Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees
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Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees
Reading a bad poem is like having a bad dream: You can't/ ask for your money back." Richard Jackson, Resonance, "Fines Doubled in Work Zone
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Mingus at The Half Note, a Poem by William Matthews

Mingus at The Half Note

by William Matthews

Two dozen bars or so into 'Better Get It
in Your Soul,' the band mossy with sweat,
May 1960 at The Half Note, the rain
on the black streets outside
dusted here and there by the pale pollen
of the streetlights. Blue wreaths
of smoke, the excited calm
of the hip in congregation, the long
night before us like a view and Danny
Richmond so strung out the drums
fizz and seethe. 'Ho, hole, hode it,'

……………."

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Corn Picking 1956 — Afternoon Break: A Poem by Tom Hennen

"I needed a heavy canvas jacket riding the cold red tractor, air an ice cube on bare skin. Blue sky over the aspen grove I drove through on the way back to the field, throttle wide open, the empty wagon I pulled hitting all the bumps on the dirt road. In the high branches of the aspens little explosions now and then sent leaves tumbling and spinning like coins tossed into the air. The two-row, tractor-mounted corn-picker was waiting at the end of the corn rows,..."
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The Forgotten Man Behind William Carlos Williams’s ‘Red Wheelbarrow’

The Forgotten Man Behind William Carlos Williams’s ‘Red Wheelbarrow’ | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
"For decades, much has depended on his red wheelbarrow, streaked with rain, next to some white chickens, even if no one has known — or perhaps even wondered — exactly who he was. • But now, the owner of the humble garden tool that inspired William Carlos Williams’s classic poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” will finally get his due. • On July 18, in a moment of belated poetic justice, a stone will be laid on the otherwise unmarked grave of Thaddeus Marshall, an African-American street vendor from Rutherford, N.J., noting his unsung contribution to American literature. • 'When we read this poem in an anthology, we tend not to think of the chickens as real chickens, but as platonic chickens, some ideal thing,' William Logan, the scholar who recently discovered Mr. Marshall’s identity, said in an interview.
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Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” Reimagined in Beautiful Illustrations by Artist Allen Crawford

Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” Reimagined in Beautiful Illustrations by Artist Allen Crawford | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
"'He exalted the nature around and within us. His work is an expression of primal joy: He celebrated our animal senses, and the pleasures of being alive.'” • "In Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself (public library), artist Allen Crawford brings Whitman’s undying text to new life in gorgeous hand-lettering and illustrations, transforming the 60-page poem originally published in 1855 as the centerpiece of Leaves of Grass into a breathtaking 256-page piece of art. His elegant, lyrical play of text size and orientation layers over Whitman’s poem a kind of visual rhythm that not only harmonizes with the original verses but enriches them and gives them uncommon dimension."
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‘Map: Collected and Last Poems,’ by Wislawa Szymborska

‘Map: Collected and Last Poems,’ by Wislawa Szymborska | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
This collection, which gathers work from seven decades, is sure to win the Nobel laureate even more fans.
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Tomas Tranströmer, Nobel-Winning Poet, Dies at 83

Tomas Tranströmer, Nobel-Winning Poet, Dies at 83 | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
Tomas Transtromer, a Swedish poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011 for a body of work known for shrewd metaphors couched in deceptively spare language, crystalline descriptions of natural beauty and explorations of the mysteries of identity and creativity, died on Thursday in Stockholm. He was 83.

The Swedish publisher Albert Bonniers announced the death without giving a cause. In 1990, at age 59, Mr. Transtromer had a stroke that severely curtailed his ability to speak; he also lost the use of his right arm.

With a pared-down style and brusque, forthright diction, Mr. Transtromer (pronounced TRAWN-stroh-mur) wrote in accessible language, though often in the service of ideas that were diaphanous and not easy to parse; he could be precisely observant one moment and veer toward surrealism the next.
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Philip Levine

Philip Levine | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
"Philip Levine was one of the leading poetic voices of his generation, 'a large, ironic Whitman of the industrial heartland,' according to Edward Hirsch. The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Levine was born and raised in industrial Detroit, where he began working in the auto factories at the age of 14. As a young boy in the midst of the Great Depression of the 1930s, he was fascinated by the events of the Spanish Civil War. His heroes were not only those individuals who struggled against fascism but also ordinary folks who worked at hopeless jobs simply to stave off poverty. Noted for his interest in the grim reality of blue-collar work and workers, Levine resolved 'to find a voice for the voiceless' while working in the auto plants of Detroit during the 1950s. 'I saw that the people that I was working with … were voiceless in a way,' he explained in Detroit Magazine."
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Remembering Tomaž Šalamun

