Clattery MacHinery on Poetry

February 14, 2007

Blue Kookaburra

Filed under: animal poetry, kookaburra, love, love poetry, lyric poetry, Patty Griffin, poems, poetry, Rain — Clattery MacHinery @ 5:20 am

 
 

 
 
 
 
Blue Kookaburra
 
 
A blue kookaburra should fly in
and warn me
before I look in Jimmy’s Restaurant
and see you at the empty table where we were–
cheerful, talking, your hands in the air.

The fish should be called in
to flop in the road
before I get home and see you reading
in the garden, waiting for me
in the chair that was there.
It’s too cold to be sitting outside
this time of year. And that was a summer day.

It must be the moon,
taking a break from tides,
asking the sun what happened
for the radio to then play a Patty Griffin song
and you appear on the sofa.
I sit next to you.
We should kiss now.

 
 

 
 
4/16/01

 
 

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A Kookabura Calls


 
 

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Patty Griffin singing “Rain”

 
 

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February 11, 2007

The Lyric Minutiae (or the ee(cummings) in (katharine mcph)ee)

In a recent forum thread, the scanning of poems was touched on. It was asserted that one responsibility of the poet is to captivate the reader; such that if readers are losing track of theme and meaning, if we are not drawn in, the poet did not write the poem well; thus a significant difference between a good poem and a bad one. Let’s take the next step: even after all the right work is done to a poet’s best ability, we may get results from the ear of a gifted poet, or one not so gifted.

As a musing or inspiration becomes cast onto the page by a poet, no rules exist in poetry that cannot be broken. Even modern sonnets do not have to be 14 lines of iambic pentameter, nor with a regular endline rhyme pattern.

One general rule is that each word must count in a poem, moreso than in conversation, an essay or a story. And each word must count even moreso in the lyric poem than the epic or dramatic. Part of the reason is how we read a lyric. Words so cast upon the page, draw attention to the minutiae in language such that, it is not only the words but each sound and sense, each nuance of each syllable that becomes vitally important, even how each letter looks next to the others and in relation to the white space.

Below is E.E. Cummings’ lyric poem “anyone lived in a pretty how town.” Following that, is Katharine McPhee singing the song “Better off Alone” (and it is her song, not the homemade video that is applicable to this post’s purposes). There are other great lyric poets, and other great lyric singers, but these two illustrate the point of the lyric very well for us–just as others would.

Cummings pays attention to each vowel and consonant sound in his writing. McPhee does this in her singing. And they both do it, not only to the benefit of the flow of the lyric, to captivate us, but to the enhancement of each and every sound, every sense, and each and every moment as the lyric goes through its time.

McPhee, for instance rarely holds a steady note, nor sings a syllable like the previous, or the next. She charges each moment of sound with its own individual greatness: with soul. Cummings is blending rhymes and near rhymes, alliterations, archetypically charged words, in his own soulful way. These are living creations for us. Through both these works of art, the poetry lyric and the song lyric, our language is brought to supernormal heights, that only gifted artists who then work at their crafts can achieve to the high benefit of the rest of us in the culture.
 
 

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by E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)
 
 
anyone lived in a pretty how town
 
 
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
 
 

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sung by Katharine McPhee
 
 
written by Austin Carroll, Susan Marshall
 
 
produced by Emanuel Kiriakou
 
 
Better off Alone
 
 

 
 

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February 10, 2007

Sources say writer and journalist Fessehaye “Joshua” Yohannes has died in detention

Fessehaye “Joshua” Yohannes

Complete story:

Reporters Without Borders: Sources say writer and journalist Fessehaye “Joshua” Yohannes has died in detention

Excerpts:

“Credible Eritrean sources in Asmara and abroad have told Reporters Without Borders that poet and playwright Fessehaye “Joshua” Yohannes, who was a journalist with the now-banned weekly Setit, died in detention on 11 January.”

[He had been Eritrea’s most prominent journalist.]

“Fessehaye was paralysed in one hand and had been walking with difficulty for years. He reportedly succumbed to the extremely harsh conditions in which he had been held since his arrest in September 2001. After being held at an Asmara police station and an underground prison and after spells in the Halibet and Sembel hospitals in Asmara, he was reportedly taken to a prison camp at Eiraeiro, in the Northern Red Sea desert province.”

Eiraeiro on map

“Fessehaye surrendered to the police during the week of 18-23 September 2001, after around 10 other journalists and many members of the political opposition had been arbitrarily arrested and the privately-owned press had been “suspended” by the authorities. Ten detained journalists were transferred to undisclosed locations in April 2002, after going on hunger strike to demand the right to appear in court.

