I never left the unlockable motorcycle for long on the street and never out of my sight. One day I parked it on the sidewalk in front of the house beside the iron grill that was attached to the house but without chaining it. Broad daylight. A middle-aged man wearing a suit was seen by various neighbors riding down the street on my blue chopped Harley into history, while I sat inside reading Rilke. The neighbors said it was very odd to see a man in a suit riding a big Harley, but then it was my motorcycle, so of course! I never saw the bike again. —Frederick Seidel, About Motorcycles
posted by oldleada
on Dec 16, 2009 -
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 -
has lots of poetry translations into English online, concentrating on French
, though more than 40 other languages
are represented as well. A boatload of translators
is represented, from those toiling in obscurity to big literary names (e.g. there are translations of Catullus poems by Ben Jonson
, Jonathan Swift
, Louis Zukofsky
, Aubrey Beardsley
and Thomas Hardy
). There is also a section of quirky poems
. Finally, here's a rendition of Goethe's Der Erlkönig that substitutes the elfish king with a dalek
posted by Kattullus
on Sep 27, 2009 -
- It is the poet's obligation, wrote Plato, to bear witness.
With the official inquiry into Iraq imminent and the war in Afghanistan returning dead teenagers; Carol Duffy
, recently elected UK Poet Laureate
invited a range of her fellow poets to bear witness, each in their own way, to these matters of war.
More about the poets inside: [more inside]
posted by adamvasco
on Jul 25, 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 -
"I want our type to jump, scream, whisper and dance..." Ebon Heath and His Visual Poetry
. "When I close my eyes I can see the words of great poets like Rakem or Tupac flying thru the air and dancing with the same physicality my body instinctually feels. My mobiles attempt to create a visual sense of rhythm and flow that is alive, not contained."
This interview with Heath
breaks down his Stereo.type
projects. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on May 30, 2009 -
[Ezra Pound] worked on and for poetry as others might work on a major scientific discovery or a drawn-out military mission. Thus, as Sieburth reminds us in his introduction to The Pisan Cantos, when, on May 3, 1945, Pound was arrested at his home in the hills above Rapallo, he immediately put a small Chinese dictionary and a copy of the Confucian classics in his pocket. Working as he then was on his Confucian translations, he knew that, wherever the military police were taking him, he would need these books.
From Pound Ascendant
by Marjorie Perloff. Ezra Pound's ability as a translator of Chinese poetry has long been disparaged by sinologists, such as George A. Kennedy in Fenollosa, Pound and the Chinese Character
. Other academics have sought to defend him. Two examples are Zhaoming Qian's Ezra Pound's encounter with Wang Wei: toward the "ideogrammic method" of the Cantos
and Stephen Tapscott's In Praise of Bad Translations: Ezra Pound and the Cultural Work of Translation (pdf)
. Eric Hayot draws the contours of this long-running debate and explores its significance in Critical Dreams: Orientalism, Modernism, and the Meaning of Pound's China
. Pound's Cathay
in full and a public domain audiobook version (iTunes link)
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 30, 2009 -
April 13th is Seamus Heaney's
70th birthday, and to celebrate, the Irish press have honored him in many ways. A Catholic from Northern Ireland, his early poems reflected his upbringing on a farm, but his later poems (and time in the States) spoke powerfully of 'the Troubles.' I thought he deserved a mention in the Blue. [more inside]
posted by dbmcd
on Apr 12, 2009 -