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Words, words, words...and moving pictures!

London-based videographer Jim Clark uses photographs and paintings to create wonderfully disturbing videos of celebrated poets posthumously reading their work.
posted by youarenothere on Jan 9, 2009 - 19 comments

Illustrations of the Shahnama, the Persian epic poem

The Princeton Shahnama Project is an "archive of book paintings--commonly known as Persian Miniatures--that were created to illustrate scenes from the Persian national epic, the Shahnama (the Book of Kings). The Shahnama is a poem of some 50,000 couplets that was composed by Abu'l Qasim Firdausi over a period of several decades in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. The core of this archive is a fund of 277 illustrations from five illustrated manuscripts of the Shahnama that are housed in Princeton University's Firestone Library." The site also has the complete Shahnama in the Warner & Warner translation but here's another translation by Helen Zimmern [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Jan 5, 2009 - 5 comments

written on terrestrial things

Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky (re)posted Thomas Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush" to Slate. Discussion ensued, and became very lively when National Book Award winner Mark Doty observed that the poem contains an overt homage to an earlier poem by Keats. Guggenheim fellow Mark Halliday, MacArthur fellow Jim Powell and Annie Finch chime in. An opportunistic Billy Collins (also a former Poet Laureate & Guggenheim fellow) even showed up, attracted by the discussion of a "bird poem." A fascinating look at some of the finest American poets geeking out over poems that were hits before your mother was born.
posted by eustacescrubb on Jan 2, 2009 - 24 comments

Dylan Thomas Poem Generator

Dylan Thomas, the wonderful Welsh poet, has been mentioned on the blue before. Now the BBC provide a Dylan Thomas Random Poem Generator. Bravo! [more inside]
posted by fcummins on Dec 31, 2008 - 4 comments

Artists' Books Online

Artists' Books Online is a collection by the University of Virginia of artists' books. Artists' books are works of art that take the form of books and are often both text and visual art. Either way, they're awful interesting to look at. Here are some artbooks to get you started: How to Humiliate Your Peeping Tom by Susan Baker, The Word Made Flesh by Johanna Drucker, Life in a Book by Francois Deschamps, A.A.A.R.P. by Clifton Kirkpatrick Meador, opuntia is just another name for a prickly pear by Todd Walker and Black Dog White Bark by Erica Van Horn
posted by Kattullus on Dec 28, 2008 - 7 comments

I walk across High Holborn and think of you with nothing on

Eight years nearly to the day after I read about Adrian Henri's death on the Formica table of a service-station cafeteria, another of my favourite poets has left us. Adrian Mitchell, left-wing poet and romantic, 1932 - 2008. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Dec 23, 2008 - 7 comments

Search me. Ezra liked foreign titles.

Des Imagistes is an online version of Ezra Pound's influential 1914 anthology of Imagist poetry, which includes work by Pound, James Joyce, H. D., and William Carlos Williams. [more inside]
posted by whir on Dec 16, 2008 - 11 comments

The Agrippa Files

The Agrippa Files presents a fairly expansive overview of the original and very rare 1992 art book Agrippa (a book of the dead), a collaboration between artist Dennis Ashbaugh, author William Gibson, and award-winning journalist Kevin Begos, Jr. that presciently explored the ephemeral nature of and decay of memories and information. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 13, 2008 - 11 comments

Sometimes German Aesthetics Appeal To The Wrong Crowd

The MaxPlanckForschung journal cover gets some extra attention when it tries to be 'cool' and get a Chinese tattoo. MaxPlanckForschung usually publishes fairly esoteric scientific papers, and for a special issue on China, it wanted a nice artistic cover with some Chinese writing on it... little did the editors know that they had just published an ad for a brothel. LOL.
posted by mhh5 on Dec 10, 2008 - 60 comments

Pandaemonium

Milton turns 400 today. The Morgan Library celebrates by exhibiting the last surviving pages of Paradise Lost manuscript. Just you wait for the movie! [more inside]
posted by spamguy on Dec 9, 2008 - 23 comments

Letters to Young Artists

Wear Good Shoes : Advice for Young Photographers. [via] [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon on Dec 5, 2008 - 15 comments

My vocabulary did this to me.

