Friday afternoon March 29,2019 at 12: 11 p.m.
It seems natural to sense
something or someone missing,
Poems always exist behind poems
whether we realize it or not,
Friday night March 2,2012; revised Tuesday, May 24,2016
Art comes from everywhere, is beautiful, inspiring,
thoughit can neither sustain nor save us. It need not,
'I understand what Carolin [Emcke] meant about victims of violence and trauma experiencing solitude.'
- Svetlana Alexievich during an interview on Book tv, C-Span 2, recorded April 25,2005
Friday, July 15, Sunday, July 17, and Wednesday, July 20,2022
"It is very difficult to find the beginning."
--Philippe Claudel, Les Âmes grises
Sunday morning, September 18,2022 at 12: 25 a.m.
A street light, early morning, just prior to dawn,
close by our home; then Venus and Mars shining
Saturday morning, April 29, 2023; Sunday morning, April 30, 2023s; Tuesday morning, May 30, 2023 at 9: 06 a.m.
'She ate her food with relish … While she was still eating,
she looked over at Port and saw that he was already asleep.
Tuesday morning, May 22,2018
'It is only that this warmth and movement are like
The warmth and movement of a woman.'
Composed on Tuesday morning, March 13,2012 after watching Darren Aronofsky's film THE FOUNTAIN; revised Monday afternoon, July 26,2021 and Thursday morning, May 25, 2023 at 7: 28 a.m.
"A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth,
But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence."
Wednesday afternoon, January 23,2019 at 4: 05 p.m.; Thursday morning, January 24,2019 at 10: 49 a.m.; Friday morning, February 15 at 10: 40 a.m.
'To meet as far this morning
From the world as agreeing
Monday night, February 18,2019 at 10: 12 p.m.
- for my wife Kim Ryan
Thursday, November 26,2009;Friday morning, June 30,2017 at 9: 08 a.m.
Written after viewing the film The Constant Gardener, based on the
2001 John le Carre novel by the same title; this poem is dedicated to my
Friday morning, February 8,2019 at 8: 17 a.m.; Wednesday afternoon, May 20,2020
You don't see yourself getting older,
aging, though others do, of course,
Monday evening, March 25,2019 at 7: 09 p.m.; Sunday morning, March 31 at 9: 20 a.m.
A first spring rain tonight
reminds me of Basho's poem
Thursday, December 1,2011
I share this common life with my wife,
Monday morning, February 11,2019 at 10: 35 a.m.
What is poetry?Is the reader listening
to an imaginary discourse in a disembodied
January 14,2006; revised Sunday morning January 15,2012
Tomorrow? Wolves will hunt with wolves,
and we will have lost ourselves to bitter code—
Thursday, April 11,2019 at 3: 06 p.m.; revised on Monday night,
September 26 at 9: 45 p.m.
Freedom or necessity—every situation dictates
August 15,2008; 11 p.m.; minor changes in punctuation, Thursday morning, May 17, 2023 at 8 a.m.
—for Karen Cuccio, Friday morning, February 3,2023
Thursday afternoon, January 16, 2019 at 12: 50 p.m.; Tuesday morning, February 21, 2023 at 7: 32 a.m.
Writing these intimate poems,
making such revealing statements
Dennis Joseph Ryan is a former university English professor having worked at universities in Japan (Tokai University, Shonan and Sapporo Campus) and the United States, and at a high school in Freeport, Bahamas when he first began teaching in 1976. He speaks Japanese, and sometimes Japanese words and Chinese characters enter into his poems. He began publishing poems while in graduate school in the mid-1970's, and most of those poems appeared in The Alfred Review and the journal Poem. He is married to Kim Jung Sook of Puel Ri, South Korea, and is the father of two sons Devin and Shawn. He took a hiatus from writing poems at about the time of his marriage in Seoul, South Korea in December of 1981, and returned to writing poems in the late 1990's and has not stopped writing them since that time. He and his wife live in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he worked as an English lecturer in the English Department at North Carolina State University. Prior to his appointment at North Carolina State University, he served as Head of the Japanese Department at Buena Vista University In Storm Lake, Iowa, where he also chaired the Freshman Composition Committee, and taught Greek and Latin Literatures including The Iliad, The Aeneid, and the poetry of Sappho, Archilochus, Catullus, and courses in the novel, selected authors including Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolf and Albert Camus. Dr. Ryan presently serves as a editor/copyeditor of book manuscripts for the University Of California, Berkley, where he has worked with Dr. Yoko Hasegawa, Chair of The Department of East Asian Languages, on her manuscript which, after three years of editing, was published as JAPANESE: A LINGUISTIC INTRODUCTION (Cambridge University Press,2014) . He is also a book reviewer for the Linguistic Society Of America (LSA) and its flagship journal LANGUAGE, where he has reviewed such notable books as Yoko Hasegawa's SOLILOQUY IN JAPANESE AND ENGLISH (John Benjamins,2010) , Roumyana Slabakova's MEANING IN THE THE SECOND LANGUAGE (Mouton de Gruyter,2008) , Stein Braten's THE INTERSUBJECTIVE MIRROR IN INFANT LEARNING AND EVOLUTION OF SPEECH (John Benjamin's,2009) and Roy Harris's RATIONALITY AND THE LITERATE MIND (Routledge,2009) . During the years he served as a graduate English instructor and teaching professor (1986-2002) , Dr. Ryan was an associate of Dr. James L. Kinneavy, Director Of The Writing Program at The University of Texas, Austin and author of A Theory Of Discourse, a foundational text in the emerging field of Writing Studies/Composition And Rhetoric. The two worked together, and presented papers