poetry itself, as the imprisoned Wyatt came to know, can be the most stalwart paramour of all.

The Poem that Changed My Life

Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate

I Look into my Glass, by Thomas Hardy

from The Independent: Why poetry still matters, by Boyd Tonkin

Robert Frost Lecture: No poem is intelligible except in light of all the other poems, and the poems that were ever written, so you better get about them, circulating among them. That's what I say in the spirit of poetry too, and you take as much stock in it as I'm telling you to take...'

from WBUR Newsroom: Robert Frost Unplugged

Such young people have, in effect, no history, and this being so, their own significance is diminished. The problem is not whether Shakespeare or the Bible or TS Eliot is "relevant" to them, but whether they can see themselves as part of a continuum, a community extending across history.

from The Guardian: 'Read poetry: it's quite hard'

T.S. Eliot, who achieved the lofty status of Nobel Prize winner--and, significantly--became one of his generation's most authoritative cultural critics, himself ironically remarked upon his genetic inheritance from "witch-hangers" and the cultural debt he owed to his common heritage with Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Indeed, as even a superficial acquaintance with American literature will reveal, Eliot's sensibilities and literary soul had much in common with Hawthorne's work, and with that other eminent American expatriate, Henry James.

from Salem Gazette: 'Between two waves of the sea' - T.S. Eliot's roots in the North Shore
also Salem Gazette: 'At the source of the longest river'--T.S. Eliot's ties to Salem
also Salem Gazette: T.S. Eliot:: 'The river is within us, the sea is all about us'

"No, not me. I can't go that. I get stage-fright. Wait till Allen comes back--he's great. He loves that."

To what did Kerouac attribute his sudden recognition on the West Coast, after years of the opposite here in the East: "One thing," he said. "Rexroth. A great man. A great critic. Interested in young people, interested in everything."

from Village Voice: Back to the Village

That they have taken note of him, he [Linton Kwesi Johnson] says, "is great. But they recognise me, not the other way round. Some black and Caribbean poets seek a kind of validation from these arbiters of British taste. But they really didn't exist for me. I was coming from a position of cultural autonomy. I did my own thing, built my own audience and established my own base. My audience was ordinary people."

from The Guardian: 'I did my own thing'

The poet wrestles all the way to the last lines between a readiness to make peace with her own passing versus a continued resistance, along with the mourning of friends, family and colleagues. For [Grace] Paley, who passed away before seeing the publication of this book, these last words sustain the truths she was committed to, and bear witness to new wisdom.

from The Brooklyn Rail: Poetry: Peculiar Antennae

Split This Rock calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of activist poets. The festival will explore and celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for change: reaching across differences, considering personal and social responsibility, asserting the right to free speech, bearing witness to the diversity and complexity of human experience through language, imagining a better world.

from Foreign Policy in Focus: Hear This Hammer Ring

Reporters Without Borders will launch the first International Online Free Expression Day under UNESCO's patronage on 12 March, when it will also organise its second "24-hour online demo against Internet censorship," urging Internet users to come and demonstrate on its website,

from Reporters Without Borders: Wednesday 12 March : launch of Online Free Expression Day plus repeat of last year's "24-hour online demo"

Great Regulars

[Alison] Brackenbury is at her best when exploring details from her own life and from her immediate environment, when celebrating the possibilities of the near at hand, and, in the end, it's in these subtle evocations of everyday fragility that Singing in the Dark finds its strength.

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: At home with the horses

[James] Frey has a contract for a novel and has started a blog. The scandal over [Margaret] Seltzer's book will blow over--until next time.

When Primus St. John, an English professor at Portland State, was asked about fake memoirs, his answer was telling.

"Which one?"

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Bookmarks: Memoir Mess

[Richard] Kenney is a muscular poet. Ideas leap toward emotions, images quicken into thoughts, consonants tick into consonants, and vowels elide into vowels. This sort of circular momentum is at the heart of his Italian sonnet, "Millenary," too. It's a wry, Y2K lament cushioned with a concluding punch line of self-deprecation.


from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry

"When you're writing your first novel and you're writing it in free verse, you have to pause every 15 pages and reassure yourself you're not crazy. You come up with a lot of different excuses for why you're not crazy.

"You really aren't expecting anyone to buy it," [Toby] Barlow said recently in a phone interview from San Francisco, where he was promoting the book.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Sharp Teeth author couldn't tear himself away from the idea of a werewolf novel

Eastern Washington University Press recently brought back into print "Awake," Dorianne Laux's excellent debut poetry collection from 1990. It's great to have it back. Today, Parachute features the collection's title poem, courtesy of the author.


from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: "Awake"

OK. People are responding by sending poems, so the blog will go on for now. But I STILL NEED MORE poems, screeds about poetry, rants, deep thoughts, considered observations and so on.

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Back from the brink

Back Yard

by Jon Herbert Arkham

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Back Yard'

'The Collection'
By Judith Bader Jones

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'The Collection'

So think of this as Poetry Lab # 1. What are your overall impressions? Are there things he could do to make the poem better? If so, what? Hit that ol' comment button. All I ask is that everyone offer respect along with honesty.


from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Poetry Lab One

Here's a wonderfully naked poem by Carrie Allison. I make no apologies for printing it on a Sunday. Enjoy.


By Carrie Allison

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Procreation

Memory and Migration

By Van K. Brock

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Van's the man

At the Waffle House

By Shawn Pavey

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Waffle stomp

"Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow." (Psalm 51:7).

When I first read this, I could hardly believe it. "What? Me, clean as snow?" How stunning.

By the time I was 20 years old, I was a sexual mess.

from John Freeman: Philadelphia Daily News: Bible shows the way out of sin and addiction

The poem exemplifies one of his most frivolous attempts to squeeze a poem out the measured encumbrances of faulty modernism. [John] Betjeman identified himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Betjeman's 'Westgate-On-Sea'

Some tried to invent their own mythology and religion.

Influenced by a widespread failure to understand scientific advancement of their era, many began to think that the human being was a super-animal instead of child of God.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Four Modernist Poets

In the preface, [Malcolm M.] Sedam claims his poetic experience by stating, "Let me speak for my own poetry--that it happened to me--that I lived, enjoyed or suffered every scene and that these poems are the essence of these experiences."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Malcolm M. Sedam

Fine. Then let's define memoir as fiction and forget all this nonsense about the "truth."

According to [Lee] Gutkind, readers don't care anyway.

from Bob Hoover: Post-Gazette: A hoax? Nah, just a memoir

This is such an appropriate poem for March, and David Sutton's reminiscences of being cold in winter need no explanation. His childhood experience is familiar to me, and will be to anyone who has not been "coddled".

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: Chilling memories

Beyond the laconic remark in the subtitle, it is difficult to say how much, if at all, [Robert] Frost intended his poem to comment on Christian religion. But the editors of the TLS saw fit to publish the poem in the run-up to Easter 1954; and so in 2008 do we.

The Bad Island – Easter
(Perhaps so called because it may have risen once)

from Mick Imlah: The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: The Bad Island--Easter

The apocryphal story goes that he'd been promised a friend's daughter in marriage, but the friend reneged, allegedly because Archilochos' mother had been a slave. The resulting curse, "Liar," still sprays like seawater on your face.


from Mary Karr: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice: Poetic Staying Power

Poem: "San Antonio" by Naomi Shihab Nye from Is this Forever, or What? Poems and Paintings from Texas.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of March 10, 2008

Here, poet Yusef Komunyakaa, who teaches at New York University, shows us a fine portrait of the hard life of a worker in this case, a horse and, through metaphor, the terrible, clumsy beauty of his final moments.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 154

Except that the marriage turned out to be exceptionally happy, and Dorothy [Wordsworth] never did anything but support it and call Mary "dear". Yet in the last part of Dorothy's long life (she stayed under her brother's roof until her death at the age of 84), the strains finally emerged and drove her to the edge of madness.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: The agony, the ecstasy and the hot soup

[Rob Wicks] wanted me to go and meet Harry [Patch], who is 109 years old and the last surviving "Tommy" who fought in the trenches during the First World War, share his memories, then come home to London and write something about him.

If things went well, there would be a second meeting, at which I'd read Harry his poem.

from Andrew Motion: Telegraph: Harry Patch: A century's life shaped by four months at war

The Five Acts of Harry Patch
'The Last Fighting Tommy'
by Andrew Motion

from Andrew Motion: Telegraph: The Five Acts of Harry Patch

[Charles] Kingsley repeats the form of this opening stanza as he turns to the rocks and streams. The "rosy rocks" remind us of blood, suggesting the elemental extremes of birth and death beyond the cozy designs of the seaside resort. This coloring may strike us as fanciful, but it faithfully describes the red rock so distinctive of the Devonshire and Cornish landscape.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A reading of 'Dartside' by Charles Kingsley

But because of labels like "memoir" and "nonfiction," we have to preten? d the spectacle is based in reality. So, perhaps instead of rigorous policing, we need a new name for this hybrid category. We're talking about stories inspired by gritty real life--stories that claim to be outrageously "authentic," like the best reality TV, while also playing up their own tabloid qualities.

from Meghan O'Rourke: Slate: Lies and Consequences

by Susan Zenker

"Against the grain of white headboard you sketched
blue doves with gold open beaks, gold-scalloped wings
that cluttered the doorways--wishes
through which early evenings Diego slipped
out to markets, cantinas, and trysts."

Posted on March 7, 2008

Shrine to Frida Kahlo

from Donna Snyder: Newspaper Tree: Tumblewords Poetry: Poetry: "Shrine to Frida Kahlo"

by Arlo Quint

from The Brooklyn Rail: aura

Big Box
by Ange Mlinko

from The Brooklyn Rail: Big Box

Cuckoo Nun
by Ange Mlinko

from The Brooklyn Rail: Cuckoo Nun

by Lihn Dinh

from The Brooklyn Rail: Caption

How to Foster
by Linh Dinh

from The Brooklyn Rail: How to Foster

Not Quite Symmetry
by Linh Dinh

from The Brooklyn Rail: Not Quite Symmetry

Typical Umbrella Fiasco
by Miles Champion

from The Brooklyn Rail: Typical Umbrella Fiasco

Fantasy of Gods

By Joseph Bassi

from The Daily Texan: Poetry: Fantasy of Gods


By Benjamin Toscher

from The Daily Texan: Poetry: Ladybug

A Summer Day in Winter

By Benjamin Toscher

from The Daily Texan: Poetry: A Summer Day in Winter

With this certitude anxiety can be mastered, for anxiety is invariably the result of a certain mode of being implicated in the game, of being caught by the game, of being as it were from the very beginning at stake in the game.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: Structure, sign and play --Jacques Derrida

Editor's note: This week in Poetry Corner we feature the work of Jonell Esme Jel'enedra, who has lived and worked in the Santa Cruz community since 1980. She is the author of "Stilt Walking at Midnight" (Hummingbird press, 2004), a recipient of a Mary Lonnberg Smith award, and the Quarry West poetry award, First Prize, 1999.

Lullabies for an Insomniac

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Poetry by Jonell Esme Jel'enedra

Candle at a Wake by Elena Shvarts, translated by Sasha Dugdale

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Candle at a Wake by Elena Shvarts, translated by Sasha Dugdale

Patricia Wallace Jones creates a highly resonant and engaging poem from the dawn exercise. As in some of Michael Longley's poems of the natural world, the brevity is extremely well-judged--less is so often more.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: 'Thick with season'
plus T? he Guardian: Poetry Workshop: 'Thick with season' (continued)

'Dreaming of You as a Saint'
By Maril Crabtree

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Dreaming of You as a Saint'

A Clean Slate
by Fred D'Aguiar

from The New Yorker: Poetry: A Clean Slate

Terrible Things Are Happening . . .
by Maureen N. McLane

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Terrible Things Are Happening . . .

By Sydne M. Klein


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Sydne M. Klein]

By Nicole Murray

I am the person who,

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Nicole Murray]

[by E. Bernard Arnold]
A Confused Husband

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: A Confused Husband

[Bradford] Morrow, in his introduction, intimates that this poem may have been the inspiration for Ginsberg's "Howl." In fact, Rexroth was one of the chief influences on the Beat Generation, a connection he later disavowed with the now famous statement, "an entymologist is not a bug."

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Selected Poems

American poet Tess Gallagher is in Scotland for the StAnza poetry festival (see interview, page 20). Her long-awaited eighth collection, Dear Ghosts (Graywolf Press), confronts illness, mortality and the loss of loved ones, including that of her poet and short-story writer husband Raymond Carver.

Little Match Box

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"For D."
By Rosanna Warren

from Slate: "For D." --By Rosanna Warren

Poetic Obituaries

Rodney L. Armstrong, March 6, 1965--December 22, 2005

Rod was a good friend during and following the years we worked together on the poetry board he created, Gandy Creek. He was also a fine poet himself, as this poem (originally published in Avatar Review 3) shows:


from The Compost Heap: In Memoriam

[Padma Barkataki] wrote 38 novels, five collections of short story and ? two collections of poetry as well as three children books. He also translated several classics of different languages into Assamese.

from Calcutta Telegraph: Padma Barkataki dies at 82

[Marilyn Jane Camp] started teaching in rural Madison County in 1949 and retired in 1989 from Muscatine public schools. Following retirement, she moved to Indianola. She enjoyed reading and poetry.

from The Des Moines Register: Marilyn Jane Camp, 77, Indianola

When the Rev. [Howard W.] Creecy [Sr.] took the pulpit, his son said, "He was the master mix of intellect, wisdom and spiritualism. You were going to hear great poetry, great prose and great preaching."

He was known for his prayers, his son said. For years, his sermons were broadcast on AM radio.

from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Howard Creecy Sr., 79, leader in SCLC

[Jeannie H.] Davis was given awards for her work by the Girl Scouts of America, North Philadelphia Community, and the Chapel of Four Chaplains. She enjoyed writing poetry.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Jeannie H. Davis: Elementary teacher, 90

"Raven truly was wonderful," he [Raven McConnell's father Tony] said. "She was loved by everybody. She was very interested in photography. She wrote great poems. She loved poetry and art."

from The Columbus Dispatch: Hit-and-run victim gives life to others


News at Eleven

One initiator and participant will be the general secretary of the Friends of Tibet Organization, poet Mr Tenzin Tsundue.

The walkers will leave India in early March and trek through the Himalayas, reaching Tibet during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in August.

from Epoch Times: An Epic Walk Home through Himalayas for Exiled Tibetan Poet

Earth Shattering has poems on destruction to alert and alarm anyone willing to read or listen as well as poems which illuminate the ecological balance of the rapidly vanishing world.

As the world's politicians and corporations orchestrate our headlong rush towards eco-Armageddon, poetry may seem like a hopeless gesture. But if Seferis and Heaney are right, poetry can at the very least be "strong enough to help".

from The Guardian: Something in nothing

[Paul Laurence] Dunbar's rebuttal that night was his own writing and elocution, a performance that was highly praised.

"Part of the remarkable thing about Dunbar's life is how he is able to negotiate what is truly an impossible climate of racial discrimination. This is one of the most horrific periods of racial repression in America," the BGSU professor [Timothy Messer-Kruse] said.

from The Toledo Blade: Toledo helped shine light on gifted black poet

Among the tourists, he [TS Eliot] would have seen some locals fishing from the jetty to supplement their diet with cod or eels, said Mr [David] Seabrook. Eliot may well have noticed others combing the beach for anything left from shipwrecks.

In the middle of November, Eliot left Thanet and went to Lausanne in Switzerland to undergo psychiatric treatment. The Waste Land came out in 1922.

from Kent News: How TS Eliot found inspiration at Margate

As [Robert] Frost says in what may be his best essay, "The Constant Symbol," "every poem is an epitome of the great predicament; a figure of the will braving alien entanglements." The out-setting poet should expect a series of surprises and even some lucky accidents. "It takes a hero to make a poem," Frost said in one of his interviews.

Every good poem involves risk-taking; not least with its eventual reader.

from The Washington Times: What the poet was thinking

The committee looked at nominees' résumés and their poetry, judging on the basis of quality of the work, contributions to the literary community and willingness to serve. The top three names were sent to the governor, and he personally selected Bly.

Driving Toward the Lac Qui Parle River

By Robert Bly

from Pioneer Press: Robert Bly is state's first poet laureate

"Writing those poems, I came to understand why people write elegies," [Mary Jo] Bang says. "One of their uses seems to be to keep the person alive in the world. I was aware from the beginning that I was keeping a conversation going with someone I was talking with for 37 years. Now, because of that event, I needed all the more to talk with him.

"At the end, you know that you have not kept that person alive. An elegy is a way of distracting yourself from lacerating grief."

from St. Louis Post-Dispatch: At home with Mary Jo Bang

Dorothy [Wordsworth] began writing the Grasmere Journals in 1800 "because I shall give William pleasure by it". William's pleasure included filching from Dorothy's pages to create his poetry. The connections are transparent: "I never saw daffodils so beautiful," wrote Dorothy. "They grew among the mossy stones. . . & the rest tossed & reeled & danced & seemed as if they verily laughed . . ."

from The Times: The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth by Frances Wilson

And once she [Daphne du Maurier] found [J. Alex] Symington--by then living a reclusive existence on the outskirts of Leeds, in a house filled with hundreds of boxes and overflowing files of Brontë papers and relics--he gave her a series of enticing clues to follow, suggesting in letters to her that Charlotte's signature had been forged on many of Branwell's youthful manuscripts, and that some of Branwell's most accomplished poems had been wilfully misattributed to Emily, so that they could be sold for a far higher price to collectors who were interested only in the famous sisters rather than their disappointing brother.

from The Times: The Great Bronte Mystery

Eve is compared to a wood-nymph in Diana's service. Raphael arrives in the garden of Eden like the god Mercury, shaking his plumes and giving out "Heavenly fragrance". And the garden itself is compared to:

that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpin gathering flowers
Her self a fairer flower by gloomy
Was gathered, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world . . .

These have always been my favourite lines in Paradise Lost, with their astonishing leap out of the Christian and into a pagan world picture.

from The Guardian: The devil's advocate

In his poem "Buffalo Bill's" for example, [E.E.] Cummings positioned the words on the page to suggest the shape of an arrowhead and the danger of Buffalo Bill's career.

"Cummings captures that dynamism of his life by the way he makes his lines move on the page, so you can see them moving further to the right and then back, and that's all connected with his painting at the time," [Milton] Cohen says.

from National Public Radio (NPR): College Restores Artwork by Poet E.E. Cummings

Great Regulars

Lisa Alvarado

from Lisa Alvarado: Grieving

The standard model is a triumph of human thought, a masterpiece. Professor Richard Kenway, who led the QCDOC team, implored me to tell you just how amazing it is. Thanks to the standard model, the human mind has grasped the behaviour of the unimaginably small entities of which the universe consists.

But, like so much else in modern physics, it doesn't quite make sense.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Times: Supercomputer works on cracking the mystery of the universe

[Hadji] Ali used camels on a freight route between Yuma and Tucson, Ariz. Some of them went into the desert and became feral. After his death in 1902, Ali became a legendary Western figure, the subject of a folk song ("The Ballad of Hi Jolly") and a festival (Hi Jolly Daze in Quartzite, Ariz.).

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Common threads in U.S., Mideast

"But in Pakistan, the situation looked quite different," said Fatima [Bhutto] in a speech at the Foreign Correspondents' Club here.

