Poetry Club Talks…Sylvia Plath Pt1

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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.

sylvia plath 1

“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

Poetry Club Talks… is produced by Chickadee Productions, located in Bellingham, Washington, USA.

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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

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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

mathew-schwartz-3SWQCLmxH1U-unsplash

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.

Poetry Club is produced by Chickadee Productions

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

Rita-Dove-631

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…Rena Priest Part 2

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-bsxbv-1049811

Topic: Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate 2021-22
Host: Ron
Poems: “Toward a Beautiful Flare of Ruin” and “The Perils of Flight”
Recorded: May 23, 2021

Rena Priest_Select Poems

In our discussions, we admire, among many strengths, how thoughtfully Rena’s poems are structured and crafted. The poems in her first book focus on the culture of toxic masculinity she encountered in New York, and the poems in her second reflect her rediscovery of herself in poetry.

Priest was chosen as state poet laureate, says ArtsWA Director, Karen Haman, “for the compelling nature of her poetry and work. She was also chosen for the depth and breadth of her connections to communities and her capacity to further extend these connections through her role as State Poet Laureate.” Priest adds, “My focus will be on visiting tribes, bringing poetry out into the natural world to celebrate beautiful places in Washington, and writing poems based on ecology and environmental restoration and preservation.”

priest 2

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

Poetry Club Talks…Rena Priest Part 1

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-fy9p6-103f3fb

Topic: Rena Priest, Washington State Poet Laureate 2021-22
Host: Ron
Poems: Various (see below)
Recorded: May 15, 2021

Rena Priest_Select Poems

This week Poetry Club discusses three poems by Rena Priest, the 2021-22 Washington State Poet Laureate.  Her work draws on history, scientific ephemera, and pop culture to tell stories and seek truths.  Her word choice is intriguing, defiantly worth conversation.

Rena+Priest

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

Poetry Club Talks… is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Rhyme

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-yaggt-103387f

Topic: Rhyme, The Authors Fancy
Host: Ron
Poems: Various (see attached)
Recorded: May 8, 2021

Selected Poems on Rhyme

Why do some poets rhyme and others do not?  Ron hosts this detailed look into the use of rhyme by famous poets such as Poe, Frost, Atwood, Browning, Dickinson, Marvell, and MacLeish.

Rons shares, I suggest that in reading the poems, many of which we have discussed previously, we focus on a few issues (there is overlap in the issues):

  • what is the purpose and/or appeal of rhyme for many poets?
  • what added value does rhyme provide?
  • with individual poems, does the rhyme enhance the poem’s quality or effectiveness, and how?
  • how well do the poet’s choices, as well as we can define them, serve the poem?

Ron is the host of the Poetry Club in Bellingham, Washington.  He is a retired poetry professor who taught poetry for 52 years from 1965 to 2017.  You’ll enjoy his sense of humor and intelligent insight into classic and contemporary poetry.

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All poems are the copyrighted material of each poet listed respectively.

Poetry Club Talks is produced by Chickadee Productions.  

Poetry Club Talks…Wislawa Szymborska

Topic: Wislawa Szymborska
Host: Linda
Poems: On Death, without Exaggeration, Stage Fright, In Broad Daylight
Recorded: May 1, 2021

Poems by Wislawa Szymborska

Poetry Club Talks…Szymborska. The famous female Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012). If you haven’t heard of her or read her poetry, give yourself a treat. This show is an introduction to the person and her poems. Linda shares three of Szymborska’s poems published in “Polish Poetry of the Last Two Decades of Communist Rule: Spoiling Cannibals’ Fun”*

This 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature recipient takes her readers on a unique journey of word-scapes and concepts.

In awarding the prize, the Academy praised her “poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.” Listen to The Club as we tour through her poetry and prose.

This program was produced by Chickadee Productions


*Poems by Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012)
Source: Spoiling Cannibal’s’ Fun: Polish Poetry of the Last Two Decades of Communist Rule. Evanston, ILL: Northwestern University Press, 1993

Poetry Club Talks…Wallace Stevens poem The Snow Man

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Topic: Wallace Stevens
Host: Lynn
Poems: “The Snow Man”
Recorded: March 27, 2021

The Snow Man Graph and Poem

This week at Poetry Club we ask what Is poetry analysis? Poetry analysis is examining the independent elements of a poem to understand the literary work in its entirety.  Poetry Club member Lynn will host the discussion on the poem “The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens  (1879 – 1955) and we analyze the heck out of it.

Lynn sends us these notes:
“I’d like our discussion and reflections on this poem to move in the direction of exploring the mind watching our sensations and emotions while reading the poem…that does not hope to ‘solve’ the meaning of the poem… but expands the experience of the poem.”

Wallace-Stevens

BIO
Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955) was an American modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955.  credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Stevens

This program was produced by Chickadee Productions