Sunday, August 30, 2009

Poet 16: T.S. Eliot


Sixteen poets in eighteen days plus a Shakespeare play for good measure.

I concluded with T.S. Eliot. by listening to a recording of him reading "The Wasteland" on YouTube! (the internet can be such a blessing)

T.S. Eliot wrote "The Wasteland" prior to his conversion and when he was going through great problems in his marriage (loveless and something he jumped into before he knew the woman). It speaks of his thirst, and this was all part of his process in coming to find the TRUE living water of Jesus!

I will conclude this adventure with a YouTube video of a wonderful narrator reading "The Journey of the Magi" which is through the eyes of one of the wise men. It was written after Eliot became a believer.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Poet 16: T.S. Eliot

Yippee!  Sixteen American Poets in fourteen days with a Shakespeare play thrown into the mix!  

No place of grace for those who avoid the face 
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice
From Ash Wednesday

Poet 15: Ezra Pound

Background: Ezra Pound was born in 1885 in Hailey of the Idaho Territory. He was a leader of the modernist movement in poetry. He advanced the work of Americans like Frost, Williams, Hemingway, and Eliot in addition to Irish writers Yeats and Joyce. He had radical political views, supported Mussolini, was a critic of the US involvement in World War II, and an anti-semite. A colorful character by all accounts! He was even arrested for treason but aquitted and determined he was insane!

Now, to his poetry . . .

I thought he might be like Gross Ginsberg (forever will be my name for his creepy poetry), but it was very well-crafted and beautiful. I just didn't understand a whole lot of it! LOL! He uses many Greek illusions, and I am glad I have a bit of background in this. He promulgated Imagism which borrows from classical Japanese and Chinese poetry.

Though I didn't always understand him, I liked him.

This poem got the most comments on

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Poet 14: Sylvia Plath

When Sylvia was eight, her father died, and she declared, "I'll never speak to God again." It is obvious from her poetry that she did not. She wrote over 274 poems in her 31 years of life. Her last one was written six days before she took her life in the dead of the coldest winter in England since 1947.

She was spoke early and was writing complege poems by the age of five. John Dryden once said,

"Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide,"

Here is one poem that she wrote eleven days before she died. Her poor children!


Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new

Whose name you meditate --
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,

Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical

Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.

P.S. Here is a website on neurotic poets I found fascinating.

Poet 13: Langston Hughes

Whew! After Adrienne Rich's poetry, it was refreshing to read Langston. He hit my heart with the African-American experience. That is one thing I have appreciated about Susan Wise-Bauer: she has included many works by African-Americans that have opened my eyes (Invisible Man, Native Son, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Song of Solomon, Up From Slavery, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Rita Dove poems).

Here are some favorites:

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

Still Here

been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me,
Sun has baked me,

Looks like between 'em they done
Tried to make me

Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'--
But I don't care!
I'm still here!

I like selections from Montage of a Dream Deferred

Dream Deferred (now I know where the title of the play comes from)

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Poet 12: Adrienne Rich

I didn't really connect with Adrienne Rich. She is a feminist, and she seems pretty angry at men. This article she wrote sums up her radical views. See HERE. I don't agree with you Adrienne. Sorry.

I thought some of her stuff was pretty disgusting and not edifying to read. I think Susan Wise-Bauer should give a warning before reading her. I think some of Wise-Bauer's "Be sure to read" suggestions are not good! Susan, what were you thinking?

This one was OK though:


Living in the earth-deposits of our history

Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate.

Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil

She died a famous woman denying
her wounds
her wounds came from the same source as her power


expermenting with iGoogle

I can post from this page. Tee Hee

Poet 11: Mark Strand

I found many of his poems dear and others quite odd.

"Old People on the Nursing Home Porch" made me think of my visits with mom at Sterling Senior Community. I would love to sit and listen to these elderly people tell their stories. I wanted to write a book called Waiting to Die at Sterling. It was a sad thing to see so many of them have to sit there day in and day out so bored and lonely. I felt for my mom who spent so many of her days in the same way. I ached to have her live near or with me so that I could visit with her daily and have the boys and George visit with her too, but it was not meant to be.

This commentary on the poem resonated with me:

In this clearly-written poem, Strand creates a single, sustained image: a porch of elderly persons rocking quietly in the face of meaninglessness. There is no redemption, there is no escape but death. Perhaps, however, it is their isolation in the nursing home that robs them (and their stories) of meaning. What if they were rocking instead on the porches of their own homes, or the homes of their children? (from the Literature, Arts, and Medicine Data Base of NYU)

Here is the poem in Google Books: "Old People on the Nursing Home Porch"

He was born in Canada but spent much of his time in the US and South America.

