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On First Looking into Lovecraft's Homer

A Cyclops' cave the wanderers brave
And find much milk & cheese
But as they eat, foul death they meet
For them doth Cyclops seize.

From The Young Folks' Ulysses [PDF], by H. Lovecraft, poet, aged seven. One of the "freely available editions of obscure, outlandish and otherwise outré works of semi-fine literature" from the electric publishing wing of kobek.com.
posted by Iridic on Mar 28, 2011 - 8 comments

The Outfielder Was a Poet

Chicago Cubs outfielder Fernando Perez has published his poems in Poetry and The Southern Review. He studied creative writing at Columbia, just like James Franco. He is into Robert Creeley. He has a twitter feed. His career batting average is .234 but he's hitting only .161 in the Cactus League and might not make the big league club. Spring Training is the cruelest month.
posted by escabeche on Mar 22, 2011 - 15 comments

"Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar."

Between Page And Screen is an augmented-reality book of poems (written by Amaranth Borsuk) developed by Brad Bouse. Like a digital pop-up book, you hold the words in your hands. Print a marker and try it. Requires Webcam. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 21, 2011 - 7 comments

Paul Bowles

Paul Bowles - "novelist, composer, poet and quintessential outsider of American literature".
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 27, 2011 - 14 comments

Top Ten Fictional Poets

John Mullan in The Guardian compiles a list of the top ten fictional poets from literature. The article's comments thread has already reminded him of a couple he neglected: "Ka" (Kerim Alakusoglu) from Orhan Pamuk's Snow, and William Ashbless from Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates. Others might include Kid from Samuel Delany's Dhalgren; Cesárea Tinajero, Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima of Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives (really, the character lists for many of Bolaño's novels would provide multiple fictional minor poets of course); Adam Dalgleish from P.D. James' mysteries; Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago; Saul Bellow's Von Humboldt Fleisher. Other links to discussions of fictional poets.
posted by aught on Feb 22, 2011 - 48 comments

"She is the walking dead. No matter who / she was before, you must burn her with flame"

Roz Kaveney's Zombie Sonnets. livejournal They start at Feb 3rd.
posted by Fizz on Feb 19, 2011 - 8 comments

"The old dude has a lot he can teach us."

The National Book Foundation has launched an essay series dedicated to the 57 winners of the National Book Award for Poetry. First up: William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Archibald MacLeish, and Conrad Aiken.
posted by Iridic on Feb 18, 2011 - 12 comments

"Your future is not as a person of letters..."

In 1982, the young Barack Obama published two poems in a literary magazine while an undergraduate at Occidental College. Many years later, political and literary commentators looking for insight into the leader's inner workings unearthed the poems: The New Yorker gave readers Harold Bloom's mixed reaction, Ian McMillan assessed the juvenile work in The Guardian, the Times (UK) tried to place the poems within the context of American presidents who published poems, and even Huffington Post took a crack at figuring what the poems tell us about the politician. A little later, the Blue Rose Arts Collective used the text of the poem "Underground" in a short video piece. Obama maintains his interest in poetry: also in 2008 the president was photographed holding a copy of Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott's Collected Poems. (U.S. Presidents and poetry more generally, previously.)
posted by aught on Feb 18, 2011 - 26 comments

Wallace Stevens Audio

Large audio archive of Wallace Stevens reading from his poems. Other Stevens links: several poem texts with annotation; many more of the poems; his letters on Google Books (full view).
posted by Paquda on Feb 15, 2011 - 8 comments

Poe through the Glass Prism

In 1969, a psychedelic rock group from around Scranton, PA released an album featuring lyrics by Edgar Allan Poe. [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin on Feb 15, 2011 - 6 comments

Poems From My Ex

Fifteen years after we broke up, my ex-boyfriend published a book of poetry. ... For months, the slim book sat on my shelf like an awkward houseguest. Then, one quiet night, something nudged me out of my inertia, or dread, and I settled into bed with his book. And there I was.
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 10, 2011 - 41 comments

"and tapping my laptop with dots."

