Tag Archives | Poetry

Charles Bukowski On Writing

Buk

I try to do all of my writing during the week. Songs I’ll write anytime. Poems anytime. But everything else gets pushed away at least once a week. It seems I’m always editing something or getting a blog post together by Sunday evening, but mostly, during the weekends, words are for reading.

Nowadays that means reading the articles I’ve streamlined into my Flipboard feed. I’ve got a pretty big ass phone at this point and it doubles as a very readable, little tablet.

This weekend I came across some news that a new Charles Bukowski book was going to be released. On Writing illuminates the author’s wordcraft with the help of a hitherto undiscovered cache of Buk’s letters.

“If a man truly desires to write, then he will. Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him …There is no losing in writing, it will make your toes laugh as you sleep, it will make you stride like a tiger, it will fire the eye and put you face to face with death.

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Stephen Buhner — Reductionism and the Reclamation of Personal Experience, Free Radical Media Podcast

You can also listen to this and all other Free Radical Media podcasts via Itunes.

In this installment, herbalist, author, and earth poet Stephen Buhner joins us to discuss the current reductionist paradigm permeating mainstream culture, and the potential of reclaiming individual thought through following innate curiosity. From his bio at The Foundation for Gaian Studies:

Stephen Harrod Buhner is an Earth poet and the award-winning author of twenty books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine. He comes from a long line of healers including Leroy Burney, Surgeon General of the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and Elizabeth Lusterheide, a midwife and herbalist who worked in rural Indiana in the early nineteenth century. The greatest influence on his work, however, has been his great-grandfather C.G. Harrod who primarily used botanical medicines, also in rural Indiana, when he began his work as a physician in 1911… He is a tireless advocate for the reincorporation of the exploratory artist, independent scholar, amateur naturalist, and citizen scientist in American society – especially as a counterweight to the influence of corporate science and technology.

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A new weapon of Islamist extremists is…poetry?

Militant Islamist groups have a number of strategies for recruiting vulnerable young men to their cause. They produce videos, tap into social media and write fiery pamphlets with overblown rhetoric.

But they’re also increasingly turning to poetry: with its rich vocabulary, the Arabic language lends itself easily to rhyme and rhythm, which can have a mesmerizing effect.

Poetry is also deeply ingrained in pre-Islamic and Islamic Arab culture, and it’s this literary tradition that contemporary militants hope to mine as they attempt to lure new members into their ranks.

Pre-Islamic tribes engaged in wars of words

The tone and tenor of militant poetry mirrors verses from the period known as the Jahiliyya, in Arabic, which refers to the era before the rise of Islam in the seventh century.

Pre-Islamic tribes often had their own special poet – a sha‘ir, in Arabic – who was believed to be endowed with magical verbal powers, and whose poetic virtuosity could be used to defend tribal honor.… Read the rest

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Teacher Fired For Reading Allen Ginsberg Poem to Class

In yet another overreaction by education administrators, Connecticut teacher, David Olio, was fired for reading Allen Ginsberg’s “Please Master” to his AP English class. A student brought the poem into class and Olio “[hoped] to discuss in the waning moments of the period how the poet uses language in his work.”

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Jodorowsky Gets Kickstarter Green-Light

Jodo Young

Over the weekend, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s recent Kickstarter campaign made its goal of $300,000 and was closing in on $385,000 with three days to go at the time of this posting. It looks to me like it might end up just beyond the $400,000 mark.

My girlfriend and I supported the campaign to make Endless Poetry a reality, and I’ve been posting to the film’s poetry archive via Twitter. I don’t write poetry as often as I do critical writing, songwriting, blogging etc. I usually feel moved to actually practice poetry with more attention in the fall, but this year that didn’t really happen.

I’m really happy that this Jodorowsky archive has popped up as its given me a framework and a set of rules for writing poems and I’ve found it to be completely engaging. People think writer’s block denotes a lack of ideas, but, in fact it’s usually an abundance of ideas that stops the process, and it’s often limits and lacking that finally stoke the fires again.… Read the rest

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Charles Baudelaire’s “The Carcass”

Nestor Galina (CC BY 2.0)

Nestor Galina (CC BY 2.0)

Remember that object we saw, dear soul,
In the sweetness of a summer morn:
At a bend of the path a loathsome carrion
On a bed with pebbles strewn,

With legs raised like a lustful woman,
Burning and sweating poisons,
It spread open, nonchalant and scornful,
Its belly, ripe with exhalations.

The sun shone onto the rotting heap,
As if to bring it to the boil,
And tender a hundredfold to vast Nature
All that together she had joined;

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Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty”

Matthias Ripp (CC BY 2.0)

Matthias Ripp (CC BY 2.0)

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

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“Darkness” — A Poem by Lord Byron

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Darkness

Lord Byron, 
July, 1816

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.

The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars

Did wander darkling in the eternal space,

Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth

Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;

Morn came and went — and came, and brought no day,

And men forgot their passions in the dread

Of this their desolation; and all hearts

Were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light:

And they did live by watchfires — and the thrones,

The palaces of crownded kings — the huts,

The habitations of all things which dwell,

Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,

And men were gather’d round their blazing homes

To look once more into each other’s face;

Happy were those who dwelt within the eye

Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:

A fearful hope was all the world contain’d;

Forests were set on fire — but hour by hour

They fell and faded — and the crackling trunks

Extinguish’d with a crash — and all was black.… Read the rest

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