TWEM LIST UPDATE: 122/158 (77%) - 36 To GO!

I thought it would be easier to have the

ones I have left bolded rather than

the ones that I have already done.

I put Ancient Times and part of Medieval

at the end since I have completed it.

Medieval Times

1580 Essays+ Montaigne Auto

1588 Life of Teresa of Avila Auto DONE

1588 Doctor Faustus Marlowe Drama DONE

1592 Richard II Shakespeare Drama DONE

1594 Midsummer’s Nights Dream* Shakespeare Drama DONE

1600 Hamlet* Shakespeare Drama DONE

Early Modern (1600-1850)

1605 Don Quixote*+ Cervantes Novel DONE

1611 Psalms KJV Poetry DONE

1667 Paradise Lost*+ Milton Poetry DONE

1641 Meditations+ Descartes Auto DONE

1666 Grace Abounding Bunyon Auto DONE

1669 Tartuffe Moliere Drama DONE

1679 Pilgrim’s Progress* Bunyon Novel DONE

1682 Narrative of Captivity & Restoration Rowlandson Auto DONE

1690 True End Civil Government Locke History DONE

1700 Way of the World Congreve Drama DONE

1726 Gulliver’s Travels* Swift Novel DONE

1754 History of England, V.5 Hume History

1757 Songs Innocence Experience Blake Poetry

1762 Social Contract+ Rousseau History DONE

1781 Confessions* Rousseau Auto DONE

1776 Common Sense (T) Paine HistoryDONE

1776 Decline & Fall

of the Roman Empire Gibbon Wormsley History

1777 School of Scandal Sheridan Drama DONE

1791 Autography of (T) Benjamin Franklin Auto DONE

1792 Vindication of the Rights of Women+ Wollstonecraft History

1770-1850 (1798) Wordsworth (Brit) Poetry

1772-1834 Coleridge (Brit) Poetry

1813 Pride & Prejudice*+ Austen Novel DONE

1795-1821 Keats (Brit) Poetry

1807-1882 Longfellow (American) Poetry DONE

1809-1883 Tennyson (Brit) Poetry

1819-1892 Whitman (American) Poetry DONE

1835 Democracy in America* Tocqueville History

1838 Oliver Twist Dickens Novel DONE

1847 Jane Eyre Bronte Novel DONE

1848 The Communist Manifesto+ Marx & Engel History

1850 The Scarlet Letter* Hawthorne Novel DONE

Modern History (1850 to present)

