Saturday, June 07, 2003
Cathy Eisenhower writes about my note
thanks for your blog.
i just wanted to mention that your google results could very well be
determined by your search behavior recorded under your IP address. i
don't disagree with your argument, but i do think it's important to
long time to customize results and whatever else they do. at least
that's what some say.
http://google.indicateur.com/index.php3 (good site about google by
"The world is burning, and you are combing your pubic hair!"
aware of the Big Brother aspects of Google for some time, including its
penchant for employing former government intelligence types. And, of course,
Google owns Blogger now as well. But working as a market
analyst in the computer industry, one runs into enough former spooks to know
that they need jobs just like everyone else. A couple of these people I
would have no hesitation calling friends. The pharmaceutical industry, very
visible in the Philadelphia-Delaware-NJ region, especially likes to hire ex-spies
for competitive intelligence. Mostly what I’ve noticed is that these guys (they
do seem to be all males) go through culture shock trading old fashioned offices
in Langley or the Pentagon for cubicles . . . although – as this article
from the current issue of Studies in Intelligence
notes – your standard Kinko’s has better technology than a lot of them are
comfortable using. & poets in the
But the deeper implication of Cathy’s note is that Google will understand, because of the prior searches I’ve done on its software, that I would want to read about Ian Hamilton Finlay first. And that a new formalist doing precisely the same search as I performed, with the exact same search terms, might well come up with a radically different order, if not results altogether. Still, if Finlay showed up first, Stephen Ratcliffe turned up 34th on my search and I know I’ve googled his name before – he’s one of the people whose poetry I try to keep up with whenever it turns up in an e-zine somewhere. Number four in my search was entitled “Poet, 92, releases collection,” while number 6 was “Elderly residents share in the joy of poetry.” Google may be attempting to create a “smarter” search engine, but that puppy still has a ways to go.
Chris Lott writes to inform me that his own weblog offers its own compilation of poetry news:
In your weblog on June 4 you note the lack of diversity in the Poetry Daily news headlines. Although not a massive enterprise in news-gathering, I have taken to trying to expand a bit on these offerings (in my own little way) by doing some news scouring of my own, results reported in my weblog Ruminate (http://www.chrislott.org/).
My own tastes are clearly somewhat more traditional than your own, but I at least hope to highlight some other kinds of poetry and provide some pointers to articles relevant to the international scene. I imagine I will continue to do so 2-3 times per week as long as people find it useful.
Which in turn reminds me that Laurable – the mother of all poetry bloggers – also can be viewed in just such a light. That’s a journalistic light, with a lime green lampshade.
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I once again own & have in my possession a copy of Francis Ponge’s “Notebook of the Pine Woods,” in Things, a selection of Ponge’s work translated by Cid Corman, published by Mushinsha / Grossman. At 31 pages, it’s the longest single work in the book. In my first blog on Ponge, I suggested that the poem was a sonnet. It’s not. In most versions, it’s nine lines in length. Here is the first version, entitled “The pine wood,”
Alpine brushwork surrounded by mirrors
With purple wood handle high tufted green bristles
In your hot penumbra stained by the sun
Came dressing her hair Venus issuing from her bath
Marine or lacustrine to the side-aisle steaming . . .
Whence the elastic ruddy thickness on the ground
With odoriferous hair pins
Tossed there by so many negligent treetops
At which point Ponge offers three separate alternatives for a possible last line:
– And my pleasure also in tasting there my sleep
And this slanting sash in the sleepless tissue
. . . Floats a slanting sash in the sleepless tissue.
Note that the first version suggests the presence of sleep, while the other two suggest its absence.
Fifteen rewrites later, there is a work with a far more complex title:
The plaintive motes
or the sun in the pine woods
By this brushworks high tufted with green bristles
With purple wood handles surrounded by mirrors
Let a radiant body penetrate straight from the bath
Marine or lacustrine to the side-aisle steaming
Nothing remains of it relating to sleepless motes
On the elastic ruddy thickness on the ground
With odiferous hair pins
Tossed there by so many negligent treetops
But a peignoir of penumbra stained by the sun.
