Poetics and Poetry Discussion
(12/19/2005 8:41:00 AM)
Amusing quote on the radio, by a novelist in an interview:
'It's almost like he's Sisyphus, but, like, he's purchased the rock and the mountain.'
(12/19/2005 7:50:00 AM)
In the same way that the mindless diamond keeps
one spark of the planet's early fires
trapped forever in its net of ice,
it's not love's later heat that poetry holds,
but the atom of the love that drew it forth
from the silence: so if the bright coal of his love
begins to smoulder, the poet hears his voice
suddenly forced, like a bar-room singer's - boastful
with his own huge feeling, or drowned by violins;
but if it yields a steadier light, he knows
the pure verse, when it finally comes, will sound
like a mountain spring, anonymous and serene.
Beneath the blue oblivious sky, the water
sings of nothing, not your name, not mine.
This by Don Paterson, twice recent winner of our prestigious Eliot Prize.
(12/19/2005 7:32:00 AM)
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When the sacred being had said what he had to say
They set off as ordered into the autumn sunlight.
It was neutrally brilliant, a perfectly calm day
And business was brisk at the appointed site.
The mind struggled, as it usually did, to write
Letters of dismissal, memos of loss or delay,
When all it wanted to note was how it was all right
With the account healthy and time enough to pay.
But it wasn’t and wouldn’t be when phones were ringing
With all the lost messages, most of them much too brief,
Full of exploded phrases and broken sentences.
But the sacred being had written off their absences.
His accounts were already balanced out with grief
And he bade the heavenly choir continue singing.
This by George Szirtes (sorry Adam, first news report spelt it wrong) who has just won our highest (?) poetry prize.
(12/19/2005 1:25:00 AM)
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Ladies with and without wonderbras, guys who don't discriminate and those who carry a grudge:
An early Christmas surprise came today. You may recall that Lulu had no record of my order and they didn't notice when they charged my credit card.
I was getting a tad frustrated yet kept writing to them, each time with less politeness.
Today, accompanied by otherwise total silence from LULU since 48 hours ago, FedEx delivered a Priority Parcel of my three books.
They look great and peace has returned to the airwaves, although I have heard nothing from them as yet.
Just wanted to let you all know.
HReplies for this message:
(12/19/2005 6:48:00 PM)
So glad to hear you got them Herbert! ! See.....ya just gotta have faith huh? Good news....(since I'm still waiting for mine) :)
(12/19/2005 2:13:00 AM)
Addendum: A few hours after receiving the books I received yet another message from LULU. Perhaps they are celebrating early? But they were kind enough to ask me to rate their service, see below: ... more
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- Mary Nagy (12/19/2005 6:48:00 PM) Post reply
(12/18/2005 9:44:00 PM)
A message for the people of Aberdeen;
Please see below for an explanation of what actually happened last Christmas:
Santa At Paddy's Pub
A snowflake tumbled from the sky
and landed in a reindeer's eye.
The reindeer was in lead position,
the navigator for their mission.
For just a second he did blink
and brought the sleigh close to the brink.
Though Santa was asleep between
the stops, their next was Aberdeen.
And within seconds came a blizzard
with so much snow, it takes a wizard
to find in blizzards your own way,
more so if pulling a big sleigh.
And so it happened they got lost
and covered by a sheet of frost
drove straight into the open door
of Paddy's Pub (with polished floor) .
Came to a halt right by the bar
when Paddy asked 'have you come far? '
and served them all the local ale
each reindeer drank from its own pail.
For Santa, though he had a treat
he served him Irish Whisky, neat.
And now and then, the door would swing
admitting one more dingeling.
Each time they saw a glimpse of snow
old Winter gave a dreadful show.
An Irish Pub that's owned by Paddy
has one good rule, there is one daddy
who calls the shots inside the Pub
because a Pub is like a hub.
So Paddy saw the snow kept falling
and that conditions were appalling,
he made the instant stipulation
that in this wintry situation
no one would leave the Pub again
and that applied to all the men.
Of course, there are no womanfolks
in Irish Pubs, where they tell jokes
thus it was easy to comply
while all the snow fell from the sky.
In March, at last, the weatherman
on Pay-TV (his name was Stan)
declared the blizzard truly over,
his information came from Dover.
Needless to say, the holidays
had faded in the blizzard's haze
and those of you from Aberdeen
please do not think St. Nick is mean.
As soon as Paddy says the word
the sleigh will rise just like a bird
and those of you who got no gifts
whose homes were buried by huge drifts,
there is a chance (that's what I hear)
that you'll be luckier next year.
(12/18/2005 8:46:00 PM)
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Well I guess we are all winding down now, putting aside the metaphor and facing up the the fact that Christmas is nearly upon. And so it is that I wish all of you a most wonderful Christmas and that the new year showers you with inspiration.
