April 22, 2012 |
The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin Edited by Archie Burnett Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 768 pp. $40 Reviewed by John Timpane For about the last 60 years, Philip Larkin (1922-1985) has been, for many, the poet's poet, one of the best, a fastidious craftsman who let only choice, finished pieces out into the light. Now we have The Complete Poems, edited with devotion by Archie Burnett of Boston University. It is a sobering triumph. Or maybe I mean a triumph of sobriety.
April 21, 2012 |
The Camden area's literary community will celebrate next week the release of a book of previously unpublished poems by Nick Virgilio, a pioneer of contemporary haiku and a lifelong city resident. Compiled and published by former New York Times war correspondent Rick Black, the book features new works selected from collections at the Paul Robeson Library at Rutgers-Camden, where nearly 20,000 haiku and correspondence of the late poet reside. "Nick's poems just hit home for me in meaningful ways," Black, who reported on the first Gulf War, said in a statement.
April 19, 2012 |
PITTSBURGH — If you think Shakespeare's works have been performed so often there's not much left to do with them, think again. No one has ever filmed readings of all 154 sonnets by a succession of actors and nonactors in evocative locations around the world, and presented them in the order Shakespeare published them in 1609. Someone is doing it now, however: Jeff Monahan, president of 72nd St. Films in Manhattan and Connellsville, Pa., and Joanna Lowe, founder of Cup-A-Jo Productions in Pittsburgh.
March 7, 2012
DEAR ABBY: Several years ago you printed a poem about forgiveness in your column. I clipped the column and saved it, but over time I seem to have lost it. Could you please run this piece again? - Daniela in Toronto DEAR DANIELA: I'm glad to oblige. The poem you have requested, "Decide to Forgive," was written by the late Robert Muller, former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations. Now, with so much turmoil going on in the nation and in the world, its sentiments are particularly relevant: DECIDE TO FORGIVE Decide to forgive For resentment is negative Resentment is poisonous Resentment diminishes and devours the self.
February 16, 2012 |
David Livewell found poetry in Kensington long before downtown artists discovered that rough and resilient Philly neighborhood. "As a poet, you're always looking for that right word," says Livewell, whose fondly remembered childhood in a Master Street rowhouse inspired many of the poems in Shackamaxon . His manuscript won the 2012 T.S. Eliot Prize from Missouri's Truman State University Press, which will publish the book in September....
January 5, 2012
The Deleted World Poems By Tomas Tranströmer Versions by Robin Robertson Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 64 pp. $13 paperback. Reviewed by John Timpane Why wouldn't you buy this book? Thirteen bucks. Exactly 15 poems on 37 pages, plus a short introduction. Less than a dollar a poem, people, to be introduced to the latest Nobel Prize in Literature!? Most of the poems are 20, maybe 30 words long. I realize poems scare the lightning out of people, but really, can we be serious?
November 25, 2011 |
LOUIS C. McKEE once said that it requires a large dose of arrogance to think that anyone would be interested in "something you have thought and written down. " That's why, he said, writers who think they are poets are advised to hide their poems "in a box under the bed. " Fortunately for those who enjoy the kind of poetry that Louis McKee was known for - "clarity and candor," as one critic observed - he didn't hide his work under the bed. He published his poetry in more than a dozen chapbooks while also serving as an editor and reviewer of the efforts of fellow scribblers.
October 29, 2011 |
If Indian animal rights activists have their way, mega-selling singer and sex symbol Lady Gaga will wear a lettuce dress (a dress made out of lettuce) during her sojourn in New Delhi this weekend. Her Gagaiosity is performing at an invitation-only party Sunday to celebrate India's first Formula 1 auto race. PETA India wants her to promote vegetarianism. (It's a counterpoint to the famed meat dress Gaga wore at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.) "We'll make her a dress entirely of lettuce," says org rep Sachin Bangera . "It will be a full-length gown, and we'll make sure it looks sexy.
September 29, 2011 |
Zaidee Harrison, the Radnor High School senior who posted a poem containing violent imagery on a friend's Facebook page three days before she was to graduate, can finally exhale. Arthur Donato Jr. of Media, her attorney, said Wednesday all criminal charges in connection with her June 12 arrest had been dropped. "I'm happy for Zaidee and the fact that this will not have an effect on her future," Donato said of Harrison, now a freshman at an undisclosed college. Erica Parham, spokeswoman for the Delaware County District Attorney's Office, confirmed that the charges were withdrawn.