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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry 1950s Poetic Movements Beat Poetry Confessional Verse The Group isn't really a school or movement but simply a regular gatherings of poets in the mid 1950s that included Ted Hughes, Peter Redgrove, George MacBeth, Edward Lucie-Smith and the founders Philip Hobsbaum and his wife. God of Love by George MacBeth The musk-ox is accustomed to near-Arctic conditions. When danger threatens, these beasts cluster together to form a defensive wall, or a "porcupine", with the calves in the middle. Dr Wolfgang Engelhart I found them between far hills, by a frozen lake. On a patch of bare ground. They were grouped In a solid ring, like an ark of horn. And around Them circled, slowly closing in, Their tongues lolling, their ears flattened against the wind, A whirlpool of wolves. As I breathed, one fragment of bone and Muscle detached itself from the mass and Plunged. The pad of the pack slackened, as if A brooch had been loosened. But when the bull Returned to the herd, the revolving collar was tighter. And only The windward owl, uplifted on white wings In the glass of air, alert for her young, Soared high enough to look into the cleared centre And grasp the cause. To the slow brain Of each beast by the frozen lake what lay in the cradle of their crowned Heads of horn was a sort of god-head. Its brows Nudged when the arc was formed. Its need Was a delicate womb away from the iron collar Of death, a cave in the ring of horn Their encircling flesh had backed with fur. That the collar of death Was the bone of their own skulls: that a softer womb Would open between far hills in a plunge Of bunched muscles: and that their immortal calf lay Dead on the snow with its horns dug into The ice for grass: they neither saw nor felt. And yet if That hill of fur could split and run like a river Of ice in thaw, like a broken grave It would crack across the icy crust of withdrawn Sustenance and the rigid circle Of death be shivered: the fed herd would entail its under-fur On the swell of a soft hill and the future be sown On grass, I thought. But the herd fell By the bank of the lake on the plain, and the pack closed, And the ice remained. And I saw that the god In their ark of horn was a god of love, who made them die. Movement Poets of the 20th century were known to be anti-poetic, sardonic and witty. Some Movement poets were Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis, D. J. Enright, John Wain and Robert Conquest. It is much harder to find poems in the public domain by these contemporary poets. Home is So Sad by Philip Larkin Home is so sad. It stays as it was left, Shaped to the comfort of the last to go As if to win them back. Instead, bereft Of anyone to please, it withers so, Having no heart to put aside the theft And turn again to what it started as, A joyous shot at how things ought to be, Long fallen wide. You can see how it was: Look at the pictures and the cutlery. The music in the piano stool. That vase. San Francisco Renaissance is an umbrella term for the hodgepodge of poets and artistic communities that came out of the San Francisco Bay Area after World War II through the late 40's, 50's and 60s. The Beat movement, Black Mountain poets, Black Arts etc. although often on opposing sides artistically and politically, all reflected the Pacific coastal environment and the various cultures that populated the area. Poets such as Kenneth Rexroth, Robin Blaser, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder let poetry workshops at San Francisco State College (which is where I went to school in the early 60s, but unfortunately I was uninterested in poetry at the time, so I never heard any of them, my loss.) and UC Berkeley. Codicil by Kenneth Rexroth 1956 Most of the world's poetry Is artifice, construction. No one reads it but scholars. After a generation It has grown so overcooked, It cannot be digested. There is little I haven't Read, and dreary stuff it was. Lamartine , Gower , Tasso , Or the metaphysicals Of Cambridge, ancient or modern, And their American apes. Of course for years the ruling Class of English poetry Has held that that is just what Poetry is, impersonal Construction, where personal Pronouns are never permitted. If rigorously enough Applied, such a theory Produces in practice its Opposite. The poetry Of Eliot and Valéry, Like that of Pope, isn't just Personal, it is intense, Subjective reverie as Intimate and revealing, Embarrassing if you will, As the indiscretions of The psychoanalyst's couch. There is always sufficient Reason for a horror of The use of the pronoun, "I."
Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry 1970s and Beyond Canadian Poetry Assoc., begun in 1985 and still going strong, The Association can be found on Facebook. Simply, it is an organization dedicated to Canadian poetry, the reading, writing, publishing, marketing and preservation. Some poets associated with the association are Shaunt Basmajian, James Deahl, Wayne Ray and Beverley Daurio. I read the paper and stay awake all night writing poems trying to forget everything dreaming of a new world a solution an answer in the aftermath" —Shaunt Basmajian, excerpt from "On That Other Day In The Life Of Arto Sarkissian," Poets Who Don't Dance, 1985. Cowboy Poetry is a contemporary poetic movement or genre of folk poetry written by people with firsthand experience of American western life with horses, trail riding, and cattle ranching. Although poems have been written since the days of the "Old West" of the 1800s, the genre wasn't really named or paid attention to as a movement until the late 20th century. It is usually written in plain language, sometimes humorous and occasionally composed in rhymed ballad stanzas. It is often read or recited aloud. Poets such as Doc Hayes, Joel Nelson and even more mainstream poets such as Donald Hall -Name of Horses and Gary Snyder - Hay is For Horses have written in the genre. Name of Horses by Donald Hall All winter your brute shoulders strained against collars, padding and steer-hide over the ash hames, to haul sledges of cordwood for drying through spring and summer, for the Glenwood stove next winter, and for the simmering range. In April you pulled cartloads of manure to spread on the fields, dark manure of Holsteins, and knobs of your own clustered with oats. All summer you mowed the grass in meadow and hayfield, the mowing machine clacketing beside you, while the sun walked high in the morning; and after noon's heat, you pulled a clawed rake through the same acres, gathering stacks, and dragged the wagon from stack to stack, and the built hayrack back, uphill to the chaffy barn, three loads of hay a day from standing grass in the morning. Sundays you trotted the two miles to church with the light load a leather quarter-top buggy, and grazed in the sound of hymns. Generation on generation, your neck rubbed the windowsill of the stall, smoothing the wood as the sea smoothes glass. When you were old and lame, when your shoulders hurt bending to graze, one October the man, who fed you and kept you, and harnessed you every morning, led you through corn stubble to sandy ground above Eagle Pond, and dug a hole beside you where you stood shuddering in your skin, and lay the shotgun's muzzle in the boneless hollow behind your ear, and fired the slug into your brain, and felled you into your grave, shoveling sand to cover you, setting goldenrod upright above you, where by next summer a dent in the ground made your monument. For a hundred and fifty years, in the Pasture of dead horses, roots of pine trees pushed through the pale curves of your ribs, yellow blossoms flourished above you in autumn, and in winter frost heaved your bones in the ground - old toilers, soil makers: O Roger, Mackerel, Riley, Ned, Nellie, Chester, Lady Ghost. Martian Poetry is a 20th century, English amphigorical poetic movement (well maybe a movement by just a few, Christopher Reid and Craig Raine in the 1979s-1980s, poetic surrealism in which common objects on Earth were viewed through the eyes of a "Martian" who then describes them in strange and exotic metaphors. This concept was to "break the familiar in poetry". Kaleidoscope A Martian Sends A Post Card Home by Craig Raine Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings and some are treasured for their markings -- they cause the eyes to melt or the body to shriek without pain. I have never seen one fly, but sometimes they perch on the hand. Mist is when the sky is tired of flight and rests its soft machine on ground: then the world is dim and bookish like engravings under tissue paper. Rain is when the earth is television. It has the property of making colors darker. Model T is a room with the lock inside -- a key is turned to free the world for movement, so quick there is a film to watch for anything missed. But time is tied to the wrist or kept in a box, ticking with impatience. In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps, that snores when you pick it up. If the ghost cries, they carry it to their lips and soothe it to sleep with sounds. And yet they wake it up deliberately, by tickling with a finger. Only the young are allowed to suffer openly. Adults go to a punishment room with water but nothing to eat. They lock the door and suffer the noises alone. No one is exempt and everyone's pain has a different smell. At night when all the colours die, they hide in pairs and read about