Do You Know These Classical Poetry Terms?
November 05, 2009
Hello Poets and Poetry Lovers
Welcome to November. We're finally into the penultimate month of the year and have I got some good stuff for you. Three new poetry book reviews, a new look for the World Class Poetry Blog, and I've added new terms to the poetry terms pages. Oh, and if you've been following the Twitter poem experiment, there's a new chapbook. Feast your eyes!
PLUS, be on the lookout for a poetry video in this issue of Hyperbole.
Table of Contents
American Life In Poetry - Column 241
Poetry Book Reviews
September Twitter Songs
Poetry Book Of The Month
World Class Poetry Blog Updates
Are You Subscribed?
World Class Poetry Networking
I bet you thought I'd abandoned the poetry terms pages. Nope. I've added some terms for this month. Let's start with the As.
I love poems in which the central metaphors are fresh and original, and here’s a marvelous, coiny description of autumn by Elizabeth Klise von Zerneck, who lives in Illinois.
Like Coins, November
We drove past late fall fields as flat and cold
as sheets of tin and, in the distance, trees
were tossed like coins against the sky. Stunned gold
and bronze, oaks, maples stood in twos and threes:
some copper bright, a few dull brown and, now
and then, the shock of one so steeled with frost
it glittered like a dime. The autumn boughs
and blackened branches wore a somber gloss
that whispered tails to me, not heads. I read
memorial columns in their trunks; their leaves
spelled UNUM, cent; and yours, the only head . . .
in penny profile, Lincoln-like (one sleeve,
one eye) but even it was turning tails
as russet leaves lay spent across the trails.
Most war poetry is self consumed and full of confessional heroics or reflections upon battlefield exploits with anecdotes of relationships between the warriors scattered between. Not so with Pulitzer Prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa's Warhorses. That's not to say there aren't personal tidbits to be found in the work, but that's not the focus.
Blue Rooms, Black Holes, White Lights by Belinda Subraman
Death holds a special place in the hearts of poets and in the annals of literature. Practicing nurse Belinda Subraman explores the topic in a personal and spiritual manner in her new chapbook Blue Rooms, Black Holes, White Lights. All in all, it's a good read.
Subraman brings to bear her Zen Buddhist leanings to the reading, delving into the mysteries – personal and spiritual – of the experience of death, drawing from her occupation as well as the loss of her father to that good night in 2008. She has dedicated the book to her father, a friend who passed away in 2008 and all her hospice patients from 2001 to 2007.
Richard Hugo was a celebrated poet who was well known mostly in the Northwest where he was from. He taught creative writing for many years at the University of Montana and studied under the iconic Theodore Roethke.
The Triggering Town is Hugo's poetic philosophy in a nutshell. In this book of essays, he reveals himself to be a sensitive person with an eye and an ear for language and shares his insights into how to write poetry for young writers struggling to make it on their own. I wouldn't say it's great, but it's a good read, particularly if you want to learn how to find your own voice.
I'm a little late in getting September's Twitter poem chapbook published, but you're going to love it. Be sure to download the World Class Poetry Toolbar for an exclusive.
September rocks fall dirty down
Fall dirt rocks down Septiembre
All leaves orange and brown
Leave us all brown amid fall tenebrae
Poetry Book Of The Month
Yusef Komunyakaa makes war poetry honorable again. If you're tired of reading about the aggrandizing exploits of Vietnam soldiers bitter after the war or the anti-war poetry from those who've never been there, you can relax. Komunyakaa's poetry sings in a very contemporary way.
Warhorses relies heavily on mythical and historical allusion, not personal experience. Though you will find some personal reflection, especially in the long poem "Autobiography Of My Alter Ego".