Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Sixth Daily Poem Project, Week Eight Call for Votes

THE SIXTH DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK EIGHT

Here are the poems to vote for in the eighth week of the sixth Daily Poem Project (the poems on Poetry Daily from Monday, April 19, to Sunday, April 25):

April 25: A Dozen Rainy-Day Couplets, by Killian O'Donnell
April 24: Montana Sky, by Don Welch (vote only on the first poem)
April 23: Beer, by Lee Upton
April 22: Pseudonarcissus, by Jeff Coughter
April 21: Summer without Summering, by Teresa Cader
April 20: The Golden Shovel, by Terrance Hayes
April 19: The Hammock Knot, by Keith Ratzlaff

HOW TO VOTE: You can send your vote to me by email or as a comment on the blog (or as a comment to my Facebook link to this call for votes). 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 on my blog). If you want to vote anonymously, that's okay, but please choose some sort of pseudonym so I can keep track of different votes by anonymous voters. I will post comments as they come in.

Please make a final decision and vote for only one poem (although it is always interesting to see people's lists).

Please VOTE BY SATURDAY, MAY 1! But I will still accept votes as long as I have not posted the final results (which I will do by Sunday, May 2, at the latest).

Feel free to pass on this call for votes to anyone who might be interested!

The winner of week one was Trick, by Sam Willetts.
The winner of week two was Ecclesiastes, by Khaled Mattawa.
The winner of week three was To a Jornalero Cleaning Out My Neighbor’s Garage, by Eduardo C. Corral.
The winner of week four was In the Men's Room at the Café Provence, by F. D. Reeve.
The winner of week five was The Bus Driver, by Hédi Kaddour, tr. Marilyn Hacker.
The winner of week six was Winter's Tale, by Maxine Kumin.
The winner of week seven was H1N1, by Robyn Schiff.

The Sixth Daily Poem Project, Week Seven Results

THE SIXTH DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK SEVEN RESULTS

The winner of the seventh week of my sixth Daily Poem Project is H1N1, by Robyn Schiff, which received 7 votes out of 20 cast.

In second place with four votes was First It Is Taken Away from Me, by Richard Tillinghast; two poems received three votes each: Losing My Hair, by Wesley McNair, and That Sweet Before Emotion, by John Stammers.

My thanks to everyone who voted. I'll be posting the call for votes for week eight shortly.

The winner of the first week was Trick, by Sam Willetts.
The winner of the second week was Ecclesiastes, by Khaled Mattawa.
The winner of the third week was To a Jornalero Cleaning Out My Neighbor’s Garage, by Eduardo C. Corral.
The winner of the fourth week was In the Men's Room at the Café Provence, by F. D. Reeve.
The winner of the fifth week was The Bus Driver, by Hédi Kaddour, tr. Marilyn Hacker.
The winner of the sixth week was Winter's Tale, by Maxine Kumin.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Sixth Daily Poem Project, Week Seven Call for Votes

THE SIXTH DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK SEVEN

Here are the poems to vote for in the seventh week of the sixth Daily Poem Project (the poems on Poetry Daily from Monday, April 12, to Sunday, April 18):

April 18: Losing My Hair, by Wesley McNair
April 17: First It Is Taken Away from Me, by Richard Tillinghast
April 16: That Sweet Before Emotion, by John Stammers
April 15: That was the mind's wild swarm trapezing from an oak limb, by Carol Frost
April 14: The Spirit of the Lord, by Afzal Ahmed Syed, tr. Musharraf Ali Farooqi (vote only on the first poem)
April 13: The Conquerors, by L. S. Asekoff
April 12: H1N1, by Robyn Schiff

HOW TO VOTE: You can send your vote to me by email or as a comment on the blog (or as a comment to my Facebook link to this call for votes). 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 on my blog). If you want to vote anonymously, that's okay, but please choose some sort of pseudonym so I can keep track of different votes by anonymous voters. I will post comments as they come in.

Please make a final decision and vote for only one poem (although it is always interesting to see people's lists).

Please VOTE BY SATURDAY, APRIL 24! But I will still accept votes as long as I have not posted the final results (which I will do by Sunday, April 25, at the latest).

Feel free to pass on this call for votes to anyone who might be interested!

The winner of week one was Trick, by Sam Willetts.
The winner of week two was Ecclesiastes, by Khaled Mattawa.
The winner of week three was To a Jornalero Cleaning Out My Neighbor’s Garage, by Eduardo C. Corral.
The winner of week four was In the Men's Room at the Café Provence, by F. D. Reeve.
The winner of week five was The Bus Driver, by Hédi Kaddour, tr. Marilyn Hacker.
The winner of week six was Winter's Tale, by Maxine Kumin.

The Sixth Daily Poem Project, Week Six Results

THE SIXTH DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK SIX RESULTS

The winner of the sixth week of my sixth Daily Poem Project is Winter's Tale, by Maxine Kumin, which received 4 votes out of 17 cast.

