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Good poetry?


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#21 Christian

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 01:39 PM

And NOW I discover (alert Jeffrey Overstreet!) that Over the Rhine has been influenced by the poetry collection I currently have on loan from the library.

#22 stu

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 05:45 PM

I liked that 'Praying Drunk' poem, very much. Once my masters is finished (friday, in theory) I'm gonna read for pleasure again...

#23 Overstreet

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 10:44 AM

QUOTE
And NOW I discover (alert Jeffrey Overstreet!) that Over the Rhine has been influenced by the poetry collection I currently have on loan from the library.


Influenced? Hudgins, his wife (author Erin McGraw), Detweiler, and Bergquist are good friends! When Anne and I were in Santa Fe a few months ago, we went out to dinner with the four of them and laughed until we ached.

I've got a great photo of the four of us taken by the waiter after the first round of margaritas.

Hudgins and McGraw are both incredible writers. They both offered readings at the Glen Workshop. Hudgins has a collection of Silverstein-like poems for children that fall under the "sick and twisted" category that will just crack you up. That collection's tenatively titled, "Shut Up, You're Fine."



#24 Christian

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 10:52 AM

QUOTE(Jeffrey Overstreet @ Oct 6 2005, 10:44 AM)
Hudgins and McGraw are both incredible writers. They both offered readings at the Glen Workshop. Hudgins has a collection of Silverstein-like poems for children that fall under the "sick and twisted" category that will just crack you up. That collection's tenatively titled, "Shut Up, You're Fine."

View Post



Huh. I don't remember you recommending his work when I've inquired about poets in the past. But I'm glad to hear you're way ahead of me on this, and that you endorse him wholeheartedly. I've received those three collections I recently ordered but haven't read beyond the first two poems of "The Never-Ending."

Hudgins read a couple of poems at the National Book Festival from the collection you mentioned, then asked us to vote on the title. He clearly preferred "Shut Up, You're Fine," but I voted, as did half the crowd, for the other option, which escapes me at this moment. I have a problem with "shut up." But Hudgins appeared to have his mind made up, despite the vote.

#25 Overstreet

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 10:59 AM

My wife is the poetry authority in our house, and she's been a Hudgins fan for years. He's one of the main reasons we attended the workshop... him, B.H. Fairchild, Barry Moser, Erin McGraw... and those crazy Ohio minstrels...

#26 Christian

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:48 PM

I may have mentioned earlier that my recent interest in poetry was sparked during my early morning walks, when, at 6:30 each morning, I’d hear “The Writer’s Almanac” on a local NPR affiliate, ending each day with Garrison Keillor’s reading of a poem.

Over the weekend, I finally picked up Keillor’s bound collection of poems from the “Almanac,” titled “Good Poems for Hard Times”.

Today’s poem, St. John's Monks File in to Prayer, is lovely.

I’d copy it in this space, but I’m afraid I’d be flagged for copyright violation. Please follow the link if you’re interested in reading the poem.


#27 techne

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 11:54 PM

anne carson - love how she rescues and shifts language
mr. cohen - esp. book of mercy, death of a lady's man
bp nichol - the martyrology is an epic work both searching and playfull
erin moure - more language games, perhaps a bit theory driven
stephanie bolster - got milk?
gerry shikatani - only read one collected works and fell in love with the narrative of memory and loss
robert kroetsch - seed catalogue is still great but the sad phoenician rocks
gerry gilbert - fun fun fun
jan zwicky - philosopher and poet; get both books: lyric philosophy and wisdom & metaphor
w.s. merwin - elegant poems

Edited by techne, 17 March 2006 - 12:02 AM.


#28 rathmadder

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 07:29 AM

I like Franz Wright a lot. He has gotten involved in controversy from time to time but the poems themselves are full of generosity and a genuine spiritual yearning. Raymond Carver's poetry gets overshadowed by his short stories but is good. It might be an Irish thing but I think few contemporary writers are as good as Seamus Heaney. Czeslaw Milosz was terrific too. I noticed some people mentioning William Cowper, who's one of my own personal favourites. Well, the Irish poet Brian Lynch just published a novel, The Winner Of Sorrow, about Cowper's life. It's been well reviewed and nominated for awards and quite deservedly, it's very good indeed. (There's some fine stuff on the evangelical ferment of the time, and a good portrait of the slave trader turned hymnist John Newton. I notice Jeffrey Overstreet mentions him in another forum.) You can probably get it on amazon.co.uk if you're interested. Don't diss song lyrics vis a vis poetry, though, is there a better modern religious poem than Every Grain Of Sand from Dylan's Shot Of Love album? I haven't posted in months, two new twin daughters don't leave much time for thought let alone writing, but it's nice to be back.

#29 Christian

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 10:39 AM

QUOTE(nardis @ Mar 16 2006, 04:52 PM) View Post

Christian, thanks for the link to the poem - BTW, have you seen Keillor's Good Poems? It's the 1st anthology he edited from material aired on the show. Definitely worth getting.


Thanks for the tip. I had no idea such a book existed prior to the latest collection.

#30 Christian

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 02:42 PM

Today’s entry from Good Poems for Hard Times, “Passengers,” by Billy Collins, is another winner. I found it here.

People criticize Collins’ poetry. This is the only thing of his I’ve read, and based on it alone, I could stand to read some more.