“Their hands permanently manacled, the detainees at Eiraeiro are just given just bread, lentils, spinach or potatoes to eat. Their hair and beards are shaved once a month. All they have for beds are just two sheets. They sleep on the ground. Any contact with other prisoners or with guards is absolutely forbidden.”
 
 

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from Alenalki.net: remembering Joshua:


 
 

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By Myself Pouring Wine as the Moon Shines

Li Bai (701-762)
 
 
by Li Bai (701-762)
 
 
By Myself Pouring Wine as the Moon Shines
 
 
From the filled jug of wine left within the blossoming bed,
I pour with no love nor family by. Loneliness sets in.

Drawn to its beam, I raise a brimming cup and face the moon–
an encounter that spawns a shadow. We’ve become a trio.

The aloof moon, as of late, has been declining to imbibe
and the faithful shaver, my shadow, follows my every move.

For tonight, anyway, we three will be boon companions.
Turned on, we’ll be stepping out. Spring leaves us too soon.

I try to sing, and the moon starts its little swaying move,
which gets me dancing till my poor shadow’s all confused.

With so much in common, we rouse to the time of our lives
until, in a drunken fog, we let go, dispensed into a cured world.

Ever cast to find passion in an age of fruitless wandering,
our feelings are mutual. I’ll see you in that cosmic cloudy dynasty.
 
 

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February 7, 2007

Warning to Other Writers About Using Blogger

Filed under: Blogger, by Bud Bloom, freedom, freedom of speech, poetry, poets, pseudonyms, WordPress — Clattery MacHinery @ 2:31 am

Some of you may know that I have another poetry blog that is not kept under a pseudonym.

There are several reasons I use Bud Bloom. Here are four.

1. A pseudonym is psychologically liberating. Each time I write as Bud Bloom, I re-enter the world with no other role other than to tackle the subject matter at hand.

2. If you know who I am, you are probably a “friend”, someone I have chosen to share my identity with. In this way, Bud Bloom is like a secret hand shake. I get to share thoughts that come from the real me with those of my choosing, those I trust.

3. Alternatively, I may choose that certain people have no clue that I participate in this activity. It’s not something that happens often, but every once in a while, I meet someone I would not like to share that I have this blog as a reflective aspect of my personality. This has nothing to do with shame, by the way, although for other writers, I could see that it could.

4. With a pseudonym, I may be bold and say things, take political or religious positions that others may hate. If they hate these ideas, they may want to look me up and bring me harm. When I am not Bud Bloom, I am the easiest person to find, a sitting duck.

A serious fault in the Blogger conversion program, has merged my two identities. When I am not blogging as Bud Bloom, it is important that people know who I am. This is different from my day job that makes me the easy mark. It has to do with poetry, and goals. Therefore, I would like to be able to be “looked up” and easily identified. As relatively popular as this blog has become, the other is both more popular and more relied upon by others. I must be able to have my real name when I choose to blog with it.

By merging the two identities, it is as if Blogger is forcing me and other writers to make a choice. The problem is that I had already made my choice to have both.

If all my posts at my other blog and around the Blogger world were by “Bud Bloom,” it would be very clear who Bud Bloom really is. My pseudonym, which I have had for years before blogging ever existed, would be revealed in the blogosphere. It would then be obvious who Bud Bloom was in other realms as well. In fact, last month, Blogger was responsible for revealing this to the entire blogging world through their Blogger conversion program.

I may have to delete this blog. I imagine that writers around the world have not complained, but simply felt the heat and deleted the blogs that put them at risk, hopefully before their identities were revealed to the wrong people, hopefully before they were marked for death or an investigation was opened that would imprison them for ideas they expressed.

Why not convert to WordPress or something? Because the new blog precludes this conversion to other software. I imagine the reason is that Blogger will be charging for these services soon, and does not want anyone “escaping”. I may have folded if it had to do with such economic hijinks. But, when it has to do with my freedom of expression. I cannot. I write. [Note: it was a pleasant surprise to be able to bring all my Bud Bloom posts over to this WordPress Blog]

I have been e-mailing Blogger “support” for weeks now. They took weeks to respond, and once Karl started in, he failed to read what the issue was, and converted all my posts everywhere to Bud Bloom again. He e-mailed me, telling me he fixed the problem. I immediately e-mailed him back, and he changed things such that I could only post elsewhere as “Bud Bloom”–another shallow reading of the problem, and another quick “fix”.

I have e-mailed him every other day since for over a week, and he does not respond. It is as if he has written on a docket “problem fixed by yours truly, Karl superstar, once again” or this issue has been placed into another queue as I await another member of the Blogger Team to take over. I should not think through this situation so much. Maybe Karl is just on an employee-of-the-month vacation or something.

Bud

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