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Micropoetry Is Not A Minimalist School Of Poetry
March 27, 2008
|Hello Poets and Poetry Lovers
Sometimes I wish I had a picture of something then I realize the picture is the memory. Yesterday morning, I had such an experience. My grandson, Dylan, who is in kindergarten this year, had received an old hat from my wife's father. It was Hat Day at his school and he chose to wear that old farmer's hat of my father-in-law's. When I drove him to school and dropped him off, all I could see after he closed the passenger's side door of my car and tootled off to class was this old farmer's hat be-bopping up and down the sidewalk in a jaunty, happy way. He looked like a little midget farmer and I think it is a picture that I will always have of him. Funny how those things stick in your mind.
Anyway, this week's Hyperbole is like that. Short, but happy. I had a busy week and didn't get around to updating many pages or adding any new ones, but that doesn't mean I don't have anything of value. I think you'll love Jim Murdoch's take on micro-poetry. And you'll like this week's American Life in Poetry column too. And you'll particularly like the discussion going on at the World Class Poetry Blog on pretentiousness in poetry.
Table of Contents
Jim Murdoch On Micro-Poetry
Here's an excerpt from Jim Murdoch's fabulous blog post on micro-poetry, titled "Less is More or Less (Part One)":
In Japan reductionism and miniaturisation have long been the social norm and it is a challenge to cram a lot into a tiny space. I remember when I had my ZX Spectrum how much fun it was trying to see what I could force into the 48K available to me. For example, I used to use variables rather than numbers because they took up a few bytes less. In my writing too I found myself drawn to smaller and more compact pieces. I'll be honest when I'm in a bookshop I'll always pick up a novella before a novel. I think it takes real self control to say what you have to say and get off the page.
Now, for part two:
Since the 1960s, some poets in the English-language haiku community have experimented with so-called "one-line haiku". The first such one-liner to receive serious recognition was Michael Segers's piece that appeared in Haiku Magazine in 1971:
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World Class Poetry Updates
While I didn't get around to much in the way of updates, I did touch up on a few pages this week:
New World Class Poetry Pages
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American Life in Poetry: Column 156
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
We greatly appreciate your newspaper's use of this column, and today we want to recognize newspaper employees by including a poem from the inside of a newsroom. David Tucker is deputy managing editor of the New Jersey "Star-Ledger" and has been a reporter and editor at the "Toronto Star" and the "Philadelphia Inquirer." He was on the "Star-Ledger" team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Mr. Tucker was awarded a Witter-Bynner fellowship for poetry in 2007 by former U. S. Poet Laureate, Donald Hall.
A slow news day, but I did like the obit about the butcher who kept the same store for fifty years. People remembered when his street was sweetly roaring, aproned with flower stalls and fish stands. The stock market wandered, spooked by presidential winks, by micro-winds and the shadows of earnings. News was stationed around the horizon, ready as summer clouds to thunder-- but it moved off and we covered the committee meeting at the back of the statehouse, sat around on our desks, then went home early. The birds were still singing, the sun just going down. Working these long hours, you forget how beautiful the early evening can be, the big houses like ships turning into the night, their rooms piled high with silence.American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2006 by David Tucker. Reprinted from "Late for Work" by David Tucker, Mariner Books, 2006, by permission of the author. First printed in "Montana Journalism Review." Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Poetry Book Of The Week
This week's featured poetry book is Between The Space Of Grace And Gray by Dana Larkin Sauers.
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