The Armistice Century in Poetry

The Armistice Century in Poesy November 11, 2017 Still we find it hard to go Where friendly harmonies can blow. Our songs have been self-punishment Ten decades long, and gray lament. We weary now of wearying And thin-lipped verse is growing thin: The closed-up throat, the furious brow, We might relax if we knew how.…

Poetry Challenges 18 and 19

Unusually, I’m announcing two poetry challenges at once, the first to open September 9th, and the second to open September 23rd. The first challenge is to write a poem that functions both aesthetically and as an interpretation or critical analysis of a character from classical fiction. Any character appearing only in works published before 1923…

The Seer’s Speech: A Free Translation

Then the seer opened her mouth and spake these words, though it seemed to those who heard her that she slept: Now the hosts of the air and of the lower heavens are descending, and at length they gather around us to witness and to watch. And one saith to another and yet another, that…

Wodehouse Makes Fun of Fashionable Poets

From The Saturday Evening Post, Volume 188, comes a short story by P. G. Wodehouse, entitled, The Aunt and the Sluggard. This is 1925. The rise of fascism is occurring in real time, a muddled mush of aspiration, intellectual irresponsibility, and dark intent. Related is the “Life is real, life is earnest,” school of thought…

Poetry Challenge 17 Triolet: Post Thy Poems!

This was interesting. I’ve written triolets before and I ran into the same issue this time. One feels the repeated lines would be more affecting if the poem were sung; on the page, they can seem a bit like dead wood. Perhaps my approach is too straightforward? At any rate, I decided to write several…

Politics are not naturally of any interest to me. I am interested in people and the way they are treated. Right now, hardly anyone in America is being more unfairly treated than Roseanne Barr, a woman I knew practically nothing about until she wrote a tweet that made her persona non grata in her own…