March 29, 2011 |
A few days ago, the Guardian in London boldly put out a list of the top 10 American poems. It was sobering reading, largely because only one of the poets is still alive. John Ashbery, a masterly wordsmith, is 83. He was born the same year as the present U.S. poet laureate, whom I am certain only a tiny percentage of us could name. Can you? Did you know we had one? It's William Stanley Merwin - a wonderful, if sometimes opaque, poet, who lived in Scranton from the age of 11, but moved to Hawaii in the 1970s.
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.
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.
June 9, 2004 |
mother you rust away you are mostly music one two sing time the void the what the some are delirious & shaking my blue tongue the true urge say sweat say raw ache & meat is the goddess of beauty on we go my nearly gone girl falling beneath the gorgeous moment Kim Addonizio is author of 'What Is This Thing Called Love.' Her Web site is http://addonizio.home. mindspring.com This is the second in a weeklong series of poems by poets involved in the 10th annual West Chester University Poetry Conference.
December 30, 2000
in the building of a parish faith comes first in the building of a holiday in the building of new subdivisions in the building of high spirits and the building of morale in the building of ourselves in the building of a family or a flock in the building of a building in the building of a faith Kirsten Thorpe Kirsten Thorpe is resident intern at the Kelly Writers House. This is the fourth in a year-end series of commissioned poems based on Inquirer headlines.
November 14, 2004 |
When Bill Wunder returned from Vietnam, he sat down at his typewriter and wrote verse after verse after verse. "It was therapeutic," he said. "I don't want to sound like I had issues. It was something I wanted to do. "But I put it away. Life intervened. " A career in automotive sales, marriage, three children, divorce. Nearly 30 years passed before Wunder came across the first poem he had written about Vietnam. "It was a terrible epic," the Lower Southampton resident said.