One third of the original lines – and not necessarily the ones a reader might expect – have remained unchanged, but others are radically different.
It’s also worth noting that all of these versions – and Ponge continues after the 16 versions to contemplate other changes, or ideas about revision, for another 15 pages – were all composed over a single week in August of 1940, a much more compact period of time than I’d imagined.
A lot of
this work reminds me a great deal of
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Finally, K. Silem Mohammad has a recent post characterizing Michael Cross’ new “chap envelope” – is that a category? – thus:
Cross's in felt treeling> is an unbound stack of twelve square cards (counting title page and endpiece) and sheathed in an indigo envelope.
Er, Kasey, maybe we got different envelopes, but my copy clearly isn’t indigo. It’s . . . lime.
Friday, June 06, 2003
The bicycle as an image of technology is not something I had expected when I first began to read Bruno Schulz’ The Street of Crocodiles, yet it appears in “The Comet,” that volume’s final short story. The trope of bicycling as a fad, the new way to move about the city, culminating in an image, I swear, of bicyclists ascending into the night sky, a scene that to an American can only invoke E.T. It made me wonder if Steven Spielberg, the director, or Melissa Mathison, who wrote the screenplay, had ever read Schulz.
Schulz is an odd duck who
arrived in one of those doomed places in literature & history. Born in Drohobycz, a small provincial city, in what was once Galicia, later
At one level this book is a series of stories concerning a single family in a single small city, so that characters are more or less continuous from tale to tale. More or less in the sense that, in “The Comet,” which was originally published not as a part of Schulz’ volume Cinnamon – as the rest of these pieces were – but as a serialized novella in a newspaper, a brother & uncle appear rather as if from nowhere. But unlike, say, the Glass family stories by J.D. Salinger, this is hardly a portrait of a family. There are really one three substantial characters in the whole book: the father, who runs a shop in the town; a servant, Adela; & the narrator, obviously a young boy. Mothers and others appear only as needed – & only briefly as needed – against this landscape.
Schulz’ prose makes me wish I could read Polish, because it’s apparent throughout that his interest isn’t so much in the narrative side of these stories as it is in exploring issues that a creative writing teacher might characterize as atmosphere. Some of the tales are preposterous, as when the father takes to raising rare birds from mail order eggs in the apartment, only to have the servant open some windows and set free the aviary of condors & eagles. In another tale, the boy leaves his parents at the theater in order to run a short errand which turns into an hallucinatory walk through the night streets of the city. Celina Wieniewska seems like a serviceable translator, but this is very much like the questions surrounding the different versions of Proust’s cycle of novels, Remembrance of Things Past or, in a more recent reworking, In Search of Lost Time. As those radically dissimilar titles suggest, the simplest difference can completely recast one’s vision of the work. How much of it is about memory, how much about loss? In such translations, the question is not whether the character dips the Madeline into the cup of tea, but how, something that may be answered only at the levels of prosody.
One can see in Schulz the
same instincts that in
Thursday, June 05, 2003
John Ashbery isn’t the only influence to pop up in the “Early Poems” section of Jack Collom’s giant Red Car Goes By volume. And the influences aren’t always whom one might expect, either. One poem, “Bauch,” suggests that Collom must have been such German poets of the period as Helmut Heissenbüttel or Eugen Gomringer. One senses also both the Beats & the Projectivists as people whom the young Coloradoan must have then been absorbing.
In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of that early section in Red Car is that Collom – perhaps because of his great geographical distance from any manifestation of The Scene (the bio at Teachers & Writers notes that he did not meet another poet until he had been writing for eight years) – seems never to have felt any need to pick & choose between various New American tendencies – he could & did absorb a little from everybody & in such a fashion that it was never anybody’s poetry but his very own.