"To say there was rigging in the February 18 elections is an understatement . . . It wasn't just rigging, it was quite open, unapologetic rigging. It was no longer under the table, it was very much on top."

from Fatima Bhutto: The News International Pakistan: Bhutto's niece slams Western media

Why are you crying? my father asked
in my dream, in which we faced each other,
knees touching, seated in a moving train.

I'm Li-Young Lee. I was born in Indonesia. I'm ethnic Chinese. I came to this country about '64. I was born in '57. My mother was the oldest granddaughter of the fifth wife, of the first president of the republic of China.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Poetry of Li-Young Lee Is 'Descended from Dreamers'

Admonition: If you are writing more poems than you read, you are writing too many poems (unless you're in one of those monthlong-or-so bubbles involving a manuscript nearing completion or some such; you know what I mean).

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Admonitions

I don't think it's wise to let February pass without a poem from John Donne. So:

Break of Day

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: John Donne

In a mere 64 pages of poems, [Natasha] Trethewey gets to the heart of why this war still troubles us. One could read a couple of shelves full of generic Civil War novels and never scratch so deeply at the issues of race and racism, of neighbor against neighbor, of the only war Americans ever fought against one another.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Bibliofiles: On poetry, Civil War and cliches

On the Grasshopper and Cricket

The poetry of earth is never dead:

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: John Keats

By Seymour Glass

John Keats

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: "John Keats" haiku (wink, wink)

A little folk/blues for everyone. This is an excerpt from the lyrics to Roly Salley's "Killing the Blues":

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Killing the Blues

There are many variations--at least several dozen--of what is known as "The Month Poem," a mnemonic device.

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: The Month Poem

The late Stevie Smith's excellent "Thoughts About the Person From Porlock" is something of a meta-poem, reflecting, as it does, on Coleridge's composition of "Kubla Khan." Here is an excerpt.

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Punked by Porlock

[Zadie Smith's] instructions to the contributors were simple: "Make somebody up."

That permission seems to have rubbed off on the work. The Book of Other People is full of writers taking chances.

Some of the characters we meet here talk their way into existence, like Rhoda, the chatterbox grandmother in Jonathan Safran Foer's story.

from John Freeman: The Vancouver Sun: Anthology is full of writers taking chances

In fact, it often makes itself known in the shortest form possible: poetry. Paul Auster, Raymond Carver and Louise Erdrich all made their debuts with small volumes of verse. And 50 years ago, so did a 26-year-old ex-Talk of the Town reporter from The New Yorker named John Updike.

The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures, Updike's debut volume of light verse, was published in March of 1958 and it remains in print today.

from John Freeman: theblogbooks: A lighter shade of Updike

In the second quatrain, the speaker/artist addresses the profane reader who fails to understand the genuineness of this speaker's art, those who think his "jewels trifles are." This speaker is aware that there will always be those who denigrate the genuine and uplift the mediocre. To a dedicated artist, such an attitude is his "greatest grief."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 48

"For me Alice is an attempt to carve out a space in our rather noisy media world for a kind of online reading," [Kate] Pullinger said from her home in London. "It incorporates text, sound and image, but in some ways it bears quite a close relation to reading a book. I'm really interested in creating a story where people will want to do the equivalent of turning the page."

from Katie Haegele: Star Tribune: The way we 'read'

Yet "His eyes are empty as a statue's" which brings me back to thinking that he is one--and his heart is as hard as marble--perhaps because he's carved of marble. Then I read that his muscles are lightly haired and his skin is honey-tanned and think that he might be a figure in a painting--or perhaps a waxwork that shows every human crease and hair in an effort to replicate a human body.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: An object of desire

Severe, stony, sometimes ill-humoured, scathing alike of Welsh peasant and English influence, his [R. S. Thomas'] poems are widely taught in schools.

The Country Clergy

from Mick Imlah: The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: The Country Clergy

In this poem, young [Robert] Hass crosses that campus near where his hero Randall Jarrell had translated his own patriarch, Chekhov. Jarrell--a tennis player famous for charm--captured the misery of housewifery in the effortless '50s. "Moving from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All . . ." He later shocked everyone with his suicide. By cross-dressing in Jarrell's angelic tennis garb, Hass questions the faux ease of academic life and the perils of inherited habits:

Old Dominion

from Mary Karr: The Washington Post: Poet's Choice

Poem: "Moment of Inertia" by Debra Spencer from Pomegranate.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of March 03, 2008

In this endearing short poem by Californian Trish Dugger, we can imagin? e "what if?" What if we had been given "a baker's dozen of hearts?" I imagine many more and various love poems would be written. Here Ms. Dugger, Poet Laureate of the City of Encinitas, makes fine use of the one patched but good heart she has.

Spare Parts

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 153

E. Ethelbert Miller


from E. Ethelbert Miller: Beltway Poetry Quarterly

As the New York Philharmonic left North Korea after its historic concert in Pyongyang, many North Korean defectors were left wondering what impact the event would have on the lives of ordinary people.

"The North Korean people have lived under the shadow of dictatorship and oppression for a long time, and most of them have no idea about music," Seoul-based defector Park Kwang Sun told RFA's Korean service.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: North Korean Defectors Left Skeptical by Concert

Books are about ideas and feelings. We read in order to find out what it would feel like to be in this or that situation. We explore other people’s way of thinking and we look and how they and the society changes.

Reading small extracts from books, followed closely by "fact" questions, misses all this.

from Michael Rosen: Socialist Worker: Michael Rosen explains how not to bore the pants off kids

This week's Poetry Corner features the work of Liberty Rose Elgart-Fail, a writer and performance artist living in Santa Cruz. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in expressive arts with concentrations in writing and speech communication from Ithaca College. Her work can be found in magazines, college curriculum and it is also featured in the Library of Congress Sept. 11 online collection.


from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Liberty Rose Elgart-Fail

At le Café de la Gare by Neil Curry

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: At le Café de la Gare by Neil Curry

by Reginald Shepherd

Experiment V

for Kate Bush

from Guernica: Poetry: Two Poems

by Stephen Dunn

from The New Yorker: Poetry: History

Needle's Eye
by Dan Chiasson

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Needle's Eye

[Eavan] Boland was born in Ireland and educated in London, New York and Dublin, and her many books of poetry, prose, criticism and translation include "Against Love Poetry" (W.W. Norton & Co., 2001), "Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time" (W.W. Norton & Co., 1995) and "New Collected Poems" (W.W. Norton & Co., 2008), where "Is It Still the Same" most recently appears.

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Hediya Sizar

The Ink

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Hediya Sizar]

[by Hugh A. Harter]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Waves

[by Eileen MacDonald]
Poem: There once was a sonnet quite fair

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: There once was a sonnet quite fair

Sarah Maguire's new collection, The Pomegranates of Kandahar (Chatto, £9), contains precisely observed and sensual poems that travel the devastated and troubled world we live in. Here she brings us home to her garden, but evokes perfectly the chill in the early spring air. She appears at StAnza poetry festival later this month speaking about poetry and conflict.

Field Capacity

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

By Linda Pastan

from Slate: "Acorns" --By Linda Pastan

Linda Zisquit

from Zeek: Between: Linda Zisquit

Poetic Obituaries

Poetry was another of [Sarah Jeanne] Antrim's gifts, her aunt said. "I have some poetry that would knock your socks off. You'll cry. She was awesome."

Cassandra Kirschbaum, a friend of Antrim's and a freshman at Milford High School, remembers Antrim as a "very loving person."

from Community Press: Investigation into Milford student's death ongoing

In a profile for her [Nancy Hemenway Barton's] "Textures of the Earth" catalogue (1978), Benjamin Forgey, then the art critic for the Washington Star (and later The Post), wrote: "Painstaking observation of specific visual facts; careful nurturing of authentic personal experiences; skilled translation of these visual and emotional impressions into new tactile forms--these are the essential facets of Nancy Hemenway's art-making. It is a skilled, poetic enterprise that produces the evocative resonances we can find in these unusual tapestries."

from The Washington Post: Artist Nancy Hemenway Barton; Known for Tapestries

In 1947, she [Eliana Beam] sold her first poem, "Lament of a Beekeeper's Wife," to a beekeeping journal. Her first check, she remembered vividly, was for $2.50.

Other newspapers and magazines bought her verse, including McCall's, Better Homes and Gardens, The Cleveland Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cats magazine and Ohio Farmer. Then, she noted,

By the time I was publishing, safe in my stride,
Traditional poetry sickened and died.

from Star-News: She used her words to deal with what life handed her

[Kenneth G.] Kuchler was involved in transcribing traditional Shoshoni music, including lyrics, Wolf said. "He used to tell me writing out the music was the easier part of it all."

Some of his work is included in Newe Hupai, Shoshoni Poetry Songs, published by Utah State University Press, according to Ralph Kuchler.

from The Salt Lake Tribune: Kuchler, longest tenured member of the Utah Symphony, dies at 85

It was nearly 7:30 p.m., and Peter Osborne sat at his wife's bedside at Westchester Medical Center.

He was reading Walt Whitman to her, an 1865 poem titled, "Pioneers! O Pioneers!" He reached the last stanza:

Till with sound of trumpet,
Far, far off the daybreak call, hark! how loud and clear I hear it wind,
Swift! to the head of the army! swift! spring to your places,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

With those final words, Janis Osborne was gone.

from Times Herald-Record: Port advocate, editor Osborne dead at 64

[Brittany] Romer penned poems and made home videos that spoofed popular movies. She aspired to a career in journalism or photography.

from The Tampa Tribune: Grief Consumes Driver Charged In Friend's Death

[Louis Ross] was in jail when he wrote the poem that ended up at the AA meeting.

"He was a smart guy," says [Carl] Taglianetti. "He was the kind of guy you'd love to have with you when he was straight."

from The Providence Journal: This story lives on in a poem

Along with being [Joyce Carol] Oates' partner as she ascended to the front rank of American writers, Smith also founded and served as editor in chief of Ontario Review, a highly regarded literary magazine whose pages glow with the work of major figures such as Margaret Atwood and Russell Banks, as well as with emerging writers.

from Chicago Tribune: Oates' husband was quiet voice

S. Rangarajan, who wrote under the pen name Sujatha, was known for his versatility in writing. He was the superstar among the world of present writers in Tamil. He had a way with words, whether it meant writing short stories, science fiction, plays, and pieces of writing on history or screenplay for films.

from Oneindia: Writer Sujatha passes away!

Simon "Si" Wakesberg, a veteran journalist and one of the longest-tenured staff members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI), died in late February at the age of 94.

Wakesberg, an award-winning poet and writer, was born in Poland in 1913 and emigrated to New York City at age 8.

from Recycling Today: In Memoriam: Si Wakesberg


News at Eleven

There is a clich about music writing, sometimes attributed to Thelonious Monk, among others: "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." If so, Nathaniel Mackey is compelled, rather than deterred, by the multiform madness of the enterprise. He is the Balanchine of the architecture dance.

from The New York Times: Jazz Man

Guernica: Was it useful for you to know Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, James Schuylerother young poets, I mean.

John Ashbery: Oh yes. When we were young, we were our only audience. We would write poems and read them to each other, and in fact, for quite a few years, I didn't really think that anybody else was going to be interested. My first book was not at all successful. I'm talking about the Yale University one, which I think they printed 800 copies of, and it took eight years to run out.

from Guernica: Houses at Night

"Three dangerous moments will come to you," he [Vyasa] says. "The first will be at the time of your wedding: at that time, hold back your question. The second will be when your husbands are at the height of their power: at that time, hold back your laughter. The third will be when you're shamed as you'd never imagined possible: at that time, hold back your curse."

Panchaali, of course, does none of these and thus launches the conflicts and problems that are the stuff of all storytelling.

from Los Angeles Times: 'The Palace of Illusions' by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

[by Susan Tichy]


Three men who look like Bedouin, but are not, pause with their camels in the snow--

from Foreign Policy in Focus: Fiesta!: American Ghazals

" . . . Australia will notice a New Zealand writer if someone in New York or London says they are interesting and New Zealand will notice Australian writers (in the same way). Everything has to go back to the old centres that we thought we had freed ourselves from."

The answer, he [Bill Manhire] thinks, would be to encourage much more trans-Tasman travel by publishers and editors of books pages, especially to events such as writers' festivals. But with the internet changing the way readers can access books, he says, maybe these old distribution networks will eventually lose their power, anyway.

from The Age: The accidental poet

The poem ends: 'This is an illusion: perspective is everything./Wherever I may stand/the vanishing point is my eye,/the beholden.' To write poems about seeing, you have to disappear; it is essential to relinquish your so-called perspective. The beholden, with its suggestion of gratitude, is for Maguire a self-cure for narrow-mindedness. Egotism dissolves in perception.

from The Guardian: Precise visions and visceral wit

One often feels while reading his work that if there is any misstep, any syllable or stress put wrong, not only the poem but its maker will either go up in flames or disappear down a black crevasse. This is the drama of [Robert] Creeley's defining work, and that drama never feels calculated or inauthentic.

from The New York Times: What Is Left Out

"It's like Frost unplugged," said Peter Campion, editor of the journal. "Previously unpublished lectures would drive scholars crazy in and of themselves, but in addition to that, we're getting him in discussion. He's sitting down with a bunch of 20-year-olds and trying to teach them. That involves anecdotes, stories, jokes, funny little disses on his contemporaries."

from GazetteXtra: Poet Robert Frost illuminated by previously unpublished transcript of 1947 Dartmouth lecture

It is widely expected among education circles, however, that the Irish syllabus committee of the NCCA will withdraw his poetry from the list of prescribed poets.

The move is the latest in a protracted saga surrounding [Cathal] O'Searcaigh's sexual relations with young men in Nepal, which was brought to light by Gortahork-based film-maker Neasa NiChianin in her upcoming documentary 'Fairytale of Kathmandu'.

from The Donegal News: Poet to be taken off Leaving Cert?

Of Thomas Gray: "as if turning your poetry into published work were mortifying". Of the Alice books: they took "their life from a special relationship with children. They hardly belonged to the realm of commercial authorship". Of Sir Walter Scott: "his anonymity was a way of turning his personal experience into impersonal fiction".

from Times Literary Supplement: Hiding behind the pen

[Xhevdet Bajraj] said it was months before he could sleep without worrying that someone would break into the house to kill them. (Last week Kosovo formally declared its independence from Serbia, prompting protests in Belgrade.)

For weeks after Bajraj arrived in Mexico City, he sat at his computer, unable to write. Eventually the words came. His first book containing poems written in Mexico, The Liberty of Horror, won Kosovo's top literary prize.

from USA Today: Mex. refuge for world's persecuted writers

Great Regulars

"I don't quite understand about understanding poetry. I experience poems with pleasure: whether I understand them or not I'm not quite sure. I don't want to read something I already know or which is going to slide down easily: there has to be some crunch, a certain amount of resilience. It's certainly not meant not to be read. But I enjoy only works of art with an element of surprise in them. It's probably an essential feature of any work of art." [--John Ashbery]

from Bryan Appleyard: Carcanet: Interview with John Ashbery

The readers that write in to me are critical and aware, they're sharp and impassioned and I'd like to thank everyone of them who has written in with a question or a comment--you've helped me learn so much on this journey of ours.

However, and there is always a however, I do get my fair share bizzarro mail.

from Fatima Bhutto: The News International Pakistan: Frequently asked questions

Anna Beer talks to Sarah Crown about her new biography of poet John Milton published 400 years after his birth

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Books: Anna Beer on her new biography of poet John Milton

In the opening section he describes the death of his father in piercing detail, anchoring the exigent crisis with strands of earlier memories ("Appearing in his car on Sunday mornings/Impatient for the whole world to wake up,/He'd arrive for lunch before breakfast") that lend individual texture to this most commonplace of tragedies.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: On your marks

By Alarie Tennille

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Clutter'

Another Spring
By Greg Field

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Field trip

Dawn Harris Rainey reminds us today of the wisdom of the late Wystan Hugh Auden:

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: A Nod to Auden

One Below
by Jon Herbert Arkham

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'One Below'

Through My Window

By Ryan P. Silva

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Student Poem # 3

Jonesburg, GA
By Shane P. Stricker
University of Missouri-Kansas City

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Student Poem # 4

Ever since I found the mass-market paperback of a novel by William T Vollmann at a small drugstore in Paris, I thought: retailers can do better.

Coffee shops seem the ideal place to start. Half the people who go to a coffee shop are there to chat. The other half go to read. Why can't Starbucks or Costa give the readers more?

from John Freeman: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Books with everything

She has enjoyed him carnally: his nipples are like ripe berries in her hand. He tastes "like grainmeal mingled with beer" and "[l]ike wine to the palate when taken with white bread." "White bread" used to a delicacy only the rich could afford.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Ancient Egyptian Poem

The speaker likens them to Christ who shed his blood for mankind. As the divinity of Christ portended a "better way" of life for those who understood His courage and followed in His brave footsteps, those who understand and follow the courageous path of these brave black soldiers will also find "a better way."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Jamison's 'The Negro Soldiers'

She will be grateful when her sister's soul has departed, and the dying one no longer has to suffer the sorrowful and painful transition she is now undergoing.

The speaker attempts to report as calmly and objectively as possible as she, at the same time, dramatizes the event that is so crucial, so vitally important.

from Linda Sue Grimes: 'On the Death of Anne Bront'

His creations remain with him, and even if his muse roves far from him, his inspirational urges cannot range farther than his thoughts. And through his poems, "I am still with them and they with thee." He is, therefore, never without his love, his muse, his inspiration.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 47

His mention of metal combs recalls the days when remedies for head lice were combed through the hair with just such combs; there is a punitive and controlling aspect to the use of these. And when he complains that he is sick of his annuals, I imagine that it is because his brain has developed beyond them, even while being artificially constrained by his medication.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: A suspicious degeneration

Poem: "Water" by Robert Lowell from Selected Poems.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 25, 2008

America's answer to Amy Winehouse may just be a former wedding singer whose rsum includes a lengthy stint as a prison guard. Atlanta-born Sharon Jones is a decade or two older than Winehouse, but the big-voiced African-American singer is doing her part to revive old-school soul music--and she's doing it without emulating Winehouse's tabloid-magnet antics.

from David Kirby: The Christian Science Monitor: Why Sharon Jones is the new face of old soul music

A child with a sense of the dramatic, well, many of us have been that child. Here's Carrie Shipers of Missouri reminiscing about how she once wished for a dramatic rescue by screaming ambulance, only to find she was really longing for the comfort of her mother's hands.

Medical History

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 152

In the next section, the poet [Albert Goldbarth] does look at the desiccated animal remains, but without poetic metaphor. He accepts "hard summer; the land enameled." He accepts life disintegrating into dust. Then he finds solace in prayer and love.


from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Albert Goldbarth (1948 - )

With the exception of Martin Luther King's, most political oratory is decidedly un-poetic and political poetry should not emulate a stump speech. You can write about the topics of war, poverty, racism, sexual abuse or other social problems, and perhaps you can move people to alter their way of thinking. If you want to motivate people to take some sort of action to make our country (and our world) a better place to live, then you must first move them.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Political poetry must first move the reader with an idea

"The situation is quite serious," Sandra Boss, interim chairwoman of the Mount's board, said in a telephone interview from London, where she works. "On the one hand, the Mount [Edith Wharton's estate in Lenox, Mass.] is winning awards for preservation and is internationally renowned as an institution. And it's well run from an efficiency perspective. We've made great progress by cutting costs and raising revenues. On the other hand, our current debt levels are unserviceable and unsustainable. We're not in control of our own destiny unless we can mount a restructuring of our debt."

