Archives for posts with tag: Alice in Wonderland

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“Explain Yourself!” Said the Caterpillar Sternly
by Jamie Feldman

Wonder under tumble and down,
Through the glass and under a crown.
Which way are you going?
Which way have you come?
Revise and consider
Where you have come from.

Run through smoke and fog and the sea.
Run from all the things you could be.
A red queen or a knave?
A mome rath outgrabe?
One thing to remember:
To always behave.

Curtsy when one is spoken to.
Never disrupt when you are through.
But where is the wonder?
But where is the dream?
I’ve learned from the flowers
Life’s not what it seems.

Pawns can take kings and queens and rooks.
Dreams do exist outside of books.
But do your thoughts bring joy?
Or Jabberwock fear?
Please drink the potion
And keep your head clear

Cheshire Cat smiles question your time.
Answer in riddle or in rhyme.
Will you ask me through smoke?
Play a game for two?
Down through he rabbit hole,
That’s where you’ll find you.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have long been my favorite fairytales. Alice is perhaps one of the only female protagonists who doesn’t need a prince to save her, but rather discovers her strength and identity on her own through her wonderland dreams and not from the world above the rabbit hole. The inspiration for the poem is taken from a passage where, upon first meeting the caterpillar, he asks Alice to explain herself and define her identity.

IMAGE: Caterpillar and Alice from Lewis Carroll‘s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) with illustrations by John Tenniel.

feldman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jamie Feldman is a writer/playwright from Halifax, NS, Canada. Her writing has appeared in Baseline Literary, The Big Jewel, and Scissors & Spackle, among others. She is a multiple SLS Literary Merit Fellowship recipient, and her plays have been performed internationally including at The Atlantic Fringe and Short+Sweet: Sydney, AU Festival.

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November 26, 2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll — one of the most influential books ever written (for children or adults). To celebrate the occasion, we’re planning ahead — and getting started with the Silver Birch Press Alice in Wonderland Anthology, a collection of poetry, prose, art, collage, photography, and other work that celebrates this deep and delightful book.

WHAT: Poetry, prose, paintings, drawings, photographs, and other work inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

TYPES OF WRITTEN MATERIAL:

  • Poems (up to three — either original work or found/erasure poetry based on Alice in Wonderland)
  • Short stories (up to 2,000 words)
  • Essays (up to 1,500 words)
  • Creative nonfiction (up to 2,000 words)
  • Short plays or screenplays (approximately 5 typed pages)
  • Other literary forms (up to 2,000 words)

TYPES OF VISUAL MATERIAL (send jpg files of approximately 1MB):

  • Photographs
  • Collage
  • Paintings
  • 
Drawings

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 31, 2014

RELEASE DATE: Fall 2015 (150th anniversary of  Alice’s 1865 publication)

HOW TO SUBMIT: Please email written entries as MSWord attachments (title the file with your last name, e.g., Smith.docx or Jones.doc) and visual entries as jpg attachments to silver@silverbirchpress.com along with your name, mailing address, email address, and one-paragraph bio. (If submitting an erasure poem, provide the edition and publication date. If erasure is taken from one page, please also provide scan of original erasure.) Write “Alice Submission” in email subject line.

PAYMENT: All contributors will receive a copy of the Silver Birch Press Alice in Wonderland Anthology.

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BLUES FOR ALICE
by Clark Coolidge

When you get in on a try you never learn it back
umpteen times the tenth part of a featured world
in black and in back it’s roses and fostered nail
bite rhyme sling slang, a song that teaches without
travail of the tale, the one you longing live
and singing burn

It’s insane to remain a trope, of a rinsing out
or a ringing whatever, it’s those bells that . . .
and other riskier small day and fain would be
of the soap a sky dares

but we remand,
that we a clasp of the silence you and I, all of
tiny sphering rates back, I say to told wall, back
and back and leave my edge, and add an L

