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Old 04-18-2015, 07:19 AM   #126
greenmountaineer
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Ezra Pound

Below is an excerpt from Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac" about Ezra Pound.

To be honest, his poetry doesn't much appeal to me, but I think he did more to shape modern poetry, in the west at least, than anyone else.

"It was on this day in 1958 that the U.S. Government dropped its treason charges against the poet Ezra Pound.

Pound had been arrested in 1945 because of speeches he had been delivering on Italian radio, in which he praised Mussolini and fascism, and criticized American policy. He was extremely anti-Semitic, blaming the world's problem's on the Jews. He practiced each speech before he delivered it, and he used various down-home American voices for each of them — he might be folksy one broadcast, speak in a drawl the next, and in a nasal Boston accent for the third. He kept careful notes of each broadcast and his performance — for one, he wrote: "Excellent delivery last night. Voice absolutely clear and every word 'visible,' except for a few Orful KRRumpzzz! of static or atmospheric or whatever that BLITZED out a few phrases." He continued with his speeches even after the United States joined World War II in December of 1941, so it was at that point that his work became not just offensive but treasonous.

After his arrest, Pound was extradited to the United States and committed to a federal asylum, St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Over his 13 year confinement Pound was visited by an odd combination of white supremacists who admired his politics, and distinguished American writers who admired his poetry or his history of generosity to other artists, among them Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Thornton Wilder, Randall Jarrell, Katherine Anne Porter, and T.S. Eliot.

Ernest Hemingway wrote to his friend Archibald MacLeish, who was campaigning for Pound's release: "Thanks for sending the stats of Ezra's rantings. He is obviously crazy. I think you might prove he was crazy as far back as the latter Cantos. He deserves punishment and disgrace but what he really deserves most is ridicule. He should not be hanged and he should not be made a martyr of. He has a long history of generosity and unselfish aid to other artists and he is one of the greatest living poets. It is impossible to believe that anyone in his right mind could utter the vile, absolutely idiotic drivel he has broadcast. His friends who knew him and who watched the warping and twisting and decay of his mind and his judgement should defend him and explain him on that basis. It will be a completely unpopular but an absolutely necessary thing to do."

Writers and the media pressured the government to release Pound, and on April 14th, 1958, a motion was filed for dismissal of Pound's indictment. Among the statements was one by Robert Frost, who wrote: "None of us can bear the disgrace of our letting Ezra Pound come to his end where he is. It would leave too woeful a story in American literature." On this day in 1958, the government agreed to dismiss the indictment against Pound, and the 72-year-old poet was released. He returned to Italy, where he spent the rest of his life."


I don't think he was as crazy as apparently Hemingway thought he was. While he was at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital, Pound was interviewed by a Jewish American poet (I believe it was Howard Nemerov) during which Pound chastised himself for his "suburban anti-Semitism." At least he was remorseful. I think he was much more ego-maniacal than psychotic.

Here's a poem I wrote once about him if anyone's interested:

A Pound of Flesh

3 June 1945
Pisa, Italy


Sunburnt in my traitor cage
the occupying army made,
I cursed the family radio
World War II had listened to.

But in pellucid moments
I liked that pissant cage
where I wrote my Cantos.

And even in the outdoor loo
my guard of honor noticed
holding his proboscis
how I scribbled on the can

squatting in the Pisan sun,
making jurisprudence, noses,
and perhaps the hangman wait.
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Old 04-18-2015, 01:50 PM   #127
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I'm very fond of that poem. Some great phrasing, and cleverly worked. A fitting homage, I think.

Personally, I've always thought of Pound as the Salvador Dali of poetry--undeniably talented and revolutionary, but with a ferocity of personality and a knack for the flamboyant that sometimes stole press from his ability. Just as Dali was more than a lobster and a mustache, Ezra is more than a stay in a psych ward and a fondness for dictators.
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Old 04-18-2015, 02:16 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMoveableBeast View Post
I'm very fond of that poem. Some great phrasing, and cleverly worked. A fitting homage, I think.

Personally, I've always thought of Pound as the Salvador Dali of poetry--undeniably talented and revolutionary, but with a ferocity of personality and a knack for the flamboyant that sometimes stole press from his ability. Just as Dali was more than a lobster and a mustache, Ezra is more than a stay in a psych ward and a fondness for dictators.
He certainly was a good teacher as was Lit's own 1201 who seems to have moved on but left Pound's words of wisdom in the form of the hyperlink that follows before he left:


http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poet...ne/article/335

maybe the best primer on how to write poetry that I've ever read, Imagiste or not.
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:51 PM   #129
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Georgie's Last Gag

I did that "Stuff" bit so many times,
I coulda played Timbuktu with it
but always to the back of the room
where all my improv buddies were.

