July 10, 2006

Curious George: Poetry Looking for some recommendations

I've never had more than an anthill of interest in poetry, and I haven't seen a word of it past what was shovelled on me in school. I picked up The Bell Jar, and it has shown me what I have been blind to; it was like hearing Debussy for the first time. oh, that's where music has been hiding. So I'm going to pick up some of Sylvia Plath's actual poems, and I want to get poetry by other people. But I don't know where to start. My friends' suggestions haven't started any fires.

  • poets.org run by the academy of american poets, seems quite comprehensive. alongside each poet, there's a list of further reading. > oh, that's where music has been hiding. this makes me think of austin clarke.
  • Poetry is for fnerds. but there's a bit of it about, here.
  • What poets didn't start any fires with you? If you like Sylvia Plath, you might like Anne Sexton. Her book of poems called "Transformations" is dark and funny.
  • One good way to find good poems is to check out very own Monkey poetry thread . And if your taste runs more towards the lighter side, there's the light poetry thread.
  • storybored: thanks for smacking me with the startlingly obvious. I needed that. mandyman: one friend suggested haiku, out of her love of anything asian. What she gave me was too sterile, even 'the greats' like Basho & co. A very well-read friend picked up on my poetrylike-prose description of Plath, and suggested James Joyce, but that fizzled quickly. The man has a great sense of ambiance and detail, but it all turns to mushy stew in a few pages.
  • perhaps dylan thomas? there were some recordings available for download from salon fairly recently. linked to on monkeyfilter.
  • I can't seem to find any of them online, but I remember Boris Pasternak's prose poems to be lovely, even in translation. I second the Dylan Thomas recommendation.
  • Ok, I don't know if this will help or not, but here's a few that you can probaly google to find some poems online. Li Young Lee (Especially his book "Rose") Mary Oliver Stephen Dunn Galway Kinnell (Especially "Book of Nightmares") Herb Scott ("Groceries" is awesome) Gerald Stern Marilyn Chin Louise Gluck James Tate Philip Larkin Margaret Atwood (she has a few books of poems apart from her novels) You might want to check out a copy of the norton anthology of modern poetry and see what you like--shitloads of good stuff in there.
  • I tried to find those Caedmon collection Dylan Thomas recordings and they all seem to have disappeared off teh Intarwebs. If anyone finds a cache, please linkylinky.
  • A good link for sampling current poets' work: Poetry Daily. And another: Versedaily. An excellent general link if you want to go hunting for online poetry, articles about poetry, information about poets etc, all conveniently listed in one place, is The Page.
  • Where you been all your life, Tylermoody!?! Welcome to the fold. Do a search on poem, poems, or poetry here in our own MonkeyFilter. Even the threads about bears or lemmings have poetry in them. Poems (some good, some bad some stinky! seem to be a Monkey addiction. If you post what you like here (and maybe let us know why) we'll try to match them!
  • The earnest RPO goes back a ways.
  • pete, you might try here: linkylinky
  • and also here
  • the pop-ups make baby hay-sus cry. Anything, y'know, like FTP wise or is that first link the whole thing and therefore worth figuring out rapidshare? (Thanks also too, btw)
  • the first link is the first cd, the second is the second cd. they're about 65 MB each. popups on rapidshare aren't too bad when using ff.
  • Just so I've got it straight: Dylan Thomas - poet laureate of Wales Bob Dylan - wrote "Tambourine Man" Bob Denver -played Gilligan John Denver - wrote "Rocky Mountain High" Denver Pyle - played Uncle Jesse Duke Gomer Pyle - Jim Nabors' character on "The Andy Griffith Show"
  • The Poem
  • Starling Take a fanfare and the devil's kindling. Oh to be a rider on that purple storm. Not peacock or eagle but lowly starling. Satan's bird, spreading her spotted wings over the Valley of Bones. To build a home within her, stark shanty for the soul, bonfire stoked with pine-sap sage, smoke rising through her ribs, her skin, tainting the undersides of leaves. Marrow house from which the one wild word escapes, stave and barrel world of want. Of late, my plush black nest. My silver claw and gravel craw. My only song. -- Dorianne Laux
  • Yikes!
