Thursday, May 30, 2013

Poems for June!

“Poetry proves again and again that any single overall theory of anything doesn’t work.
Poetry is always the cat concert under the window of the room in which the official version of reality is being written.” Charles Simic

D.H. Lawrence (from article by Edwin Muir in The Nation, Vol. 120, No. 3110, 1925)

His trees and flowers he seems to see almost from the inside; they have an interior glow and a violence of being which could only be rendered by one who by an unconditional act of imagination entered into their life.

What if Athena were born of a mother,
instead of the head of Zeus?
And what if Aphrodite ...


Poems for June 3

Palindrome by Lisel Mueller
Elegy with lies – Bob Hicok
After Skate by Carol Muske-Dukes
Sometimes, When the Light by Lisel Mueller
In Portraits in Seasons by Danielle Pafunda
Learning the Letters by Robert Peake

Poems for June 10
Flying by Richard Wilbur
Wanting is--what? Robert Browning**
Darling -- Alexei Dmitrov
Unharvested -- Robert Frost
The Price Of Lemons by Christina M. Rau
Tea by Elizabeth Spires
links to short poems by Hyesim --Translated by Ian Haight & T’ae-yong Ho (Gwarlingo Sunday poem 6/2) The Sunday Poem : Hyesim Translated by Ian Haight & T’ae-yong Ho

"Robert Browning's 'Wanting is--What?' came to me courtesy of Poem-A-Day with its line Beamy / the world, yet a blank all the same, its impossible completions, the gaze, beams that shine & eyes that beam, frames and lenses. Mary Cassatt's The Caress also makes an appearance here. I thought about that never-attainable completion gestured to by objects and postures in the frame, and also how vexed & wonderful to be a woman artist who deeply loves the art that came before."

--Danielle Pafunda
Her poem: In Portraits in Seasons was posted in May on Poem-A-Day.

Poems for June 17:

(more poems by Hyesim (see link above)
Whatever I had picked, would not open... so herewith some summer flavors!
For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost
A Green Crab's Shell by Mark Doty
Sunflower William Blake
Sunflower Sutra – by Allen Ginsberg

Poems for June 24
Love – Dorianne Laux
The Witch of Coos -- by Robert Frost
Indian Stream Republic by Stephen Burt
Room in Antwerp by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Room in Antwerp by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Poems for May 13

Hyla Brook—Robert Frost
1904-07 Frost did a lot of experimenting with sonnet form and variations, working out his idea of a "poetry that talked"--but never without rhyme and meter. The brook is still there on the Frost Farm, though I've never been there in peeper season. The association to bells is echoed in another poem, "The Onset," where he refers to the "peepers' silver croak." (Notes from David Sanders, our Frost specialist!)

The Breathing Field by Wyatt Townley
Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo
Someone Digging in the Ground by Rumi
Evening Walk by Charles Simic (1938-)
Nothing in Heaven Functions as It Ought -- X.J. Kennedy
The Wooden Toy -- by Charles Simic

Questions: how do we take the ordinary and make it astonishing?
Hopkins: poetry as speech, framed to be heard for its own sake and interests even over and beyond its interest of meaning.

Criteria for selecting a poem (XJ Kennedy) : experience which stays with you.

In April 2007, I went to a reading of Charles Simic in Seattle. The notes say" "Simic is perhaps our most disquieting muse" ((Harvard Review); his poetry brims with delightfully strange connections, dry wit, straightforward diction. He uncovers unexpected depth in apparently commonplace language." (New Republic) Born in Yugoslavia in 1938, he arrived in the US via Paris in 1952. His first poems appear in 1959. "Poetry is universal. It travels. He states, "Poetry is what transcends culture" vs. the edict poetry is what gets lost in translation. He is happy to remain unclaimed "at the airport just like a suitcase" --

the joy of the sheer adventure of seeing where it's going to take you...

My Turn to Confess: (from Noiseless Entourage, 2005)

We read all the poems and enjoyed them -- the repeat of the Harjo, we liked as much as the first time,
too long a discussion on Frost's experiment with sonnet/vernacular, sound/sense; still to discuss: Simic, "The Wooden Toy".

No time this month to write up anything with all there is to do to get the house sold and sorting and packing.
A relief to have an hour to concentrate just on the words.

May 20

discussion of Simic: The Wooden Toy (from last week)
 by Joseph Millar

Sonnet by James Kenneth Stephen (1859-1892?)
Durian Fruit by Ronald Wallace (p. 11 of Nimrod International, “Lasting Matters”
The Moment by Theodore Roethke

I have just read "Lasting Matters" published by Nimrod (writers 57 and Over) and enjoyed several wonderful poems --
highly recommend these:
p. 119 Mother of Phobia – Joanne Clarkson
p. 147+8 : two poems by Stephen Dunn
p. 174 Crease of Light
p. 180: A Poem with a Future Longing in it
p. 192: Gertrude: the stein collection

I was intrigued by James Kenneth Stephen's marvellous "golden sonnets" where he incorporates a haiku if you read the last word of each line vertically. He has five of them in this issue.
It is an honor to pay tribute to Joe Millar, one of the fine teachers I had, and to give a plug for the 9th annual "Writing and Knowing" workshop he, Dorianne Laux and Ellen Bass will be hosting at Esalen, CA, August 9.

It was curious to me to see so many of the poems were inspired by epigrams by other poets -- but not up to the mark of the poet quoted except for a few. A good conversation inspired by a venerable poet is worthy of thought. What Anita Skeen wrote (p. 143) in her poem which uses the last line in Roethke's "The Moment" caught my attention -- although they are different in terms of content and certainly in style.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

poems for May 5

This is where we live – by Pablo Neruda (from Extravagaria, 1969)
Mirrors at 4 a.m. -- Charles Simic
Four A.M. by Wislawa Szymborska
Admonition – Sylvia Plath
Love is a Parallax – Sylvia Plath

This weeks poems started off with these two quotes in mind:
Art is the elimination of the unnecessary. -Pablo Picasso, painter, and sculptor (1881-1973)
What must give light is worth burning. – Viktor Frankl 1905 –1997

I was reminded of Peter Sears' craft talk "Benign Urtications" -- poems which give the sensation of nettles -- and being stung, waking up a paralyzed part of the body.
Also reminded of "No more masks" -- ed. Ellen Bass.