This in many ways is
radically different from what I found as a young poet in the mid-1960s, coming
along really just after the period represented by Collom’s “Early Poems.” The
world I ran into was in fact deeply partisan – a young Projectivist – which is
more less what I must have been between 1966, say, & coming under the heady
influence of Bob Grenier in 1970 – a young Projectivist might be interested in,
say, the New York School or the Beats, but really only as a friendly backdrop
to the so-called real debate of that period, which was What to make of Edward Dorn’s Gunslinger, seen by more than a few
people at the time as a form of revolt against Projectivist principles. Where
you a ‘Slinger person or a North Atlantic
Turbine person, that was the question, Turbine
being the apotheosis of ‘50s style Projectivist writing? Did you include
If all this seems more than
a little icky, well, it was. But this hyper-partisanship also explains, at
least in part, why the poetry wars of the 1970s proved to be so terribly
intense.** Part of what is so very interesting reading
these earliest poems by Jack Collom is that he seems to have already figured
out what it seems to have taken so many other poets another twenty years to get
straight – it’s not a zero sum
competition. Liking the
One wonders – especially if
one c’est moi – how other poets of
his time must have interpreted Collom’s eclecticism. As a
wishy-washy failure to declare allegiances? Or as having already gone
beyond the stumbling blocks that other poets were only then starting to pick
their way through? That Collom had books from Tim Longville’s Grosseteste Review Press – whose interest in
I find this interesting in part because it is so consistent with much later attitudes & approaches to writing. & Collom has himself been a very consistent & productive poet – even in the 1950s, he has the sharpest eye for (& greatest knowledge about) birds of any American poet. In a world in which many poets think “hawk” is terribly descriptive, this is a man who knows a harrier from a kestrel & that you don’t look for burrowing owls in a tree.
* One that made it possible to imagine how Zukofsky fit into the evolving tradition.
** The wars were, in part, an extension of a situation that had existed for over a decade, hardened in part by the fact that younger poets often took the divisions in the Allen anthology far more seriously than did that anthology’s contributors. The most vigorous & vicious attacks against langpo, it is worth noting, came from wannabe New Americans who felt they had “signed up” for the world projected in The New American Poetry & that anything that suggested ongoing evolution directly threatened the petrified tableaux of their worldview.
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I stand corrected on all accounts. I was operating from a description I’d seen from a rare book dealer – I’ve never seen the book itself.
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Every Monday morning, the email in-box contains a message from the well-intentioned folks at Poetry Daily. In addition to listing whose poems will appear this week, appeared last week, and appeared one year ago last week, it includes a link to Poetry Daily’s own news page, which attempts to gather current articles and reviews of poetry from the English-speaking world’s daily media. This week’s listing looked something like this:
The Arts and the Administration:
City Lights Books:
one historical piece on City Lights – nowadays a tourist bookshop, albeit one
with a decent poetry room up the winding stairs to the rear – and a whole lot
Another way to ferret out news about poetry is the Google News service. On the same day I received the above list from Poetry Daily, I ran a search on “poems poet poetry poem” & got back the following:
Guardian, UK - 21 hours ago
... with Jessie McGuffie, and published collections of poems ... of Creeley and the San Francisco
poet ... same time, Finlay set up a poetry ... POTH), after a line in a poem ...
In one of the poems best known to ... available in capsule form, the American poet Archibald
MacLeish affirmed that “A poem ... As a defiant statement of poetry ...
to Include Poetry Slam
Winchester Star, VA - 6 hours ago
... he was once James Madison’s University’s poet ... a group of strangers and recite
a poem ... to have a great start for the poetry ... Poems can be any style, from free ...
Poet, 92, releases collection
Macomb Daily, MI -
Marion Star, OH -
... about a photo, about what exactly the poet's ... she gets to explain that it's a poem ... she
took the class because she enjoyed poetry ... Her poems, she said, tend to be ...
residents share in the joy of poetry
Allston Brighton TAB, MA - May 30, 2003
... started writing at the time of beat poet ... The finished poems are posted throughout
the ... of faith upon its feet..." The poem's ... and plans to join her old poetry ...
