"Oh, show us the way, to the next whiskey-bar. Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why." And so opens the Alabama Song
(Google books preview) by Bertholt Brecht and Brecht's close collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann
(Gbp), first published in 1927. Brecht set it to music and performed it on stages all over Berlin, but the better known version was scored by classical composer Kurt Weill, who was impressed with Brecht’s poetry and wanted to break away from the constraints of his previous work
. It was this version, first performed by Lotte Lenya
, that was made famous by The Doors
and their use of a Marxophone
). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 13, 2013 -
, a poet, teacher,
, was chosen
to be the nation's fifth inaugural poet
is the author of the collections of poetry
"City of a Hundred Fires
," "Directions to the Beach of the Dead
," "Place of Mind
," and "Looking for the Gulf Motel
." He is the first immigrant, first Latino, the first openly gay person and the youngest to be the U.S. inaugural poet.
The poem he read
was "One Today" (full text
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Jan 22, 2013 -
In 1977-1978, a public access TV show called Public Access Poetry
featured leading poets from across the country (Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Eileen Myles, John Yau, Brad Gooch, just to name a few). [more inside]
posted by mattbucher
on Sep 23, 2011 -
She's an animator who loves poetry.
He's a poet who loves animation.
Their collaboration, along with the help of many other animators and poets,
has resulted in a storm of Motionpoems
. (More on vimeo & youtube.)
posted by carsonb
on May 26, 2011 -
One day last year, while working on a biography of the publisher Scofield Thayer, I opened a folder of papers related to his magazine The Dial. The folder contained undated letters from the poet E.E. Cummings to Thayer, early versions of a couple Cummings’ poems and one poem by Cummings I couldn’t remember ever seeing before. It was called "(tonite" and, until I came across it, it was unknown. James Dempsey discusses Scofield Thayer, E.E. Cummings, their relationship, and a heretofore unknown, unpublished poem.
posted by shakespeherian
on May 26, 2011 -
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 -
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 -
Should you find yourself wandering around the city of Leiden, the Netherlands sometime, you may notice some curious markings
on the city's walls.
("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 -
The Drunken Boat
publishes poetry from around the world, translations of poetry, reviews of poetry collections and anthologies, and interviews with well-known poets. The current issue features Cave Canem poets
, home for the many voices of African-American poetry and committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African-American poets.
posted by netbros
on Feb 22, 2009 -
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 -
For more than 50 years, it was believed that the first recording Allen Ginsberg
made of Howl
was in Berkeley in March 1956. Now, an earlier recording – made on Valentine's Day 1956 at Reed College, Portland, Oregon – has been found
. Reed have made it – along with seven other poems Ginsberg read the same night – available here
. (Click on "Allen Ginsberg reads ..." for drop down menu; apologies for crappy quicktime interface.)
posted by Len
on Feb 15, 2008 -
You've heard of cowboy poetry
, sure, but how about the verse of modern-day fishermen and women? Taking the Cowboy Poetry Gathering
as their model, fisher poets
have plunged into the celebration of occupational culture
with their own annual festival
in Astoria, Oregon. Get a glimpse into this difficult, dangerous, and unpredictable way of making a living through the work of Erin Frestad
, Geno Leech
, Toby Sullivan
, and others. Listen to the sounds of the gathering on this piece from PRI's Here & Now
posted by Miko
on Nov 3, 2006 -