TUMBLR

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



Posts tagged "poetry"

Mar 26, 2014
Permalink
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
Permalink

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)

Jan 24, 2014
Permalink
There are two ways of spreading light; to be The candle or the mirror that reflects it.
Edith Wharton, “Vesalius in Zante”

Jan 02, 2014
Permalink
Last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
— T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding,” Collected Poems (via)

Dec 29, 2013
Permalink
Something small, every day

I wrote a little something for today’s newsletter about how I work:


  Every day, no matter what, I make a poem and post it online. Most days they’re mediocre, some days they’re great, and some days they’re awful. (Jerry Garcia: “You go diving for pearls every night but sometimes you end up with clams.”) But it doesn’t matter to me whether the day’s poem was good or not, what matters is that it got done. I did the work. I didn’t break the chain. If I have a shitty day, I go to sleep and know that tomorrow I get to take another whack at it.


Read it here.

Something small, every day

I wrote a little something for today’s newsletter about how I work:

Every day, no matter what, I make a poem and post it online. Most days they’re mediocre, some days they’re great, and some days they’re awful. (Jerry Garcia: “You go diving for pearls every night but sometimes you end up with clams.”) But it doesn’t matter to me whether the day’s poem was good or not, what matters is that it got done. I did the work. I didn’t break the chain. If I have a shitty day, I go to sleep and know that tomorrow I get to take another whack at it.

Read it here.

Dec 23, 2013
Permalink

“The poem will resemble you.”

How to Make a Dadaist Poem

Take a newspaper.
Take a pair of scissors.
Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag.
Shake it gently.
Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag.
Copy conscientiously.
The poem will be like you.
And here are you a writer, infinitely original and endowed with a sensibility that is charming though beyond the understanding of the vulgar.
—Tristan Tzara

The poem will resemble you.

Dec 04, 2013
Permalink

Philip Larkin - The Art of Poetry No. 30

A favorite Paris Review interview from one of my favorite poets. (Read “This Be The Verse,” “Born Yesterday,” “The Trees,” “The Literary World,” and then get Collected Poems.)

On how you study poets:

Oh, for Christ’s sake, one doesn’t study poets! You read them, and think, That’s marvelous, how is it done, could I do it? and that’s how you learn.

On his daily routine:

My life is as simple as I can make it. Work all day, cook, eat, wash up, telephone, hack writing, drink, television in the evenings. I almost never go out. I suppose everyone tries to ignore the passing of time: some people by doing a lot, being in California one year and Japan the next; or there’s my way—making every day and every year exactly the same. Probably neither works.

On why he didn’t like poetry readings:

Hearing a poem, as opposed to reading it on the page, means you miss so much—the shape, the punctuation, the italics, even knowing how far you are from the end. Reading it on the page means you can go your own pace, taking it in properly; hearing it means you’re dragged along at the speaker’s own rate, missing things, not taking it in, confusing “there” and “their” and things like that.

On why he never quit his day job:

I was brought up to think you had to have a job, and write in your spare time, like Trollope. Then, when you started earning enough money by writing, you phase the job out. But in fact I was over fifty before I could have “lived by my writing”—and then only because I had edited a big anthology—and by that time you think, Well, I might as well get my pension, since I’ve gone so far….All I can say is, having a job hasn’t been a hard price to pay for economic security.

On the kind of poetry he liked:

Probably my notion of poetry is very simple. Some time ago I agreed to help judge a poetry competition—you know, the kind where they get about 35,000 entries, and you look at the best few thousand. After a bit I said, Where are all the love poems? And nature poems? And they said, Oh, we threw all those away. I expect they were the ones I should have liked.

Read the whole thing.

Filed under: poetry, Philip Larkin

Permalink
Philip Larkin, “Poetry of Departures,” Collected Poems

Philip Larkin, “Poetry of Departures,” Collected Poems

Permalink

Rilke, you old dog you

Well, here’s something Rainer Maria Rilke never mentioned in his Letters To A Young Poet:

He financed his career as a poet by seducing a series of rich noblewomen who would support him while he wrote his books. One princess let him live for a while in her Castle Duino near Trieste, a medieval castle with fortified walls and an ancient square tower.

It was in that castle in the winter of 1912 that he heard angels talking to him and started The Duino Elegies.

To be fair, his last letter to the young poet was in 1908. You can imagine what he might’ve written had they kept up their correspondence:

My dear Mr. Kappus,

My advice: Find some rich broads to give you money.

Yours,

Rainer Maria Rilke

“Hold me, touch me!”

Nov 21, 2013
Permalink
…it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.
— Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself,” Leaves of Grass
Subscribe to my newsletter and get new art, writing, and interesting links delivered to your inbox every week.