Tag Archives | Poetry

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.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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;

Read the rest

Continue Reading

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.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

“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

Continue Reading

The haunting poetry of a Chinese factory worker who committed suicide

V. H. Hammer (CC BY 2.0)

V. H. Hammer (CC BY 2.0)

via Washington Post:

On the last day of September, a 24-year-old migrant worker in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen killed himself. Xu Lizhi jumped out of a window of a residential dormitory run by his employer, Foxconn, the huge electronics manufacturing company with a million-strong workforce that makes the majority of the world’s Apple iPhones.

In most cases, Xu’s suicide would have been yet another footnote in the vast, sweeping story of China’s economic boom and transformation. He is one of a legion of young Chinese migrants who emerge out of rural obscurity to find work in China’s teeming cities, only to end up crushed by both the dullness and stress of factory jobs, insufficient wages and a steady accumulation of personal disappointments.

But Xu was a poet. And, after his death, his friends collected his work and got some published in a local Shenzhen newspaper.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Ever Rethinking the Lord’s Prayer: Buckminster Fuller Revises Scripture with Science

51Vc8IZOmxL

via Brain Pickings:

A secular definition of divinity as a curiosity-driven love of truth bent through the prism of our subjective experience.

“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science,” Einstein wrote to a little girl who asked him whether scientists pray, “becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man.” “The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive,” Carl Sagan seconded, “does a disservice to both.” And yet the oppression of religious doctrine over scientific thought has persisted for centuries, fromGalileo to some of today’s most celebrated minds.

In his 1981 classic Critical Path (public library), legendary architect, designer, inventor, theorist and futurist Buckminster Fuller (July 12, 1895–July 1, 1983) explores the subject with his singular blend of philosophical fringe-think, love of science, and cosmic poetics.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

In Wales, a Toast to Dylan Thomas on His 100th Birthday

Used under fair use rationale to depict Dylan Thomas. via Wikimedia Commons.

Used under fair use rationale to depict Dylan Thomas. via Wikimedia Commons.

via The New York Times:

LAUGHARNE, Wales — Down the footpath from his writing shed, along the curve of the water and up the hill, you see what the poet Dylan Thomas once saw: tall birds on the “heron priested shore,” a “sea wet church the size of a snail” atop the ridge, the castle ruin to your left still “brown as owls.”

Poem in October,” in which Thomas reflects on his 30th birthday, unfolds verse after verse as you walk through the landscape that made him, and that he remade in turn, culminating with a final cliff-top exclaim:

“O may my heart’s truth

still be sung

on this high hill in a year’s turning.”

Thomas died young, at 39, after boasting that he had downed 18 straight whiskeys (“I believe that’s the record”) in New York in 1953.

Read the rest
Continue Reading