2011 03 02

93AlmanacGeorge Sandys b.1577; Evgeny Baratynsky b.1800; John Gray b.1866; D. H. Lawrence d.1930; Michael Salinger b.1962; José Martínez Ruiz d.1967; Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz d.1980

Fine Diamonds and Superb Soufflés — “Ordinary readers, literary editors, and some English professors confront an inescapable question of judgment: In principle, is it possible, faced with an overwhelming body of work in print, to cull out excellent poems in the way one can cull out fine diamonds or superb soufflés?”
          —
Poetry and the Problem of Standards, by Jan Schreiber
               [Contemporary Poetry Review]

Leaps and Landscapes Entered by Reading

  1. A Spring View — Tu Fu (transated by Witter Bynner) [About: Poetry] Added to my spring set. “After the war-fires of three months, / One message from home is worth a ton of gold.”
  2. Via a recommendation in a comment (-thanks-), Northern Pike — James Wright [Poets.org] Which I’ll remember to the fish subset of my collection of animal poems. “I would just as soon we let / The living go on living.”
  3. Lester’s Calling — Glenn McKee [Rattle] “All Lester knew as / he knelt was his love for this poor pig.” More than most ever know.
  4. Brought back to my desktop from this past December, In Paris With You — James Fenton [E-Verse Radio] “Doing this and that / To what and whom / Learning who you are, / Learning what I am.”
  5. December — Luci Shaw [The Writer’s Almanac] Haven’t yet had enough snow this winter, have we?
  6. Talking about Jesus with Little Richard — David Kirby [Poetry Daily] “‘Dad, which is the greater responsibility, / to promise Little Richard that you’ll stay close to Jesus / or promise Jesus that you’ll stay close to Little Richard?'” They’re not the same?
  7. Instructions for Vigilant Girls — Erika Meitner [Verse Daily] “Resist.” Yes, do so.
  8. Suðuroy saga — [Anonymous] (translated by Anders Andersson) [qarrtsiluni] “Even words cannot be privatised; / they are not private possessions.” Doesn’t stop people from trying to own them.
  9. Dear City, — Cindy St. John [No Tell Motel] “Now tell me, what is your secret?” I can keep it, I promise.
  10. The Very Nervous Family — Sabrina Orah Mark [Poets.org] “Brave milk. He throws the half pint on the floor and stomps on it. Now the milk is crushed. Now the milk is dead.” Had it coming, it did.
  11. Letter to Brooks: Spring Garden — Major Jackson [Poetry Foundation] “Then, retrieve this letter from your stack / I’ve sent by clairvoyant post & read by light, / For it brought me as much longing and delight.” If you remember it’s there.
  12. Bantams in Pine-Woods — Wallace Stevens [Poetry Foundation]
  13. Ultima Thule — Linda Bierds [Poetry Out Loud]
  14. Altar — Octavio Paz [3quarksdaily] Concrete.
  15. The Secret of Backs — Dorianne Laux [Poem of the Day] “Don’t stop. Don’t turn around.”
  16. Requiescat — Oscar Wilde [Everyday Poems]
  17. I do not love Thee — Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton [Poetry Moment] “And yet when thou art absent I am sad…” Yeah, but.
  18. The Four Zoas (excerpt) — William Blake [Representative Poetry Online] “The sun has left his blackness and has found a fresher morning, / And the mild moon rejoices in the clear and cloudless night”
  19. Kiss — Ruth Padel [Poetry Archive] “This black has everything its own sweet way.” Doesn’t it always.
  20. The Listeners — Walter De La Mare [Poetry In Voice] “‘Tell them I came, and no one answered, / That I kept my word,’ he said.”” No response.
  21. Test Pilot — Robert McDowell [PoetryNet]
  22. Thoughts on “Bringing up Baby” — Sky Gilbert [Canadian Poetry Online]
  23. New York Harbor on a Calm Day — Park Benjamin [Black Cat Poems]
  24. Harvest of Sorrows — Tim Murphy [Lilt]
  25. Hustle — John Murillo [From the Fishouse] A ghazal.
  26. Ozymandias — Percy Bysshe Shelley; with reading by Bill Berkson [Poets on Poets] A classic sonnet I knew by heart before the age of ten.
  27. The Kalevala: Rune II. Wainanmoinen’s Sowing. — Elias Lönnrot (translated by John Martin Crawford) [Wikisource] Leaving the birch.
  28. Modern Love: XIX [“No state is enviable. To the luck alone”] — George Meredith [Wikisource] “I bleed, but her who wounds I will not blame.”
  29. Sonnets from the Portuguese: XXV [“A heavy heart, Beloved, have I borne”] — Elizabeth Barrett Browning [Wikisource]
  30. In Memoriam A. H. H.: XXIX [“With such compelling cause to grieve”] — Alfred, Lord Tennyson [Wikisource]
  31. Sonnet LXI [“Is it thy will, thy image should keep open”] — William Shakespeare [EServer Poetry Collection] “Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken, / While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?”
  32. The Joy of the Drop: Ghazal 16 [“Why having given my heart should I speak”] — Mirza Ghalib (translated by Jim Yagmin) – “how could one without grief be a friend”
  33. My Heart is High Above — [Anonymous] [The Oxford Book of English Verse]
