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A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...



Posts tagged "poetry"

Jul 18, 2014
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It seems like many people think that if you drive yourself crazy, then you can write. I’m absolutely not interested in that. It made sense to me to be as whole and well as I could be, and as happy. I wanted to see what a fortunate life would produce. What writing would come out of a mind that didn’t try to torment itself? What did I have to know? What did I have to do rather than what can I torment and bend myself into doing? What was the fruit on that tree?

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Everything has already been said and done. But, then, if this is so, why do we need more poems in the world? I once read a Jane Hirshfield interview where she said something quite wonderful. She essentially said we have to keep writing because it’s every generation’s job to put in the present vernacular poems that are called upon for rites of passage, such as poems read at weddings or funerals. I hadn’t thought of this before. Your ordinary citizen should be able to go to the library and find a poem written in the current vernacular, and the responsibility for every generation of writers is to make this possible. We must, then, rewrite everything that has ever been written in the current vernacular, which is really what the evolution of literature is all about. Nothing new gets said but the vernacular keeps changing.

Jun 11, 2014
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Frank O’Hara and Laurence Ferlinghetti’s Lunch Poems correspondence

From The Paris Review:

the two poets hash out the details of the book’s publication: which poems to consider, their order, the dedication, and even the title. “Do you still like the title Lunch Poems?” O’Hara asks Ferlinghetti. “I wonder if it doesn’t sound too much like an echo of Reality Sandwiches or Meat Science Essays.” “What the hell,” Ferlinghetti replies, “so we’ll have to change the name of City Lights to Lunch Counter Press.”

These are so much fun to read. I love how he’s suggesting additions to the manuscript, and casually describes one of my favorite poems: as “a little poem about Lana Turner collapsing at a party which I don’t have with me. I will ask a friend of mine to find and send [it to you]…”

Also the contract:

“I like the contract a lot and am very cheered by the movie clause — if Terry Southern gets interested tell him he doesn’t have to stick to the plot at all, just send green”

Link: Lunch Poems: The 50th Anniversary Edition

Jun 02, 2014
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unjustlyunread:

A woodcut by Russell Edson, from The Brain Kitchen (1965).
(It’s a shame that The Tunnel, the only readily available anthology of Edson’s oeuvre, doesn’t feature any of his woodcuts or drawings that appeared in the original collections; the visuals really do amplify the domestic nightmares and other absurdities found in his writings.)

I just learned of Edson’s work after reading Charles Simic’s remembrance. Here’s an appreciation in The Believer from 2004, and here’s one of his poems, “Let Us Consider.”.

unjustlyunread:

A woodcut by Russell Edson, from The Brain Kitchen (1965).

(It’s a shame that The Tunnel, the only readily available anthology of Edson’s oeuvre, doesn’t feature any of his woodcuts or drawings that appeared in the original collections; the visuals really do amplify the domestic nightmares and other absurdities found in his writings.)

I just learned of Edson’s work after reading Charles Simic’s remembrance. Here’s an appreciation in The Believer from 2004, and here’s one of his poems, “Let Us Consider.”.

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theparisreview:

A draft of Henri Cole’s “Free Dirt,” which originally appeared in The Paris Review issue 205 (Summer 2013). “In truth, I’m still slightly embarrassed to say, I am a poet. I’d rather say, I make poems.”

That’s some nice handwriting right there.

theparisreview:

A draft of Henri Cole’s “Free Dirt,” which originally appeared in The Paris Review issue 205 (Summer 2013). “In truth, I’m still slightly embarrassed to say, I am a poet. I’d rather say, I make poems.”

That’s some nice handwriting right there.

May 19, 2014
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UP! up! my Friend, and quit your books…
— William Wordsworth, “The Tables Turned

Apr 29, 2014
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I dig these “visual haikus” Montreal-based artist Ohara Hale made for Brain Pickings. They’re sort of like Kenneth Koch meets John Porcellino.

They also make me think of the cartoonist Seth’s proposition that Peanuts is a kind of visual haiku:

It seemed so clear that his four-panel setup was just like reading a haiku; it had a specific rhythm to how he set up the panels and the dialogue. Three beats: doot doot doot— followed by an infinitesimal pause, and then the final beat: doot. Anyone can recognize this when reading a Peanuts strip. These strips have that sameness of rhythm that haikus have— the haikus mostly ending with a nature reference separated off in the final line.

Filed under: comics

Apr 28, 2014
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Mar 26, 2014
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The core of all my writing was probably the five free years I had there on the farm. […] The only thing we had was time and seclusion. I couldn’t have figured on it in advance. I hadn’t that kind of foresight. But it turned out right as a doctor’s prescription.

Feb 11, 2014
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A small-town Romanian cemetery filled with darkly humorous gravestones

This is so good I can’t stand it:

…in the town of Săpânţa, Romania…at the Cimitirul Vesel or “Merry Cemetery,” over 600 wooden crosses bear the life stories, dirty details, and final moments of the bodies they mark. Displayed in bright, cheery pictures and annotated with limericks are the stories of almost everyone who has died of the town of Săpânţa. Illustrated crosses depict soldiers being beheaded and a townsperson being hit by a truck. The epigraphs reveal a surprising level of truth. “Underneath this heavy cross. Lies my mother in law poor… Try not to wake her up. For if she comes back home. She’ll bite my head off.”

You must read the whole story. My favorite line: “Their lives were the same, but they want their epitaphs to be different.”

Do check out the Google+ album of photos

See also the work of Romanian artist Andrea Dezso

(via @thebookslut)

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