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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments I just got around to reading the April 5 NY Times Book Review. There was an essay in it that I think some of you would enjoy. It's titled, Got Poetry? The author is Jim Holt

Though I've bought a few books with the idea to memorize poetry, I never got around to it...yet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/boo...

Here is a Amazon link for the book mentioned in the essay. Also here is a GR cover. If you click on the cover you will get the GR info.

Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud
http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Pleas...

Essential Pleasures A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud by Robert Pinsky


message 2: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 60 comments Alias Reader wrote: " Though I've bought a few books with the idea to memorize poetry, I never got around to it...yet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/books/... "


Alias, I keep meaning to come back and thank you for this post. Thank goodness for GR's search feature...

Anyway, I have a dozen poems I love that I never even thought to try to memorize, as I consider I have an awful memory for this sort of thing.. But the author of this article has inspired me, and I am setting out to memorize "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe, one of my faves.


message 3: by madrano (new)

madrano | 7645 comments Great start, Carol! That is a good, dramatic poem. Keep us posted on how it goes.

deborah


message 4: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments Excellent, Carol ! Happy to be your muse. :)

In the books on memory that I've read they mention 2 types of memorization. One is where the order doesn't matter. For example, memorizing the capitals of every state. The other is where sequence does matter. For example, memorizing the Presidents. I am currently trying to do this. I can do the first 10 -- on a good day ;)--

A good book on memory is: Your Memory by Higbee.
http://www.amazon.com/Your-Memory-How...

Your Memory How It Works and How to Improve It by Kenneth L. Higbee

As for poetry, the book I purchased was: Committed to Memory by Hollander.
http://www.amazon.com/Committed-Memor...

Committed to Memory by John Hollander


Sherry (sethurner) (sthurner) One place I used to like to go for poem to read aloud to students, and often to post on the old AOL boards, was Poetry 180, a site created by Billy Collins. The "180" is for 180 school days in an academic year. He occasionally changes out the poems, maybe when he finds ones he prefers, or maybe it has something to do with permissions. They're fun to read silently, or out loud.


message 6: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 28, 2009 08:28PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments I was glancing through a book titled:
Poem a Day: 366 Poems, Old and New, One for Each Day of the Year (Volume 1)
and thought we could use this thread to post poems.

Come To The Edge

Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It's too high !
COME TO THE EDGE !
And they came,
And he pushed,
and they flew.
.... Christopher Logue


And I had to post this one for Donna in Maryland

The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
... Alfred, Lord Tennyson



message 7: by Kriverbend (new)

Kriverbend | 28 comments I absolutely love this this thread...thank you, Alias...and for the Christopher Logue poem. I have a little volume of favorite poems that gets packed first whenever we travel. It was an "aha moment" when I found a different edition of the same little book in DH's books when we moved into our first apartment. No novels....he's not a fiction reader...but he introduced me to Kahlil Gibran.

Lois



message 8: by madrano (new)

madrano | 7645 comments Sherry mentioned the 180 poems link upthread. I think she was the one to introduce me to it and to Billy Collins's poetry. I can't find the one i wanted to share, it was about poetry but not that first one on the list of 180. While searching for it i found this one, which exemplifies his humor and appreciation for words.

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/readin...

Reading An Anthology Of Chinese Poems Of The Sung Dynasty, I Pause To Admire The Length And Clarity Of Their Titles


It seems these poets have nothing
up their ample sleeves
they turn over so many cards so early,
telling us before the first line
whether it is wet or dry,
night or day, the season the man is standing in,
even how much he has had to drink.

Maybe it is autumn and he is looking at a sparrow.
Maybe it is snowing on a town with a beautiful name.

"Viewing Peonies at the Temple of Good Fortune
on a Cloudy Afternoon" is one of Sun Tung Po's.
"Dipping Water from the River and Simmering Tea"
is another one, or just
"On a Boat, Awake at Night."

And Lu Yu takes the simple rice cake with
"In a Boat on a Summer Evening
I Heard the Cry of a Waterbird.
It Was Very Sad and Seemed To Be Saying
My Woman Is Cruel--Moved, I Wrote This Poem."

There is no iron turnstile to push against here
as with headings like "Vortex on a String,"
"The Horn of Neurosis," or whatever.
No confusingly inscribed welcome mat to puzzle over.

