An epicure dining at Crewe…

September 19, 2016

a-mouse-in-stew

An epicure dining at Crewe
Found a rather large mouse in his stew.
Cried the waiter, ‘Don’t shout
And wave it about
Or the rest will be wanting one too.

Anon

The Cats Will Know

September 19, 2016

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Rain will fall again
on your smooth pavement,
a light rain like
a breath or a step.
The breeze and the dawn
will flourish again
when you return,
as if beneath your step.
Between flowers and sills
the cats will know.

There will be other days,
there will be other voices.
You will smile alone.
The cats will know.
You will hear words
old and spent and useless
like costumes left over
from yesterday’s parties.

You too will make gestures.
You’ll answer with words—
face of springtime,
you too will make gestures.

The cats will know,
face of springtime;
and the light rain
and the hyacinth dawn
that wrench the heart of him
who hopes no more for you—
they are the sad smile
you smile by yourself.

There will be other days,
other voices and renewals.
Face of springtime,
we will suffer at daybreak.

Cesare Pavese
Trans. Geoffrey Brock

Balmy…

September 19, 2016

saturday

He’s balmy!
He’s nutty!
He’s batty!
He’s dippy!
He’s dotty!
He’s daffy!
He’s goofy!
He’s beany!
He’s buggy!
He’s wacky!
He’s loony!

Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Words created equally…

September 19, 2016

hunting-birds-at-night-jean-francois-millet

The twenty-first century, with its queries so different than that of the last, finds me responding from another angle. If it’s a matter of simply cutting and pasting the entire internet into a Microsoft Word document, then what becomes important is what you – the author – decides to choose. Success lies in knowing what to include and – more important – what to leave out. If all language can be transformed into poetry by merely reframing – an exciting possibility – then s/he who reframes words in the most charged and convincing way will be judged as the best. I agree that the moment we throw judgment and quality out the window, we’re in trouble. Democracy is fine for YouTube, but it’s generally a recipe for disaster when it comes to art. While all words may be created equal – and treated thusly – the way in which they’re assembled isn’t; it’s impossible to suspend judgment and folly to dismiss quality. Mimesis and replication doesn’t eradicate authorship, rather it simply places new demands on authors who must take these new conditions into account as part and parcel of the landscape when conceiving of a work of art: if you don’t want it copied, don’t put it online!

Kenneth Goldsmith
The Challenges of Twenty-First Century Writing

contemporary women poets…

September 19, 2016

giovanni_boldini_sulla_panchina_al_boism

The historical problem is that contemporary women poets do not have a long and powerful female formal tradition to rebel against. The only women’s poetic tradition that has been influential during out century is the free-verse tradition that followed on Modernism. Dickinson is an anomaly, influential only because of her perceived affinities with nonformal Modernist and postmodernist poetics. Women poets who are drawn to palpable structures and who identify with female traditions must look away from the handful of canonically accepted female poets in the search for our foremothers. Writing in form is for us not a matter of going back to the past, reasserting an archaic power structure, meekly treading on territory already claimed by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth.

Annie Finch
Female Tradition as Feminist Innovation