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What do you think of the new Poet Laureate, Kay Ryan? 
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Post What do you think of the new Poet Laureate, Kay Ryan?
On July 17th, Kay Ryan was named Poet laureate. You can read some of her poetry at Poets.org. So, what do you think?

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/352



Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:45 pm
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She's not the first woman laureate (what a cush job, by the way! What do you suppose it pays?), but I'm too lazy to look up the other(s). What do I think about her? Well, I'm insecure about clever poets. I'm afraid I tend toward poetry that is so simple that, as some poet said, your dog could understand it. That's why I'm more into the older stuff--that, and the rhymes making it easier to memorize.
DW



Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:58 pm
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Surfaces
by Kay Ryan

Surfaces serve
their own purposes,
strive to remain
constant (all lives
want that). There is
a skin, not just on
peaches but on oceans
(note the telltale
slough of foam on beaches).
Sometimes it's loose,
as in the case
of cats: you feel how a
second life slides
under it. Sometimes it
fits. Take glass.
Sometimes it outlasts
its underside. Take reefs.

The private lives of surfaces
are innocent, not devious.
Take the one-dimensional
belief of enamel in itself,
the furious autonomy
of luster (crush a pearl



Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:49 pm
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Hi Saffron,

Would you have anything to say about this poem by Ryan? I don't mean that it has to be explained, because that can kill it, but what do you see as you read it? My radar doesn't sem to be good at picking up its meanings. Thanks.

DW



Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:41 pm
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Impressions while reading Surfaces

As I read through the first time, I had the image of the faces or appearances we cultivate or create to show the world and that we hide behind. The image of the cat and how loose their shin is, made me think of how some people are so good at putting forth a face that is so movable you can't quite pin down who they are or that the skin is big enough that to give them room to shape shift.

If this helps, DWill, I read her poems are a bit like riddles.

Anybody what to have a go at this to help me out?



Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:50 pm
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I've been reading some of Kay Ryan's poetry to see if I can gain an understanding of why she was chosen to be the Poet Laureate of the USA. I posted the poem Surfaces because I am trying hard to figure her and it out. I think I need help too, DWill.



Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:00 pm
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Everyone strives to remain constant by putting up an outer shell - some loose, others hard but brittle. Don't blame these shells for the purposes they serve. (I dunno, something like that?)

You can listen to her read a poem here, part of a free CD you can download at the 2nd link.

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19821

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19812



Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:32 am
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Thanks, LanDroid. I'm going to try the link. Have you read any of her other poems? If so, what do you think?



Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:46 am
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I like this poem, but I'm not really sure why. Anyone interested in discussing some of Kay Ryan's poetry? DWill? You saw her read -- what did you think?

Sharks' Teeth
by Kay Ryan

Everything contains some
silence. Noise gets
its zest from the
small shark's-tooth
shaped fragments
of rest angled
in it. An hour
of city holds maybe
a minute of these
remnants of a time
when silence reigned,
compact and dangerous
as a shark. Sometimes
a bit of a tail
or fin can still
be sensed in parks.



Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:17 am
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This is a great inspirational poem by Kay Ryan.


Doubt

A chick has just so much time
to chip its way out, just so much
egg energy to apply to the weakest spot
or whatever spot it started at.
It can't afford doubt. Who can?
Doubt uses albumen
at twice the rate of work.
One backward look by any of us
can cost what it cost Orpheus.
Neither may you answer
the stranger's knock;
you know it is the Person from Porlock
who eats dreams for dinner,
his napkin stained the most delicate colors.


_________________
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Question everything


Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:04 am
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geo wrote:
This is a great inspirational poem by Kay Ryan.


I'll be thinking about this one all day! Thanks, geo.



Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:25 am
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Post In the sunday paper!
Here is what I read in my Sunday paper this morning --

From: Walter Scott's Personality Parade (insert from Washington Post)


Q Why are my tax dollars going to pay a poet laureate when nobody reads poetry? -- Jeff Kawabata, Omaha, Neb.

A "It is difficult/ to get the news from poems/ yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there," wrote the great American poet William Carlos Williams. (We hope you'll look him up!) While it's true that not many people read poetry, they'd probably get a lot out of it if they gave it a try. the current U.S. Poet Laureate, Californian Kay Ryan, earns all of $35,000. But fret not: Her stipend is funded from a private endowment, not tax revenues.



Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:37 am
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Good for Walter Scott!! What an embarassment that even one American would make such a complaint. Thanks, Saffron, for answering my question a while back about the laureate's wages.



Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:29 am
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geo wrote:
you know it is the Person from Porlock
who eats dreams for dinner,
his napkin stained the most delicate colors.

Anyone have a gloss on "person from Porlock"?



Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:34 am
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DWill wrote:
geo wrote:
you know it is the Person from Porlock
who eats dreams for dinner,
his napkin stained the most delicate colors.

Anyone have a gloss on "person from Porlock"?



I will not take any credit for know anything about the person from Porlock. what I can do is look it up -- my specialty.

This is copied from the SpakNotes website:

The mysterious person from Porlock is one of the most notorious and enigmatic figures in Coleridge’s biography; no one knows who he was or why he disturbed the poet or what he wanted or, indeed, whether any of Coleridge’s story is actually true. But the person from Porlock has become a metaphor for the malicious interruptions the world throws in the way of inspiration and genius, and “Kubla Khan,” strange and ambiguous as it is, has become what is perhaps the definitive statement on the obstruction and thwarting of the visionary genius.

Wikipedia:

The Person from Porlock was an unwelcome visitor to Samuel Taylor Coleridge who called by during his composition of the oriental poem Kubla Khan. Coleridge claimed to have perceived the entire course of the poem in a dream (possibly an opium-induced haze), but was interrupted by this visitor from Porlock (a town in the South West of England, near Exmoor) while in the process of writing it. Kubla Khan, only 54 lines long, was never completed. Thus "Person from Porlock", "Man from Porlock", or just "Porlock" are literary allusions to unwanted intruders.



Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:55 am
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