The poet is a radio. The poet is a liar. The poet is a counterpunching radio. Jack Spicer was a poet, linguist, & early gay rights activist. For a long time, his poetry was out of print and difficult to find, but now Wesleyan University Press has (finally!) published his collected poems. The book takes its title from Spicer’s last words: My Vocabulary Did This to Me. [more inside]
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur on Dec 3, 2008 - 8 comments

Everything you wanted to know about pre-Columbian Central America but were afraid to ask lest your heart get ripped out and offered to Quetzalcoatl

The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies is your one-stop shop for pre-Columbian Central America awesomeness. There are so, so many wondrous things on that site, I don't quite know where to begin. I suppose John Pohl's scholarly introduction is a natural place to start. But maybe you just don't have time to read anything and just want to dive into pretty, pretty pictures. Perhaps the most user-friendly databases are Justin Kerr's photographs Maya Vases (e.g. 1, 2, 3) and Pre-Columbian Portfolio (e.g. 1, 2a, 2b, 3). From there you can delve into the collection of Linda Schele's photographs (e.g. 1, 2) and drawings (e.g. 1, 2, 3). There are more image databases but let me direct you to the collection of old Maya, Aztec and Mixtec books which are simply stunning (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4 [last link pdf]). You can read more about Mayan and Mixtec codices and download high resolution versions of the entire books. There are also Maya dictionaries, glyph guides, linguistic maps and a who's who. There is also classic Mayan and Aztec poetry in translation. I'm telling you, that's not even half of what this amazing site has to offer.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 29, 2008 - 19 comments

We will remember

The Great War Archive goes live today (November 11), the 90th anniversary of the Armistice. Launched by the University of Oxford in March 2008, the initiative invited members of the general public to submit digital photographs, audio, film, documents, and stories that originated from the Great War. Although the dealine for submissions is past, photos can still be added to the project's Flickr group.
posted by Abiezer on Nov 10, 2008 - 19 comments

An electronic corpus of paintings in Shahnama manuscripts

The Shahnama or “Book of Kings” is the longest poem ever written by a single author: Abu’l-Qasim Hasan Firdausi, from Tus in northeastern Iran. His epic work narrates the history of Iran (Persia) since the first king, Kayumars, who established his rule at the dawn of time, down to the conquest of Persia by the Muslim Arab invasions of the early 7th century A.D.
posted by tellurian on Nov 3, 2008 - 18 comments

Speculative Poetry

When we think of contemporary poetry, what comes to mind is difficult footnotes, scorching confessions, bardic combat, or maybe a new translation of a classic. Look to the land of children and you spy the sidewalk's end or a pack of Thneeds. Somewhere between the gravid and the childlike is the realm of speculative poetry. [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja on Nov 2, 2008 - 31 comments

How Much

Quantum of culture. Terminology from quantum theory shows up frequently in art, films, poetry and sculpture. Robert P. Crease gauges the impact of quantum mechanics on popular culture. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 27, 2008 - 20 comments

The T'ang Dynasty

China's Golden Age.
posted by homunculus on Oct 18, 2008 - 27 comments

Poetry mashups: These are not the beats you were looking for

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after. [more inside]
posted by mosk on Oct 16, 2008 - 9 comments

It’s a scientific fact that anyone entering the distance will grow smaller.

A man ambushed a stone. Caught it. Made it a prisoner.
Put it in a dark room and stood guard over it for the
rest of his life.

Russell Edson is an American poet. More of his work here (beware popups). An appreciation.
posted by generalist on Oct 11, 2008 - 12 comments

Paavo Haavikko (1931-2008)

Paavo Haavikko, one of Finland's (and Europe's) foremost poets, died earlier this week. As well as poetry, his seventy or so published works included essays, novels, plays for the stage, radio & TV, and opera libretti. (via) [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Oct 9, 2008 - 8 comments

RIP Hayden Carruth 1921-2008

"Why don't you write me a poem that will prepare me for your death?" Hayden Carruth's wife, thirty years his junior, asked him. He did so, and it became one of his most popular poems. Carruth, who celebrated his 87th birthday last month died last night at his home in Munnsville New York. Carruth was the winner of the the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his poetry collection Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey. He edited Poetry magazine from 1949-1950 and was a poetry editor at Harpers. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Sep 30, 2008 - 23 comments

the death of illiquidity

Massive Poetry Bailout in the works [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Sep 28, 2008 - 52 comments

Johnny Clarke, The Name Behind The Hairstyle

Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) film from 1982 on The Bard of Salford, John Cooper Clarke. You might know him from here. NSFW. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 13, 2008 - 11 comments

"Ban, ban, Ca-Carol Ann?"

