My Latest New Favorite Poet: Roy Scheele

My latest new favorite poet is Roy Scheele. The below poem (from American Life in Poetry: Column 342) is spectacular. The words are woven together so beautifully and the result is a fine fabric of language. This sonnet does what many truly great poems do; take everyday experiences and make them somehow universal.

Woman Feeding Chickens


Her hand is at the feedbag at her waist,
sunk to the wrist in the rustling grain
that nuzzles her fingertips when laced
around a sifting handful. It’s like rain,
like cupping water in your hand, she thinks,
the cracks between the fingers like a sieve,
except that less escapes you through the chinks
when handling grain. She likes to feel it give
beneath her hand’s slow plummet, and the smell,
so rich a fragrance she has never quite
got used to it, under the seeming spell
of the charm of the commonplace. The white
hens bunch and strut, heads cocked, with tilted eyes,
till her hand sweeps out and the small grain flies.

My personal favorite lines:

“It’s like rain,
like cupping water in your hand, she thinks,
the cracks between the fingers like a sieve, …”

What a marvelous comparison!

The full article can be found by clicking here.

Enjoy! ;oD

Jamy

A Little Bit about Frank O’Hara

I was reading an article today on The Poetry Foundation’s website about the 50th Anniversary of Frank O’Hara’s “Lunch Poems” and wanted to share it with all my fellow Bloginistas along with a poem of his of which I am rather fond. I have always loved Mr. O’Hara’s work, and after reading the article and the following poem, I hope you’ll see why.

Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!]

Lana Turner has collapsed!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
LANA TURNER HAS COLLAPSED!
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up

© Frank O’Hara, Lunch Poems, 1964

My favorite line is the last line:
“oh Lana Turner we love you get up”

It evokes emotion, movement, and the sense of what happened in the poem and in real life.

Enjoy! :-D :-D
Jamy

Happy Fourth of July! An Independence Day-Related New Favorite Poet: Barbara Crooker

My latest new favorite poet is Barbara Crooker (from American Life in Poetry: Column 484).

Those of us that can identify writing our names and other words or shapes in the air with sparklers (as children OR adults ;-) ) should feel a certain nostalgia when reading the below piece. The real thing about the poem though, is the almost filigreed fineness of the words themselves.

Sparklers

We’re writing our names with sizzles of light
to celebrate the fourth. I use the loops of cursive,
make a big B like the sloping hills on the west side
of the lake. The rest, little a, r, one small b,
spit and fizz as they scratch the night. On the side
of the shack where we bought them, a handmade sign:
Trailer Full of Sparkles Ahead, and I imagine crazy
chrysanthemums, wheels of fire, glitter bouncing
off metal walls. Here, we keep tracing in tiny
pyrotechnics the letters we were given at birth,
branding them on the air. And though my mother’s
name has been erased now, I write it, too:
a big swooping I, a hissing s, an a that sighs
like her last breath, and then I ring
belle, belle, belle in the sulphuric smoky dark.

My favorite lines:

“And though my mother’s
name has been erased now, I write it, too:
a big swooping I, a hissing s, an a that sighs
like her last breath…”

In them, she lets the reader know, in a certain, special way, that the sparklers help her feel her mother again.

The full article can be found by clicking here.

Enjoy! :-D

Jamy

How Anne Sexton Won the Pulitzer Prize : David Trinidad : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation

A very enlightening yet stinging (for me, that is) article on my poetic idol and the process behind how she won the Pulitzer prize for “Live or Die”.

As far as I am concerned, she did not win it by “default”, for her work is so incendiary, inspirational, and truly masterful, that it was well-deserved. Just read Sylvia’s Death and you’ll see what I mean.

But (as the blog post states so well), it seems that the jury for the 1967 prize was unfocused and unable to come to a true concensus, which in this blogger’s humble (and YES, more than a bit biased in this case) opinion, the end point at which a prize jury should find themselves. Enjoy!

How Anne Sexton Won the Pulitzer Prize : David Trinidad : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation.

:-D

Jamy

Love and commitment are not up for public opinion

My partner of 23 years and I express our deep and heartfelt gratitude to you, LMA, for expressing an opinion that is so spot on! It has nothing to do with politics or what someone else thinks (although it unfortunately seems that others think it is, which is just ludicrous), but simply to do with everyone being just like everyone else!

Love and commitment are not up for public opinion.

Transformations…Poet into Novelist?

Hello Dear Bloginistas,

I would like to know your opinion…

I have several possible fiction ideas I am developing and wanted to know how easy a transition you think it is from Poet to Novelist. This is just about the process of novel-writing, not the process of being published, marketing, etc. That’s a whole other universe! ;-)

Do you think it is a natural progression?

Are there steps that one should take in between (i.e., poems to short stories, then to novels)? Have any of you taken a poem and evolved it into a Short Story / Novel?

Those of you Poets out there in the Blogosphere who have written Novels, what was the experience like?

Let me know your answers to my burning questions in the comments…

Thanks!

Jamy :-D