Treasure Island

Writing Poetry

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  • Michael Shepherd (4/23/2005 7:03:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Googling Linda Pastan via the Cortland Review, issue 7, I came across a fine interview with Levine.

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  • Michael Shepherd (4/22/2005 3:48:00 PM) Post reply

    That's a nice poem, PoHo. For me, the biggest kick as a professional 'critic' (read appraiser) was being able to pass on those discoveries. It's the proof that we are all great -that we can instantly recognise the great in others. There's hope for the human race yet.

  • Poetry Hound (4/22/2005 8:34:00 AM) Post reply

    Like most people on poemhunter, I spend a lot of time reading the poetry of the greats. But I also come here in hopes of discovering new talent. It's quite a pleasant experience to find a new poet or even come across a poem by one of the regulars that speaks to me or moves me in some way. I've thought about how lurking here on poemhunter is a bit like fishing - lots of waiting and waiting and then every once in awhile you get a bite. But Linda Pastan, a favorite of mine, puts it even more poetically:

    A New Poet

    Finding a new poet
    is like finding a new wildflower
    out in the woods. You don't see

    its name in the flower books, and
    nobody you tell believes
    in its odd color or the way

    its leaves grow in splayed rows
    down the whole length of the page. In fact
    the very page smells of spilled

    red wine and the mustiness of the sea
    on a foggy day - the odor of truth
    and of lying.

    And the words are so familiar,
    so strangely new, words
    you almost wrote yourself, if only

    in your dreams there had been a pencil
    or a pen or even a paintbrush,
    if only there had been a flower.

    -Linda Pastan

  • Poetry Hound (4/21/2005 9:20:00 AM) Post reply

    Jefferson, you mentioned Billy Collins awhile ago, and I confess that I am hot and cold toward him. On the one hand, he can write a fantastic poem like 'Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes, ' which is terrific even if you don't get the nudge nudge wink wink Dickinson references contained therein. But other times, and there are a lot of them, he writes sort of ha ha jokey poems with little punchlines at the end. For example, 'Another Reason Why I Don't Keep A Gun In The House, ' a clever poem but one that is basically a joke. It's clever in a very safe way. And I feel like he writes a lot of safe, gimmicky, uninspired poems that frankly bore me. Not all poems have to be deep, but even non-deep poems should reveal something new or different in my opinion. Collins is often like a pop poet the way Peter Max is a pop painter. What do you think?

  • Kissteena Zaini (4/21/2005 6:58:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    i think to write a poem we need to have a sincere heart

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  • Nobody Dude (4/21/2005 12:52:00 AM) Post reply

    I'm new fairly new at this website and it's 'scoring', and so I suppose I want to offer what some of you call a 'challenge'...if one must score a poem less than a 7 or 8, how about writing a comment to suggest improvements (or at least give a reason) ?

  • Nobody Dude (4/21/2005 12:13:00 AM) Post reply

    I am a college student in a class discussing poetry, and I'm also tutoring English at a high school in sessions during which poetry is often the topic of questioning...and so while dealing with form and rhythm I came across a touching, entrancing poem that I'd never read before (like most poems by most authors, in my youthful education) , called 'Ballad of Birmingham' by Dudly Randall, written in 1969 on the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama,1963. This being the first year of my poetic education in college and elsewhere, I found it refreshing to read an American poem that was both easy to understand (without the intense analyzation I've gotten used to) and also quite profound, with a thumping, flowing rhythm like a rap song.

  • Michael Shepherd (4/20/2005 5:02:00 AM) Post reply

    Sorry, me again: I missed out the surname of Tony Harrison, who has been a leading figure of British poetry for years. His most celebrated poem, 'V' which is on this site, has a touching addendum on poemhunter - an apology from one of the glue-sniffing skinheads who defaced the family memorial in the cemetery, against whom Harrison rails in increasingly local dialect...

  • Michael Shepherd (4/19/2005 2:19:00 PM) Post reply

    and of course I forgot two celebrated figures of 2oth century British poetry: Dylan Thomas, symbol of romantic poet drinking himself to death, famouf the poem to his father 'rage, rage against the fading of the light...' and
    whose 'Under Milk Wood' is much performed, though I find it patronising of 'the little people'; and Dame Edith Sitwell (bet you thought her some Nehr-do-Well clone?) who regarded herself as the high priestess of poetry and dressed accordingly...but whose 'Rio Grande' was set to delicious music by Constant Lambert, father of Kit Lambert, founder of The Who and ex-pupil of of the great figures of self-caricature was Dame Edith.

  • Michael Shepherd (4/19/2005 7:13:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    forgot to say, for the most up-to-the-minute view of the scene, bloodaxebooks is the only publisher who can afford to produce an enormous quantity of current verse (hates formal verse) since they have some form of uni sponsorship.

    And how could I have forgotten DH Lawrence, with 106 poems on this site, I've just discovered, whose 'Snake' is my admired conscious and unconscious model (and his 'Beautiful old age' for personal reasons...) I'd put him contender for the most representative British poet of the 20th century. The British, who don't trust anyone who does more than one thing well, don't pay him much attention. Children trust him as a poet though.

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    • Ramil Gulle (10/6/2005 5:23:00 AM) Post reply

      Hello, I'm new at this site. I stumbled onto it while researching for an essay I'm writing on Dan Schnieder. Hi Michael, I noticed this post of yours because you mentioned Bloodaxe Books. I once h ... more

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