October 17, 2010

Okay, people, let’s get organized.

Those who have currently signed up to read are as follows: Everett, Meg, Debbi, Alyssa, Erin, Kristin, Christine, and Helen.

Matt, are you reading, or are you working on music and/or an art slideshow?  Anyone else want to come on board?

Kristin’s suggestion, since we apparently gave the title “Why Poetry Matters,” was to read poems from our copo poets that address that issue or that concern art in a metapoetic way.  I like this idea, and, as Kristin or someone said, if we announce that at the beginning, then our audience can listen for/interpret that commentary as we go.

A few suggestions off the top of my head:

Pineda, “My Sister, Who Died Young, Takes Up the Task”

Brooks, “What shall I give my children? who are poor”

selections from Ginsberg, e.g. end of Part I of “Howl”

Walcott, “Sea Grapes” and Omeros Chapter LXIV.I (239)

Clifton, “telling our stories,” “libation,” “why some people be mad at me sometimes,” “my dream about the poet”

Bishop, “The Monument,” “One Art”

Plath, “Two Views of a Cadaver Room,” “The Arrival of the Bee Box,” “Kindness”

What else??

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National Portrait Gallery This Sunday

September 9, 2010

Just thought I’d let everyone know that a few of us are going to the gallery this Sunday to see the Ginsberg exhibit. It will be cramped, but we do have room for another person in the car if anyone would like a ride! we’re gonna try to get there around 11:30, which is when it opens, if anyone’s interested in meeting up.

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The Sestina Challenge

September 9, 2010

A basic definition of the sestina can be found here and a more indepth discussion from another class here.   Comprised of  seven stanzas (six sestets and a triplet), the sestina takes its most essential form from the repetition of six key words at the ends of lines, but they must follow a specified order.  The links here show the order by number or letter, and you can see it by looking at Bishop’s poem or the examples the sites provide.  The triplet, sometimes called the envoi, also must use all six of the words in a specified order (internally and at the end of the line) but many practitioners fudge the order as long as they get all six in to that final stanza.

Your turn:  Write a decent sestina alone or in collaboration with other classmates.  Earn undying admiration for doing it in iambic pentameter.  Do not be sentimental lest Matt insult you.  Post.

Two hints:

1) Choose at least one word that is flexible–e.g., may be used as a noun or a verb, has several definitions  (break), or has homophones (to, two, too).  Avoid choosing all words that have the same grammatical function (all verbs, e.g.) unless there is some compelling reason to do so.

2) When you are ready to start, put all the words on a page at the ends of lines where they must appear so you can visualize the order more concretely.

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Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg

August 26, 2010

Just wanted to let everyone know that there is a cool exhibit up at the National Portrait Gallery in DC right now that features Allen Ginsberg’s photography. It includes pictures of famous members of the Beat movement (such as Jack Kerouac) as well as photographs of his friends, lovers and himself. The exhibit ends September 16th, which actually coincides with the week we will be studying Ginsberg.

Maybe we can get together a CoPo car pool?

Link to the exhibit is here.

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