Words can't describe what a fantastic time my film crew and I had on the second leg of the Western States Grand Tour! We met more wonderful living poets and family members who spoke to us on camera, AND each day the surrounding beauty (see pictures) was really quite breathtaking.
Along with Dedgar the Poemobile and my son, Simon, we traversed through nine Western States in 40 days of amazing sights and sounds and the Great Western Tour. Along the journey we documented 57 poets' graves and met so many tremendous people and poets. Thank you to all who met us along the way. Dedgar is parked and ready in Denver to begin the 2nd half of the tour on June 20th.
From the NYT: "Books and reading were encouraged in their small apartment, as Mr. Agüeros recalled in “Halfway to Dick and Jane,” an essay he contributed to “The Immigrant Experience,” an anthology that came out in 1971.
“As I became a good reader they bought books for me and never refused me money for their purchase,” he wrote. “My father once built a bookcase for me. It was an important moment, for I had always believed that my father was not too happy about my being a bookworm.”
Have just come across the remarkable story of poet Mark O'Brien, who lived in the BayArea and had two films made about his life. At the age of 6 he was stricken with polio and he wrote his poetry even though he needed an "iron lung" to stay alive.
Seems as though he has one of the most unique burial places, as he loved baseball and horses, so it is reported that he was buried at Golden Gate Fields, a racetrack near Oakland.
March 15th -- The Dead Poets Society of America has announced the Dead Poets Western States Grand Tour 2014.
The historic 80-grave journey (see map) will start April 14th, in Colorado Springs and end in Montana in mid July. Along the way Dedgar The Poemobile will be meeting many LIVE poets as well who will meet us at the graves to read and reflect.
Final dates and details of the itinerary will be announced soon. Hop on board the Dead Poets Train and be a part of making literary history. Po'ward!
But I see a cat (!) She is sleeping.
Now, a man enters. He walks into the poet’s grave chamber. He joins his palms and murmurs a… prayer perhaps. He sits down on the marble floor and arranges the flowers on Ghalib’s grave. He holds the tombstone in his arms and sings a verse by… Ghalib, perhaps.
A few minutes pass.
Now, he gets up and leaves.
The place is again empty. Except for the cat. She is still asleep. It is a beautiful moment.
(A found poem; found here)
Mr. O’Gorman said he was inspired to open his school, in 1966, by reading radical education theorists like Paul Goodman. But the reality was simpler. “I was merely a fool poet,” he said, “with nothing but poetry in his bag, hoping the energy and joy that brought poems from chaos would carry me to the children.”
Banjo Paterson, Australia's bush poet, celebrated during 150th anniversary:
This is an iconic poet for Australia. We want to make sure that younger generations are aware of Banjo and his contribution to Australia,” Taste Orange executive officer Rhonda Sear said.
“His songs and stories picked up a lot of things that are the basis of our view of ourselves,” Fahey said. “Loneliness in the bush, walking off properties, dealing with natural disasters and financial ruin. They were all covered by Paterson.”
See accompanying article: Banjo Paterson: is he still the bard of the bush?
Where Paterson took a Romanticist view of the outback – Wordsworth was an influence – Lawson favoured a social realist perspective, emphasising the harshness of the environment and the inequality between (poor) selectors and (rich) squatters, rather like the homesteaders and ranchers in the US west. For all its faults the modern city, argued Lawson, was where the egalitarian dream of a democratic Australia could more likely be achieved.
In the literary joust between Paterson and Lawson over the basis for Australian national identity, the former won out in terms of sales. The audience warmed to his wistful humour and underlying optimism, and could not bear too much of Lawson’s grim reality.
The fact that relatively few Australians have ever lived in the bush and thus experienced for themselves the isolation, monotony and physical hardships worked to Paterson’s advantage.
His outback is the stuff of myth, though at the same time his vision is never merely fanciful. According to the leading contemporary Australian poet Les Murray, Paterson, even at his broadest, “carries us into a legendary Australia he did much to create, a country in part bygone, in part fictional, in part still there”.
