27 posts tagged with literature and poems.
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'Death will not correct / a single line of verse'

Tadeusz Różewicz (1921-2014) was a renowned Polish ‘poet, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, satirist and translator.’ Reckoned by Seamus Heaney as ‘one of the great European poets of the 20th century,’ he died in April at the age of 92: Guardian obituary; NYT obituary. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Jul 14, 2014 - 6 comments

Seven roses later ... each rose opens like an ideogram, like a gate

In an essay reflecting on translation, Yoko Tawada reads the poems of Paul Celan as if he had written in Japanese. The essay's translator, Susan Bernofsky, offers context, and in an earlier piece, Rivka Galchen considers "Yoko Tawada's Magnificent Strangeness." More conventional introductions to Celan are available via the Poetry Foundation page on Celan, 14 poems from Breathturn, and a video of Celan reading "Allerseelen" (English sub.; alt. trans.). Tawada's own poetry includes "The Flight of the Moon" (video in Japanese). [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Jul 13, 2014 - 1 comment

Does my voice really sound like that?

For this year's National Poetry Month, the Poetry Foundation has set up a SoundCloud group called "Record-a-Poem." They're inviting people to record themselves reading their favorite poems. (via) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Apr 17, 2013 - 21 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

How to Read a Poem

Curious about poetry, but don't know where or how to begin? We've reprinted the first chapter from the book "How to Read a Poem" by Edward Hirsch. Its 16 sections provide strategies for reading poems, and each section has plenty of links to examples of poems in our archive to illustrate the points.
posted by Think_Long on Aug 17, 2012 - 34 comments

"Once there was a shock that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail."

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer has been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. His poetry has been translated into more than five dozen languages and is the living poet who has been translated most into English. He received the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2007, and the award page is a pretty extensive source of information. Below the cut I'll include a few of his poems that I've found online, but the best place to start is the poetry section of his website, where you'll also find an interview, video, audio and a list of English translations. Tom Slegh wrote an appreciation of Tranströmer and Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson discuss him briefly on Poetry Fix, and read two of his poems. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Oct 6, 2011 - 52 comments

Who can say he’s ever touched what he passes?

Six Dialogues with Leuco by Cesare Pavese. The Flood, The Beast & The Witches, three dialogues by Cesare Pavese. Poems. Poems. Poems. Poems.
posted by OmieWise on Sep 9, 2011 - 1 comment

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

Enheduanna, the first poet we know by name

Enheduanna was a priestess and poet in the city of Ur in the 23rd century BC and supposedly the daughter of Sargon the Great of Akkad. She is the first author known by name. Here are a number of her poems in English translation, The Exaltation of Inana, Inana and Ebih, A Hymn to Inana, The Temple Hymns and A Balbale to Nanna. Here are two alternate translations of The Exaltation of Inana, one by James D. Pritchard and an English rendering of Dr. Annette Zgoll's German translation. If you want to learn more, go to The En-hedu-Ana Research Pages.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 5, 2009 - 27 comments

Clerihews

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 - 66 comments

in the street of the sky night walks scattering poems

Should you find yourself wandering around the city of Leiden, the Netherlands sometime, you may notice some curious markings on the city's walls.

These Muurgedichten ("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 - 15 comments

Classic Poetry Aloud

Classic Poetry Aloud: free recordings of 427 public domain poems.
posted by Iridic on Feb 16, 2009 - 8 comments

The Gawain Project

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 - 18 comments

What else is there besides matters of taste?

It's almost as good as being at John Ashbery's home (bio) and there's more, including a preliminary inventory of his library* (search for "inventories" or scroll down). Ashbery's poetry is still very much invested in the reader's pleasure—more so than many supposedly "approachable" poets. You can hear him read his poems (more), watch him (here's -transcript- a brief taste and a half-hour video) or read a few of his poems. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Jan 28, 2009 - 20 comments

Shakespeare's Sonnets

William Shakespeare wrote some of the world's finest sonnets. The website shakespeares-sonnets.com is a fine place to start delving into the poems. Here you can see scans of the first edition of The Sonnets as printed by Thomas Thorpe in 1609. If you wish there were more sonnets by Shakespeare, your jones might be eased by the Shakespeare Sonnet Shake-Up, which lets you remix them according to taste. And finally there's Shakespeare in Tune, a site where Jonathan Willby recites each of the 154 sonnets following a short improvisation on a German flute.
posted by Kattullus on May 24, 2008 - 8 comments

Chinese Poems

Chinese Poems 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 - 15 comments

Stack poems.

Max Dohle's Stapelgedichten is a simple concept. Stack up some books, take a picture: a poem is born. Most are in Dutch, but there are some English ones as well.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 24, 2007 - 36 comments

This is the YouTube poetry post.

