Wednesday, June 27, 2012

poems for July 3

Poems for July 2

Ellen Bass said she writes poetry, so she won’t miss this lifetime.
Her take on poetry is that a poem is a window between two human beings, not a mirror of a “me”.

Laughing Song by William Blake
Advertisement by Ingeborg Bachmann
Bardo by Peter Grizzi
Black Boys Play the Classics by Toi Derricotte
Vermeer, by Wislawa Symborska

Summary and further references.
What fun to revel in "corny" green laughter and wonder if Blake were chumming around with Robert Burns , Martin's excellent take on how to read Advertisement, without any "carefree", to highlight the juxtaposition of ads and personal angst, explore the concepts of Bardo, and imagine being there, which perhaps, as Carmen pointed out with the mention of Midi: a company that creates electronic instruments electrical equipment doing magical things, is a way of reviewing our present life. The novel way Toi Dericotte takes a snapshot of American attitudes (two choices end the poem), the mind-bending way to think of time, space and who we are, what we see provided by our new poet laureate, Nathalie Trethewry along with a new take on Velasquez (painting refered to in her poem about the kitchen maid here: How well we could relate to someone we love after they die "being in the objects they used" .
To quote the New Yorker article (June 10 issue), "As an African American cultural laureate and a woman holding a national office, she is poised to build upon the powerful legacy of Gwendowlyn Brooks and Rita Dove. We can look forward to the fresh direction that Trethewey’s compass will, inevitably, point our verse.

Read more

Certainly each poet is worth looking up and next week, we'll see a few more poems from each.
(Elegy for my Husband is listed here: it was published in the Spring 2012 issue of "American Poet")
(BTW — apologies for the cut and paste job — the poem "Black Boys Play the Classics, ENDS on this line:
B: Amazing! I did not think that they could speak this tongue.

For the Szymborska — we ran out of time for discussion — however, you might enjoy comparing, as those present did briefly,
The translation below with the Cavanagh translation in the handout. We'll start our discussion of poems next week with this.


As long as the woman from Rijksmuseum
in painted silence and concentration
day after day pours milk
from the jug to the bowl,
the World does not deserve
the end of the world.

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