themselves -- in colour, with their eyelids shut. The Misty Poets of China are connected to the protest of the restrictions of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The movement is called "misty" because their poetry was officially denounced as misty or obscure and by 1980 their magazine, Jintian - Today was banned. (It has since been resurrected in Sweden and serves as a voice for expatriots of China. Some of the poets have been exiled but a few have stayed in China. The Answer by Bei Dao Translated By Bonnie S. McDougall This poem was the anthem of Tienemen Square pro-democracy movement. In 1989 the poet Bei Dao was exiled from China because of his literary work. Debasement is the password of the base, Nobility the epitaph of the noble. See how the gilded sky is covered With the drifting twisted shadows of the dead. The Ice Age is over now, Why is there ice everywhere? The Cape of Good Hope has been discovered, Why do a thousand sails contest the Dead Sea? I came into this world Bringing only paper, rope, a shadow, To proclaim before the judgment The voice that has been judged: Let me tell you, world, I—do—not—believe! If a thousand challengers lie beneath your feet, Count me as number thousand and one. I don't believe the sky is blue; I don't believe in thunder's echoes; I don't believe that dreams are false; I don't believe that death has no revenge. If the sea is destined to breach the dikes Let all the brackish water pour into my heart; If the land is destined to rise Let humanity choose a peak for existence again. A new conjunction and glimmering stars Adorn the unobstructed sky now; They are the pictographs from five thousand years. They are the watchful eyes of future generations. "The Answer" by Bei Dao, translated by Bonnie S. McDougall from THE AUGUST SLEEPWALKER, copyright © 1988 by Bei Dao. Translation copyright © 1988, 1990 by Bonnie S. McDougall. Found at PoetryFoundation.org in the public domain. New Formalists or Neo Formalists of the late 1980 and 1990s and into the 21st Century is a primarily American movement to bring attention to traditional forms of verse in terms of meter, rhyme, and stanzaic symmetry. Unhappy with the overwhelming shift to Free Verse and the almost distain many had for metrical patterns as inadequate to express "organic truth", "New Formalist poets and their advocates rallied behind the traditions, aesthetics, and practices they believed had been all but abandoned by many of their contemporaries." Poets.org. The poets who considered themselves New Formalists drawn to form as an alternative to the free verse standard that was handed to them. Some New Formalists are, Timothy Steele, Donald Revelle, Brad Liethauser, Molly Peacock and even Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Good Girl by Molly Peacock American Poet 1947 - Hold up the universe, good girl. Hold up the tent that is the sky of your world at which you are the narrow center pole, good girl. Rup- ture is the enemy. Keep all whole. The itch to be yourself, plump and bending, below a sky unending, held up by God forever is denied by you as Central Control. Sever yourself, poor false Atlas, poor "Atlesse," lie recumbent below the sky. Nothing falls down, except you, luscious and limited on the ground. Holding everything up, always on your own, creates a loneliness so profound you are nothing but a column, good girl, a temple ruin against a sky held up by forces beyond you. Let yourself curl up: a fleshy fetal figure cupped about its own vibrant soul. You are the universe about its pole. God's not far. Note: Atlas: "one of the older family of gods, who was supposed to hold up the pillars of the universe, and also of the mountain in Libya that was regarded as supporting the heavens" (OED). "Atlesse": supposed feminine and diminutive form of "Atlas." Rochester Poets is an active literary society founded in 1922 in Rochester NY as a local chapter of the Poetry Society of America. It has since separated from its parent organization in the 80s to broaden its membership. The group holds monthly poetry readings, publishes a monthly newsletter and The Pinnacle Hill Review*, an annual anthology of selected member work. They can be found on the web at Rochester Poets. Adelaide Crapsey was a member of the Rochester Poets. Visiting a Quaker Meeting by Patricia Janus I am new to this. My mantra selects itself, different from the one I chose. The kangaroo mind leaps to my list of needs. Is someone watching the time? The monkey chatters. Is this how forever begins? The mind and heart go off on different paths; the mantra calls them back until it changes to a prayer of syllables that does not translate into words but spirit song. Transrealism is a literary movement combining th