Monday, April 09, 2007

DPP2

THE DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK TWO

Here are the poems to vote for in week two of my Daily Poem Project (the poems on Poetry Daily from Monday, April 2, to Sunday, April 8):

8. Monday, April 2: Penelope Shuttle, "Dukedom"
9. Tuesday, April 3: Grace Schulman, "The Fifth of July"
10. Wednesday, April 4: Christopher Bakken, "Portrait Detail, with Pear"
11. Thursday, April 5: C. D. Wright, "Dear night dear shade dear executioner"
12. Friday, April 6: Elizabeth Bradfield, "Industry"
13. Saturday, April 7: Paul Zimmer, "Suck It Up"
14. Sunday, April 8: Tom Sleigh, "Blueprint"

The Rules:

You can send your vote to me by email or as a comment on the blog. If you want to vote by commenting but do not want your vote to appear on the blog, you just have to say so in your comment (I moderate all comments). In any case, I will not post the comments until after the final vote is in (secret ballot). Please vote by the number of the poem in the list below! Please make a final decision and vote for only one poem! Please VOTE BY THURSDAY, APRIL 12!

(If you are planning to keep voting for the next few months, then you can always read the poems each day they appear!)

You can see the Week One results here.

8 comments:

Bruce Loebrich said...

Here's my ranked list (my favorite is at the top):

13. Saturday, April 7: Paul Zimmer, "Suck It Up"
10. Wednesday, April 4: Christopher Bakken, "Portrait Detail, with Pear"
14. Sunday, April 8: Tom Sleigh, "Blueprint"
12. Friday, April 6: Elizabeth Bradfield, "Industry"
8. Monday, April 2: Penelope Shuttle, "Dukedom"
11. Thursday, April 5: C. D. Wright, "Dear night dear shade dear executioner"
9. Tuesday, April 3: Grace Schulman, "The Fifth of July"

Anonymous said...

Vote: Bakken, pear poem

Anonymous said...

Dear night dear shade gets my vote.

- Cyril

Anonymous said...

#8, Dukedom, is the only one that truly caught my interest this week. Among other things, its odd vocabulary is very appealing, with its frequent surprises.

-- dhsh

Donald Brown said...

It seems the order of the day this week is to write poems as clear as good prose, as Pound advocated. The only problem with that: it doesn't make for particularly exciting poems, in this case. Examples are Shulman ("Fifth of July"), Bakken ("Portrait Detail"), Bradfield ("Industry"), Zimmer ("Suck It Up"). The others try something else: Shuttle ("Dukedom"), Wright ("Dear night"), Sleigh ("Blueprint"). My top three consists of Bakken, Bradfield and Sleigh.

Shulman loses out for some clunky enjambments and (drum roll please) "bayberry candles / of uncertainty." I really think this sort of thing would be flagged in a beginner's course, but when you've published lots and won awards and all that, you can be as bad as you want, apparently.

Zimmer is basically prose and, what's more, prosaic. That's the way he writes, and he's good at how he writes, but it never stands out for me beyond what a short story would do (I want poetry to be something else).

Shuttle tries something else, but just doesn't know when to stop. It's overlong, redundant, repetitious, finally precious. It didn't have to be. At least it is imaginative use of language (at times) but with some clunkers as well: "he ravels me into his dukedom's conchology"...

Wright also tries something else. One-liner poetry. "No condoms for the heart" -- and that's not even the worse line. The worse line is "for what's worth" as introductory clause to the stats on kids and guns. Rhetorically it's pointless in a poem that is trying to be streamlined and it also, I think, cracks the facade of the poem, I don't think deliberately.

Bradfield's is just an ok little poem but because it doesn't try to inflate itself it doesn't do the pretentious stuff that others here do. And it's a bit more "interesting" (as in unusual) than Zimmer's slice of life.

Sleigh almost wins, for me, for pulling out an ending that works after almost ruining it with his weak re-cap of a Homeric moment; the fact that he comments on its ineffectiveness and makes that a way of getting somewhere else indicates some very real poetic strengths. But it's still too much in the "welcome to my head" genre.

So Bakken wins for actually having a subject and rendering it well and just making us think about it in a way we might not otherwise. For me, poetry is all about "as if" and Bakken writes "as if" that portrait detail were simply waiting for a poem to notice it. And despite it's fidelity to form, the poem is as clear as good prose.

Jonathan said...

14.

SarahJane said...

Hi there -
I vote for "Dukedom." "Portrait Detail with Pear" was a very close second, but I went for the spirit of "Dukedom." The CD Wright poem would be third for me.
enjoyed reading those - there's something to learn everywhere.
best, sarah

Felix said...

My vote goes to Elizabeth Bradfield. "Industry" is a subtle meditation on alienation from the process and product of work and, possibly, on the writing of poetry.