Saturday, December 06, 2014

Best Poems of 1994

Akan song ….. Cradle Song
Akan talking drum poem ….. “I carry father, he is too heavy for me”
alta ….. “a car has pulled up outside”
Carlos Drummond de Andrade ….. from Postcards from Ouro Preto: IV: Hotel Toffolo
Anonymous from the Sanskrit ….. “Next morning”
Antler ….. Catching the Sunrise
Antler ….. Childfoot Visitation
Antler ….. Put This in Your Pipe and Smoke It!
Bhavabhuti ….. “Critics scoff”
Patrizia Cavalli ….. “Far from kingdoms”
Alex Cory ….. “The books are hardbound and would kill if dropped”
Larry Eigner ….. “Break the dogfight”
Larry Eigner ….. I will have an image
Larry Eigner ….. Islands
Larry Eigner ….. Letter for Duncan
Larry Eigner ….. Low
Larry Eigner ….. Occasionally
Larry Eigner ….. “shadowy”
Larry Eigner ….. “what time is”
Jean Follain ….. The Secret
Jean Follain ….. “She stops short at something said to her …”
Jean Follain ….. The Students’ Dog
Gajasimha ….. “First time”
Zbigniew Herbert ….. The Return of the Proconsul
Hottentot song ….. Civil War Song
Hottentot song ….. Love Song
David Ignatow ….. 6: “I want a poem that tells itself”
David Ignatow ….. 13: “Why was I born if I have to die”
David Ignatow ….. 14: “I am leaving earth with little knowledge of it”
David Ignatow ….. 52: “The world into which I was born”
Issa ….. three haiku
Linda Johnson ….. Apocalypse
Roberto Juarroz ….. “Use your own hand for a pillow”
Bob Kaufman ….. Song of the Broken Giraffe
Koyukon poem ….. riddle poem (12/J42): “like fine hair”
Mende song ….. On Wealth
Nyanja prayer ….. Prayer for Rain
Tadeusz Rozewicz ….. Leave Us Alone
Rumi ….. The Bottle Is Corked
Rumi ….. 388: “I would love to kiss you.”
Rumi ….. 446: “Today I’m out wandering, turning my skull”
Sherod Santos ….. The Garden Party
Sherod Santos ….. The Palace Hotel at 2 a.m.
Sherod Santos ….. from Three Fragments: #2
Charles Simic ….. Fear
Theognis ….. “You made a mistake in being loved too much”
Theognis ….. “My heart’s uneasy with your love.”
David Trinidad ….. What Ira Said in His Sleep
Tennessee Williams ….. Evening
Barry Yourgrau ….. Golden Years
Barry Yourgrau ….. In the Ice Age
Barry Yourgrau ….. Nursery Tale
Zulu song ….. Song of Those Growing Old

On the Dare I Read blog I react to reading. Sometimes I write about something immediately after reading it. But not usually. Usually I slip a placemark in and write out my thoughts when I get around to it. I got into the habit of multiple placemarks during this personal anthology project. If I read a poem I want to revisit, in goes the placemark. After a few readings, I decide whether I will copy out the poem. The copying is a hassle, but not a big one. Longer poems are bigger hassles. Long poems also have more space to hit wrong notes which can argue against putting up with the hassle. Yes, short poems, you have the advantage when it comes to seizing a page in my book.

Larry Eigner and David Ignatow are poets I was first put off by. Yet here they are, gobbling up pages.

Ignatow is such a sad sack and his poems so prosy that I thought him unbearable and only read a few poems before returning his book to the library. I don’t remember what got me back to him — maybe the challenge? But once I got into him, I found the humor in his depressive poems and their typical brevity made each poem/statement sharper, more piquant than similar sentiments drawn out.

Larry Eigner had a poem wrapped around the exterior walls of the Berkeley Art Museum. I didn’t like it. It didn’t say anything to me. I attended a reading to celebrate the poet partly because a mentor, Paul Mariah, was on the program. There are still many Eigner poems I don’t feel I get — or like — but I discovered settling down with one of Eigner’s books really changed the ambience. I would become absorbed, even if mystified, and move along through a new and different place. I also discovered that there were Eigner poems that I loved all by themselves.

I would also like to note Andrew Schelling’s Dropping the Bow, his collection of translations from ancient Sanskrit. Loved!

No comments: