Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wallace Stevens and the Pond at the End of Time




















In The State of the Art by David Lehman, Lehman writes of when President Clinton was president, he hosted a "Millennium Evening" to celebrate American poetry.  The event was beamed to 220 sites and was  cybercast, and a transcript was made available to the public.  Lehman commented: "it was no less pleasurable for the accidental transformations that hasty typing produced--as when Wallace Stevens's 'the palm at the end of the mind' turned into 'the pond at the end of time.'"

Monday, June 29, 2015

Whitman

“O you singer, solitary, singing by yourself—projecting me;

O solitary me, listening—nevermore shall I cease perpetuating you;
Never more shall I escape, never more the reverberations,
Never more the cries of unsatisfied love be absent from me,
Never again leave me to be the peaceful child I was before what there, in the night,
By the sea, under the yellow and sagging moon,
The messenger there arous’d—the fire, the sweet hell within,
The unknown want, the destiny of me.”

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Rochester!

On June 23, BOA will host its 7th annual Poetry Is Jazz event in Rochester, held in collaboration with the Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo), during the Rochester International Jazz Festival. We hope you will join us for this FREE event , as we celebrate poetry, jazz, and art. Stop by, have a drink, and say hello!

Tuesday, June 23, 6:00-8:00PM
Rochester Contemporary Art Center
137 East Avenue
Rochester, New York

A special thank you goes out to our sponsor, Lavin, O'Neil, Cedrone, and DiSipio: Attorneys at Law, for their generous support of this event!  
 Cheers,
Featuring BOA poet Nin Andrews 
Poetry reading | Book signingNin Andrews will read from her new book Why God Is a Woman, released in May 2015, and from her previous BOA title, Sleeping with Houdini.

Set on a magical island where women rule and men are the second sex, Why God Is a Woman is the story of a boy who, exiled from the island because he could not abide by its sexist laws, looks back with both nostalgia and bitterness and wonders: Why does God have to be a woman? Celebrated prose poet Nin Andrews creates a world both fantastic and familiar in which gender roles are turned upside-down, and where all myths, logic, and institutions support the dominance of women.

Napping Weather


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Baudelaire on poetry


















The actual quote from Baudelaire is: "Always be a poet, even in prose."

Monday, June 8, 2015

On Poetry: Stevens and Whitman

















I'm still stuck on Chapter 2011 in David Lehman's State of the Art in which he quotes famous poets definitions of great poetry.  I have the woman in the comic quoting Stevens.  The man is quoting Whitman.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

from Two Translations of "Some Like Poetry" by Symborska

























The first is translated by C. Cavanagh, the second by J. Trzeciak.  
I was reading David Lehman's, State of the Art, in which he compares these two translations.  He writes: 
So profound is the difference that the concurrent appearance of the two translations seemed itself to constitute a literary event--an ambiguous parable that could yield lessons ranging from the familiar ('"poetry is what is lost in translation'") to the paradoxical ('"poetry is mistranslation").

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MIPO!!!

https://mipo.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/magzter2.pdf

I edited this issue of MiPo and am pretty excited about it.  Check it out!

Friday, May 8, 2015

"I PANT, I SINK, I TREMBLE, I EXPIRE!" from Shelley's "Epipsychidion"


















"One hope within two wills, one will beneath
Two overshadowing minds, one life, one death,
One Heaven, one Hell, one immortality,
And one annihilation. Woe is me!
The winged words on which my soul would pierce
Into the height of Love's rare Universe,
Are chains of lead around its flight of fire—
I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire!"

from the last lines Shelley's "Epipsychidion"

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Birthday Cake and Reading at Youngstown Lit!



















To read to friends and celebrate my birthday at the same time---what a perfect night!
And I usually hate birthdays!







SPRING AT LAST





















Come on already! Stop taking photos!

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Dreariest Journey by Shelley



I never was attached to that great sect,
Whose doctrine is, that each one should select
Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivion, though it is the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread,
By the broad highway of the world, and so
With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe,
The dreariest and the longest journey go.


Note:  I've been reading David Lehman's The State of the Art.  This poem was discussed in the chapter titled 2013 with the subtitle, "It was his poetry that kept him going."  It begins with the sentence:  "Shelley's 'Defense of Poetry' (1821) culminates in an assertion of poetry as a source not only of knowledge but of power.  

I've been thinking about that.  Poetry, a source of power. 



Sunday, May 3, 2015

There is poetry in Erie, PA




















Karen Schubert and I read at Poet's Hall In Erie on Friday night--a reading hosted by the amazing Cee Williams whose poetry and generosity of spirit blew us away.  Cee opened with a list poem in which each line began, There is poetry in . . .

I have been thinking about that ever since.  Today there is poetry in the blue bells, poetry in the just-planted spinach and lettuce and kale, poetry in lunch-an omelet with onions and peppers and coffee, and I know there is poetry in the nap I about to take . . .

I am a firm believer in the poetry of naps.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Shelley






















“[Poetry] strips the veil of familiarity from the world, and lays bear the naked and sleeping beauty which is the spirit of its forms.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Prosody Interview!

http://prosodyradio.com/archives.html

THANK YOU Laurin Wolf for interviewing me for Prosody!  There are so many great interviews archived there.  This interview was my first chance to read from WHY GOD IS A WOMAN.  I was pretty nervous actually because the book is so different--all of the poems are part of an overall story of this world where the women rule.  So they can't be read out of order without some explaining.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Millay Comic: Pity me not because the light of day























Pity me not because the light of day
At close of day no longer walks the sky;
Pity me not for beauties passed away
From field and thicket as the year goes by;
Pity me not the waning of the moon,
Nor that the ebbing tide goes out to sea,
Nor that a man’s desire is hushed so soon,
And you no longer look with love on me.
This love I have known always: love is no more
Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,
Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,
Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales.
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn.

