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Do not speak of secret matters in a field full of little hills.

"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 (listen).
posted by steef on Aug 1, 2005 - 6 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

"Auld lang syne" = "old long ago"

Did you sing it last night? If so, do you know what it means? Burns didn't orginally write it, but he certainly made sure we'll never forget it.
posted by alumshubby on Jan 1, 2005 - 7 comments

Czeslaw Milosz

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"
posted by lilboo on Aug 16, 2004 - 8 comments

"Writing is inhibiting. Sighing, I sit, scribbling in ink this pidgin script."

Eunoia ("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, Eunoia 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.)
posted by Jaybo on Jul 22, 2004 - 18 comments

Child poet, old soul wisdom

Remembering the amazingly mature poetry of Mattie Stepanek: national goodwill ambassador with muscular dystrophy, and 13 year old prodigal wordsmith.
posted by moonbird on Jun 23, 2004 - 7 comments

We're not, I think, un-Hellenized.

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.
posted by kenko on May 16, 2004 - 9 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

Dylan Thomas - 50th Anniversary of the Poet's Death

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. [more]
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 18, 2003 - 58 comments

Expatriate Iraq poet Saadi Youssef

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
butterflies.
Take Saddam Hussein
and give us Abraham Lincoln
or give us no one.

Saadi Youssef 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]
posted by jokeefe on Feb 14, 2003 - 8 comments

The story of River Huston

Do you know River Huston? She's the poet laureate of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She is a sometimes controversial HIV/AIDS educator, columnist for POZ, 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."
posted by ?! on Dec 1, 2002 - 0 comments

Not exactly T.S. Eliot...

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.
posted by bunnyfire on Apr 2, 2002 - 11 comments

Maya Angelou rises to the challenge of writing for Hallmark.

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.
posted by varmint on Jan 12, 2002 - 71 comments

An interesting look at translation:

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.)
posted by eoz on Jan 4, 2002 - 10 comments

Léopold Sedar Senghor, poet and first president of Senegal, dies at 95

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.
posted by rschram on Dec 21, 2001 - 6 comments

Gwendolyn Brooks, poet, died Sunday.

Gwendolyn Brooks, poet, died Sunday.
posted by sugarfish on Dec 4, 2000 - 5 comments

Positive, by Ian Stephens.

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.
posted by mikel on Dec 1, 2000 - 0 comments

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

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.
posted by kevincmurphy on Oct 31, 2000 - 12 comments

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