Poetry Club Talks…Sylvia Plath Pt1

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-svhn7-118d091

Topic: Sylvia Plath Pt1
Host: Mike
Poem: “Mad Girl’s Love Song” and “Ella Mason and Her Eleven Cats”
Recorded: January 20, 2022

Sylvia Plath Poems

This week Poetry Club takes on the work and life of Sylvia Plath, an American poet (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963).  Poetry Club looks past her “sad girl” persona and rejoices in the craft and construction of this mid-20th century poet’s marvelous work.
The range of her work is explored as we compare the energy of “Mad Girl’s Love Song” to “Ella Mason and Her Eleven Cats” in the first of this series.  Plath’s word choice, rhythm, hyperbole, and images are examined.  Join us as we dive into the Queen of Confessional Poetry.

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“In 1950, Plath matriculated at Smith College, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1955.

After graduation, Plath moved to Cambridge, England, on a Fulbright Scholarship. In early 1956, she attended a party and met the English poet Ted Hughes. Shortly thereafter, Plath and Hughes were married, on June 16, 1956.

Plath returned to Massachusetts in 1957 and began studying with Robert Lowell. Her first collection of poems, Colossus, was published in 1960 in England, and two years later in the United States. She returned to England, where she gave birth to her children Frieda and Nicholas, in 1960 and 1962, respectively.

In 1962, Ted Hughes left Plath for Assia Gutmann Wevill. That winter, Plath wrote most of the poems that would comprise her most famous book, Ariel.

In 1963, Plath published a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. She died on February 11 of that year.

Plath’s poetry is often associated with the Confessional movement and compared to the work of poets such as Lowell and fellow student Anne Sexton. Often, her work is singled out for the intense coupling of its violent or disturbed imagery and its playful use of alliteration and rhyme.”
https://poets.org/poet/sylvia-plath

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Poetry Club Talks…Seamus Heaney Part 3

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-pph5t-117c468

Topic: Seamus Heaney Pt3
Host: Mike
Poem: “St. Kevin and the Blackbird”
Recorded: January 6, 2022

Heaney_St. Kevin and the Blackbird

Mike puts on the host hat in this third discussion on Seamus Heaney’s poetry, using the book “Seamus Heaney” by Helen Vendler as a guide.  The poem this time is “St. Kevin and the Blackbird”.  Heaney documents the folklore of a monk with intense control over body and mind that he held out his arm and opened his hand to be used as a tree branch for a nesting blackbird.

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and Professor of Poetry at Oxford and Harvard universities, Seamus Heaney was perhaps the best known and most celebrated poet of the last fifty years. His death in 2013 prompted tributes from across the world.

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“Seamus Heaney’s development as a poet is inextricably connected to the violent struggle that has racked Northern Ireland. Vendler shows how, from one volume to the next, Heaney has maintained vigilant attention toward finding a language for his time—“symbols adequate for our predicament,” as he has said. The worldwide response to those discovered symbols suggests that their relevance extends far beyond this moment.”

Purchase Helen Vendler’s book “Seamus Heaney” here: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674002050

Watch/Listen Seamus read the poem on YouTube: https://youtu.be/wKGmQcSFbMc

Poetry Club Talks is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Seamus Heaney Pt2

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Topic: Seamus Heaney Pt2
Host: Ron
Poems: “Mid-term Break”, “Villanelle For An Anniversary”, “The Cure of Troy”
Recorded: December 16, 2021

Seamus Heaney Poems

Seamus-Heany_image_Hanvey

Ron guides Poetry Club through another riveting discussion on select poems by Seamus Heaney. Amory and Linda share their experience of attending a reading by Heaney while visiting Ireland.  We take a look at the different rhyme landscapes of his work, moods, mastery of storytelling, and more.  Join us for the deliberation of a much-loved poet.

“Heaney was a professor at Harvard from 1981 to 1997, and its Poet in Residence from 1988 to 2006. From 1989 to 1994, he was also the Professor of Poetry at Oxford. In 1996 he was made a Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 1998 was bestowed the title Saoi of the Aosdána. Other awards that he received include the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1968), the E. M. Forster Award (1975), the PEN Translation Prize (1985), the Golden Wreath of Poetry (2001), the T. S. Eliot Prize (2006) and two Whitbread Prizes (1996 and 1999).[3][4] In 2011, he was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize and in 2012, a Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust.