eelements of science fiction and naturalistic realism. It exposes the disconnect or escapism of science fiction as well as the boundries and weight of natural realism. The term was first used by Rudy Rucker who is considered the founder of the movement. He primarily wrote novels but there are poets in the list of writers who have embraced the movement. You Begin by Margaret Atwood You begin this way: this is your hand, this is your eye, that is a fish, blue and flat on the paper, almost the shape of an eye. This is your mouth, this is an O or a moon, whichever you like. This is yellow. Outside the window is the rain, green because it is summer, a nd beyond that the trees and then the world, which is round and has only the colors of these nine crayons. This is the world, which is fuller and more difficult to learn than I have said. You are right to smudge it that way with the red and then the orange: the world burns. Once you have learned these words you will learn that there are more words than you can ever learn. The word hand floats above your hand like a small cloud over a lake. The word hand anchors your hand to this table, your hand is a warm stone I hold between two words. This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world, which is round but not flat and has more colors than we can see. It begins, it has an end, this is what you will come back to, this is your hand.
Explore the Craft of Writing American Verse The Last Gathering Beat Poetry When the subject of Beat Poetry comes up, the image that comes to my mind is a smoky coffee house and clicking fingers as a bearded poet recites his latest work. The Beats are one of the more colorful of the poetic movements because it was front and center of a cultural revolution. Usually poets are on the peripheral of social change. But the poetry of the Beats sparked a generation. "Their critique of American civilization and consciousness was voluminous, rhetorically forceful, sometimes profound and documented in powerfully realistic images of American life." David Perkins, A History of Modern Poetry. Probably the most famous poem is Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Its infamy was created by the obscenity trial against its publisher poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The judge ruled Howl was not obscene. But the trial established the powerful, angry poem as the anthem of Beat Poetry. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night . . . --Allen Ginsberg, "Howl" Then again, Gary Snyder's Zen like poetry is just as much a part of the movement. Regarding Wave by Gary Snyder The voice of the Dharma ------ - the voice -----------now A shimmering bell --------through all. Every hill, ---- still. Every tree alive. Every leaf. All the slopes flow. --------old woods, new seedlings, --------tall grasses plumes. Dark hollows; peaks of light. ---wind stirs the cool side Each leaf living. --------All the hills. --------The Voice ---------is a wife -----------to ---------him still. The movement was launched in the 50's and early 60's, beginning in San Francisco and spreading over most of the US and Europe. It defied convention and attempted to change consciousness, questioning mainstream politics and culture. - - - - - - - - - - - - --------------------------------------------- Cartoon by John Bergstrom AKA varmit found at Attack Cartoons.com Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and Gregory Corso are a few of the more noted poets associated with the movement. As are Kenneth Rexroth and Robert Duncan who were also associated with the San Francisco Renaissance movement. These poets all knew each other. They would gather in the homes of Rexroth and Duncan or hang out at City Lights Bookstore owned by Ferlinghetti, for poetry readings. They supported, mentored and inspired each other. City Lights Bookstore is still open today. Rejecting social conformity and literary tradition was at the center of the work of the Beats. Hallucinogenic drugs, meditation and Eastern religion were explored to raise higher consciousness. Snyder and Ginsberg were both serious students of Eastern religion. In gathering information, it was reading the poetry of the Beats that had the most impact on me. Their work carries its own unique signature from the rage of Ginsberg, Snyder's spiritualism, to the humor of Ferlinghetti. Throughout there is an honesty that is striking. Leaving you with a few poems by the Beats is the best way I can think of ending this article. I Am Waiting by Lawrence Ferlinghetti In Golden Gate Park That Day by Lawrence Ferlinghetti Seaman's Ditty by Gary Snyder Milton by Firelight by Gary Snyder A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg Vitamins and Roughage by Kenneth Rexroth