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“Sibyl, what do you want?” she answered: “I want to die.”

T.S. Eliot’s cultural clusterfuck and middle finger to the stripped-down simplicity of the Imagists. Let the folks over at rapgenius breakdown The Waste Land for you. [via]
posted by Think_Long on Mar 26, 2013 - 27 comments

The Inscrutable Brilliance of Anne Carson

Famous writer Anne Carson on ice bats: "I made up ice bats, there is no such thing." (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 14, 2013 - 34 comments

"The new creativity is pointing, not making."

Proudly Fraudulent: [The Awl] An Interview With MoMA's First Poet Laureate, Kenneth Goldsmith. [Previously] [Previously]
posted by Fizz on Mar 9, 2013 - 19 comments

"When I say this, it should mean laughter, not poison."

"Naming restricts. Once restricted, it’s easy to be judged and punished. Identity is more subtle, more liquid, I hope." An interview with Richard Siken, a poet whose work is easy, entertaining even, yet ferocious as all hell. If you're new to Siken, Scheherazade is a short introduction to the man and his style. You Are Jeff is a prose poem in twenty-six short, brutal chapters. Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out is one of his best: "You get magic gloves! A fish that talks! You get eyes like flashlights! / What more do you want? / I make you pancakes, I take you hunting, I talk to you as if you're / really there." He also paints.
posted by Rory Marinich on Mar 8, 2013 - 21 comments

Some call it whining. I call it facts.

Today, VIDA (Women in Literary Arts) published their annual VIDA count, breaking down the treatment of women in literature in 2012 and the past three years of trends.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 4, 2013 - 11 comments

I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.

Pablo Neruda (bio, pics, recordings) was a Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner. His work comprises 48 books* (excluding posthumous publications), the most famous of which remain Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (scribd, alt) (Spanish, alt) and Canto General (Spanish). Documentary. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Mar 1, 2013 - 13 comments

Pangur Bán

I and Pangur Bán, my cat,
'Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.
[...]
(spoken version, set to music) [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Feb 24, 2013 - 20 comments

Pork Chops and Karate Chops

Numerous artists come together to animate an Shane Koyczan's fantastic performance of his anti-bullying poem, To This Day. More info at To This Day Project.
posted by dobbs on Feb 20, 2013 - 11 comments

With malice, toward none

Lying in State: Advice for American Poets [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 19, 2013 - 7 comments

An image of a soundless voice

Only two works of Nonnus of Panopolis (fl. AD 400), arguably the last great poet of the Homeric tradition, survive complete. The first is his Dionysiaca, ostensibly an account of the adventures of Dionysus but embracing everything that touches chaos and fire and sound, "the longest surviving poem from classical antiquity and one of the most entertaining, outrageous and vivid epics ever conceived west of the Ganges." The second is the Metabole kata Ioannou [PDF]. It's a paraphrase of the Gospel of John into the idiom of Homer.
posted by Iridic on Feb 15, 2013 - 9 comments

Hwæt!

In 1731, a fire broke out in Ashburnham House, where the greatest collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, the Cottonian Library, was then being stored. Frantically, the trustees raced into the burning library and hurled priceless and unique manuscripts out the windows in order to save them. One of these was the sole manuscript of Beowulf. Today, bearing the charred edges of its brush with extinction, it's been digitized by the British Library, along with a group of other treasures including Leonardo Da Vinci's Codex Arundel and the Harley Golden Gospels.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 11, 2013 - 25 comments

Oh, what a tiny compressed history of love and struggle.

Sister Arts: On Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, and Others Starting off examining the friendship between Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich, Lisa L. Moore examines how poetry acted as the lingua franca of second-wave feminism. [more inside]
posted by eustacescrubb on Feb 11, 2013 - 2 comments

The bLogicarian

"The name "bLogicarian" may be one of the the most pretentious conglomerations of philhellenic puns I could concoct." A blog on language, poetry and translation. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Feb 5, 2013 - 1 comment

Sea. Common Night. Forest. City. Mountain. Private Light. Desert.