Britain's biggest exam board has removed a poem by Carol Ann Duffy from the GCSE syllabus and asked schools to destroy the anthology it is contained in because it makes a reference to knife crime. This followed a complaint made by Pat Schofield, an exam invigilator. Duffy responded with the poem: Mrs Schofield's GCSE. [more inside]
posted by ninebelow on Sep 12, 2008 - 78 comments

"All your better deeds shall be in water writ"

In August of 1820 one of the most beloved poets of his age came to the defense of another poet who was fast slipping into obscurity after a string of flops and a barrage of devastating reviews. That poet receding into oblivion? John Keats. That mightily loved poet? Barry Cornwall. Barry who?! Barry Cornwall was the nom de plume of solicitor Bryan Waller Procter, who won the admiration of a great many, including no lesser a reader than Pushkin. You can acquaint yourselves with this now almost wholly forgotten literary figure by reading volume 1 of his 1822 Poetical Works or other texts by and about him on Google Books. As for Keats, well... Keats is everywhere.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 11, 2008 - 11 comments

muslim nerd awesome

slyt: Two perpetrators of a poetic internet theology flamewar recite aloud, with hilarious, barbed, awesomely dorky results. Brother of Few Words vs Yasir Qadhi.
posted by By The Grace of God on Aug 20, 2008 - 7 comments

Flarf

Here are some words about unicorns and dolphins (for you to poop on). They a graceless arrangement of YouTube comments, chatroom drivel, and spam subject lines often called "flarf". Rule of thumb: if it sucks, it's flarf. Titles range from Abnormal Discharge to I am So Stupid. Someone got the idea to read flarf aloud and it reminds me of nothing if not a Fragmaster reading. If it exists at all, flarf is a link-clicking collage to match our miniscule attention spans.
posted by shii on Aug 14, 2008 - 20 comments

Mahmoud Darwish dies

Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian poet, has died. [more inside]
posted by RogerB on Aug 9, 2008 - 21 comments

The Apparition of Enoch Soames

In the summer of 1897, the Devil transported a minor Decadent poet named Enoch Soames one hundred years into the future to see what posterity would make of his work. The only witness to the affair was the parodist Max Beerbohm, whose account of Soames and his journey ensured that at 2:10 P.M. on June 7, 1997, some dozen pilgrims waited in the Round Reading Room of the British Museum to see the poet appear...
posted by Iridic on Jul 22, 2008 - 26 comments

Kay Ryan is the new Poet Laureate

My favorite poet, Kay Ryan has been named United States Poet Laureate. [more inside]
posted by Peach on Jul 18, 2008 - 40 comments

Art and poetry from the post-Enligthenment and pre-Modernist era

ArtMagick is a collection of art and poetry that roughly dates from after the Enlightenment but before Modernism. While the poetry section is extensive the main draw is the sites extensive art collection, which can be browsed by artist, art movement, title, theme or albums created by the site's users. So, forget the summer heat with some chilly pictures of winter, check out famous objects of devotion or search the archive.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 14, 2008 - 5 comments

June 30th, June 30th

30 years ago, Richard Brautigan's last collection of poems, June 30th, June 30th, was published. [more inside]
posted by ikahime on Jun 30, 2008 - 24 comments

Nobody knows Emperors and Queens more intimately

Pictures of 100 poems by 100 poets, explained by a Wet Nurse - Hokusai's pictures describe what the poems do in the head of a wet nurse. With high resolution scans.
posted by tellurian on Jun 29, 2008 - 9 comments

Turkish Literary Delights

A Mid-summer Night's Story - one of hundreds of novels, poems, and tales in English translation at Suat Karantay's Contemporary Turkish Literature pages. Also: Turkish Poetry in Translation (the side-by-side translations of Dağlarca are particularly well-done), and selected stories of childhood & youth from Turkish authors in the mid 20th century.
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 25, 2008 - 4 comments

Autobiography of Read

Happy Birthday, Anne Carson! The iconoclastic modern poet who published the arresting, compulsively readable Autobiography of Red turned 57 this weekend. [more inside]
posted by zoomorphic on Jun 23, 2008 - 9 comments

Emily Dickinson

This Ecstatic Nation. Learning from Emily Dickinson after 9/11. [Via wood s lot]
posted by homunculus on Jun 10, 2008 - 13 comments

The Muse in the Machine

Robert Pinsky writing about Zork. Yes, I know its super old.
posted by juv3nal on Jun 10, 2008 - 15 comments