Night is so enclosed we’ll never turn its page
its eye, can be mine will be yours, to see all the people
the underneath livid reaching part and past of the lying buildings
the overreacher stops and starts, at in his head, in
in her rhythm
that knowledge is past all of us, so we flare and tap
and top it right up, constant engage and flap in on
keeping pace, our whelming rift, and soil and gleam
and give back the voice, like those eary dead

Step down off our whelm lessons and shortly fired
enter the bristle strum of Corrosion Kingdom
where the last comes by first ever ring, every
race through that tunnel of sun drop and pencil
in the margins of a flare, of higher wish than dare,
the stroked calmings of a line will spin and chime
in blue quicks of a dream blues, the chores
of those whispering gone crenulations

To meet a care is to dial redeem
and we limp in the time sound balms
so out of kilter is my name in the sun, and I win
in the moon and you sing in that other spelling of win
the way a blue is never singular

SOURCE: “Blues for Alice” appears in Clark Coolidge‘s collection Sound as Thought: Poems 1982-1984 (Green Integer, 1990), available at Amazon.com.

Illustration by John Tenniel 1865.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Clark Coolidge is a poet and jazz musician. His numerous collections include This Time We Are Both (2010), Sound as Thought (1990) — chosen for the New American Poetry Series — Own Face (1978), and Flag Flutter & U.S. Electric (1966). His work is included in An Anthology of New York Poets (1970) and The Young American Poets (1968). A contributing editor for Sulfur, Coolidge lives in Petaluma, California.

MORE: Listen to a discussion of “Blues for Alice” by Clark Coolidge — hosted by Al Filreis and featuring Brian Reed, Maria Damon, and Craig Dworin — at poetryfoundation.org. Read more at Harriet.

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FOR “FIDDLE-DE-DEE”
by John Hollander

                          “What’s the French for fiddle-de-dee?”
                          “Fiddle-de-dee’s not English,” Alice replied gravely.
                         “Whoever said it was,” said the Red queen . . . 

What’s the French for “fiddle-de-dee”?
But “fiddle-de-dee’s not English” (we
Learn from Alice, and must agree).
The “Fiddle” we know, but what’s from “Dee”?
Le chat assis in an English tree?

—Well, what’s the French for “fiddle-de-dench”?
(That is to say, for “monkey wrench”)
—Once in the works, it produced a stench

What’s the Greek for “fiddle-de-dex”?
(That is to say, for “Brekekekex”)
—The frog-prince turned out to be great at sex.

What’s the Erse for “fiddle-de-derse”?
(That is to say, for “violent curse”?)
—Bad cess to you for your English verse!

What’s the Malay for “fiddle-de-day”?
(That is to say, for “That is to say …”)
—…[There are no true synonyms, anyway …]

What’s the Pali for “fiddle-de-dally”?
(That is to say, for “Silicon Valley”)
—Maya deceives you: the Nasdaq won’t rally.

What’s the Norwegian for “fiddle-de-degian”?
(That is to say, for “His name is Legion”)
—This aquavit’s known in every region.

What’s the Punjabi for “fiddle-de-dabi”?
(That is to say, for “crucifer lobby”)
—They asked for dall but were sent kohl-rabi.

What’s the Dutch for “fiddle-de-Dutch”?
(That is to say, for “overmuch”)
—Pea-soup and burghers and tulips and such.

What’s the Farsi for “fiddle-de-darsi?”
(That is to say for “devote yourself”—“darsi”
In Italian—the Irish would spell it “D’Arcy”)

Well, what’s the Italian for “fiddle-de-dallion”?
(That is to say, for “spotted stallion”)
—It makes him more randy to munch on a scallion.

Having made so free with “fiddle-de-dee,”
What’s to become now of “fiddle-de-dum”?
—I think I know. But the word’s still mum.

SOURCE: Poetry 180 (2003).

