Archive for January, 2008

I noticed a review of a new biography of Ezra Pound on the NY Times site by A. David Moody and thought I’d share. I was struck by the reviewer’s reference to The Odd Couple, inferring Ezra was Oscar to T.S. Eliot’s Felix…hmmm.

Ol’ Ez hasn’t made it into one of our gatherings yet. He is something of a disagreeable, downright unlikeable personality.  Still, you can read some of his poems here and a NY Times review of his works here

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Did I Miss Anything asks Tom Wayman (thanks Karen). I missed our December gathering, sadly. But folks were taking good notes and forwarded on the poems that were shared.

This was our first meeting with a theme. Frances chose “work.”

Dear fellow rhymers and readers
I received a suggestion about themes
But as a group without definite leaders
Might I suggest Labor or work as one
this time?If you haven’t yet chosen a poem,
Google Work or Mondays, or some
Such rhyme for tomorrow’s tea
And we shall celebrate the lack thereof
As we kick back and read free.

Here are our work poems. She wrote me that they were very diverse with a couple of them “containing enough interesting elements to make them the equivalent of a book.” Just don’t work too hard while reading them.

Philip Levine (1928- ) Pulitzer prize winner, 1994-  bio 

 The Two

Wang Ping (1957- )

On a Playground in Park Slope

Edwin Markham (1985-1940) – bio

The Man with the Hoe – a tribute to Jean Millet’s painting

The Man with the Hoe by Jean Millet

Johan Esser and Wolfgang Langhoff

Die Moorsoldaten (Peat Bog Soldiers) – a political resisatance song composed in a German concentraton camp. Lyrics are here. Audio is here in English and here in German.

Brandon Adamson  – bio

Workout Plan

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Wow, twice in one week, poetry on TV…this time it was on Thursday night’s episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation entitled “Bull.”  This episode introduced me to an entire genre of poetry known as cowboy poetry. Check it out here and  here .

Here’s the poem from CSI. As far as I know it didn’t have a title and its author was not named. The double entendre here is that on the surface the poem looks like a love poem written by a rodeo bull rider for a woman. But, in fact, as is revealed at the end of the episode, the cowboy wrote this poem for a bull named Windtwister.

I can’t help now but wonder what your brown eyes were concealing.
They just showed me reflections of all that I was feeling.

Our bodies close together like my ride hand in my glove.
Hearts pounding with excitement, and, dare I say it, love.

I know I’ll never own you it’s your nature to run free.
I pray the Lord above that one day you’ll come back to me.

Then, we’ll ride off in glory until our time is done
And, I will be your hero, your cowboy in the sun.

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I was happily eating my breakfast this morning while perusing the morning’s headlines on-line, when I noticed a Twitter post about jazz and poetry. What? Huh? Wait, more caffeine please! I must still be dreaming.

Of course, curious poets need to know…so I clicked on the link which took me to a NY Times article entitled “A Breezy Exchange Between Old Friends (Jazz and Poetry)”.

 It seems that current United States poet laureate Charles Simic and former United States poet laureate Robert Pinsky were on stage last night at the Jazz Standard in New York City.  They read poems while accompanied by a jazz trio…how COOL was that?? If only I had known in advance, I would have made an attempt to go…I hope they do a repeat performance soon.

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Poems show up in all the most unexpected places. This time it was the Sunday, January 6, 2008 episode of Desperate Housewives…yes, Desperate Housewives. Ok. I knew you wouldn’t believe me…but I have video to prove it.

 The poem was written by Mary Frye in 1932 and is entitled Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep. You can read it here.  The story of its creation is a poignant one. Apparently Mrs. Frye wrote it to comfort a young Jewish girl who was forced to leave her dying mother in Germany.

As for the Housewives, the episode is entitled “Welcome to Kanagawa.” The poem is recited by Mrs. McCluskey as she and Lynette prepare to spread the ashes of a neighbor on a softball field.

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