"I am still / The black swan of trespass on alien waters." Ernest Lalor Malley
(1918-1943). With the posthumous publication of such poems
as "Dürer: Innsbruck, 1495
" and "Petit Testament
" in the journal Angry Penguins
, Ern Malley
was championed as the new voice of modern Australian poetry. The resulting scandal
and obscenity trial
would change poetry and literary theory forever. Plus, the ABC
's documentary, The Ern Malley Story
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).
Did you sing it last night?
If so, do you know what it means
didn't orginally write it, but he certainly made sure we'll never forget it.
Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004)
- one of the greatest poets of the 20th century - passed away on Saturday in Krackow, Poland. I want to remember him here with this:
"Conversation with Jeanne"
("beautiful thinking") is the shortest word in the English language that contains all five vowels.
It is also the title of a poetry collection
by Canadian author Christian Bok. In addition to writing each chapter using only words that contain one vowel, (Flash presentation of Chapter "E"
) Bok also greatly limits himself in other ways
An amazing accomplishment that won the $40 000 Griffith Poetry Prize in 2002, Eu
is best experienced in its spoken form. (MP3 links
(If you don't know Bok's poetry, you still might know his other work. He has also created artificial languages for two television shows: Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchley's Amazon.)
C. P. Cavafy.
With English translations
and Greek originals
of his published poems. An introduction
to a collection of his poetry by Auden, and a museum exhibit
about his life.
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.
'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.
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion
Fifty years ago, Dylan Thomas
- one of the greatest poets of our time - drank himself to death
in New York's Hotel Chelsea at the age of 39. Swansea
, his Welsh hometown, will be commemorating his life all year, culminating in a festival in the fall
America, America: I too love jeans and jazz and Treasure Island.
A poem from Saadi Youssef, published in this Saturday's Guardian (scroll down past Seamus Heaney):
Take what you do not have
and give us what we have.
Take the stripes of your flag
and give us the stars.
Take the Afghani Mujahideen beard
and give us Walt Whitman's beard filled with
Take Saddam Hussein
and give us Abraham Lincoln
or give us no one.
was born in 1934 near Basra, Iraq. He is considered to be among the greatest living Arab poets. Youssef has published 25 volumes of poetry, a book of short stories, a novel, four volumes of essays, a memoir, and numerous translations. In addition to being imprisoned for his poetry and politics, he has won numerous literary awards and recognitions. He now lives in London. [more inside]
Do you know River Huston?
She's the poet laureate of Bucks County
, Pennsylvania. She is a sometimes controversial
HIV/AIDS educator, columnist
, a magazine "founded primarily to get information to HIV positive persons", she authored A Positive Life
; a photo documentary book about women living with HIV. Yes, she is HIV positive, but it changed her life in ways she didn't expect: "It took getting an HIV-positive diagnosis for me to realize I was a sex goddess
. If there is one thing that will improve a girl's sex life it is finding out she has AIDS."
Not exactly T.S. Eliot...
April is indeed the cruelest month, so I went in search of something to honor the great master of English poetry.
But this is what I found instead.
Maya Angelou rises to the challenge of writing for Hallmark. Angelou finds it "challenging and daring" to craft two-sentence sentiments.
And when the Maya Angelou Life Mosaic Collection hits stores this month, you'll be able to read the hard-won sentiments of America's favorite inaugural poet on pillows, wall hangings and banquet bowls
An interesting look at translation:
Australian writer Peter Goldsworthy "on being Spanished, Deutsched, Japanesed, Greeked and Malayed", and what he thinks is gained or lost in the process. (Also: translating poetry
Léopold Sedar Senghor, poet and first president of Senegal, dies at 95
He was the founder the négritude movement in French poetry, and a leader of African socialism. This "This Day" article
discusses the political side, crediting him with Senegal's relative peace and success. This Libération
article gives some biographical details. Like his friend and colleague, Senghor's negritude poems used images and symbolism of African folk cultures in French modernist verse to create a liberated identity for Africans.
Positive, by Ian Stephens.
Not, perhaps, in the tradition of Day Without Art. But...
Ian Stephens was a poet, musician, and performer from my neighbourhood in Montreal who died in 1996.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
: Gore hints on CNN that he'd consider appointing Bob Dylan as Poet Laureate. But there's no folk gap quite yet. "Times Are Changin' Back" scribe Senator Bob Roberts endorsed Dubya
at a Nader rally two weeks ago.