Illustration by John Tenniel (1871).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Hollander (1929-2013) was the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry, including Picture Window (2003), Figurehead: And Other Poems (1999), Tesserae (1993), Selected Poetry (1993), Harp Lake (1988), Powers of Thirteen (1983), Spectral Emanations (1978), Types of Shape (1969), and A Crackling of Thorns (1958). Hollander’s many honors included the Bollingen Prize, the Levinson Prize, and the MLA Shaughnessy Medal, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and former poet laureate of Connecticut, he taught at Connecticut College, Hunter College, the CUNY Graduate Center, and Yale, where he was the Sterling Professor emeritus of English.

John Tenniel Alice Through the Looking-Glass
ALICE IN THE LOOKING GLASS
by A.E. Stallings

No longer can I just climb through—the time
Is past for going back. But you are there
Still conning books in Hebrew, right to left,
Or moving little jars on the dresser top
Like red and white pieces on a chessboard. Still
You look up curiously at me when I pass
As if you’d ask me something—maybe why
I’ve left you locked inside. I’d say because
That is where I’d have reflections stay,
In surfaces, where they cannot disquiet,
Shallow, for all that they seem deep at bottom;
Though it’s to you I look to set things right—
(The blouse askew, hair silvering here and here)—
Where everything reverses save for time.

 Illustration by John Tenniel (1871).

STALLINGS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A. E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia and has lived since 1999 in Athens, Greece. She has published three books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999) — winner of the Richard Wilbur Award – Hapax (2000), and Olives (2012). Her new verse translation of Lucretius (in rhyming fourteeners!), The Nature of Things, is published by Penguin Classics. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. She lives with her husband, John Psaropoulos, editor of the Athens News, and their small argonaut, Jason.

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AND AS IN ALICE
by Mary Jo Bang

Alice cannot be in the poem, she says, because
She’s only a metaphor for childhood
And a poem is a metaphor already
So we’d only have a metaphor

Inside a metaphor. Do you see?
They all nod. They see. Except for the girl
With her head in the rabbit hole. From this vantage,
Her bum looks like the flattened backside

Of  a black and white panda. She actually has one
In the crook of  her arm.
Of course it’s stuffed and not living.
Who would dare hold a real bear so near the outer ear?

She’s wondering what possible harm might come to her
If  she fell all the way down the dark she’s looking through.
Would strange creatures sing songs
Where odd syllables came to a sibilant end at the end.

Perhaps the sounds would be a form of  light  hissing.
Like when a walrus blows air
Through two fractured front teeth. Perhaps it would
Take the form of a snake. But if a snake, it would need a tree.

Could she grow one from seed? Could one make a cat?
Make it sit on a branch and fade away again
The moment you told it that the rude noise it was hearing was
rational thought
With an axe beating on the forest door.

SOURCE: Poetry (October 2007).

Illustration by John Tenniel (1865).

maryjobang

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Jo Bang is the author of six books of poems, including The Bride of E: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2009) and Elegy (Graywolf Press, 2007), which won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and was a 2008 New York Times Notable Book. Her first book, Apology for Want (Middlebury College, 1997), was chosen by Edward Hirsch for the 1996 Bakeless Prize. Bang’s work has been selected three times for the Best American Poetry series. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a “Discovery”/The Nation award, a Pushcart Prize, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and a Hodder Award from Princeton University. Her books Louise in Love (Grove Press, 2001) and Elegy both received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award for a manuscript-in-progress. Bang was the poetry coeditor of the Boston Review from 1995 to 2005. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jefferson Airplane,  fronted by singer/songwriter Grace Slick, perform “White Rabbit” on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967).

WHITE RABBIT
by Grace Slick 

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell them a hookah smoking caterpillar has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

When the men on the chess board
get up and tell you where to go
And you just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “Off with her head!”
Remember what the dormouse said

Feed your head
Feed your head

SOURCE: “White Rabbit” appears on Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Grace Slick is an American singer, songwriter, artist, and former model, best known as one of the lead singers of the rock groups The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, as well as for her work as a solo artist from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s. Today, she works as a visual artist. Visit Grace Slick at her website.

