Def Poetry Jam: Jill Scott

Def Poetry is a TV series on HBO created by Russell Simmons hosted by Mos Def. Usually, famous spoken word poets and/or musicians come on the show. Here is a really good performance by Jill Scott on the show.

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Dean Young Interview #2

Here is an interesting interview from my poet Dean Young.
He mentions that he tries to write every day, despite teaching creative writing at University of Texas at Austin. I found this surprisingly different than what Adrienne Su said when she visited our class, that she can go weeks without writing if she just isn’t able to.
Here is the interview.

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Unemployed Cryptozoologist

I wish it had occured to me before that we could post our own poetry. I don’t write as profusely as Sam, but when I do I really enjoy writing poetry. Anyway, I apologize for the little bit of language in this one but I thought you all could handle it and I wouldn’t mind hearing what anyone thought of it/ what its about.

Unemployed Cryptozoologist
I don’t know just who
Paid you
In the first place
But it seems its time
Voila.
Here’s the finish line
Without fanfare,
Ribbon or rhyme
Expires your Caucus Race

And we’re all losers
In this case
Even those who didn’t run
For the only prize
That we have won
Is the knowledge of what we
Could have done, could have been
The last and saddest
Ornament
In our trophy case

So put away
Your Big Foot casts
Chupacabre shirts
And Yeti masks
Box-up your vampire
Magazines
And Jackelope hairs
Out plastic baggies
Clean
Take out Nessy’s photos
With the trash

For the last stone
Has since been turned
The virgins all raped
Beaten and burned
No longer is there such a place
Where we have not been
Without a boot-print on the face
Or “Fuck-You”
Tatooed
On her skin
– Like Holden’s evidence
That we never learned

So I pray you
Put your “research” down
Join us!
Be yet another sad clown
Paint on that perfect,
Silver tear
For your mother’s fate
That crowds for politicians
Cheer
Until the real ones
Wash it away.

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Posted in Melinda Critzer | 1 Comment

Jorie Graham

Hey guys, I was looking through Graham’s poems and I came across one that greatly interested me. This poem seems to be so intricate and extravagant, however she also adds in everyday, ordinary feelings that we can relate to, such as when she says, “Oh listen to these words I’m spitting out for you./My distance from you makes them louder./Are we all waiting for the phone to ring?”. Let me know how you guys feel about this poem! The link is listed below.

Enjoy!

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-guardian-angel-of-the-private-life/

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Posted in Jaimie Cirillo | 1 Comment

Villanelle

Hey guys, this week in my poetry/creative writing class we were assigned to write Villanelle’s. This assignment was especially hard because a Villanelle has a very specific format. Villanelle’s are 19 lines and usually have an aba format. There needs to be two lines that continuously repeat and come together and the end, and there is a lot of specific rhyme as well. Here is my Villanelle, enjoy! Please feel free to leave any comments/suggestions

thanks

Jaimie Cirillo

“Distance”

Your arms secure me,

your smile reels me in like an overwrought fish on land,

don’t set our embrace free.

Happiness is only found in the word we,

joy is felt in the warm grasp of your hand,

your arms secure me.

Time will not change me,

love is merely a test of the unplanned,

don’t set our embrace free.

Together we travel back to a place of child-like glee,

only concerned with the eccentricity of life we demand,

your arms secure me.

Each time your goodbyes reach me,

I resist becoming accustomed to the loneliness of space so grand,

don’t set our embrace free.

This is not how it should be,

routines are dull and we are animated, not planned,

your arms secure me,

don’t set our embrace free.

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Posted in Jaimie Cirillo | 1 Comment

The Lost Marching Band

Matthea Harvey’s collection of poetry Modern Life never ceases to surprise me with the diversity of verse (or prose, as she is quite fond of prose poetry) within its pages.  I recently found a very odd, but nevertheless entertaining poem entitled “The Lost Marching Band.”  This poem appears to continue with the theme of a dystopian future in Modern Life, by suggesting a world in which marching bands have become almost equivalent to gangs, no longer playing music.  The poem also adds a bit of dry humor, suggesting the marching band’s violent tendencies had progressed to the extent that they would bludgeon wild animals with their instruments.  The poem is both a reiteration of Harvey’s unique verse, and an exercise in satire, as the stereotypical marching band is neither very intimidating, nor is it menacing in the way one would describe a violent gang.  Once again, I implore everyone to check out some of Harvey’s work, as it is truly some of the most unique poetry I have had the pleasure of reading.

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Here, Bullet

I recently found this article, and remembered touching upon the subject briefly in class.  It is about a reading that Iraq War veteran and published poet, Brian Turner, gave at Macon State University in honor of Veteran’s Day.  Turner read poems from his latest collection, which has received a great deal of critical acclaim, Here, Bullet. Aside from highlighting the reading, the article also interviewed students and faculty about their impressions of Turner and his latest collection.  I believe this may also give some insight to a frequent class discussion topic of ours, that being whether experience facilitates great writing, or whether it is negligible to the overall quality of the product.



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“Incision” by Jillian Weise

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/journal/videoitem.html?id=151

In my personal opinion, I did not think that this video of the poem “Incision” by Jillian Weise properly captured the intended emotion and tone for the poem. This video gave the poem a depressing, almost sinister tone, and honestly scared me. I had to watch the video twice to really listen to the poem and figure out for myself how the speaker really felt about the incision made. This video seemed to make everyone except the speaker into an enemy who was simply curious about the scar on the speaker’s back. I think that the sound effects used in the video were unnecessary and detracted from the intended tone of the poem. However, the poet did read the poem in a way that fit with the tone portrayed in the video.

Comments on this are welcome!

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Posted in Danielle Erickson | 2 Comments

“Halo” by Melissa Stein

Melissa Stein’s poem “Halo” is the first poem that I’ve read by her with the topic of death. Stein’s poetry usually somehow incorporates life into it, as she usually uses many images of nature. However, in this poem, Stein beautifully describes a dying body and investigates what is happening to the woman’s soul. Stein once again succeeds in creating a strong image by descriptions such as “A swirl of it: a stain, like cinnamon: / that’s how it was, at the base /of her skull,” and “They say the soul /lifts from the body; that it takes wing /from sullied matter, a perfumed storm, /petals and light.” Stein talks about the difference between the soul and the body, and describes the body without the soul as belonging to the earth. A last interesting aspect of this poem is the last two lines, in which Stein describes the quiet after the woman takes her last breath. She describes it saying: “Then a quiet that was more than quiet, /a listening that itself became like noise.” Perhaps in the last line she is referencing all the thoughts and panic that come to mind when the person is finally gone.

To read the poem, follow the link below:

http://www.versedaily.org/2010/halo.shtml

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MIT and…poetry?

I saw this column on the HuffingtonPost website and found it interesting. The article links to an editorial in the MIT student newspaper about how MIT is cutting its adanced poetry class. I found the editorial interesting because MIT is ,of course, a mostly specialized scientific school and not a liberal arts school.

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Posted in Jeff Rothenberg | 1 Comment

one hundred megawatts of butter

Butter by Elizabeth Alexander tells the story of a loving family consuming loads of butter.  It is an enjoyable read and it contains one of my new favorite line ” one hundred megawatts of butter”

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Posted in Brian Milstein | 2 Comments

i went fishing with my family when i was five by tao lin

This poem is pretty cool and it’s got tao’s trademark strangeness.  It took me a lot of effort to sit through the whole thing but you definitely should.  It is well worth it.

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Posted in Brian Milstein | 2 Comments

Interview with Dean Young

Here is an interview with my favorite poet, Dean Young. Young talks about the kinds of poetry he writes, as well as the way he goes about writing his poetry.

http://earthgoat.blogspot.com/2005/04/dean-young-interview.html

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“Romanticism” by David Baker

Here’s a link to the poem “Romanticism” by my favorite poet:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=175835

I love when poets discuss other poets; you can discover a lot more than you expected to learn that way. Baker refers to Emerson in “Romanticism” and although the story he tells is most likely fabricated with some facts interspersed, it is still a harrowing and effective poem.

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Samuel Chelpka meets his hero Billy Collins

I can’t remember if we discussed this story in class or not, but I thought you all might enjoy the story on NPR:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131192480

Listen all the way to the end, Collins comments on exactly how profound it is for his poem to find its way into the heart of a three-year-old.

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Posted in Natalie Sagara, Uncategorized | 1 Comment