October 7, 2012
Stolen Air The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam Selected and translated by Christian Wiman Introduction by Ilya Kaminsky Ecco. 128 pp. $15.99 Reviewed by Frank Wilson This is a book not simply to read, but also to treasure. It takes the form of a triptych, Ilya Kaminsky's introduction ("Osip Mandelstam: A Lyric Voice" and Christian Wiman's translator's note ("Secret Hearing") bracketing Osip Mandelstam's poems. Kaminsky's introduction is itself a kind of prose poem, which is hardly surprising.
May 1, 2011
By Gjertrud Schnackenberg Farrar Straus Giroux. 64 pp. $23 Reviewed by Frank Wilson Ingenious repetition is what shapes Gjertrud Schnackenberg's Heavenly Questions , an intensely moving elegy in six parts. The first and fourth poems, for instance, are lullabies, though not songs for one newly born, but rather for one about to die. "Archimedes Lullaby," the first, begins: A visit to the shores of lullabies, Where Archimedes, counting grains of sand, Is seated in his half-filled universe And sorting out the grains by shape and size.
April 2, 2013 |
Daniel G. Hoffman, 89, longtime Swarthmore resident, professor at Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania, and onetime U.S. poet laureate, died Saturday at the Quadrangle independent living facility in Haverford. He was remembered fondly by students and fellow poets around the world as his latest book of poems was just being published. Mr. Hoffman was a mainstay in the local poetry world, much in evidence at prominent events such as the West Chester Poetry Conference and major venues such as Kelly Writers House at Penn.
November 8, 1994 |
I recently I got a very nice computer-generated letter from an outfit called The National Library of Poetry. "Dear Dave," the letter begins. "Over the past year or so we have been reviewing the thousands of poems submitted to us, as well as examining the poetic accomplishments of people whose poetry has been featured in various anthologies released by other poetry publishers. After an exhaustive examination of this poetic artistry, The National Library of Poetry has decided to publish a collection of new poems written by THE BEST POETS we have encountered.
May 31, 2012 |
Alternative visions of heaven are nothing unusual in concerts by the Crossing choir. But the one that will unfold this weekend, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan, portrays heaven in what looks like a 21st-century recession: Gaunt angels play bent harps, the sky is smoggy, and God is rumored to have Alzheimer's. Ostensibly a religious work, Vespers Cantata: Hesperus Is Phosphorus reflects the 71-year-old Spratlan's unwillingness to use a traditional religious text, especially when Crossing founder/director Donald Nally kept handing him unconventional writings by David Eagleman, whose 2009 book Sum contains 40 highly unorthodox visions of the afterlife.
March 4, 1990 |
Fire shooting off your branches makes even me like summer How rotten can a season be if yellow flowers upend the tidy diligence of a Ridley tree? - From the poem "Tree Sparks" by Kenneth Pobo Local poet Kenneth Pobo doesn't require serene mountain ponds, urban street theater or political upheaval for inspiration. In fact, the only requirement the 35-year-old Widener University assistant professor needs to make words sing is a "place.
May 23, 2004 |
Reading the words of Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath and Billy Collins inspired high school sophomore Megan Kyle to convey her emotions through poetry. Her lyrical style caught the eye of the judges for the Bucks County Community College poetry contest, who declared Kyle the 2004 Bucks County High School poet of the year. Entries from 162 students were received for the contest. "She wasn't afraid to have fun with the language," said judge Brian Lutz, 2003 Bucks County poet laureate.
March 22, 1987 |
Beverly Stoughton found solace in writing poetry when her 26-year-old son, David, died in 1982. Stoughton, the 1986 Bucks County poet laureate, said she first wrote only of her grief. Then she came to accept David's death from diabetes after creating, with words, a comforting vision of him in heaven. Stoughton brought the heavenly images of "black walnut trees" and her son playing his "spirit harmonica" into her poem, A Landscape I Longed to Find, to the sixth-grade class at Stackpole Elementary School.
July 1, 1986 |
Award-winning poet Etheridge Knight will read from his works and lead a round-table discussion on South Africa tomorrow at the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum. Joining Knight to read their own poems and the work of South African poets will be a number of Philadelphia-area writers, including Elaine Terranova, Lou McKee, Eugene Howard, Clark White, Chain Woon Ping, Gil Ott and Sharon Goodman. "It's been bothering me in my belly," Knight said when asked his reasons for addressing South Africa.
July 14, 1987 |
Edward Hirsch belies whatever stereotype you might have about poets. For one thing, he's a former jock who played three years of varsity football at Grinnell College. As a tight end, he caught more passes than any player save one in that Iowa institution's history - 95. He still plays a mean game of amateur basketball at the University of Houston, where he teaches literature and creative writing. For another thing, although poetry is a solitary art and his own poetry often deals with themes of despair, anguish and suffering, Hirsch is a cheerful, charming, gregarious man with dark curly hair who looks like a mother's dream of a son-in-law.