Books are ready to be printed and mailed. Ebook and audio files have been created as well. I'm just waiting on funding to send it all out. Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ. This is an audio file of my ten favorite poems from the collection along with some commentary from me. You'll receive the following: - Digital copy of Songs for Sisu - Digital copy of my first poetry collection, Loot the Bodies - Audio file of select poems.
You receive a print copy of the book. Also includes: - digital copy of the book - audio file of select poems. Signed copy of Songs for Sisu. Includes: - Digital copy of the book - Audio file of select poems. A poem written especially for you over the topic of your choice! Also includes: - Signed print copy of the book - Digital copy of the book - Audio file of select poems. You receive the following: - A signed copy of "Songs for Sisu" - Your choice of one of my previous books - Ebook of Songs for Sisu - Audiofile of select poems. Mar 31, - May 1, 30 days.
Share this project Done. Tweet Share Email. I'm about to devote a host of words to this two-year old prismatic scrap—it's Nov. Check the date if you need to, future persons. Present persons, idling ghosts— Day 4. Vincent Millay's poem "Endings. I found myself writing these seven line poems. I wish I could say from where they came, but they just happened. I wrote a couple.
Then I wrote a couple more imitating myself.
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I started each line with a capital letter and ended each line with a period it was liberating! I was keeping a record. This is not a place where poetry easily lives. One feels no pain in this place. One feels nothing at all. One of my ongoing projects has been the work of the late-Tang era Chinese poet Li Shangyin, and during this time I came upon a cache of poems by him on the subject of writing, of which the above are two. This one's about fourteen poems from the back. I had to get the press to send me a copy. I only have books, and the notebook the poems were written in.
This version is really just a version — the screen can't hack the form. The book can't really hack it either.
It's a great form to write into, the-line-at-the-edge-of-the-page-that-goes-all-the-way-around — it leaves you with no end and no beginning, a loop with corners, an illusion of empty space inside, an immediate apparent velocity that doesn't have to be obeyed, and nothing for explanation to leech.
I write the dreams from my imagination.
A Song for Soweto by June Jordan | Poetry Foundation
Every day I try to write a unique dream for each subscriber, though I often fall short. For subscribers within a four-mile radius of my home base I deliver the dreams to their doors, biking through the empty city before dawn. Visiting museums in Rome a few years ago, I was surprised by how much of the post-Renaissance art—because there was just such an amazing quantity of it—was bad.
Piles of awful eighteenth-century portraits, lots of minor paintings from major periods.
But seeing this kind of work was strangely stimulating giving glimpses of creative activity you don't see at, say, the Metropolitan Museum , and when I came across Benvenuto Tisi's scene of an obscure classical episode I stopped short and stared at it for a long time and returned to it over several visits. This is one of my favorite Hai Zi poems. Its folkloric simplicity, startling imagery, its fine balance between mystery and clarity, emotional openness and restraint are among the qualities that compelled me to translate Hai Zi's work in the first place.
The appearance in print of the selected poems of Donald Britton is an affront to cynicism and a triumph over fate. As the few became fewer it seemed all but certain the audience for his poems would disappear. This poem used to have an epigraph: "Exploring the solar system as a united humanity will bring us all closer together.
When I first became aware of the Mars One marketing campaign, my emotional response included incredulous wonder, to be sure, but also anger and fear. The mass kidnapping and murder of 43 teachers' college students in Ayotzinapa, Mexico brought renewed international attention to the ongoing precariousness of life under the country's dirty war, its "narco-politics.
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Money, the quiet fascia of state violences. How easy it can be to be gently seduced by USAmerican comfort and privilege. Born and raised in the Central Valley of California, I spent many sweltering summers picking vegetables with my parents; for years it had been one of the main sources of income for our family. I imagine there are many readers who miss the primary prosodic constraint of this poem—the strict decasyllabic line.
Let me come back to this. I am forever mishearing and misreading surroundings, it's how I edit others and myself , it's how I practice living and tell jokes and in this small suite I let the method be clearer, I showed my work. Humor is that tracking. Palimpsests are proof of that work. At moments it feels like a beloved other: "These are the days in which you come to me…" But at other moments that You is not quite human, not quite beloved. On the one side a reflexive, desperate assertion of his old prerogatives as a poet, now impossible; on the other a sort of acceptance, and an eerie contemplation of the future.
Visiting home from college, I caught this particular episode one sleepless night: two black gay men talking about fraught and humiliating sexual encounters they'd had with white men. The subsequent prose excerpt is the final two paragraphs of Schluter's afterword to the translation, written in direct and intimate address of Saenz himself, over thresholds of distance, language, and mortality.
I am a poet; I am a translator. It is something else entirely to be both of those things at once, which is why I initially and forcefully resisted translating poetry. There is so much missing here. First, it might be important to tell you that this poem was once a novel. The novel is now missing, of course, and the missing novel begins with this missing quote by Hannah Arendt: "the freedom to call something into being, which did not exist before, which was not given, not even as an object of cognition or imagination, and which, therefore, strictly speaking, could not be known.
This poem started when a friend challenged me to write something "elegant. I write about disappointing one night stands, peeing on street corners at night, getting too drunk to hide how I feel. As a woman, I almost cringe at the idea of being elegant, weary from men on the street telling me to smile and averse to anything that insists I "behave" or be "lady-like.
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Eve L. Ewing on "what I mean when I say I'm sharpening my oyster knife". Jenny Sadre-Orafai on "Queen of Cups". Christine Kitano on "Gaman". Brittany Perham on "DP. Chen Chen on "The Cuckoo Cry". Kaveh Akbar on "Heritage". Erica Wright on "Lola and the Apocalypse". Rob Schlegel on The Catenary Press. Elisa Gabbert on "Jack always feels like someone is watching.
