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Good poetry?


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#41 Hugues

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 12:42 PM

QUOTE (phlox @ Mar 14 2009, 04:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The French Symbolists seemed so nihilistic, totally into masks and artifice. Except Paul Claudel think he became a devout Catholic.


Yep, except Baudelaire, Verlaine and Rimbaud weren't Symbolists, only their followers. What was to consider for them, is the authenticity coming from the language alone, in all its invention and creativity, above - or along with - its subject and meaning.

There was, to me, a similar evolution in paintings. Impressionnists were getting away from high and noble ambitions of classicism and romanticism to favour more free and vivid expressions, and it was suddenly a breath of fresh air.

Edited by Hugues, 14 March 2009 - 12:43 PM.


#42 anglicanbeachparty

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:03 AM

By way of my wife, I would like to add Thomas Hardy to the "good" list. Here's an example of his poetry ...

New Year's Eve

"I have finished another year," said God,
"In grey, green, white, and brown;
I have strewn the leaf upon the sod,
Sealed up the worm within the clod
And let the last sun down."

"And what's the good of it?" I said.
"What reasons made you call
From formless void this earth we tread,
When nine-and-ninety can be read
Why nought should be at all?

"Yea, Sire; why shaped you us, 'who in
This tabernacle groan' --
If ever a joy be found herein,
Such joy no man had wished to win
If he had never known!"

Then he: "My labours -- logicless
You may explain; not I;
Sense-sealed I have wrought, without a guess
That I evolved a Consciousness
To ask for reasons why.

"Strange that ephemeral creatures who
By my own ordering are,
Should see the shortness of my view,
Use ethic tests I never knew,
Or made provision for!"

He sank to raptness as of yore,
And opening New Year's Day
Wove it by rote as theretofore,
And went on working evermore
In his unweeting way.

#43 Christian

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:40 PM

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.

This volume came out some time ago, but I never picked it up. Now Hudgins has published American Rendering which collects poems from six past volumes, but not from Shut Up, You're Fine. Twenty-four new poems are included in the newly published collection.

#44 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 05:39 PM

Gerard Manley Hopkins remains my favorite ...

Nothing is so beautiful as spring -
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. - Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.


- Poems, 1918

#45 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:33 AM

I'm starting to read through G.K. Chesterton's poetry. "Cyclopean" has left a lasting impression with me. As I understand it, it's just a tiny hint of the beauty of Creation here that prevents a murder.

A mountainous and mystic brute
No rein can curb, no arrow shoot,
Upon whose doomed deformed back
I sweep the planets’ scorching track.

Old is the elf, and wise, men say,
His hair grows green as ours grows grey;
He mocks the stars with myriad hands,
High as that swinging forest stands.

But though in pigmy wanderings dull
I scour the deserts of his skull,
I never find the face, eyes, teeth,
Lowering or laughing underneath.

I met my foe in an empty dell,
His face in the sun was naked hell.
I thought, ‘One silent, bloody blow,
No priest would curse, no crowd would know.’

Then cowered: a daisy, half concealed,
Watched for the fame of that poor field;
And in that flower and suddenly
Earth opened its one eye on me.


- The Wild Knight and Other Poems, 1900


#46 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 10:21 PM



#47 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:59 PM

While lying on my back to make an angel in the snow,
I saw a greenish craft appear! a giant UFO!


A strange, unearthly hum it made! It hovered overhead!
And aliens were moving 'round in viewing ports glowing red!


I tried to run for cover, but a hook that they had low'r'd
Snagged me by my overcoat and hoisted me aboard!


Even then, I tried to fight, and though they numbered many,
I poked them in their compound eyes and pulled on their antennae!


It was no use! They dragged me to a platform, tied me up,
And wired to my cranium a fiendish suction cup!


They turned it on and current coursed across my cerebellum,
Coaxing things from my brain tissue, the things I wouldn't tell 'em!


All the math I ever learned, the numbers and equations,
Were mechanic'ly removed in this brain-draining operation!


My escape was an adventure. (I won't tell you what I did.)
But suffice to say, I cannot add, so ask some other kid.


- Bill Watterson

#48 truly broken being

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 12:51 PM

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?



Break out time:

THE BURIED LIFE.
http://www.victorian...buriedlife.html

Favorite poem.
I weep every time.

On a different note, has anyone here ever read any major Sufi poetry, such as Hafiz or Rumi? If so, What was the effect?

Edited by truly broken being, 15 November 2011 - 12:51 PM.


#49 Thom Jurek (unregistered)

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:07 AM


On a different note, has anyone here ever read any major Sufi poetry, such as Hafiz or Rumi? If so, What was the effect?



It's all in the translation. For Rumi it's Coleman Barks and John Moyne--The Essential Rumi.

For Hafiz it's Daniel Landinsky; the book is called the Gift.


I would also recommend Kabir. The Ecstatic Poems translated by Robert Bly (of all people) are wonderful. For more of his work, see the fantastic--and closer translations by Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore in The Songs Of Kabir.

Edited by Thom Jurek, 21 November 2011 - 11:08 AM.


#50 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:27 PM

I just discovered this one.

"GOD bless the man who first invented sleep!"
So Sancho Panza said, and so say I
And bless him, also, that he didn't keep
His great discovery to himself; nor try
To make it - as the lucky fellow might -
A close monopoly by patent-right!

Yes - bless the man who first invented sleep,
(I really can't avoid the iteration;)
But blast the man, with curses loud and deep,
Whate'er the rascal's name, or age, or station,
Who first invented, and went round advising,
That artificial cut-off - Early Rising!

"Rise with the lark, and with the lark to bed,"
Observes some solemn, sentimental owl;
Maxims like these are very cheaply said;
But, ere you make yourself a fool or fowl,
Pray just inquire about his rise and fall,
And whether larks have any beds at all!

The time for honest folks to be a-bed
Is in the morning, if I reason right;
And he who cannot keep his precious head
Upon his pillow till it's fairly light,
And so enjoy his forty morning winks,
Is up to knavery; or else - he drinks!

Thompson, who sung about the "Seasons," said
It was a glorious thing to rise in season;
But then he said it - lying - in his bed,
At ten o'clock A.M., - the very reason
He wrote so charmingly. The simple fact is
His preaching wasn't sanctioned by his practice.

'Tis doubtless, well to be sometimes awake, -
Awake to duty, and awake to truth, -
But when, alas! a nice review we take
Of our best deeds and days, we find, in sooth,
The hours that leave the slightest cause to weep
Are those we passed in childhood or asleep!

'Tis beautiful to leave the world awhile
For the soft visions of the gentle night;
And free, at last, from mortal care or guile,
To live as only in the angel's sight,
In sleep's sweet realm so cosily shut in,
Where, at the worst, we only dream of sin!

So let us sleep, and give the Maker praise.
I like the lad who, when his father thought
To clip his morning nap by hackneyed phrase
Of vagrant worm by early songster caught,
Cried, "Served him right! - it's not at all surprising;
The worm was punished, sir, for early rising!"

- John G. Saxe

#51 truly broken being

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:38 AM



On a different note, has anyone here ever read any major Sufi poetry, such as Hafiz or Rumi? If so, What was the effect?



It's all in the translation. For Rumi it's Coleman Barks and John Moyne--The Essential Rumi.

For Hafiz it's Daniel Landinsky; the book is called the Gift.


I would also recommend Kabir. The Ecstatic Poems translated by Robert Bly (of all people) are wonderful. For more of his work, see the fantastic--and closer translations by Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore in The Songs Of Kabir.



Late reply (and discovery), but thank you, thank you! I will look into these! It's not the first time I've come across "the Gift," and thank you for your other reccommendations! I'm sure they mean much to you.


Getting back to the original inquiry, may I highly, highly reccommend other works by Matthew Arnold? His collected poems are available free via Kindle, for those of you. "Morality" is another very good one. He seems beautifully to blend high, lofty ideals with practical, earthly concerns! He is a rare gift.