1830-1889 * Dickenson Am Poetry DONE

1830-1894(1862) Rossetti Brit Poetry

1844-1889(1918) Hopkins Brit Poetry

1851 Moby-Dick Melville Novel DONE

1851 Uncle Tom’s Cabin (T) Stowe Novel DONE

1854 Walden (T) Thoreau Auto DONE

1857 Madame Bovary* Flaubert Novel DONE

1860 Civilization of Renaissance Burckhardt History

1861 Slave Girl Jacobs Auto DONE

1866 Crime & Punishment Dostoyevsky Novel DONE

1865-1939 (1928) Yeats (Irish) Poetry

1872-1906 (1896) Dunbar (American) Poetry DONE

1874-1963 (1913) Frost Am. Poetry DONE

1877 Anna Karenina* Tolstoy Novel DONE

1878 Return of the Native Hardy Novel DONE

1878-1967 (1904) Sandburg (American) Poetry DONE

1879 Doll’s House Ibsen Drama DONE

1881 Life & Times of Frederick Douglas* (T) Auto (Narrative)

1881 The Portrait of a Lady* James Novel DONE

1883-1963 (1909) Williams (American) Poetry DONE

1885-1972 (1908) Pound (American) Poetry DONE

1888-1965 (1922) Eliot (American/Brit) Poetry DONE

1884 Huckleberry Finn* (T) Twain Novel DONE

1895 The Red Badge of Courage Crane Novel DONE

1899 Importance of Being Earnest Wilde Drama DONE

1901 Up From Slavery Washington Auto DONE

1902 Heart of Darkness* Conrad Novel DONE

1902-1967 (1926) Hughes (American) Poetry DONE

1903 Souls of Black Folk DuBois History DONE

1904 Cherry Orchard Chekov Drama DONE

1904 Protestant Ethic Spirit Capitalism Weber History

1905 House of Mirth Wharton Novel DONE

1907-1973 (1922) Auden (Brit/American) Poetry

1908 Ecce Homo Nietzsche Auto

1921 Queen Victoria Stachey History DONE

1922-1985 (1955) Larkin (Brit) Poetry

1924 St. Joan Shaw Drama DONE

1925 Mein Kampf Hitler Auto

The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald Novel DONE

Mrs. Dolloway Woolf Novel DONE

The Trial* Kafka Novel DONE

1926-1997 (1956) Ginsberg (American) Poetry DONE

1929 My Experiments with Truth Gandhi Auto

1932-1963 Plath (American) Poetry DONE

1933 Auto of Alice B. Toklas Stein Auto DONE

1934- Strand (American) Poetry DONE

1929- Rich (American) Poetry DONE

1935 Murder in Cathedral T.S. Eliot Drama DONE

1937 Wigan Pier Orwell History

1938 Our Town Wilder Drama DONE

1939- Heany (British) Poetry

The New England Mind Miller History

1940 Long Day’s Journey Night O’Neill Drama DONE

Native Son Wright Novel DONE

1940- (1966) Pinsky Poetry DONE

Surprised by Joy (1955) C.S. Lewis Auto

1942 Stranger Camus Novel DONE

1944 No Exit Sartre Drama DONE

1947 A Streetcar Named Desire Williams Drama DONE

1947 - 1955 Kenyon (American) Poetry DONE

1948 Seven Story Mountain Merton Auto

1949 1984 Orwell Novel DONE

Death of a Salesman Miller Drama DONE

1952 Invisible Man Ellison Novel DONE

Waiting for Godot Beckett Drama DONE

1952 - Dove (American) Poetry DONE

1955 The Great Crash Galbraith History

1956 Seize the Day Bellow Novel DONE

1959 The Longest Day Ryan History

1960 A Man for All Seasons Bolt Drama DONE

1963 The Feminine Mystique Frieden History DONE

1965 The Autography of + Malcolm X Auto

1967 100 Years of Solitude Marquez Novel DONE

Rosencrantz & Guildenstein Stoppard Drama DONE

1972 Winter’s Night a Traveler Calvino Novel DONE

1973 Journal of Solitude Sarton Auto

Gulag Archipelago Solzhenitsyn Auto

1974 Roll, Jordan, Roll Genovese History

1974 Equus Shaffer Drama DONE

1977 Born Again Colson Auto DONE

Song of Solomon Morrison Novel DONE

1978 Distant Mirror Tuchman History

1982 Hunger of Memory Rodriguez Auto DONE

1985 White Noise Delillo Novel DONE

1987 All the President’s Men Woodward & Bernstein History

1988 Battle Cry of Freedom McPherson History DONE

1989 Road from Coorain Conway Auto DONE

1990 Possession Byatt Novel DONE

1990 A Midwife's Tale Ulrich History

1992 End of History Last Man Fukuyama History

1995 All Rivers Run to the Sea Wiesel Auto DONE



2000 Epic of Gilgamesh Ferry Poetry DONE

800 Iliad *+ T Homer Lattimore Poetry DONE

800 Odyssey*+ T Homer Lattimore Poetry DONE

600 Greek Lyrics Lattimore Poetry DONE

458 Agamemnon*+ T Aeschylus Drama DONE

450 Oedipus Rex*+ T Sophocles Drama DONE

441 Histories Herodotus History DONE

431 Medea Euripides Drama DONE

400 Birds (Clouds – T) Aristophanes Drama DONE

400 Peloponnesian War*+ Thucydides History DONE

375 Republic*+ Plato History DONE

330 Poetics+ Aristotle Drama DONE

65 Odes Horace Poetry DONE


100 Lives (Greek/Roman) Plutarch History DONE

400 Confessions*+ T Augustine Auto DONE

426 City of God+ Augustine History DONE

731 Ecclesiastical History of the English People Bede History DONE

1000 Beowulf* Poetry DONE

1300 Inferno*+ Poetry DONE

1300's Everyman Drama DONE

1350 Sir Gawain & the Green Knight* Poetry DONE

1386 Canterbury Tales* Chaucer Poetry DONE

1430 The Book of Margery Kempe Auto DONE

1513 Prince*+ Machiavelli History DONE

1516 Utopia* Sir Thomas More History DONE

1564 Sonnets Shakespeare Poetry DONE

1572 Poems* Donne Poetry DONE


Here I go for fifteen minutes. I did not do the fifteen-minute freewrite Friday as I thought. And I totally missed this last Friday. So, I a...