Saturday 21 August 2010

Blockbuster Poem

Every Friday, the Tyee has run a "blockbuster poem." The 10-poem series, intended as "a perfect way to pause and drift a bit before rejoining the fast-moving flow of the Internet," was organized by Josh Massey and so far has published work by Max Middle, Elizabeth Bachinsky and Ken Belford. Our very own Shannon Stewart appeared last week, with a poem from Penny Dreadful (2009).

Saturday 14 August 2010

Fish Quill Gang

Four days ago, six poets -- Linda Besner, Asa Boxer, Gabe Foreman, Leigh Kotsilidis, Daniel Renton, David Seymour and Joshua Trotter -- set out on a "canoeing poetry tour," a coureurs de bois-like junket down the Grand River in southern Ontario. Next scheduled stops are Paris’ Brown Dog Cafe on August 16th, and Brantford’s Brantford Arts Block on August 17th. You can paddle along with them here.

ReLit Prize

Delighted to announce that Signal poets Harry Thurston (Animals of My Own Kind) and Richard Greene (Boxing the Compass) have been longlisted. I hope they stay in the running.

Saturday 7 August 2010

Poetry Animations

Here's something cool, if slightly disturbing: a Youtube series of great poets "reincarnated" through animation. I've posted the Robert Frost movie, but you'll also find Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Byron, even John Donne. Here's the channel.

Monday 2 August 2010

Ricks on Yeats

I think that Yeats is a rhetorician of genius: I just don't think he ever had a quarrel with himself. That is why the letters are so boring. And when Yeats revises his poems, he succeeds only in making them more sonorous.

Take the lines: "Now that my ladder's gone,/I must lie down where all the ladders start,/In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart." What is "foul" doing here? What would it mean to have a "fair" rag-and-bone shop? Pope's line in "The Rape of the Lock" about "the moving toyshop of their heart" is much more painful, but it's true that it doesn't have quite the same throb. We notice these things if we attend closely to the words.

Yeats is like someone who's forever crying, "Oh, I'm the most terrible miser!" and you want to say to him: "No, no, you're just a bit stingy - you never buy a round."

More here.