#52 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:15 AM


Edited by Persiflage, 18 April 2012 - 02:16 AM.


#53 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:09 PM

Joshua Weiner reviews Attack of the Difficult Poems by Charles Bernstein in the Los Angeles Review of Books -

... What’s being entertained here are at least two things, for the joke is neither facetious nor smug: the tonal caricature conveys straight forward reminders useful to any reader of poetry, but especially those readers who eschew difficulty because they don’t feel up to it: relax, get busy — after all, difficulty in poetry is “normal,” “innate;” and “smoothing over difficulties is not the solution!”

One could hardly argue; after all, Bernstein sounds as if he’s asking for a retooled negative capability, of attending to but not straining after an understanding, allowing oneself to reside in the presence of something that’s mysterious, unknown, even if it’s critical of another poetry’s “mystification.” But “the tendency to idealize the accessible poem,” which still circulates in the economy of reviews, prizes, jobs, and chancellorships, warrants the counter-claim that difficult poems have attributes that spur us to consider: what is language; what is poetry; how does it work; and what is its value? (In the context of teaching, which is the inspired concern of the first part of this collection, we have to remember that what an undergraduate with no conscious experience of poetry finds difficult could be any piece of writing. And often what a teacher finds himself doing with a poem in the classroom is to suggest its difficulty right where a student reads simplicity. Those for whom poetry and difficulty are synonyms, however, generally aren’t stopping in; it all remains an irrelevant mystery, warranting a detour one bypasses on the way to Econ 101.)

As the “Dr. Poetry” persona soon after drops, we find Bernstein earnestly promoting the value of poetry and the humanities as an open-ended inquiry that’s precious for creating experiences liberated from the logic of capital ... It is precisely this kind of flexibility and double-hinged intelligence, keen on paradox and chiasmic thinking, that makes Bernstein’s book so useful: as a practical guide through the perilous logic of short-term gain that now plagues the university, to classroom pedagogies (what he calls creative “wreading”), to further statements in the ongoing manifesto that is Bernstein’s declaration of poetic “practice,” and that clearly informs his teaching: “poetry as process”; scholarship as “explanation by association”; “poetics as “philosophy of composition”; the notion that “poetry begins in the present moment and moves backward and forward from there” ... When it comes to thinking about poems, however, I still favor analysis, the deep dive into the mechanics of language and form, and as important to teach as poetics, granting that the former is impossible without the latter ...

“With the advent of the photo/phono electronic, postliterate age, the emerging function for poetry is neither the storage of collective memory nor the projection of individual voice, but rather an exploration of the medium through which the storage and expressive functions of language work [. . .] Poetry’s singular burden in a digital age is to sound the means of transmission: call it poetry’s textual function, making audible/visible the ethos enacted in and by the fabric of writing.” This is a bracing salvo, as Bernstein devotes himself to thinking about the most important question facing poetry: what does poetry do, what can it do, today, that is special to it as a medium. It’s an essential question, and searching out a plausible answer requires engagement not only with poetry but also with the full range of our communications technology — its past, present, and the forecasts for its future ... Regardless of the kind of poetry you like to read or write, if you care about the fate of poetry in a digital age then you have to think about this: what constitutes a text, let alone a poem, or a public ...


#54 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:01 PM



#55 phlox

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 06:40 AM

Interesting piece on Charles Bernstein’s analysis.

 

From poetry listings this past year, I’m curious about the new collections by Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Frank Bidart - and David Lehman’s anthology, Best American Poetry 2013.  The one that most intrigues me is Mary Syzbist’s Incarnadine (won the National Book Award) --

 

“In her gorgeous second collection, Mary Szybist blends traditional and experimental aesthetics to recast the myth of the Biblical Mary for this era. In vulnerable lyrics, surprising concrete poems, with extraordinary sympathy and a light touch of humor, Szybist probes the nuances of love, loss, and the struggle for religious faith in a world that seems to argue against it." —National Book Awards judges

 

"A religious book for a secular America, this is among the most arresting and inventive collections of the past few years. . . . [Szybist is] a restless formal experimenter and a humble, compassionate observer of the complicated glory of the world.” —Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR

 


Edited by phlox, 09 December 2013 - 06:42 AM.


