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Poem

Sandra M. Gilbert

Monday, April 5th, 2010

We have the distinct privilege of having well-know scholar, Sandra M. Gilbert, on Goshen Campus.  She is best known for her work editing the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women.  As well as being a world class scholar, she has also published multiple books of poetry.  We are honored to have her visit.

She will be giving a lecture titled “Finding Atlantis: Thirty Years of Discovering Women’s Literary Traditions” this Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Newcomer Center 19.  The event is free and open to the public, so any and all are welcome.

Below is one of her Poems

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The Poetry of Music

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Moral Kiosk, By R.E.M

From the album, Murmur

From the album Murmur

Scratch the scandals in the twilight
Trying to shock, but instead
Idle hands all orient to her
Pass a magic pill under head

It’s so much more attractive
Inside the moral kiosk
Inside, cold, dark, fire, twilight
Inside, cold, dark, fire, twilight

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Accidental Beauty

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Some scoff at found art.  I have been known to revel in it.  It affirms my belief that sometimes the world is more beautiful and surprising than we realize.  And that if we stopped and looked, we just might see.  And so, I present to you: Bootleg Poetry.

Catch Me if You Can
By Anonymous

When she touched something
on the back of the youth..
She was surprised and asked he
with her beautiful eyes.

The man was very excited to show her figure
which was supported by the bamboo.
How surprised the girl was!  The figure
was the girl drawn
on the big paper.

And the paper was as
as herself.

Having seen that
the girl was so angry
blame the youth
why do it in this desperate
time.

She was so ad to die.
While the man take a whisper on her ear,
Smile spread on the girl’s face.

The sun was rising the morning,
it was really a very nice day……

*I actually split up the lines rather arbitrarily.  The original, taken from the back of a bootlegged DVD, can be found here.

Poem of the Week

Monday, February 1st, 2010

The Knowlege of Good and Evil,
By Julia Kasdorf

When beautiful Snow White bit and swooned
on the dwarfs’ cottage stoop, pale bosom heaving,
and a chuckling crone scooted off with her basket
of ruby apples, I shrieked, kicking theater seats.
No hushing would stop me, so I was dragged across
strangers’ knees, up a dark, inclined aisle, over
the lobby’s red carpet, past ushers sharing smirks
with a candy case lady, out onto the sidewalk
which was just there on Clay Avenue in Jeannette,
Pennsylvania.  The glassworks was still going
and Gillespie’s still sent receipts in pneumatic tubes
when you bought a slip or a new pair of shoes.  Only then
I stopped screaming and grasped my shuddering breath,
blinking at parking meters, grateful it was still light
outside that story, which was worse than disobedience
or the snake I saw slithering beyond the frame
of my Bible story page.  I’d studied Adam’s face
and Eve, who tempted him, hair hiding her breasts
as they walked in that exotic garden, already bent
over with guilt, palm fronds at their waists.
Mom coaxed me back to the lobby, and I hovered
in buttery light by the popcorn machine.  The prince
returns! She comes back to life! Go in and see!
She crooned  with the ushers, but I refused.  Even when
they pushed me toward a crack in the dark double doors
and I glimpsed a prince and lavish wedding dress,
I could not believe she was alive and happy ever after.
I was a heretic too insulted by the cross
to accept resurrection.  I knew that marriage
is just a trick cooked up by the grownups
to keep me from screaming my head off.

Thanks to Prof. Beth Martin Birky for suggesting this poem.

Poem of the Week

Monday, January 11th, 2010

yusef_komunyakaa

Black String of Days,
By Yusef Komunyakaa

Tonight I feel the stars are out
to use me for target practice.
I don’t know why
they zero in like old
business, each a moment of blood
unraveling forgotten names.
This world of dog-eat-dog
& anything goes.
On the black string of days
there’s an unlucky number
undeniably ours.
As the Milky Way
spreads out its map
of wounds, I feel
like a snail on a salt lick.
What can I say? Morning’s crow
poses on a few sticks, a cross
dressed in Daddy’s work shirt—
how its yellow eyes shine.
It knows I believe
in small things.
I dig my fingers into wet dirt
where each parachute seed pod
matters.  Some insect
a fleck of fool’s gold.
I touch it,
a man asking for help
as only he knows how.

(Poem from his 1994 Pulitzer prize winning book of poetry, Neon Vernacular.)

Poem of the Week

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Langston_Hughes

Jukebox Love Song
By Langston Hughes

I could take the Harlem night
and wrap around you,
Take the neon lights and make a crown,
Take the Lenox Avenue Busses,
Taxis, Subways,
And for your love song tone their rumble down.
Take Harlem’s heartbeat,
Make a drumbeat
Put on a Record, let it whirl,
And while we listen to it play
Dance with you till day-
Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl.

(Thanks to Patrick Ressler for introducing me to that Langston Hughes poem in a spectacularly musical fashion.)

Poem of the Week

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

moore

Poetry
By Marianne Moore

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all
…………….this fiddle.
….Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
…………….discovers in

….it after all, a place for the genuine.
……..
Hands that can grasp, eyes
……..that can dilate, hair that can rise
…………if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
…………….they are
….useful.  When they become so derivative as to become
…………….unintelligible,

….the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
……..do not admire what
……..we cannot understand: the bat
…………holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless
…………….wolf under a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin
…………….like a horse that feels a flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician

….nor is it valid
……..to discriminate against ‘business documents and

school-books’; All these phenomena are important.  One must
…………….make a distinction
….however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
…………….result is not poetry,
….nor till the poets among us can be
……..‘literalists of
……..the imagination’ —above
…………insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall
…………….we have
….it.  In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
….the raw material of poetry in
……..all its rawness and
……..that which is on the other hand
…………genuine, then you are interested in poetry.

Poem of the Week

Monday, October 5th, 2009

byron

She Walks in Beauty
By Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
….Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
….Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
….Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
….Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven trees,
….Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
….How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
….So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
….But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
….A heart whose love is innocent!

Thanks to Annalisa Harder for this week’s poem (or more accurately poet).

Poem of the Week

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

winter_tree

You Who Wronged
by Czeslaw Milosz

You who wronged a simple man
Bursting into laughter at the crime,
And kept a pack of fools around you
To mix good and evil, to blur the line,

Though everyone bowed down before you,
Saying virtue and wisdom lit your way,
Striking gold medals in your honor,
Glad to have survived another day,

Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
You can kill one, but another is born.
The words are written down, the deed, the date.

And you’d have done better with a winter dawn,
A rope, and a branch bowed beneath your weight.

(Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan)

Poem of the Week

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

To A Louse
On Seeing One On A Lady’s Bonnet, At Church
1786

By Robert Burns

Ha! whaur ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
Owre gauze and lace;
Tho’, faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.

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