Poet Publishes 10,000-Page Poem. David Morice wrote one 100-page poem every day for 100 days–producing a 10,000-page poem. How the book was bound and printed. Opening lines of the epic poem: "Today the sky above Iowa City / is cloudy with tiny droplets / gently blowing in the wind / and tapping my laptop with dots. / In front of the University/ Main Library, Gordon sits / on a marble wall, camera / posed to video the beginning / of this poetry marathon." Image of the massive book.
posted by Fizz on Feb 4, 2011 - 68 comments

"Don't you know the house, the Love God's marketplace of passions, the dusk where the dark clears and yet is not clear?" - Annamayya

Devadasi are women in southeastern India who were dedicated in their youth to the goddess Yellamma. When they reach puberty they are forced into sex work. Once they were women of high status, but now they've been relegated to the outskirts of society. The devadasi practice goes back a long way in history, and was once celebrated in poetry. When God Is a Customer, a collection of translated classical Telugu poems about the devadasi, is free to read online. Their modern life is described by William Dalrymple in The New Yorker and in a video interview with filmmaker Beeban Kidron which includes clips from her documentary Sex, Death and the Gods. The devadasi have been targeted by exploitative Western media for a long time, but have recently started to hit back, using the internet to disseminate their views.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 22, 2011 - 14 comments

Hey, you got meter in my panel frame!

There's poetry about comics, comics about poetry, (Stone Cold Poetry Bitches!), and even poetry and comics sharing the stage. If you like 'em mashed together, you might enjoy the poetry cartoon collaborations of Nick Flynn and Josh Neufeld.
posted by cross_impact on Jan 14, 2011 - 3 comments

Bon à tirer

Gallica (the digital section of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France) has put Charles Baudelaire's heavily annotated proofs of Les Fleurs du Mal on line.
posted by Lezzles on Jan 11, 2011 - 10 comments

Bros: A dissertation

"What dudes do have for inspiration is Fuck Yeah Menswear, a new anonymous blog dedicated to the poetry of self aggrandizing and hurting people’s feelings through your personal style." Via.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 5, 2011 - 57 comments

But it is doing / so on its own timetable, / a slow timetable.

HaikuLeaks Cable is poetry 65 haikus in 1830 cables [more inside]
posted by unknowncommand on Dec 28, 2010 - 13 comments

New books about digital culture released online under Creative Commons

digitalculturebooks is an imprint of University of Michigan Press which releases scholarly books under a creative commons license. They've got 19 books published already and more on the way. Among those on offer are poet and English professor Kevin Stein's Poetry's Afterlife: Verse in the Digital Age, anthropologist Bonnie A. Nardi's My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft, English professor Buzz Alexander's Is William Martinez Not Our Brother?: Twenty Years of the Prison Creative Arts Project and English professor Elizabeth Carolyn Miller's Framed: The New Woman Criminal in British Culture at the Fin de Siècle. If you don't want to read a whole book they also have essay collections, such as Civic Engagement in the Wake of Katrina and Best Technology Writing 2008, which includes pieces by, among others, Cass Sunstein, Robin Meija and Walter Kirn. [previously, Rock Paper Shotgun scribe Jim Rossignol's This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 18, 2010 - 6 comments

Common Things

I LIKE to hear of wealth and gold, And El Doradoes in their glory; I like for silks and satins bold To sweep and rustle through a story. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 14, 2010 - 9 comments

like pornography, you know it when you see it.

BAD WRITING - the movie [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Dec 14, 2010 - 17 comments

The Penmonkeys Paean

I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.
posted by Artw on Dec 7, 2010 - 64 comments

Figment

Figment.com is a new, free community and platform for young people to share their fiction writing, "connect with other readers and discover new stories and authors. Users are invited to write novels, short stories and poems, collaborate with other writers and give and receive feedback on the work posted on the site." (Via)
posted by zarq on Dec 5, 2010 - 19 comments

I must be cruel to be kind

This Old Poem Those familiar with the long-running PBS TV series This Old House may be able to discern where I am going with this series of essays. Basically, I seek to rehabilitate (by rewriting) well-known poems.... [more inside]
posted by kid ichorous on Dec 4, 2010 - 43 comments

Well, he was smilin’ like a vulture as he rolled up the horticulture

Out on bail, fresh outta jail, California dreamin’
Soon as I stepped on the scene, I’m hearin’ hoochies screamin’

What a surprise to read that couplet on "The New Yorker's" website, in an article about Jay-Z's new book. It also discusses Adam Bradley's "Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop," an academic study that respects rap lyrics as serious poetry. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Dec 4, 2010 - 82 comments

Nikos Kazantzakis

They think of me as a scholar, an intellectual, a pen-pusher. And I am none of them. When I write, my fingers get covered not in ink but in blood. I think I am nothing more than this: an undaunted soul. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 24, 2010 - 9 comments

“I felt so happy to think of that,” he says, “that the real world was down there.”