Community Bulletin Board
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI -
... Poems should be 20 lines or fewer, and the poet's name ... To enter, send one original
poem of any subject and style to: International Library of Poetry ...
Guardian, UK - May 30, 2003
... to trigger a memory and in due course the poem ... lot of trouble to get into verse the
poems ... This is a brilliant example of how a poet reading his own poetry ...
Plaiting their stories
... My poetry ... While his poem spoke of the exploitation of cheap ... clear: "When I published
my first volume of poems ... a conversation I had had earlier with Ugandan poet ...
A poet of stocks and
shares, bulls and bears
Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA -
Compete on Road to Final Four
Berkeley Daily Planet, CA - May 30, 2003
... Other poems were more personal ... surprise Wednesday was the elimination of the poet ... ever
seen!” shouted Rupert during his poem ... Kat’s poetry drew from personal ...
Walt Whitman, 'a poet who changed us'
Oregonian, OR -
... Vistas." But it was in his poems ... of Myself," the long, great first poem ... Whitman's role
as a pivotal American poet is ... changed the course of what American poetry ...
... songs and, it is said, sang his poems to ... by the heavenly beauty of that poem ... He set
troubadour poetry, wrote violin music and ... it "may well be the finest poet's ...
In Garden State,
They Put Verse Things First
Washington Post, DC -
... and entitled his last book of poems ... life of
because the current laureate,
Snapshots On The Journey - Rod
Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand - May 31, 2003
... Each contains poems that speak to the ... In the poem's hurt fury, we relive ... The great
Russian poet Osip Mandelstam - who ... widow, Nadezdha, later wrote that poetry ...
PBS - May 27, 2003
... would like to read his or her poem ... a recent writing class where student poems ... notice
of Seamus Heaney, the Irish poet ... Gravel" is his ninth collection of poetry ...
becoming well-versed in world of poetry
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN - May 27, 2003
... Thomas, and she is a published poet at ... Devani's poem "My Own Room Blues" was inspired
by a book of poetry ... in the program called "Relatively Speaking: Poems ...
'For the love of
Lorain Morning Journal, OH -
... The nice thing was, no two poems were alike.''. ... 'My favorite poem is ... 'It takes a
person with a poet's heart to really understand and appreciate poetry ...
Lord of the word
The Herald News, NJ - May 18, 2003
... was inspired by his teaching experience and poetry ... He asks students to find a poem ... him
he had memorized one of his poems ... In the United States, the poet laureate ...
and his revolutionary poetry
Sofia Echo, Bulgaria - May 22, 2003
... learn at school, and they recite his poems ... He was a poet of deep and mature ... With his
poetry Botev built the myth about ... Botev became famous with his first poem ...
Dancing on free speech's grave
... student poets were “investigated” and their poems ... of free speech at RRHS, the
poem ... about students reading anti-war poetry ... and firing of RRHS teacher, poet ...
Military hand in attack on free
... by the RRHS
school students to “turn back to poetry ... by reading at least one poem ...
The past is
... than Seamus Heaney's." Like his fiction, the poems ... poetry of that other highly lauded
poet ... I think the same is true of poetry ... away until you find what the poem's ...
edited by Paul Keegan and Matthew
... no more terrorism!" Few campaigners in poetry's ... The sombre truth, which 101 Poems
Against ... about refusing to write a war poem ... in times like these, / A poet's ...
Denis Boyles :
National Review Online - May 27, 2003
... HM the Queen left a very metrical poem ... To us Americans, modern poetry is the broccoli ... Think
of it: Ten thousand "poems" from ... I too was a federally funded poet. ...
composition, three years in the making, was commissioned ...
Jersey City Reporter, NJ - May 27, 2003
... However, Nytch saw the composition as a longer piece, and the poem that ... Nytch then
looked at other Tagore poems ... I like to work with Tagore's poetry ... If a poet's ...
releases first poetry book
Laurinburg Exchange, NC - May 18, 2003
... depression and panic attacks, began writing poetry ... Two of Aycock’s favorite poems
in ... entitled “Motherhood”, and the last poem ... of how the mind of a poet ...
reflect on loves of his life
The Glasgow Herald,
... The first poem in the collection begins with a ... It's a new kind of poetry for me ... Morgan
met in 1999, has become the poet's ... are gay." He added: "I like these poems ...
for the Hebrews, and Everyone Else
Forward, NY - May 28, 2003
... people," says 32-year-old spoken-word-poet ... In her Def Poetry performance, Hidary,
sporting cascading ... I can do that poem ... One of her most popular poems has an ...
... snidey comments in the margins." The poem ... Not that all the poems in this ... thing to say
about any contemporary poet ... rather than simply be indifferent to, poetry. ...
Everybody's business: Writing
creates discipline and ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN -
... characters I met was Ray the Cosmic Poet. ... He approached the creation of poetry with
uncommon ... was simple: Every one of his poems ... his job was to keep every poem ...
Poetry can provide a powerful surprise
St. Petersburg Times, FL - May 21, 2003
... he wants to study English and become a poet ... As a teenager, I loved poetry and wrote ... like
me just did not write nature poems ... I had written on Robert Frost's poem ...
Izzia Ahmad: Poet of a New
... translates as a unified vision in the poetry ... Fawehinmi" may not be his best poem ... have
written some of their best poems ... democratic norms makes Izzia Ahmad a poet ...
Writing with the
Marin Independent-Journal, CA -
... Ratcliffe does every day: He writes a poem ... There are other possibilities but poetry
is the ... in the lineup know you're a poet ... I sometimes put them in my poems and ...
Slam' is short-handed until reporter steps in
HoldTheFrontPage.co.uk, UK - May 20, 2003
The Swindon Poetry Slam was short of a poet ... Somehow managing to compose myself, and
three poems ... The audience laughed most heartily throughout - at the poem ...
Red Shoes -
... overseas, is expected to "actively promote poetry ... of Red Shoes , the handsomely bound
volume of poems she produced as poet ... d imagine the writer of a poem ...
helps spread local poet ’ s fame
Shelbyville News, IN - May 16, 2003
... Orr is a poet ... also included “Soybeans” in an anthology of the poetry ... read on The
Writer’s Almanac entitled “Good Poems ... things I hoped to do with the poem ...
Tacoma News Tribune, WA -
... as well as son of the late and venerated poet ... pieces in "This Art," a new anthology
of poems about poetry ... And in her poem titled "Singing Aloud," Carolyn ...
editorials from New Jersey newspapers
... New Jerseyans to appreciate and enjoy poetry. ... and continues to stand by the poem ... no
longer recognizes Mr. Baraka as poet ... after becoming well-versed in his poems ...
Speaker urges Colby seniors to
Central Maine Daily Sentinel, ME - May 25, 2003
... Harvard College professor and poetry critic Helen Vendler ... said, are made of "millions
of small gestures —poems ... Caribbean poet Derek Walcott, in his poem ...
Acts of Hope
AlterNet - May 20, 2003
... site, but our acts inspired the Kazakh poet ... gave him his platform was his poetry ... Perhaps
Suleimenov wrote all his poems so ... a TV camera and deliver not a poem ...
Prize for poets
well versed in the Scots
The Glasgow Herald, UK - May 22, 2003
... from sonnet to free verse, dialogue poem ... Poems should be clearly printed, typed ... Entries
should submitted to: Scots Poetry ... will be Edwin Morgan, Glasgow's poet ...
Shaaban Robert Symbolises
Epoch in EA History
... letters of Shaaban Robert,
he was writing the poem in ... the struggle mainly through their poems ...
