Archive for April, 2008

Jeffrey Harrison

Jeffrey Harrison who penned God’s Penis left us a comment on our post “We Enjoy Jan’s Sunroom in the Rain”. He’s posted some of his poems on his Web site although God’s Penis is not one of them. Thank you Jeffrey for your lovely poetry!

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During our March gathering we focused on water at Dan and Gloria’s house. Water–still pools, oceans, rain-filled potholes, clinking ice cubes, delivered by garden hose, a crystal glass, wooden buckets, water coolers, water guns, whatever.

Geraldine Clinton Little (1925-1997) – bio

Creek Rites – This poem is published in The Poets of New Jersey: From Colonial to Contemporary  edited by Emanuel di Pasquale, Sander Zulauf, and Frank Finale. I couldn’t find Creek Rites anywhere on the Internet. If you’d like the full poem, leave a comment and I will get it to you.

Robert Pinsky (1940- ) – bio

Jersey Rain

Richard Hughes (1900-1976) – bio

The Singing Furies (scroll down to the middle of the page, you’ll find the poem)

Mary Oliver (1935- ) – bio

At Blackwater Pond

Robert Frost (1874-1963) – bio

Spring Pools

Natasha Trethewey (1966-), 2007 Pulitzer winner –  bio

Theories of Time and Space audio version, video of the poet reading this poem, interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air

William Stafford (1914-1993) – bio

Listening to the Tide
Ask Me
Being a Person

Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) – bio

There is weeping in my heart both the original French version and the English translation. This poem can be found in a variety of musical settings. Here’s is Buddy Holly’s interpretation which he called “Raining in My Heart”

Marilyn Taylorbio

The Blue Water Buffalo

Charles Simic (1938-) – bio


Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)- bio

Under the Waterfall

Howard Nemerov (1920-1991) – bio

The Goose Fish

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I just noticed on the NYTimes Web site that the 2008 Pulitzer winners have been announced. This year both Robert Hass and Philip Schultz have won for their poetic contributions. Robert Hass’s prize-winning collection is entitled Time and Materials; Philip Schultz’s collection is entitled Failure.

The NYTimes reviewed Time and Materials last year.

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We received a comment from Isabel who knew the second poem that Liz Smith read at the Poetry and the Creative Mind gala. It is Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes. She introduced it by saying that Michelle and Barack Obama could make it their mantra in this election year.

Thank you Isabel for your note and the information. Check out Isabel’s blog which she’s called A Room of One’s Own and marries her beautiful photos with lots of poetry. Just lovely!

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As promised in my earlier post, here is a look at what Jan, Diana, and I experienced at the Academy of American Poets National Poetry Month kickoff gala  “Poetry and the Creative Mind”. Frances, we missed you and were sorry you couldn’t be with us that night. Thank you for organizing us!

The evening’s format entailed various celebrities choosing favorite poems to read. All were excellent, but Dianne Reeves was a standout as she read Queen of the Blues with all the gusto of the bluesy jazz singer that she his. A few readers departed from the printed program. I’ve made notes on poems that were listed but not read. I’ve added in the ones read that were not listed in the program except for one that Liz Smith read before reading Miniver Cheevy. I didn’t catch the poet or the title or enough of the poem to find it online. If anyone knows what poem that was, please let me know.

National Poetry Month began in 1996 and has become “the largest literary celebration in the world.” This event raised funds to support the Academy’s efforts to supply free classroom materials to more than 200,000 schools during National Poetry Month.

Yusef Komunyakaa, Former Chancellor, Academy of American Poets

Robert HaydenNames
Robert HaydenSphinx
Robert HaydenMonet’s Waterlilies

Jonathan Demme, film director

Randall JarrellThe Lost Children

Graydon Carter, editor, Vanity Fair

Dorothy ParkerOur Office: A Hate Song

Liz Smith, gossip columnist

Langston HughesLet America Be America Again [updated thanks to Isabel]
Edwin Arlington RobinsonMiniver Cheevy

Phillipe de Montebello, director, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Theodore RoethkeThe Geranium
Wallace Stevens The Snow Man
Edna St. Vincent MillayDirge Without Music
Edgar Allan Poe The Valley of Unrest
Ezra PoundThe Garden
W. H. Auden
Musee des Beaux Arts
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sylvia Plath
Apprehensions [listed but not read]

Candace Bushnell, author

Gertrude SteinStanzas in Meditation
Gertrude SteinFrom A Grammarian
Gertrude SteinFrom Saving the Sentence

Robert Caro, author

Robert FrostThe Bearer of Evil Tidings
Emily DickinsonHope is the thing with feathers
Emily DickinsonA Man may make a Remark
Edward HirschThe Branch Library
Edward HirschSpecial Orders
Edward HirschElegy for the Jewish Villages

Dianne Reeves, jazz vocalist

Gwendolyn BrooksA Song in the Front Yard
Gwendolyn Brooks
Queen of the Blues
James Weldon JohnsonGo Down Death

John Guare, playwright

William Carlos WilliamsFrom Ashphodel, That Greeny Flower

Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of CBS Evening News

Charlotte Perkins GilmanThe Anti-Suffragists
Emily DickinsonI measure every Grief I meet
ee cummingsmaggie and milly and molly and may
Langston HughesDreams [omitted]

Meryl Streep, actress

Wallace Stevens Sunday Morning
Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman A Noiseless Patient Spider

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National Poetry Month

I’m not April fooling. April is National Poetry month! To kick it off, Jan, Diana and I attended the Poetry and the Creative Mind gala at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.  I took notes, so I’ll post a list of the poems that were read. The readers were all great, but Diana Reeves was superb!

You can read more about National Poetry Month at the Academy of American Poets web site.

Also note that April 17 is the first national Poem in Your Pocket Day. Read all about that here.

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