Instead, "I Walk Out on a Summer Morning
to the Sound of Birds and a Waterfall"
is a beaded curtain brushing over my shoulders.

And "Ten Days of Spring Rain Have Kept Me Indoors"
is a servant who shows me into the room
where a poet with a thin beard
is sitting on a mat with a jug of wine
whispering something about clouds and cold wind,
about sickness and the loss of friends.

How easy he has made it for me to enter here,
to sit down in a corner,
cross my legs like his, and listen.

Billy Collins






Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments Alias posted: And I had to post this one for Donna in Maryland

The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
... Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Thanks Alias, you are such a sweetie! :o)


message 10: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments deborah: Billy Collins's poetry. I can't find the one i wanted to share, it was about poetry but not that first one on the list of 180. While searching for it i found this one, which exemplifies his humor and appreciation for words.
==========================
Thanks for sharing, Deb. This is my first exposure to his work.

http://www.poemhunter.com/billy-collins/

lists all his works.



message 11: by madrano (new)

madrano | 7645 comments I saw that website but couldn't believe this was all his work. My guess is that these are poems he's opened for sharing without copyright qualms. I could be wrong but it's hard to believe he was named Poet Laureate with so few poems in publication. However, he's been an outstanding PL, so maybe it was on the strength of his enthusiasm that he was awarded the title.

deborah


message 12: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments Since we have been reading a lot of Lincoln books lately, and talking here and on aol about him, I thought you might like a poem I came across today in one of my books.

The Death Of Lincoln

Oh, slow to smite and swift to spare,
Gentle and merciful and just!
Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
The sword of power, a nation's trust!

In sorrow by the bier we stand,
Amid the awe that hushes all,
And speak the anguish of a land
That shook with horror at thy fall.

Thy task is done; the bound are free;
We bear thee to an honored grave,
Whose proudest monument shall be
the broken fetters of the slave.

Pure was thy life: Its bloody close
Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
Anong the noble host of those
who perished in the cause of Right.

---- William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)



message 13: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 60 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Since we have been reading a lot of Lincoln books lately, and talking here and on aol about him, I thought you might like a poem I came across today in one of my books.

The Death Of Lincoln

O..."


beautiful. thanks, Alias.




message 14: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments After reading Team of Rivals, I thought the first line was very true.

I'm glad you enjoyed it.


message 15: by madrano (new)

madrano | 7645 comments Thanks for sharing the poem, Alias. I agree, that first line rings truer now to me, having read TOR.

deborah


message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments 8/30/2010 by the:
The Poetry Foundation
National broadcasts of The Writer's Almanac are supported by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine for over 90 years.

The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.


It was on this day in 1962 that 88-year-old, four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Frost plunged into his goodwill tour of the Soviet Union. He really wanted to be able to meet with Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev. Frost said that he could envision "the Russian and the American democracies drawing together," their distinctly separate ideologies eventually meeting in the middle.

The goodwill tour was arranged, and in late August the crew set off. Frost spent his days in the USSR giving poetry readings and interviews and lectures and otherwise being a very public persona. His readings were immensely popular, with enthusiastic audiences filling venues. Frost would burst out into spontaneous recitations of his famous works wherever he went.

For most of the trip, it was uncertain whether he was going to get a chance to meet with Khrushchev, which he wanted so badly. Then, toward the final days, he got word that such a meeting had been arranged, and he would get his big wish. He flew to Crimea, and he was so incredibly excited that he felt to sick to his stomach — he reported having terrible stomach cramps. He was going on 90, and there was talk of canceling the meeting, but Frost insisted that it take place. Khrushchev sent his own personal doctor ahead to attend to Frost. He was diagnosed with a case of nervous indigestion.

Khrushchev ended up coming into the bedroom at the guesthouse where Frost was resting, and it was there that, at the height of the Cold War, the leader of the Communist world and the aging American poet had their famous meeting. Each man praised the other man's work. They talked of the future of capitalism and the future of socialism. Frost told Khrushchev: "A great nation makes great poetry, and great poetry makes a nation." And then Frost daringly took a stab at discussing one of the Cold War's central issues: He urged Khrushchev to reunite East and West Berlin. Khrushchev declined, and explained to Frost why it was important for the Soviet Union to keep it how it was. The two men talked for an hour and a half.