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Landmark Massachusetts Building Where Wharton Wrote Faces Foreclosure

Nothing changes the pain of suffering, the humiliations of aging, our inability to change the past, guess the future, or capture the elusive present. We are thrown into the world and have barely a minute to make sense of it before we vanish.

It is the "moving finger" of the artist, poet, or otherwise, that helps us see through what is mere convention and face whatever lies outsidechaos or higher vision.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A Reading of The Moving Finger by Omar Khayyam

For this, my farewell "Poet's Choice" column, here are two poems related by a form: the sonnet.

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

[Brigit Pegeen Kelly] moves straight on, into the mystery of metamorphosis. This dead creature "[ . . . ] tricked//our vision: at a distance she was/for a moment no deer/at all//but two swans: we saw two swans" and "this is the soul: like it or not". It is transformation which animates, often beautifully, even in death.

Yet, ambitious as this might seem set against our own poetic norms, it is not enough for Kelly.

from Fiona Sampson: The Guardian: The transforming soul

by Annette Marie Hyder

Your teeth flash halos of hate
as you try to turn my wine into water
lessen the loaves
subtract the leaven of pleasure
from this experience
leaving it flat like matzo bread.

Posted on February 21, 2008

Your company, a crown of thorns

from Donna Snyder: Newspaper Tree: Poetry: "Your company, a crown of thorns"

In 1924, [A A] Milne published a book of children's poems entitled 'When We Were Very Young', with drawings by Punch illustrator, Ernest Shepard. This book includes a poem about a Teddy Bear who 'however hard he tries grows tubby without exercise'. This was Pooh's first unofficial appearance in A A Milne's writing.

from V Sundaram: News Today: Inventing Wonderland --Fantasies of A A Milne

Dr. [Elisabeth] Kubler-Ross was greatly influenced by the poems of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) in his famous work 'Gitanjali' and other works. Almost every chapter in her famous maiden book called "On Death and Dying" carried a quotation from the writings of Tagore. She was very fond of the following lines of Tagore in his "Stray Birds":

'Death belongs to life as birth does The walk is in the raising of the foot as in the laying of it down'

from V Sundaram: News Today: Philosopher of death and dying

There are relatively few new outbreaks of violence. The current violence over Gaza has been with us at least since 1948, as has the division of Kashmir between India and Pakistan or the discontent of ethnic minorities in Burma. The violence in Sudan began on the eve of independence in 1956 and has been with us, in one form or another, since.

As governments are largely unwilling to admit that they are unable to cope with a new downward spiral of tensions and violence, it is up to non-governmental organizations to sound the warning bell.

from Ren Wadlow: media for freedom: Acting in Time

[Glenn] Reynolds, who knows his away around the First Amendment, thinks that "the press establishment's general lack of enthusiasm for free speech for others (as evidenced by its support for campaign finance 'reform') suggests that it'll be happy to see alternative media muzzled. "

"You want to keep this media revolution going?" he asks. "Be ready to fight for it. "

from Frank Wilson: Books, Inq.: The Epilogue: Her wish . . .

Consider just one aspect: the slave who stood behind the general in the triumphal chariot and held above the honorand's head a golden crown while whispering, "Look behind you. Remember you are a man." Beard, who holds a chair in classics at Cambridge University, points out that this "has become one of the emblematic trademarks of the triumph," even figuring, in slightly different wording, in the closing sequence of the film Patton.

Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: A tradition not so well understood after all

Count ten by Arnold Wesker

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Count ten by Arnold Wesker

Near Field
by W. S. Merwin

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Near Field

Rain Light
by W. S. Merwin

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Rain Light

A Single Autumn
by W. S. Merwin

from The New Yorker: Poetry: A Single Autumn

--Vi Gale (1917-2007)

Born in Sweden and raised in Clatskanie, writer and publisher Vi Gale lived in Portland for 67 years. She began writing short stories and poetry in the 1950s, and her early books of poetry--including "Love, Always," in which "In a Loud Whisper" appears--were published by Alan Swallow in Denver. In 1974 she founded Prescott Street Press, publishing original work by some of Oregon's best-known poets, as well as translations.

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Nicole Naticchia


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Nicole Naticchia ]

[by John J. Witherspoon]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Winter

Toby Barlow's first book, Sharp Teeth, is a verse novel about werewolves. This makes it not only a decisive answer (nay!) to the age-old question "Is long-form monster poetry dead?" but also a perfect marriage of form and subject: Both the werewolf and the verse novel (which lopes across the centuries from Pushkin to Browning to Vikram Seth) are shaggy hybrids that appear once in a blue moon and terrify everyone in sight.

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Sharp Teeth

Gerry Cambridge opens a window on American poetry for UK readers, and in the 21st issue of The Dark Horse offers stimulating criticism alongside poems from both sides of the Atlantic.

He includes this touching and many-layered meditation on time and memory from the distinguished American poet Rachel Hadas.


from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"The Room"
By Michael Chitwood

from Slate: "The Room" --By Michael Chitwood

Poetic Obituaries

Mrs. [Mavis] Biesanz authored "The Costa Ricans," published in 1988 and "The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica" published in 1998, both with her son Richard and his wife, Karen Zubris Biesanz.

from A.M. Costa Rica: Prolific author and observer of Tico life, Mavis Biesanz, dies at 88

[Brian Hill] also wrote poetry and short stories, Rees said.

A graceful writer, Mr. Hill began his blog in December 2003 as physicians were diagnosing why "my left arm and leg are . . . acting funny. Lazy. Tingly. I have noticed myself stuttering, using the wrong word sometimes (broccoli instead of ravioli), slurring words, and 'mix-mashing' syllables . . . or just not remembering the word I need. I counted this up to getting older and having two small children."

from San Francisco Chronicle: Brian Hill dies--he blogged about his illness

Moving from Canton, Zaughn [Jones] was a homemaker. She was an active member at Howland Community Church where she attended. Zaughn was an avid golfer, enjoyed swimming, reading and poetry. She was very talented as an artist.

from Tribune Chronicle: Zaughn Jones 1920-2008

[Arun Kale's] first poem collection "Rock Garden" was published in 1993, following which his other collections including the popular 'City of Siren' went on to recieve accolades.

He was elected as a President of the proposed Akshar Manav Sahitya Sammelan to be held on Feb 26-27 at Bhosi in Chandrapur district.

from The Hindu: Poet Arun Kale passes away

[Amelia R. Lockhart-Battenhausen] was smart, funny and artistic, with a flair for writing poetry and loved the outdoors. Her adoration for children was well known, as was her uncanny ability to find the humor in every situation.

from Parkersburg News and Sentinel: Amelia R. Lockhart-Battenhausen

Mrs [Kim] Roye described her son [Jerome Roye] as "a very artistic boy", who loved to draw, paint, write poems and write his own music.

He also worked for a company called Hatlow Entertainment designing t-shirts and clothing.

He had recently been commissioned to paint graffiti in a pub opposite Herne Hill station.

from Croydon Guardian: Mum's tribute to son killed in Streatham crash

The community was saddened by the death of Omena native and long-time resident Barbara Foltz Schneidewind. Barbara was a talented writer of poetry and children's books.

from Leelanau Enterprise: Omena news

M. Shivanna (72), a Non-Resident Indian, who participated in the poetry reading session of 9th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, died here on Friday following cardiac arrest.

from The Hindu: NRI poet dies after recital

Jonathan Tyler, 18, was a gifted poet who moved to Gilead this winter to work as a lift attendant at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry.

The three inseparable friends went to nearby Gorham, N.H., on Saturday night to fuel up Tyler's 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse and to buy cigarettes after a day's work.

from Sun Journal: 'Good boys' Community mourns teens killed in crash

[Tara Lynn] Woodman was wearing a 2004 "Just Move It" T-shirt when found and had participated in an event in Chinle where she received one of the shirts, Lewis later learned.

Her uncle, Mark Forster, spokesman for the family, said Friday, "She was a very fine poet and a very good athlete. She ran track and participated several times in the 'Just Move It' events."

from Gallup Independent: Navajo woman's body is identified


News at Eleven

Poems such as "Floodtide: For the black tenant farmers of the south" by Aksia Muhammad Toure or June Jordan's "In Memorium: Martin Luther King, Jr.", Julia Field's "Poems: Birmingham 1962-64", and the many poems of Ishmael Reed, Richard Wright, Conrad Kent Rivers, Keorapetse W. Kgositsile., and a hundred more. Here are just a few.

Scottsboro, Too, Is Worth Its Song: A Poem to American Poets

from North Lake Tahoe Bonanza: Poet's Corner: 20th century Black history through poetry

[Countee Cullen] advised black writers to "let art portray things as they are, no matter what the consequences, no matter who is hurt is a blind bit of philosophy ... Every phase of Negro life should not be the white man's concern. The parlor should be large enough for his entertainment and instruction."

How revealing. In his own terms, Cullen merely stated that black art was to instruct the white reading public.

from The Capital: Our Legacy: Thank you, Countee Cullen, for your brilliance

Regarding the poems written by the students themselves, he [Henri Cole] gave advice almost offhandedly, as if he hadn't been a Pulitzer finalist.

"If you're trying to write iambic pentameter, then you start off striving for perfect iambic verse, but at some point you have to just say, (bleep) it, and then you use the right word instead."

from The Columbus Dispatch: A torch passed
also The Columbus Dispatch: Audio: Oil & Steel
also The Columbus Dispatch: Audio: Poppies

In the second segment, dubbed "Urban Renewal," the poems are given Roman numerals for titles. In one [Major] Jackson recalls, with bewilderment, how a teacher at Reynolds Elementary, unable to commit to memory names such as "Tarik, Shanequa, Amari and Aisha," nicknamed the entire class after French painters.

In another poem Jackson finds solace in his grandfather's backyard garden, shielded from encroaching crime, blight and despair.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Poetic nuances of Phila.

In [Louise Bernice] Halfe's story, women who have unhappy marriages, who, down through the years have been "give-away brides/starry eyed as I, as they trudged behind/their fur-trader husbands," who have been married for convenience rather than love, often develop an "obsession" to climb out of their own skin and run out of the life shackled to them.

Turn-Around Woman, in stories often remarkably like Halfe's [a.k.a. Sky Dancer], speaks of trying to be true to oneself as a Cree woman, as a wife and mother, as a daughter and granddaughter, to navigate between all the amenities and temptations of the white world while Rib Woman waits.

from Saskatoon Star Phoenix: Halfe joins many voices in her poetry

This belief led at its worst to a literature as limited and unwieldy as the language of objects in Swift's Laputa, where only a kettle itself can signify 'kettle'. Yet this unsustainable (if not anti-intellectual) attitude let [Robert] Creeley focus as few modern poets have on sound, which is to say on the sound of speech: on the ways intonation and rhythm carry attitude and emotion, and on how to put those ways down on the page.

To say this is to make Creeley sound much like [Robert] Frost, who said he could hear 'the sound of sense' in 'voices behind a door that cuts off the words'.

from London Review of Books: What Life Says to Us

Compare, for instance, [John] Anster's stiff rendering of lines from Faust's meditation in the "Forest and Cave" scene:

And when before my eye the pure moon walks
High over-head, diffusing a soft light,
Then from the rocks, and over the damp wood,
The pale bright shadows of the ancient times
Before me seem to love, and mitigate
The too severe delight of earnest thought!

with the more soulful, sinewy cadence of those being credited to [Samuel Taylor] Coleridge:

There may I gaze upon
The still moon wandering through the pathless heaven;
While on the rocky ramparts, from the damp
Moist bushes, rise the forms of ages past
In silvery majesty, and moderate
The too wild luxury of silent thought.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Coleridge and Goethe, together at last

New research has revealed that the radical writer [Hugh MacDiarmid] was at the heart of an audacious plot to retrieve the iconic artefact from Westminster Abbey, more than 15 years before the act was carried out by a band of young Scottish academics.

Previously, MacDiarmid's stated intention of seizing the Stone of Scone was largely laughed off as an alcohol-fuelled delusion.

from Scotland on Sunday: Proof of poet's date with Destiny revealed

Irritating he may have been, but also captivating, at least in the picture that his mentor, Ford Madox Hueffer, paints: "Ezra . . . would approach with the step of a dancer, making passes with a cane at an imaginary opponent. He would wear trousers made of green billiard cloth, a pink coat, a blue shirt, a tie hand-painted by a Japanese friend, an immense sombrero, a flaming beard cut to a point, and a single, large blue earring."

Hueffer played a major role in helping Pound move his writing from the elevated language of verse to a more natural voice, the "living tongue," as Hueffer put it.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Irritating, captivating, quirky Pound

South High School assistant principal Karl Perkins has been placed on administrative leave after school officials learned he was the author of some erotic poetry for sale on a Web site.

Springfield City Schools officials are investigating the incident after a student downloaded a book of poems written by Antonio Love, Perkins' pseudonym.

from Dayton Daily News: South High official on leave over sexy poems

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Burma Media Association (BMA) condemn the arrest of Myanmar Nation editor Thet Zin and his office manager, [poet] Sein Win Maung.

The Honolulu Community-Media Council (HCMC), which was established in 1970 and is the oldest of the 5 volunteer media councils that exist in the United States, has also joined the Burma Media Association, international journalist and human rights organizations in condemning the continued crack down on the Burmese media by the military regime. HCMC President, Chris Conybeare says: "We urge all who value human rights to join us in condemning these latest attacks and to demand the immediate release of all political prisoners of the despotic regime of General Than Shwe".

from Asian Tribune: Burma's Media completely under military dictatorship

Great Regulars

[Vi Gale] began writing stories and poetry and found an early mentor in poet May Sarton. Her first book, "Several Houses," was published in 1959 and was chosen one of the 100 best books in Oregon history from 1800-2000 by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission.

Gale's other books include "Love Always," "Nineteen Ing Poems," "Clearwater" and "Odd Flowers & Short-Eared Owls."

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Celebrating the life of Vi Gale
also Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Bookmarks: Vi Gale Celebration

Lloyd Schwartz: I think, in some way, it really is, that she writes about memory, but she writes about how important it is to have memories and how awful it is to remember some things.

She talks about how important it is to be an individual and have an individual identity and, in some ways, how lonely that is or what a nightmare it is to be an eye, an Elizabeth, as she says, in one of her most remarkable poems.

from Jeffrey Brown: PBS: Newshour: Elizabeth Bishop's Writings Honored by Library of America

[Toby] Barlow's book is being marketed mostly as a novel, but the prose is chopped up into poetic lines. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't, but when it does, it's powerful.

The first-person-plural opening, in fact, echoes the ceremonial tone of the firstborn English epic Beowulf.


Here is a poem by Kathleen Johnson.

February 14

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Good morning.

Here's one from Jo McDougall, whose books include Satisfied With Havoc.

Afternoon at Sunset Hills

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Jo McDougall

From 'Red Silk,' by Kansas City poet Maryfrances Wagner.

Softening Up

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Parachute Silk

I cannot say more than this: Keep them [Jeanie and Thomas Zvi Wilson] in your thoughts. And when you read Tom's final line here today, remember his voice. Hear him always.


from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Poetic antiphony

Daisy Johnson, 17, is a student at the Friends' School in Saffron Walden, England.

On the Bench With You

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: Student poem # 2

For him the world no longer exists, and his despair makes him feel that "nothing now can ever come to any good."

Although the poem is easily accessible, the construction is quite clever, and even though the speaker is calling for the impossible, it is his deeply felt emotion that makes the reader understand and appreciate his anguish, as the reader also enjoys the execution of the expression.

from Linda Sue Grimes: February Poet--W. H. Auden

He reminds him to "Fight on" even if he is spilling blood. He must "Fight on" and show that he is brave. Even if it is the end, he should show a "Brave end of the struggle if nothing beside." Even if he dies, if he dies bravely, he will die a hero.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Harpur's 'The Battle of Life'

While moonlight may be romantic for lovers, its pale light can seem cold and isolating to someone alone.

Although the speaker does not make clear why she is alone, the reader might suspect it is because of a divorce, because the speaker seems bitter. She refers to her lack of a man as "No heavy, impassive back to nudge." Not exactly a description of a loving relationship.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Kizer's 'Night Sounds'

What now is different that allows this character to "beg forgiveness," whereas he could not beg forgiveness before? According to the claim, it is because he is "Silhouetted almost into a woman." Does this imply that women can ask forgiveness but men cannot?

from Linda Sue Grimes: Komunyakaa's 'Pride'

One might imagine that when the woman made of water laughs or rages she creates the whirlpools and waterspouts mentioned. And when she "scribbles her slippery name/ over and over down the glass" it is the rain streaking against the windows, each rivulet like a signature.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: Rites to fulfil a fantasy

This "belief" underpins his late poem, "Presence of an External Master of Knowledge"; the poem also relates to Tennyson's "Ulysses" (1842), whose ageing narrator resolves to "follow knowledge like a sinking star,/Beyond the utmost bound of human thought".

The TLS published "Presence of an External Master of Knowledge in [Wallace] Stevens's seventy-fifth year, in 1954. He died the following summer.

Presence of an External Master of Knowledge

from Mick Imlah: The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Presence of an External Master of Knowledge

Poem: "Lament" by Edna St. Vincent Millay

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 18, 2008

Thirty, forty years ago, there were lots of hitchhikers, college students, bent old men and old women, and none of them seemed fearful of being out there on the highways at the mercy of strangers. All that's changed, and nobody wants to get in a car with a stranger. Here Steven Huff of New York tells us about a memorable ride.


from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 151

Almost no one skates outdoors in New England anymore. People seldom do it even in Canada or Minnesota.

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Elegy for a Vanishing Pastime

"Does your office face south?" I asked Miller. "In Washington, D.C., southern windows get good light."

"My office faces Mecca," Miller informed me.

"I'm sorry," I said. "Which way is Mecca again?"

"I'm just kidding," Miller said.

from Washington City Paper: 3 Minutes with E. Ethelbert Miller

The pictures are always the same.

A group of young boys

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-Notes: God Holding a Camera and Waiting for Us to Smile

Then he finds it. His expression "the liquefaction of her clothes" should be pronounced with a note of triumph, as he captures in mere words the liquid, melting delight of her appearance. His use of such a conspicuously polysyllabic Latin-derived term seemingly raises the tone, as if we had been taken from a domestic interior and set down in a royal court, yet there is certain witty irony too.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Today: A Reading of 'Upon Julia's Clothes' by Robert Herrick

For instance, she [Matthea Harvey]'ll call a poem "Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form" and begin one of its syntax-bending sections:

Pity the bathtub its forced embrace of the human
Form may define external appearance but there is room
For improvement within try a soap dish that allows for
Slippage is inevitable . . .

As an essay on form--poetic and otherwise--it's a satisfying performance: light and quick rather than ponderous and self-occupied.

from David Orr: The New York Times: Dream logic

Alan Shapiro's new book contains a remarkable section headed "from The Book of Last Thoughts." Each poem presents the dying thoughts of a different character in a form appropriate to that speaker. This one, for instance, is in rhyme:

Country-Western Singer

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

It is like what we imagine knowledge to be:
dark, salt, clear, movin? g, utterly free,
drawn from the cold hard mouth
of the world, derived from the rocky breasts
forever, flowing and drawn, and since
our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.

