Archives for posts with tag: famous poets

oharabyrivers
self-portrait as Frank O’Hara
by Jax NTP

after the third carafe of grapefruit vodka
the thick jawline of streetlights clatter
such buttery clarity ― what is forgiveness

but submission defeat mistaken for love
crammed within the mint echoes of small
spaces rancid clementine moldy avocados

i swig mouthfuls of spoilt milk to calm
the bellyful of alcohol ― even if you check
the expiration date on the day of purchase

it doesn’t mean you’ll remember it
it’s pointless to ruin your life over a girl
who’s in love with a meth addict ― but you

can always go back to the store to get a refund
pain provides logic which is bad for you
for some animals the ritual pattern of courtship

is the dance of death the satisfaction of human needs
creates new needs the girl quotes theories of marxism
to refuse my love ― cowardice is the new order of her day

i wear my freudian slips like fancy evening gloves
exploratorium it’s not the anxiety that i am held up
but the anxiety that i am holding her up

i thought her lies would change me
but they didn’t that which corrodes will discolor
i am a whiskey jellyfish certain of uncertainties

each breath intensified by the solitude
of having nothing to look forward to and i savor
the fact that once ― i gave her the chance to ruin me

IMAGE: Portrait of Frank O’Hara by Larry Rivers (1955).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Jax NTP holds an MFA in Creative Writing – Poetry from CSULB. Jax was the former editor-in-chief of RipRap Literary Journal and associate editor of The Fat City Review. Jax has an affinity for jellyfish and polaris and a fetish for miniature succulent terrariums. Visit her at http://jaxntppoet.tumblr.com.

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EVENING STAR
by Edgar Allan Poe

‘Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro’ the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
‘Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold — too cold for me —
There pass’d, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heart
Is the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light.

IMAGE: Self-Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an  author, poet, editor, and literary critic. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

sylviaplath
YOU’RE
by Sylvia Plath

Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo’s mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools’ Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.

Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.

SOURCE: “You’re” appears in Sylvia Plath‘s Collected Poems (Harper, 2008).

IMAGE: Self-Portrait by Sylvia Plath (1951).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sylvia Plath (1932–1963) was a poet, novelist, and short story writer. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she studied at Smith College and Newnham College at the University of Cambridge, before receiving acclaim as a poet and writer. In 1956, she married fellow poet Ted Hughes. Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two published collections, The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. In 1982, she won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for The Collected Poems. She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.

eec_3
IN SPRING
by e.e. cummings

in

Spring comes)no-
one
asks  his  name)

a mender of things

with eager
fingers(with
patient eyes)re

-new-

ing remaking what
other
-wise we should
have thrown a-

way)and whose

brook
-bright flower-
soft bird
-quick voice loves
children
and sunlight and

mountains)in april(but
if he should
Smile)comes

nobody’ll know

SOURCE: Poetry (July 1949)

IMAGE: Self-Portrait by e.e. cummings (1950s).

cummings

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edward Estlin Cummings (1894–1962) was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays, and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings. During his lifetime, Cummings received many awards in recognition of his work, including: Dial Award (1925), Guggenheim Fellowship (1933), Shelley Memorial Award for Poetry (1944), Harriet Monroe Prize from Poetry magazine (1950), Fellowship of American Academy of Poets (1950), Guggenheim Fellowship (1951), Charles Eliot Norton Professorship at Harvard (1952–1953), and Bollingen Prize in Poetry (1958).

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TRAVEL 
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.

PAINTING: “Compartment C, Car 293,” oil on canvas by Edward Hopper (1938).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry. During her career, she was one of the most successful and respected poets in America. Like her contemporary Robert Frost, Millay was one of the most skillful writers of sonnets during the twentieth century — and also like Frost, she was able to combine modernist attitudes with traditional forms, creating a unique American poetry. Her middle name came from St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City, where she was born. Friends and family called her Vincent.

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EVENING HAWK
by Robert Penn Warren

From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak’s black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.
His wing
Scythes down another day, his motion
Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear
The crashless fall of stalks of Time.

The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error.

Look! Look! he is climbing the last light
Who knows neither Time nor error, and under
Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings
Into shadow.

Long now,
The last thrush is still, the last bat
Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics. His wisdom
Is ancient, too, and immense. The star
Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain.

If there were no wind we might, we think, hear
The earth grind on its axis, or history
Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.

PHOTO: “Evening Hawk” by Tony Hisgett

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April 24, 2014 marks the 109th anniversary of the birth of multi-hyphenate Robert Penn Warren — a poet-novelist-essayist-editor-critic — the only person to win a Pulitzer Prize for both fiction and poetry, and likely the most decorated American author of all time.

Warren (1905-1989) received the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for his novel All the King’s Men and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1958 and 1979. From 1944-1945, Warren served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. His other honors and awards include Presidential Medal of Freedom (1980), MacArthur Fellowship (1981), designation as first U.S. Poet Laureate (1986), and National Medal of Arts (1987).

PHOTO: Robert Penn Warren working on the revisions of a book in a barn near his home (April 1956 by Leonard McCombe, Time/Life, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED).

Let’s celebrate this remarkable writer’s birthday with one of his most beautiful poems.

TELL ME A STORY
by Robert Penn Warren

Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stood
By a dirt road, in first dark, and heard
The great geese hoot northward.

I could not see them, there being no moon
And the stars sparse. I heard them.

I did not know what was happening in my heart.

It was the season before the elderberry blooms,
Therefore they were going north.

The sound was passing northward.

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ETERNITY
by William Blake

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.

Painting: “PEE WEE” 8 x 12″ giclee print from original watercolor painting by Dean Crouser. Buy copies of the print at etsy.com.

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In 1915, three years after launching Poetry Magazine,Harriet Monroe published “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by the then-unknown T.S. Eliot — the poet’s first publication outside of a university press. (Cover of Vol. VI, No. III, June 1915, Poetry Magazine pictured above.)

In Brittanica, critic Allen Tate commented on Monroe’s vision and acumen as an editor by calling Eliot’s poem“…the first masterpiece of ‘modernism’ in English…Nothing like the first three lines of ‘Prufrock’ had previously appeared in English poetry…It represented a [radical] break with the immediate past…” 

THE LOVE SONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK (Excerpt)
by T.S. Eliot. 

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . .
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo…
***
Find the entire poem here.

tseliot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Stearns Eliot  (1888-1965) was an essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and one of the twentieth century’s major poets. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39. Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915), which was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including “The Waste Land” (1922), “The Hollow Men” (1925), “Ash Wednesday” (1930), and “Four Quartets” (1945). He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”

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LAUGHING SONG
by William Blake

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

When the meadows laugh with lively green,
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing “Ha, ha he!”

When the painted birds laugh in the shade,
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread:
Come live, and be merry, and join with me,
To sing the sweet chorus of “Ha, ha, he!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. For the most part unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered one of the greatest poets of all time in any language. As a visual artist, he has been lauded by one art critic as “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced.” (Source: Wikipedia)

PHOTO: Zsaj, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED