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"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

New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre

Capital of the Minimal is a new feature at the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre. It contains poetry, photography, and art work by 24 Dunedin writers, as well as some previously unreleased recordings by Flying Nun legends The Clean, The Verlaines, and The Chills (as well as some considerably more obscure stuff). [M.I.]
posted by Sonny Jim on Jul 19, 2004 - 6 comments

Ikkyu

Ikkyu: A wild raunchy zen poet.
posted by srboisvert on Jul 18, 2004 - 9 comments

Olga can get him to eat; I can't

Her name was Courage & is written Olga "Olga" (.pdf file in main link) is Olga Rudge, violinist, first promoter of the Vivaldi Renaissance, and longtime companion of the poet Ezra Pound. Pound maintained a complicated and delicate balance between the two most significant women in his life, Olga and his wife Dorothy Shakespear (who, among other things, was the daughter of Yeats's mistress). ‘‘Paris is where EP and OR met, and everything in my life happened,’’ Olga (listen to her voice here) said later of the chance encounter with Ezra at 20, rue Jacob, in the salon of Natalie Barney. They were together for fifty years, through the dark-night years of Pound's madness (arrested in 1945 for treason, deemed unable to stand trial and sent to an American mental institution, he once suggested to the UPI bureau chief in Rome that the United States trade Guam for some sound films of Japanese Noh plays, asked Truman many times to make him Ambadassor to Japan or Moscow; Guy Davenport reports dining with him one evening and all Ez said was "gnocchi"), until the poet's death in 1972. She lived on for another quarter century, turning up at conferences of Pound scholars --as far afield as Hailey, Idaho, Pound's birthplace, where she gave a lecture in the local movie theater. "Write about Pound", she told publishers who asked her to write her autobiography. (more inside, with Cantos)
posted by matteo on Jul 8, 2004 - 15 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

Bukowski: Born Into This

"Whadyawant, motherf*ck?" These are the first words Charles Bukowski speaks in John Dullaghan's documentary about the poet and novelist, famous for his writing and infamous for his drinking and brawling and screwing. The audience member might respond, "To hear your story, Hank, that's what I want." The movie opens with friends (Sean Penn, Harry Dean Stanton, Bono) and colleagues and lovers and fans recounting the myth; theirs are stories of blades pulled on the maitre d' of the swanky Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, of dangling dicks revealed in public, of a drunk who'd just as soon crack his bottle over your head than share its contents. (more inside)
posted by matteo on May 28, 2004 - 26 comments

The People's Poetry

What is the current state of American poetry? Hank Lazer: Perhaps, contrary to the laments, we are now living through a particularly rich time in American poetry—an era of radically democratized poetry...In its anarchic democratic disorganized decentralization, poetry culture has developed in a manner parallel to the computer: the decentralized PC has beaten the main-frame. No one can pretend to know what is out there, or what is next. Who are some of the most notable American poets active in the beginning of the 21st century?
posted by rushmc on May 27, 2004 - 33 comments

Ginsberg's Celestial Homework

Ginsberg's Celestial Homework is the reading list Ginsberg handed out on the first day at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics as "suggestions for a quick check-out & taste of ancient scriveners whose works were reflected in Beat literary style..." Founded in 1974, Ginsberg taught at the school until his death in 1997.
posted by Satapher on May 21, 2004 - 16 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

Cyberstream Poem

Poem in the cyberstream Still trying to figure this one out.
posted by Niahmas on May 3, 2004 - 12 comments

Poem On Your Blog Day

To commemorate the end of National Poetry Month, today is Poem In Your Pocket Day. And for us ItarWebby types, it's also Poem On Your Blog Day. via Sharon at Watermark
posted by Wulfgar! on Apr 30, 2004 - 18 comments

Faux-etry?

Foetry: American Poetry Watchdog "Exposing the fraudulent contests. Tracking the sycophants. Naming names." But they, er, remain anonymous themselves. The site went active a few weeks ago, complete with forum, and has caused a bit of a stir [find "foetry"] in the poet blogger world.
posted by mediareport on Apr 29, 2004 - 6 comments

Thom Gunn

One of the finest poets in English, Thom Gunn, has died. Along with Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes, Gunn became famous as a young poet in England in the 1950s as part of "The Movement," writing fine poems in rhyme and meter. But then he fell in love with an American soldier, Mike Kitay, and followed him to San Francisco, where he crafted one of the most daringly original voices in the 20th century, handling taboo subjects like LSD, orgiastic sex, and his 50-year relationship with Kitay with the precision of a diamond cutter. Gunn lived in my neighborhood, and was a dapper, subtle, sexy and hilariously witty man until the end. Ten years ago, when I asked him what music he was listening to he replied, "Oh, Nirvana and Social Distortion. I'm a flighty teenager that way."
posted by digaman on Apr 28, 2004 - 24 comments

Hip Hop Heaney

Seamus Heaney's Top Hip Hop Picks. Sort of. (You know: Seamus Heaney.)
posted by Shane on Apr 19, 2004 - 9 comments

I’ll jump overboard and drown/ rather than let you push me below the water/slowly

Teenage Angst Poetry: The Poetry of Adolescence. This has to be one of the best things I have read online in a long time. I’ll share mine if you share yours! (2nd link to CBC Radio 3 Flash site – click through the opening page and then click on the second article. Well worth it.)
posted by Quartermass on Apr 15, 2004 - 14 comments

the haiku postcard foundation owns you

The Haiku Postcard Foundation exhibits a collection of anonymous hand-created postcards sent in from people around the world. It boasts a long and varied history and many interesting submissions.
posted by keef on Mar 24, 2004 - 4 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

She collects Ruscha, you know.

