Lumpy pudding

Judging a poem is like judging a pudding or a machine. One demands that it work. Poetry succeeds because all or most of what is said or implied is relevant; what is irrelevant has been excluded, like lumps from pudding and 'bugs' from machinery. (Wimsatt & Beardsley)

Here we celebrate the excluded, lumpy parts of the pudding!

Oct 20, 2014 11:52pm
Poetry, June 1963
McClure, 82 today…

Poetry, June 1963

McClure, 82 today…

Aug 28, 2014 11:18pm

William Stafford: Traveling through the Dark

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.

I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.

— from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems (St. Paul, Minn.: Graywolf Press, 1998)

Jul 23, 2014 1:15pm
A poem by Chilean poet, Nicanor Parra - soon to turn 100…
Above: La Cruz - from “Six Holograph Poems”; publ. in STONY BOOK 1/2 1968, ed. George Quasha

A poem by Chilean poet, Nicanor Parra - soon to turn 100…

Above: La Cruz - from “Six Holograph Poems”; publ. in STONY BOOK 1/2 1968, ed. George Quasha

Jun 5, 2014 10:56pm

Federico García Lorca (June 5, 1898 - 1936), Spanish poet - an emblematic member of the Generation of ‘27; murdered at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War…

Above: The ending of “Ode to Walt Whitman”, 1929

Photo of Lorca in New York (Columbia University), 1929

May 25, 2014 4:47pm
Theodore Roethke: May 25, 1908 - 1963…

Theodore Roethke: May 25, 1908 - 1963…

Apr 13, 2014 3:55pm

Word Jazz Maestro, Ken Nordine - 94 today…

Ken Nordine: Spectrum - from You’re Getting Better: The Word Jazz Dot Masters, (rec 1967)

(via mrsdentonorahippo)

Mar 27, 2014 10:29pm

Frank O’Hara, 1965, reading his poem “Song”

SONG

Is it dirty
does it look dirty
that’s what you think of in the city

does it just seem dirty
that’s what you think of in the city
you don’t refuse to breathe do you

someone comes along with a very bad character
he seems attractive. is he really. yes very
he’s attractive as his character is bad. is it. yes

that’s what you think of in the city
run your finger along your no-moss mind
that’s not a thought that’s soot

and you take a lot of dirt off someone
is the character less bad. no. it improves constantly
you don’t refuse to breathe do you

(1951, publ. 2013)

(via aspiringivory)

(Source: spookyivory)

Mar 13, 2014 3:25pm
Robert Gibbons: On This Day at This Age, March 13, 2014
On this day at this age I want to turn a bit more toward the Eastern way. What with snow on boughs of trees out the window framing a few Asian books & imagery on the desk like some sequestered monk I could reach for brush & ink to make calligraphic lettering accompany a mountainside. But I can’t get out of this Western skin. Winter here simply another brutal stretch of Time to get through till Spring exactly a week away.
Ill.: Jack Kerouac: Face of the Buddha, 1958

Robert Gibbons: On This Day at This Age, March 13, 2014

On this day at this age
I want to turn
a bit more
toward the Eastern way.
What with snow on boughs of trees
out the window
framing
a few Asian books & imagery
on the desk
like some sequestered monk I could reach
for brush & ink
to make
calligraphic lettering accompany
a mountainside.

But I can’t get out
of this Western skin.

Winter here simply
another brutal stretch of Time
to get through till Spring
exactly a week
away.

Ill.: Jack Kerouac: Face of the Buddha, 1958

Mar 1, 2014 11:45pm
Richard Wilbur - 93 today…
Above: Asides from the ‘New Poems’ section of his Collected Poems, 1943 - 2004

Richard Wilbur - 93 today…

Above: Asides from the ‘New Poems’ section of his Collected Poems, 1943 - 2004

Feb 4, 2014 11:38pm
Jacques Prévert: I Am as I Am
I am as I am  I’m made that way When I feel like laughing I burst right out I love the one who loves me Is it my fault especially If it’s not the same one I love each time
(Translation Lawrence Ferlinghetti)
Photo: Jacques Prévert and Jacqueline Laurent, Paris 1937 - by Wols

Jacques Prévert: I Am as I Am

I am as I am
I’m made that way
When I feel like laughing
I burst right out
I love the one who loves me
Is it my fault especially
If it’s not the same one
I love each time

(Translation Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

Photo: Jacques Prévert and Jacqueline Laurent, Paris 1937 - by Wols

Jan 30, 2014 10:25pm
Jack Spicer: A Diamond
                A Translation for Robert Jones
A diamond Is there At the heart of the moon or the branches or my nakedness And there is nothing in the universe like diamond Nothing in the whole mind. The poem is a seagull resting on a pier at the end of the ocean. A dog howls at the moon A dog howls at the branches A dog howls at the nakedness A dog howling with pure mind. I ask for the poem to be as pure as a seagull’s belly. The universe falls apart and discloses a diamond Two words called seagull are peacefully floating out where the waves are. The dog is dead there with the moon, with the branches, with my nakedness And there is nothing in the universe like diamond Nothing in the whole mind.
— from My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poems of Jack Spicer

Jack Spicer: A Diamond

                A Translation for Robert Jones

A diamond
Is there
At the heart of the moon or the branches or my nakedness
And there is nothing in the universe like diamond
Nothing in the whole mind.