Heaney is buried at the Cemetery of St Mary’s Church, Bellaghy, Northern Ireland. The headstone bears the epitaph “Walk on air against your better judgement”, from one of his poems, “The Gravel Walks”.[8]”

From Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seamus_Heaney

Poetry Club Talks… is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Seamus Heaney Pt1

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-eqpjx-1157024

Topic: Seamus Heaney
Host: Ron
Poems: “Digging” and “Follower”
Recorded: December 4, 2021

Seamus Heaney Poems

Ron hosts the discussion of one of his favorite poets, Seamus Heaney.  Seamus Justin Heaney, born April 1939 – died August 30, 2013, was an Irish poet, playwright, and translator. He received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.  We look at the created word pictures and word choice, share about the life and awards of this famous poet.  In part one we begin an exploration of poems that seem to bookend each other.  Will we get to the “root” of their meaning?  Perhaps, or perhaps we’ll save it for part 2. Please join us.

Seamus Heaney in 1971 Photo credit Jack McManus

“Seamus Heaney is widely recognized as one of the major poets of the 20th century. A native of Northern Ireland, Heaney was raised in County Derry, and later lived for many years in Dublin. He was the author of over 20 volumes of poetry and criticism and edited several widely used anthologies. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.” Heaney taught at Harvard University (1985-2006) and served as the Oxford Professor of Poetry (1989-1994). He died in 2013.”

Please visit https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/seamus-heaney

Poetry Club Talks is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Love Poems, Frost and Pastan

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-8umfb-1137205

Topic: Love Poems Featuring Frost and Pastan
Host: Ron
Poems: “Love Poem”, “The Telephone”, “Two Look At Two”
Recorded: November 13, 2021

Poems for Discussion- Frost and Pastan

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Ron hosts this stimulating discussion seeking the answer of what constitutes a love poem.  The group considers three unlikely, not typical love poems by Robert Frost and Linda Pastan.  What elements tell the reader they are about love or expressing love?

A flower becomes a telephone with a direct connection to the person you are thinking of.  Does a love poem need to be about romantic love?  Tone, imagination, the figure of speech, and rich imagery all play a part.  Please join us for another tantalizing talk.

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Poetry Club Talks…Jane Hirshfield

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Topic: Jane Hirshfield
Host: Ron and Betty
Poem: “Optimism”, “Things Keep Sorting Themselves” and “A Blessing for Wedding”
Recorded: September 3, 2021

Jane Hirshfield Poems

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Ron and Betty host the discussion on Jane Hirshfield’s poetry.  Ron shares these notes:

“In past meetings, we have discussed several theories of poetics, including
Zapruder, Poe, Wordsworth, Rilke, and others. Other theorists employ
explanation as to their primary technique. JH’s passage is representative of her entire book; it relies heavily on poetic technique to convey poetry’s special use of language, its intentions, and impact. Does her method clarify sufficiently, or, to use her term, does it “satisfy”?”

Touching on these topics, we select three of our favorite poems of Jane’s to discuss.  Join us for an exciting look into the poetry of Jane Hirshfield.

 

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To learn more about her new book and to purchase a copy, please visit this site:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/229023/ten-windows-by-jane-hirshfield/

 

Poetry Club is produced by Chickadee Productions

 

Poetry Club Talks…Understanding Poetry, Rita Dove Part 3

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-vkpab-10c4116

Topic: Understanding Poetry, Rita Dove
Host: Shannon
Poem: “Exit”
Recorded: August 20, 2021

Rita Dove Poems

RitaDove

Have you ever read a poem and wondered “What does this mean?”  Do you need to understand a poem to appreciate it?  If it takes too much work to understand do you turn the page or enjoy the challenge?  If you’ve found yourself in these situations then join the club.  Poetry Club discusses how to and should we understand poetry.  The poem we use as an example is the “blushing” Rita Dove poem “Exit”.

This is part three of our talks on Rita Dove’s poetry.  Rita, we have enjoyed exploring each line of your work.  We wish you great success on your new book “Playlist for the Apocalypse.”  We will all buy a copy!playlist_for_the_apocalypse_book_cover.jpg

Please visit Norton Books to order a copy
https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393867770

“In her first volume of new poems in twelve years, Rita Dove investigates the vacillating moral compass guiding America’s, and the world’s, experiments in democracy. Whether depicting the first Jewish ghetto in sixteenth-century Venice or the contemporary efforts of Black Lives Matter, a girls’ night clubbing in the shadow of World War II or the doomed nobility of Muhammad Ali’s conscious objector stance, this extraordinary poet never fails to connect history’s grand exploits to the triumphs and tragedies of individual lives.”

