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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,
    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.

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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