Remembering Tomaž Šalamun | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
When Tomaž Šalamun arrived at a poetry festival in San Miguel de Allende two years ago with a bad back, which he had hurt tobogganing down the Great Wall of China, I was not surprised to learn that he had risked life and limb to have a little fun. The Slovenian poet seemed to possess the gift of eternal youth until he passed away on Saturday, at his home in Ljubljana. He was always alert to what young poets were doing -- they fed his imagination -- and they repaid him in kind with translations and imitations of his work; it is a great irony that although he wrote in a language spoken by less than two million people English versions of his poems have for several decades profoundly influenced American letters. What surprised me about his Chinese adventure was that he had not escaped unscathed. I had imagined him to be indestructible.
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A Dylan Thomas Centennial in New York

A Dylan Thomas Centennial in New York | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
"The 92nd Street Y is marking the centennial of Dylan Thomas’s birth with an exhibition and a revival of his 1953 radio play 'Under Milk Wood' this weekend."
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Line by Line, E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly

Line by Line, E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
Digital publishers have gotten better at creating e-books that preserve a poet’s meticulous formatting, but some writers are still leery of surrendering their work to the digital realm.
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Inside the September issue of POETRY

Inside the September issue of POETRY | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
"A longish poem about wallpaper. A short lyric about discouragement in white. A medium-length thesis of uncertain importance. ........” — Stephen Sandy
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Bringing Poetry And High Culture To Sao Paulo's Periphery

"Poetry in an unlikely place: In a grim urban shanty town in the middle of Sao Paulo, budding poets from the poorest sections of Brazilian society get together weekly to compose and recite poetry." "Sao Paulo is one of the biggest cities in the world and one of the economic engines of South America. Its center is known for its fancy malls, posh departments and even helicopter landing pads. The outlying areas where the vast majority of the workforce live are known for poverty and crime, less often for poetry and high culture. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on efforts to change that. LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Booze and poetry have a long and honorable tradition that goes back millennia. In ancient Greece, poems would be recited at drinking parties. Here in Sao Paulo's peripheria, or periphery, poetry night is held at a corner bar by necessity, not by choice. And there aren't any marble columns. Located in a shanty town, when we arrive, the bar is so full that people flow out onto the street and sit under streetlamps smoking and holding small glasses of beer, waiting for the event to begin."

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Per Fumum, a Poem by Jamaal May

"         (through smoke)

 

My mother became an ornithologist

when the grackle tumbled through barbecue smoke

and fell at her feet. Soon she learned

why singers cage birds; it can take weeks

to memorize a melody —

the first days lost as they mope

and warble a friendless note,

the same tone every animal memorizes

hours into breathing…."

 

More poems by Jamaal May: http://wp.me/3ODMp

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Route Six, a Poem by Stanley Kunitz, The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor

Route Six
by Stanley Kunitz

"The city squats on my back.
I am heart-sore, stiff-necked,
exasperated. That’s why
I slammed the door,
that’s why I tell you now,
in every house of marriage
there’s room for an interpreter.
Let’s jump into the car, honey,
and head straight for the Cape,

………………….."

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Emily Dickinson's Words, Visualized

An animation from a Harvard neuroscience course explores representations of perception
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Juan Felipe Herrera, From Farm Fields to Poet Laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera, From Farm Fields to Poet Laureate | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it

"The Library of Congress is to announce on Wednesday that Juan Felipe Herrera, a son of migrant farmworkers whose writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity, will be the next poet laureate.

The appointment is the nation’s highest honor in poetry and also something of a direct promotion for Mr. Herrera, who was poet laureate of California from 2012 to 2014.

'I feel like I’m on one of those big diving boards,' Mr. Herrera, 66, said by telephone from his home in Fresno. 'I was on a really high one already, and now I’m going to the highest one.'

'It’s a little scary,' he added. 'But I’m going to do a back flip and dance as I go into it.'

