Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday, April 6: a pot-pourri about po - e -try

Guest Blogger, Kitty Jospe
In the April 2011 issue of Poetry, David Orr has a section reviewing new titles in the po-biz world prefaced by an introduction about "Public Poetry".

What is public for a small sector of the population interested in poetry? As he puts it, "There is almost nothing tinier than the poetry world, just as there is almost nothing bigger, stranger, and more disturbing than the bloody country that contains it." His review of Thomas Sayers Ellis' book, "Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems"
reminds me of the importance of reading the multiple faces of poetry -- not just in America, but throughout the world. I am as intrigued by Ellis's titles such as "The Pronoun-Vowel Reparations Song" or the superabundant use of "OR" (see p. 46 of Poetry) as Donald Keene's translation of "Essays in Idleness." (Tsurezuregusa (徒然草, Essays in Idleness) is a collection of Japanese essays written by the monk Yoshida Kenkō between 1330 and 1332.) see

I have copied the passages about READING and CONVERSING. This provides us with grist for our writing. I've reproduced them here:
The pleasantest of all diversions is to sit alone under the lamp, a book spread out before you, and to make friends with people of a distant past you have never known. (13)

How delightful it would be to converse intimately with someone of the same mind, sharing with him the pleasures of uninhibited conversation on the amusing and foolish things of this world, but such friends are hard to find. If you must take care that your opinions do not differ in the least from those of the person with whom you are talking, you might just as well be alone. (12)"

Balancing reading, good conversation and responsive writing, as daily hygiene is a way of polishing the mirror in which we see ourselves...

For today, a response to the e-zine, "Esque".

(The trigger thought: How it is a French "est-ce que" (it shows a question) cannot be translated into an equivalent in a non-inflected language nor can "esque" be separated to be truly independent!)

Esque wants to mean so much more.
a more-esque
question about the picture
est-ce pittoresque?

The man who wants more
lives in a manner
suitable for a man
living in a manor.
Can you define this man?
Est-ce qu’un homme? Homme-esque
with a mask? Don't r-esque...

Have fun with reading conversing, and pinning down thoughts with words. Then, the work begins.

1 comment:

Geoff M. Pope said...

Thick thanks, Misc. Kitty, for your pot-pourri, grist, and multiplicities. Indeed, as you wrote, “such friends are hard to find,” and that’s a reason why yesterday I threw a laptop birthday party for Christopher Smart. It’s partly my fault: only the two in attendance; but then to my 17-inch screen surprise, in boxes a hallowed Greek Romanian translator of Celan from Athens with an art review: “Romantics Shining Clear Light on Daily Existence.” So now you can see why I am sort of following you.