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Peter and Alice, a 2013 play by John Logan, is based on the meeting of 80-year-old Alice Liddell Hargreaves and Peter Llewelyn Davies, then in his thirties, in a London bookshop in 1932, at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition. The London production, directed by Michael Grandage, starred Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw. The play is based on an encounter between the original Alice in Wonderland and the original Peter Pan. Find Peter and Alice by John Logan at Barnes & Noble. Watch a trailer for play at youtube.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Logan is a playwright, screenwriter, and film producer. His first play, Never the Sinner, tells the story of the infamous Leopold and Loeb case. His play Red, about artist Mark Rothko, was produced on Broadway in 2010, where it received six Tony Awards. Logan received an Academy Award nomination for co-writing Gladiator, the Best Picture-winner in 2000, and earned another nomination for writing The Aviator (2004). Other notable films include Star Trek: Nemesis, The Time Machine, The Last Samurai, and the Tim Burton-directed musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, for which he received a Golden Globe Award. Logan’s recent feature films include Rango, the film adaptation of Shakespeare‘s Coriolanus, the film adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and Skyfall. In 2014, his original series Penny Dreadful premiered on Showtime.

alice_tenniel1
ALICE GROWN UP, AT THE COCKTAIL PARTY
by A.E. Stallings

The bottle still says, “Drink me.” I still feel
All knees and elbows in a room, half hope
To shut up tidy as a telescope.
The nonsense people talk! Oh to walk out
Through a little door, into the crepusculum
Of a private garden, the only person there
Save for the nodding idiocy of flowers.
The hours pass, a slow murder of Time.
Always the golden key sits out of reach.
Always people riddle me with questions
For which there are no answers; always the wrong
Words tumble out to fill the awkward breach,
Like half-remembered lyrics from a song.
I’ve lost the trick of dealing packs of lies
In spades, so that the trumped heart follows suit.
The bottle still says, “Drink me.” One obeys.
If only I could forget things as they pass,
Amnesiac as the glaucous looking glass,
Or stop that sinking feeling I am falling.
Oh, to walk out the door, to where the moon
Hangs like a disembodied head’s queer smile
In the branches of the trees, the curious while
Till the sun comes up and paints the roses red.

IMAGE: “Drink Me” by John Tenniel (1865)

STALLINGS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A. E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia and has lived since 1999 in Athens, Greece. She has published three books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999) — winner of the Richard Wilbur Award — Hapax (2000), and Olives (2012). Her new verse translation of Lucretius (in rhyming fourteeners!), The Nature of Things, is published by Penguin Classics. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. She lives with her husband, John Psaropoulos, editor of the Athens News, and their small argonaut, Jason.

alicecov1

November 26, 2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll — one of the most influential books ever written (for children or adults). To celebrate the occasion, we are planning ahead — and getting started with our latest anthology: The Silver Birch Press Alice in Wonderland Anthology, a collection of poetry, prose, art, collage, photography, and other work that celebrates this deep and delightful book

WHAT: Poetry, prose, paintings, drawings, photographs, and other work inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

TYPES OF WRITTEN MATERIAL:

  • Poems (up to three — either original work or found/erasure poetry based on Alice in Wonderland)
  • Short stories (up to 2,000 words)
  • Essays (up to 1,500 words)
  • Creative nonfiction (up to 2,000 words)
  • Short plays or screenplays (approximately 5 typed pages)
  • Other literary forms (up to 2,000 words)

TYPES OF VISUAL MATERIAL (send jpg files of approximately 1MB):

Photographs
Collage
Paintings
Drawings

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 31, 2014

RELEASE DATE: Fall 2015 (150th anniversary of  Alice’s 1865 publication)

HOW TO SUBMIT: Please email written entries as MSWord attachments (title the file as your last name, e.g., Smith.docx or Jones.doc) and visual entries as jpg attachments to silver@silverbirchpress.com along with your name, mailing address, email address, and one-paragraph bio. (If submitting an erasure poem, provide the edition and publication date. If erasure is taken from one page, please also provide scan of original erasure.) Write “Alice Submission” in email subject line.

PAYMENT: All contributors will receive a copy of the Silver Birch Press Alice in Wonderland Anthology.