Winners named in poetry
Chelsea Standard, MI - May 8, 2003
Chelsea’s fourth annual Poetry Competition and ... and featured local award-winning
poet ... Butcher, first place with her poems ... Whitesall, second place for her poem ...
on Witherspoon Street
Princeton Packet, NJ -
... Mr. Sardi has memorized most of Eliot's poems ... of J. Alfred Prufrock" aloud because
the poet's ... and didn't touch an Eliot poem ... came upon a book of Eliot's poetry. ...
fresh and honest
Baltimore Sun, MD - May 18, 2003
... the most potent strategies of modern poetry ... voice is intimate, as if the poet ... powerful
and unflinching, dramatic and fresh poems ... In "The Older," a poem from The ...
The gruff with
Guardian, UK - May 9, 2003
... to distance us from the subject of the poem ... rhetorical effect in a short sequence
of poems ... In "The Art of Poetry: Two Lessons ... set of precepts to an aspiring poet ...
Life's twists give Aussie his
Houston Chronicle, TX -
... By 1998 he was writing the poems that had ... said Sam Dawson, a
talked Jack into doing a poem ... Poetry would open new doors for Sammon. ...
Washington Post - May 13, 2003
... Every Tuesday night is poet's night at ... has been spreading her antiwar poetry ... Her best-known
poem, distributed on ... to have taught it, including unpublished poems ...
Amitabh spins magic with Kaifi poems
Eschewing the message in search
of the memory
The Daily Iowan - May 8, 2003
... think I came out a better poet ... Justice said, he attempts to write poems ... memory presents
obstacles for him that poetry ... With his poem "Vague Memory from Childhood ...
Schools art fest earns rave
reviews from guests
Southgate News Herald, MI - May 24, 2003
... poetry and I shared some of my favorite poems ... We talked about who a poet ... work hard
on coming up with a poem ... The poetry readings earned rave reviews from parents ...
A Horse, A
Jockey And His Daughter
New London Day, CT - May 13, 2003
... Emerson, but he never became his poet ... Norah Pollard's first book of poetry, “Leaning ... say,
‘No, no, there are other poems ... considered a ditty, not a real poem ...
gift of poetry
Cranbury Press, NJ - May 16, 2003
... A staff member who doubles as a poet ... I have some 70 poems that weren't included ... for
four years, said he started writing poetry ... the course, I had to write a poem ...
Village Voice, NY - May 16, 2003
n May 7, Ted Joans, extraordinary poet and ... While some of the poems explode like a ... diabetes,
and was surviving by reading poetry ... love I continue to live my poem ...
A plait not so
Kansas City Star, MO - May 11, 2003
... Harrison and Ted Kooser's "conversation in poetry ... clue is given as to which poet ... Braided
Creek presents dozens of short poems ... They unfold like that, poem after ...
Getting it on
The Japan Times,
... Sylvia Charczuk seduces her audience with a poetry ... launch for "Inside the
Buddha," poems ...
Cam Diary : Iqbal ’ s Cambridge
connection — II
... s Wing), his second collection of Urdu poems ... Below this poem, Iqbal signs in Urdu ... writes:
“Sir Muhammad Iqbal, that immortal poet of Islam, whose poetry ...
follow unusual path
USA Today - May 14, 2003
Poets Against the War, edited by poet Sam ... last winter when Laura Bush planned a poetry ... was
a hit, with more than 13000 poems ... Her poem, On His Way to Kuwait, is ...
Poets to duke it
out in cyberspace
The Globe and
... challenge is to write an acrostic, a poem ... Sunday May 11 to complete their poems. ... votes
will be counted and the poet ... established editor and member of the poetry ...
He likes a
... Crawford specialises in poems about Scottish ... of dependence" addressed to the poet's ... the
likable features of Crawford's poetry ... whole man": in the ideal poem's ...
New London Day, CT - May 25, 2003
... read assigned and established works of poetry ... a member feels like it, are original
poems ... back injury in 1990, reads a poem ... Jude Rittenhouse, a Mystic-based poet ...
Les Murray, bard
with a barb
New Zealand Herald, New Zealand - May 9, 2003
... This then is Les Murray: Australian poet ... was provocatively titled Subhuman Redneck
Poems ... accepts his mortality and mentions a poem ... I'm just going to read poetry ...