In an amazing moment, with a magician's speed, the last three words here make two separate verbs seem like one. That stroke also epitomizes [Elizabeth] Bishop's work: the fluid, rapid, and mortal action of knowledge, made live in words.

from Robert Pinsky: The Boston Globe: Soul deep

Even before he founded the Tamil Sangam in Madurai, Pandithurai Thevar had made a name for himself in the Tamil world through his poems, writings and speeches. He was celebrated as a powerful speaker. He had published two anthologies in Tamil--one literary and the other religious. He helped his teacher Ramaswami Pillai to bring out an excellent edition of the Thevaram hymns and gave liberal monetary help to many scholars for publishing their works.

from V Sundaram: News Today: The great Marava patron of Tamil language and literature

by Walt Whitman

Bardic Symbols

from The Atlantic Monthly: Poetry: Bardic Symbols

by Linda Gregerson


from The Atlantic Monthly: Poetry: Constitutional

by Mary Jo Salter

Executive Shoe Shine

from The Atlantic Monthly: Poetry: Executive Shoe Shine

Editor's note: This week's Poetry Corner features the work of David Sah? ner. His poetry has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Connecticut Review, White Heron, Blood and Fire Review and Buffalo Spree. He is a physician involved in clinical research, and he lives with his family in Santa Cruz.

Grandma's Right Hand

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner

Fame by Charlotte Mew

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Fame by Charlotte Mew

by Edip Cansever translated by Julia Clare Tillinghast and Richard Tillinghast

Sky-Meaning I

from Guernica: Poetry: Two Poems

By Larry M. Schilb

aluminum sky

from The Kansas City Star: 'Winter': A poem by Larry M. Schilb

Chinese Poem
by J. D. McClatchy

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Chinese Poem

by Rae Armantrout

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Thrown

[by Li-Young Lee, To Hold]

So we're dust. In the meantime, my wife [. . .]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Alexa Garvey
Eastern Regional High School

My Bowl of Oranges

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

By Samantha Morrow


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

By Sohale Sizar

The Violin

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Sohale Sizar]

By Andrew Van Dyk
Van Zant Elementary

My Dial-up Internet Service

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Andrew Van Dyk]

[by E. Bernard Arnold]
His Majesty Speaks

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: His Majesty Speaks

[by Judy Curtis]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Seasons

"Richard Noel"
By Harry Thomas

from Slate: "Richard Noel" --By Harry Thomas

Poetic Obituaries

The talented nonagenerian [Bert Batty] wrote a number of books, including A Ripe Old Age which charted events in Britain over the last century and The Pear Tree Chronicles which followed his own family history.

He also penned an epic poem entitled 'Great Britain's Glory Days and My Country's Pride and Fall' and told his friend's wartime story 'The Diary of Driver Don Hammett' by using the secret diary that he kept between 1939 and 1940.

from Redditch Standard: 99-year-old Bert Batty dies

[R. Paul] Cracroft loved to write and decided at age 13 that it would be his life's work. He was particularly proud of a 1979 479-page epic poem based on the Book of Mormon called "A Certain Testimony." The professor concluded his obituary by writing: "Since I can no longer write letters to the editor, this obituary will be my last hurrah!"

from The Salt Lake Tribune: Cracroft, a mentor to Utah journalists, dies at 85
also Making Everlasting Memories: Paul Cracroft

"An irony about Smoky, even though he was best known in the country music sphere, I would call him one of Australia's great folk artists," he [Philip Mortlock] said.

"While his music was tinged with country, he was also a great poet and a very creative man. He encompassed a great sense of Australiana."

from The Sydney Morning Herald: Folk legend Smoky Dawson dies

"In the old days it was, 'Burn the letters,'" she said. "Today, 'Clear the hard drive.'"

She [Kathryn Faughey] also had a romantic side, evident in a love of music and a touch of the poet that were as much a part of her Irish heritage as her red hair, blue eyes and ivory skin.

from New York Daily News: Slain therapist Kathryn Faughey plucked her guitar and heartstrings

Mr [Bernard] Gadd was a widely recognised poet, playwright and author of novels and collections of short stories, winning many awards and publishing a number of books.

He also edited Manukau in Poetry, a regional poetry website.

from Rodney Times: Poets pay tribute to fellow author

Aysel Gurel, one of Turkey's most famous lyrics writers, passed away on Sunday at the age of 80 in Istanbul.

Gurel, also a poet and a drama player, was medical attention since last December for lung cancer at Istanbul's Metropolitan Florence Nightingale Hospital.

from Turkey lost Crazy Aysel

Elsie [J. Hobbs] was a member of the Akron Baptist Temple where she was in the Choir and the Whitfield Baptist Church in Dalton, Ga., where she had taught Sunday School and was a Church Secretary and the Lake Milton Baptist Temple of Lake Milton, where she had taught Sunday school until December 2007. Elsie wrote poetry and music along with flower gardening in her spare time.

from Tribune Chronicle: Elsie Hobbs 1921-2008

Many more were touched by his poetry, his drumming, his compassion and his humility.

Dr Roi Kwabena was named Birmingham's sixth Poet Laureate in 2001/2002. Born in 1956 in Trinidad, Roi Ankhkara Kwabena came to Britain in 1985 after political and cultural activities in his home country.

from African Echo: Tribute to Dr Roi Kwabena (1956-2008)

"He was not a lost soul. He was a happy guy. Some people don't understand it. They talk about him in these terms like he was a tortured person and he wasn't like that at all," Ron Kublin said [of Steven Kublin]. "He's a artist, he's a poet. He was a brilliant painter. He just had a joy for living and he cared about people. He would never raise a hand to anyone.

"We're not crying for the heads of whoever did this. We don't want another family to have to go through this."

from Montrose Daily Press: Break in murder case hinges on lab

A charity worker gunned down by police on the side of a busy Yorkshire ? road was hit by six live rounds, an inquest has heard.

Simon Murden, 26, was holding a book containing his own "stream of consciousness" poetry when he was shot--and was also found to have been carrying three African swords.

from Yorkshire Post: Man shot by police carried three swords

Mr [Gary] Murphy rejected suggestions that poetry found in the villa pointed to a crime of passion.

He said the poetry was written by Heidi [Murphy]'s friend.

Reports that Heidi was in the process of divorcing her estranged husband were also incorrect.

from Daily Liberal: Heidi's friends seek out truth
note Poetic Obituaries: Ms [Heidi] Murphy's distressed family

One of David Rosen's favorite childhood stories was when he and his sister melted crayons on the radiator, marveling in the beautiful swirls of color they left there.

"Most parents would get totally irate, but my mother would gently say, 'Oh, isn't that pretty!'" he said.

A wordsmith: An accomplished poet, [Barbara Jane] Rosen published many poems, including a book of poetry.

from The Kansas City Star: Tribute: Barbara Jane Rosen was an artist with a spiritual side

When he [Raúl Salinas] arrived "it seemed like we knew him already because we'd seen his pictures, we'd read his work," [José] Flores said.

Soon after it opened, the store became known as a place where he mentored poets and served as a breeding ground for political activism.

"The bookstore is more than books, sort of a multi-pronged community center," said Sandy Soto, who volunteered there in the late 1980s.

from American-Statesman: Raúl Salinas, poet, teacher and activist, dies

Most of [Mark] Stenberg's law-related issues were misdemeanors, but there were a handful of drug-related felonies.

"He came out doing rap," Aurelia Stenberg said of her husband's post-prison life. "He was not even into rap when I met him. He was a poet."

from The Oregonian: Portland rapper slain in Houston


News at Eleven

Before you buy Ted Kooser's "Valentines" for someone, though, remember what the author's note says of these poems: "I suppose some of them have a little literary merit, but, really, they were written with pleasure and meant for the reader's fun."

In other words, don't think of "Valentines" as expensive red roses. This is a box of mixed chocolates, some of which are completely satisfying, while others boast just a sweet center.

from The Christian Science Monitor: Love Poems on a Post Card

Every sensible person ought to have a poem of her own. Of course it doesn't have to be something you've written; it could be a poem you have sought out, or one that has sought you out, and one, therefore, you cherish because it fits you like your own shadow.

from Trinidad & Tobago Express: Poetry as journalism

"The kids at Fresno State hadn't gotten into Berkeley. They were from families that hadn't been to college before. You'd tell them they had two or three lines out of 20 lines that were genuine and authentic, and they didn't have a problem with that. They might get angry; I had one swear at me. But they didn't cry."

from The Fresno Bee: Poet's work still flows from Fresno's inspiration

Now [Peter] Krok, the editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal, has shared his thoughts and feelings with a new book of poetry "Looking for an Eye."

The title poem "Looking for an Eye," speaks of the poet search to find his poet's eye: "Fumbling in the dark, always looking/for an eye, he hurls stones/at his shadow. Voices startle him."

from News of Delaware County: An 'Eye' for poetry

So my publisher sent the book to [Harold] Bloom. When he wrote back, he said my work reminded him not of an American-Jewish poet, but of Emily Dickinson! He described me as a flawed, almost-made-it Emily Dickinson. It's like when you have a beautiful vase in a museum, and then the appraiser looks at it and sees a fissure so it's worthless. [--Samuel Menashe]

from Nextbook: The Minimalist

" . . . I said to him, 'If I couldn't write poems like "Babi Yar" against something I didn't like, like anti-Semitism, I will never have the moral right to write poetry about Vietnam.' I dislike both, this is my position. You know the proverb 'You couldn't sit between two chairs'? . . ." [--Yevgeny Yevtushenko]

from The New York Sun: A Citizen of Human Grief

[Charles Allen's] book is a modest apologia on his subject's behalf, as he seeks to put Kipling's early views and writings into the context of the late 19th century.

He rightly points out how the poem "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet" has been shockingly and almost universally misinterpreted. Jump just one more line and Kipling intones, "But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth/When two strong men stand face to face/tho' they come from the ends of the earth!"

from Daily News & Analysis: The art of Kipling

You do not need to be Aristotle to see why most of us, shying away from the inherent violence in ourselves, and in everyday life, take refuge in the artificial violence of rituals, or films.

Sylvia Plath is a poet who confronts the inherent violence in everyday life, brings it to the surface. In her poem Cut, she begins "What a thrill -/My thumb instead of an onion" . . .

from Telegraph: Seduced by Sylvia Plath's gore and gloom

Or must [Alun] Lewis be left to lie with those he styled "the quiet dead"? "Quiet": the adjective signals his early commitment to a discourse deaf to "the loud celebrities/Exhorting us to slaughter". His were humble "poems in khaki" not only in being products of army experience.

from The Guardian: The outsider

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association firmly condemn the transfers of journalist U Win Tin and blogger Nay Phone Latt to Insein prison, near Rangoon. The two organisations also condemn a government decision to restrict the content of newspapers' websites to the articles approved by military censors for the print editions.

from Reporters Without Borders: Journalist U Win Tin and blogger Nay Phone Latt transferred to Insein prison

At night, under generator-run lights, locals crowd into makeshift outdoor secondhand book markets, browsing.

The Internet cafes in these main cities are packed with youngsters overriding the blocks with endless formulas to reach proxy servers – and freely surfing the web, in open defiance of the law. They chat with friends across the border in Thailand, check gmail accounts, read news, search for scholarship opportunities overseas, and follow American celebrity antics.

from The Christian Science Monitor: Burma's censors monitor Internet, newspapers--and poets

Great Regulars

Frank [Wilson] was, in effect, my first glimpse of the higher joys--rather than the lower pleasures--of blogging. He raises the game. Last night I had a dream about being in Philadelphia and trying to find him. One day I will.

from Bryan Appleyard: Thought Experiments: Frank Wilson: How to Compliment Americans

I've been returning to Sir Philip Sidney's neglected Astrophil and Stella (which, weighing in at 108 poems along with 11 songs, has a pretty good claim to be the first major sonnet sequence in English) for just over 20 years. It's mysterious, elusive, frustrating and inspiring, woven through with brilliant lines and sudden exhilarating shifts of tone, but also with a dry and austere self-consciousness, an ornate and, at times, icy posturing.

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: The dazzling world of Sir Philip Sidney

This was the third or fourth time I'd heard Allen [Ginsberg] read portions of "Howl" in public. I'd also read it, and heard him read from it, when under construction . . . at his cottage in Berkeley. He was already very much at home in the text, and it clearly spoke--as everyone could see--to the condition of the people. It sort of shocked some people awake. "Yes, that's life in our America today," they could begin to see. It was a poem that was precise to its historical moment. [--Gary Snyder]

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: Gary Snyder on hitchhiking and "Howl" at Reed

The first known recording of [Allen] Ginsberg reading the poem was thought to be March 18, 1956, at a notorious performance in Berkeley, Calif.

Until now.

Last May, John Suiter was researching a biography of Snyder in the Hauser Library at Reed. Suiter knew Snyder and Ginsberg had been at Reed in 1956 and knew Ginsberg had read "Howl."

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: 'Howl' tape gives Reed claim to first

"I don't have to be in dynasty politics to make a mark . . . my name does not prevent me or take me forward. Certain things I can say as a writer that I cannot as a politician. For instance, I can say that Mukhtar Mai changed the culture of silence. She is an illiterate woman who was punished for raising her voice after a gang-rape. But she stood up, and has now built a school for girls from the money that poured in for her . . . By writing we chronicle the injustices of our times."

from Fatima Bhutto: The Hindu: 'I don't believe in dynasty'

As devotional poetry goes, "The Unbosoming" is old-fashioned Enlightenment fare. Its stance begins with doubt, not piety; it dramatizes grief ("Crestfallen, Love. Of the fallen breast. Un-clean of eye"); and it discovers redemption ("I Live and I Wire. I Wive, Lord . . ."). And, like her compatriot from four centuries ago, Olena Davis also struggles not with monastic, but with worldly faith.

The Unbosoming

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Dear God . . . two seek salvation

Instead of attending a conventional sitting, he submitted to a psychological test conducted at his New York apartment with a couple of Californian conceptual artists.

The result depicts [Salman] Rushdie, 60, a slightly donnish, bearded figure, as a purple lobster floating before a fiery red planet, surrounded by snowflakes.

from Olivia Cole: The Sunday Times: Artists delve into failing love of Salman Rushdie, the purple lobster

At last, I get Missouri into the mix. Here's a poem from Walter Bargen, who recently was named Missouri's first poet laureate.

'Forgotten History'

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'Forgotten History,' by Walter Bargen

The work is 14 lines in the style of a sonnet, though Sarah allowed herself a bit more freedom than the form traditionally requires--early in the poem, the lines tend more toward three and four beats than five. But the rhymes do follow the ABABCDCDEFEFGG pattern of the English (Shakespearean, to be specific) sonnet.

I Am Not a Writer

by Sarah Robinson

from John Mark Eberhart: Parachute: 'I Am Not a Writer': Student Poem # 1

And what's the sense in growing our cut flowers in Africa? The flowers we are talking about are not, for the most part, African species. They belong to the traditional European repertoire. We could grow them at home--we do grow most of them at home--if we were prepared to do two things: pay a bit more for them, and respect their growing season.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Flora international

It wasn't just Frank [Wilson]'s mindfulness of the future that made his section an inspiration, though. He began covering poetry in a serious way, started working creatively with local events (you can actually see him in an NBCC event later this month), and took for granted that the readers of his section cared about ideas. He brought in reviewers like Scott Esposito and M.A. Orthofer and Kate Haegele who have a point of view and unique and informed tastes.

from John Freeman: Critical Mass: Goodbye to Frank Wilson

The stroller is now empty, the crib is now empty, and more terrifyingly the hearts of the parents are empty from facing all this emptiness. The only complete sentence in the poem claims that this grieving mother "is as/small/as still//and silent/as the baby girl."

The mother rocked her baby girl to sleep, but the baby did not wake up.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Back's 'Her Hands'

The command, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may," contains a perverse irony, considering that the speaker of the poem is advising young women to marry, an act that would result in their deflowering.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Herrick's 'To the Virgins'

[Rachel Tzvia] Back began writing poetry at a very early age. She admires Emily Dickinson, Charles Olson, George Oppen, and Joy Harjo. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on Susan Howe, an experimental poet often associated with the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets. She published the dissertation as a monograph, titled Led by Language: the Poetry and Poetics of Susan Howe.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Profile: Rachel Tzvia Back

The speaker in sonnet 46 claims that his heart and eye are locked in a deadly battle. They are fighting over whether the poem is most influenced by the poet's aesthetic capability, metaphorically represented by "eye," or by his ability to feel strongly, metaphorically represented by "heart."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 46

"With all its various centers of power and checks and balances, a newspaper is a lot less biased--for all its commercial pressures--and a lot less susceptible to hostile influences than the unchecked ego and will of a single blogger," [Lee] Siegel believes.

A book review in the Post-Gazette and other newspapers is the product of several people, from me, the editor who selects the book and its reviewer, to the critic to several editors who read the review and point out problems and errors in reasoning, fact and language.

from Bob Hoover: Post-Gazette: Internet critic questions blogs' place in culture

The door opens and the "tiger-master's wee pimp" enters. The tiger-master (the prisoners being caged like tigers) is surely Robespierre.

His pimp is so called because he is the procurer of the next individual to be beheaded; it is like a game of musical chairs.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: Final thoughts

The poem intends to honour those who fought against the Communists--the "swans" of the title refers to the men of the White Army, in which the poet's husband was an officer--but its sympathies are extensive, as this extract suggests.

Elaine Feinstein is the foremost translator of Tsvetayeva's poems into English. The version below was published in the TLS of October 10, 1980.

From "Swans' Encampment"

from Mick Imlah: The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: From 'Swans' Encampment'

Poem: "Windchime" by Tony Hoagland from What Narcissism Means to Me.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 11, 2008

There's a world of great interest and significance right under our feet, but most of us don't think to look down. We spend most of our time peering off into the future, speculating on how we will deal with whatever is coming our way. Or dwelling on the past. Here Ed Ochester stops in the middle of life to look down.

What the Frost Casts Up

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 150

Here's the first of what I hope will be many poems by some of the nation's best state poet laureates.


By Denise Low

from Denise Low: Parachute: 'Asters,' by Denise Low

Can an atheist write a moving psalm in praise of the Almighty? Probably not. Similarly, a poet who does not believe in and has never experienced an overpowering romantic passion cannot compose a convincing poem in praise of the subject, regardless of his or her mastery of the craft.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: A.S. Maulucci: Love doesn't need more poems written about it

". . . . It seemed eminently more sensible to live in a part of a hotel which you knew would not be struck by shell fire, because you knew where the shells lit, than to go to some other hotel further from the lines, the angles of which you had no data to figure and where you would maybe have a shell drop through the roof.

"Well, I had great confidence in the Florida and when Franco finally entered Madrid, Rooms 112 and 113 were still intact. There was very little else that was though." [--Ernest Hemingway]

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Hemingway, Your Letter Has Arrived

i'm just crazy about you and it has nothing [. . .]

from E. Ethelbert Miller: E-Notes

"The trial took about 15 minutes. As soon as Lu Gengsong was brought to the courtroom, the judge started to read the verdict. After 10 minutes when the reading finished Lu was taken away. No time was allowed for him to talk, but Lu Gengsong yelled 'Long Live Democracy' as he was taken away. As he was leaving, I yelled 'Lu Gengsong is innocent!"

Lu's wife, Wang Xue'e

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: China Frees Journalist Ahead of Lunar New Year, Jails Activist

"In the Barn" is about the strict, unavoidable grip of matter on life: Living things are stuck in the material world. As the poet says here, "the snake was helpless too." Some readers will recognize [Elise] Partridge's name and recall her poems about cancer treatment that appeared in the New Yorker in recent years, including "Chemo Side Effects: Vision."

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

"Lorca's Lady in a NYC Train," "Belly Dance Passion," and "Night Shadows."

[by Evie Ivy]

Lorca's Lady in a NYC Train

'Verde que te quiero verde ...'
'Green, I want you green ...'
Romance Sonambulo, Frederico Garcia Lorca

from Donna Snyder: Newspaper Tree: Tumblewords Poetry: Evie Ivy

[P Sundaram Pillai's] work Manonmaniam which was a poetical drama of over 4,500 lines was published in 1891.

This great work of drama met with a warm public reception. Rich tributes were paid by eminent Tamil scholars of that time. Sundaram Pillai in his preface stated: 'Among the rich and varied forms of poetic composition extant in the Tamil language, the dramatic type, so conspicuous in Sanskrit and English, does not seem to find a place. The play here submitted to the public is a humble attempt to see, whether the defect may not be easily removed.'

from V Sundaram: News Today: The creator of Manonmaniam and the Tamil anthem

The Vedas refer to Sun worship. Vishnu is also described as being seated in the midst of the disc of the Sun; so much so that over time Vishnu worship merged with sun worship leading to Surya being referred to as Suryanarayana. No wonder Ratha Sapthami is celebrated on a grand scale at Tirupati every year.

from V Sundaram: News Today: The glory and the radiance of Ratha Sapthami

Aisla Rose
5 lbs. 12 oz.
18 inches
baby girl

from Andrew Varnon: Flash & Yearn: Baby Picture

The simplicity of [Elizabeth] McFarland's verse reveals, very subtly, a singular personality, someone for whom a poem is not primarily a literary artifact, but rather a necessary utterance, without which a given experience would not be quite complete, setting the experience to a music made entirely of words:

O the rowantree lifts there

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: She lived, breathed, made poems

That is why invited some to review for me. I would have invited more had I lasted longer.

The critical landscape is changing. I don't know anymore than anybody else does what it will look like when everything settles down, but I do know that, thanks in large measure to blogging and bloggers, it will be richer, more varied, and more alive.

from Frank Wilson: Books Inq.: The Epilogue: Well, here they are . . .

"Reading Jack's words after all these years, remembering how much they meant to me once, how I was sure I wouldn't don any gray flannel suit and trudge to an office day in, day out, and knowing full well that tomorrow morning and the day after and after I'll tie my tie and sit down at my desk yet again, well, it makes me wonder if I can still, even at this late date, salvage me some authenticity. Yeah, reading Jack has reminded me that living means more than just making a living, and that it's always easier to get along by going along. As Ray confesses, 'I had no guts anyway . . . .'"

Kass Mencher, my friend Eric Mencher's wife, is the only person I know who read this and inferred--quite correctly--that it signaled my plans to retire.

I could have continued to get along by going along, but I didn't have to, and I sure didn't want to. So I decided not to.

from Frank Wilson: Books Inq.: The Epilogue: Why I decided . . .

by Christopher Y. Lew

The dead shuffled forward in their camps

from The Brooklyn Rail: Necropolis

by Christopher Y. Lew

I returned to a city too busy

from The Brooklyn Rail: Return

by Christopher Y. Lew

Even when
the watermelon

from The Brooklyn Rail: Watermelons

by Jonas Mekas

Winter, don't ever be over. So that Spring

from The Brooklyn Rail: Update 2003

by Anne Waldman

the manatee is found in shallow slow moving rivers
the manatee moves in estuaries moves in saltwater bays

from The Brooklyn Rail: Manatee/Humanity

by John Yau

A french fry sticks its tongue out at you
Blue, swollen, unfathomable

from The Brooklyn Rail: After A Self-Portrait by Francis Picabia

Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love by Cole Porter

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love by Cole Porter

By Todd Hanks

He walked through
a caption,

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Flat Character': A poem by Todd Hanks

by Aharon Shabtai

from MR Zine: Aharon Shabtai, 'Culture'

By Patrick Burns
Pleasant Valley School


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Patrick Burns]

By Kelsea Guckin

I Could Live Like That

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Kelsea Guckin]

By Morgan Halbruner
Eastern Regional High School

To My Dear and Loving Planet

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Morgan Halbruner]

[by John-Michael Albert]

Portsmouth from the Pavement

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Portsmouth from the Pavement

[by Vincent Denunzio]

Teacher Killjoy

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Teacher Killjoy

Poetic Obituaries

At 17, Salim Umarbhai Adambhai was unlike his contemporaries working in the saltpans across the Little Rann of Kutch.

He had a liking for poetry, and like many prodigies, he died young. But, he could have lived a little longer, if the fatal jaundice he was suffering from was detected earlier.

from Expressindia: Dearth of doctors makes death a reality for saltpans workers in Little Rann

A cousin to the boys, Samantha Warnecki, read a poem Greg [Browning] wrote for a class assignment that seemed to exemplify the Brownings' optimistic outlook.

"Life was not meant to be depressive and full of death," the poem said. "So live life to the fullest, even when drawing your last breath."

from WTOP News: Nearly 1,300 Remember Generosity and Humor of Slain Family

In biographical information on the CCSF [City College of San Francisco ] Web site, [John Alfred Pierre] Dennis [Jr.] wrote "students are at the heart of quality teaching. It's not about me, it's about the students. They always rise to the level of my highest expectations."

According to the CCSF site, Dennis was for 17 years a lay chaplain for Catholic Charities at the Bryant Street Jail in San Francisco, a lay "preacher" at Saint Benedict's in East Oakland, an avid journal writer, poet, liturgical dancer and an avid traveler.

from The Oakland Tribune: Popular college lecturer found slain

What we didn't know and appreciate about him [Thomas Hass] was that he was a poet and a musician who could do almost anything with his hands.

The minister, Jerry Pfaff, who conducted the service, spoke lovingly of their long friendship. "He convinced me to do what I'm doing. He saved my life," Pfaff said.

from Baraboo News Republic: Myra: Many will miss quiet, modest 'HR'

[Marjorie E. Hess'] poems were published in education and church magazines and she also self-published two collections of poems and essays.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Marjorie E. Hess: Teacher, 98

"He was a light that just was extinguished so soon," his mother, Jenny Lespi said. "I know he is in heaven reading, teaching or talking to his favorite poets."

[Jeremy] Lespi graduated from Shelby County High School and had earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature at the University of Montevallo. He went on to earn his doctorate in creative writing and poetry from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

from The University of Alabama Crimson White: Beloved professor dies during break

In 1947 [William Turner] Levy was working on his dissertation on the poet William Barnes and wrote to Eliot seeking a meeting as part of his research. That meeting was the spark of a friendship that would last 18 years and include conversations and correspondence about their common interests: literature and cats, in particular Eliot's cat named Pettipaws and Levy's cats Judy and Lord Peter Wimsey.

from Los Angeles Times: William Turner Levy, 85; teacher wrote of friendships with luminaries

Greg [Monteforte] was a 1972 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, Warren, and a 1976 graduate of Youngstown State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Throughout his life, Greg was an avid writer of short stories and poems.

from Tribune Chronicle: Gregory J. Monteforte

Ms [Heidi] Murphy's distressed family and friends, who gathered outside the villa on Sunday, were interviewed last night. Her mother, Toni Delahunty, who lives in Flaxton, Queensland, said she was "shattered" at losing her only child. "She was a beautiful, beautiful person who had a wonderful life and lived the dream," she said.

from Brisbane Times: Victim's poetry points to crime of passion

Mr. [H.K.] Narayan worked with All India Radio for nearly four decades and played a vital role in popularising the genre of Sugama Sangeeta, which uses music as a vehicle to take poetry close to people.

from The Hindu: H.K. Narayan passes away

An artistic woman, she [Vianne Marie Shead] had also loved poetry and creating things. "Her poetry was very personal to hear and she expressed herself in her writing.

"She also loved making cards to give and would do so with style."

from Timaru Herald: Teen dies after car crash

[Jazeh Tabatabaii] displayed an interest in writing from the age of twelve and has authored more than 40 books comprising folktales, novels, poetry and plays.

He later turned his hand to directing, dramatic art, ballet, in addition to painting and sculpting.

from Tehran Times: Iranian sculptor Jazeh Tabatabaii dies at 77

[Ivylin Howell White] was a gifted writer of poetry and even had a poem published in an international book of poetry a few years ago. It was her first published poem and was featured as the first one in the book - a copy of which I shall always cherish

from The McDuffie Mirror: Mother-in-law set example for living life and following His path


News at Eleven

The appearance by the 71-year-old writer from Massachusetts [Mary Oliver], arguably the country's most popular poet, had sparked the fastest sell-out in the 20-year history of the hallmark literary series. The response was so feverish that Oliver ticket buyers and sellers moved into the unlikely realm of Craigslist with prices as high as $100 per seat.

from Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Revered poet shows her witty side

[Robert] Pinsky's efforts in word and deed to reassert poetry's civic role have throughout been accompanied by another project of reclamation: his insistence, in his prose book "The Sounds of Poetry" and elsewhere, that poetry is made not only of ideas generated by the mind, but of sounds made in the body. The two projects may seem distinct, but they are not, since minds differ, but bodies are alike.

from The New York Times: The Civic Poet

"Music is just the sound of the words. But poets aren't trained; it's not like they go to singing school." [John] Giorno bounds and sweats on stage like a musician, too. "I am not playing with my body to amuse the audience, it is the poem that moves the body that way," he says.

from The McGill Daily: Dial-a-poet: verses for the masses

I wander now among names of the dead:
My mother's name, stone pillow for my head.

That image is real because my mother does not have any kind of stone on her grave. That sort of hit me, the history that had not been properly memorialized, remembered, tended by someone native to her -- it was my mother's history. She was just like those black soldiers. No monument existed, and in that way she was erased from the landscape.

from Bookslut: An Interview with Natasha Trethewey

The results might be surprising, however, for anyone who imagines that The Origin of the Milky Way [by Barbara Louise Ungar] is a series of serene ruminations on the blessings of motherhood. Rather, a primal form of terror is part and parcel of Origin, which is divided into four sections. These sections--ranging from mythos-inflected "Annunciations" through the bluesy musings of "Fourth Trimester" and the edgy observations of "Feast," where she comments on raising a child in a time of war--document the full process of pregnancy and the birth of her son Izaak, followed by the great afterwards of trying to write with an infant on the hip.

from Chronogram: Origins

One of his [George Gordon Byron's] digressions describes the treatment of wives in Muslim countries, their confinement, both physical and spiritual, with strange and ironic commendation: "They stare not on the stars from out their attics,/Nor deal (thank God for that!) in mathematics." The object of his irony would have been clear to a knowing reader: his wife's intellectual pretensions. For the benefit of the less knowing, he gestures heavily at what he isn't saying.

Why I thank God for that is no great matter,
I have my reasons, you no doubt suppose,
And as, perhaps, they would not highly flatter,
I'll keep them for my life (to come) in prose . . .

from The Guardian: A man of the world

[Philip Larkin's] picture of religion as "That vast moth-eaten musical brocade/ Created to pretend we never die" is so good--as music--that one remembers it almost every time one enters a church. But the rest of the verse, in which he itemises just what it is that we dread about extinction, for me--at any rate--spoils it. It lacks the bleakness, and brilliance, as the full-throttle death fears end and day begins.

from Telegraph: Philip Larkin's almost perfect poem

Translation serves as a bridge in terms of dialogue between different civilizations, [Özdemir] İnce said, drawing attention to the importance of literary translations from different cultures. Other Turkish translators, in addition to İnce, translate from Greek literary works. "Each work translated from Greek into Turkish is a message of peace and friendliness from Turkey to Greece and its people," İnce said.

from Turkish Daily News: Greek poets reach shores of Turkey

"The Vietnamese government should stop locking people up simply for expressing their views."

During her more than nine months of detention at Thanh Liet Detention Center (known as B14 Camp) in Hanoi, authorities prohibited [Tran Khai Thanh] Thuy from receiving visits or letters from her family. According to her family, authorities rejected requests that Thuy, who suffers from tuberculosis and diabetes, be transferred to the Dong Da Tuberculosis Center in Hanoi for better medical treatment. Instead, her health worsened and she developed rheumatism after months of sleeping without a blanket on the cement floor of a small cell, when Hanoi's winter temperatures drop below 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit).

from Human Rights Watch: Vietnam: Woman Writer Released, but Crackdown Continues

Though the magazine maintains a Web site, there are no plans to publish online. For one thing, says Christine Portell, president of the board of directors, "No one on board has the Web skills." For another, the editors prefer print. "We don't discuss going online much," says Michael Nye. "Reading still feels personal, despite the new media. There's something about curling up on a couch with a book, being alone, underlining and writing in the margins. That's not something we want to move away from."

from Rivert Front Times: River Styx keeps on rolling.

"I have never sat down to analyze it," he [Stephen Bunch] says. "There were things going on with kids and family. I know real poets deal with these things, too. I don't know other than I wasn't inspired to write."

That changed four years go, when, as he puts it, "the tap was turned again."

from Lawrence Journal-World: Winning writers discover voices later in life

Great Regulars

[Peter Wilson] told friends it felt like three years but it was only three months. In fact, when he consulted his notes, he found it was only three weeks. Something similar, he believes, happened to Ishmael Beah.

So do we have here a reformed mass killer, a man with a drug-scrambled memory or a brilliant young storyteller?

from Bryan Appleyard: The Sunday Times: Bryan Appleyard's full account of his interview with Ishmael Beah

On my last night in the pink city, I was watching television. The US Secretary of Defence was ready to send ground troops into Pakistan the headline blared. At that point, our differences became pointless. It was no longer us against each other; there were larger threats now. Siblings, though stymied by rivalries at times and shadowed by each other's ghosts, are still siblings.

from Fatima Bhutto: The News International Pakistan: The pink city
also Los Angeles Chronicle: Pakistan: Real Successor of Bhutto?

Charles Saatchi, the art collector, has risked the ire of Britain's Jewish establishment by buying a painting of Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi who planned the Holocaust, to put on the walls of his new London gallery.

from Olivia Cole: The Sunday Times: Saatchi makes space for a candy-coloured Himmler

As I have said elsewhere, and this is what you possibly have observed: poets "divine" the times in which they live. We choose what of our world today is worth carrying into the permanence of art. Such an undertaking, noble or not, requires us to approach our existence and presence and all of the accrual of things with a wonder that approximates first encounter. [--Major Jackson]

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Interview: Poet Major Jackson

Hans von Bülow almost instructed his students to make mistakes: "In large leaps, now and then you must claw a wrong note; otherwise no one will notice that it is difficult." The audience liked this. Wrong notes, we are told, were considered a sign of genius. Eugen d'Albert was celebrated for the wild inaccuracy of his playing.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Notes on a theme

I hope writers come back to the fringe at least, no matter who is elected. They're essential, on a larger level, to imagining what a government is capable of doing, and then reminding us, when it comes down to it--it's our leaders' imaginations which matter the most.

from John Freeman: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Creative presidential campaigners

She says, "My eyes burst closed." This oxymoronic claim seems odd: to describe "closing" with the word "burst" which usually refers to "opening." But the pressure mounting in her skill and throughout her body, no doubt, made it seem that her eyes closed because the eyeballs had burst open. In her mouth she felt blood that was clotting, and she describes the clots as ""blood curds."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Ann Stanford's ‘The Beating'

Then he likens his feelings to the opening of a rose in spring, implying that his emotional life has been closed, but this new baby motivates him to open his heart "petal by petal" as a rose opening in springtime to its natural surroundings.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Rethinking Cummings' Poem

His thought resembles air, and his desire resembles fire, and both elements become metaphors for the nature of creativity. They have the power of "swift motion." They contain and facilitate his thought processes that allow him to create.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 45

His pent-up fury at knowing that his words will be subject to scrutiny and deletion, no matter how carefully he chose them, is expressed in the way he likens them to caged monkeys with bared teeth, craving freedom.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: Springing into life again

"In the Basket Marty Brought to the Hospital After the Cesarean" by Thorpe Moeckel, from Odd Botany.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of February 04, 2008

Elsewhere in this newspaper you may find some advice for maintaining and repairing troubled relationships. Here, in a poem by Linda Pastan of Maryland, is one of those relationships in need of some help.

The Quarrel

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 149

[Trish] Reeves creates a new timekeeping paradigm here, suggested by Van Gogh and by farming, but instead more personal: anniversaries of family deaths. When I read this poem, I remember my ancient grandmother mourning her father's death anniversary. I memorialize my own family deaths.


from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: Trish Reeves

[Campbell] McGrath's audacity has a genial, sociable quality, often with a flippancy that he directs back at himself, in the American tradition of kidding, a humor that may tease greatness but makes the joke on itself. For example, "Rilke and God":

When Rilke talks about God I have no idea

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

It emerges from this book that in order to avoid the censors--or worse--[Marcel] Martinet published the poems in Switzerland, from where they were distributed as samizdat. Like Wilfred Owen or Ernst Friedrich in his book of photos War Against War, Martinet gives us the horrors of industrial warfare, piling up bodies and documenting horrific injuries.

from Michael Rosen: Europe's charnel house

Arumuga Navalar was as great an Editor of Tamil classics as he was a prose writer. All his editions are noted for their accuracy of text, minuteness and exactness in the concern for detail and marked by a great thoroughness in method. He edited the largest number of Tamil religious and literary works.

from V Sundaram: News Today: A religious leader and a man of letters from Jaffna

[George] Eliot steps apart from Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, T.H. Huxley, and John Stuart Mill, and in this particular, shows--directly because she thinks as an artist--that she was the greater thinker as well as imaginative writer. For too many scientists, engineering explains everything, in a closed-circuit determinist system. In fact, it has to. No it doesn't, Eliot said, and her fiction is great because she did.

from John Timpane: Philadelpia Inquirer: Did you know there was science in poetry?

"The baby has been born. She was born at 12:18 and she was 5lbs and 12oz and she's 18ins long and she's really beautiful and she has already breast fed and she latched on right away and we have not yet settled on a name but now I know what my mom was telling me when she said that she couldn't that she wanted me to know someday how it felt to hold in her arms when I was a baby. So bye."

from Andrew Varnon: Flash & Yearn: Voice Post

Of the universal mind each individual man is one more incarnation. All its properties consist in him. Each new fact in his private experience flashes a light on what great bodies of men have done, and the crises of his life refer to national crises. Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind, and when the same thought occurs to another man, it is the key to that era.

from Daily Times: Purple Patch: History --Ralph Waldo Emerson

6.25 by Alison Brackenbury

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: 6.25 by Alison Brackenbury

by Ales Debeljak translated by Andrew Zawacki and the author
The Kiss

from Guernica: Poetry: Two Poems

By Jan Sokoloff Harness

Driving in my car,

from The Kansas City Star: 'Static': A poem by Jan Sokoloff Harness

The Magic Kingdom
by Kathleen Graber

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Magic Kingdom

A Measuring Worm
by Richard Wilbur

from The New Yorker: Poetry: A Measuring Worm

The Saws
by Robert Pinsky

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Saws

[by Kate Gray]
Near the houses where we lived [. . .]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Jeff Bogel
Eastern Regional High School

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Jeff Bogel]

By Margie Brining

Triton High School
I Am From

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Margie Brining]

By Courtney Dalton
Martin Luther King Jr.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Courtney Dalton]

At the January Hoot, Nancy Donovan read this strong and sharp poem:

The Old Year Passes 2007


Grandpa Jim

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poetry Hoot: The Old Year Passes 2007 or Grandpa Jim

[by Kyle Potvin]
Sleep Sonnet

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Sleep Sonnet

[by Abby Suchocki]
Snow Dancing

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Snow Dancing

Window for a Small Blue Child (Carcanet, £8.95) tells the story of a child's creation by in vitro fertilisation, in which the languages of science and of human feeling interact. Nature and control of nature and uncontrollable emotions each have their place in this drama, beautifully constructed by Gerrie Fellows.

Conversation (Blue Tablecloth)

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"Losing My Hair"
By Wesley McNair

from Slate: "Losing My Hair" --By Wesley McNair

Yerra Sugarman
Ash and Scar

from Zeek: Poems by Yerra Sugarman

Poetic Obituaries

[Louise Aldrich Bugbee] first writing for the Gazette was poetry. Then, when the Gazette's late editor Henry Beetle Hough needed an Oak Bluffs Social Notes columnist, he proposed that Mrs. Bugbee take over that post. She did, and continued to write Oak Bluffs Social Notes until--according to her version--she was fired. Henry Hough, however, vehemently denied it.

from Vineyard Gazette: Louise Aldrich Bugbee Wrote Well-Liked Column in Gazette

[Stefan Meller] was Poland's foreign minister 2005-2006, before that he served as ambassador to France and Russia. Mr. Meller was a historian, a poet and a diplomat at the same time.

from Former Polish MFA Stefan Meller died

Then that afternoon came a request from the Mormon Tabernacle choir director Craig Jessop to perform the song at Hinckley's funeral.

Saturday at President Hinckley's funeral service the very words of Hinckley's poem gave others comfort upon his own passing.

"What Is This Thing That Men Call Death"
By President Gordon B. Hinckley
Music by Janice Kapp Perry

from ABC4: President Hinckley's Poem

[Deepak] Mishra, whose literary compositions are marked by simple and lucid style, served as the president Orissa Sahitya Akademi at the time of his death. Mishra was selected for 2007 Central Sahitya Akademi award honour for his book `Sukha Sanhita'.

According to litterateurs from this part of the state, Mishra dealt on reality and his compositions often reflected the social milieu and trends.

from Kalinga Times: Poet Deepak Mishra passes away

The poem, "The Man, The Boy, The Indian," so touched local artist Suzanne Shipley when she read it that she created a painting to depict it. More than 2,000 prints of the painting with [Walter] Mize's words, "He was at Peace with nature. His spirit was the wind . . ." were requested by others.

from Cleburne Times-Review: Walter Mize--man of poetry

[Edith L. Pedersen] was a member and past treasurer of Alpha Delta Kappa sorority, was a member of the Seasoned Poets of the Blue Ridge, volunteered at the Henderson County Library and was a member of the Alumni Association of Miami University

from Times-News: Edith L. Pedersen, 85

It is not the sort of poetry that is easy to get into magazines--though Ray [Pospisil] did rack up some publication credits--but it was a poetry that was harrowing, but moving, possessed of humour, tenderness, and that aching sense of a beauty that you can only experience occasionally, or at a distance, or in memory.

And there were poems among them that should rank among the greatest of his generation. Allow me to quote one in full, "Insomnia":


from Eratosphere: Ray Pospisil has died

[Anthony] Yamashiro then read aloud from a poem written by Sammantha [Alexis Salas] titled, "The Importance of Your Family."

"Always keep and trust your family," he read. "Help out even if you dread it. You'll never know when they're gonna leave."

from Pasadena Star-News: Sammantha Salas is laid to rest

[Jeevanlal] Satyal had served also as Secretary at Ministry of Information and Communication and Director of Department of Industry. Late Satyal had also penned poem collection--'Othka Rekhiharu'.

Late Satyal was one of the founders of Nepali Congress.

from The Rising Nepal: Satyal dies at 80 [2008-2-3]

[Ann Marie] Shannon related well to her college students. She retired as an associate dean of the college in 1995 but continued to be an active voice on the campus. She gave tutorials in 17th-century poetry in the school's Oxbridge Honors Program, which she helped create.

from The Kansas City Star: Ann Marie Shannon was devoted to mission work at her church

To quote media visionary, and noted lyricist Amit Khanna, Majrooh Sultanpuri's reign of five decades in Hindi cinema has provided a "healing touch to a wounded society with poetry--moving with enviable ease from the lofty heights of the best in Urdu Ghazals to the latest foot-tapping chartbusters of their time".

from Tehelka: Lyrical Legend

In 1935, he [Volodia Teitelboim] published, in collaboration with Edurdo Anguita, the Antología de Poesía Chilena Nueva (Anthology of New Chilean Poetry), a title that gave rise to controversy, since Gabriela Mistral was not included in the book, and contributed to the famous literary polemic between Vicente Huidobro, Pablo de Rokha, and Pablo Neruda.

from Periodico 26: Marcelia Yeh dies at 91

Jarvis Thurston, former head of the English Department at Washington University and the man most responsible for the inception of the college's graduate writing program, died last night at his home in University City. Jarvis was married for more than half a century to former U.S. poet laureate Mona Van Duyn, who died in 2004

from River Front Times: Jarvis Thurston, 1914-2008

From early in life, Marcleia [Yeh] wrote poetry, winning many prizes and publishing numerous poems. The poems she wrote during her life in China are now housed at the New York University archive. During the Cultural Revolution, Marcelia began keeping a diary, which she continued for 7 or 8 years. The ten volumes are unique personal record of a transformational political revolution.

After her retirement in 1976, Marcelia returned to the United States. At 60, her strong curiosity and passion for learning propelled her into the University of California at Berkeley's Master's Program in Creative Writing, with a focus on women's literature.

from China Daily: Marcelia Yeh dies at 91


News at Eleven

For poets, of course, [Robert] Burns has never gone away. The vigour, directness and sheer beauty of his verse has always enraptured them. As Seamus Heaney says: "He did not fail the Muse or us or himself as one of poetry's chosen instruments."

Here is the poem he has written as a tribute which is included in the book.

A Birl for Burns by Seamus Heaney

from Telegraph: Seamus Heaney: A Birl for Burns
also The Guardian: theblogbooks: Podcast: Poetry for Burns night
also The Official Gateway to Scotland: Burns Interactive

There is no romanticising of the past, no obsessive elegising in [Nala] N Dhmhnaill's work. It is something far more disturbing than innocence or order she wants to recover.

'Of course,' the narrator remarks, 'there's a long history of merfolk in Ireland'--that is, a long history of men and women forced out of their element, forced to make unwilling concessions, forced into a self-denying forgetfulness and translation.

from The Guardian: Like a mermaid out of water

[Natasha] Trethewey was teaching at Auburn University and had gone to Gulfport to take her grandmother, Leretta Dixon Turnbough, out to dinner. They were in a restaurant talking about the time her grandmother's brother, Hubert, met Al Capone when the gangster took a boat full of people out to Ship Island to gamble. Trethewey said a woman from a nearby table came over and said: "'There's something else you need to know about Ship Island.'"

The woman told her about the black soldiers.

from The Associated Press: Poet Revives Neglected History

In "The Forgetting," [Robert] Pinsky begins with the acknowledgment that "The forgetting I notice most as I get older is really a form of memory:/The undergrowth of things unknown to you young, that I have forgotten." To read this and the other poems in the book is to see how individual memory flows into cultural memory.

from The Boston Globe: Poems of vitality and mortality

In the midst of admiring the Polish writer Adam Zagajewski in his essay collection, [Adam] Kirsch reflects, "Here (in the United States) poetry is such a minor, sidelined pursuit that its practitioners seldom even consider the possibility that their art has a duty to a larger cause. . . . The moral crisis of Eastern Europe under Communism gave poetry an urgency and stature it can never have in the United States, where it is largely a hobby confined to writing workshops."

from San Francisco Chronicle: 'The Modern Element' lauds some poets, takes others to task

[George] Oppen rejected both these strategies as self-congratulatory, untestable: "We must cease to believe in secret names and unexpected phrases which will burst the world." Without fanfare, he refused the notion that a poet could fulfill his social responsibilities by writing any kind of poem, and neither did this refusal engender any contempt for poetry.

"Is it more important to produce art or to take political action," he asks in the daybooks.

from The Nation: A Test of Poetry

For [Paul] Durcan, no sacred cow is beyond his satiric reach, which makes him rare in a country where reverential lip-service is so often obsequiously paid to the "great tradition".

These poems describing his mother's early life, marriage, loyalty to husband and especially her troubled eldest son, and finally her decline into old age and Alzheimer's, are very moving.

from The Guardian: A sharp and subtle voice

Their eyes might come across the words on the page, but they would create no frisson of recognition: "Casting a dim religious light"; "What hath night to do with sleep?"; "New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ large"; "They also serve who only stand and waite"; "Better to reign in Hell than serve in heaven"; "Farewell remorse, all good to me is lost?/Evil be thou my good"; "O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon"; "Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail?/Or knock the breast".

from Telegraph: Why Milton needs restoring to glory

But [Germaine] Greer draws too sharp a contrast with life in the villages around Stratford. Tudor market towns were part of the countryside. Cows were milked there; butter, cheese and eggs would not, as she suggests, have been brought to Mary but purchased after a few minutes’ walk to the marketplace; Greer is not right about there being bakeries in every street: most families still had their own bread oven.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Germaine Greer and Mrs Shakespeare

But hidden in the poem was Mr [Saw] Wai's message about the regime's 74-year-old senior general, Than Shwe. In Burmese, the word for million is "Than" while the word for gold is "Shwe".

Myat Khaing, the editor of Love Journal, told journalists that he had been unaware of the poem's hidden meaning. It was published beneath a drawing of a heart with an arrow through it and the words, "I love you".

from The Independent: Secret message in Valentine's verse lands Burmese poet in prison

[Paul Ursell] said: "What I'm doing is perfectly peaceful but the council sees it as antisocial behaviour.

"They've confiscated my intellectual work. It's like the cultural revolution under Chairman Mao."

Mr Ursell, from Woolwich, used to set up his display of poems on Bankside where he would recite them to passing tourists and give out copies.

from South London Press: Poetic licence required . . .

Great Regulars

"It's sad," she [Marianne Keddington-Lang] says of life with the OHS [Oregon Historical Society] Press. "I loved it, and I felt like we still had work to do. There aren't that many opportunities for those kind of regional history books to be published. There are bright spots and new presses in town like Tin House and Hawthorne Books, but publishing memoirs and literature is not the same as publishing history."

from Jeff Baker: The Oregonian: The State of Northwest Publishing

Good luck with that, we opened the door to those spooks decades ago and never bothered to close it. The Washington Post claims that the Special Forces are also desperate for a good old South Asia tourist experience and have kindly offered to come to Pakistan and undertake the task of training our armed forces. The fact that we have the seventh-largest army in the world, and one that seems to be doing their job just fine, doesn't concern anyone. Shouldn't it?

from Fatima Bhutto: The News International Pakistan: The New Year

The conflict remains ongoing; are artistic responses to it premature? Is it possible for a man [i.e. Brian Turner] so intimately involved in a war to avoid glorifying or pitying those also caught up in it? Well, the jury's still out on the first question, but when it comes to the second, the answer is an unequivocal yes.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Out of conflict

Last week, AL Kennedy's novel, Day, was named by Costa as their book of the year, beating Simon Sebag Montefiore's biography of Stalin, Jean Sprackland's poetry collection Tilt, Catherine O'Flynn's debut What Was Lost and Ann Kelley's novel for children The Bower Bird to the overall prize.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: theblogbooks: Podcast: AL Kennedy

" . . . I've had some bad times and I'm not too well now, so I suppose I have reasons to be pessimistic, but even now, in the last part of my life, what's there is still something I can be glad of, and use. There are very good reasons for thinking things are OK. And I go on doing that." [--Edwin Morgan]

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Zest and grit

It was recently announced by the university library in Heidelberg that a printed book in its possession contains a marginal note, handwritten in October 1503, confirming that Leonardo was at work on a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo. This is taken as proof of the traditional identity of the sitter for the Mona Lisa. Vasari, it turns out, was right. Leonardo's portrait shows the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, a known historical figure. The Italian title, La Gioconda, means both "the happy woman" and the wife of Signor Giocondo.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Portrait of a lady

"It seems to be easier for John Updike to stifle a yawn than to refrain from writing a book," he wrote about his short-story collection Licks of Love.

On a cold, windy day in Cambridge, Massachusetts, [James] Wood doesn't disavow these statements.

from John Freeman: The Times: John Freeman on fearsome literary critic, James Wood

Because of the way Milton handles the theme in this sonnet, the reader will realize that the speaker pursues the issue in a compartmentalized way as in the Elizabethan (also called Shakespearean or English) sonnet; therefore, a discussion based on quatrains/couplet is in order.

In the first quatrain, the speaker portrays his concern that he is going blind and worries that his "one talent," his writing, may suffer.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Milton's Blindness

Even if the beloved removes to a far planet, the lover can follow in thought.

This speaker is quite taken with the speed of thought, and by wishing his body had such powers, he begins to realize the efficacy of the creative powers inherent in thought. He finds a contradiction, but also a paradox, but waits for the next quatrain to resolve its mystery.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 44

And when the man on the roof opposite vanishes, we could draw the conclusion that he was possibly imprisoned (and tortured) as a consequence of living in a country under siege.

While this is only conjecture, we know that he is an artist who, by the end of the poem, can no longer paint.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: An infatuation killed by reality

Poem: "Opinion" by Baron Wormser, Subject Matter: Poems.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of January 28, 2008

I've written about the pleasures of poetry that offers us vivid scenes but which lets us draw our own conclusions about the implications of what we're being shown. The poet can steer us a little by the selection of details, but a lot of the effect of the poem is in what is not said, in what we deduce. Lee McCarthy is a California poet, and here is something seen from across the street, something quite ordinary yet packed with life.

Santa Paula

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 148

Not my soon-to-be ex-wife, surely. Was I going to invent an ideal lover as Petrarca had his Laura? Was I going to use the memory of a former lover or the haunting image of someone I had briefly met and barely spoken to as Dante had done with Beatrice in the "Vita Nuova"? Perhaps the solution would come to me as I wrote.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Sonnet form elevates poetry with structure, rhythym

At the same time he was writing "In a Station" he [Ezra Pound] was also writing a lot of verse that was old-fashioned and formulaic. In principle, he declared that poetry ought to be concrete and immediate; in practice, and in the "Cantos" especially, he often wrote poems so allusive and erudite that to understand them you had to be as well-read as Pound was.

from Charles McGrath: The New York Times: Il Miglior Fabbro

Meanwhile, Tibetan dancers are being trained to repeat Beijing's official line to the international community during the Olympics, the source said.

"They were told that they will perform Tibetan cultural dances in Beijing during the Olympics but in reality they are being trained to condemn His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] and propagate to the international community at the Olympics that they are happy under Chinese rule," a Tibetan source said.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: China Cracks Down on Tibetan Buddhism Ahead of Olympics

In myth, a hero is a totem animal--bull or dragon or bear--and resembles or becomes that animal. So Jay Parini, remembering his mother's storm-dark stories about crows, associates her power with the storm, and with those dark, powerful birds:

The Crow-Mother Tells All

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

by Belinda Subraman

"The implausible still interests me.
I am amused
when someone states
an interviewee is insane or mislead"

Posted on January 24, 2008

For the Critic of Ideas

from Donna Snyder: Newspaper Tree: Poetry: For the Critic of Ideas

by Andrew Hudgins

In the Arboretum

from The Atlantic Monthly: Poetry: In the Arboretum

by Stephen Sandy

Sea Chest

from The Atlantic Monthly: Poetry: Sea Chest

The fuss is that these poets who insulate themselves consciously (you can't blame the subconscious ones) are often the same poets complaining about the pathetically small audience for poetry.

Here's the deal. You can't consciously insulate yourself with senselessness and then bemoan the fact that people don't read poems--the poems you are purposefully excluding them from. You cannot have it both ways.

from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Poetry for the People

Incident by Jane Griffiths

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Incident by Jane Griffiths

by Glen Enloe

The aura of the oak

from The Kansas City Star: "Rainstorm in Winter": A poem by Glen Enloe

by Jean Valentine

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Coyote

The Future
by Billy Collins

from The New Yorker: Poetry: The Future

[by Don Colburn]
Snow is falling everywhere, even up [. . .]

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Angelica M. Bratsis

Somewhere in the World Right Now

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Angelica M. Bratsis]

[by John J Nyhan]
An Agenda for Love?

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: An Agenda for Love?

[by Judy Curtis]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Reflections

While still clearly influenced by the heady surrealism which dominated so much of his early work, these poems increasingly reflect a preoccupation with the terrible events of our times. They are deeply moral, while not being cloyingly so; where [Charles] Simic can use a word, a phrase, an image to subtly explore or delineate a particular circumstance or event, he does.

from Powells: Review-A-Day: Sixty Poems by Charles Simic

"Body of Book"
By Rachel Hadas

from Slate: "Body of Book" --By Rachel Hadas

Poetic Obituaries

A Ledbury man who wrote for the Spectator magazine is to have the honour of a memorial service at an Oxford University college.

Godfrey Bullard, who was 78, died in November at Hereford Hospital but had just managed to make last-minute proof corrections to his second collection of humorous verse Mingled Measure, which came out this week.

from Ledbury Reporter: Farewell to an amazing person

[Ginny Bundy] recalls that her parents' greatest love was music and she inherited their talent. She sang with a band while still in high school and her beautiful voice was always in demand. She also was a great poet and composed poems for all occasions.

from The News-Herald: Virginia M. Bundy

As recently as Monday, noted Nancy Deutsch, who leads a writing group Mr. [Francis] Clay participated in for many years, he was laughing and reading his poetry for an audience of 300 seniors.

Mr. Clay's initial four-year stint with Waters included a 1960 appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival - the first by a blues performer - preserved on the "Live at Newport" album.

from San Francisco Chronicle: Francis Clay--star blues drummer--dies at 84

Glynda Cox, a co-owner of Chicago House, the long-closed but fabled downtown Austin coffeehouse and performance venue, died Sunday at home in Austin. She was 64.

"We suspect a cardiac event," said her partner, Peg Miller. "It was peaceful ... for her."

While nearby Sixth Street grew rowdier during the 1980s and '90s, Cox and Miller kept the quiet, soulful Chicago House alive in a two-story building on Trinity Street.

from The Austin American-Statesman: Longtime Chicago House co-owner Glynda Cox, 1943-2008

Edith [Mary Essex] was also a poet, with two small locally published books to her credit. The poems, often humorous, were about the seasons, nature, and her neighbors. Like the small community she lived in, Edith is now gone. In January 1996, during a frigid winter storm, Edith evidently got up during the night to put more wood on the fire and fell.

from Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Living Simply: Creating a New Life Off the Grid

Richard [Gomm] also compiled and wrote the first word anticipation computer program, to help him with his studies. He married Penny Morgan and the couple were living in Cirencester when he died.

