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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hill of fur could split and run like a river Of ice in thaw, like a broken grave It would crack across the icy crust of withdrawn Sustenance and the rigid circle Of death be shivered: the fed herd would entail its under-fur On the swell of a soft hill and the future be sown On grass, I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 French Verse A Cinquain is any poem or stanza in 5 lines. The words cinquain, quintain, quintet are interchangeable, French, Latin and Italian. There are a multitude of stanzaic forms that use 5 lines as a frame. Some of the more popular are the French traditional Cinquain, the American Cinquain, sometimes called the Crapsey Cinquain and the Spanish Quintilla The traditional French Cinquain of medieval French origin, dates from the 11th century. In the 19th century it was revived by Victor Hugo. The elements of the Traditional French Cinquain in the style of Victor Hugo are: in English most often written in iambic tetrameter but can also be written in iambic pentameter. stanzaic, written in any number of cinquains. (5 line stanzas) rhymed with varying rhyme schemes, most often ababb, or abaab or abccb. Night Dwellers by Judi Van Gorder Suspended with a watchman's care, the hawk-eyed moon directs the night. Below, mice dart... alert, aware they must avoid the barn owl's stare, his razor talons sharpen fright. A 'coon disturbs a garbage lid, the crash exposes nature's clown. And me, I'd long succumbed and slid from bed to download visions mid attempts to paint with verb and noun. Reason's for Attendance by Philip Larkin (1922-1985) The trumpet's voice, loud and authoritative, Draws me a moment to the lighted glass To watch the dancers - all under twenty-five - Solemnly on the beat of happiness.- Or so I fancy, sensing the smoke and sweat, The wonderful feel of girls. Why be out there ? But then, why be in there? Sex, yes, but what Is sex ? Surely to think the lion's share Of happiness is found by couples - sheer Inaccuracy, as far as I'm concerned. What calls me is that lifted, rough-tongued bell (Art, if you like) whose individual sound Insists I too am individual.It speaks; I hear; others may hear as well, But not for me, nor I for them; and so With happiness. Therefor I stay outside, Believing this, and they maul to and fro, Believing that; and both are satisfied, If no one has misjudged himself. Or lied. Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning (1812-1889) THE rain set early in to-night, --- The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, --- And did its worst to vex the lake: --- I listen'd with heart fit to break. 5 When glided in Porphyria; straight --- She shut the cold out and the storm, And kneel'd and made the cheerless grate --- Blaze up, and all the cottage warm; --- Which done, she rose, and from her form 10 Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl, --- And laid her soil'd gloves by, untied Her hat and let the damp hair fall, --- And, last, she sat down by my side --- And call'd me. When no voice replied, 15 She put my arm about her waist, --- And made her smooth white shoulder bare, And all her yellow hair displaced, --- And, stooping, made my cheek lie there, --- And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair, 20 Murmuring how she loved me-she --- Too weak, for all her heart's endeavor, To set its struggling passion free --- From pride, and vainer ties dissever, --- And give herself to me for ever. 25 But passion sometimes would prevail, --- Nor could to-night's gay feast restrain A sudden thought of one so pale --- For love of her, and all in vain: --- So, she was come through wind and rain. 30 Be sure I look'd up at her eyes --- Happy and proud; at last I knew Porphyria worshipp'd me; surprise --- Made my heart swell, and still it grew --- While I debated what to do.--- 35 That moment she was mine, mine, fair, --- Perfectly pure and good: I found A thing to do, and all her hair --- In one long yellow string I wound --- Three times her little throat around, 40 And strangled her. No pain felt she; --- I am quite sure she felt no pain. As a shut bud that holds a bee, --- I warily oped her lids: again --- Laugh'd the blue eyes without a stain. 45 And I untighten'd next the tress --- About her neck; her cheek once more Blush'd bright beneath my burning kiss: --- I propp'd her head up as before, --- Only, this time my shoulder bore 50 Her head, which droops upon it still: --- The smiling rosy little head, So glad it has its utmost will, --- That all it scorn'd at once is fled, --- And I, its love, am gain'd instead! 55 Porphyria's love: she guess'd not how --- Her darling one wish would be heard. And thus we sit together now, --- And all night long we have not stirr'd, ---And yet God has not said a word! 60