  • Aye. But powerful yikes.
  • I know I'll probably be attacked as a philistine for saying this, but the only poet I've ever really liked is Edgar Allen Poe.
  • That's a good 'un, Bees.
  • "Benediction" Stanley Kunitz God banish from your house The fly, the roach, the mouse That riots in the walls Until the plaster falls; Admonish from your door The hypocrite and liar; No shy, soft, tigrish fear Permit upon your stair, Nor agents of your doubt. God drive them whistling out. Let nothing touched with evil, Let nothing that can shrivel Heart's tenderest frond, intrude Upon your still, deep blood. Against the drip of night God keep all windows tight, Protect your mirrors from Surprise, delirium, Admit no trailing wind Into your shuttered mind To plume the lake of sleep With dreams. If you must weep God give you tears, but leave you secrecy to grieve, And islands for your pride, And love to nest in your side.
  • The Hope of Loving What keep us alive, what allows us to endure? I think it is the hope of loving, or being loved. I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey to find its source, and how the moon wept without her lover's warm gaze. We weep when light does not reach our hearts. We wither like fields if someone close does not rain their kindness upon us. -- Meister Eckhart, trans D. Ladinsky
  • young jays can't sprout their topknots fast enough a quick peek left then flick head right to snatch a seed and flee the scene blue flashes slinging into maple tree except one seems to trip upon the air and does a halfway flip before he clowns his way past earthbound me as I stand gaping here
  • Talismans A copy of the first edition of the Edda Islandorum, by Snorri, printed in Denmark. The five volumes of the work of Schopenhauer. The two volumes of Chapman's Odyssey. A sword which fought in the desert. A mate gourd with serpent feet which my great-grandfather brought from Lima. A crystal prism. A few eroded daguerreotypes. A terraqueous wooden globe which Cecelia Ingenieros gave me and which belonged to her father. A stick with a curved handle with which I walked on the plains of America, in Columbia and in Texas. Various metal cylinders with diplomas. The gown and mortarboard of a doctorate. Las Empresas, by Saavedra Fajardo, bound in good-smelling Spanish board. The memory of a morning. Lines of Virgil and Frost. The voice of Macedonio Fernandez. The love or conversation of a few people. Certainly they are talismans, but useless against the dark I cannot name, the dark I must not name. -- Jorge Luis Borges, trans Alastair Reid Borges lists sixteen things; makes me wonder: What talismans would another's life hold to ward off the dark? How can a particular personality be evoked by such a list?
  • To the Tune "Meeting Happiness" Silent and alone, I ascend the west tower. The moon is like a hook. In solitude, the wu tung trees imprison the clear autumn in the deep courtyard. Scissored but not severed, trimmed, but still massive: it is the sorrow of parting, another strange flavour in the heart. -- Li Yu, trans Arthur Sze
  • Haul Your Paper Boats Haul your paper boats to the parched shore, and then to sleep, little commodore: may you never hear swarms of evils spirits putting in. The owl flits in the walled orchard, a pall of smoke lies heavy on the roof. The moment that spoils months of labor is here: now the secret crack, now the ravaging gust. The crack widens, unheard perhaps. The builder hears his sentence passed. Now only the sheltered boat is safe. Beach your fleet, secure it in the brush. -- Eugenio n Montale, trans William Arrowsmith
  • Heat Lightning At the horizon, July in heavy boots paces the hot floor of the darkness. A bulb in a wobbly lamp jiggles. Or is that you, my love, approaching across the firefly hills, swinging a sloshing pail of moonlight? -- Ted Kooser
  • That was amazing, Bees!