In the tightest vote yet in this round of DPP, three poems tied for second with 3 votes each: The Burthen of the Mystery Indeed, by Maurice Manning; Fifth Avenue in Early Spring, by Philip Schultz; and The Rain at Sea, by Don Paterson. All the poems received at least one vote.

Am I correct in concluding that the closeness of the vote means that there were many good poems this week?

My thanks to everyone who voted. I'll be posting the call for votes for week seven shortly.

The winner of the first week was Trick, by Sam Willetts.
The winner of the second week was Ecclesiastes, by Khaled Mattawa.
The winner of the third week was To a Jornalero Cleaning Out My Neighbor’s Garage, by Eduardo C. Corral.
The winner of the fourth week was In the Men's Room at the Café Provence, by F. D. Reeve.
The winner of the fifth week was The Bus Driver, by Hédi Kaddour, tr. Marilyn Hacker.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Sixth Daily Poem Project, Week Six Call for Votes

THE SIXTH DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK SIX

Here are the poems to vote for in the sixth week of the sixth Daily Poem Project (the poems on Poetry Daily from Monday, April 5, to Sunday, April 11):

April 11: A Fisheries Scientist And His Father, The Preacher, Gather Salmon , by Peter Munro
April 10: The Burthen of the Mystery Indeed, by Maurice Manning
April 9: Returning to the Land of 1,000 Dances, by Sandra Beasley
April 8: Fifth Avenue in Early Spring, by Philip Schultz (vote only on the first poem)
April 7: The Hereafter, by Andrew Hudgins
April 6: Winter's Tale, by Maxine Kumin
April 5: The Rain at Sea, by Don Paterson

HOW TO VOTE: You can send your vote to me by email or as a comment on the blog (or as a comment to my Facebook link to this call for votes). 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 on my blog). If you want to vote anonymously, that's okay, but please choose some sort of pseudonym so I can keep track of different votes by anonymous voters. I will post comments as they come in.

Please make a final decision and vote for only one poem (although it is always interesting to see people's lists).

Please VOTE BY SATURDAY, APRIL 17! But I will still accept votes as long as I have not posted the final results (which I will do by Sunday, April 18, at the latest).

Feel free to pass on this call for votes to anyone who might be interested!

The winner of week one was Trick, by Sam Willetts.
The winner of week two was Ecclesiastes, by Khaled Mattawa.
The winner of week three was To a Jornalero Cleaning Out My Neighbor’s Garage, by Eduardo C. Corral.
The winner of week four was In the Men's Room at the Café Provence, by F. D. Reeve.
The winner of week five was The Bus Driver, by Hédi Kaddour, tr. Marilyn Hacker.

The Sixth Daily Poem Project, Week Five Results

THE SIXTH DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK FIVE RESULTS

The winner of the fifth week of my sixth Daily Poem Project is The Bus Driver, by Hédi Kaddour, tr. Marilyn Hacker, which received 7 votes out of 19 cast.

In second place with five votes is Some of David's Story, by Robert Hass. This week, two poems did not receive any votes.

My thanks to everyone who voted. I'll be posting the call for votes for week six shortly.

The winner of the first week was Trick, by Sam Willetts.
The winner of the second week was Ecclesiastes, by Khaled Mattawa.
The winner of the third week was To a Jornalero Cleaning Out My Neighbor’s Garage, by Eduardo C. Corral.
The winner of the fourth week was In the Men's Room at the Café Provence, by F. D. Reeve,

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

My Girls

Here's a short poem from Robin Robertson's collection The Wrecking Light:

MY GIRLS

How many times
have I lain alongside them
willing them to sleep
after the same old stories;
face to face, hand in hand,
till they smooth into dream and I can
slip these fingers free
and drift downstairs:
my face a blank,
hands full of deceit.

This one struck me because it so deftly captures the experience of lying down beside a small child who can't fall asleep by herself, complete with the bad conscience of the father who tells his girls that he will stay with them all night even though he knows perfectly well he is lying to them, not beside them.

But something crossed my mind when I read the poem: it describes an experience, but there is a way in which the poem does not become an experience itself. I suspect that those who have not shared the experience Robertson describes will not get that much out of the poem; or rather, they will learn something from the poem, but the poem will not be memorable for them as a poem, but only in terms of its content.

I've recently come to realize that many contemporary poets and readers of poetry don't particularly like this kind of poem: the one that presents an experience but in a sense does not become an experience itself. But I'm perfectly happy with poems like this, which capture a feeling and communicate something about that feeling, even if they don't create a feeling of their own through their shape or the process of reading them.

It may seem as if I am describing Robertson's poem as lacking something, but I am not: to me, it is complete, even if I recognize that there is a perspective from which it might seem lacking.