Frost died just about five months after his trip to the USSR. At the dedication of the Frost library in October of 1963, John F. Kennedy delivered a moving eulogy, where he said: "Our national strength matters, but the spirit which informs and controls our strength matters just as much. This was the special significance of Robert Frost. He brought an unsparing instinct for reality to bear on the platitudes and pieties of society. His sense of the human tragedy fortified him against self-deception and easy consolation."

Complete Poems of Robert Frost by Robert Frost Complete Poems of Robert Frost~ Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Donna in Southern Maryland (cedarville922) | 207 comments Robert Frost is my favorite poet. In fact, he's one of the few poets I 'get.' My absolute favorite is Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Donna in Southern MAryland


message 18: by madrano (new)

madrano | 7645 comments Here is a link to the video i think Patrice means. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG24oh... I'm not sure he's really reciting the poem, though, as his lips don't seem related to the words being said. Still, the effect is neat.

I think that there is a self-mocking in that the poet/character knew that everyone looks down forks in their past with an eye toward what might have been. It's not just him who thinks this way, and that is where he finds the attitude. Maybe i feel this way because i'm of an age when i look at those forks with similar eyes?

Frost is a favorite because his poems can be read on many levels, the most accessible being a lovely poem and words. But there is usually more--and that's the fun of poetry, imo.

Alias, thank you for the story about Frost & Krushchev. It was a new one for me. I had not idea Frost cared that much about politics that late in his life, to be honest with you.

deborah


message 19: by madrano (new)

madrano | 7645 comments 'Tis. Sometimes it's disturbing to hear a poet read her/his work, if i'm familiar with the poem. I seem to have a different cadence to my recitation and sometimes end up reevaluating my interpretation of a piece, given the poet's inflections and such. lol

deborah


message 20: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments This website has a lot of cool poetry links.

http://www.poemsforfree.com/polink.html


message 21: by madrano (new)

madrano | 7645 comments Interesting link, Alias. Some of them have long dead poets and some are minted just this week. And then there is at least one link to a discussion board about poetry. I like the variety. Thanks.

deborah


message 22: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments You're welcome, Deb. :)


message 23: by Alias Reader (last edited Oct 27, 2010 11:20AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments 10/27

It's the birthday of the man who wrote the lines "Do not go gentle into that good night. / Rage, rage against the dying of the light." That's Dylan Thomas, born in Swansea, Wales, in 1914. He's one of the most popular poets of his generation.

At age 20, he published his first collection, 18 Poems. Critics raved. Se married an Irishwoman, lived in London, had three kids, and drank a lot. To make ends meet, he went off to America on the lecture circuit. He often showed up drunk to his readings, where he either whispered or shouted his poems. He had a deep, resonant voice and he was immensely popular.

He drank himself to death in New York City in 1953; he was on his fourth reading tour of America. When he was taken to the hospital because of alcohol poisoning, he told the doctor: "I've had eighteen straight whiskeys. I think that's the record." He died within the week.

He once wrote: "Dead men naked they shall be one / With the man in the wind and the west moon; ... / Though they go mad they shall be sane, / Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; / Though lovers be lost love shall not; / And death shall have no dominion."

Dylan Thomas said: "Poetry is the rhythmic, inevitably narrative, movement from an overclothed blindness to a naked vision that depends in its intensity on the strength of the labour put into the creation of the poetry. My poetry is, or should be, useful to me for one reason: it is the record of my individual struggle from darkness towards some measure of light."

And he said, "Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing."

From:
The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.


Collected Poems 1934-1952 by Dylan Thomas Collected Poems 1934-1952

A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas A Child's Christmas in Wales

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog by Dylan Thomas Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog

The Dylan Thomas Omnibus by Dylan Thomas The Dylan Thomas Omnibus



message 24: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments 10/27

It's the birthday of the poet Sylvia Plath, born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1932, who said, "Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise."

From:
The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.


The Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath's Selected Poems (edited by Ted Hughes) by Sylvia PlathSylvia Plath's Selected Poems

The Collected Poems by Sylvia PlathThe Collected Poems

Sylvia Plath Sylvia Plath



message 25: by Annie (new)

Annie (gema1) | 1 comments Dear Alias,

Thank you so much for posting the Christopher Logue poem, "Come to the edge." This has been a favorite of mine, for years! However, I always thought that it was by Guillaume Apollinaire.