#31 Josh Hurst

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 03:31 PM

QUOTE(Christian @ Apr 5 2006, 03:42 PM) View Post

Today’s entry from Good Poems for Hard Times, “Passengers,” by Billy Collins, is another winner. I found it here.

People criticize Collins’ poetry. This is the only thing of his I’ve read, and based on it alone, I could stand to read some more.


Thanks for the link, Christian. I love Collins' poetry, and have never really understood the criticism. Yes, the language is very simple, but there's a lot more going on in his poems than first meets the eye. They're so full of humor and compassion, and so sharply observed, that I find them to consistently great.

#32 ruthie

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 11:58 AM


I am entirely unaware of this poet, Aaron Kramer, other than his poem Prothalamium. Because this poem ranks as one of my favorites, I suppose I should check out the rest of his work sometime.


#33 thescribe

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 04:42 AM

QUOTE(Josh Hurst @ Sep 11 2003, 02:08 AM) View Post

I must confess that, outside of song lyrics, I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to good poetry.

Does anyone have any favorite poets or books of poetry that they can recommend? Or any acclaimed poets that you don't see what all the fuss is about?

Specific poems that are meaningful to you?


When I joined my first band, we caled ourselves "The Booke of Urizen" after William Blake's book of poems. I have most of his works and I still think that his poetry is second to none, even though I can appreciate modern poetry, I still think the oldies are the best.

If you can read anything in its raw prose, even airport novels and trash literature - EVEN tabliod press stories, then you will undoubtedly find some good poetry and turn of phrase in it. Most authors and journalists are poets in ther subconscious scribing and this is why the written word remains - the most powerful magic on earth!

Have you read any of J D Morrison? the thrill in minimalist poetry is always going to be an enigma, but long spieling prose usually has the most respect.

Again, I say, you should read everything that you read as if it were sheer poetry, enjoy the words on a page as if they are not a mere story, but an artform, and the prose of the soul of the author who scribes it.

#34 BethR

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 10:03 PM

By a convoluted serendipitous route, I happened to discover that singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams is the daughter of the fine poet Miller Williams. Maybe everyone else knew this. Anyway, I recommend them both.

#35 yank_eh

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 01:07 PM

No Seamus Heaney fans out there??

#36 BethR

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 04:35 PM

I like Seamus Heaney's poetry--e.g., The Spirit Level, Sweeney Astray.
But don't get me started on his Beowulf translation. dry.gif

#37 Christian

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 06:46 PM

QUOTE (Jeffrey Overstreet @ Oct 6 2005, 10:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hudgins has a collection of Silverstein-like poems for children that fall under the "sick and twisted" category that will just crack you up. That collection's tenatively titled, "Shut Up, You're Fine."


Three and a half years after the quoted post, the collection is now out! Just came across a review in the Washington City Paper.

Man, even a notable poet has to wait forever to get his poems collected. I wonder if he didn't have enough poems when I heard him read long ago from the collection, or if the publisher had to wait until the economics made more sense. Who knows?

Edited by Christian, 05 March 2009 - 06:48 PM.


#38 anglicanbeachparty

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:42 PM

Of the ones already recommended, I concur with John Donne and T. S. Eliot.

I would add the following:

George Herbert is almost without peer, in my opinion.

John Updike wrote some very good poems.

John Betjeman is someone who needs to be mentioned in a positive way.

Robert W. Service is eschewed by highbrows, but actually wrote some wonderful poems.

In the shamless plug department, I consider my wife Cynthia Erlandson to be the world's best living poet.

And let us not forget Percy Dovetonsils!

In the "How On Earth Did Anyone Ever Think This Poet Was Any Good" category, the clear winner for me is ...









.... wait for it ...





Rainer Maria Rilke. I found his stuff to be utterly without value.

#39 Hugues

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:20 PM

Don't know if this question has been treated on this forum yet, but I keep wondering: are there two notions of what we call poetry?

There's the written one, as an experience of language. I guess it's *real* poetry. But there's another one, which is more a feeling, and that we can find in any form of art (movies, songs, music, paintings, etc).

Do you agree with these two notions of poetry, or do you think the second one should be called differently?

I hope I'm being clear here, I'm never sure of my English. Thanks in advance for your answers if you have ones. wink.gif

#40 Hugues

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 02:10 AM

Sure it makes sense, thanks for sharing your view.

There is also some written poetry with no emotion which remains poetry all the same. Since I'm French I'm thinking of the poetry of Paul Verlaine, for example, which is often only "plastique", and musical, and rhythmic, but in a mathematic way, that you reach with science and "savoir-faire" only. This "cold" poetry can be totally beautiful. A bit like the moon: you contemplate its beauty, you dream under its soft light, but this moon doesn't express any emotion.

To me, in French poetry, there is more emotion with Jacques Prévert than with Verlaine or Rimbaud, or even Baudelaire. The latter was powerful in the quality of his confessions, though. Lately, his poem "Les Petites vieilles", which I must have read fifty times in my life, spoke to me like it never did before. I was *hearing* him in all his immodesty, despair and humanity, whereas before, there was a sort of distance between this poem and my reading. I was seeing it like a fancy, whereas its vibrant and heart-naked.

(english translation here)

Edited by Hugues, 14 March 2009 - 02:19 AM.