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won't you celebrate with me by Lucille Clifton | Poetry Foundation
won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.
lucille_clifton  poetry  poem  poetryfoundation.org  1993  1990s  book_of_light 
october 2017 by cluebucket
Word Theft by Ruth Graham
"T.S. Eliot, who relied on other sources for much of 'The Waste Land' (plagiarism or allusion?), famously wrote, 'Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.' Less often quoted is the next line, 'Bad poets deface what they take.' This is what seems to gall many victims of plagiarists: to see their poems reprinted in weaker versions than the original."
poetryfoundation.org  poetry  writing  ruth_graham  plagiarism  2013  2014  2010s  cynicism  prize  theft  crime  idea  creativity  copy  copyright  sample  scandal  taboo  literature  author  narcissism  self-esteem  internet  u.k.  australia  america  stalking  apology 
january 2014 by cluebucket
A preview of poetryfoundation.org’s new site
In the next few weeks, you’ll notice some significant changes on poetryfoundation.org.

With the help of Tierra Innovation, we’ve redesigned the site to offer a richer online experience for poetry lovers.  We’ve added to what poetryfoundation.org already does to make great poems available to the online world.


We’ve integrated the Poetry Tool’s function into our enhanced search and browse, so you’ll now be able to look for poems and poets by multiple categories such as birthdate, occasion, and poetic school.  So if you want poems from the New York School or the Augustan age, one click will get you a list of all the New York School or Augustan poems in our 10,000 (and counting!) poem archive.   Or if you want a Mother’s Day poem, a love poem, or, even a nature poem from the Romantic era in England, you can refine your search to get what you need. 

When you like what you find you’ll now be able to “favorite” it and return to it every time you sign into your Poetry Foundation account. Also, if want to read more poems like it, the new Browse Poetry carousel will lead you deeper into the archive.


Every issue of Poetry magazine—from the first in 1912 to the latest—will now be available.  That’s every poem, every review, every essay, and every letter from the past 100 years.  Pretty exciting!

There are a number of other exciting new features to the site—too many to list here—but we encourage you to explore all poetryfoundation.org has to offer once the site goes live. Stay tuned!
poetryfoundation.org  from google
march 2011 by jmkeiter
The 15 most-read Poetry Foundation & Poetry magazine articles of 2010
Just in case 2010 found you locked in a basement—or with Comcast internet (zing!)—here’s what your non-secluded peers made popular over the course of the year: The most-read articles from the past year, from Ginsberg to Myles to Behrle. Enjoy!

15. Ginsberg’s Howl to Franco’s Ginsberg—D.A. Powell, Rob Epstein, and Jeffrey Friedman

“RE: A lot of the animation was being done in Thailand. The Thai animators kept sending these huge penises.

DP: Well, I wonder if that says something about the difference in cultures.

RE: Yes, they’re very generous people . . .”

14. This Is Your Brain on Poetry—Ange Mlinko and Ian McGilcrhist

“I am not impressed by the trend towards neuroscience in the modern novel—it seems to me bound up with a sense of inferiority, as though, despite the bravado, we accept that our realities are only playacting, while the scientists know what’s really going on. It reminds me a bit of colonial subjects in the bad old days, dressing like the Brits in order to be taken seriously. How it messed up the study of literature, all those university departments that had to prove they were doing something difficult and serious, a form of science! We badly need an antidote to this culture: we should not be concerned with proving ourselves clever, but rejoicing in doing something science could never do on its own, understanding and celebrating experience—otherwise known as life. Poets and all artists take the inside view: as I say in the book, the brain is just the view from the outside. It’s not more real . . .”

13. A Portrait of the Artist Engulfed in Flames—Emily Gould

“In the intervening years, during which I have mentioned Eileen Myles every time anyone has ever asked who my favorite writers are, I have come to the conclusion that Eileen Myles is somehow still not famous. Which: what the fuck? Eileen Myles has been working steadily for 30-plus years, and she has written several brilliant books—prose and poetry and some other stuff that blurs the already-blurry distinction between these types of writing. Maybe the problem is that people don’t know where in the bookstore to stick her, or that she has never been taken up by a mainstream publisher, not even one of the ‘quirky’ ones like Grove. Maybe the problem is her defiant approach to punctuation, her refusal—except when she is mimicking a voice—to ever employ question marks. Maybe it’s because she is never apologetic, especially for being rapaciously sexual and snobby/bitchy about other poets and artists . . .”