After reading your post, I did some research to confirm who the correct author is. The website, Wikiquote attributes it to Logue, but confirms that it is often thought to be by Apollinaire. They mentioned that Logue wrote it for a poster advertising an Apollinaire exhibition.

I felt like I needed more confirmation because it's a hard thing for me to reconcile. The University of Illinois hosts an official site on Guillaume Apollinaire. I contacted one of their professors and she confirmed that the poem is by Christopher Logue.

It's listed on several websites and in the Goodreads quotes, as being written by Apollinaire. I'm going rectify mine as soon as I'm done posting this!

I know that some people won't understand what all of my excitement is about. But, I'm happy to know the truth of it and now I can peruse Christopher Logue's work and see if there's anything else that I like!

Thanks again!

Anne G


message 26: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments Hello, Anne ! Thank you for joining BNC.

I'm glad you liked the poem.

We have a lot of different Folders for all interests.

Just jump on in and join the fun !


message 27: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."


message 28: by Alias Reader (last edited Feb 22, 2011 07:31AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments February 22

It's the birthday of the woman who wrote "My candle burns at both ends; / It will not last the night; / But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — / It gives a lovely light!" Edna St. Vincent Millay, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, was born on this day in 1892 in Rockland, Maine.

After being educated at Vassar, she moved to Greenwich Village and lived a Jazz Age Bohemian life, which revolved around poetry and love affairs. She was beautiful and alluring and many men and women fell in love with her. Critic Edmund Wilson asked her to marry him. She said no. He later reflected that falling in love with her "was so common an experience, so almost inevitable a consequence of knowing her in those days."

She wrote: "Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: / Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!"

The Poetry Foundation
National broadcasts of The Writer's Almanac are supported by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine for over 90 years.

The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.



message 29: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments It's the birthday of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, born near Durham, England (1806). Many of her love poems were sonnets for or about her husband, the poet Robert Browning, whom she met after he sent her a telegram that praised her writing. She married him in 1846 in secret, when she was 40 years old. She ran away with him to Florence, Italy, because her father had forbidden her to marry.

This is from:
The Poetry Foundation
National broadcasts of The Writer's Almanac are supported by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine for over 90 years.

The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.


message 30: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments It's the birthday of Robert Frost, born in San Francisco (1874). He cultivated the image of a rural New England poet with a pleasant disposition, but Frost's personal life was full of tragedy and he suffered from dark depressions.

He graduated from high school at the top of his class but dropped out of Dartmouth after a semester and tried to convince his high school co-valedictorian, Elinor White, to marry him immediately. She refused and insisted on finishing college first. They did marry after she graduated, and it was a union that would be filled with losses and feelings of alienation. Their first son died from cholera at age three; Frost blamed himself for not calling a doctor earlier and believed that God was punishing him for it. His health declined, and his wife became depressed. In 1907, they had a daughter who died three days after birth, and a few years later Elinor had a miscarriage. Within a couple years, his sister Jeanie died in a mental hospital, and his daughter Marjorie, of whom he was extremely fond, was hospitalized with tuberculosis. Marjorie died a slow death after getting married and giving birth, and a few years later, Frost's wife died from heart failure. His adult son, Carol, had become increasingly distraught, and Frost went to visit him and to talk him out of suicide. Thinking the crisis had passed, he returned home, and shortly afterward his son shot himself. He also had to commit his daughter Irma to a mental hospital.

His behavior became erratic at times and worried people. He asked the wife of a colleague to marry him and she refused, though did agree to work for him as a secretary and tour manager. President John F. Kennedy would later say of Frost that his "sense of the human tragedy fortified him against self-deception and easy consolation" and that his poetry had a "tide that lifts all spirits." Even during periods of deep depression, he drew large crowds to his immensely popular poetry readings, which he preferred to call poetry "sayings."

He said: "A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching out toward expression, an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the word."

And, "A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom."

And, "Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired."

