Sunday, May 20, 2007

DPP8

THE DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK EIGHT

Here are the poems to vote for in week eight of my Daily Poem Project (the poems on Poetry Daily from Monday, May 14, to Sunday, May 20):

50. O my pa-pa, by Bob Hicok
51. Pan , by Stuart Dybek
52. Selected Exercises in Case Law II, by Cathrine Grøndahl / tr. Roger Greenwald
53. The War President's Afternoon Tea, by John Gallaher
54. Obit, by David Lehman
55. Eve's Awakening, by Reginald Shepherd
56. Corpus Hermeticum, by Eric Pankey

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). You may vote by the title, the author's name, or the number of the poem in the list above. Please make a final decision and vote for only one poem (although it is always interesting to see people's lists). Please VOTE BY THURSDAY, MAY 24!

Abstaining: If you read the poems but decide that there is no poem that you want to vote for, I would be interested to know that you decided to abstain.

Week 7 results are here. The results of previous weeks are summarized in the post about the week 6 results.

9 comments:

Donald Brown said...

If I were to title my comments it would be something like: Why I Do Not Read Poetry Mags. This is the worst week yet. Dismal, disheartening, even. For some reason I have the idea that a poem, whatever it may be about, is also "about" command of language. Doing something interesting with it. Also, that, whatever the subject matter, one avoids clichés, the predictable, the banal, and -- one tries to at least -- the bathetic and sentimental. Somewhere between my standards and those of Hallmark Cards resides the world of poetry magazines . . . and Poetry Daily.

This harangue is mainly against #50, Hickok, and #52, Grøndahl (the latter is a translation and that may be the problem, language-wise, but in terms of content it's clichéd treatment of a cliché -- gee, does that make it postmodern?; the former takes issue with all those awful "Dad" poems and then proceeds to write one as bad as one would expect, or worse).

Those are the worst offenders, but they manage to contaminate the rest. For instance, Dybek (#51, "Pan") -- clearly he knows how to write and work a line, but I'm underwhelmed by the paucity of imagination here, by something "school-teacherish" about it (yes, I know, most people who publish poems probably teach in some capacity, therein may lie the problem, but I won't go there).

The last four lines of Gallaher's dubya-bash say all that needs to be said, the rest, I guess, sets us up for it, but, "Now watch me make this shot" -- fish in a barrel, John, y'know? "Obit," Lehman's (#54) coulda been ok without that "hard-hitting" ending. Spare me a pundit's obit on the 20th century. Talk about belated! Are we done yet? No, #55, a Creation myth for the "new Eve"? Talk about 20th century! Zzzzz.

So, finally, my vote: #56, "Corpus Hermeticum" -- Eric Pankey. "A year, but only a day or two recalled, / And then only piecemeal: / a fallow field / Winter-dulled, a lean horse / Subsumed in fog". If it looks like a poem and sounds like a poem, it must be a poem! One for the week. Not great, but, hell, the thrice-great Hermes might not be utterly offended. And "a contingent cosmology" -- nice. I mean, what other kind of cosmology could there be, these days....

Anonymous said...

Bob Hicok for me.

- Cyril Wong

Anonymous said...

I vote for "Eve's Awakening" by R. Shepherd. If that poem wasn't included in the week's work, I would have abstained. Voice and rhythms are astounding in Shepherd's work, and the other poems sound so much weaker.

Thanks.

Bruno Navasky said...

My vote is for Reginald Shepherd, although I laughed out loud at Hicok's poem about the shrub.

Bruno said...

Sorry, lost a line there -- I laughed out loud reading Hicok's "O my pa-pa" and Gallaher's poem about the shrub.

OUTSIDE the LINES: Contemporary Gay Poets said...

I'd like to vote for Reginald Shepherd's poem.

SarahJane said...

Pankey
(then Pan).

Felix said...

My vote goes to Eric Pankey. "Corpus Hermeticum" is a poem on nature, on the difficulty of writing a nature poem, but also--as the title suggests--on the difficulty of reading and understanding poetry. Still, Pankey is not merely self-reflective, but evokes a powerful series of images.

Bruce Loebrich said...

Here's my ranked list:

55. Eve's Awakening, by Reginald Shepherd
56. Corpus Hermeticum, by Eric Pankey
54. Obit, by David Lehman
53. The War President's Afternoon Tea, by John Gallaher
52. Selected Exercises in Case Law II, by Cathrine Grøndahl / tr. Roger Greenwald
50. O my pa-pa, by Bob Hicok
51. Pan , by Stuart Dybek