Solmaz Sharif

June 3, 2010
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View full post to see the full text of each poem Solmaz reads!

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Hamlet and his (Public) Problems

May 28, 2010
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Hamlet self-consciously reveals his inner thoughts to an audience he does/n’t know is there. Perhaps this soliloquy is a proto-modern lyric?

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“The Invisible Avant-Garde”

May 28, 2010
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And the James Patterson of Contemporary Poetry is…

May 23, 2010
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Call me a lyre, I dare you

Last or some night
light, who cares the when of this,
glittered the tree up at the end
as the wash from a car as moved the planet, I’m not
in touch with personally Saturn, in branched fingers
of eerily, I’d say off-the-shelf language, isn’t it
necessary still how life lit into the moment
to say other than the facts of it, see,
whatever the bits are inside that oscillate
or pinwheel, I was moved to internal whirring
cicadish, even though my epiphanic dog-walkings
mean shit to you in the throes of your
epiphanic askings of the moon, for what, afterall
are we in this, some random sense of, fuck
if I know, belonging

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Excerpt from The Book of Tea: “V. Art Appreciation”

May 14, 2010
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V. Art Appreciation Have you heard the Taoist tale of the Taming of the Harp? Once in the hoary ages in the Ravine of Lungmen stood a Kiri tree, a veritable king of the forest. It reared its head to talk to the stars; its roots struck deep into the earth, mingling their bronzed coils […]

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Herman Melville Drinks Your Milkshake

May 13, 2010
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I was fortunate enough to have a American Literature professor who blew off the typical survey class BS and just gave us some of the best literature of the 19th century: Hawthorne, Dickinson, Melville, among others… In that class, I read Moby-Dick for the first time. I believe I read most of it over the course […]

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Things to Know, Celebrate, Cherish:

May 9, 2010
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Comrades in Verse, a few notes for your fine ears on this lovely Day of Matriarchs: 1) To those culminating their MFA coursework and Theses, CONGRATULATIONS!  The journey begins now!  Our eyes and ears await you eagerly. 2) May is behaving kindly.  This is *obviously* karmatic, so everyone be nice, and write nice poems, and […]

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“House Blown Apart Twice” [I-VII] by Star Black

May 6, 2010

[Poem of the Week: 5/6/2010]

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Bernadette Mayer’s “Eve of Easter”

May 5, 2010
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“While I was masturbating, more rainforest disappeared”

May 2, 2010
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In a poem called “Life,” which appears in his most recent collection, Words for Empty and Words for Full (Pitt Poetry, 2010), Bob Hicok writes: “The feeling that mysticism / is the only way to be polite…. / While I was masturbating, / more rainforest / disappeared….” These disclosures feel true—and inevitable, given what at […]

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Imitation/Interaction: the Greek Anthology, Augustine, the Psalms

April 28, 2010
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It’s immediately clear why Augustine is often seen as the last classical and first medieval man. He marks the ultimate synthesis of classical rhetoric and sensibilities with the concept of self that marked the Judeo-Christian tradition. As Cahill points out, the Psalms stand out among classical literature, as exceptionally personal. Augustine, says Ronald Heine, was “the undisputed master of using the psalms to lay one’s soul bare before God in the praise and confession of prayer….The psalms permeate everything Augustine wrote.” Rowan Williams points out that the very first sentence of Confessions is a quotation from the psalms. Augustine weaves them throughout such that we hardly know when the words are his and when they are not (a modern citation nightmare).

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Poem Thing

April 26, 2010
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The Best Advice: “Admit them, admit them.”

April 25, 2010
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Song of a Man Who Has Come Through Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me! A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time. If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me! If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift! If […]

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it is easier to think what Poetry should be than to write it

April 23, 2010

From the letters of John Keats:

“I am certain of nothing but of the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination—What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth—whether it existed before or not—for I have the same Idea of all our Passions as of Love they are all in their sublime, creative of essential Beauty.”

“I scarcely remember counting upon any Happiness—I look not for it if it be not in the present hour—nothing startles me beyond the Moment.”

“The faint conceptions I have of Poems to come brings the blood frequently into my forehead.”

“Man should not dispute or assert but whisper results to his neighbor, and thus by every germ of Spirit sucking the Sap from mould ethereal every human might become great. and Humanity instead of being a wide heath of Fuse and Briars with here and there a remote Oak or Pine, would become a grand democracy of Forest Trees.”

“… what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously—I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—”

“I have an idea that a Man might pass a very pleasant life in this manner—let him on any certain day read a certain Page of full Poesy or distilled Prose and let him wander with it, and must upon it, and dream upon it—until it becomes stale—but when will it do so? Never—”

“I think Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by Singularity—it should strike the reader as a working of his own highest thoughts . . . but it is easier to think what Poetry should be than to write it—”

“Ethereal things may at least be thus real, divided under three heads—Things real—things semireal—and no things—Things real—such as existences of Sun Moon and Stars and passages of Shakespeare—Things semireal such as Love, the Clouds &c which require a greeting of the Spirit to make them wholly exist—and Nothings which are made Great and dignified by an ardent pursuit.”

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Deborah Landau

April 19, 2010
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Open the post to see the full text of each poem and a multitude of links about stuff that came up in the interview!


Interview made possible by Scattered Rhymes and listeners like you.

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“Waltz with Sticks” by Genevieve Burger-Weiser

April 19, 2010

[Poem of the Week: 4/19/2010]

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