, produced by WGBH, in cooperation with the Poetry Foundation, presents videos of poetry being read, often by the author
And, if you want to introduce a child to poetry, don't miss the animated films
made by students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
(there even seems to be one written and animated especially for MetaFilter, Spacebar)
posted by HuronBob
on Mar 8, 2014 -
I wallow on my knees in thick mud, hoedag in hand slogging up a near vertical hillside, napalmed bare... rain whistling sideways so hard it bores through my hermetic, vulcanized head-to-toe rainsuit. I look like an astronaut traversing across an eerie, silent moon crater rhythmically bending over to scrape the ground every 6-9 steps... That was 1978 when I was a migrant treeplanter; a job the Oregon State Employment Service lists as the hardest physical work known to this office.., one person in fifty succeeds the three week training period. Like thousands of other college grads that year, I was the product of a liberal education promising an exciting, good job as reward for four years of costly training. So what the hell was I doing planting trees and eating mud for a living? Well I'll tell ya, being a rowdy forest worker in a self-managed collective of modern gypsies traveling the beautiful hinterlands of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and northern California made career pursuits or regular employment look awfully dull. Hoedad's Stories and Poems - the rise and fall of an American reforestation cooperative. [more inside]
posted by mannequito
on Jan 10, 2014 -
Nearly 200 years after "A Visit from St. Nicholas
" was written, the authorship is still in dispute
. In the years since, there have been quite a few parodies and variants of the poem written, recorded and performed, including at least two different versions of a Cajun Night Before Christmas (a recording
of the version by Te-Jules
, and Trosclair's version
[Google books preview], read by Larry Ray
, recorded from WLOX
). Snopes tracked down the history of The Soldier's Night Before Christmas
, Fifties Web collected 21 tame versions
(with auto-playing music), and Dirty Xmas
has a number of "adult" versions. Yuks 'R' Us has a large collection
, including some dated computer-related stories. Speaking of dated, you can view a vintage '98 "enhanced" version of the original poem
plus more variations from Purple Lion
(a member of the Merry Christmas Webring from 1998
). But for the ultimate collection of variants and parodies, you might recall this thread from 2002
. The link is dead, but Archive.org caught the site
around that time, with 581 versions. That was over a decade ago, and now Alechemist Matt is up to 849 versions, parodies and variants of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 24, 2013 -
"Oh, show us the way, to the next whiskey-bar. Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why." And so opens the Alabama Song
(Google books preview) by Bertholt Brecht and Brecht's close collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann
(Gbp), first published in 1927. Brecht set it to music and performed it on stages all over Berlin, but the better known version was scored by classical composer Kurt Weill, who was impressed with Brecht’s poetry and wanted to break away from the constraints of his previous work
. It was this version, first performed by Lotte Lenya
, that was made famous by The Doors
and their use of a Marxophone
). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 13, 2013 -
, a poet, teacher,
, was chosen
to be the nation's fifth inaugural poet
is the author of the collections of poetry
"City of a Hundred Fires
," "Directions to the Beach of the Dead
," "Place of Mind
," and "Looking for the Gulf Motel
." He is the first immigrant, first Latino, the first openly gay person and the youngest to be the U.S. inaugural poet.
The poem he read
was "One Today" (full text
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Jan 22, 2013 -
In 1977-1978, a public access TV show called Public Access Poetry
featured leading poets from across the country (Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Eileen Myles, John Yau, Brad Gooch, just to name a few). [more inside]
posted by mattbucher
on Sep 23, 2011 -
She's an animator who loves poetry.
He's a poet who loves animation.
Their collaboration, along with the help of many other animators and poets,
has resulted in a storm of Motionpoems
. (More on vimeo & youtube.)
posted by carsonb
on May 26, 2011 -
One day last year, while working on a biography of the publisher Scofield Thayer, I opened a folder of papers related to his magazine The Dial. The folder contained undated letters from the poet E.E. Cummings to Thayer, early versions of a couple Cummings’ poems and one poem by Cummings I couldn’t remember ever seeing before. It was called "(tonite" and, until I came across it, it was unknown. James Dempsey discusses Scofield Thayer, E.E. Cummings, their relationship, and a heretofore unknown, unpublished poem.
posted by shakespeherian
on May 26, 2011 -
Viking love poems
(not to be confused with Vogon poetry
). 200 years before medieval troubadours "created" romantic poetry, skalds such as Gunnlaug Snaketongue, Hallfred the Troublesome Poet and Kormak Ogmundarson told of their hearts' ecstasies and despairs. [more inside]
posted by msalt
on Nov 28, 2009 -
Sir Humphry Davy
Was not fond of gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.
This is the first example of the form that came to be known as the clerihew
. [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on Jul 24, 2009 -
Oh cow, oh cow, what are you thinking? Should I leave the gate open?
Are you content? Would you be happy?
Do you yearn? Would you turn feral?
Do you want freedom? Oh cow
Greener pastures? Moo cow
A bull? Run free cow The Online Dairy Ode Contest
was a light-hearted, web-based, sister competition to the James McIntyre Poetry Contest
. It was held at irregular intervals from 2001 to 2005. The only criterion for entry was that the poems had to be Dairy Odes; ie about dairy products, cows, or dairying.
posted by carsonb
on Jun 16, 2009 -
Should you find yourself wandering around the city of Leiden, the Netherlands sometime, you may notice some curious markings
on the city's walls.
("Wall Poems") adorn many of the town's streets (clickable map)
, and many English-language poets are represented: one John Keats
, for instance, inside a bookshop; Dylan Thomas
, E. E. Cummings
, W.B. Yeats
, some guy called William Shakespeare
, or this ode to Charlie Parker
by American William Waring Cuney
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Apr 5, 2009 -
The Drunken Boat
publishes poetry from around the world, translations of poetry, reviews of poetry collections and anthologies, and interviews with well-known poets. The current issue features Cave Canem poets
, home for the many voices of African-American poetry and committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African-American poets.
posted by netbros
on Feb 22, 2009 -
The Gawain Project
is an ongoing translation of the late 14th century anonymous poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
(originally written in Middle English) into Modern English, for the amusement of Arthurians and anyone who likes a good story. [via mefi projects]
posted by Effigy2000
on Feb 13, 2009 -
A math professor
was explaining a particularly complicated calculus concept to his class when a frustrated pre-med student interrupts him. "Why do we have to learn this stuff?" the pre-med blurts out. The professor pauses, and answers matter-of-factly: "Because math saves lives." "How?" demanded the student. "How on Earth does calculus save lives?" "Because," replied the professor, "it keeps certain people out of medical school."
posted by cthuljew
on Nov 9, 2008 -
is a simple, no frills site with over 200 classical Chinese poems, mostly from the Tang period. The poems are presented in traditional and simplified chinese characters, pinyin and English translation, both literal and literary. Here's Du Mu's Drinking Alone
Outside the window, wind and snow blow straight,
I clutch the stove and open a flask of wine.
Just like a fishing boat in the rain,
Sail down, asleep on the autumn river.
Among other poets featured are Li Bai
(a.k.a. Li Po), Du Fu
and Wang Wei
. As a bonus, here's the entire text of Ezra Pound's Cathay
, most of whom are from Li Bai originals.
posted by Kattullus
on May 19, 2008 -