One of Richard's poems:

Thinking of You in Switzerland . . .

from Gloucestershire Echo: 'Our Son Had a Wonderful Life'

Eddie [Graham] was a talented artist who spent a good deal of time each year making colorful cards with poems he wrote and giving them out for major holidays, as well as making beautiful collages for people's birthdays. He made hobbyhorses for kids on the block and saved the newspapers for neighbors every day.

from The Villager: Edward L. Graham, 62, the 'Mayor of E. Fourth St.'

Qazi Izhar used to be recognised in Pakistan with reference to his profound association with literature and poetry. He had produced eight compilations in Sindhi and Urdu poetry.

He was a great social worker and kept himself engaged in social welfare activities even after his retirement as Assistant Director Social Welfare.

from Associated Press of Pakistan: Noted poet Qazi Izhar passed away

"If my son did something wrong, he should pay, but not with his life," Oscar Martinez, 52, said [of Oscar Andres Martinez] at the family's Woodbridge home. "He was a poet, a writer and an athlete. He loved nature. He was never under any circumstances [violent]."

The Orange County District Attorney's Office is conducting an investigation into the shooting.

from Potomac News: Family wants answers in son's shooting

[Dr. Samuel Maxwell Plaut] loved to write poetry and sent her many poems during their courtship, his daughter recalled.

After going to medical school at the University of Colorado, he did his residency with the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

It was a mutual friend from his residency days who encouraged him to come out to San Bernardino.

from San Bernadino County Sun: Doctor 'treated . . . patients like family'

Bodhi [Bodhisattva Sherzer-Potter] was also partial to filmmaking and dreamed of attending film school. She penned her thoughts, philosophies and poems in a journal every day and had a profoundness uncommon for a girl her age, said her mother, Leah Sherzer.

from San Bernadino County Sun: Not-guilty pleas made in slayings

[The Tamarack Review] was also the most influential of the many influential projects in [Robert] Weaver's long, creative career as coach, guide and cheerleader for the best writers of the time--Alice Munro and Mordecai Richler, Al Purdy and Hugh Garner, and many more.

Weaver's day job for all of his adult life was at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where he served as literature's ambassador to radio.

from National Post: The best friend the Canadian short story ever had

[Keith Wilson] had aspirations of becoming a professional rapper but most recently talked of becoming a pediatrician. He had four sisters and a stepbrother and expressed the importance of family through poems he wrote, she [Keith's mother Rochonta Blackhawk] said.

from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Mother of boy killed in crash professes no ill will


News at Eleven

In a forthcoming review to be published in March in Parnassus: Poetry in Review, an American poetry journal, Mr. [William] Logan writes: "Obliged though readers must be for this unknown Frost, the transcription is a scandal. To read this volume is to believe that Frost was a dyslexic and deranged speller, that his brisk notes frequently made no sense, that he often traded the expected word for some fanciful or perverse alternative."

But Mr. [Robert] Faggen suggests that Frost, who died in 1963, did often employ "odd spellings" in the notebooks.

from The New York Times: Editing of Frost Notebooks in Dispute

In the diorama battles between high and low, cooked and raw, there's no doubt of [Geoffrey] Hill's loyalties--you don't write on Holbein, on Blake, on Burke, on Handel without staking your claim in cold didactic ground. What to make, then, of his offhanded exclamation that "Things are not that bad. / H. Mirren's super"? So, Hill watches "Prime Suspect." Is he secretly boogieing to Eminem and P. Diddy? Not quite yet--but he talks about "lyric mojo."

from The New York Times: Living With Ghosts

Sam Porpora, a former church historian who led the fight to preserve the cemetery, claimed last summer that he cooked up the idea of the Poe toaster in the 1970s as a publicity stunt.

"We did it, myself and my tour guides," Porpora, a former advertising executive, said in August. "It was a promotional idea."

Porpora said someone else has since "become" the Poe toaster.

from KFWB News 980: Controversy Doesn't Deter 'Poe Toaster' From Annual Visit to Edgar Allan's Grave

I can't speak for others, but reading her [Nasra Al Adawi's] poems was like balm to a wound in my spirit. Hearing understanding from the voice of a stranger is an incalculable gift and one that I'll always treasure. I can't help but believe that the women to whom she has read these and other poems receive the same presents of hope and understanding that I received.

from Blogcritics: Brave Faces by Nasra Al Adawi

Sometimes he [Robert Alter] merely inverts the King James phrases. 'For I am poor and needy' (86) becomes 'for lowly and needy am I'; 'The sea is his, and he made it' (95) turns into 'His is the sea and He made it'; or similarly, 'Thy way is in the sea' (77) is now 'In the sea was Your way.' There are inversions on nearly every page and after a while, wonder, one does, if it's not the swamp of Yoda the Jedi Master we're in.

from London Review of Books: Praise Yah

His reputation rests today partly in the hands of the so-called Language poets, who find in [Louis] Zukofsky's brilliant subversions of syntax, word games and indeterminacy (his poem, after all, is called "A," not "The") an augury of their own methods. But "A" is not about anything as simple as "language" or "life": it is a poem about working on "A"--about the daily elations and impediments of an artist who sought, over the course of decades, to make something really hard really good.

from The New York Times: Alpha Poet

In Civil Engineer, the steady rhyme scheme mirrors disaster as seen through the lens of a by-the-book engineer:

A dense mist grips the mangled girders, a body bag or shroud

for the protruding beams, angled in unlikely shapes that crowd

into the water, pursuing the drowned

heart of the bridge. Efficiency our motto in engineering. No acting, nothing clowned.

Regionally, and for others interested in the event itself, Falsework [by Gary Geddes] is a very important artistic document--half creative product, half official narrative--and should be bought for every shelf in Vancouver.

from The Globe and Mail: A bridge too frail

[Anna] Beer's account of all this is vigorous, well researched and primed with piquant detail. How you prepare the heads of executed felons for display (answer: parboil them in bay salt and cumin seed to prevent putrefaction and to stop birds eating them) is not, for example, advice you come across in every biography.

But, by comparison, Milton's poetry gets little coverage.

from The Sunday Times: Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer and Patriot by Anna Beer

At last the great Shakespearean drama has begun. It moves from "Sylvia" to "Dearest darling Sylvia" and "Darling Sylvia Puss-Kish Ponky" and on to "Dearest Sylvia kish and puss and ponk" to settle finally at "Dearest Sylvia"--and then it is over.

"Sylvia killed herself on Monday morning," begins his letter bluntly to one of his closest friends. It is shocking in its rational, descriptive flatness.

from The Sydney Morning Herald: Letters Of Ted Hughes

No more than these writers should [Rabbie] Burns be forced to represent nationalism or rude ideology--that is not the way in which he is political, but more, much more, in the subtle manners of his comprehension when it comes to human freedom. Burns spoke in ways that not only defend the rights of the human imagination, but which embody that freedom in the manner of its defence.

from The Guardian: The people's poet

"Most of the kids were very remorseful," he [Sgt. Lee Hodsden] said. "Some were crying. . . . Two of them were indifferent to it, thought it was a big joke."

Hodsden said the parents of those involved were cooperative.

"I think a lot of how they found out their children were involved was at the supper table," said Middlebury Police Officer Scott Fisher, MUHS's school resource officer. "I would get calls, pass information along to Sgt. Hodsden."

from Rutland Herald: 28 face charges in Frost vandalism

Great Regulars

Books, Inq is a blog produced by Frank Wilson, the literary editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, which assiduously points you in the direction of countless literary links. Jenny Diski ( ) and Susan Hill ( ) produce good examples of writer's blogs, though the latter recently made the rooky blogger's mistake of including pictures of her cats.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Times: Bryan Appleyard on art on the web

Waterboarding was a favourite of the fanatics running the Spanish Inquisition in the fifteenth century Europe and now it's a Gitmo specialty.

American army officials have been loath to call waterboarding a form of torture. They dance around the description and say that while it's surely uncomfortable, it can't really be called torture. That's what a democracy is all about, I suppose.

from Fatima Bhutto: The News International Pakistan: The road to Guantanamo

[Charles] Nicholl himself acknowledges that it was [AL] Rowse who first made full use of the notebooks of the doctor or magus Simon Forman.

It is through these records of consultations that we learn such facts of daily life as that, on September 10 1597, Marie Mountjoy lost in the street two rings and a French crown piece. She visited Forman in order to see if, by his astrological calculations, he could discover the present whereabouts of her property.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Bard times

Nevertheless, the speaker, before her hard-hitting yet softly-applied critique, makes it clear that winter holds much to be honored; after all the season is "Generic as a Quarry/And hearty--as a Rose." It generates enough to be considered a repository like a stone quarry that can be mined for all types of valuable rocks, gems, and granite.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Dickinson's Winter Welcome

The speaker in Shakespeare Sonnet 43, "When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see," claims that he sees best when he "sleeps," or visits the astral, mental world, because it is then that he experiences his beloved--the poetry muse.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 43

Don't judge her [Joyce Carol Oates] on the basis of, say, six titles, or 10, or even 24. Keep reading and her talent will emerge eventually.

That approach is like the one a relative of mine used to find the Brazil nut piece in the box of chocolates, taking bites out of all the other pieces until the right candy was found.

from Bob Hoover: Post-Gazette: Have you read your Oates today?

[Wordsworth] tells us that his beliefs might be "from heaven sent", for in his mind that must be where nature herself originates. And, when his appreciation of his surroundings leads him to thoughts of "what man has made of man" by way of contrast, he asks us "Have I not reason to lament?"

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: Happiness through nature

But it was in poetry that she [Muriel Spark] first made her name. From 1947–49 she was editor of the journal Poetry Review and her collection The Fanfarlo (1952) preceded her first published fiction. One of the poems in that book, "Chrysalis" was published in the TLS in June 1951.


from Mick Imlah: The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Chrysalis

Poem: "How To Kill" by Keith Douglas, from Keith Douglas: The Complete Poems.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of January 21, 2008

Those who bemoan the self-absorption of the postliterate generation will be happy to know that before the self-indulgent, amateurish blog there was the self-indulgent, amateurish log. "We understood that in our own way we'd performed an act of Zen," the book's last pages declare. The problem is that my Zen is just peachy; to me, your Zen is a snooze.

from David Kirby: The New York Times: Pas de Deux

But how can poetry do this?

One way is to recite the bare facts, in the hope they will resonate with the reader. In a poem about Korea titled "On Visiting the DMZ at Panmunjom: a Haibun," and containing information about military and civilian deaths and quantities of ordnance expended in that war, [Robert] Hass writes, "There is no evidence that human beings have absorbed these facts, which ought, at least, to provoke some communal sense of shame."

from Karl Kirchwey: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Images of war, 'sweetness' of art

Our earliest recollections are often imprinted in our memories because they were associated with some kind of stress. Here, in an untitled poem, the Nebraska State Poet, William Kloefkorn, brings back a difficult moment from many years before, and makes a late confession:

I stand alone at the foot

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 147

He finds a gar, a trash fish, imprisoned in a decorative pond. Its displacement resonates with "meat packing plants"--what hunting has become within a city landscape. At the end, as [John] Moritz turns his thoughts to poetry--Dante and Ezra Pound--he connects movement of consciousness to the gar's thrashing: all fight against confinement.


from Denise Low: Ad Astra Poetry Project: John Moritz (1946-2007)

Their stories are at least self-sufficiently interesting and often actually amazing, but their special claim on our attention has to do with the ways they allow us to apprehend symbolic values at the same time as we enjoy actual events.

This combination of figurative and factual power is something that all creative artists aspire to--which helps to explain why one of the best-known myths, the story of Orpheus, should have been so often retold through the centuries.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: Foreword

All we can say for sure is that in the late 1630s Milton "almost single-handedly created the identity of the writer as a political activist, [and] of writing as a political vocation"--developing his remarks in "Lycidas" into a fully armed assault on church corruption, and then adding a pamphlet on divorce which immediately became (and to some extent remains) notorious for its insistence that "meet and happy conversation" rather than sexual fidelity be the foundation of a good marriage.

from Andrew Motion: The Guardian: The mystery of genius

Imagine the scene: an army tears through the streets of an ancient city, slaughtering every man, woman and child in its way. One soldier is about to charge into the nearest house to slit the throats of the occupants when he notices a scrap of paper pinned to the door. Tearing it off, he discovers a sonnet has been written on it.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Today: A Reading of 'When the Assault was Intended for the City' by John Milton

In its apparent simplicity and urbane candor, its detail, its allegiance to a past that is transitory and lost except in memory, these lines about a past "Appalachia downtown" remind me of the traditional Chinese poetry [Charles] Wright admires and often evokes. For instance, here is Burton Watson's translation of a poem by the 11th-century poet Su Tung-p'o, "Rhyming with Tzu-yu's 'At Mien-ch'ih, Recalling the Past' (1061)":

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

As is the Christian convention, [Pierre Jean] Jouve collocates language and metaphysical experience. Both are, in a sense, forms of thought. According to "Langue III", near death "one seeks the meaning and the letter and the spirit: the meaning is dear to God: the meaning is what reaches the God-consciousness".

from Fiona Sampson: The Guardian: The sunken piano

In every sense of the word he [C W Damodaram Pillai] was a great Pioneer and worthy Precursor of Dr. U.V. Swaminatha Iyer in the field of retrieval, re-editing and reprinting of ancient Tamil Classics.

Damodaram Pillai's most notable achievement was the editing of Tholkappiyam with Nachinarkiniyar's commentary. Tholkappiyam is generally considered to be the most ancient complete and whole single work in Tamil now extant.

from V Sundaram: News Today: A pioneer in Tamil and Tamil literature from Jaffna

[Edna St. Vincent Millay] was born in Maine, of a long line of Maine families, and the sea coast provides her with many of her early images--of anchors, shells, ships and sea-farers, but there was also a certain distance from her milieu:

"Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:

Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand."

from René Wadlow's The Flutes of Dionysus: Newropeans Magazine: Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892--1950)

You might just find yourself reading every last piece in the book, even those about poets you've never heard of. Most of all, you're likely to begin sensing that poetry is less a literary activity than a mode of being, and that you want the same thing [Christian] Wiman does: a "complete saturation of the actual . . . not merely my imagination trying to attach itself to reality."

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: A poet reconciling verse and living

[Maram al-Massri's] work has appeared in many international anthologies and been translated into French, English, Spanish, Corsican, Serbian and Italian. The following poems, taken from "A Red Cherry on a White-tiled Floor," have been translated into English by Khaled Mattawa. He is the author of three books of poems. He teaches in the M.F.A. Creative Writing Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


from Good Times Weekly: Poetry Corner: Poetry by Maram al-Massri

The River Road

by Sean O'Brien

from The Guardian: Saturday Poem: The River Road

By Jon Herbert Arkham

[Sea of Glass]

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Sea of Glass': A poem by Jon Herbert Arkham


by John Hollander

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Fidget

Science Fiction

by Les Murray

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Science Fiction


by Ciaran Carson

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Through

Listen to Maya Pindyck read her poems

Long Distance


Tin (Please) Is Real

from Nextbook: Three Poems by Maya Pindyck

[by Ann Staley]

At the back door on Church Street a note reads,

from The Oregonian: Poetry

By Malique Daniels

The sky, a big blue hot air balloon balancing over the sea

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Malique Daniels]

By Alfred G. Wagner

Pleasant Valley School

Zodiac Signs

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Alfred G. Wagner]

[by Bob Moore]


from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Justice

[by Lucie Therrien]


from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Stilettos

Fortunately for English-language readers, Joan Margarit's poems are getting easier to find. Tugs in the Fog (Bloodaxe), translated by Anna Crowe, is a great introduction: and Barcelona publisher Proa has also produced his Barcelona Amor Final in Catalan, Spanish and English, with black and white photographs, an evocative love song to the city.

My Ode to Barcelona

The city, wherever you go it will go.


from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"Food Lion, Winchester, Tennessee"

By Joe Osterhaus

from Slate: "Food Lion, Winchester, Tennessee"--By Joe Osterhaus

Poetic Obituaries

Yolanda met Eric [Barker] at a dance club seven years ago. He wrote her poems and surprised her with gifts. A year later, they married.

Yolanda Barker was five years younger than Eric and came to depend upon him. "I couldn't make a decision without him," she said.

He knew his way around the kitchen and knew how to cook food the kids would eat. He baked cakes for their birthdays because he believed store-bought wasn't "from the heart," his widow said.

from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Slain officer wanted to give his kids a father

After his death in 1982, she [Myrtle Butcher] began writing poems as part of the grieving process, and they were published in several American poetry anthologies, according to her daughter Maxine Nichols of West Lafayette, Ind.

Butcher was chosen for the Champion Windows ads after she had the windows installed at her home.

from The Enquirer: Myrtle Butcher seen in Champion Window ads

"Death comes as a new birth to Eternity. Live and love, then--Heaven is now," runs the last line of the poem that Fr. Paul DC Cunanan composed last New Year's eve.

On Saturday, January 19, 2008, at around 3:00 PM, he faced what he called "a new birth to Eternity", as he

from Philipine Information Agency: Davao's Fr. Paul Cunanan, 68

Georgia Frontiere was a chorus girl, a club singer, a philanthropist and a creative eccentric who wrote poetry and liked astrology.

She dined with movie stars and sang at Joseph P. Kennedy's mansion. At various times, she owned homes in London, Los Angeles, New York, Arizona and her native St. Louis.

from St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Georgia Frontiere: 'An extraordinary life'

After retiring, Mrs [Barbara] Hill took a creative writing course at Dewsbury College, where she developed her interest in poetry and prose.

She went on to write two collections of stories and poems, Dips and Rainbow Thoughts, which went on sale at Sue Carter's bookshop, Crackenedge Lane.

from Dewsbury Reporter: Tributes are paid to the prolific 'Dewsbury poet' Barbara Hill, 73

[Nikola] Kljusev has been a member of the council of the governing center-right VMRO-DPMNE party since 1997.

During his lifetime he published numerous studies on economics as well as several books of his own poetry and essays.

from Balkan Investigative Reporting Network: Macedonia's First PM Dies

Andy Palacio--a man who has worn the hats of teacher, singer, guitarist, drummer, composer, producer and poet--fell sick just over a week ago. On Saturday, he was diagnosed at the Belize Medical Associates with high blood pressure, and days later, his cholesterol level was found to be at dangerous levels.

from Amandala: R.I.P. Andy P

A bright girl, she [Chrissy Predham Newman] was involved in theatre in school, liked writing poetry and was named an Ontario scholar for having achieved at least an 80 per cent average in every high school subject.

Newman was involved in caring for children and the elderly at a young age, spending time babysitting and volunteering at a local nursing home.

from The Western Star: One year later: no one arrested, charged in Chrissy Predham Newman murder

Mr. [James LeVoy] Sorenson also was a poet and composer of LDS hymns, publishing some of them in a book titled, "Just Love the People, the World Is our Family."