The poem is a seagull resting on a pier at the end of the ocean.

A dog howls at the moon
A dog howls at the branches
A dog howls at the nakedness
A dog howling with pure mind.

I ask for the poem to be as pure as a seagull’s belly.

The universe falls apart and discloses a diamond
Two words called seagull are peacefully floating out where the waves are.
The dog is dead there with the moon, with the branches, with my nakedness
And there is nothing in the universe like diamond
Nothing in the whole mind.

— from My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poems of Jack Spicer

Jan 10, 2014 11:53pm
Robinson Jeffers: Their Beauty Has More Meaning Yesterday morning enormous the moon hung low on the ocean, Round and yellow-rose in the glow of dawn; The night-herons flapping home wore dawn on their wings. Today Black is the ocean, black and sulphur the sky, And white seas leap. I honestly do not know which day is more beautiful. I know that tomorrow or next year or in twenty years I shall not see these things—and it does not matter, it does not hurt; They will be here. And when the whole human race Has been like me rubbed out, they will still be here: storms, moon and ocean, Dawn and the birds. And I say this: their beauty has more meaning Than the whole human race and the race of birds.
— Poetry, October 1947
Photo: Edward Weston

Robinson Jeffers: Their Beauty Has More Meaning

Yesterday morning enormous the moon hung low on the ocean,
Round and yellow-rose in the glow of dawn;
The night-herons flapping home wore dawn on their wings. Today
Black is the ocean, black and sulphur the sky,
And white seas leap. I honestly do not know which day is more beautiful.
I know that tomorrow or next year or in twenty years
I shall not see these things—and it does not matter, it does not hurt;
They will be here. And when the whole human race
Has been like me rubbed out, they will still be here: storms, moon and ocean,
Dawn and the birds. And I say this: their beauty has more meaning
Than the whole human race and the race of birds.

— Poetry, October 1947

Photo: Edward Weston

Jan 10, 2014 6:08am
R.I.P.

R.I.P.

Dec 27, 2013 6:37pm
Charles Olson: Christmas
dirty Christmas which Origen and Clement both showed up for the junk it is — as though, sd O, he was a mere Pharaoh. Or, says Clement, do we have here some  child baptism to go gee-gaw over? in long favorably embroidered gown a boy? instead of a man standing in desire in the Jordan, with the green banks on either side, a naked man treated by another adult man who also has found out that to be as harmless as a dove is what a man gets as wise as a serpent for, the river of life?

Charles Olson: Christmas

dirty Christmas
which Origen
and Clement
both showed up

for the junk it
is — as though,
sd O, he was a
mere Pharaoh. Or,

says Clement, do
we have here some
child baptism to
go gee-gaw over?

in long favorably
embroidered gown
a boy? instead of
a man standing

in desire in the
Jordan, with the green
banks on either
side, a naked man

treated by another
adult man who also
has found out that
to be as harmless

as a dove is what
a man gets as wise
as a serpent for,
the river

of life?

Dec 21, 2013 12:11pm
Robert Gibbons: Hints of Others
It was dark. Dark, dark, can’t accentuate it enough. Especially when on opposite sides of the house battling snow from the overnight storm. Bundled up, yup, thankful for the humble home even with flat roof needs ladder, needs raking, needs the aging man (not her, please) to tramp on & shovel. Darkness early in the morning 3 days away from a 12:11 p.m. Saturday Solstice, is somehow still tinged in an eerie, spectral December light. Especially when paths cross or meet up at some halfway midpoint of the driveway. Nothing much to say, although language remains one hinge, concrete & abstract at the same time, unlike the wounded wooden gate hanging on on one hinge, we have the second corporeal, shoulders & arms, especially stomach muscles getting a workout. Breath in use for this labor removing tons of snow in the darkest of dark light. Hello, we might manage through layers of scarves, better than the gym or treadmill. When we take a breather, big oak tree seems to hold sky up, & darkness at bay, while under it eerie, spectral light draws us together for later speculation over cups of coffee, as if alone out there our mutual activity sparked hints of others readying to usher winter in.

Robert Gibbons: Hints of Others

It was dark. Dark, dark, can’t accentuate it enough. Especially when on opposite sides of the house battling snow from the overnight storm. Bundled up, yup, thankful for the humble home even with flat roof needs ladder, needs raking, needs the aging man (not her, please) to tramp on & shovel. Darkness early in the morning 3 days away from a 12:11 p.m. Saturday Solstice, is somehow still tinged in an eerie, spectral December light. Especially when paths cross or meet up at some halfway midpoint of the driveway. Nothing much to say, although language remains one hinge, concrete & abstract at the same time, unlike the wounded wooden gate hanging on on one hinge, we have the second corporeal, shoulders & arms, especially stomach muscles getting a workout. Breath in use for this labor removing tons of snow in the darkest of dark light. Hello, we might manage through layers of scarves, better than the gym or treadmill. When we take a breather, big oak tree seems to hold sky up, & darkness at bay, while under it eerie, spectral light draws us together for later speculation over cups of coffee, as if alone out there our mutual activity sparked hints of others readying to usher winter in.

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