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Link to the Poets.org article on poetry on poetry

And because I bitched on Facebook, here's the Gary Snyder poem. It's the reason I'm trying to learn the names of oaks.

Gary can be a bit more...."less":

How Poetry Comes to Me

It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light

Note: the above piece I found at
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/snyder/onlinepoems.htm
at their Modern American Poets page. Meaning, 2nd half of 20th century or later.
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Most Sac, but not all
And note the Petaluma Poetry walk 19 Sep

Sept 6
Sacramento Poetry Center presents a reading by J.P. Dancing Bear and C.J. Sage, Crossroads for the Arts, 1719 25th Street, at R Street, Sacramento, 7:30 (sacramentopoetrycenter.blogspot.com)

Sep 8, Wed
Sixteen Rivers press poetry reading features Stella Beratis, Molly Fisk, Jeff Knorr, Julia B. Levine, and Jane Mead, all contributors to the new anthology The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems of the San Francisco Bay Watershed, Sacramento Room, Sacramento Public Library, 828 I Street, Sacramento, free, 7:00 (415/273-1303, www.sixteenrivers.org)

Sept 11, Sat
Live Poets’ Gathering, drop-in workshop to nurture your own poetry, children ten and older welcome with an adult, with published poet Sally Love Saunders, refreshments, Cultural Integration Fellowship, 2650 Fulton Avenue, at 3rd, SF, free, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 (www.snowcrest.net/spindler/sallylovesaunders)

*************
Sept 19,Petaluma
Fifteenth Petaluma Poetry Walk: 11:00 a.m.: Terry Ehret hosts a Sixteen Rivers Press poetry reading by Gwynn O’Gara, Toni Wilkes, Margaret Kaufman at Petaluma Art Center, 230 Lakeville Street, at D Street; Noon: Susan Bono hosts Eileen Malone, Mimi Albert, Kit Kennedy, Smooth Toad with G.P. Skratz, Bob Ernst and Hal Hughes at Jungle Vibes, 136 Petaluma Boulevard North; 1:00: Martin Hickel hosts Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Sharon Doubiago at Apple Box, 224 B Street; 2:00: Susan Bono hosts Amber Tamblyn, Ed Mycue, and Luke Warm Water at Apple Box; 3:00: Gerald Fleming hosts Wanda Coleman and Austin Straus at Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky Street; 4:00: Delia Moon hosts a reading for Eugene Ruggles’s posthumous The Road of Bread: Collected Works, Michelle Baynes, Benjamin Ruggles, Geri Digiorno, Sharon Doubiago, Will Holst, and Carl Macki at Phoenix Theater, 201 Washington Street; 5:00: Bill Vartnaw hosts Doren Robbins, Pablo Rosales, Joan R. Brady at Pelican Art Gallery, 143 Petaluma Boulevard North; 6:00: Carl Macki hosts Daniel Michael McKenzie, Geoffrey Todd Lake, Vincent Carrella at Aqus, 189 H Street, at 2nd Street; 7:00: Gerald Nicosia hosts ruth weiss, Joanna McClure, Latif Harris, F.A. Nettelbeck, H.D. Moe, and La Tigresa, entire event 11:00 a.m.-8:00 (707/763-4271, www.petalumapoetrywalk.org)

Sep 20, Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center presents a contributors reading for the 2010 Calaveras Station Literary Journal, Crossroads for the Arts, 1719 25th Street, at R Street, Sacramento, 7:30 (sacramentopoetrycenter.blogspot.com)

Sept 27
Sacramento Poetry Center presents a reading by Mark Statman and Kurt Brown, Crossroads for the Arts, 1719 25th Street, at R Street, Sacramento, 7:30 (sacramentopoetrycenter.blogspot.com)

Sept 29 Wed, mid week
Daniel Ellsberg discuses the work of the late historian Howard Zinn to celebrate Zinn’s posthumous book, The Bomb, City Lights Books, 261 Columbus Avenue, SF, 7:00 (www.citylights.com)
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...in both message and medium.

20 minutes from comedian Armando Iannucci: On opera: including teeth, phlegm, mint...and eventually music. And ears. And a poem: "Papal Blues".

A must hear, from BBC Radio 7
Available until 2pm, Pacific time
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It's late, but I know I'll not post this.

On Tues night, I went through archives of old shows, to see how he handled amateur poets. I frankly wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. Presumed brief intro, read the poem, done.
When I got there, Prof said there would be my reading, poetry, and 15 minutes of conversation.

Well, actually, it was my reading, some musical interludes, and 15 minutes of conversation. Eep.
Bless the man, as I entered the studio, he was playing Roethke reading his own piece, "I Knew a Woman", a huge favorite of mine. Oddly, I felt Roethke read it too seriously--I read it as a whimsical, humorous, sexy characterization. Boy...that screws up my essay's theory!