12. Are You Smeared with the Juice of Cherries?—Michael Robbins

“When Hass’s pintails and blue-winged teals are lined up in a row, the deftness of his observations almost rivals that of the haiku masters he has so memorably translated: in a restaurant’s tank, ‘coppery lobsters scuttling over lobsters.’ But as the above verse suggests, Hass is also given to pedantic soothsaying, telling the reader how it is in tones that suggest he is just slightly winded from having jogged down the slopes of Parnassus. The poetry takes on the tenor of the lecture hall, the quality of prose statement: Of all the laws that bind us to the past, the names of things are stubbornest. Is this true? Is it even meaningful?”

11. The Voices of Katrina, Part II—Raymond McDaniel

“I was in Florida when Katrina lacerated the Gulf Coast and laid bare the chicanery of the Army Corps of Engineers and much of municipal New Orleans and Louisiana and Mississippi. I’m certain that my reactions were those of anyone familiar with the city and the region, those of anyone with friends and family there. When I returned to Michigan, however, I realized it was foolish to assume uniformity of reaction, because in conversation about the events, a co-worker said that he believed ‘those people knew what they were in for, and if they didn’t like the risk they should have moved’ . . .”

10. Art vs. Laundry—Stephen Burt

“More and more, this year—especially since our second child was born—I’ve come to feel that poetry just can’t be as important as most people who write about it now make it seem: that, as Elizabeth Bishop put it in another connection, ‘Art just isn’t worth that much.’ Sometimes I do not want to read—much less read about, write about, or even write—poetry, because it would take time away from more important things (such as accumulated laundry). More often I feel that I should not give poems the time that they (immoral creatures) seem to demand. If we are judged fairly, if we can ever be judged fairly, the verdict will rest much less on the spark in our line breaks or on the aptness of our adjectives than on whether we live as responsible people: whether we keep our promises, prepare acceptable lunches for our children, return the phone calls we get at odd hours from friends. We will be judged on whether we give other people what we owe them, and whether we can clean up after ourselves . . .”

9. The Great Scorer—John Wooden

“While I never stood on a bench and recited Grantland Rice, I did constantly inject ideas during practice that were ‘poetic.’ If I sensed lagging energy in a player—Bill Walton, perhaps?—I might quickly take him aside and sternly tell him to step it up: ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, Bill!’

On those occasions when I had to remind him to cut his hair or shave his beard before he could come into practice, he might offer the words of his own favorite poet: ‘Coach Wooden, “The times they are a-changin.”‘ Well, they weren’t a-changin’ for those who wanted to be members of the UCLA varsity basketball team . . . “

8. Charles Bukowski, Family Guy—Molly Young

“I opened Bukowski’s Living on Luck because the doodle on the cover was appealing, and I read it because there was a Young, Lafayette entry in the index. There was also, and more excitingly, a Young, Niki entry one millimeter below it. Niki is my mother, Nicole, and a letter dated May 1970 from Bukowski to Lafe includes the injunction to Stay in there Niki. What was my mother, aged 17, supposed to stay in?”

7. The Voices of Hurricane Katrina—Abe Louise Young

“Hurricane Katrina did not happen in a vacuum, in America’s imagination, to everyone, or in general. It happened in a particular geography, a history, an economy, and a field of race and power built to render certain people powerless. When a white person takes the voices of people of color for his own uses, without permission, in the aftermath of a racially charged national disaster, it is vulture work—worse than ventriloquism . . .”

6. This Land is Our Land—David Biespiel

“America’s poets have a minimal presence in American civic discourse and a minuscule public role in the life of American democracy. I find this condition perplexing and troubling—both for poetry and for democracy. Because when I look at American poetry from the perspective of a fellow traveler, I see an art invested in various complex, fascinating, historical, and sometimes shop-worn literary debates. I see a twenty-first-century enterprise that’s thriving in the off-the-beaten-track corners of the nation’s cities and college towns. But at the same time that poetry’s various coteries are consumed with art-affirming debates over poetics and styles, American poetry and America’s poets remain amazingly inconsequential to the rest of the nation’s civic, democratic, political, and public life . . .”

5. Recognition, Vertigo, and Passionate Worldliness—Tony Hoagland

“The most prevalent poetic representation of contemporary experience is the mimesis of disorientation by non sequitur. Just look into any new magazine. The most frequently employed poetic mode is the angular juxtaposition of dissonant data, dictions, and tones, without defining relations between them. The poem of non-parallelism—how things, perceptions, thoughts, and words coexist without connecting—is the red wheelbarrow of Now . . .”