And then there was that bit about God,
how I worshipped the sun instead,
but all that was was a setup, Man,
to worship Joe Pesci who gets things done.

Ain't nothin' but blue haired ladies now
in ICU with Norman or Fred,
doctors too young to recall
Hippy Dippy Weatherman,

and last but not least, ladies and germs,
a brick shithouse nurse midnight shift
who gives a big hand for George Carlin
to sit in a chair with a hole in it.

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Old 04-24-2015, 11:16 PM   #130
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Mary Clancy Disembarked

To her surprise, it didn't sparkle.
The river, buildings, and sky were all gray
she saw from the deck wrapped in her shawl,
recounting four burials at sea:
A Clancy from Sligo, stranger to her,
the Murphy's, stubborn, too old to travel,
and one of the unchristened twins,
"May God rest its soul," she said.

On streets of gold, she looked for bread
an old man offered to her for free
from a pushcart in a dark alley
whereupon she draped her shawl
over breasts like Mr. Magee
taught all the girls at the hedge school to do
and from whom she studied her letters
as well as the Virgin Mary

she prayed to when her brother Joe
was laid out on the table
Mary was told to keep vigil for
because her mother went insane
Father's stinky whiskey breath said
from bars still open at 1:00 am
when Sean Kilpatrick stumbled in
and thought Mary Clancy was keen.

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Old 04-26-2015, 12:23 PM   #131
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But Don't We All Exceed Our Grasp?

Dick reaches for his second Bud
expanding his spandex shorts
while the rest of his skin burns in Cancún
that otherwise Monday through Friday
shivers in a Subaru
in what seems like eight days a week.

Jane is bubble gum pink,
but for her micro bikini,
chewing ice in a sloe gin fizz,
having escaped Kalamazoo
for five days on a Carnival cruise
and the double wide life therein.

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Old 05-01-2015, 04:57 PM   #132
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......

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Old 05-02-2015, 07:47 PM   #133
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Mad Men

We live on rectangular streets
in rectangular houses
with a rectangular color TV
we watch in our bedrooms underneath
seven by seven twin size sheets
with three more feet of space in between
to get a fitful night's sleep
before we go to the office
to sit in rectangular seats
beneath rectangular desks therein.

We're into the office by nine.
We're into our bosses knee deep
until six o' clock for the six fifteen
train that takes us to New Rochelle
ever since Faust decided to sell
his soul to Mephistopheles.

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Old 05-02-2015, 08:07 PM   #134
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I really love the last stanza, especially the lines:

"until six o' clock for the six fifteen
train that takes us to New Rochelle
ever since Faust decided to sell
his soul to Mephistopheles
."

But also the lines:

"with a rectangular color TV
we watch in our bedrooms underneath
seven by seven twin size sheets
with three more feet of space in between"

I don't know if you did it consciously, but your poem has the feel of Malvina Reynolds' song Little Boxes. I have the feeling you probably know it.

Another lovely one, gm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Mad Men

We live on rectangular streets
in rectangular houses
with a rectangular color TV
we watch in our bedrooms underneath
seven by seven twin size sheets
with three more feet of space in between
to get a fitful night's sleep
before we go to the office
to sit in rectangular seats
beneath rectangular desks therein.

We're into the office by nine.
We're into our bosses knee deep
until six o' clock for the six fifteen
train that takes us to New Rochelle
ever since Faust decided to sell
his soul to Mephistopheles.
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:34 AM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
He certainly was a good teacher as was Lit's own 1201 who seems to have moved on but left Pound's words of wisdom in the form of the hyperlink that follows before he left:


http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poet...ne/article/335

maybe the best primer on how to write poetry that I've ever read, Imagiste or not.
that article needs to be a sticky - for the benefit of us all to refer back to, not just those new to writing poetry.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:46 AM   #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
I really love the last stanza, especially the lines:

"until six o' clock for the six fifteen
train that takes us to New Rochelle
ever since Faust decided to sell
his soul to Mephistopheles
."

But also the lines:

"with a rectangular color TV
we watch in our bedrooms underneath
seven by seven twin size sheets
with three more feet of space in between"

I don't know if you did it consciously, but your poem has the feel of Malvina Reynolds' song Little Boxes. I have the feeling you probably know it.

Another lovely one, gm...
Thanks, leger (for you Anglophones, that's "luh-jay"LOL) I was unfamiliar with "Little Boxes," enjoyed reading it, and, yes, there certainly are similarities. My wife grew up in New Rochelle, NY, home to many who worked in advertising and have been portrayed in the TV series, although I'd like to think "Mad Men" in the title went beyond that in the poem.