Much as I would like to post you all (well, those that I am aware of) individual greetings, that would prove impossible to do so before the new year. So I shall just mention a few. To Declan (a mate and a most talented guy, and reminding me that being a Paddy isn't so bad after all) , to Andrew, for being the first to review a work of mine and for his 9/11 cycle, which I believe you haven't finished yet, for Allan, for his dogmamatism in his own, individual, belief, for Pound, for providing a lot of insight and maintaining a high degree of quality on the forum and in his comments. To Nikhil, for stubbornly refusing to see that it is the art that is important and not the artist (you have admire that much self belief.) To Sally for being Sally. For Rusty for returning to the site and who's works have given me some of the best laughs I have had in ages. To John Kay, Walt Ostrander, Lamont, Charles and the many others who have provided some of the most thought provoking work I have come across and, in doing so, illustrated that poetry is not dead, not even asleep. To Mary for the tranformation from a kitten into a tiger in the space of a few months, Tai Chi, for her warmth and her work, which sometime had me sitting with my legs crossed for hours and for CJ for her astonishing work and for just being a wonderful human being.
I could go on, but I think you will have got the picture by now.
A big thank you to all. Let's keep the kettle boiling throughout 2006
Denis JoeReplies for this message:
(12/20/2005 2:38:00 AM)
Thank you Denis! Very kind of you to say such nice things about my work. I will see what I can russle up for Chrimbo, to keep that warmth going. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AT POEMHUNTER. Grinning like ... more
(12/19/2005 3:19:00 PM)
I'm not sure about that ''tiger'' thing but......ok! I hope you have a great holiday Denis! Sincerely, Mary
(12/19/2005 12:22:00 PM)
Thank you, Denis, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, too. Great big smoochies (kisses) and love, CJ
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- ***** ********* (12/20/2005 2:38:00 AM) Post reply
(12/18/2005 6:46:00 PM)
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Don't forget guys, at this party-game season, that none of you have played my fascinating game of 'halves of the face' (Block out first one half of a face, then the other, see the two characters, said to be left, what you're born with, right, what you make of it (Best do it first on your own in case...) .
I note Condy, my A1 example, keeps her good confident side on view - she even enters left when she walks on theplatform, to keep 'fearful Condy' out of the picture.. Meet your public figures for the first time. Live a little.
(12/18/2005 4:15:00 PM)
Possibly an interesting exercise to attempt: Lipogram
There are several examples of works written without using some letter of the alphabet. Usually e is left out, perhaps because that’s one of the most frequently found and so presents the greatest challenge (for example, you can’t use such common words as the, use or are) . Some of these works are quite long. Examples are Gadsby, a 50,000-word novel published by Ernest Vincent Wright in 1939, and George Perec’s French-language novel La Disparition of 1969, which was translated into English in 1995 as A Void. Such works are called lipograms, from the Greek lipogrammatos, “missing a letter”. And James Thurber once wrote a story about pirates who banned the use of “o” on an island, The Wonderful O, which is about the problem of leaving out a letter rather than an example of the type.
Find Gabsby here:
(12/18/2005 3:32:00 PM)
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I bought myself a Wonderbra
For fourteen ninety nine,
It looked so good on the model girl's chest,
And I hoped it would on mine,
I took it from the packaging
And when I tried it on,
The Wonderbra restored to me
All I believed had gone
Let's all salute the Wonderbra,
The Wonderbra, the Wonderbra,
Let's all salute the Wonderbra,
For fourteen ninety-nine.
It gave me such a figure,
I can't believe it's mine,
I showed it to my husband
And it made his eyeballs shine,
And when I served the breakfast,
The kids cried out, 'Hooray!
Here comes our darling mother,
with her bosom on a tray! '
I didn't really need one,
my present bra, it's true,
Had only been in constant use
Since nineteen eighty-two,
But the silhouette I dreamed about,
Is mine, is mine at last,
And builders on the scaffolding,
Drop off as I walk past
Singing.. let's all salute the Wonderbra,
The Wonderbra, the Wonderbra,
Let's all salute the Wonderbra
For fourteen ninety-nine
I knew you'd want more of her but didn't dare ask...
(12/18/2005 2:03:00 PM)
On another subject, I have rotated poems and added three new ones. I am leaving 'Nyctitropism' on - I was interested in criticism of that piece. The new ones are 'Song and Dance', 'The Gila Snaking Yuma Way' and 'Dust and Charcoal.' I've removed '4'x4'x4' Slab of Steel...' to incorporate some very constructive criticism, particularly from Jefferson. Thanks to all who have read and commented on my work. As Sherrie knows, I never stop editing (she found a poem from 1981 with fresh changes) , so I love PH.
Comment of the Day
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