  • Even the Trees in the Lake Are Burning When the age of fire came, the fragile days of ash, we picked through each black hour to find a name for loss. In charcoal flower fields we picked our black bouquets, laid black wreaths upon the ground and measured out the graves. We mourned in ghosted smoke untill the midnight broke and fell upon our backs when the moon was new. Then black and black was all. then blind is what we were. --Muriel Zeller
  • I Unpetalled You
    I unpetalled you, like a rose,
    to see your soul,
    and I didn't see it.
                        But everything around
    -- horizons of land and of seas --,
    everything, out to the infinite,
    was filled with a fragrance,
    enormous and alive.
    --Juan Ramon Jimenez, translated Stephen Mitchell
  • The Shapes Sadness Can Take A boy on his back staring past smokestacks wants the one white cloud to look like the state where his father was born, the the town that swallowed his mother following the divorce, but the cloud wants only to resemble what passed through it once. Not a jet which is a knife tricked out with speed. but a flock of pigeons, one body and many, a floating room filled with air and algorithms and crooked weather, a forgiveness of wings, like God thinking. -- Lance Larsen
  • An Old Cracked Tune My name is Solomon Levi, the desert is my home, my mother's breast was thorny, and father I had none. The sands whispered, Be separate, the stones taught me, Be hard. I dance, for the joy of surviving, on the edge of the road. -- Stanley Kunitz
  • crooked weather bee-yoo-tiful
  • Sonnet Lease of my leaving, heartfelt lack, what does your plunge propose, its too-loose turning? A deep-fall trill, always again returning when Leaving, stepchild of Staying, is and was always already going, condition, cause of future's rapture - the baby always burning -- and present never present, always yearning for plummet's pivot -- articulate pause. Lack lurks, blue and black. What acrid, airy sea will give the whither anchor, heed the calling for harbor, shore, to stall the listing lee of always-motion, infant and appalling? My infinite late, dark nascence: Tell me, will there be an end to all this falling? -- Karen Volkman
  • The falling it ended In mid-November The heros Returned to the hill The vanquished Went home To ranches in Texas To fiddle with pages at will
  • )))!!!
  • Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine; And I was desolate and sick of an old passion, Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head: I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat, Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay; Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet; But I was desolate and sick of an old passion, When I awoke and found the dawn was gray: I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind, Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng, Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind; But I was desolate and sick of an old passion, Yea, all the time, because the dance was long: I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. I cried for madder music and for stronger wine, But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire, Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine; And I am desolate and sick of an old passion, Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire: I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion. -- Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae by Ernest Dowson
  • Hi, Christophine! Sooo magnificently lush!
  • Hi, bees! Glad you enjoyed it! It's a great favorite of mine.
  • Hi Cristo--me likes, too. Always been one of my faves. Great last line.
  • Onion, Fruit of Grace Onion, fruit of grace, you swell in the garden hidden as the heart of God, but you are not about religion. Onion, frying into all those Os, you are a perfect poet, and you are not about that. Onion, I love you, you sleek, auburn beauty, you break my heart though I know you don't mean to make me cry. Peeling your paper skin, I cry. Chopping you, I cry. Slicing off your wiry roots, I cry like a penitent at communion, onion. Tasting grace, layer by layer, I eat your sweet heart that burns like the Savior's. The sun crust you pull on while you're still underground, I've peeled it. Onion, I'm eating God's tears. --Julia Kasdorf
  • Hamlet Said Hamlet to Ophelia, 'I'll do a sketch of thee, What kind of pencil shall I use, 2B or not 2B?' -- Spike Milligan
  • Tale The dust of the stable still on me, I sidled on up to that filly to stir up some trouble, heart pounding, clip clop, I offered her cocktails, a carrot, a brush of her haunch. With a flick of her mane she slipped into that shoe. Nuzzle. Nostril. Whinny. Snort. The settling of dust. A bridle, a groom. --Emily Moore