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Old 05-03-2015, 07:53 AM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
He certainly was a good teacher as was Lit's own 1201 who seems to have moved on but left Pound's words of wisdom in the form of the hyperlink that follows before he left:


http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poet...ne/article/335

maybe the best primer on how to write poetry that I've ever read, Imagiste or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
that article needs to be a sticky - for the benefit of us all to refer back to, not just those new to writing poetry.
I wouldn't know how that gets done, butters. I often wondered why I haven't seen a thread entitled "Tricks of the Trade," or something like that. Through the years there have been talented poets on Lit who have developed an inventory of poetic devices we all can learn from.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:16 AM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
that article needs to be a sticky - for the benefit of us all to refer back to, not just those new to writing poetry.
I agree, but somehow for a slightly different reason.
It is a sticky on which we should debate.
Thanks to 1201 for leaving it with us and to GM for reviving it.

Just a brief example:

Don’t imagine that the art of poetry is any simpler than the art of music, or that you can please the expert before you have spent at least as much effort on the art of verse as the average piano teacher spends on the art of music.


I don't think that the choice of a piano teacher is very fortunate if one wants to illustrate the difference between two creative artists of similar yet different disciplines. A piano teacher is a money-earning professional, and under this capacity he/she is hardly creative.
A composer versus poet would be a more appropriate example imo.

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Old 05-04-2015, 06:36 PM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
I wouldn't know how that gets done, butters. I often wondered why I haven't seen a thread entitled "Tricks of the Trade," or something like that. Through the years there have been talented poets on Lit who have developed an inventory of poetic devices we all can learn from.
oh, we don't get to create stickies - only mods/admin can do that. new threads can, however, be created. i'm unsure as to whether that specific article could be quoted in its entirety: is it now considered 'public domain', given its author and timeline?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pelegrino View Post
I agree, but somehow for a slightly different reason.
It is a sticky on which we should debate.
Thanks to 1201 for leaving it with us and to GM for reviving it.

Just a brief example:

Don’t imagine that the art of poetry is any simpler than the art of music, or that you can please the expert before you have spent at least as much effort on the art of verse as the average piano teacher spends on the art of music.


I don't think that the choice of a piano teacher is very fortunate if one wants to illustrate the difference between two creative artists of similar yet different disciplines. A piano teacher is a money-earning professional, and under this capacity he/she is hardly creative.
A composer versus poet would be a more appropriate example imo.
why not start the thread, pel? it's certainly full of points worthy of debate and i think 12 would feel that in itself would be a step forward.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:32 PM   #140
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Church Service

"Dearly Beloved," the sermon began
that sounded like a funeral mass,
except for the Reader's Digest joke.

The priest and I were counting sheep
when suddenly, I'll call him Johnny,
whom we once called mongoloid,
sneezed an ugly display of need
that dangled from his nose

whereupon, let's call her Helen,
whom altar boys would go to war for,
looked in her purse when a blue haired lady
looked at Johnny like venial sin.

I saw what love was Sunday
in a wad of Kleenexes
during my silent moment of squee
while Johnny was wiping his nose.

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Old 05-04-2015, 07:47 PM   #141
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I adore this poem. One of my favorites. It brushes suited shoulders with so many things, but stays three pieces away from skin. It has this geometric property, skirting Eucledian mathematics and Algebraic equations where A type squared does not equal the angle of happiness.

I wanted more, but perhaps that is the nature of such men, to make promises they never fulfill and to remain perfectly unattainable in their Armani mysteries.

Regardless, it is a fine work. One that I think could handle more weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Mad Men

We live on rectangular streets
in rectangular houses
with a rectangular color TV
we watch in our bedrooms underneath
seven by seven twin size sheets
with three more feet of space in between
to get a fitful night's sleep
before we go to the office
to sit in rectangular seats
beneath rectangular desks therein.

We're into the office by nine.
We're into our bosses knee deep
until six o' clock for the six fifteen
train that takes us to New Rochelle
ever since Faust decided to sell
his soul to Mephistopheles.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:00 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMoveableBeast View Post
I adore this poem. One of my favorites. It brushes suited shoulders with so many things, but stays three pieces away from skin. It has this geometric property, skirting Eucledian mathematics and Algebraic equations where A type squared does not equal the angle of happiness.
.....
I thought you claimed not to be good with numbers ?!?

