In Poetry on October 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm
This poem, written in couplets, contains every word from the Oxford English Dictionary cloud of words which first appeared in Chaucer’s writing.
Praise this poetical monster, the magician Chaucer,
Over the crude and caterwauling dotards
Who, insolent and annoying, amble fattishly,
Blocking past from future possibility.
They twitter on, their work an endless proem,
Lacking the poignant misery of a poem;
The only thing they agree on is altercation,
The pinhead’s angel-like enumeration,
Or worse, they fashion melancholic proverbs
on womanhood, or praise the jolliness of poppets
In notes of maudlin intellectuality,
Each unconvincing word said superstitiously.
No, every fleshy dalliance should be praised,
Wantonly outshine the Milky Way,
An ablution, each nymph narcotic, never sluttish,
Her femininity earthy, my enchantress;
Each good-night be Valentine’s day.
In Federico Garcia Lorca, Poema del Cante Jondo, Poets on June 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm
Federico Garcia Lorca
Federico García Lorca is one of my favorite poets. I even followed his ghost to his city, Granada, Spain. There, I lived with my wife and a guitarist friend, in a cave in the Gypsy part of town Lorca visited so often while he lived, the Sacromonte.
On the occasion of his birthday, here is my translation of his poem, “La Guitarra,” which was used by Yale Prof. María Rosa Menocal in her lecture and monograph, “Poetry As An Act of History.” (She is also the author of the extraordinary book, “The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Christians, and Jews Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain,” which I recommend without reservation.) Read the rest of this entry »
In Bob Folder, Dream Teens, Poetry, Superintelligent sea cucumbers on April 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm
Employing the literary archaeological technique of musico-textual analysis, the Center for Folderian Studies has reconstructed a lost poem by the master-poet Bob Folder. Among the poems lost in the infamous Max’s Bob Folder Folder Incident, this poem has been resurrected from a Dream Teens song that used his words for lyrics. (Listen to the song here.)
There was some contention as to whether the song’s lyrics come from a single poem or are the result of merging several together. Dr. Taylor said he believed the lyrics to come from a single poem with the LBaB reference being a list item; this led me to speculate that TtA was also perhaps a list item. Research is ongoing.
Read the poem after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
In Poetry on December 16, 2010 at 1:30 am
Once the Temple at Sinai stood fixed in my mind in the shimmering heat
Of the white desert in the stillness of midday. No figure
Marred the emptiness, no bird broke the held breath
Of the sky. The Temple stood silent in the midst of silence. Read the rest of this entry »
In Poetry, Publications on October 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm
Protestpoems.org has published three of my poems, The Burning City, A Dream of New York and House of War.
The editor, Richard, said it was the first time they featured three poems from the same poet at once, so it’s quite an honor.
In Poetry, Publications, Translations on October 11, 2010 at 2:01 am
By Rainer Maria Rilke (Herbsttag)
Trans. Curt Hopkins
Lord, it is time. The summer was enormous.
Lay your shadows down upon the sundials,
And cast loose the winds upon the meadows.
Command the last remaining fruits to ripen,
Give them just two more southerly days,
Press them toward their resolution, chase
The last sweetness into the strong wine.
Anyone who has no house now will not build one,
Anyone alone will remain alone for a long time,
Shall watch and read and write long letters
And will wander aimlessly down the lanes
In vague disquiet when the leaves fall.
In Poetry, Publications on July 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm
Three more of my poems have recently been published. This last year I’ve been on something of a roll, it feels like.
A New Jerusalem. Rhythm, a well-regarded Canadian magazine devoted to metrical verse, was good enough to publish this sonnet of mine.
Return of American Monster. (page 39) A poem I wrote at and about the end of my long European journey has been published in the Alaska-based online magazine Cirque, an innovative online publication that is really easy to read and very sharp. It must look great on an e-reader or iPad.
Autumn Day. My translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, “Herbsttag” has been published by the Oregon literary magazine Perceptions. The handsome book is a broad, white vellum-feeling publication with a cut-out cover. There is no online version of the magazine, so I will post the poem on my blog when a reasonable amount of time has passed.
In Poetry on February 12, 2010 at 4:26 pm
This has been the worst year or two economically I have experienced since I was born. (And I was born some time ago.) But the administrative elements of the poetry industry have not, so far as I have noticed, reacted with the kind of empathy and concern that the rest of the world has. Some consider poetry to be above and beyond the petty concerns of the world. They are wrong. Poetry falters the farther away it strays from the reality and the blood of lived life. I would like to ask the administrators of poetry contests to address that. Read the rest of this entry »
In Poetry on October 31, 2009 at 2:17 am
Because I am still in the process of publishing my poetry – sonnets, lyric poems, translations – in other people’s magazines, including online publications, I have deleted all the poems I could find that I’ve posted here. The posts I’ve written announcing publications and linking to them I’ve kept. Posts about poetry I have also retained. Finally, I’ve kept those poems by the greatest poet the world has ever known, Bob Folder. Read the rest of this entry »
In Poetry, Publications on October 5, 2009 at 9:53 pm
The ladies and gentlemen of Full of Crow have published my sonnet, “Our ship shivers and splits on black rocks,” in their latest issue. Marvel at it, why don’t you?