And, "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."

~~~The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.


message 31: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Frost is a favorite because of the above quote...
"A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom."

You think it is simple & are awed by its insight.

Another Frost quote about poetry which i like & which rather ties into that same quote, imo, is when he called poetry "a quiet kind of violence."

Thanks for the post, Alias.


message 32: by Alias Reader (last edited Mar 26, 2011 12:14PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments Deb, you're welcome. I was thinking of you today when I read an essay on poetry in the NY Times Book Review. You are one of the few people I know who loves poetry.

Here is a link to the essay. The author is quite witty.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/boo...


message 33: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Alias, thank you for the link. The NYTimes article had me LOLing. I'm going to check out his book, too. Then i went to the Oprah mag links. The fashion piece was the usual but good PR, i'm sure. Celebrities thoughts were okay & it was nice to revisit some poems mentioned. Thank you.


Susan (aka Just My Op) (justmyop) | 234 comments What a hard life Robert Frost had. This is all new to me -- thank you for posting the article, Alias. Beauty can come out of the darkest of places.


message 35: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments April is National Poetry Month.

Here is a terrific web page of links for all thinks poetry.

http://www.poemsforfree.com/polink.html


message 36: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments 5 questions for poetry editor Caroline Kennedy

~~ By Bob Minzsheimer, USA TODAY



To mark National Poetry Month in April, Caroline Kennedy, 53, discusses a new anthology she has edited, She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems (Voice/Hyperion, $24.99, on sale Tuesday), with USA TODAY.

1. Your book is also an e-book. Do you prefer poetry on a screen or printed page?

I'm not all that organized with e-books yet. But my book is about how one poem leads to another. I can see how e-books could make that exploration more fun.

2. The only poetry on the best-seller lists tends to be your anthologies. Why?

It may require someone whom people are familiar with to introduce it and promote it.

3. Did poetry help you during or after your unsuccessful bid to be appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2009?

What do you mean helped? Well, I think poetry can always help. One of the sections in my book is titled "How to Live." (Later, she called back to cite a poem in that section, W.H. Auden's Look Before You Leap.)

4. Do you write poetry?

No, and that's getting kind of embarrassing. … I find it hard to sit down and concentrate, but I should try.

5. Is hip-hop poetry?

When it is good, it uses words in new and relevant ways, so that's like poetry.

She Walks in Beauty A Woman's Journey Through Poems by Caroline KennedyShe Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems~~Caroline Kennedy


message 37: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 01, 2011 12:10PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments A list from my library---

Some poets, familiar and unfamiliar, local and from far away, in time for National Poetry Month.


Bicycles: Love Poems
By Giovanni, Nikki

From the acclaimed author of "Acolytes" comes a remarkable companion work to her bestselling "Love Poems." Giovanni is as outspoken, prolific, and energetic as ever--"New York Times."

Poetry in Person: Twenty-Five Years of Conversation with America's Poets
By Neubauer, Alexander

"For almost 30 years, beginning in 1970, Pearl London taught a course at the New School called "Works in Progress," to which she asked famous poets to come with drafts of new poems in hand. This book is a series of transcripts of discussions from those classes.... Represented in these 23 conversations are such acknowledged masters of late 20th–century poetry as Robert Hass, Lucille Clifton, Amy Clampitt, and Charles Simic. London was a probing, highly intelligent reader who coaxes statements from her poets that perhaps no one else could: "We both love and hate our parents, and it's difficult to accept that because we would like only to love them," Frank Bidart tells her.... More than anything else, though, she gets poets to explain their craft in sometimes shockingly clear terms, as when Muriel Rukeyser states, "A poem is not about anything, as you who have been working in poems surely know."" Publishers Weekly


Ballistics: Poems
By Collins, Billy

From the former United States Poet Laureate and bestselling author of "Nine Horses" and "Sailing Alone Around the Room" comes a dazzling new collection of poems.

The Poems of Marianne Moore
By Moore, Marianne

Editor Schulman, Grace
At long last, the full treasure chest of Marianne Moore's poems--including more than 100 that were previously uncollected and unpublished--is available in this stellar edition that has been lovingly edited by poet Grace Schulman.

Selected Poems
By Walcott, Derek

Drawing from every stage of his career, Derek Walcott's "Selected Poems" brings together famous pieces from his early volumes, including "A Far Cry from Africa" and "A City's Death by Fire," with passages from the celebrated "Omeros" and selections from his latest major works. …More

Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution
By Olson, Alix

