Thursday, April 17, 2014

Theme: Poems

  • I don’t remember what I did in there/ keep the woman—a torso with hands—from turning the water brown// Girls until they started having babies/ now mothers// The scrub wants toRead more
  • On the occasion of his mother’s eightieth birthday, Dante Gabriel Rossetti gave her a hand-made artwork featuring his poem “The Sonnet.” In the first line of this present he also gave to English poetry a “deathless” (because almost irrefutable) definition of the sonnet form — though the rest of the poem is an already dated pastiche of tired diction, worn-out registers, and exhausted metaphors.Read more
  • Three of America's most famous poets announced today the immediate availability of new, moderately priced "diffusion lines" based on their celebrated high-end works to be sold online and at mainstream retail outlets such as Walmart, Costco, Sam's, Target, and Barnes & Noble. Representatives of K2 by Kay Ryan, Frederick by Frederick Seidel, and JohnT by John Ashbery (for Target) announced the move at a joint news conference on the sidewalk outside of Century 21 in lower Manhattan.Read more
  • You ran off with the man who delivered the ping pong table. But not that day. You waited.Read more
  • Darcie Dennigan is a player. I don’t mean only that she’s a member of team poetry. I mean that she’s one of the sharps, one to keep your eye on at all times, the one to whom you pass the ball when team poetry needs to score. Her fancy is as consistent as her footwork.Read more
  • Elizabeth Bishop’s most impactful letter of the summer of 1947 was the first substantive one she ever wrote to Robert Lowell. Written from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on August 14, that first real letter of the poets’ storied epistolary friendship begins with a parenthetical aside that nods to their new familiarity: "Dear Robert, (I’ve never been able to catch that name they call you, but Mr. Lowell doesn’t sound right, either.)”Read more
  • Muffin, the Dreambook suggested, you need to move on. The field is something stretched—someone who needs protection. Avoid blue and favor auburn.Read more
  • After the fierce midsummer all ablaze Has burned itself to ashes, and expires In the intensity of its own fires,Read more
  • It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee;Read more
  • It was June of my freshman year in college, in the middle of final exam week, when I received an early-​morning call. My mother had been killed, gunned down in a parking lot by her second husband—​her then ex-​husband—​a troubled Vietnam veteran with a history of mental illness. Grief set in quickly. I must have been in shock. Read more
  • An excerpt from 'Sky Rat' by Rauan KlassnikRead more
  • While living in Kyoto, I would ride my motorcycle downtown in the afternoon and work on my translations of César Vallejo’s Poemas humanos in the Yorunomado (“Night Window”) coffee shop. I had determined that a publishable version of this 1989 poem collection would constitute my apprenticeship to poetry. As I struggled to get Vallejo’s complicated Spanish into English, I increasingly had the feeling that I was struggling with a man more than with a text and that the struggle was a matter of my becoming or failing to become a poet.Read more
  • & we are talking about our trip to LA and someone says don’t go to Watts and someone says it’s not Watts it’s the Mexicans and I say that’s racist and he says “I’m black” and I say “She’s Mexican”Read more
  • Adorno was a very stern man, we agreed, after studying his selfie. Sitting on a stiff chair and facing the mirror, he had no discernible emotion in this broadly-circulated black & white photo. You said: 'You call me stern. I'm nothing on Adorno.'Read more
  • Huh. Well, I collect weird dictionaries, including dictionaries of cliches (which come in handy, in my line of work). But my favorite strange dictionary is the great classic Dictionary of Similes, edited by Frank Wilstach and published in 1916; it has the epigraph, "It's hard to find a simile when one is seeking for one," uttered by George Moore.Read more
  • Against a black background, part of the face of a fair-skinned woman. The tone and texture of her skin. The curve of her lips. Especially the black of her eyes — as if we could look through her. All these exceed not only what we expect to see when we begin to watch a film, but what we desire to see. Even before the camera slowly swings upward from her mouth to her eyes, even before we realize that those are not opaque black pits but irises.Read more
  • Granted every poet "constantly aspires towards the condition of music," that sphere of perfection which Walter Pater declares the other arts must humble themselves before:Read more
  • Lawrence’s letters to Lowell have been published and, among other things, they reveal that Lawrence thought Lowell was at her creative best when she was drawing on her own American identity, rather than on historical epics and French, Japanese, and Chinese poetry. I think he failed to see that in those works, too, she was assimilating the foreign so as to make it familiarly American. To put it another way, Lowell wanted Americans to treasure their experience, to understand that it is suffused with the lives and history of other peoples.Read more
  • ‘7.7,’ the blood report declares, and I suddenly feel like a mother to my bones. They, those lines and arcs, over which flesh and skin are glued like a late promise – my children are in need.Read more
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