  34. To a Waterfowl — William Cullen Bryant [Yale Book of American Verse]
  35. Sidekicks — Ronald Koertge [Poetry 180] “Thankfully, heroes never die in movies and leave / the sidekick alone.” That only happens with lovers.
  36. North of Boston: The Pasture — Robert Frost [Wikisource] “I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.”
  37. From Patmos — Friedrich Holderlin (translated by Michael Hamburger) [Poem of the Week (Sarah E. Smith)]
  38. Sadness of a Star — Guillaume Apollinaire [Poetry 365] “I bear with me a suffering of fire”
  39. Sonnet: On a Picture — John Gray (b.3/2/1866) [Sonnet Central]
  40. False Paintbrush — Matthew Kaler [Ink Node] “I want the years since to let go / their lipless curse.”
  41. A Youth Mowing — D. H. Lawrence (d.3/2/1930) [Poetry Foundation] “Yea, though I’m sorry for thee.”
  42. Movement of Bodies — Henry Reed [The Poetry of Henry Reed] “Tactics is merely / The mechanical movement of bodies, and that is what we mean by it.”
  43. Three poems: (1) These Days; (2) Variations: III. Spring; and (3) The Maximus Poems — Charles Olson [Poets of Cambridge, USA]
  44. Ceremony: the Opening of the Mouth — Alex Cigale [qarrtsiluni] “I am born anew in the rising sun / singing the random code of combinations”
  45. Between the Wars — Robert Hass [Poetry Foundation]
  46. Child’s Song — Robert Lowell [Poetry Foundation]
  47. The Consent — Howard Nemerov [Poetry Foundation]
  48. The Apple Tree — Gray Jacobik [Pecan Grove Press] “A testament / tree to optimism”
  49. Bordello — Traci Brimhall & Brynn Saito [Anti-] “Once, you believed / no pleasure went unpunished, but now you know: / lust is a momentary stay against ruin.”
  50. The Children Are Reading — Gabriel Fried [Subtropics]
  51. After Johnny Carson’s Final Appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’ — Andrew Feld [Bat City Review] “I have talked my whole life as if talking were a kind of light.”
  52. Two poems: (1) Not Beach Nor Backseat; (2) The Woman Playing House Inside My Head — Shannon Carson [Caffeine Destiny]
  53. Alpha — John Smith [Canary]
  54. Science Fictions — Christine Herzer [Inertia Magazine] “I would give her what is not mine / I would accept what I am made of”
  55. In Lieu of an Ars Poetica — Ralph Black [The Manchester Review] “I gathered / a handful of tiny rocks, // walked, half awake, to the pond / behind the house.” Came back, et cetera.
  56. Four poems: (1) Glosa on a Haiku by Issa; (2) Glosa on a Haiku by Shirao; (3) Glosa on a Haiku by Issa; and (4) Glosa on a Haiku by Shiki — Athena Kildegaard [Mezzo Cammin]
  57. Eight short poems: (1) Junior; (2) Family Farm, Defaulted; (3) Birth Song; (4) Aware, Unaware; (5) The Last Sasquatch Defines His Loneliness; (6) Does Any Indian Go to Enough Pow Wows?; (7) Creation Story; and (8) Why I Immunize My Children — Sherman Alexie [Mudlark]
  58. Three poems: (1) White Cloud; (2) Black Face; and (3) Father — Yang Zi (translated by Ye Chun, Melissa Tuckey, and Fiona Sze-Lorrain) [The Offending Adam]
  59. Leaving Montana — Judith Waller Carroll [Umbrella]
  60. Wild Inside — Kathryn Locey [Christian Science Monitor]
  61. Never Mind — Dorothea Tanning [The New Yorker]
  62. Mother Carey’s Hen [pdf pg] — David Yezzi [Ohio University Press]
  63. Hips — William L. Alton [BigCityLit]
  64. A Servant of God without a Head V — Joseph Donahue [Verse]
  65. Street Scene by L.S. Lowry — Henry Graham [Ambit]
  66. Blue Cheese — Susan Adams [Great Works]
  67. black mountain importer — Michael Farrell [Jacket]
  68. Eucalyptus — Menna Elfyn (translated by Tony Conran) [Asheville Poetry Review]
  69. Crossing — Habib Tengour (translated by Marilyn Hacker) [Words Without Borders] “Noon is an extravagant abyss.”
  70. About a Fish (via post) — Ana Bozicevic [Whale Sound] “The point is, I’m learning to swim in my tears.”
  71. Two poems [in addition to the one previously read above]: (1) Midnight Oil; and (2) PastOral — Ana Bozicevic [So and So]
  72. On Learning of Our Son’s Illness — Edward Byrne [Whale Sound] “Even in such darkness, as the three of us return / home, fears of what might lie ahead never disappear.”
  73. Poem 389 [“There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House”] — Emily Dickinson [End of Life]
  74. Ice Child — John Haines (d.3/2/2011) [Poetry Out Loud] “Cold for so long, unable to speak, / yet your mouth seems framed / on a cry, or a stifled question.”
  75. And among those re-read today from the stack I read and listed a month ago here: The ProphetThe Farewell — Khalil Gibran. Echoing on, on, on, on.
  76. Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts — Bob Dylan [Bob Dylan] “The drillin’ in the wall kept up but no one seemed to pay it any mind”

Limerick I, transcribed from Likewise Limericks

       Dr. Dam claims his dynamite pellet
       Will reach any ill and will quell it:
             Though much advertised,
             ’Tis by rivals surmised,
       That his patients had better just smell it.


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