#56 Rushmore

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 01:20 AM

Last year I discovered a wonderful writer named Paris Leary. His completely unknown, hard-to-find 1963 novel The Innocent Curate deserves to be a classic of religious fiction. He also edited an anthology of modern poetry called A Controversy of Poets (surely the best title for such a book I've ever heard), which includes this by Leary himself:

 

Views of The Oxford Colleges

 

There are no red leaves in yellow Oxford,

no acrid scent of red leaves burning

on wet grass waiting to be brown.

At night the coal-smoke settling on the town

brought the small sky closer, and the turning

of the earth numbed the keys in awkward locks.

 

Moisture logs the print of Christ’s scorched shadow

sagging  from the frost-crippled altar

where the breath rimes the chalice with a touch

of cold humanity and snaps with such

frozen Amens that fingers smart and falter

in their chilled blessing over silent bread.

 

A ragged cat with yellow dignity

moves like a stone along a ragged wall

and vanishes from sight by standing still.

But the season will not change for me until

I walk ankle-deep through the blazing fall

and watch the wind blow the sun away.

 

For though the summer rose in me in Ludlow,

and though a second autumn pales me here,

yet always it is Tilbury Town that rises

round me where the Cherwell and the Isis

swell gently with the custom of the year.

It is too many years until the snow.

 

Christ in sacrifice leans dangerously

from the chipped wall, his broken nose

and powdered eyes brutal with centuries.

Leaves drop like jaundiced blood from chestnut trees

but, falling where the feeble morning rose,

scatter mercy down the thin lame street—

 

and in that part of mind where I am youngest

sumac bleeds and crimson cracks like thunder

through maples incandescent with the reason

there are no red leaves this yellow season;

and I, admiring Magdalen Tower, wonder

how the age has scraped Christ’s blood from everything.



#57 Josie

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:18 PM

I love the cat lines and the final stanza. Thank you for posting this, Rushmore!



#58 Christian

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 04:33 PM

Indulge me for just one more post on Andrew Hudgins. I figured I should link to the poem of his that hooked me, but I couldn�t turn it up through a Google search. Instead, I found Hudgins� �Praying Drunk,� which I�ve just now read. I think I love it.

Thoughts? Is this sort of poetry considered too cute?

FWIW, the title of the poem that hooked me is "In the Bleachers," in the collection Babylon in a Jar.

I just came across a NY Times review of a Kyle Minor book, Praying Drunk, which sounds like it could be great if it doesn't overwhelm me with despair:

 

You see where this is going — eventually the finger of blame points at the face of God. Once God enters the discussion, he’s here to stay. In the next story, the 12-year-old narrator attends a Christian school, where his fear of the brutal bully is matched only by his fear of the coming Rapture. Later, another narrator (all of them are similar enough to be considered shades of the same type of person) struggles with his love for his girlfriend, whose covenant with God is so strong she won’t even let him kiss her. And in the ­Saunders-esque “The Truth and All Its Ugly,” the narrator learns the dangers of assuming the creator’s role when he orders a custom clone of his son, after the son has killed himself on his mother’s doorstep to harm her as acutely as possible.

 

The review concludes with this kicker:

 

The title of the book comes from an Andrew Hudgins poem containing the lines “This is my favorite sin: despair — / whose love I celebrate with wine and prayer.” Minor’s book is less a collection than an extended prayer, wrenched from the heart and wrought in the language of pain. One hopes that after the wine wears off, so too will some of the despair.


Edited by Christian, 26 April 2014 - 04:34 PM.


#59 Tucker

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 06:16 PM

Czesław Miłosz = da bomb



#60 techne

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 08:03 AM

jan zwicky, anne carson and maria howe. killer.