In addition to loving the poem, as I said earlier, I also love poetically-written poetic criticism.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:32 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Thanks, leger (for you Anglophones, that's "luh-jay"LOL) I was unfamiliar with "Little Boxes," enjoyed reading it, and, yes, there certainly are similarities. My wife grew up in New Rochelle, NY, home to many who worked in advertising and have been portrayed in the TV series, although I'd like to think "Mad Men" in the title went beyond that in the poem.
"Little Boxes" was used as the opening song for the series Weeds. The show used many different covers of the song and I quite liked a few of them. Give it a YouTube search when you have a few minutes GM. Leger making note of the similarities made me hear Mad Men in a different tone/voice and has made me think about how much the tone of voice we "hear" a piece in influences our like or dislike of a piece.

Hmm, I think I feel a new voice thread coming on...
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:09 AM   #144
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Variation on a Canned Theme

With a compost toilet in her kitchen
and a shower curtain draping it,
Moondance with Sundance, her dog,
was living off the land
on land you shouldn't live off of,
growing string beans because
the beetles wouldn't eat string beans
as they did last summer the yams
that Moondance never should have grown
and therefore were thrown in the can.

Note: With a little tweaking, I might have submitted this for the "Anything But Spring" Challenge but didn't because, well, it stinks. LOL

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Old 05-07-2015, 07:12 AM   #145
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Hunt and Gather

Krah turns the spit for men now friends
because the beast was driven from its den.
On other nights who knows?

Without the protein only the huge
would menace each other's empty stomachs
for one or two shanks not gotten to
after they chased the vultures away.

In his mind he's sipping fruit
Uma ferments from hawthorn berries
gathered below the hole they call home
that has at its entrance a long flat rock,
the envy of his best friend, Oom,

where soon Krah and Uma will celebrate
poetry, such as it is,
with a fire, the moon, maybe the sun,
and the many variations of moan.

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Old 05-07-2015, 11:19 AM   #146
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Killer last line: "and the many variations of moan."

The rest of the poem made me smile and took me to primeval places. And then that last stanza, with that zinger of a last line... Very nice.

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Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Krah turns the spit for men now friends
because the beast was driven from its den.
On other nights who knows?

Without the protein only the huge
would menace each other's empty stomachs
for one or two shanks not gotten to
after they chased the vultures away.

In his mind he's sipping fruit
Uma ferments from hawthorn berries
gathered below the hole they call home
that has at its entrance a long flat rock,
the envy of his best friend, Oom,

where soon Krah and Uma will celebrate
poetry, such as it is,
with a fire, the moon, maybe the sun,
and the many variations of moan.
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:17 PM   #147
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Miss Jones

She hangs up her coat after work
the way her mother gets out of bed
in a housecoat as ruffled as the canary.

Miss Jones is a high school vice-principal
who sometimes thinks of her body
at the beach that never was pierced
with a girly tattoo in a parlor.

She could have been inked somewhere that night
with three White Russians under her skin
while she waited for Daphne's HUNGRY HEART,

but BORN TO BE WILD in the needle
was black as her soul was white as her tummy
and white as yesterday's sheets on the bed
she'll change again before Mother's supper.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 05-09-2015 at 10:08 PM. Reason: edited version of a prior poem on this thread
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:56 AM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Krah turns the spit for men now friends
because the beast was driven from its den.
On other nights who knows?

Without the protein only the huge
would menace each other's empty stomachs
for one or two shanks not gotten to
after they chased the vultures away.

In his mind he's sipping fruit
Uma ferments from hawthorn berries
gathered below the hole they call home
that has at its entrance a long flat rock,
the envy of his best friend, Oom,

where soon Krah and Uma will celebrate
poetry, such as it is,
with a fire, the moon, maybe the sun,
and the many variations of moan.
This is sonically very similar to this piece of yours

https://www.literotica.com/p/on-the-origin-of-language

could be the sequel sort of. either way your use of onomatopoeia is exceptional, the "M" sounds in moon, maybe, and many really set up your last word, giving a very strong impact. I find it hard to comment on your work at times gm without sounding like some silly fan that doesn't have a clue
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:19 AM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
This is sonically very similar to this piece of yours

https://www.literotica.com/p/on-the-origin-of-language

could be the sequel sort of. either way your use of onomatopoeia is exceptional, the "M" sounds in moon, maybe, and many really set up your last word, giving a very strong impact. I find it hard to comment on your work at times gm without sounding like some silly fan that doesn't have a clue
Agree that it is continuation of that earlier piece, (and most times it is hard to comment) but that second line after the cadence of the first four iambs makes me want to tear my hair out.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:38 AM   #150
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Agree that it is continuation of that earlier piece, (and most times it is hard to comment) but that second line after the cadence of the first four iambs makes me want to tear my hair out.
Which line is it that's causing you dramas?
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