Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Bosco 3

September 2, 2017

In the August 28th New Yorker‘s “Goings On About Town” section, announcing the end of this year’s HVSF season:

Beautiful natural vistas, drama, and history come together at Boscobel House and Gardens, home of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, about ninety minutes north of the city. Exciting unplanned confluences, such as a convoy of helicopters flying over “Macbeth,” occur regularly [thus making a virtue out of inconvenience]. “A Week of Revolution” (Aug. 27-Sept. 4) will include reënactments, picnics, hikes, and a staging of Richard Nelson’s play “The General from America,” about Benedict Arnold, who tried to hand his command of West Point — visible across the river — over to the British.

An intriguing program, but what caught my eye was the name Boscobel for the house and estate. Long familiar to me, but seen in a new light after two Bosco postings on this blog: from the 20th, on Bosco chocolate syrup and the 25th, on Don Bosco (St. Giovanni / John Bosco).

Eventually this will lead us to Miltonian bosky dells and dogs named Bosco (one of whom got elected mayor of Sunol CA some years ago).

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The taunt

August 8, 2017

Today’s One Big Happy has James reciting a piece of American childlore, the taunt “X is a friend of mine” (where X is a name, preferably a trochaic one, like Ruthie, to fit the trochaic tetrameter pattern of the verse):

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A cornucopia of pop culture references.

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Three names

August 2, 2017

The names for yesterday: Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden. The Urkantonen, or original cantons, of Switzerland:

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Yesterday, August 1st, was Swiss National Day.

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Electric charges

July 26, 2017

Earlier today, the posting “I sing the body elastic”, about Mikey Bustos’s parodic hymn to Speedos, the skimpy elastic men’s swim suits — with a title playing on “I Sing the Body Electric”, a poem from Walt Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass, celebrating the human body. Beginning:

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

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More news not for penises

July 5, 2017

Start with this little poem, “Spurring him on”, which seems to be heavily sexual:

Hotspur Cockspur:
Thorny, horny, over-
Heated prick.
Spiky, showy dandy,
Sharply tipped.

Actually, this is a continuation of my 2/4/16 posting “Some news not for penises”, which was about senses of cock that aren’t about penises, and it’s mostly about plants, a whole hell of a lot of plants, some of them with sharp thorns (like spurs) that will prick you, some of them with showy spikes (like a rooster’s comb), all of them with cock in one of their common names. So, what with the noun cock, the phallic spurs, and the phallic combs, the topic fairly drips with male sexuality — but this posting is not about men’s bodies or mansex. It’s mostly about birds and plants, plus some vintage dandies and Sir Henry Percy.

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Fay Zwicky

July 4, 2017

From today’s issue of The Australian, “Acclaimed poet Fay Zwicky dies in Perth at 83” by Paige Taylor:

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Poems About Sluts

June 13, 2017

(Until the last section, this posting is mostly about silliness. The last section, however, descends to talk of men’s bodies and mansex in street terms, so is not for kids or the sexually modest. I’ll insert a warning when this material is imminent.)

Passed on in Facebook by Michael Palmer, this preposterous book cover:

(#1)

Yes, of course, a hoax. And appeared as such in a volume entitled Bad Little Children’s Books: KidLit Parodies, Shameless Spoofs, and Offensively Tweaked Covers. Then there’s the real book whose cover was tweaked to yield #1.

Beyond all that, we could take the title of #1 at face value and celebrate sluts and sluthood.

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Complementary ignorances

May 18, 2017

Yesterday’s posting on Philip Larkin’s poem “This Be the Verse” elicited this redfaced comment from U.Mass. linguist Rajesh Bhatt:

I only knew this as an Anne Clark song until now!

To which I now reply, equally redfaced, that until Rajesh’s comment I didn’t know about the Anne Clark version, and was in fact only dimly aware of Anne Clark.

(Rajesh supplied a link to a YouTube video of a live performance, at the Berlin Metropol in 1992; you can listen to a studio recording here.)

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Larkin and the Gray Lady, again

May 17, 2017

I’ve been on break from remarking on some of the obsessions of the New York Times — its periodiphilia, its taboo avoidance, and so on — but I’m moved to return to the second of these topics because the Gray Lady has managed to reproduce, in deail, one of its previous encounters with taboo vocabulary, a tussle with poet Philip Larkin’s “This Be the Verse”.

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To Be Young, Gay, and Chinese-American

May 2, 2017

… also gifted, and a poet. That would be Chen Chen, who I became acquainted with through Matthew Zapruder’s poetry column in the NYT Magazine on March 5th, which featured the first poem (“Self-Portrait as So Much Potential”) in Chen’s debut collection When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities. The poet as a grown-up, in a rose garden (in a photo by his partner, Jeff Gilbert):

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