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21st Century Poets 
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Post 21st Century Poets
I have recently come upon the work of the poet Kathleen Ossip. Have a read -

On Political Crisis


Grace Success consists in ignoring
what you don't like, as a bunny

leaps past tinfoil
in his search for greens.

You don't need spring fever
in a garden of tinfoil;

to seize the choice bit
in place of the glittering

or the made-up
means the whole plot

will be changed, gladly.
In the vicinity,

all relish posturings;
the problem is how to remain chaste

next to so many furry bodies
when those we thought would cuddle us,

whether weeping or jeering,
have fled.

The problem is how to remain.
Words are no doorstep whatsoever

for the orphaned and penniless.
The hop to the shed

is driven by wanting
to fill the wreck with delights reordering.


When I first read this poem the line breaks brought E.E. Cummings to mind. And also, Frost in a weird way. Frost was able in his poems to use images of nature to bring across an idea - to ask questions of value; as in The Mending Wall. Nature brings the wall down and one of the neighbors keeps repairing the wall, saying, 'Good fences make good neighbors'. The questions are many. Is it worth fighting nature? Do we human beings need physical reminders to keep us in our place? Are Americans too individualistic? Some may say I read too much in, but I don't think so. In fact, I think the beauty and mastery of the poem is that it evokes so many questions - even questions that Frost most probably never even thought of as he wrote the poem. Humm, I've run off with another poem, haven't I?


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Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:45 am
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Post Re: 21st Century Poets
This poem is filled with symbolism (I think): the rabbit is an important symbol in so many cultures, usually being the trickster or, as I feel here, being able to jump from one world (or consciousness) into another or lead the unsuspecting or unwilling there--think Alice in Wonderland, the Japanese rabbit on the moon, etc.. And this rabbit certainly does hop between 2 worlds. I can't help but wonder, however, if the poet was chomping on a chocolate Easter bunny and gazing at the discarded tin foil wrapping when when she wrote this. Isn't it interesting that the two words...only 2 words... (nouns!) conveying positiveness have been crossed out? That must have been one yucky chocolate Easter bunny :).


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Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:35 am
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Post Re: 21st Century Poets
Another one from Kathleen Ossip:

How can we know the journey from the path?

Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
-Bob Dylan

A lone tumbleweed bounces by
the institutions of power
and the institutions of power or
the daisies in front of the institutions of power

are my last big chance at a voice.
A lone tumbleweed bounces by.
Am I morally obligated to care for this organism
or can I kill it? I'm loving my

desperate organism.
Talking in class was "pretty cool" at one time,
my last big chance at a voice. I wanted to
go play bingo and breakfast at IHOP.

Now, everything's not OK or
not everything's OK. Heavenly daisies,
though. Mary Queen of Heaven
in the prayerbook

bare toes crushing the serpent
looked silly. And the institutions of power
look silly if you're from them in-
sulated enough. They're losing their suits

in the institutions of power. Helen
Vendler's looking "mighty like" Sasha Fierce.
Both have expert memories of those
who appreciate their bitchy science.

The beauty's only part of it.

Perseverance is beautiful, and embarrassing.
How many institutions of power remain?
Several. Several. Organisms are delicate

and bleed.
They bleed
and we are morally obligated to care for them.
How should I know what is right?

Ask a good question:
You'll have success immediately.
I got a flowering plant as a present.
The original flowers and tall attractive leaves

have died, leaving a low, dull mess.
Am I morally obligated to care
for this that shares my home?
My husband is baffled by my spiritual questioning

and my boyfriend is irritated by my spiritual questioning
and my girlfriend ignores my spiritual questioning
and my boss fears my spiritual questioning
and I'm loving my desperate organism

and my last big chance at a voice.


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- e.e. cummings


Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:07 pm
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Post Re: 21st Century Poets
I've gotten interested in the question of what or who is on the horizon in poetry. I've found two new anthologies of poetry for poets of the 21st century. The first is "Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century" ed. Michael Dumanis & Cate Marvin. The second, "American Poets in the 21st Century" ed. Claudia Rankine & Lisa Sewell. Neither of these books are in my local library system. I see a trip to a bookstore (if one still exists in my area) in my future. Some of the names, none of which I've heard of, in the new collections are:
Kevin Young
Karen Volkman
D.A. Powell
Juliana Spahr
Mark Levine
Myung Mi Kim
Tracie Morris

Anyone heard of any of these folks? Reading any up and coming poets? Please share!


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Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:42 am
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Post Re: 21st Century Poets
Saffron, I'm now working my way through Myung Mi Kim's "Labors" and this is a hard nut to crack. Do you know it? Any insights would be appreciated.


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Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:36 pm
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Post Re: 21st Century Poets
Saffron wrote:
I've gotten interested in the question of what or who is on the horizon in poetry. I've found two new anthologies of poetry for poets of the 21st century. The first is "Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century" ed. Michael Dumanis & Cate Marvin. The second, "American Poets in the 21st Century" ed. Claudia Rankine & Lisa Sewell. Neither of these books are in my local library system. I see a trip to a bookstore (if one still exists in my area) in my future. Some of the names, none of which I've heard of, in the new collections are:
Kevin Young
Karen Volkman
D.A. Powell
Juliana Spahr
Mark Levine
Myung Mi Kim
Tracie Morris

Anyone heard of any of these folks? Reading any up and coming poets? Please share!