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Comic of Major Jackson's poem, "Okay Cupid" from BAP 2014
























The Best American Poetry Blog posted  this on their website today . . .

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Millay Comic

























Love is Not All (Sonnet XXX)

Edna St. Vincent Millay1892 - 1950
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; 
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink 
And rise and sink and rise and sink again; 
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, 
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; 
Yet many a man is making friends with death 
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone. 
It well may be that in a difficult hour, 
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release, 
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power, 
I might be driven to sell your love for peace, 
Or trade the memory of this night for food. 
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Edna St Vincent Millay Comic, Sonnet XLIII























What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, 
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain 
Under my head till morning; but the rain 
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh 
Upon the glass and listen for reply, 
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain 
For unremembered lads that not again 
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry. 
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree, 
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one, 
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before: 
I cannot say what loves have come and gone, 
I only know that summer sang in me 
A little while, that in me sings no more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WCW: The Young Housewife

























At ten AM the young housewife
moves about in negligee behind
the wooden walls of her husband’s house.
I pass solitary in my car.

Then again she comes to the curb
to call the ice-man, fish-man, and stands
shy, uncorseted, tucking in
stray ends of hair, and I compare her
to a fallen leaf.

The noiseless wheels of my car
rush with a crackling sound over
dried leaves as I bow and pass smiling. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bishop Comic and Best American Poetry Blog Post: On Becoming a Prick



















I chose this comic because it relates to my BAP post "On Becoming a Prick."
You can see it here:

ONE ART
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant 
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.


—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied.  It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Monday, October 27, 2014

WCW Comic


















RAIN

As the rain falls 
so does 
           your love 

bathe every 
                  open 
object of the world-- 

In houses 
the priceless dry 
                         rooms 

of illicit love 
where we live 
hear the wash of the 
                                rain-- 

There 
          paintings 
and fine 
             metalware 
woven stuffs-- 
all the whorishness 
of our 
           delight 
sees 
from its window 

the spring wash 
of your love 
                      the falling 
rain-- 

The trees 
are become 
beasts fresh-risen 
from the sea-- 
water 

trickles 
from the crevices of 
their hides-- 

So my life is spent 
                              to keep out love 
with which 
she rains upon 

                         the world 

of spring 

                    drips 

so spreads 

                     the words 

far apart to let in 

                           her love 

And running in between 

the drops 

                   the rain 

is a kind physician 

                              the rain 
of her thoughts over 

the ocean 
                     every 

where 

           walking with 
invisible swift feet 
over 

         the helpless 
                            waves-- 

Unworldly love 
that has no hope 
                            of the world 

                            and that 
cannot change the world 
to its delight-- 

           The rain 
falls upon the earth 
and grass and flowers 

come 
          perfectly 

into form from its 
                           liquid 

clearness 

                But love is 
unworldly 

                and nothing 
comes of it but love 

following 
and falling endlessly 
from 
          her thoughts

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Remembering David Feitler

My friend, David Feitler, died Friday night at home with his family in Shaker Heights.  Although he had cancer for many years, and I knew he would die soon, I am still having trouble processing the fact that he is gone.  He was family to us.  He and his beautiful wife, Zanna, always felt/feel more like siblings than friends.  And both have more guts, enthusiasm, and imagination than anyone I can think of off-hand.   A chemist with an MIT background, David loved science, travel, nature, the arts, books, and friends.  He composed music, played the piano, folk danced, and best of all, laughed loudly and often.  He loved participating in as well as appreciating art.  He and Zanna faithfully sat through many of my poetry readings.  One night when I was visiting, he began composing poetry.  By morning he had four poems to show me, and he said he could feel more in his mind.  He loved ballet, and in his fifties took lessons from the Cleveland Ballet.  I can't think of many other tall middle-aged men who would willingly squeeze themselves into ballet slippers and tights and try to learn how to plie.  He also loved photography and had some amazing photographs--I especially love his photographs of birds.  He loved to watch the blue herons from his dining room window.   Somehow he reminded me of a heron, tall and regal, his feet in the mud, his head high above the water--as if he were thinking about things, seeing more than I ever see.

Amy Lowell, "A Decade"
























When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like the morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all, for I know your savor;
But I am completely nourished.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Caryl Pagel

Caryl Pagel came to Macs to read at the October workshop, and she was phenomenal!  She read from her book, TWICE TOLD, and she had us all riveted.  Now I keep thinking of writing poems in the manner of Caryl Pagel.  The prompt for the November workshop at Mac's is to do just that.

(Apologies to Caryl.  This drawing does not do her justice.)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

My Next Book
















I am almost finished with the galleys of my next book, WHY GOD IS A WOMAN, which should be out from BOA early next year.   I feel slightly paralyzed, afraid to celebrate  the book yet, afraid to move on to the next one.
I feel like I'm in Maine, sitting on my favorite rock, thinking about whether or not I want to get into that cold water again.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sonnet 44


























If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then despite of space I would be brought, 
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay. 
No matter then although my foot did stand 
Upon the farthest earth removed from thee; 
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land 
As soon as think the place where he would be. 
But ah! thought kills me that I am not thought, 
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone, 
But that, so much of earth and water wrought,
I must attend time's leisure with my moan, 
   Receiving nought by elements so slow
   But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.