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The tune, commensurate with the ballad stanza, is repeated as many times as there are stanzas. This limitation partly explains the impassive style of folk singing, Musical variation, however, is hardly less frequent than textual variation; indeed, it is almost impossible for a singer to perform a ballad exactly the same way twice. The stablest part of the tune occurs at the mid- cadence the end of the second text line and the final cadence the end of the fourth line.
The third phrase of the tune, corresponding to the third line of the stanza, proves statistically the most variable. Significantly, these notes happen to coincide with the rhyming words. The last note of the tune, the point of resolution and final repose, usually falls on the fundamental tone i. To make for singability, the intervals in the melodic progression seldom involve more than three degrees.
And since the singer performs solo or plays the accompanying instrument himself, he need not keep rigidly to set duration or stress but may introduce grace notes to accommodate hypermetric syllables and lengthen notes for emphasis. The traditional folk ballad , sometimes called the Child ballad in deference to Francis Child , the scholar who compiled the definitive English collection, is the standard kind of folk ballad in English and is the type of balladry that this section is mainly concerned with.
But there are peripheral kinds of ballads that must also be noticed in order to give a survey of balladry. Minstrels , the professional entertainers of nobles, squires, rich burghers, and clerics until the 17th century, should properly have had nothing to do with folk ballads, the self-created entertainment of the peasantry. Minstrels sometimes, however, affected the manner of folk song or remodeled established folk ballads. Child included many minstrel ballads in his collection on the ground that fragments of traditional balladry were embedded in them. The blatant style of minstrelsy marks these ballads off sharply from folk creations.
In violation of the strict impersonality of the folk ballads, minstrels constantly intrude into their narratives with moralizing comments and fervent assurances that they are not lying at the very moment when they are most fabulous. Often their elaborate performances are parcelled out in clear-cut divisions, usually called fits or cantos, in order to forestall tedium and build up suspense by delays and piecemeal revelations.
The older Robin Hood ballads are also minstrel propaganda , glorifying the virtues of the yeomanry, the small independent landowners of preindustrial England. The longer, more elaborate minstrel ballads were patently meant to be recited rather than sung. Among the earliest products of the printing press were broadsheets about the size of handbills on which were printed the text of ballads.
A crude woodcut often headed the sheet, and under the title it was specified that the ballad was to be sung to the tune of some popular air. From the 16th century until the end of the 19th century, broadsides, known also as street ballads, stall ballads, or slip songs, were a lively commodity, providing employment for a troop of hack poets. Before the advent of newspapers, the rhymed accounts of current events provided by the broadside ballads were the chief source of spectacular news. Every sensational public happening was immediately clapped into rhyme and sold on broadsheets.
Although the broadside ballad represents the adaptation of the folk ballad to the urban scene and middle class sensibilities, the general style more closely resembles minstrelsy, only with a generous admixture of vulgarized traits borrowed from book poetry. A few folk ballads appeared on broadsheets; many ballads, however, were originally broadside ballads the folk adapted. The earliest literary imitations of ballads were modeled on broadsides rather than on folk ballads.
In the early part of the 18th century, Jonathan Swift , who had written political broadsides in earnest, adapted the style for several jocular bagatelles. Thackeray , and Lewis Carroll in the 19th century made effective use of the jingling metres, forced rhymes, and unbuttoned style for humorous purposes.
The finest of the ballads are deeply saturated in a mystical atmosphere imparted by the presence of magical appearances and apparatus. In addition to those ballads that turn on a supernatural occurrence, casual supernatural elements are found all through balladry. The separation of lovers through a misunderstanding or the opposition of relatives is perhaps the commonest ballad story. The Freudian paradigm operates rigidly in ballads: fathers oppose the suitors of their daughters, mothers the sweethearts of their sons. The outcome of a ballad love affair is not always, though usually, tragic.
James A. Garfield , are the best known American examples. Perhaps a dozen or so ballads derive from medieval romances. In general, ballads from romances have not worn well in tradition because of their unpalatable fabulous elements, which the modern folk apparently regard as childish. By far the largest number of ballads that can be traced to historical occurrences have to do with local skirmishes and matters of regional rather than national importance.
Sensational shipwrecks, plagues, train wrecks, mine explosions—all kinds of shocking acts of God and man—were regularly chronicled in ballads, a few of which remained in tradition, probably because of some special charm in the language or the music. This kind of hero never appears in English and Scottish ballads. Singing stories in song, either stories composed for the occasion out of a repertory of traditional motifs or phrases or stories preserved by memory and handed down orally, is found in most primitive cultures.
The ballad habit thus is unquestionably very ancient. But the ballad genre itself could not have existed in anything like its present form before about As an oral art, the ballad does not need to be written down to be performed or preserved; in any case, many of the carriers of the ballad tradition are illiterate and could not make use of a written and notated ballad. The precise date of a ballad, therefore, or even any particular version of a ballad, is almost impossible to determine. In fact, to ask for the date of a folk ballad is to show that one misunderstands the peculiar nature of balladry.
Historical ballads would seem on the surface to be easily datable, but their origins are usually quite uncertain. The ballad could have arisen long after the events it describes, basing itself, as do the Russian ballads of the Kievan cycle and the Spanish ballads about the Cid, on chronicles or popular legends. It is also likely that many historical ballads developed from the revamping of earlier ballads on similar themes through the alteration of names, places, and local details.
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