But, back to mulling: I now wish I could have read more poetry. I have only one other piece of my own in the backpack...I leave that for another bistro night. But I would have read the poems of others:

Roethke's poem would have been the obvious choice (its first line is the epigraph to my poem);
"Wilfred Owen's Photographs" by Ted Hughes (almost impossible to find on the internet);
"Blue Monday", by Diane Wakowski, which I've linked in a prior LJ post. Beautiful fugue.

Or, choosing from the April issue of Poetry: Adam Kirsch, Emily Warn, or Randall Mann (although I'm sure that last would have sounded odd).

off to bed.
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Sent off two emails, have not heard back. Poop.
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New Yorker, 16 Feb 2010

And the NPR article I posted at FB a few days ago. Contains some Clifton poems audio files and text, read by Lucille or Rita Dove. Included is the poem referenced in the New Yorker article, "study the masters".
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Why Live Without Writing

No, I'm not kidding myself that I'm a poet.
But portions of this article hit on the visceral aspect--or rather the deep-down-in-our-old-brain-need aspect.

by Durs Grünbein, translated by Michael Hofmann
Feb 2010 issue of Poetry
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Let's jump to the last century, at least, 20 30 40 years. Not sure when she wrote this, but I was introduced to this poem as an example of how a fugue might be applied to poetry.

Deep imagist, which not everyone cares for. I don't always buy it---but this one knocked me out.

Blue Monday, by Diane Wakoski
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Per Stephen Fry I ought to practice beats
and Exercise-The-First, heroic lines:
here follows notes I've dragged from brain to pen
in prior weeks of scratching lobes and nerves--
and often writing soaking in the tub:

No use--my mind can't think in five iambs
This thirty second rule is foolish crap!
I've only written five of Fry's required.
The last of them, the sixth was awkward speech.
I'm wrinkling; hands becoming numb too soon.

Supposed to use iambic beats each day
So now this Thursday morning, desperate.
In trying for a steady rising beat
but fail because I have trochaic mind.
My thoughts condense to four and not to five
or overflow into the fifth to seep
and dribble unintended triplets
or bleed enjambments, not intended yet.

*******
So, caved into tetrameter
and rondelets to praise Him:

Mister Fry can go to Hell
He demands heroic meter
Mister Fry can go to Hell
Anacreontics ring my bell
I ought to use a rising beat, or
Pad my verse with scuds to cheat--or
Mister Fry, just go to hell!

***************

For those who wish to try their hand at verse,
the basic exercise is strict iambs.
Just single lines or couplets, nothing more--
at endings stop without enjambment,please.
(I should have left caesuras out, as well.)
Do twenty lines at half a minute each.
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See, here's the workbox, little wife,
That I made of polished oak.'
He was a joiner, of village life;
She came of borough folk.


He holds the present up to her
As with a smile she nears
And answers to the profferer,
''Twill last all my sewing years!'


'I warrant it will. And longer too.
'Tis a scantling that I got
Off poor John Wayward's coffin, who
Died of they knew not what.


'The shingled pattern that seems to cease
Against your box's rim
Continues right on in the piece
That's underground with him.


'And while I worked it made me think
Of timber's varied doom;
One inch where people eat and drink,
The next inch in a tomb.


'But why do you look so white, my dear,
And turn aside your face?
You knew not that good lad, I fear,
Though he came from your native place?'


'How could I know that good young man,
Though he came from my native town,
When he must have left there earlier than
I was a woman grown?'


'Ah, no. I should have understood!
It shocked you that I gave
To you one end of a piece of wood
Whose other is in a grave?'


'Don't, dear, despise my intellect,
Mere accidental things
Of that sort never have effect
On my imaginings.'


Yet still her lips were limp and wan,
Her face still held aside,
As if she had known not only John,
But known of what he died.

***********************
So, how much does the joiner know, suspect, or thinks he knows?
Does he know she knows?
Does he think she knows he knows?

And how the hell did John die?


http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/46442-Thomas-Hardy-The-Workbox
(Not a great source--but the best one I could find that offered this piece, and wasn't selling a essay. Although some interesting--and varied--opinions on this mystery meat.)
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Poems I've memorized for either story or sound.
Poems are the best collectibles: they are easy to store, and require no dusting.

*********************
The Ruined Maid, by Thomas Hardy

Yes, I know--I've posted this one before. But it's one of the first pieces I set to memory as an adult.

Nothing profound, but a satirical 'dramatic' piece. Hardy and Browning do wonderful first person voice--often voices of deliciously venomous characters. This one by Hardy has two voices: Melia's former friend (or sister?), and the posturing yet patient Amelia.


The Ruined Maid
by Thomas Hardy
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15505


"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperity?"--
"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.

--"You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!"--
"Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.

--"At home in the barton you said 'thee' and 'thou,'
And 'thik oon,' and 'theäs oon,' and 't'other'; but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for high company!"--
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.

--"Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any lady!"--
"We never do work when we're ruined," said she.

--"You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!"--
"True. One's pretty lively when ruined," said she.

"--I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!"--
"My dear--a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain't ruined," said she.


