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Contemporary Poets

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JenniferMaxwell
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0 posted 03-11-2010 03:41 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell


Writing in meter with rhyme - recommendations
would be appreciated. Thanks!

Balladeer
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1 posted 03-11-2010 08:15 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Actually, there aren't a lot of contemporary poets that deal with precise meter and rhyme. It is not the form that sells today and, although many may write it, you won't see a lot of it published or known. (Random House confirmed this fact to me personally!)

Probably the best well-known American poet of today that deals with meter and rhyme is Maya Angelou. Her meter is often sporatic but, due to her defense, one can tell that she writes for mainly performance and, when one recites, it is much easier to cover up the meter glitches. Shel Silverstein is another.

I think the last great poet that exercised wonderful meter and rhyme the majority of the time was Banjo Paterson. He was a master of his trade.

The standard to be measured by, of course, will always be Poe.
JenniferMaxwell
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2 posted 03-11-2010 09:10 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks very much Balladeer. As luck would have it, I picked up a second hand four volume gift collection by Angelou at a tag sale not too long ago. Havenít had a chance to get into it, but now I will.

Found works by Paterson at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/p#a118

and also by Poe: http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/p#a481

Bob K
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3 posted 03-11-2010 02:19 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     How up to date do you want to get?  There is a good literature of modern poets writing in meter and rhyme.  I'd suggest Donald Justice, who died a few years back.  He has a short piece on von Stauffenberg that is a very fine poem in his last book.  You might try some of John Koethke, who did a nice translation of a selection from the Greek Anthology a little while back.  

     Ron Wallace has been writing very fine sonnets for almost forty years, and his mastery of metrics is good.  Last I heard he  ran the writing program at University of Wisconsin.  

     One of the ways to check on this sort of stuff is to read a few of the good poetry magazines on a regular basis.  Poetry for example, if read on a semi regular basis, will show the regular appearance of formal work by talented modern poets, as will The New Yorker and many of the other high-test markets.  Mike is right when it comes to the high end book publishers, I think, but not entirely anymore, at least as much as he would have been 20 years or so ago.

     What people read are poems that they love, and that's a difficult sort of thing to predict.  I'm very fond of Billy Collins, these days, who can do formal metrics and rhyme when he wants to, but simply doesn't want to very much.  Perhaps you know his stuff.  And then there are the killer short lyrics by A.E. Houseman, most of them about 12 lines or so and written at the end of the 19th century.  If you don't know those, your diet is lacking vitamins ó three short books, absolutely perfect of their sort.

     He was a Greek scholar and a generally strange guy.

     How about those folks?  If you don't know them already, why not given them a shot?

BK

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4 posted 03-11-2010 03:27 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

http://www.worldclasspoetryblog.com/why-rhyme-is-back-in/07/18/2008/
Balladeer
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5 posted 03-11-2010 03:55 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, I think you will like Banjo. His most famous poem, The Man From Snowy River, was made into a very popular movie.  http://www.ausinternet.com/ettamogah/snowyriver.htm

I would like to believe that rhyme is making a comeback. It would be nice to get back to a time when poets were known and admired by many people, not just other poets. Unfortunately, when rhyme was in it's swan song, being replaced by free verse, poetry became more of a closed society and the public was left out. It would be nice to bring them back in.
Bob K
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6 posted 03-11-2010 07:48 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     I liked the exchange that grinch posted, though I think that the attempt to connect it with philosophy doesn't hold much water.  Not to say that philosophy isn't interesting, simply to say that poets are more interested on the whole, by other poets than by philosophers, at least when it comes time to put pen and paper together.

     My notion is much the same as the unnamed poet who write the short essay that grinch quotes, that is, that you can take a shot at a sestina, a sonnet or a free verse piece on any given day, depending on what the particular piece seems to need.  Forcing yourself into a box before having some sense of the poem has always seemed to be a way of shutting off certain poetic directions.  That may be a help for you in your writing.  For me, I need every break I can get.

     I also like the list of more formal folk that Grinch's author offers.  Richard Wilbur is another of my American Favorites.  Not too many people talk about John Berryman these days, though he is spectacular if somewhat difficult at times.  One of his early Dream Songs begins
"Life, Friends, is boring."  He is a lesson in advanced metrics, and is one of the most amazing religious poets I've ever read, especially his 11 Addresses to The Lord.  I've always found religious poetry difficult, for the most part, and often maudlin in the extreme, but this series in particular makes my hair stand up.

     Some of his earlier poems are more standard in their metrics and rhyme, and they're to be found in his Collected Poems(1937-1971).  His metrics are up to the standard of Milton and Shakespeare's in that early stuff, and as he gets older, he experiments with variations, but he's always clear exactly what he's doing.  He's got a series of sonnets that I suspect he meant to stand against the Shakespearian sonnets, and their metric is fully as compacted and jammed as the 16th century models.

     I'm taking up other people's space here.  I'll shut up now.
JenniferMaxwell
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7 posted 03-11-2010 08:29 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks so much for all the recommendations. Iíve just about worn out my Wright and Wilbur collections, the pages have been thumbed back to pulp. Been looking for something of the same quality, contemporary and metrical to add to my library. My budget is very limited, didnít want to make a huge mistake. Thanks again, and if you should think of something else just pop back to this thread. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking for good reads.

JenniferMaxwell
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8 posted 03-11-2010 08:51 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Oops forgot. Read some of the Paterson's, Balladeer. One I liked a lot was "In the Droving Days"
Not sure if this link will take you to that particular poem, but it should be close.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/213/213-h/213-h.htm#2H_4_0023
Sunshine
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9 posted 03-11-2010 09:39 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Well, Jennifer, your question answered some for me, and I'm grateful for the knowing now of The Man from Snowy River as I did not know that the movie had its beginnings as a poem...thanks!