Long, fascinating article in the Daily Beast, (2.16.14) of all places, about "Lord" Byron. It relates Byron to the international politics of our day. Excerpt:
It’s certainly true that he exhibited one of the hallmarks of the 19th century Orientalist: the frisson he experienced in the Near East was mostly sexual. “I am dying for the love of three Greek girls at Athens, sisters,” he wrote his friend Henry Drury in 1810. “Teresa, Mariana, and Katinka are the names of these divinities—all of them under fifteen.” (Teresa inspired the poem “Maid of Athens, Ere We Part.”) But even amid such dissipations, there was powerful paradox at work in Byron’s character: the spoiled, aristocratic posturing, luxurious living, and reckless sport-fucking competed with a core seriousness founded on a hatred of injustice and a sincere internationalism.
Unlike British radicals of more recent vintage, Byron was profoundly pro-American despite never having traveled to the constitutional republic he thought a model for all civilized nations, including his own. He associated the “first tidings that have ever sounded like Fame” not with his domestic critical reception (far from adulatory) but with hearing that his poems were now read on the banks of the Ohio River.
An informative article about Helga Sandburg Crile relayed that "Helga does not attend funerals or weddings. None. Speaking of the death of a dear friend she says that every morning a beautiful red cardinal comes to her in the garden and asks "Is Betty here?" When she "hears" the cardinal ask about Betty she says, "Betty is always with me. There was no reason to go to her funeral."
"I still talk to his ashes. The wonderful thing about death is that it can't take away memories."
She loved gardens, and it remains to be seen if her own remains will be placed in the incredibly wonderful family garden-cemetery in Galesburg, or with her deceased husband, in Cleveland.
The title of this post if from the documentary film The Day Carl Sandburg Died
(PBS Newshour 1-24-14) Walk around the market town of Dumfries, Scotland, and at first glance you'll see what looks like a kind of graffiti in the windowpanes -- faint etchings in some, and in others verses written boldly in thick black pen. A few are the surviving work of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, etched into the glass centuries ago when he stayed at the Globe Inn. Others are the work of contemporary poets, writing to pay him tribute.
January 25th marks the 255th anniversary of Burns' birth, and around the world, Scots and devotees of the poet alike will gather to commemorate the event with Burns Suppers -- eating haggis, raising a wee dram of whisky (whiskey to us Americans), and most importantly, reading his poetry aloud. Burns was only 37 years old when he died, but was a prolific writer, giving the world "Auld Lang Syne," "A Red, Red Rose" and "To a Mouse," among others.
Mexico City (AFP) 1/26/2014 -- "President Enrique Pena Nieto also paid tribute. "A great representative of our (Spanish-language) literature has passed away. Mexicowill miss the great writer Jose Emilio Pacheco. May he rest in peace," the president tweeted.
Pacheco, born in Mexico City, was humble despite his fame, rejecting until the last moment the title of greatest living Mexican poet.
"I'm not the best poet of Mexico, not even of my neighborhood," he quipped in 2009, noting that he lived near Argentine poet Juan Gelman, who died earlier this month.
Singer-songwriter Steven Fromholz, who was named poet laureate of Texas in 2007 and who rose to fame writing songs for artists such as Willie Nelson has died in a freak hog hunting accident.
Quite by Providential Accident I stumbled across the grave of poet #320 yesterday in Concord's Sleepy Hollow cemetery.
The family motto, Nec Temere Nec Timide is across the three adjoining Bulkeley graves, which are on a little ridge facing the more famous Author's Ridge.
Lo, even though his poetry stinketh, I hath stumbled upon my 320th Poets' Grave, the Lord be praised!
Abdul Ghani: Poet/Painter/Pashto Philosopher: Painters from the province, including Brekhna Shehzad, Mavra Khan and Mohammad Arshad, are trying to incorporate Khan’s philosophy and politics into their work to express their affection for the man who was not just a poet but a painter, sculptor and vital part of Pashto literature.
Ghani Khan’s poetry was mostly humourous and satirical. He is considered to be one of the grand masters of Pashto literature in the same league as Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari and Qalandar Momand.
Hamdullah Arbab, a painter who works mostly with oil and water colours, while talking about his portrait of Ghani Khan, said it was an interesting way to highlight the poet’s work and philosophy. He added that his real aim was to convey Ghani Khan’s philosophy to the masses through his art.
Mumbai, India. Around 5,000 people walked in a procession on Thursday to bid adieu to a leader who shook up the 1970s with his militant Dalit movement.
Renowned poet and firebrand Marathi writer Padma Shri Namdeo Dhasal, 64, who was battling colorectal cancer for the past three and a half months, passed away on Wednesday. Thousands, including personalities in the field of Marathi literature and politicians...