The appointment of Mr. Herrera, who will succeed Charles Wright, comes as the country is debating immigration, a recurring subject of his work, which has been collected in books like 'Border-Crosser With a Lamborghini Dream' and '187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border.'

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Summer reading? Pope Francis suggests Dante's 'Divine Comedy'

"Don't worry about what to pick for summer reading this year. Pope Francis has a suggestion: Dante's 'Divine Comedy.' • Francis had much praise for the 14th century allegorical poem as the Italian government celebrated the 750th anniversary of Dante's birth May 4. Francis is quoted as saying, in both the Italian and U.S. media, that Dante's experience can help us 'get through the many dark woods we come across in our world.' • Catholic News Service quotes the pope as calling Dante 'a prophet of hope, herald of the possibility of redemption, liberation and the profound transformation of every man and woman, of all humanity.'"
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Why Writers Love to Hate the M.F.A.

Why Writers Love to Hate the M.F.A. | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
"The proliferation and power of graduate degrees in creative writing have inspired heated scholarly debate. Aspiring novelists, take note."
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Philip Levine, Former U.S. Poet Laureate Who Won Pulitzer, Dies at 87

Philip Levine, Former U.S. Poet Laureate Who Won Pulitzer, Dies at 87 | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
Mr. Levine’s work was vibrantly, angrily and often painfully alive with the sound, smell and sinew of heavy manual labor.
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Trias Reading - Tomaž Šalamun (11/25/13) - YouTube

Considered Slovenia's greatest living poet, Tomaž Šalamun was born in Zagreb in 1941 and lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is one of the foremost figures of the Eastern European avant-garde in poetry. He is revered by many American poets for his unique surrealistic style. His books have been translated into twenty-one languages, and nine of his thirty-seven books of poetry have been published in English. His first collection, Poker, was published when he was only twenty-five. His most recent collections are There's the Hand and There's the Arid Chair, The Blue Tower, The Book for My Brother; Row, Woods and Chalices and On the Tracks of Wild Game (2012).
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Lunch Poems - Tomaz Salamun - YouTube

Lunch Poems - Tomaz Salamun - YouTube | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
One of the great postwar Central European poets, Slovenian Tomaz Salamun has published over thirty books. Publisher's Weekly praises his "postmodern mix of giddy and global [and] the earthy retrospect he takes from his homeland. Salamun has taught at universities around the world. His There's the Hand and There's the Arid Chair, translated by Thomas Kane, is forthcoming from Counterpath Press in 2009.
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Almost Like the Blues

Almost Like the Blues | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it
Lyrics by Leonard Cohen: “It was good, it wasn’t boring / It was almost like the blues . . .”
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Wild Gratitude, a Poem by Edward Hirsch - for #blwc14

Wild Gratitude, a Poem by Edward Hirsch - for #blwc14 | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight when I knelt down next to our cat, Zooey,

And put my fingers into her clean cat’s mouth,

And rubbed her swollen belly that will never know kittens,

And watched her wriggle onto her side, pawing the air,

And listened to her solemn little squeals of delight,

I was thinking about the poet, Christopher Smart,

Who wanted to kneel down and pray without ceasing

In every one of the splintered London streets,

 

……….

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Hum for the Bolt, a Poem by Jamaal May

Hum for the Bolt, a Poem by Jamaal  May | Poetry: Searching for Fire in the Trees | Scoop.it

"It could of course be silk. Fifty yards or so

of the next closest thing to water to the touch,

or it could just as easily be a shaft of wood

 

crumpling a man struck between spaulder and helm.

But now, with the rain making a noisy erasure

of this town, it is the flash that arrives

 

and leaves at nearly the same moment…." 

 

More poems by Jamaal May: http://wp.me/3ODMp ;

 

Jamaal will be reading on May 4 at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. 2014

 

Massachusetts Poetry Festival | May 2-4 

 

Blacksmith House Poetry Series: 3 Generations/3 Voices

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM, May 4, 2014

Peabody Essex Museum, Bartlett Gallery 

 

The Blacksmith House Poetry Series has a long history (40+ years) of featuring both established and emerging poets. This event presents three poets at three distinct points in their poetic lives: Gail Mazur, Andrea Cohen, and Jamaal May.

 

For more on the 2014 Poetry Festival: http://goo.gl/3JpORu

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