August 21, 2011
By Rachel Hadas Paul Dry Books. 204 pp. $16.95 Reviewed by Frank Wilson The average life expectancy for persons born in 1900 was 47 years. Today, in the United States, it is 77 years. Today also, more than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's or a related form of dementia. They are not always elderly. In 2005, poet Rachel Hadas' husband, George Edwards, a composer and professor of music at Columbia University, was diagnosed with dementia. He was 61. Statistics, of course, are utterly impersonal, but it is people who fall victim to disease.
June 18, 2011 |
The attorney for a Radnor High School senior arrested in connection with a video that contained a poem with violent imagery said Friday that his client never threatened anyone. Arthur T. Donato Jr., a Media lawyer, said Zaidee S. Harrison, 18, of Wayne, did not send anything to a public or school official, faculty member, or any other public employee. Donato said she posted on her best friend's Facebook page a video of herself reciting the poem. Her friend was not threatened by the poem or its images, Donato said.
June 17, 2011
A Radnor High School senior has been charged with making terroristic threats in a video e-mailed to a school administrator three days before graduation, according to Radnor police. Zaidee S. Harrison, 18, of Wayne, was arrested at her home Sunday after principal Mark Schellenger told police about the video, in which the teen recites a poem laced with violent images, according to the affidavit of probable cause. It starts: "Cold metal in my hands / I am at school, / I'll shoot you down, / You stupid fool.
June 12, 2011
By Garrison Keillor Viking. 512 pp. $20.95 Reviewed by John Timpane I read hundreds of poems like these when I was coming up. I'm grateful to them. They helped get me started loving poetry. The volume at hand joins Garrison Keillor's otheranthologies, Good Poems of 2003 and Good Poems for Hard Times of 2005. Here, Keillor fills his pages with poems in which people's lives take place against the landscapes of this country. Place, scene, where it happened , are as vibrant as any human presence.
June 10, 2011 |
The ideal place for hearing Morton Feldman's music would seem to be a sensory deprivation tank with each note in his spare music arriving like a pebble dropped into a pond, with all the necessary time to contemplate pebble, pond, and ripple. But the third program of the American Sublime Feldman festival operated under opposite circumstances: Roughly 30 people were seated in the Biello Martin Studio in Old City Wednesday to hear poems by Frank O'Hara, a short play by Samuel Beckett, and Feldman's late-period Palais de Mari in a room that felt like a parallel-universe Victorian parlor with touches of Edward Goreyesque gothicism.
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 24, 2011
By Louis Zukofsky New Directions. 846 pp. $24.95 Reviewed by Bob Perelman The reissue of Louis Zukofsky's long poem "A" is a most welcome event. In the innovative regions of the poetic universe, Zukofsky is a major presence: Thanks to the enthusiasm of figures such as Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, and the Language poets, there now is a population of admirers who will be glad "A " is back in print. For most of Zukofsky's career such an outcome would have seemed highly implausible.
April 11, 2011 |
It's a profound sense of failure and disappointment that keeps Garrison Keillor taking a fresh approach to writing and narration. While telling a story verbally, Keillor told a captivated audience last night, a narrator inevitably leaves out a seemingly minuscule detail that could lend the story much greater depth, and meaning. "You try doing it again, and that's what keeps you doing it for 34 years," the straight-faced, bespectacled humorist told a sold-out crowd Monday night at the opening event of the fifth-annual Philadelphia Book Festival.
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.
September 9, 2010 |
Action News reporter/anchor Lisa Thomas-Laury did not sway a Montgomery County jury, which last week found in favor of a doctor and Lankenau Hospital in her medical-malpractice lawsuit. Thomas-Laury, 56, and her husband, William , a physician, had accused the hospital and Clifford Pemberton of failing to diagnose her rare nerve disorder. The Mayo Clinic diagnosed and treated her for POEMS syndrome, the suit said. Thomas-Laury was out of work for 38 months before she returned to 6ABC in 2007.