  • Fall Song Another year gone, leaving everywhere its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves, the uneaten fruits crumbling damply in the shadows, unmattering back from the particular island of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere except underfoot, moldering in that black subterranean castle of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds and the wanderings of water. This I try to remember when time's measure painfully chafes, for instance when autumn flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing to stay - how everything lives, shifting from one bright vision to another, forever in these momentary pastures. -- Mary Oliver
  • To a Cat Mirrors are not more wrapt in silences nor the arriving dawn more secretive; you, in the moonlight, are that panther figure which we can only spy at from a distance. By the mysterious functioning of some divine decree, we seek you out in vain; remoter than the Ganges or the sunset; yours is the solitude, yours the secret. Your back allows the tentative caress my hand extends. And you have condescended, since that forever, now oblivion, to take love from a flattering human hand. You live in other time, lord of your realm - a world as closed and separate as a dream. -- Jorges Luis Borges
  • On A Picture Of A Black Centaur By Edmund Dulac William Butler Yeats Your hooves have stamped at the black margin of the wood, Even where horrible green parrots call and swing. My works are all stamped down into the sultry mud. I knew that horse-play, knew it for a murderous thing. What wholesome sun has ripened is wholesome food to eat, And that alone; yet I, being driven half insane Because of some green wing, gathered old mummy wheat In the mad abstract dark and ground it grain by grain And after baked it slowly in an oven; but now I bring full-flavoured wine out of a barrel found Where seven Ephesian topers slept and never knew When Alexander's empire passed, they slept so sound. Stretch out your limbs and sleep a long Saturnian sleep; I have loved you better than my soul for all my words, And there is none so fit to keep a watch and keep Unwearied eyes upon those horrible green birds.
  • That's a marvelous poem! (Now to ponder the sultry mud ... how far from thermal springs ...)
  • Armadillidae Vulgare Day was the roly-polies were pacifists, who took to tuck-and-ball and rearing marsupium, and were, thus pushed, budged up and landed exiled from the briny republics of their isopodal kin. Since they've been creeping damp to damp through continents; hiding from daylight and making plans. See for yourself, the spare economizers cabal under your potted plants, meet and greet beneath the doormat and you've just no idea where they've been. Soon you'll wake to their war chants, find their multitudes marshaled in ranks and taking by conquest your studied boudoir. They'll scoff in their gills' bit of ocean, rule you a wasteful vertebrate and too plush, roll you up dumbstruck in your bed sheets, and dump you roadside with your lugs a-cumber. As for me, I'll surrender first, maybe this week; send out my first born to envoy with wilted greens, also shrunken letters in submissive ink; I'll make haste, make tribute and translate; pull shut the curtains and let down the ferns, soak the carpets, sleep one-footed, upright, beg and meet demands. With luck, they'll barrack here between siege and blitz, have mercy, allot me a bit of jerky, a cup of air. -- Jere Odell
  • One for the Bees!!
  • Cup of Sticks Music was their first thought Though hunger their first need. The beaks agreed Above the fair & weedy plot, The beaks agreed. Before they were blind They had no cause to see & music was their first thought & mother was kind. Before they were blind They were saturated. They had no cause to see. They were saturated With symmetry. They had each note they'd need. Mother was kind. A thing began to bleed. With symmetry, With hunger, They'd have each note they'd need. With hunger In their cup of sticks They'd each have every shred. The thing began to bleed. Beaks began to click. In their cup of sticks A crying came. They'd each have every shred. A crying came Before a thought. A repetition came. Beaks began to click. It was the hunger that comes Before a thought. Before music A repetition came. Before music Hunger was their first need. Above the fair & weedy plot It was the hunger that came. -- Matthew Miller
  • Aurora Borealis An arc of searchlight, and (as such) a not quite accurate way of going about it: if you were looking for some lost thing in the ring of dark circling the earth, if the path of light you hunted with (emerging from underneath the horizon, and trained not by you but a hand unseen) ended with a sideways bend, if its torch forked and flickered as if overworked, if it torqued inside itself with a wow and a flutter, a now you see it now you don't, how long would it take before you'd make the leap?—Would you look at those freak streaks in the sky forever before saying, "I see the light: this is what I sought tonight"? -- Mary Jo Salter