"The writing process, Merwin says, is all about time and environment. He will be the first to tell you that poetry “is something before it is about something,” and that if you try to force a poem to take a stance, it is likely to choke: “I think a poem begins out of what you don’t know, and you begin not by having a good idea but by hearing something in the language.”" A terrific interview with U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin.
posted by liketitanic on Nov 18, 2010 - 9 comments

National Book Award Winner Patti Smith

Patti Smith, best known as a singer-songwriter (whose lyrics have occasionally been collected into books of poetry) has won the National Book Award in Nonfiction for Just Kids, her memoir of the years she spent living with the late artist Robert Mapplethorpe.
posted by aught on Nov 18, 2010 - 54 comments

Leopardi's "Infinity"

"L'infinito": Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity. Infinity...
posted by Iridic on Nov 12, 2010 - 8 comments

Go, Rimbaud!

Arthur Rimbaud Documentary [via pb] is an impressionistic tour of Rimbaud's life, from a provincial upbringing, through his teenage poetic revolution, to his world travels and moderately successful business career in the Horn of Africa, featuring contemporary photographs, some taken by Rimbaud, and readings by Joan Baez. His poems (English translations, French, with some translated into English, earlier translations, with French originals) were fundamental in overthrowing the established traditions of writing and his personal story has long been an inspiration to those who chafe under the strictures of society. Ruth Franklin wrote about the whole arc of Rimbaud's life in The New Yorker, while Edmund White focuses on Rimbaud's bull-in-a-china-shop entrance into fellow poet Paul Verlaine's bourgeois existence in The Guardian. You can also read earlier biographical writings on Rimbaud, including his sister Isabelle's hagiographic account. Rimbaud's poetry has been set to music, perhaps most notably by electronic musician Hector Zazou and chansonnier Léo Ferré (links to music below the cut). [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Nov 7, 2010 - 13 comments

"I realized it is basically insane to make any kind of judgment about rap without hearing it."

Listening to Rap for the First Time, with a Book Critic
posted by OverlappingElvis on Nov 4, 2010 - 80 comments

plants in sanskrit poetry

Seasonal Poetry in Sanskrit : The blog Sanskrit Literature has been running an excellent series on plants that appear in sanskrit poetry. Some examples : Jasmine (malati), Lotuses and Water Lilies, Mango.
posted by dhruva on Nov 2, 2010 - 6 comments

Hint: It's spelled *Allen*.

Mental Floss has some good stuff, but I really like their quizzes. Especially the "Who Am I" series. Novels. Poets. Actors. Sports. Wonders of the World. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Oct 14, 2010 - 13 comments

He made himself a Daddy

Though never a competition, the Def Poetry Jam is a rhyming spin off from its comidic uncle that plays host to some of the most fantastic spoken word from a wonderful breadth of poets and people. The fun and inocent, the declaration of love , your cause the famous and the famouser, the needs of a single woman, the manifest, the virus and one written and delivered with such emotion and power that it left me speachless, "Knock Knock" by Daniel Beaty
posted by Cogentesque on Oct 14, 2010 - 16 comments

tldr;

Raymond Queneau's 100,000,000,000,000 Poems online (annotated, with both French & English text)
posted by juv3nal on Oct 6, 2010 - 16 comments

Audio / Video of some great writers

Archives of the Fellows from the Kelly Writers House - mp3s and videos from some great writers, including David Milch, Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Didion, Art Spiegelman, EL Doctorow, Richard Ford, Robert Creeley and many others.
posted by dobbs on Oct 3, 2010 - 2 comments

"May you keep this memory, the one you’ll never see."