4. In a Relationship—Tao Lin

“Out of the poems in this essay I think I would most be interested in a psychology experiment—of which I would also like to be a participant—where one hundred people who have just been ‘dumped’ to emotionally devastating results in the past hour are forced to read this poem then interviewed about their experience, with accompanying brain-scans . . .”

3. Why Live Without Writing—Durs Grünbein

“There are three questions that a poet is always asked once he’s become reasonably well established, i.e., isn’t forever required to spell his name, and his CV is reduced to two or three worn phrases. Never mind the fact that these phrases come out of the platitudinous files of some press department. What matters is that he showed sufficient stamina in the pursuit of his solitary discipline, which might suggest pole vaulting and dashing sprints, but probably has most in common with the monotony of the marathon runner. Whichever, one day finds him standing under the open sky with a few curiosity seekers in front of him. The air is thick with old ideas, fantasies about the poet’s life unchanged since Homer’s day. I’ll bet you anything: they come out in the form of the same three questions. At the end of the reading, there’s not even any hesitation or throat clearing. It’s as if the questions were always there, a kind of diffuse curiosity, a residue of admiration tinged with skepticism and a little bumptiousness . . .”

2. Good Poems About Ugly Things—Molly Young

“Like that of Miller and Bukowski, Seidel’s style is one of incriminating self-exposure coupled with an exacting (and therefore imitable) aesthetic. But here’s a funny thing. Writing a poem about lust, pride, imprudence—about ordering a call girl or staying at ‘literally the most expensive hotel in the world’ or racing a bike at 200 mph—has a way of neutralizing the unpleasantness of that vice. To write a good poem about an ugly thing, as Seidel does often, is … [more]
News  Poetry_magazine  poetryfoundation.org  from google
december 2010 by jmkeiter
A Glamorously Hopeless Cause
"Concepts, too, have feelings," Carter Ratcliff says in his afterword to "Arrivederci, Modernismo:"

I am not saying that a concept -- "number," for example, or "constitutionality" -- is literally capable of emotions. What I mean is that there is an emotional tone to the understanding of such things.

An art critic, a writer who specializes in the analysis of mute artworks, who intuits the messages and emotional tenor of physical objects -- perhaps such a writer is more comfortable talking about "emotions" in this broad way. But by 1974, when the poem first appeared, Her Majesty Modernismo had already been deposed by poets who said "I wanted to be more myself," including James Merrill, who went from writing poems such as "The Black Swan" to writing more personal, personable, poems that explored -- among many other things, of course -- his immediate family. I could never really understand this historic shift. Carter betrays the fact that he never really said goodbye to Modernism; about poetry as dramatic monologue he says: "the point of a poem is not to present evidence about the poet or anything else. Poetry is not forensic. ... A poem puts meaning up for grabs, permanently." And as poets like Merrill and James Schuyler and Robert Lowell, et al., got chattier, it was they who said goodbye to Modernismo. Or put it up for grabs, permanently. I am sitting on this fence, wondering.

There is this lovely essay "Mozart and the Music of Intrigue" on the website of Caffeine Destiny. Its author writes:

The same nineteenth-century prejudice which charged Mozart with being frivolous upheld an artistic ideal that was the antithesis of Mozart's. Ever since, art which aims to disclose the "authenticity" of the self has asserted a primacy it has refused to relinquish. Linked to this was an erosion of the idea of music as pleasure, as opposed to the emerging Romantic view of music as "expression."

This classical taste was characterized by an indifference toward the self, and toward the need for the "improvement" of either the individual or society. As such, aristocratic mores constituted a personal and social danger: the nineteenth-century taste wished to be uplifted and edified, not beguiled or seduced.

I read this about the time I listened to this Poetry Foundation podcast contrasting poems by Stevens (pleasure) and Merrill (expression). The interviewer must speak for many when he says he prefers Merrill's poem to Stevens's. So I wonder if the shift from classical to romantic in music is comparable to what happened here between Stevens's poem from 1950's and Merrill's poem from the 1990's, or between the earliest Stevens and the latest Merrill.

"Why am I so often drawn to glamorously hopeless causes?" Ratcliff remarks, tongue in cheek. I double-starred it. There are stars in my copy on every page. Modernismo lives to dazzle.
Arts  Audio  Criticism  Poems  poetryfoundation.org  from google
july 2007 by jmkeiter

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