Did you see the Washington Post magazine a few weeks ago on the status of poetry? It's a good question asking what poetry is becoming. I suppose the answer will always have to be, "It's becoming lots of things." But then we suspect there might be a way to sum up its direction. One common claim is that over the years poetry has become less and less something that a common reader would want to relate to, that it's become insular and academic--notwithstanding the development of poetry slams. I can only say that for me the 21st Century is not as likely to supply me with what I crave, which is something with a stronger rhetorical quality, I suppose, something more derived from oral language. But yet I tend not to like slam or performance poetry, so maybe I'm confused. Undoubtedly growing old, too.

To get to your question, saffron, no, I haven't heard of any of those poets. I wish them well.


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Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:24 am
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Post Re: 21st Century Poets
I have also heard that poetry is becoming a lost art form. Maybe in the age of technology life is moving so fast that many dont "have the time" to sit and enjoy it as in the past. Reading in general seems to be falling by the wayside. This is unfortunate.



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Post Re: 21st Century Poets
Speaking of Kevin Young, here is his "Ragtime:"

Like hot food
I love you

like warm
bread & cold

cuts, butter
sammiches

or, days later, after
Thanksgiving

when I want
whatever’s left.

The last line, if "whatever's" is a contraction, is "left" also one?
If it is then the poem has a happy ending, Thanksgiving leftovers are happy things.
It is is not, the poem has a sad ending, the speaker must be happy with what is left of his love(r?).


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Last edited by GaryG48 on Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:52 pm
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Post Re: 21st Century Poets
JuliannaRuth wrote:
I have also heard that poetry is becoming a lost art form. Maybe in the age of technology life is moving so fast that many dont "have the time" to sit and enjoy it as in the past. Reading in general seems to be falling by the wayside. This is unfortunate.


If poetry is becoming a lost art form, then we are losing some of the world's beauty. On that note, here is another poem by Kathleen Ossip. I wonder if 'spare language' is considered a common trait of 21C poetry? If so, maybe it relates to the 'hurry up' world we live in. If we don't take time to consider beauty and to reflect on it, then I think we have become a lesser species and our world a lesser place.

On Beauty

Firstly, you are beautiful,
moonfaced brothers and sisters.

But after that, what
is not open to question?

To pick up the torn wing
and paperclip it onto the angel

is a distortion rapidly done.
Distortion is beautiful,

and loud hearty laughter
as of the gods.

Beauty moves upwards from the leaf,
downwards from the root.

Beauty is quietly
born from boredom

into fabulousness or plainness.
Don’t ask whether it exists.

It’s a redundancy to say real.
Beauty is truth? Don’t ask.

Ask for inner resources unlimited.
Ask for a goldfinch feather

in a balsawood box.
Look not at what is loved

but what stimulates and soothes.
Brothers and sisters,

are words beautiful or ugly
because we mean them

so very deeply?

Kathleen Ossip



Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:58 pm
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Post Re: 21st Century Poets
I've been attempting to learn to speak Dutch (Flemish). I like the language because it is so pleasant to hear. The words are very basic though - anglo saxon with hardly a trace of Norman, and I can't discern any celtic, although I rather think it is there somewhere.

Dictionary - woordenboek

Kitchen - Keukin

Ivy - Klimop

I was smiling to myself, thinking, I bet Dutch poets are scarce......because I think of poetry as lyrical and Dutch isn't a lyrical language.

But when I searched about a bit, I found some really different and interesting poems.

Love this one by Gerrit Achterberg (1905-1962)



November

The low days of November
have again returned, gray as a pail;
at ease with the lessening light
on the faces of children.

The world has third dimension still.
The trees stand pitifully without cover.
By distinguishing everybody at a distance,
we must get used to the new flat surface
and walk high past the bare border.

The bicycles ride large along the way.
Winter passes along before our eyes.
The first cold hands appear.
Slaughtered pigs are hung out to die;
sobering the purple nerves of farmers.

The protestant days of November
fall a good bit apart on the calendar;
widows, existing on meager pensions;
public housing, that does little;
a row of orphan boys with similar features;
open gates in the empty countryside.

Sound of November explodes in the hunter's shot.
Further and further a door sinks into a ditch.
Honest churches hold services of thanksgiving
in front of the wash behind thin, poor glass.

Everything becomes singular. A grave
awaits its owner at the churchyard.
Houses grow further apart from each other.
We look into the holes of the year.


November

De nederige dagen van november
zijn weer gekomen, grijze als een emmer;
tevreden met het licht dat minderde
op de gezichten van de kinderen.

De wereld heeft derde dimensie over.
Stakerig staan de bomen zonder lover.
Door iedereen van ver te onderkennen,
moeten wij aan het nieuwe platvlak wennen
en lopen hoog voorbij de kale heg.

De fietsen rijden groot over de weg.
Verwintering gaat zienderogen door.
De eerste kouwe handen komen voor.
Geslachte varkens hangen te besterven;
ontnuchteren de paarse boerenerven.

De protestantse dagen van november
wijken een stuk uiteen op de kalender;
weduwen, terend op een schraal pensioen;
gemeentewoningen, die weinig doen;
een rij weesjongens met gelijke trekken;
in 't lege land opengebleven hekken.

Toon van november knalt het jagersschot.
Verder en verder valt een deur in 't slot.
Eerlijke kerken houden voor het gewas
dankstonden achter dun, armoedig glas.

Alles wordt enkeling. Een eigen graf
wacht op het kerkhof zijn bewoner af.
Huizen verwijderen zich van elkaar.
Wij kijken in de gaten van het jaar.


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Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:04 pm
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