While performance poetry was male-dominated in its inception, in recent years, women spoken word artists have become some of the most popular voices nationwide. The combination of the eminent slam movement and the upsurge of bold, underground feminisms created a unique pool of women verbally challenging society on all fronts. Word Warriors is the first all-women spoken word anthology, featuring the most influential female spoken word artists in the movement. Each contributor is a published writer, accomplished performer, and has received numerous accolades for her contributions to this art form. Contributors include Patricia Smith and Eileen Myles, two of the most formidable and famous spoken word foremothers. Tony Award--winner Sarah Jones talks about breaking into the mainstream, while Michelle Tea contributes her thoughts on class and sexual politics. We also hear the unique feminist perspective of Palestinian-born and raised Suheir Hammad and Trinidadian poet Lynne Procope, while Haitian artist Lenelle Moise shares the frustrations of performing for a Western audience. Each contributor provides a new and well-known spoken word piece, accompanied by an original essay about a pivotal moment or significant experience within her individual spoken word career, offering an illuminating peek into the artist's thought process, a rare chance for the reader to become intimate with the poet

Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems
By Eady, Cornelius

Cornelius Eady's new poems show him in full control of his considerable talents and displaying a rich maturity as he enters midlife. His poems are sly, unsentimental, and witty, full of truths that are intimate and profound.
"Hardheaded Weather" ranges widely, reflecting the newfound responsibilities Eady has assumed as he transitions from urban renter to nonplussed rural homeowner, as well as the sobering influence of war and the intimation of his own mortality. Yet even at his angriest, the poet has always had a depth of compassion rare in our polarized age, with a sense of humor that is both sophisticated and demotic. These poems will resonate deeply.
As exciting as the new poems are, his selected earlier poems dazzle, too, as they demonstrate the arc of Cornelius Eady's maturation and the originality of his voice. Taken together, "Hardheaded Weather" forms a moving and sometimes searing testament to the power of poetry.

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
By Sidman, Joyce
Illustrator Allen, Rick

Library Media Connection Reviews 2011 January/February
Website: http://www.linworth.com
Dark Emperor is an intense looking book that has poems about the creatures and living things of the dark such as night-spiders, porcupettes, bats, mushrooms, oak trees, and crickets. Every other page has a sidebar full of science concepts related to the nighttime poem. This is Rick Allen's debut picture book; his illustrations help create darkness with wood or linoleum on wood blocks that he later fills in with pigmented watercolors. It takes several blocks to create one piece of art. The book begins with a night scene with the moon and ends when the sun begins to rise. Glossary. Recommended.

Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: New Poems
By Walker, Alice
Illustrator McCloud, Shiloh
Foreword by McCloud, Shiloh

Alice Walker is beloved for her ability to speak her own truth in ways that speak for and about countless others. Here she confronts personal and collective challenges in words that dance, sing, and heal. As Shiloh McCloud describes in her foreword, Walker's poems contain "the death of loved ones and the birth of new ideas, the sorrow of rejection and the deliciousness of love, the sweetness of home, familial abandonment, and what it means to belong to the greater world family." As Walker writes in her preface, the "empty" half of a glass holds "a rainbow that could exist only in the vacant space." Musing on the role of dance, which gives this collection its title, she writes, "though we have encountered our share of grief and troubles on this earth, we can still hold the line of beauty, form, and beat. No small accomplishment in a world as challenging as this one

The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951-1993
By Bukowski, Charles

To his legions of fans, Charles Bukowski was--and remains--the quintessential counterculture icon. A hard-drinking wild man of literature and a stubborn outsider to the poetry world, he wrote unflinchingly about booze, work, and women, in raw, street-tough poems whose truth has struck a chord with generations of readers.

Edited by John Martin, the legendary publisher of Black Sparrow Press and a close friend of Bukowski's, "The Pleasures of the Damned" is a selection of the best works from Bukowski's long poetic career, including the last of his never-before-collected poems. Celebrating the full range of the poet's extraordinary and surprising sensibility, and his uncompromising linguistic brilliance, these poems cover a rich lifetime of experiences and speak to Bukowski's "immense intelligence, the caring heart that saw through the sham of our pretenses and had pity on our human condition" ("New York Quarterly"). "The Pleasures of the Damned" is an astonishing poetic treasure trove, essential reading for both longtime fans and those just discovering this unique and legendary American voice.


message 38: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Alias, thank you for the poetry information. As you know, i'm such a fan of the art, although i don't practice it at all anymore. I'd like to think i'll get my notions together enough to contribute some favorite poetry book titles here this month. Wish me luck. :-)

deborah


message 39: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments That would be great, Deb. I thought of you as I wrote the last few posts. As I know you love poetry. :)


message 40: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments We went "to town" yesterday for my sister's birthday. Along the way i thought of this poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, a poet whose works i have treasured for decades. The last two lines often enter my mind, whether it's about love, friendship, religion or other life "relationships".

