The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘The Art of Poetry’

La Vie Bohème

March 26, 2014 | by

Robert Frost was born on this day in 1874.

Robert_Frost_NYWTS_5

Robert Frost, the poet and novice martial artist. Photo: Walter Albertin

FROST

Among other things, what [Ezra] Pound did was show me bohemia.

INTERVIEWER

Was there much bohemia to see at that time?

FROST

More than I had ever seen. I’d never had any. He’d take me to restaurants and things. Showed me jujitsu in a restaurant. Threw me over his head.

INTERVIEWER

Did he do that?

FROST

Wasn’t ready for him at all. I was just as strong as he was. He said, “I’ll show you, I’ll show you. Stand up.” So I stood up, gave him my hand. He grabbed my wrist, tipped over backwards and threw me over his head.

INTERVIEWER

How did you like that?

FROST

Oh, it was all right.

 

—Robert Frost, the Art of Poetry No. 2, 1960

 

1 COMMENT

Something Mythical

March 13, 2014 | by

George Seferis was born on this day in 1900.  seferis-g  

sef

Seferis in 1957. Photo: The Educational Foundation of the Greek National Bank

SEFERIS

You know, the strange thing about imagery is that a great deal of it is subconscious, and sometimes it appears in a poem, and nobody knows wherefrom this emerged. But it is rooted, I am certain, in the poet’s subconscious life, often of his childhood, and that’s why I think it is decisive for a poet: the childhood that he has lived … When I was a child I discovered somewhere in a corner of a sort of bungalow we had in my grandmother’s garden—at the place where we used to spend our summers—I discovered a compass from a ship which, as I learned afterwards, belonged to my grandfather. And that strange instrument—I think I destroyed it in the end by examining and re-examining it, taking it apart and putting it back together and then taking it apart again—became something mythical for me.

—George Seferis, the Art of Poetry No. 13

 

1 COMMENT

Business as Poetry

February 18, 2014 | by

The poet A. R. Ammons was born on this day in 1926.

Ammons

Photo: East Carolina University

INTERVIEWER

I know that you worked in your father-in-law’s biological glass factory as a vice president in charge of sales. Were you interested in the work or was it dull?

AMMONS

It wasn’t dull. I have a poem somewhere explaining how running a business is like writing a poem. In business, for example, you bring in the raw materials and then subject them to a certain kind of human change. You introduce the raw materials into a system of order, like the making of a poem, and once the matter is shaped it’s ready to be shipped. I mean, the incoming and outgoing energies have achieved a kind of balance. Believe it or not, I felt completely confident in the work I was doing. And did it, I think, well.

—A. R. Ammons, the Art of Poetry No. 73

 

NO COMMENTS

Strawberries and Cream and Spinal Injuries

January 28, 2014 | by

W.B._Yeats_(6435353487)

Yeats at age fifty-eight, via Wikimedia Commons

Today marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of W. B. Yeats’s death.

Ottoline had what she called her Thursday parties, at which you met a lot of writers. Yeats was often there. He loosened up a great deal if he could tell malicious stories, and so he talked about George Moore. Yeats particularly disliked George Moore because of what he wrote in his book Hail and Farewell, which is in three volumes, and which describes Yeats in a rather absurd way. Moore thought Yeats looked very much like a black crow or a rook as he walked by the lake on Lady Gregory’s estate at Coole. He also told how Yeats would spend the whole morning writing five lines of poetry and then he’d be sent up strawberries and cream by Lady Gregory, and so Yeats would have to get his own back on George Moore. Another thing that amused Yeats very much for some reason was Robert Graves and the whole saga of his life with Laura Riding. He told how Laura Riding threw herself out of a window without breaking her spine, or breaking it but being cured very rapidly. All that pleased Yeats tremendously.

—Stephen Spender, the Art of Poetry No. 25

 

1 COMMENT

John Hollander, 1929–2013

August 19, 2013 | by

hollander-obit-articleLarge

“Literature is not different from life, it is part of life. And for someone like myself, The Odyssey is as much a part of nature as the Aegean. And I react to the Aegean—as distinct, say, from the Caribbean—because its history is part of its physical substance. What I know about it, and feel about it, even mistaken things, is a part of it. Certain great texts are like this. Paradise Lost is like the Himalayas. It’s there. A part of nature, not separate.” —John Hollander, The Art of Poetry No. 35

 

NO COMMENTS

The Art of Poetry, Live

May 14, 2012 | by

Photograph by Dominique Nabokov

Watch a Paris Review interview in action! Thursday, May 17, Paris Review poetry editor Robyn Creswell will interview poet James Fenton (both fellows at the Cullman Center) at the New York Public Library in what will, ultimately, become a part of our legendary Art of Poetry series.

The interview will be followed by a Q & A with audience members.

For details, visit the NYPL’s web site. We’ll see you there.

4 COMMENTS