I better stop trying to make sense here, and just hope that I have made sense to others, even if not to myself. :-)

Safe; At Home; Matter; Returning from Arizona; Apocrypha

Jane Holland's "Safe" (from her collection Camper Van Blues) describes a bit of sex "in the claustrophobic dark of my car," and concludes with a moment of pity for her lover's sperm, "those pilgrims / barrelling / through vast red tunnels / and wormholes":

Poor things, all the while unaware
of the absence of egg
in those entrancing corridors
or how I pull my dress down afterwards
wet-thighed in the darkness;
smiling, replete.

Shortly after I read that poem, I found a description of conception in Don Share's poem "At Home" (from his collection Squandermania):

... where wine

was drunk and semen flooded
the egg which lodged in the uterus

that built the daughter who greeted
the man and the woman here

And as if that were not enough, a few weeks later I read Sinéad Morrissey's "Matter" (from her collection Through the Square Window), which put another spin on the matter:

And though I know, thanks in part to Pasteur—
to his gauze impediments and penchant
for boiling—how you came to enter,
how you came to roll and hiccup and kick
against the windowless dark, feet to my heart
and skull to the pelvic cradle, I still think
of our lovemaking as a kind of door
to wherever you were, waiting in matter ...

And then a few pages later, "Returning from Arizona" concludes:

like longing for weeks to be sick
to prove the baby's taken,
then failing to find a tonic
for another being's foothold in your person.

As if that were not enough, Morrissey's collection also includes the wonderful "Apocrypha," which begins with her conviction, as a ten year old, that she "would never have children // simply by keeping my underwear on / at night-time," before veering off into the startling image of a woman impregnated by a bullet "still wet from the testicle / of a Roundhead Lieutenant // at the Battle of Marston Moor," and concluding:

What hope was underwear now?
If destiny hovered

with green wings and a stained,
indefatigable purpose

over my bedspread,
I, too, would be done for.

I don't want to do anything more with this collection of poems on conception and non-conception than note them here; I was just struck by the coincidence of reading several of them within a few weeks of each other!

[This was, I just noticed, my 1000th post on my blog!]

Monday, April 05, 2010

Leonti at Rockfact, April 10, 2010

Leonti will be playing at Rockfact in Münchenstein on Saturday, April 10. I keep promoting Nadia's shows because she keeps asking me to write more lyrics for her. There will be at least a couple world premieres on Saturday, as far as I know.

The Sixth Daily Poem Project, Week Five Call for Votes

THE SIXTH DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK FIVE

Here are the poems to vote for in the fifth week of the sixth Daily Poem Project (the poems on Poetry Daily from Monday, March 29, to Sunday, April 4):

April 4: According to Seneca, by Gustaf Sobin
April 3: Parable of the Children, by Cynthia Lowen
April 2: Letter to a City Under Siege, by Carolyn Forché
April 1: Strand, by Atsuro Riley
March 31: Some of David's Story, by Robert Hass
March 30: The Bus Driver, by Hédi Kaddour, tr. Marilyn Hacker (vote only on the first poem)
March 29: The Acacia Trees, by Derek Walcott

HOW TO VOTE: You can send your vote to me by email or as a comment on the blog (or as a comment to my Facebook link to this call for votes). 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 on my blog). If you want to vote anonymously, that's okay, but please choose some sort of pseudonym so I can keep track of different votes by anonymous voters. I will post comments as they come in.

Please make a final decision and vote for only one poem (although it is always interesting to see people's lists).

Please VOTE BY FRIDAY, APRIL 9! But I will still accept votes as long as I have not posted the final results (which I will do by Sunday, April 11, at the latest).

Feel free to pass on this call for votes to anyone who might be interested!

The winner of week one was Trick, by Sam Willetts.
The winner of week two was Ecclesiastes, by Khaled Mattawa.
The winner of week three was To a Jornalero Cleaning Out My Neighbor’s Garage, by Eduardo C. Corral.
The winner of week four was In the Men's Room at the Café Provence, by F. D. Reeve.

The Sixth Daily Poem Project, Week Four Results

THE SIXTH DAILY POEM PROJECT, WEEK FOUR RESULTS

The winner of the fourth week of my sixth Daily Poem Project is In the Men's Room at the Café Provence, by F. D. Reeve, which received 5 votes out of 17 cast (with one abstention).

Two poems tied for second place with three votes: Your Family’s Farm, Empty, by Nick Lantz, and Canticle of Assisi Rain, by Jennifer Atkinson. All the poems received at least one vote.

My thanks to everyone who voted. I'll be posting the call for votes for week five shortly.

The winner of the first week was Trick, by Sam Willetts.
The winner of the second week was Ecclesiastes, by Khaled Mattawa.
The winner of the third week was To a Jornalero Cleaning Out My Neighbor’s Garage, by Eduardo C. Corral.