Poets on YouTube: Bukowski; Dylan Thomas; Jim Morrison; Allen Ginsberg; Sylvia Plath; Billy Collins; Cookie Monster; and what the hell, even Jacques Brel.

But there's plenty of readings by amateurs as well: for example, lilcutiewithabooty06 reads e e cummings; Michael reads cummings really fast; Tom Waits and Bono read Bukowski; bearded men read Lewis Carroll and Shakespeare; and what if Emily Dickinson had a ukulele?

Mouseover links to see titles; feel free to add your favourites.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 26, 2007 - 29 comments

Yet again !

All should see him before the Cholera arrives ! Beautiful Moon, with thy silvery light, Thou seemest most charming to my sight; As I gaze upon thee in the sky so high, A tear of joy does moisten mine eye. William Topaz McGonagall , the worlds greatest poet (again).
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 8, 2005 - 7 comments

The Great Book of Gaelic

The Great Book of Gaelic. Illustrated poetry.
posted by plep on Mar 14, 2005 - 15 comments

Biography And Literary Worth

Philip Larkin: Great Poet, Shame About The Man? When is an excess of biography, i.e. high-minded, clumsily-disguised gossip, an impediment to literary appreciation? Nowadays, it seems always. [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 19, 2004 - 26 comments

Burns Night

Burns Night. 'Robert Burns: poet and balladeer, Scotland's favourite son and champion of the common people. Each year on January 25, the great man's presumed birthday, Scots everywhere take time out to honour a national icon. Whether it's a full-blown Burns Supper or a quiet night of reading poetry, Burns Night is a night for all Scots.'
More on the Robert Burns Tribute site.
posted by plep on Jan 23, 2004 - 3 comments

A sonnet is a moment's monument (Rossetti)

Sonnet Central Wordsworth once said of the sonnet that he hoped that those "[w]ho have felt the weight of too much liberty,/Should find such brief solace there, as I have found." Sonnet Central offers a copious library of sonnets, mainly in the Anglo-American tradition but with examples from around the world. Those who wish to explore further in the sonnet's paradoxically expansive "scanty plot of ground" (Wordsworth again) may also wish to try Petrarch's Canzoniere (complete set, Italian with English translations); Shakespeare's Sonnets (self-described as "amazing"; the full cycle with glosses and paraphrases, plus illustrations and links to other poems); Golden Age Spanish Sonnets (translations); Christina Rossetti's Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets (a reflection on the traditional sonnet sequence); George Meredith's Modern Love (a bleaker revision of the sonnet sequence tradition, featuring sixteen-line "sonnets"); and an excerpt from John Hollander's Powers of Thirteen (do the math and you'll see the experiment--it's an interesting modern sequence).
posted by thomas j wise on Sep 24, 2003 - 24 comments

Can Poetry Matter - Part 2

Can Poetry Matter - Part 2 (nyt reg req) "Today photography is considered by many to be the most effective way to convey the plight of war's combatants, victims and mourners. But during World War I it was through poetry that many Britons came to share the horror of life and death in the muddy trenches of northern France.....To this day, every time Britons go to war, the opening lines of Rupert Brooke's 1914 poem, "The Soldier," are remembered: "If I should die, think only this of me:/That there's some corner of a foreign field/That is forever England."..."
posted by Voyageman on Nov 30, 2002 - 10 comments

Meet John Clare.

Meet John Clare. In 1832, he wrote to John Taylor, saying:

'in spite of every difficulty rhyme will come to the end of my pen -- when I am in trouble I go on & it gives me pleasure by resting my feelings of every burthen & when I am pleased it gives me extra gratification & so in spite of myself I rhyme on.'*

And John Clare knew difficulty. Born to dirt poor farmers in 1793, he wrote his first poem at 13 and published his first book of poetry at 27. Yet he found himself committed to the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum by the age of 48. Why? It was determined that he suffered from too many "years addicted to poetical prosings."

A poet of the sonnet form, he has suffered from a lack of academic attention until just recently. He does, however, have a society in his name, and a John Clare conference will be held in North America next year.
posted by grabbingsand on Aug 11, 2002 - 10 comments

"...[T]heir lives were rich with experience, and they felt compelled to share it, at least among themselves." Cowboy poets strut their stuff at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Be sure to look for some of them at the Olympics.
posted by arco on Feb 5, 2002 - 2 comments

So this year's Best American Poetry book is out, which means it's time once again for me to feel (English-major) guilt about not enjoying, or even "getting," more contemporary poetry. It looks like I'm not the only one, though, who wonders, "Does anybody like these poems?" Poet Joan Houlihan likens this collection to a "suburban poetry mall." (via Arts & Letters Daily)
posted by arco on Oct 5, 2001 - 51 comments

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