The Spring and the Fall

In the spring of the year, in the spring of the year,
I walked the road beside my dear.
The trees were black where the bark was wet.
I see them yet, in the spring of the year.
He broke me a bough of the blossoming peach
That was out of the way and hard to reach.

In the fall of the year, in the fall of the year,
I walked the road beside my dear.
The rooks went up with a raucous trill.
I hear them still, in the fall of the year.
He laughed at all I dared to praise,
And broke my heart, in little ways.

Year be springing or year be falling,
The bark will drip and the birds be calling.
There's much that's fine to see and hear
In the spring of a year, in the fall of a year.
'Tis not love's going hurt my days.
But that it went in little ways.


message 41: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments I like that, Deb. Thanks for posting it.

The last two lines are very poignant.


message 42: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments April 7

It's the birthday of poet William Wordsworth, born in Cockermouth, England (1770). The philosopher Bertrand Russell summed up Wordsworth's career this way: "In his youth, Wordsworth sympathized with the French Revolution, went to France, wrote good poetry, and had a natural daughter. At this period he was called a 'bad' man. Then he became 'good,' abandoned his daughter, adopted correct principles, and wrote bad poetry."

His mother died when he was eight, and he went off to school in the Lake District, where he liked to wander around the countryside.

At age 20, he went on a tour through France and Switzerland. France was celebrating the Revolution, and Wordsworth was completely absorbed in the politics. In the Alps, he was overwhelmed by the sublime presence of nature. He later said, "Perhaps scarce a day of my life will pass by in which I shall not derive some happiness from those images." He returned to France the following year and fathered a daughter there, whom he left. The Anglo-French War kept him from returning.

It was during the next 10 years that he wrote his best poetry, including "Tintern Abbey," "She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways," "Ode: Intimations of Immortality," and "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud." Wordsworth challenged what he called "the gaudiness and inane phraseology of many modern writers." He wrote about ordinary things and private thoughts, the view from a bridge, daffodils. His friend Samuel Coleridge published him.
Eventually, he separated from Coleridge, who was a drug addict. Wordsworth got married and raised five children. He came to see the French Revolution as a mistake. He accepted a government job to pay the bills. His title was "Official Distributor of Stamps for Westmoreland."

But by the time he reached middle age, his collections of poetry were best-sellers. And when he was 73, he became poet laureate of England.

~~The Poetry Foundation
National broadcasts of The Writer's Almanac are supported by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine for over 90 years.

~~The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.


message 43: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Wordsworth was reviled by old friends when he changed his politics late in life. He came to see many things, some of which drew the public's attention to him, as being politically wrong. You can imagine how that went over. By the time he was made poet laureate he'd practically stopped writing poems. Ironic.

A favorite for this time of year follows:

"Daffodils"
(1804)

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


message 44: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Oh! I just found a YouTube link which has Jeremy Irons reading the above poem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQnyV2...

Enjoy!

I also see that Alan Rickman recites some poetry there, too. Divine!

deb


message 45: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments We don't get many spring pools here but i remember them from my Dakota years. Thank you, Mr. Frost.

Spring Pools
by Robert Frost

These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods --
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.


message 46: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 14, 2011 09:12AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments Madrano wrote: "We don't get many spring pools here but i remember them from my Dakota years. Thank you, Mr. Frost.

-----------

And thank you, Deb, for sharing. Reading that was a nice way to start my day. :)


message 47: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Glad you enjoyed it, Alias. You are right, poetry can be a great way to start the day. Many times over the years a morning poem stays with me all day, returning as i vacuum, wait for family or just take a breather.

deb


message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahreader) | 68 comments Another seasonal favorite of mine:

April Rain Song
BY LANGSTON HUGHES
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night—

And I love the rain.


message 49: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Sarah, Hughes is another favorite poet of mine. I think of this one whenever i sit on a river's side.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human rivers

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


message 50: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 15630 comments Thanks for sharing, Sarah.

We sure had rain here in NYC last night. It was a downpour with lightning and strong winds. It was part of the system that wrecked havoc across many states creating a bunch of tornadoes.


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