Britney Says... Pop Superstar Discusses Her High-Brow Faves
Britney writes about her exposure to high art and literature. The gallery is meant to help her grow as an artist, and expose her to new audiences. She doesn't want to perform for teenagers all her life, she's getting older after all. Features pictures of Britney reciting lyrics and poems. She wants to be taken seriously as a PERSON.
posted by rschram on Mar 19, 2004 - 18 comments

Finding art in the oddest places : genius

The poetry of Donald Rumsfeld, set to music
The Unknown

"As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know."
[Department of Defense news briefing Feb. 12, 2002] : Now, imagine it set to music and sung aloud by a classically trained female singer with a beautiful voice. [ Mp3 clips available at main link ] Some conservatives consider it a homage, while I find it beautiful, compelling, and disorienting.
posted by troutfishing on Mar 12, 2004 - 27 comments

Janet Frame dies at 79

Janet Frame, New Zealand writer, is dead at 79. More information about her life, here, and obituary notice here. Nominated for the Nobel Prize for Fiction last year, I had hoped she might yet win. RIP.
posted by jokeefe on Jan 29, 2004 - 5 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

Writers' and Artists' Faces And Demeanours

How I Met And Dated Miss Emily Dickinson: Have you ever wondered what a favourite writer really looked like? Is there any relationship between an artist's face and their art? Hemingway looks like his prose; Ezra Pound like his poetry; Picasso is a dead ringer for his paintings but, say, John Updike doesn't resemble his fiction; T.S.Eliot looks like a bank clerk and Matisse was nothing like his works. How superficial can you get? [Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jan 2, 2004 - 27 comments

What's American About American Poetry?

What's American about American poetry?
posted by mediareport on Dec 14, 2003 - 69 comments

ZAP! You've been Illuminated!

You have been disciplined all your life   ::::   Nothing Changed - Nothing Will

Words of encouragement from Piotr Szyhalski's Electric Poster Series (Animated gif images). Artist's web site here.
posted by taz on Dec 4, 2003 - 12 comments

The Songs of Bilitis

The Songs of Bilitis. 'First published in Paris in 1894, this purports to be translations of poems by a woman named Bilitis, a contemporary and acquaintance of Sappho. This caused a sensation, not only because finding an intact cache of poems from a completely unknown Greek poet circa 600 B.C. would be a miracle, but because of its open and sensitive exploration of lesbian eroticism. Actually Bilitis never existed. The poems were a clever forgery by Pierre Louÿs--the "translator"; to lend weight, he had even included a bibliography with bogus supporting works ... '
A new addition to the sacred-texts.com canon.
posted by plep on Dec 2, 2003 - 8 comments

The Annotated Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary... Ok, but ever wonder what "quaff this kind nepenthe" means, or where "the night's plutonian shore" is? You'll be an expert on "The Raven" in minutes with this interactive annotation of Poe's classic Halloween poem. There are many interesting subjects on this site, which was linked previously in a thread about the mysterious toaster who leaves cognac at Poe's grave every year on the writer's birthday.
posted by planetkyoto on Oct 27, 2003 - 6 comments

Love and Yearning

Love and Yearning: mystical and moral themes in Persian poetry and painting. (Flash req'd)
posted by moonbird on Oct 19, 2003 - 7 comments

End of a Poetic Legacy on Penn. Ave.?

Other U.S. Presidents have dabbled in poetry (that is, if they weren't busy winning Pulitzers before hitting the Oval Office). But Our Fearless Leader's poem has been rejected by the Missouri Review. "While we realize that the phrase 'lump in the bed' has a personal meaning that is meant to be endearing (please give the First Lady our regards), we fear that it portrays a, shall we say say, less than progressive attitude toward women." Is there any hope for Bush's literary inclinations? And what does this mean for the future of Presidential dignity?
posted by ed on Oct 14, 2003 - 21 comments

National Poetry Day

Limerick Challenge. In celebration of National Poetry Day we are invited to write a limerick beginning with the line "On Arnie's first day in the job..." with a warning that "BBC taste and decency guidelines apply". Fortunately there are no such guidelines here.
posted by cbrody on Oct 9, 2003 - 48 comments

North to Alaska

Only 10 days left - Free house and internet cafe business in Alaska all you have to do is write an essay. Well, not an essay, but a story, poem, or limerick. It is tempting. But the entry fee is slowing me down. Stupid gimmick? Nifty idea?
posted by yesster on Oct 7, 2003 - 19 comments

Smile!