Poet and editor Michael Gizzi, known equally well for his own verbally inventive work and for publishing the work of other innovative poets (he used to edit Hard Press and lingo magazine), has died. He got his start studying at Brown with National Book Award winning poet and editor Keith Waldrop, whose Burning Deck Press published Gizzi's most recent collection, New Depths of Deadpan. The first ("Michael") link has many further links to Google Books versions of Gizzi's collections (as usual semi-blocked, but you can flip through them to get a sense of the career).
posted by aught on Sep 30, 2010 - 4 comments

Thought Audio

Thought Audio is a small, simple and likable free library of classic literature and philosophy MP3 audio downloads.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 27, 2010 - 21 comments

I have measured out my life in login codes.

The .Doc File of J Alfred Prufrock "Let us go then, you and I/When the evening is spread out against the sky/Like a laptop, put in sleep mode on a table..."
posted by magstheaxe on Sep 21, 2010 - 32 comments

Ghost Writer

One of the hottest authors of the 1910s had been dead for over 200 years before she ever published a word. Patience Worth, as channeled through the ouija board of St. Louis housewife Pearl Curran, published several novels and scores of poems before the death of her link to the material world in 1937.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 14, 2010 - 16 comments

Words voiced

textsound is an online experimental sound journal. Some poetry, some music, all mp3s. Ten issues (so far).
posted by klangklangston on Sep 9, 2010 - 6 comments

Poets for the Revolution

Musicians don't often end up on FBI watch lists, but the Last Poets did, thanks to their links with the Black Panthers.
They were the rappers of the civil rights era.
Made in Amerikkka.
Niggers Are Scared Of Revolution!.
Before the White Man Came.
True Blue. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Sep 3, 2010 - 28 comments

Kinda Epic.

While the rest of Europe was expressing itself mainly in the medium of poetry1, focused largely on romantic exploits of the aristocracy, the people of early Iceland were trying something different. At the Icelandic Saga Database you can read of the explots of the late Viking era, in Icelandic or English translation. If you seek a more direct experience, you can view scans of original collections at Saganet. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu on Aug 30, 2010 - 28 comments

What am I myself but one of your meteors?

"A moment, a moment long, it sail’d its balls of unearthly light over our heads, Then departed, dropt in the night, and was gone" Walt Whitman wrote these words in the poem Year of Meteors, 1859 ’60. Not until this year did a team of forensic astronomers at Texas State University, with the assistance of a painting from the Hudson River School, figure out what he was really talking about. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Aug 16, 2010 - 15 comments

Lint In My Pocket - American Civil War poetry

S Thomas Summers teaches writing and literature, and writes poetry about the American Civil War. Some of my favorites. Hat tip: The Atlantic.
posted by Joe in Australia on Aug 12, 2010 - 1 comment

minor chords and towering fifths

Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle has been writing free-verse poetry on metal albums and other phenomena on his blog for a few months now. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Aug 5, 2010 - 27 comments

Bob's On The Job

The eccentric independent Australian MP Bob Katter brings bush poetry to campaigning. SYLT.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Aug 3, 2010 - 32 comments

An Introverts Manifesto

How to be alone. [SLYT]
posted by Taft on Jul 30, 2010 - 101 comments

Million's Poet finalist defies death threats

“When I unveil the truth, a monster appears from his hiding place; barbaric in thinking and action, angry and blind; wearing death as a dress and covering it with a belt; “He speaks from an official, powerful platform, terrorising people and preying on everyone seeking peace; the voice of courage ran away and the truth is cornered and silent, when self-interest prevented one from speaking the truth.”
With these words, delivered in full traditional dress, Hissa Hilal, mother of four, housewife and Saudi feminist advanced to the final round earlier this year in Abu Dhabi’s Million’s Poet television show. With a poem (partially translated above) inspired by what she terms subversive fatwas. In the finals she took 3rd place with the following: [more inside]
posted by edgeways on Jul 28, 2010 - 16 comments

"They were not true, those dreams, those story books of youth..."

Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War: artifacts, manuscripts, and illustrations from the diaries and notebooks of the World War I poet, currently on display at Cambridge University Library (exhibition blog), with an accompanying Picasa gallery, and audio slideshow from the BBC.
posted by steef on Jul 24, 2010 - 8 comments

Poetry in Hell

Poetry in Hell contains a complete collection of poems recovered from the Warsaw Ghetto's Ringelblum Archives. The project, which took ten years to complete, gives English translations of poems that are shown in their original Yiddish. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 23, 2010 - 9 comments

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