The Light The Dead See

30 years ago today, Frank Stanford, a young Arkansaw poet shot himself three times in the heart with a 22-caliber pistol. He was 29. By then he had become a powerful and unique voice in the American poetry landscape, dubbed "a swamprat Rimbaud" by Lorenzo Thomas and "one of the great voices of death" by Franz Wright. He left behind a strong (though often hard to find and/or unrecognized) body of work, most notably his immense epic The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You, a 15,280 line poem with no punctuation or stanzas. [more inside]
posted by troubles on Jun 3, 2008 - 44 comments

The Apostrophe Engine

A poem that builds upon itself and grows as the world wide web grows. The Apostrophe Engine is a website operated by Bill Kenney and Darren Wershler-Henry. It is the source of the poems in apostrophe, a book published by ECW Press in 2006. The home page of the Apostrophe Engine site presents the full text of a poem called "apostrophe", written by Bill in 1993. In this digital version of the poem, each line is now a hyperlink. How it works. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 28, 2008 - 29 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

Robert Bruce: American Poet

Robert Bruce is an American Poet who eschews Lit and Poetry Journals and instead posts a poem a week to his blog, Knife Gun Pen. [more inside]
posted by mosessis on May 24, 2008 - 26 comments

Lilacs

They are members of the olive family, among the earliest flowering plants imported to the United States. Planted near the front doors of flat, bare early Colonial house facades, they helped to create "dooryard gardens," which softened and brought beauty to a rough-hewn early America. Jefferson planted them; at Monticello, some of those bushes still bloom.. They gave Pan his pipes. They are employed as evocative symbols in American literature, song, and poetry, where they symbolize the sensuousness of love in its earliest stages. Festivals celebrate their blooming, and NOAA tracks the earliest leaves and flowers for evidence of climate change. The inability to smell it may be an early indication of Alzheimer's disease. No wonder people like to steal them.
posted by Miko on May 23, 2008 - 31 comments

Anointy-nointy

Worried that contemporary academic poetry isn’t difficult and weird enough? Then check out this YouTube’d performance (which might be NSFW for some) of Hot White Andy by Keston Sutherland, poet, academic and J.H. Prynne disciple. [more inside]
posted by Mocata on May 21, 2008 - 10 comments

William Butler Yeats

The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats - Online Exhibition. [Via]
posted by homunculus on May 19, 2008 - 10 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

Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Calligraphy

Selections of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Calligraphy from the collection of The Library of Congress. 373 individual pieces from ranging in time from the 9th to the 19th Century, all explained and some translated. A few personal favorites (note that very high quality scans can be viewed by clicking the appropriate link after clicking thumbnail): marriage decree, verses on tragic love, practice sheet, verses 10-11 of the 48th chapter of the Qur'an, poetic verses offering advice, frontispiece of Qur'anic exegesis and quatrain by Rumi. There are also four special presentations: Calligraphers of the Persian Tradition, Ottoman Calligraphers and Their Works, Qur’anic Fragments and Noteworthy Items. This last presentation also features representational art, for instance images of The battle of Mazandaran and the Persian king Bahram Gur hunting.
posted by Kattullus on May 12, 2008 - 11 comments

Gary Snyder, Speaking for the Trees

Gary Snyder, sublime and seminal poet of ecological awareness and activism [YouTube link], Zen appreciation of "ordinary mind" and American speech, shamanistic intimacy with the natural world, and surviving member of the Beat Generation (West Coast posse) at age 78, has won the $100,000 Ruth Lilly poetry prize. "Gary Snyder is in essence a contemporary devotional poet, though he is not devoted to any one god or way of being so much as to Being itself," said Poetry magazine editor Christian Wiman. "His poetry is a testament to the sacredness of the natural world and our relation to it, and a prophecy of what we stand to lose if we forget that relation.” Previous recipients of the Lilly prize include Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and W.S. Merwin. [Previously mentioned here.]
posted by digaman on May 7, 2008 - 43 comments

Woeser

A Lone Tibetan Voice, Intent on Speaking Out. Woeser (previously mentioned here) is a Tibetan writer and poet living under house arrest in Beijing, from where she blogs about the recent unrest in Tibet (there are English translations of her posts at China Digital Times). Last year she was awarded the Norwegian Authors Union Freedom of Expression Prize, but she was not allowed to travel to Oslo to collect the prize.
posted by homunculus on May 6, 2008 - 15 comments

There is in the Soul, a Desire for Not Thinking

Being Raymond Carver Often referred to as the American Chekhov, Raymond Carver was a master of the American short story. [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Apr 30, 2008 - 30 comments

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