1

Poetry Fix Episode 9: Seamus Heaney

July 23, 2010
Thumbnail image for Poetry Fix Episode 9: Seamus Heaney

Poetry Fix Episode 9: Seamus Heaney

Read the full article →

In the Kingdom of Unmatched Shoes

July 19, 2010
Thumbnail image for In the Kingdom of Unmatched Shoes

I met him once. Laura runs a reading series out of a Barnes and Noble in New Jersey. I could not believe love could get a true second generation New York poet who had been widely anthologized and published by Wesleyen to come out to a Barnes and Noble in Jersey, but love has some strange powers. There he was, like a rare European bird blown off his migration route by a fierce ocean storm and perching on the neighbor’s satellite dish.

Read the full article →

Poetry Fix Episode 8: Nicanor Parra

July 19, 2010
Thumbnail image for Poetry Fix Episode 8: Nicanor Parra

Poetry Fix Episode 8: Nicanor Parra

Read the full article →

Poetry Fix Episode 7: Robert Frost

July 16, 2010
Thumbnail image for Poetry Fix Episode 7: Robert Frost

Episode 7 of Poetry Fix: Robert Frosts’s “Once by the Pacific.”

Read the full article →

Thoughts on “Mock Orange” and Minimalism

July 14, 2010
Thumbnail image for Thoughts on “Mock Orange” and Minimalism

Minimalism is not about powerful messages about the nihilism or poverty of the human condition (though it’s certainly easy to think so!). Instead, minimalist art creates a framework through which you view the world. It gives you the bones of the skeleton and then you fill out the flesh. But watch out! The minimalist artist still controls the bones (and hence the body that you have put on them). Minimalism is as silent as the movie frame.

Read the full article →

“Minor” Poets and Imagery

July 13, 2010
Thumbnail image for “Minor” Poets and Imagery

Literary theorists use literature as an excuse for ontological truths (or gender, or sexual, or identity issues). This is a legitimate way to ransack texts, but it will not teach you how to write. Ontology begins with detail selection—in terms of word choice, verbal relationships, rhythm. A theorist wouldn’t know what to do with this poem, unless the theorist started to write a book on kinetics in terms of verbal constructs and the cultural bias of admiring athletes as per one’s gender, or class. Minor may only mean a theorist can’t find much to theorize about.

Read the full article →

Poetry Fix Episode 6: Miroslav Holub

July 13, 2010
Thumbnail image for Poetry Fix Episode 6: Miroslav Holub

Episode 6 of Poetry Fix. Miroslav Holub’s “Ode to Joy.”

Read the full article →

In Memory of Harvey Pekar

July 12, 2010
Thumbnail image for In Memory of Harvey Pekar

Here was a guy with the same ability, in American vernacular prose, to make a drab world come alive–the same ability to make magic from the ordinary that Japanese poets showed in haiku. Harvey gave the urban rust belt, and its daily triumphs and frustrations, a reality, a comic, deadpan glamor. No fiction writers or poets of that time approached. Long before Seinfeld, Harvey Pekar was doing his own small version of Flaubert’s book about nothing.

Read the full article →

More about McLuhan and the Poetic Line

July 10, 2010
Thumbnail image for More about McLuhan and the Poetic Line

When McLuhan described linearity (I think he actually used the term lineality…not sure if there’s a difference? Spell check doesn’t recognize the latter, if that means anything!), I couldn’t help but think about the poetic line and the way it is changing. As print culture (and hence the divorce made by the phonetic alphabet) ends, we move from the line, back to the field, back to non-linear, acoustic space.

Read the full article →

Poetry Fix Episode 5: Louise Gluck

July 9, 2010
Thumbnail image for Poetry Fix Episode 5: Louise Gluck

Episode 5 of Poetry Fix! Louise Gluck’s “Mock Orange.”

Read the full article →

Poetry Fix Episode 4: Wallace Stevens

July 6, 2010
Thumbnail image for Poetry Fix Episode 4: Wallace Stevens

Episode 4 now available on YouTube. Wallace Stevens’s poem “A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts.”

Read the full article →

Poetry Fix Episode 3: Pablo Neruda

July 2, 2010
Thumbnail image for Poetry Fix Episode 3: Pablo Neruda

Mary Karr and I have started a YouTube video series called Poetry Fix. Episode 3 is now available. Twice a week on Mondays and Fridays we’ll upload a 2-4 minute video where we read a poem and briefly discuss it.

Read the full article →

Towards A Theoria, Praxis, and Poesis of Modernist/Post Modernist Poetry (A Procedural)

June 28, 2010
Thumbnail image for Towards A Theoria, Praxis, and Poesis of Modernist/Post Modernist Poetry (A Procedural)

Lyrical poetry can be very dense. It can even be “high gibberish” (a form of ecstatic speech that does not yield readily to a standard meaning, but may create a mood, an orver all emotional or intellectual atmosphere). It does not usually explain. It is not prone to giving information in an overt and easy way. Why does it beat around the bush? Get to it! Say what you mean! Many a person has turned away from lyric poetry because it refuses to do the one thing people seem to insist on: get to the point! This is exactly where modern poetry wanted poesis to go—to the thing, the object, the point.

Read the full article →

Translations of Irish Triads

June 28, 2010
Thumbnail image for Translations of Irish Triads

These are my loose translations of a form in Ireland known as “three things there be.” Long before Saint Patrick came, the Irish thought in threes. They were a triune people, with a Celtic triune God, and they, like most Celts, cast spells, and framed their tales by the magic of threes. I have translated some Triads previously translated by the wonderful Irish poet, Thomas Kinsella.

Read the full article →

Poetry Fix Episode 2: Archilochos

June 28, 2010

[Episode 2 of "Poetry Fix"]

Read the full article →

The Future of Poetry at the Research University

June 27, 2010
Thumbnail image for The Future of Poetry at the Research University

Wendell Berry recently decided to pull his personal papers from the University of Kentucky, and it got me thinking. While I know this news story isn’t directly related to the topic of poetry (and this is–loosely–a poetry blog), I can’t help but feel it connects on some other level as we (poets) think about the […]

Read the full article →