"From symbols and notions to literary and religious allusions, this chart contains [W.H.] Auden's view of the world (and of worlds beyond), at least as he envisioned it in the 1940s." [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Feb 1, 2013 - 17 comments

I HATE SPEECH

Jacket2 has digitzed all 10 editions of Roof magazine, an important publication in the development of language poetry. Featured poets include (pulled from a quick glance): Robert Duncan, Michael McClure, John Ashbery, Michael Castro, Robert Creeley, Alan Ginsberg, Diane Wakoski, Peter Inman, Octavio Paz.
posted by Think_Long on Feb 1, 2013 - 3 comments

my cat is sad

Spencer Madsen wrote a poem about his cat.
posted by Room 641-A on Jan 30, 2013 - 50 comments

it ain't the middle of life but I'm still / lost in the woods

Anselm Hollo, Finnish-born poet, translator, and teacher, has died. A major figure in the poetry avant garde for decades, Hollo was a professor at the Naropa Institute's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Robert Archambeau writes: "Hollo's grasp of the gulf between the sublimity of which poetry is capable, and the absurdities into which poets fall in pursuit of that chimera, a 'career in poetry,' made him the ideal person to hold the title of United States Anti-Laureate, to which he was elected by the Buffalo POETICS list back at the turn of the century."
posted by aught on Jan 30, 2013 - 7 comments

the impossible vocabulary of sorrow

Richard Blanco, a poet, teacher, and engineer, was chosen to be the nation's fifth inaugural poet. He 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/analysis)
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 22, 2013 - 28 comments

Shall I compare poop to a summer's day?

shakespoope.com
posted by cthuljew on Jan 16, 2013 - 35 comments

"the arts are just a part of the weapons of life"

The poet Jayne Cortez passed away this past December 28th in New York City (New York Times obituary). She started publishing her poems in the late 1960s and in the 70s began performing her poetry backed by music, first in collaboration with bassist Richard Davis, and then backed by her own band The Firespitters. Some of their tracks have found their way to YouTube: I See Chano Pozo, If the Drum Is a Woman, There It Is, Maintain Control & Economic Love Song I, Everybody Wants to Be Somebody, Takin' the Blues Back Home, Talk to Me (for Don Cherry), I've Been Searching, You Can Be and Endangered Species List Blues. Just two years ago she performed solo with her son by Ornette Coleman, drummer Denardo Coleman: Find Your Own Voice, I'm Gonna Shake and She Got He Got. In 1997 she was featured on University of California television network in the series Artists on the Cutting Edge where she read poems and discussed her work. Finally, here's a brief clip from the 1982 documentary Poetry in Motion, where she was interviewed.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 5, 2013 - 4 comments

I can haz greatest poems of twentieth century??

The poetry of Pablo Neruda, as read by cats.
posted by daisystomper on Jan 2, 2013 - 14 comments

"and even when there's nowhere left, no refuge for their pain, they turn to the illusion of travelling" - Kajal Ahmad, translated by Mimi Khalvati

The Poetry Translation Centre pairs living poets from Asia, Africa and Latin America with English-language translators and then puts the resulting translations online. You can browse the poetry by country, language, translator or poet. Besides the hundreds of individual poems, all presented in the original and both literal and poetic translations, many have been recorded in dual readings by translator and poet, and put online as videos or mp3s (look for the microphone or camera icon). There are also podcasts to download, articles to read, and chapbooks to purchase. It is absurd to single out a few poems as favorites, but nonetheless, here are a few that struck me hard, Birds by Kajal Ahmad, translated by Mimi Khalvati, Cataclysm and Songs by Conceição Lima, translated in a workshop, and Survivors by Choe Young-mi, translated by Kyoo Lee and Sarah Maguire (who is the founder and director of the Poetry Translation Centre). If these poems do not hit you, no need to worry as there are literally hundreds more to read. [via The Guardian]
posted by Kattullus on Jan 2, 2013 - 5 comments

The News-Boy to His Customers

The Carrier's Address In the first two centuries of American newspapering, printers ended the year with elaborately worded decorated holiday messages, often in verse, written in the voice of the printer's boy or news carrier, hinting that the end of year would be a great time for a Christmas or New Year's tip.
posted by Miko on Jan 1, 2013 - 1 comment

Twelve Missives from the Roi des Belges

Perched high up above the Thames in downtown London every month this past year a different writer has spent four days living in a replica of the Roi des Belges, the boat Marlow travels up the Congo in Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness. Each author would write a short text during their stay "which explores London, rivers, the work of Joseph Conrad, or even all three." They would be visited on the last day by a journalist from The Guardian who recorded them reading their essay, poem or short story. Among the poets, historians and novelists were Adonis, Jeanette Winterson, Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje and Kamila Shamsie. These recordings, each prefaced by a short interview, are all available on the Guardian website, to stream or download. Below the cut there is a link to each recording, with a short description. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 31, 2012 - 7 comments

Cities and the Soul

With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else. December 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Invisible Cities -- the sublime metaphysical travelogue by author-journalist Italo Calvino. In a series of pensive dialogues with jaded emperor Kublai Khan, the explorer Marco Polo describes a meandering litany of visionary and impossible places, dozens of surreal, fantastical cities, each poetically reifying ideas vital to language, philosophy, and the human spirit. This gracefully written love letter to urban life has inspired countless tributes, but it's just the most accessible of Calvino's fascinating literary catalogue. Look inside for a closer look at his most remarkable works, links to English translations of his magical prose, and collections of artistic interpretations from around the web -- including this treasure trove of essays, excerpts, articles, and recommended reading. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 30, 2012 - 26 comments

"I watched the entire street turn hot and black with smoke and then, after a few minutes, stared up at the hole in the roof and saw thousands of small gray ashes—pieces of paper, books, newspapers—floating down from the sky."