One of my favorite poets is Denise Duhamel, whom I met at a writer's workshop back in '94. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find the entire text of her first book, Smile! online.
posted by hyperizer on Oct 7, 2003 - 3 comments

Practice safe sex: choke a rubber chicken

Delux Rubber Chicken was short-lived zine containing some truly awful poetry and art. And as far as I can tell, they were serious. I love liberal arts students, really I do.
posted by Space Coyote on Oct 6, 2003 - 10 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

Fernando Pessoa

Fernando Pessoa was a Portuguese poet and mastermind. He created and maintained several heteronyms who each had their own distinct writings, went on to lead interesting lives, and even interacted with each other. All in the public eye.

The truth about their existence was only discovered after the death of Pessoa and the subsequent discovery of a trunk containing writings from all of them.
posted by ODiV on Sep 12, 2003 - 14 comments

Seventeen Syllables of TERROR!

Big Monsters, Little Poems. "Last night I dreamed I / Destroyed New York City in / My Maidenform Bra"
"Twin six-inch singers / Banshees, worse than the monsters / Mercy, make them stop!"
...and dozens more haiku monster movie reviews, promoting a forthcoming indie PC game.
posted by arto on Jul 24, 2003 - 2 comments

Bird Badness

Poultry poetry? Bitten by the Silkie bug? Got left over bird diapers that you would like to put to use? Pick up a few new feathered friends at bargain-barn prices. But please, keep the poultry porn to yourself (bad design/mild ickiness warning)
posted by answergrape on Jul 22, 2003 - 3 comments

the dog ate mother's toes

Dave Barry posts a letter in his weblog encouraging users to submit poems to poetry.com containing the phrase "the dog ate mother's toes" under the penname of Freemont. Hilarity Ensues.
posted by woil on Jul 16, 2003 - 40 comments

Is A Wussy Boy/Is Not A Wussy Boy

Wussy Boy. Wussy Boy Manifesto. The Wussy Boy Chronicles.
Excerpt: Is A Wussy Boy/Is Not A Wussy Boy - A wuss upon wusses.
posted by y2karl on Jul 1, 2003 - 8 comments

The new haiku

Length of the New Harry Potter got you down? Try these. Maybe you'd like to try tell a complete story in exactly 55 words?
posted by drezdn on Jun 20, 2003 - 11 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

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots (warning: music) is one of British royalty's most adored and most reviled figures, putting her in the select company of arch-rival Elizabeth I (sigh: music again) and Charles I. (The latter is an Anglican saint, although not everybody is quite so enthused.) Wince at the description of her execution, read some poems about her--or, indeed, some of her own poems--or visit her grave in Westminster Abbey.
posted by thomas j wise on Jun 14, 2003 - 3 comments

Gertrude Stein

The Unforgettable Gertrude Stein: A charming miscellany of first encounters with the fascinating writer and personality, compiled by Dana Cook. [From The New Yorker's excellent web guide to Gertrude Stein .]
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 28, 2003 - 4 comments

The Oracle of Starbucks

Personality type: Asshat. You carry around philosophy books you haven't read and wear trendy wire-rimmed glasses even though you have perfect vision. You've probably added an accent to your name or changed the pronunciation to seem sophisticated. You hang out in coffee shops because you don't have a job because you got your degree in French Poetry. People who drink capuccino are notorious for spouting off angry, liberal opinions about issues they don't understand.
The Oracle of Starbucks. (via chemaccino)
posted by PrinceValium on May 22, 2003 - 30 comments

URL -> CGI -> POETRY

Do you think that poetry is dead, too? Well, that's because everyone is busy getting their websites transformed into poetry by a neat script. [via boingboing.net]
posted by zerofoks on May 3, 2003 - 21 comments

Poetry is dead.

Poetry is dead.
posted by basilwhite on Apr 29, 2003 - 97 comments

Revolution is not an AOL keyword

Revolution is not an AOL keyword. "You will not be able to stay home, dear Netizen.
You will not be able to plug in, log on and opt out ..."
posted by sheauga on Apr 27, 2003 - 21 comments

The Gates of Paradise

The Gates of Paradise. [more]
posted by hama7 on Apr 18, 2003 - 7 comments

The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is an accomplished man. Not only is he guiding the war in Iraq, he has been a pilot, a congressman, an ambassador, a businessman, and a civil servant. But few Americans know that he is also a poet.
posted by misterioso on Apr 2, 2003 - 15 comments

Ontological anarchy

"Build frame-lattice lancework set-pieces on the roofs of insurance buildings or schools--a kundalini-snake or Chaos- dragon coiled barium-green against a background of sodium- oxalate yellow--Don't Tread On Me--or copulating monsters shooting wads of jizm-fire at a Baptists old folks home. "

I really have no idea, but it's awesome anyways.
posted by kavasa on Mar 29, 2003 - 17 comments

Poets Against the War

Poets Against The War
Sons and Daughters of Baghdad:
The hour of your liberation draws near
We extend towards you our white hand
Once embraced by many in vain:
Indian, African, Vietnamese,
And washed clean of their colored red stain.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Mar 22, 2003 - 10 comments

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