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.
September 30, 2012 |
Bernhardt "Bernie" Blumenthal, 75, a graduate of LaSalle University who chaired the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures there for more than 40 years and wrote poetry in German, died of cancer Monday, Sept. 24, at home in Philadelphia's East Oak Lane section. "He was a magnificent teacher and a great editor," said Leo Rudnytzky, a friend and colleague who also taught German at LaSalle. "He was a consummate stylist with great editorial skills. His great love was German poetry.
September 11, 2012 |
Kenneth, 17, has many interests and participates in a variety of activities. Very energetic and athletic, he likes sports and plays basketball and volleyball. Music is also a big part of his life. He plays the guitar and recently started taking piano lessons. Kenneth's creative side is evident from his skillful drawings and the poetry he writes. Friendly, respectful, and courteous, he rarely has a problem in his foster placement or at school. Kenneth does well in school in regular education classes, maintaining a B average.
July 15, 2012
One of the most popular City Hall topics in recent years has been Mayor Nutter's relationship with City Council and its 17 varied personalities and motivations. Mostly, the conversations boil down to who's winning and who's losing the political game. Last week, Council sought out a new arena where the combatants could wage this particular warfare. The challenge to Nutter and his administration arrived in a missive from Majority Leader Curtis Jones Jr. It read: On this day: the 10th of July, We extend this challenge, and anticipate your reply.
April 24, 2012 |
Every e-mail from Philadelphia poet and provocateur CA Conrad ends with this note: "I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!!!! My real life has exceeded my dreams. " Conrad, 46, has plenty of reasons to be overjoyed. His oversized book, A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon, was just released during April's Poetry Month through the prestigious Wave Books imprint, in time for a reading tour through the South. The new work is a follow-up to the highly acclaimed, startling The Book of Frank, the Whitman-esque The City Real & Imagined: Philadelphia Poems, cowritten with Conrad's pal Frank Sherlock, and Advanced Elvis Course, the Soft Skull press effort that put Conrad on the national map with its gay Presley riffs and taunting, effortless humor.
April 23, 2012
Can't play without the best It's already apparent that the Phillies without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are comparable to my wonderful Philadelphia Orchestra attempting to play the masterful "Ninth Symphony" without the services of concertmaster David Kim and the first violin section. It's just not going to happen, either at Citizens Bank Park or Verizon Hall. Jules Slatko, Holland Save the United States Joe Henwood aptly describes the concept, design, and construction of the SS United States as exemplifying the "can do" attitude of our country in his call to action to save that iconic symbol of the American spirit from being reduced to a scrap heap, quite likely in a foreign scrap yard ("Time to rescue another great ship," April 15)
April 22, 2012 |
If Philadelphia and environs were a garden of poetry, it'd be … quite a garden. It'd be huge. This is a big poetry town that, while perhaps not as famed for verse as New York and San Francisco, is lush and fertile, especially during April, Poetry Month. No gardener could tend it all, much less get to it all. Too many events, readings, poets, speakers series (Bryn Mawr, Green Line Cafe, Moonstone Arts Center, Monday Poets at the Free Library, Kelly Writers House), and poetry groups (Moles Not Molars!
April 17, 2012 |
‘That was the stupidest poem ever. " Imogene, a ninth-grade English student, was critiquing my favorite poem, "Year's End," by Richard Wilbur. Such moments in teaching give me second thoughts about whether I should have gone into law, or plastics. I actually enjoy answering the question: "Why do we have to read this poem?" But more and more, the question has become: "Why do we have to read poetry?" This was essentially Imogene's lament, and it made me feel like a defender of the faith — a solitary English teacher facing the forces of darkness, chaos, and MTV. The resonant literary image, the ordered experience and cadence of the sentence, the counterpoint of the paragraph, and the music of the muse needs preservation — though we may be bloodied in the attempt!
April 8, 2012 |
'Poetry is dead. Long live poetry!" That's my rejoinder to National Poetry Month's seasonal hue and cry - febrile lament of poetry's demise coupled with celebration of its monarchal reign as highest of arts. For poetry lovers this renders April "the cruelest month," as T.S. Eliot observed. Like most poets writing today, I grew up with the notion that poetry is knock, knock, knocking on heaven's door. My teachers, my peers, and many literary journals reminded me that I am merely bloodying my knuckles.
March 16, 2012 |
AT TRADITIONAL poetry events, poets read their written work aloud. But this weekend, Swarthmore College shows that not all poetry is composed in a written language, or even in a language that can be spoken. "Signing Hands Across the Water" is a sign language poetry festival featuring American and British poets who express themselves through movement rather than by speaking. The festival is the work of Rachel Sutton-Spence, a reader in Deaf Studies at Britain's Bristol University and a visiting professor at Swarthmore this year.