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here is a project initiated by San Francisco bookseller and poet Beau Beausoleil that began as a response to the 2007 bombing [previously on MeFi] of the Baghdad bookselling center Al-Mutanabbi Street. After the attack the authorities made an effort to revive the area but recently the government has begun to make life difficult for the booksellers and intends to turn the street into an animal market. The Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here project consists of book art created by 260 artists and authors from all over the world, but also includes essays, exhibitions and readings, some of which have been put online as videos. You can see a lot of artists' books online at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts and the Centre for Fine Print Research (1, 2, 3). The history of the project was told in a recent essay in World Literature Today by Persis M. Karim.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 29, 2012 - 5 comments

Dark Field Microscopy

  • I did not know the incense storing temple,
  • I walked a few miles into the clouded peaks.
  • No man on the path between the ancient trees,
  • A bell rang somewhere deep among the hills.
  • A spring sounded choked, running down steep rocks,
  • The green pines chilled the sunlight's coloured rays.
  • Come dusk, at the bend of a deserted pool,
  • Through meditation I controlled passion's dragon.
Stopping at Incense Storing Temple, Wang Wei (699-759)
posted by lemuring on Dec 17, 2012 - 13 comments

Farewell Angelina by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Nana Mouskouri, among others

Audio only, Newport 1966: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
Recorded Jan. 13, 1965, released 1991: Bob Dylan - Farewell Angelina
B/W Video 1966 Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
Tablature and lyrics following those of the Dylan recording: dylanchords: Farewell Angelina
French TV 1967: Nana Mouskouri - Adieu Angélina
Bratislava 1989, avant de la Révolution de velours: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
From the 90s, or so I believe: Nickle Creek - Farewell Angelina
June 19, 2010 at Kidzstock: Joan Baez and Jasmine Harris - Farewell Angelina [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 7, 2012 - 33 comments

A.S. Kline's Poetry in Translation

TransLAtions! Get your free lit-e-rary transLAtions here! Ya want Ovid? Ya got Ovid! Ya got all your classic French poets, your Germans, your Italians, your Russians! Ya got a verse rendering of Zorilla's Don Juan Tenorio with parallel Spanish text! Ya got a rare translation of Vazha-Pshavela's Georgian epic Host and Guest! Everything downloadable in every major format! All edited by A.S. Kline!
posted by Iridic on Dec 6, 2012 - 8 comments

"But lapidary epithets are few./We do not deal in universal rubies."

Vladimir Nabokov reads his poem "An Evening of Russian Poetry." [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Nov 29, 2012 - 11 comments

Broadsided

Broadsided Press publishes a new, printable PDF featuring an original poetry & visual art collaboration every month; they've beeing doing it since 2005. You can even become a vector for this distributed, "serendipitous" press.
posted by Miko on Nov 29, 2012 - 1 comment

"I often read dozens of books simultaneously."

My 6,128 Favorite Books - "Joe Queenan on how a harmless juvenile pastime turned into a lifelong personality disorder."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 26, 2012 - 150 comments

We should insist while there is still time

Poet Jack Gilbert has passed away; he was 87. [more inside]
posted by eustacescrubb on Nov 13, 2012 - 15 comments

Go to War. Do Art. (II)

The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork. A small selection. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
posted by zarq on Nov 12, 2012 - 1 comment

how now brown cow / how now / how now shall we live

is it t  /  is it true  /  is it too late to register to vote  /  is it time to break up  /  is it tuesday  Enjoy the algorithmically-generated autocompleted poignance of Google Poetics, or submit your own. [more inside]
posted by oulipian on Nov 11, 2012 - 24 comments

Mr. President was fascinated by gunfighters.