After beginning his career selling pharmaceuticals to physicians for Upjohn Co. in Salt Lake City, Mr. Sorenson started buying real estate in the Salt Lake area. In 1957 he co-founded Deseret Pharmaceutical, and the company became the foundation for the establishment of Becton Dickinson Vascular Access.

from Deseret Morning News: Inventor James L. Sorenson dies at 86

[Hone Tuwhare] won two Montana Book Awards for poetry: in 1998 for Shapeshifter, and in 2002 for Piggy Back Moon.

He was honoured as the Te Mata Poet Laureate in 1999, and held Auckland University, Hocken Library, and Burns Fellowships. In 2005 his poems were set to music by artists as diverse as Don McGlashan, Goldenhorse, and Whirimako Black.

from The Epoch Times: Tribute to Great NZ Poet Hone Tuwhare


News at Eleven

Though the mood and spirit of these poems are my own, they are formally modelled on poems by Herbert: in the cases of "Host", "Flash" and "This" on "Love (III)", "Virtue" and "Prayer (I)"--some of the loveliest of his poems, and among my favourites. One of the oddities of "Prayer (I)" is that it has no main verb, and I have kept to this feature.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Three poems inspired by George Herbert

From the first excruciating moments of infatuation with the woman he called "Lesbia," through the torrid transports of physical love, to the betrayals that leave him stricken, [Gaius] Catullus told it all, and, in so doing, did more than anyone to create the form we recognize today as the love story.

from Los Angeles Times: Introduction by Jeffrey Eugenides: to 'My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead: Great Love Stories, From Checkhov to Munro'

At home, Bill [William Stafford] would rise at 4 a.m. every day to take a walk and write. He was very private with his creative process. Once, he showed Dorothy [Stafford] some poetry and she added a few corrections.

"He never showed me again," she said with a smile.

from Lake Oswego Review: The Secret to A Long life: Poetry, Friends and Family

Before postmodernism, says [Robert] Hass, many poets assumed they did know the thoughts of animals, because their worldviews were shaped by their religious beliefs. "Poets went to nature because they thought of nature as a divine book written in divine hand," he says. "I don't think that metaphor is dead anymore, but the feeling is that our sacred books and churches told us what divine was, and then we read it into nature."

from The Jerusalem Post: Natural poet

"Give me one good reason for reason", remonstrates a birch tree in "Scientists Have Discovered". [Sam] Gardiner experiments with Wordsworth's wise passivity in the face of nature, but finds the human-to-nonhuman gap too wide to bridge: "Trees are simply green things without thoughts/that stand in our way," he writes admiringly in "Believe It"; "Only by becoming brainless can we understand them."

from The Guardian: The lab rat's guide to happiness

At a reading at Amherst College's Ford Memorial Chapel, for example, in a previously uncollected typescript, we find him [Robert Frost] musing: "I was thinking the other day I could tear these books, tear the leaves out, and I could lay the poems pretty nearly to cover the little thirty-acred farm. I could find places where every single one of the poems took its rise. I could make a little map of the farm; in fact one of my children made such a map and from her incomplete work could locate as many as twenty to thirty of the poems."

from The Guardian: Chicken feed for the soul

Yet [Hershel] Parker shows convincingly that [Herman] Melville was immersed in thinking about poetry, aesthetics and the lives of poets. Perhaps more important, he reveals that if Melville wanted to engage the loftiest or the deepest matters, then poetry, meaning verse, was the appropriate cultural form in which it should be done. His first published book of poems was "Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War," the title suggestive of art, music and, grimly, other kinds of fragments.

from Los Angeles Times: The great American author didn't write poetry by accident, Parker argues, but entirely by plan.

[Louis] Zukofsky is neither an easy poet nor one you can warm up to immediately. But greater familiarity with what he does--more and more readings of his shorter poems--helps to crack the seeming code, and then you can begin to hear this special music, and possibly tackle some of the longer works.

from The Jewish Exponent: 'Vessels of Light'

In 1948 or thereabouts, [Marjorie] El-Kadi fell into a brief orbit around the man who once dismissed Walt Whitman as an "exceedingly nauseating pill." Invariably, Pound wore a hospital robe and a towel wrapped in a turban around his head. "He had a nervous twitch," she says, and he "turned a pencil over and over with his fingers."

Pound "wanted me to be his political secretary," and--dazzled by his celebrity, albeit dubious--El-Kadi ran errands for him.

from Herald-Tribune: War fuels the muse of a poet for peace

And it suggests an alternative to imperialism and violence--[Daniel] Berrigan's alternative. "Seed hope. Flower peace."

[Adrianna] Amari's project resonated with the publishing staff at Apprentice House for many reasons. [Gregg] Wilhelm, [Kevin] Atticks, and the students believed in the artistic merit of the book and were excited about the support it had already received. Not only had [Howard] Zinn written the book's introduction, but Martin Sheen and Kurt Vonnegut had read and praised the manuscript.

from Baltimore City Paper: University Press

But neither man was carrying a horn, or any instrument, when they arrived Tuesday at the Jazz Standard club on East 27th Street. The nation's current poet laureate, the 69-year-old [Charles] Simic, and its former poet laureate, [Robert] Pinsky, were there to do their practiced thing, read poems. And while they'd share the stage with three jazz musicians, it was still undecided, two hours before showtime, whether the two groups would perform together. In the best jazz tradition, the night was going to be an improvisation.

from Los Angeles Times: Poets and jazz artists find rhythm and rhyme

Great Regulars

It was here she [Elizabeth Barrett Browning] produced the remarkable poem Casa Guidi Windows, a stirring response to the Florentine bid for freedom in the late 1840s. Casa Guidi lies on the junction next to the church of San Felice and just around the corner from the Pitti Palace and from its windows the Brownings could witness the swerving political fortunes of their adopted city.

from Charles Bainbridge: The Guardian: Elizabeth Barrett Browning's ode to Florence

[John Donne's] poems combine sensuality with intelligence--what we think of as metaphysical. Which is to say, they are passionate and meditative simultaneously. And, they are examples of poems, in Theodore Roethke's phrase (and Roethke adored Donne, by the way), that think by feeling.

Air and Angels

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: Poetry

Consolation is hard to come by in Will Stone's universe. His view of humanity, present as enfeebled victims or pitiless murderers, is grim, religion provides little in the way of solace ("the ashen Christ sags helpless/hooked like a haunch of meat"), and his landscapes are heavy with morbidity.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Light verse

The last 12 months in poetry have definitely belonged to Sean O'Brien. After winning the Forward prize for best collection an unprecedented third time in October, the poet was tonight named the winner of the 2007 TS Eliot prize, making him the first author ever to take the UK's two top poetry awards in the same year.

from Sarah Crown: The Guardian: Sean O'Brien wins unprecedented poetry double

Walter Bargen--a poet at home with writing in almost any style, from rural reveries to enigmatic surrealism--is the first poet laureate of Missouri.

His books include The Feast, in which some of the speakers, trapped in isolation, take on the persona of the biblical Jonah in the belly of the fish. In other works, such as the poem "Office of Forgetting," he is content to evoke nature, or the Midwestern seasons.

from John Mark Eberhart: The Kansas City Star: Missouri names its first poet laureate

"The goal," said [Robert] Henri, "is not making art. It is living a life. Those who live their lives will leave the stuff that is really art." To inspire this kind of spirit in his students, he used to read to them from Walt Whitman.

The Ashcan artists were often cartoonists and illustrators--they grew up in a golden age of newspaper art--as well as painters.

from James Fenton: The Guardian: Living a life

"It is good sometimes for poetry to disenchant us," he [Robert Hass] writes in "The Problem of Describing Trees," as if sick of it all.

But then what? Time and Materials, which recently won the National Book Award, seems to ask itself that question over and again: If not lovemaking, or the amber shiver of trees losing leaves, what are our elemental things? Is war the seasonal ritual to which we should become accustomed as our planet's seasons merge?

from John Freeman: Charleston City Paper: City Paper reviews the National Book Award winners in fiction and poetry

In the fourth stanza which is the second single couplet of the poem, the speaker claims that her fireworks display is so bright that it "shine[s] in the windows and light[s] up the trees." And then she says that this display comes from her hatred of the person to whom she is speaking.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Amy Lowell's 'Fireworks'

The speaker then speculates about the nature of loss, and he decides that if he loses that particular poem, he still wins because he has the ability to create others. If he loses the ability to create others, he would lose both that poem and any future poems he might create. And that loss would indeed result in his having a "cross" to bear.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Shakespeare Sonnet 42

In the second stanza, the speaker reports his affection for the simple act of waking up to the sounds of the city: "I love to be roused/From silent sleep/By the early hum/Of active-city drum." The colorful description of a city's rousing itself awake infuses what may seem to be merely a "hum-drum" experience with new interest and appeal.

from Linda Sue Grimes: Yogananda's 'City Drum'

(We often forget that some men suffer very real domestic abuse.)

Line by line, the poem describes a life of persecution in a landscape that has been wantonly vandalised in the name of "love", which we can clearly see is something else entirely.

from Frieda Hughes: The Times: Monday Poem: When love turns to abuse

"Father in the Railway Buffet" [by U. A. Fanthorpe], which appeared in the TLS on February 27, 1981, is a typically measured release of certain private tensions.

Father in the Railway Buffet

from Mick Imlah: The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: Father in the Railway Buffet

Poem: "The Very Rich Hours of the Houses of France" by David Kirby, from I Think I Am Going to Call My Wife Paraguay.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the week of January 14, 2008

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a new name for "shell shock," a term once applied only to military veterans. Here the poet Marvin Bell describes a group of these emotionally damaged soldiers, gathered together for breakfast. I'd guess that just about everybody who reads this column has known one or two men like these.

Veterans of the Seventies

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 146

Poetry can greatly enhance our emotional health and grant us an increased sense of well being. Poetry can strengthen the vital core of a quiet mind. It can calm our emotional turbulence and deepen our serenity of soul. In short, poetry can be an essential ingredient of our inner peace.

from Anthony Maulucci: Norwich Bulletin: Poetry can help us work through our darkest hours

The two categories overlap, strikingly so in the poems of James Schuyler, which are attentive to the evidence of the senses but with a distinctive personality. In "Evening," Schuyler emphasizes what he sees while also reflecting on it in his distinctive way:

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

There is much to be said for [Pierre] Teilhard [de Chardin]'s attempt to harmonize faith and science. The prologue to the Fourth Gospel refers to Christ as the Logos. [Christoph] Schönborn points out that the Greek word logos, while it does mean "word," can also mean "essential determining factor." In this respect, it has much in common with the Chinese word Tao; in fact, the Chinese translation of the Fourth Gospel begins with the phrase, "In the beginning was the Tao. . . ."

from Frank Wilson: Philadelphia Inquirer: A Catholic theologian on God and science

Out of the corner of the eye, and in and out of [Laurie] Byro's swooping time shifts, the Wild Fir is a baleful presence, possessive rather than protective, and jealously intrusive at moments of happiness or fulfilment.

from The Guardian: Poetry Workshop: After De la Mare

If your poem is slight, but it pleases you all the same, that's fine. If it's so slight that you feel it's pointless, put it to one side and start another. Of course, you may have to go out for another walk. This is starting to sound like a new year health programme as well as a writing exercise . . .

from The Guardian: Jean Sprackland's workshop

Rockface by Angela Leighton

from The Guardian: The Saturday poem: Rockface by Angela Leighton

by Michael Schiavo

Of Bedlam in its prairie pride. Of the roach that winds between the stars, triumphal. Of well-water served in garnet goblets. Of crusted penknife sitting on the pillow in the crib. [. . .]

from Guernica: Poetry: from The Mad Song

By Walter Bargen

from The Kansas City Star: Between the Lines: 'Consolation,' a poem by Walter Bargen

Fishing Around
by Robert Mezey

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Fishing Around

Old Marx
by Adam Zagajewski

from The New Yorker: Poetry: Old Marx

Poems by Sam Davis

An Age Old War

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

By Hannah Taggart

William Allen Middle School

The Greatest Love Ever

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Hannah Taggart]

By Cameron Verge

Pleasant Valley School


from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Your Poem: [by Cameron Verge ]

[by Joann Snow Duncanson]
City Planning

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: City Planning

[by Lincoln Edward Akerman]
The Marginal Way

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: The Marginal Way

[by Bob Moore]

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poetry on the Seacoast: The music of Bob Moore's words

Post-Holiday Blues is Gerry Stewart's first collection from Flambard Press.

Should you have a touch of the post-holiday blues yourself, exploring the work of a poet is a very good antidote.

As well as the beautiful title poem, others like this one will refresh your mental palate at the start of the new year.

Jeg Skal Aldri Gråte (I Shall Never Cry)

from The Scotsman: Poem of the Week

"My Young Mother"
Elvera Ryan (1911-2006)
By Michael Ryan

from Slate: "My Young Mother" --By Michael Ryan

Poetic Obituaries

Selim Al Deen was, again, an individual who went beyond the call of writing. As a teacher of drama at the university he worked for till the end of his life, he passed on to the young men and women under his tutelage the essential idea that Bengali history was necessarily underpinned by an understanding of the lyrical quality of the nation's poetry and the hard, prosaic facts of the lives of the people of Bangladesh. His satirical expositions of the social scene said it all.

from The Daily Star: A man of unbounded creativity

A medieval scholar and a poet and writer, Sister Consuelo Maria [Ahern] researched and wrote histories of her congregation and contributed book reviews and articles to the Catholic Historical Review. She was an editor of and contributor to the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion. It was published in 1979, and that year she presented a copy to Pope John Paul II.

from The Philadelphia Inquirer: Sister Consuelo Maria, 92, history professor

[Dani Simpson] Burch was a local artist and poet who formerly lived in Potter Valley. Her clay sculptures and funerary urns have been exhibited and sold in galleries in Sonoma, Marin, Lake and Mendocino counties, including the Grace Hudson Museum store in Ukiah.

from The Press Democrat: Lakeport artist found dead in suspicious circumstances

[Ashley] Cook, who previously had lived in Bridgeville and attended Chartiers Valley schools, moved to North Fayette Township and was a senior at West Allegheny, where she wrote a poetry book for her senior project.

from Elwood City Ledger: Teen critically injured in crash pronounced dead

Cousin Jason Emerson read from a poem written by [Meredith] Emerson at age 14, prefacing it by saying, "I don't think she would want us to be permanently bitter about what happened. She would want us to see the light in the darkness."

from Gainesville Times: Emerson memorial: 'Meredith's love shines down on you today'

From 1992 until his death, he invested in and managed residential rental properties.

True to his English-major roots, Mr. [Austin] Frum enjoyed poetry, fiction and history. He also liked local minor league baseball and George Washington University basketball.

He loved the outdoors.

from The Washington Post: Austin Frum, 74; Housing Lawyer

[Angel Gonzalez] also became a member of the literary movement Generation of 1950, which resisted the 1939-1975 regime of Franco.

Gonzalez, who went on to publish books of poetry and edited several anthologies, won the Prince of Asturias Award as well as a myriad of other honours in Spain, across Europe and in the U.S.

from CBC News: Spanish poet Angel Gonzalez dies

[Thelma Gooch] also enjoyed writing poetry and had poems published. In later years, she enjoyed activities at the New Horizon Center in Des Moines.

from Journal-Express/The Reminder: Thelma Gooch

Together they edited a publication for the Young Poets Project in Santa Fe.

[Deborah] Posen Hill had been a bankruptcy attorney in Eugene for several years.

from The Register-Guard: Freak accident takes life of lawyer

At the heart of Orgosolo's transformation from a hotbed of brigandry to a protest-art hub was Peppino Marotto, shepherd and bandit turned union organiser, poet and singer of shepherd songs inspired by the calls of animals and the sound of the wind.

from The Guardian: Vendetta fear after poet murdered

"He [Ian McDonald] was very gifted and had a natural ability to fix cars. He loved writing short stories and poetry too, and was good at oil painting. He liked creating things that had a meditative feel about them."

from South Manchester Reporter: Jail for drink driver who killed two

Jaleh Mohajer-Esfahani, who has died aged 86, was perhaps the last survivor of the 1946 intellectual gathering that launched the modernist movement in Persian poetry. The First Congress of Iran's Writers and Poets provided a springboard for a new generation of Iran's writers, inspired by the surrealist, free verse and modernist movements in France and the powerful wave of socialist ideals.

from The Guardian: Jaleh Mohajer-Esfahani

Andrés Henestrosa Morales, a prolific poet, essayist and journalist whose lyrical writings helped raise the cultural profile of Mexico's indigenous people, particularly the Zapotec Indians of southern Oaxaca state, and whose wide circle of friendships and intellectual partnerships included Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Langston Hughes, died Thursday at his Mexico City home after a months-long battle with pneumonia.

from Los Angeles Times: Andrés Henestrosa Morales, 101; writer promoted Zapotec Indian culture

[John O'Donohue] also saw that "a lot of suffering is just getting rid of dross in yourself, and lingering and hanging in the darkness is often--I say this against myself--a failure of imagination, to imagine the door into the light."

So it makes sense that O'Donohue's last book, To Bless the Space Between Us, would be nothing but invocations and blessings--a simple, how-to book that, in effect, takes him back to his father praying in the fields.

from The Huffington Post: John O'Donohue (1954-2008): Our New Friend on the Other Side

[Bill Purdie] was also a regular contributor to the Bucks Free Press with his letters, and an accomplished poet.

His son David, who owns a photography gallery in East Sussex, said: "He was a professional trouble maker--not in a nasty way--but he liked a bit of friction."

from Bucks Free Press: Political activist dies, aged 89

He was a gentle man, accepting of others, no matter who or what they were. Victor [Rodriguez] treated everyone with respect and didn't pass judgment.

In his spare time, he wrote his thoughts in the form of poetry penned in Spanish. And he read scores of history books.

from Orange County Register: Victor Rodriguez urged loved ones to be happy

"My son loved his two dogs, loved camping in Yosemite and climbing the Dome, and loved writing poetry and song lyrics.

"He was a gentle, loving man who never hurt anyone in his life. A big part of our family died with Kenny that night," she [Kenneth Russell's mother Joan Ahern] said.

from Los Angeles Daily News: Let's help police find a hit-run killer

Third-grader Alysha loved to draw. Fifth-grader Kendra loved to write poems and short stories.

As the girls' mother Marla told KMEG 14 in an exclusive interview, Kendra and Alysha [Suing] were inseparable.

from KMEG 14: Suing Sisters Laid to Rest on Friday

[George V.] Tsounis was a POW for 11 months after being shot down by antiaircraft artillery, receiving two flak wounds as the result of enemy fire. For several months he was listed as missing in action until he was discovered by the Red Cross in a stalag camp in Eastern Germany. He wrote poetry, read the Bible three times and a Greek Orthodox prayer book from the Holy Cross Seminary in Pomfret, Connecticut.

from The Queens Gazette: George Vlassios Tsounis, WW II Vet, Dies At Age 84

[Dr Aled Rhys Williams] was honoured in 1975 with the White Robe of the Gorsedd of Bards for his service to Wales, adopting the bardic name of Aled ap Steffan.

In 1964 he was awarded the chair at the Lampeter National Eisteddfod. His winning poem was entitled Y Pethau Bychan (The Small Things).

In recent years he was a valued member of the Tegeingl team of bards taking part in the popular BBC Radio Cymru Talwrn y Beirdd series.

from The Daily Post: Scholar, poet and broadcaster dies


July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008

IBPC is Sponsored by Web del Sol
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Suite 443
Washington, DC 20006
Web Designed by Mike Neff