********************
There's a danger in dramatic pieces, of turning good poetry into one of those oratory exercises Mark Twain satirized. With a wicked one like this, it's worth the risk.
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2 days left to listen to this program. Requires Real Player or Real Alternative
15 minutes from 2002 of the work of the Poets Laureate of Britain. Sounds drab, I know--but try. The joy of people you think of as drab dead Englishman, read aloud.

Dryden--yum. The emotion rumbling in "Why Should a Foolish Marriage Vow". Very modern piece, considering the gap of 300 years.

Could have used less violin on one of the Wordsworth pieces. (I think I'm the only person who like and forgives Wordsworth for being a PL. I'm not swoony over W--but I appreciate his observations and and envy his language.)

And John Maysefield. "Sea Fever". Oh DAMN, that rolls you. This goes on the list. Quiz: where is this referenced in Star Trek?

Themes are love, pastorals, London--both W's "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" and "London 1802" ("Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour")

Was introduced to the slightly sardonic humor of John Betjeman, "poet and hack". Another on the list to explore.

They had a section on "Public or State Verse"--and noted this was often the theme where most PL's did some poor work.
But damn--they did Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade". Damn diddy damn, yeah.
temperance14: (Default)
2 days left to listen to this program. Requires Real Player or Real Alternative
15 minutes from 2002 of the work of the Poets Laureate of Britain. Sounds drab, I know--but try. The joy of people you think of as drab dead Englishman, read aloud.

Dryden--yum. The emotion rumbling in "Why Should a Foolish Marriage Vow". Very modern piece, considering the gap of 300 years.

Could have used less violin on one of the Wordsworth pieces. (I think I'm the only person who like and forgives Wordsworth for being a PL. I'm not swoony over W--but I appreciate his observations and and envy his language.)

And John Maysefield. "Sea Fever". Oh DAMN, that rolls you. This goes on the list. Quiz: where is this referenced in Star Trek?

Themes are love, pastorals, London--both W's "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" and "London 1802" ("Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour")

Was introduced to the slightly sardonic humor of John Betjeman, "poet and hack". Another on the list to explore.

They had a section on "Public or State Verse"--and noted this was often the theme where most PL's did some poor work.
But damn--they did Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade". Damn diddy damn, yeah.

Back to work.
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So Fair is She


So fair is she!
So fair her face
So fair her pulsing figure

Not so fair
The maniacal stare
Of a husband who's much bigger.
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Teeth

English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each and every one.
English Teeth, Happy Teeth!
Always having fun
Clamping down on bits of fish
And sausages half done.
English Teeth! HEROES' Teeth!
Hear them click! and clack!
Let's sing a song of praise to them -
Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black.
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Bump

Things that go 'bump' in the night
Should not really give one a fright.
It's the hole in each ear
That lets in the fear,
That, and the absence of light!
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BBC Radio 7 is featuring the Spike Milligan. Why should you folks escape. So, to start--Have a Nice Day!


Have A Nice Day

'Help, help, ' said a man. 'I'm drowning.'
'Hang on, ' said a man from the shore.
'Help, help, ' said the man. 'I'm not clowning.'
'Yes, I know, I heard you before.

Be patient dear man who is drowning,
You, see I've got a disease.
I'm waiting for a Doctor J. Browning.
So do be patient please.'

'How long, ' said the man who was drowning. 'Will it take for the Doc to arrive? '
'Not very long, ' said the man with the disease. 'Till then try staying alive.'
'Very well, ' said the man who was drowning. 'I'll try and stay afloat.
By reciting the poems of Browning
And other things he wrote.'

'Help, help, ' said the man with the disease, 'I suddenly feel quite ill.'
'Keep calm.' said the man who was drowning, ' Breathe deeply and lie quite still.'
'Oh dear, ' said the man with the awful disease. 'I think I'm going to die.'
'Farewell, ' said the man who was drowning.
Said the man with the disease, 'goodbye.'

So the man who was drowning, drownded
And the man with the disease past away.
But apart from that,
And a fire in my flat,
It's been a very nice day.
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Mark Doty, at the Dodge Poetry Festival.
About the choir


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From Poetry magazine, 2009 Sept (note, NOT the same as poetrymagazine.com)

Why do you stay up so late?

by Don Paterson

For Russ

I’ll tell you, if you really want to know:
remember that day you lost two years ago
at the rockpool where you sat and played the jeweler
with all those stones you’d stolen from the shore?
Most of them went dark and nothing more,
but sometimes one would blink the secret color
it had locked up somewhere in its stony sleep.
This is how you knew the ones to keep.

So I collect the dull things of the day
in which I see some possibility
but which are dead and which have the surprise
I don’t know, and I’ve no pool to help me tell—
so I look at them and look at them until
one thing makes a mirror in my eyes
then I paint it with the tear to make it bright.
This is why I sit up through the night.

*******************

poem found here:
Do stop by and browse a bit...
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And a Villanelle, with slant rhyme (the best). I think I might look for every modern villanelle I can find on the net.

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.
^

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