Sunday, April 2, 2017

April: National POETRY Month (video)

Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly;; rapper Vince Staples (

Shakespeare Notebook Found
"Shakespeare Comedies and Tragedies"
(Newser/NBC News Radio) You never know what you're going to see on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow. The things people find buried in their attics are sometimes complete junk and other times breathtakingly valuable. A tiny notebook apparently falls in the latter category, and the appraiser's reaction to it is garnering press. It was brought onto Sunday's show by a descendant of 18th-century antiquarian John Loveday, and the BBC reports it left expert Matthew Haley, head of books and manuscripts at Bonhams, "trembling," as he put it. It's a matchbox-sized notebook titled "Shakespeare: Comedies and Tragedies" that was written "in a 17th-century hand" featuring detailed "scientific, scholarly notes" in Latin. And while it's no van Dyck painting, Loveday estimated its worth at... More

Explore NPR's poetry reviews, interviews, and more (

Explicit! "Prima Donna." Is it "poetry"? No, not likely, except that anything can be. It's vital, meaningful, dramatic, and tells us something about the real world, just like good poetry does.
"April is the cruellest month," T. S. Eliot says in his famous poem "The Waste Land." He was probably referring to the fact that a bad poem can seem like a long and unbearable thing, whereas a good one can be as long as it wants and yet the reader wants more. Think of Coleridge's "Rime of Ancient Mariner," for example. Everyone loves poetry; it's just that not everybody knows it. So here's one of the best:

Finding Emily Dickinson in the power of her poetry
(PBS NewsHour, March 8, 2017) Who was US poet Emily Dickinson? A new exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York takes a closer look at the iconic American cultural figure through her poems and the remnants of her life and finds a less reclusive woman than we thought we knew. Jeffrey Brown reports.

I hate poetry! Reminds me of English 1B and AP classes. Why can't we rap! Woop-woop!

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe. 

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983) via The Poetry Foundation

Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (

...At length did cross an Albatross,
Through the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo!
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white Moon-shine.'
'God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!--
Why look'st thou so?'--With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS. ... More

The Students of Marianne Moore
By Siobhan Phillips (Poetry Foundation)
Reading the ugly history of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, where the poet taught (PF)
Native poetry: The Freedom of Real Apologies
Layli Long Soldier, Krista Tippett (
Layli Long Soldier on what remains of tribal land (Tenille Campbell/
A single voice of integrity and searching can be a window into a whole world. Layli Long Soldier is a writer, a mother, a citizen of the U.S. and of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Her book of poetry, WHEREAS, is an innovative response to the congressional resolution of “Apology to Native Peoples,” which was tucked inside the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. She offers entry points for all -- to events that are not merely about the past and to the freedom real apologies might bring. More

Vince Staples (as heard on NPR, April 2, 2017) "Senorita" WARNING: Explicit! Disturbing imagery from Long Beach City, Los Angeles County, California.

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