While not a published metered writer [to my knowledge], one poet you might enjoy is Dave Smith. He is one that I enjoy not only reading, but hearing. He appeared at our Poetry Month showing in 2001...his voice is wonderful...his poetry everyday spectacular.
http://wiredforbooks.org/davesmith/

You might enjoy him.
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10 posted 03-11-2010 10:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

He wrote another one you may be familiar with, Sunshine.....Waltzing Matilda.

That was a good one, Jennifer. He also had a clever wit when it came to political jibes, such as... http://www.bushverse.com/paterson/daceymule.htm

I just like his style
Essorant
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11 posted 03-11-2010 10:36 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Poets at this site don't count?   I think Balladeer writes some very good meter and rhyme.  
Grinch's poetry has some great examples too.  
JenniferMaxwell
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12 posted 03-12-2010 03:20 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

But of course, Ess, and you've written some very lovely verse yourself.
Bob K
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13 posted 03-12-2010 06:32 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     Sunshine is right about Dave Smith, though not he's not a formalist.  You might try some of the early David St. John, also not formal but mind bending.  Try Hush if you can get it.  Some of his stuff from his first few books will bring you to tears.  Same sort of thing, David Bottoms, Shooting Rats in The Bibb County Dump.

     For Formalist stuff, Donald Justice, try Collected Poems, the most recent version.  Almost half of them are formal, and he is a poet's poet.  If you haven't read Elizabeth Bishop collected Questions of Travel I believe the name is, you owe it to yourself.  If you have access to a good library, try  taking a couple of these out and going through them; make your own decisions as to which ones draw you most strongly.  The one you need right now will probably taste better than you can imagine.  Follow those literary taste buds.

     There's a Justice poem called "The Thin Man" with a line in it that goes something like

I indulge in rich refusals.

     Justice himself was almost skeletally thin, about six feet tall, and was a demonic volleyball player.  He had to wrap both shins heavily in ace bandages before he played because he had scars running their entire lengths.  He'd had to spend years at a time in bed as a boy and had painful operations on the infected bone marrow there.  He was fortunate to survive.  He loved to drink gin over ice and we used to go dancing with the woman I was living with at that time at a country western bar.  
JenniferMaxwell
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14 posted 03-12-2010 07:26 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Peeked inside Justice's Collected at Amazon. I think that could be it. Not available at my local library, but I can get it ILL. Thanks Bob! And thanks for mentioning Hersey's "The Wall". Shortly before you mentioned it I had just finished reading his "Hiroshima" for the second time.  Two must haves to be read again and again. I have a couple by Bishop, found them a bit of a challenge when I read them several years ago, but now my ear is craving something different, I'll give them another try. Thanks again.

JenniferMaxwell
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15 posted 03-12-2010 07:27 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

David St. John's "Iris"
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15375
JenniferMaxwell
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16 posted 03-12-2010 08:34 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I just ordered a used copy of HUSH from Amazon - only $2.00!
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17 posted 03-12-2010 10:42 AM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

Jennifer,

One of my favorite poems is "Harlem" by Walter Dean Myers.  It doesn't rhyme but it has meter.  Check it out -
http://faculty.lagcc.cuny.edu/eiannotti/harlem/harlem.htm

A
JenniferMaxwell
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18 posted 03-12-2010 05:11 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks so much, Alison - a powerful poem, a moving weave of history and dreams.

Anyone else have a favorite poet or poem?


Bob K
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19 posted 03-12-2010 05:16 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



A few more:


Anthony Hecht:
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=179058

John Berryman:

     This is the title poem of the 11 poem series:
http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2001/09/19


Louis Simpson:

    He has writen fine, fine poems in both free and formal verse.  This one is writen like a Scottish border ballad.  Simpson was there.
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=171538

JenniferMaxwell
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20 posted 03-13-2010 05:52 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks Bob, wonderful offerings. Those two sites are marvelous, offering so much good reading for free.

Lunch Poems - For those like me who live in the boonies and rarely if ever have the opportunity to hear a major poet read, you might like to take a look at Lunch Poems. Google, poke around and I think youíll find something to suit your taste.

From the Berkeley series, a reading by a poet I greatly admire, Eavan Boland:
http://webcast.berkeley.edu/event_details.php?seriesid=015b1069-9845-4a1b-ac96-5a1ecbd27760

JenniferMaxwell
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21 posted 03-13-2010 06:15 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

A partial listing of readings from the Berkeley series:
http://webcast.berkeley.edu/events.php?group=Lunch+Poems

Bob K
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22 posted 03-13-2010 04:16 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Do you know Frank O'Hara?  The reason I ask is that the title of one of his books is called Lunch Poems, and he's really very good.  He died young, run over by a golf cart, I think, on Fire Island.    He's got such a casual, chatty and conversational voice and he manages to do such interesting things with it.  It's illusory, because it sounds so casual, and yet there's not a wasted word there.  Very artful indeed.
JenniferMaxwell
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23 posted 03-13-2010 06:45 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Havent read much by O'Hara, but here's one I like:
My Heart http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9TRUARUvTI&feature=related

JenniferMaxwell
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24 posted 03-13-2010 06:51 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Anyone a Wallace Stevens fan? I keep going back to his work even though it's so far over my head, like a distant star you catch only a glimpse of out of the corner of your eye.

My favorite:

Sunday Morning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkQjosxv-lc

 
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