together several times on panels on writing theory/pragmatics at Conferences on Composition and Communication (CCCC) in Atlanta, Phoenix and Toronto. Dr. Ryan has also published academic articles, book reviews, book review essays and academic notes in journals published by Cambridge University Press, MIT University Press, The University of Idaho, PMLA, ERIC, etc. He has also presented papers at major conferences—including meetings of the MLA and SAMLA—in Applied Linguistics and Modernist American And British Writers (T.S.Eliot, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and William Butler Yeats) in Japan, France and the United States. Lately, some fifty (50) of his poems have appeared in four issues (#45, #46, #47 and #52 where he is the featured poet) of TALISMAN: A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY POETRY AND POETICS edited by Edward Foster. He has acknowledged as influences Shakespeare's sonnets and the work of American poets Robinson Jeffers, Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, George Oppen and William Bronk, the latter two poets whom he knew, William Bronk serving as a poetry mentor in letters exchanged between the two poets from 1979 until Bronk's death in 1999. Dennis Ryan's poems often focus on the reader, addressing the reader directly in the poems, on apostrophe, on trying to explain the poems of other poets, and one of his favorite poetic devices is soliloquy because in soliloquy the speaker allows him or herself the freedom to speak the truth since no one else is there to hear it. He has written some 75 soliloquy on a number of subjects, perhaps as many as 40-50 soliloquys hon Shakespeare's Hamlet, the speakers of these soliloquys being Hamlet, Ophelia, Horatio and other members of the Danish court. Almost all of these soliloquys from Hamlet are spoken in dialog between the characters, especially those involving Hamlet and Ophelia, and concern subjects that have gone unspoken about in the play itself. Recently, he has written soliloquys featuring the poets Wallace Stevens and John Ashbery as the speakers. He prefers writing occasional poems about particular experiences, but sometimes writes groups of poems in a series, such as the group poems " Ten Poem Installation..." , " Five Poems: Love and Intimacy in America 2005" and " Empathy and Abstraction... " In sum, he sees a number of his poems being in dialog with each other. He also writes poems in pairs, for example paired poems after watching films such as the Japanese film " Blue" and the French film " La Vie Reves de Anges" . Most of his poems are psychological in nature, involve relation and relationships, and he is particularly interested in " the psychology of art" and relationships between art/arts (e.g. painting, sculpture, music) life and poetry, most specifically the act of writing poems. He believes that poems, their meanings, only exist when the reader is thinking about them, reciting them, acting on what they say. The importance of poetry and the other arts is that people experience them, think about them, act on them. Certain art works, paintings, sculptures, music, poems leave residues, become a part of memory, and this is the true power and importance of the arts. The art work itself, the poem, the painting, the sculpture, etc., is the vehicle utilized to achieve this goal as " Art in the end" , he says, " is personal statement that connects me to you, and, hopefully, facilitates dialog between us.")
Written After Translating Basho's Tsuki Wa Aredo
Friday afternoon March 29,2019 at 12: 11 p.m.
It seems natural to sense
something or someone missing,
subject as we are to thoughts
of others as we live out our lives.
Hey Dennis I really like your poem on the Plain Truth it feeds my senses
Right now, always, I choose life. Life over Death. Life always—despite the police, their violence and stupidity. The determination to live—yes, this the choice always.
The are many ways to write a poem. Conscious ways. Then there is the unconscious. And feeling, writing by feeling, intuition, feeling one's way along, ahead, as the poem gets written, this way somewhat akin to "automatic writing".
Sunday, May 28,2023 at 8: 30 a.m. Life over Death. Life writing. Life always—despite the violence, terror and stupidity of the police—American police departments—who have no conscience, experience no shame. The determination to live—this the choice always.
Monday, May 29,2023 at 9: 30 a.m. More to the point, what if I should lose you? Enduring loss after loss, I have come to realize that saying ‘me' says ‘you' simultaneously, and such newfound knowledge is bitter, grievous, and I don't know how to grieve such added grief.
Tuesday morning, May 30,2023 at 9: 52 a.m. We are born, we live, and we die alone. Nothing can change, stop or delay the process, this most intimate, intense rendezvous with Death. This basic human loneliness—wrap this shawl tight around you, me, our families, our poverty, as we commence our final trek through the cold.
Saturday morning, June 3, 2023 at 8: 36 a.m. "Sculpture is diary then—what the sculptor was thinking, feeling while at work, when, why this particular cut, bend, curve, slope so painstakingly rendered—the chisel, stone, hammer, the promise of the human form, it's potential, so much more—this … the first time I beheld Blue Dancer." (This is an excerpt from my poem titled "Alexander Archipenko's ‘Blue Dancer' ".)
Friday, June 9, 2023 at 8: 48 a.m. "Sometimes my little voice says a lot to you if you take the time to think about my words, meditate on them, their meanings to better understand yourself and me …"
What happened while I was gone?