Mushairah offers experience of high order
Times of Oman, Oman - May 14, 2003
... He has produced several volumes of poems and ... Ata is a poet of par excellence ... Author
of several volumes of poetry consisting of ... is author of two volumes of poem ...
in honor of Mother’s Day
East Brunswick Sentinel, NJ - May 8, 2003
VERONICA YANKOWSKI Poet Bob Jeannotte (left) looks over ... is the title of his new poetry ... publicist
who worked to get his poems ... Jeannotte has not written a poem ...
fear to tread Student poets step up at Art Beat ...
Oregonian, OR - May 15, 2003
... She studies poetry because it has always ... Another poet, Chris Cottrell, 27, grew up ... He's
had poems and short stories ... In her poem "Delete," Eckler describes her ...
For artists only
Christian Science Monitor - May 15, 2003
... chance to finish her fifth book of poetry ... up and recited from memory a favorite poem ... work"
at home, agrees Gail Taylor, a poet ... She's working on a book of poems ...
Village Voice, NY -
... Poet Tracie Morris and choreographer David Thomson ... from the script she calls a poem ... Morris
has been a poetry slam ... two dimensions (the page) became sound poems. ...
Kerouac's haiku a revelation
... he also wrote a considerable amount of poetry ... Under the tutelage of poet Gary Snyder
and ... may, it is a terrific little poem ... a major selection, with over 500 poems ...
The Sage and the Self-Promoter
Humanities Magazine, DC -
... said at the time that Whitman’s poems ... although admitting “the essential spirit
of poetry ... he had called for such a poet as ... Yet America is a poem in our eyes ...
Poets Ponder Returning Home
Voice of America - May 9, 2003
... At their first post-war poetry reading here ... In this poem, he compares Iraq to water ... Another
Iraqi poet at the recent event ... he and others can read their poems ...
There is, so far as I’ve
been able to ascertain, no overlap. The 71 items Google found were missed by
Poetry Daily, while its 11 items fail to show up in Google. That’s a conundrum.
Even if one simply presumes that the registration requirement at the New York Times tends to keep it out of
Google’s still beta news service, the Philadelphia
Inquirer has no such requirement. Poetry Daily catches Ed Hirsch’s weekly
mawkish poetry column from The Washington
Post, but misses the story on poetry & fiction in contemporary
The world as viewed by
Google is more various & diverse. It starts with, of all people, Ian
Hamilton Finlay, but also includes the inescapable sentimental tales of
nonagenarian versifiers. It also has a significantly more international bent.
Poetry Daily replicates the
It’s not that there is no
representation of the
Even during the best of times, poetry tends to fly below the radar of most news outlets for the simple reason that it is, if not absolutely non-economic activity, economically trivial in terms of the larger society. Print publications – and the vast majority of these news sites are merely the web face of traditional print media – tend thus to look at poetry primarily as human interest filler unless something has occurred that is noteworthy because
- it confirms stereotypes about poetry (poet laureate is naughty fellow)
- it conflicts with stereotypes about poetry (poet has best seller), or
- it is economic (heiress donates $$$ to magazine)
What one wants, finally, is something not so terribly far from the mythic journalistic standard – observed universally only in its breach – of, if not objectivity, at least neutrality. If, as August Highland’s Muse Apprentice Guild’s 467 contributors to its winter 2003 issue suggests – given that it just scratches the surface of the scene – the post-avant literary scene in the U.S. has grown to such proportions, isn’t it reasonable to expect more out of a collection of 71 items than one piece on Stephen Ratcliffe, another on Ian Hamilton Finlay, a couple of tidbits on Amiri Baraka’s job as New Jersey Poet Laureate & an obit for Ted Joans? And isn’t it almost incumbent upon the folks at Poetry Daily to do a far better job at representing the scene news-wise? Including one post-avant poet every other week among their poems simply doesn’t cut it.