Poetry Club Talks… is produced by Chickadee Productions

Rita Dove photo credit YOLONDA COLES JONES

Poetry Club Talks…Rita Dove Part 2

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Topic: Rita Dove
Host: Shannon
Poem: “American Smooth” and “Ludwig Von Beethoven’s Return To Vienna”
Recorded: July 30, 2021

Rita Dove – Poems Discussed

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In part two of our discussion on American poet Rita Dove, Poetry Club relishes in her artistry, wonder word choices, and lament over the life portrayed of Beethoven.  We discuss the use of metaphor as a vehicle, the importance of place and time, and timing.  Amazing work we are happy to swim in.  Please join us.

AWARDS
1986 The Pulitzer Prize-winning for her poetry book “Thomas and Beulah”
1996 Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities
2003 Emily Couric Leadership Award
2006 Common Wealth Award
2007 Chubb Fellowship at Yale University
2008 Library of Virginia Lifetime Achievement Award
2009 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal
2009 International Capri Award
2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University
2019 North Star Award from the Hurston/Wright Foundation
Twenty-eight honorary doctorates, among them from Yale University in 2014 and Harvard University in 2018
In 2019, she received the Wallace Stevens Award, given annually by the Academy of American Poets to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.

The Los Angeles Times described Dove’s book [American Smooth (2004)] as an “ambitious effort, using multiple distinctive voices and perspectives to chronicle the complex tale ‘of light and shadow, / what we hear and the silence that follows.’” 

All poems copyright by Rita Dove.
Please visit her webpage at the UVA to learn more: https://uva.theopenscholar.com/rita-dove

Poetry Club Talks… is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Rita Dove Part 1

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-jfk76-109c269

Topic: Rita Dove
Host: Shannon
Poem: “Rusks”
Recorded: July 24, 2021

Rita Dove – Poems Discussed

Shannon hosts the discussion on the well-known modern American poet Rita Dove.  Playing “devil’s advocate,” Shannon asks, “Do award-winning poets write amazing poetry—consistently?”  Perhaps you’ve wondered this yourself while reading a famous poem? If you remove the famous name from the poem, is it still a “good” poem?  Dove’s poem “Rusks” appears on all the top ten list of her best poems.  Poetry Club tackles it line by line.  Does it hold up or fizzle?  Listen to find out.

Dove_Rita

BIO

Rita Frances Dove (b. August 28, 1952) Born in Akron, Ohio, U.S., as an American poet and essayist. From 1993 to 1995, she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She has the distinct honor of being the first African American and the youngest person to serve as poet laureate of the United States (1993–95).  In 2018 she was named poetry editor of The New York Times Magazine.

President Bill Clinton bestowed upon her the 1996 National Humanities Medal, and President Barack Obama presented her with the 2011 National Medal of Arts, making her the only poet who has received both medals.

“There are so many casual pleasures in Ms. Dove’s poetry that the precision and dexterity in her work — the darkness, too — can catch you unawares.    

Ms. Dove’s poems have earthiness, originality, power, and range. Despair and loss are among her central themes, but so is the hunt for bedrock human pleasures.”

-Dwight Garner, for the New York Times, May 31, 2016

All poems copyright by Rita Dove.
Please visit her webpage at the UVA to learn more: https://uva.theopenscholar.com/rita-dove

Poetry Club Talks… is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…with Rena Priest

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-258wf-107f93f

Topic: Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate 2021-23
Host/Interviewer: Ron
Recorded: July 3, 2021

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Special guest poet Rena Priest joins Poetry Club for a discussion today!  Ron asks Rena about her composition process, how does narrative defines the poetic impulse for her and helps shape her poems, what the Washington Poet Laureate interview was like, and more.  Afterward, the discussion opens up to the group for a short Q & A.  Please join us!

Poetry Club would like to thank Humanities Washington and Rena for helping to organize this event.

The role of the Poet Laureate of Washington is to “build awareness and appreciation of poetry — including the state’s legacy of poetry — through public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations in communities, schools, colleges, universities, and other public settings in geographically diverse areas of the state.”  Poets Laureate of Washington are appointed for a two-year term by the Governor of Washington acting on the recommendation of the Washington Arts Commission, an independent agency of the Washington state government, from a list of self-nominated candidates.

BIO

Rena’s first book of poetry “Patriarchy Blues” won the American Book Award. She is a Lummi tribal member.  She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and makes her home in Bellingham, Washington.

All poems copyright by Rena Priest.
Please visit her website to learn more:  https://www.renapriest.com/

Poetry Club Talks… is produced by Chickadee Productions