Coyote Man, Mr. President & the Gunfighters. A prose poem, written by Gary Snyder, that should be required reading for whoever is in the White House on January 20.
posted by John of Michigan on Nov 3, 2012 - 14 comments

If-

Michael Caine plays If- straight. Robert Morley hams If- up. Dennis Hopper misses a line or two, Harvey Keitel misses a whole stanza, and Grampa Simpson misses the point entirely. Joni Mitchell sings sublime. KeyKrusher raps ridiculous. Federer and Nadal go head to head, with commentary. International cricket pundits celebrate the Indian Premier League, Des Lynam toasts World Cup 98, and a failing football manager addresses a press conference. A teenager learns from an angel, and seven year old Humza learns If- for himself. [more inside]
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth on Nov 1, 2012 - 18 comments

"It has been your lot to achieve that the obedience to manifold rules should not hamper poetry."

During the reign of Constantine the Great, the Roman senator and poet Publilius Optatianus Porphyrius was sent into exile for crimes unknown. He succeeded in regaining favor and his good name by composing a series of poems in praise of the emperor which looked like nothing else. His poetry was an evolution of the Greek tradition of pattern poetry, but he took it a much more complex level, as Arrigo Lora Totino explains. In an illustrated article, John Stephan Edwards goes through the poetry of Porphyrius, showing the evolution of his craft.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 25, 2012 - 14 comments

House full of men

Tom Hanks performs Beat-style poetry about Full House. That is all.
posted by Chrysostom on Oct 24, 2012 - 39 comments

The Holy Soul reads

Allen Ginsberg's four box set "Holy Soul Jelly Roll: Poems & Songs 1949-1993" is a collection of released and unreleased recordings. Eight poems are free on Soundcloud. More Ginsberg, including Howl, "What Would You Do If You Lost It?" and with Paul McCartney. Previously
posted by Isadorady on Oct 2, 2012 - 9 comments

"Every moment dies a man, Every moment 1 1/16 is born."

Charles Babbage, Victorian mathematician and "father of the computer", suggested a small change for accuracy in Tennyson's poem "The Vision of Sin" in this letter.
posted by Isadorady on Sep 22, 2012 - 30 comments

See, they return

Poetry Reincarnations. "I hope you may enjoy these glimpses at some of the long-gone poets and literary figures, etc., in the form of scratchy old movies, as if they had been filmed by candle light."
posted by Iridic on Sep 20, 2012 - 6 comments

Poetry Internet

Internet Poetry publishes poetry as gifs, screenshots, image macros, and other internet-based forms!
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 18, 2012 - 9 comments

Whatever it is, it must have / A stomach that can digest / Rubber, coal, uranium, moons, poems.

Well-known and quintessentially American poet Louis Simpson has died at the age of 89.
posted by aught on Sep 18, 2012 - 12 comments

"The banners of the King of Hell come forth"

Mary Jo Bang has a new translation of Dante's Inferno in contemporary English. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 11, 2012 - 28 comments

Possible second photograph of Emily Dickinson

The only authenticated photgraph of Emily Dickinson is of a 16 year old girl. Amherst College now believes that a privately owned daguerrotype shows the poet as a 28 year old woman - about the time she wrote the "Master" letters.
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 5, 2012 - 33 comments

Injury and the Ethics of Reading

Poetry Changed the World: Injury and the Ethics of Reading.
posted by homunculus on Sep 3, 2012 - 8 comments

BEOWULF: A new translation [free download]

BEOWULF: A new translation Many modern Beowulf translations, while excellent in their own ways, suffer from what Kathleen Biddick might call “melancholy” for an oral and aural way of poetic making… The sense of loss or nostalgia for the old form seems a necessary and ever-present shadow over modern Beowulfs. What happens, however, when a contemporary poet, quite simply, doesn’t bother with any such nostalgia? Michael Davidson: "Tom Meyer’s Beowulf reenacts the dark grandeur of a poem that is as much a story of vengeance as it is of courage and loyalty. Meyer brings the poem’s alliterative, inflected line in concert with post-Poundian lineation to give the reader a vivid sense of our oldest poem’s modernity." Free download from independent publisher Punctum Books. [more inside]
posted by the mad poster! on Aug 25, 2012 - 47 comments

How to have a career: advice to young writers

"Be relentless. All over the world, people are working harder than you." Unsentimental advice from poet and memorist Sarah Manguso about building a career as a writer. (via FSG Work in Progress.)
posted by escabeche on Aug 23, 2012 - 42 comments

"The world turns softly / Not to spill its lakes and rivers. / The water is held in its arms / And the sky is held in the water."

Three Nightsongs is a lovely choral work by Joshua Shank that puts three writings by the child-poet Hilda Conkling to music: Evening, Moon Song, and Water.
posted by Rory Marinich on Aug 22, 2012 - 3 comments

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