Beyond Yeats, Kavanagh, and Heaney: Paul Muldoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s saying something but who cares what that it’s only recently I’ve discovered the work of Paul Muldoon.

And just before that, Derek Mahon. And before him, Patrick Kavanagh.

With Paul Muldoon the example below is from Moy Sand And Gravel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Hard Drive

 

With my back to the wall

and a foot in the door

and my shoulder to the wheel

I would drive through Seskinore.

 

With an ear to the ground

and my neck on the block

I would tend to my wound

in Belleek and Bellanaleck.

 

With a toe in the water

and a nose for trouble

and an eye to the future

I would drive through Derryfubble

 

and Dunnamanagh and Ballynascreen,

keeping that wound green.

 

© Paul Muldoon, from Moy Sand And Gravel, 2002

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

 

©Dean J. Baker

CELESTIAL MIGRATIONS IN THE EMPIRE  $9.99 print, $3.99 ebook

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Hamster Wheels

No more poems on this hamster wheel
of WordPress where all the clickers peel
away checking for their faces

and absolutely none know what’s fake
or real being too dumb and uneducated
in Literature or the sociology of language

since it’s come
to the lowest common denominator: all
are priests, poets and philosophers

with no background in reading, while those
accepted as purveying true poetry
are shills for publishing houses dependent
on complicit contrivances

between academia, psychologists et al
in the daisy chain of incestuous cultural
references; where authority has
nothing to do with the authentic, nor

the fools about to be disabused
of the idea of their own legitimacy:

amidst a sudden awakening against the sad
so-called profundities
in which they will remain very much mistaken

© Dean J. Baker

-excerpt from one of my three new books pictured above

poems are posted to share, be shared, and entice those who love the work to owning the books from which the poems are excerpts

https://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM

My Latest Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of my print books are available at $7.99, $8.99, & $9.99 or less, and the ebooks are mostly $2.99 with the latest at $3.99, and a couple larger books at $4.99 – a few others that are higher will be lowered in price once they come off their Kindle promotion.

Especially in the moment for the new books:

I want these books to be read and enjoyed, so the price is an accommodation to what Amazon allows to be charged with a very small sum allocated for myself – usually slightly over a dollar in case of the print books, far less than that in regards to the ebooks which are priced at $2.99 to $3.99, including the ebooks for my latest books.

You can buy the print version and get the accompanying ebook for only 1.99 and .99 from Amazon.

Ebooks at $2.99 –

THE MOON WORN TIDES, Vol.1, The Prose Poems

SOLILOQUIES OF THE HORIZONS, VOL. 2, The Prose Poems

PROVENANCES AND PAROLES

THE POETRY HOTEL

THE MYTHOLOGIES OF LOVE

THE LOST CANADIAN, VOL. 1

THE LOST CANADIAN, VOL. 2

MEASURING GRAVITY BY GRACE, VOL. 1

OUR GEOGRAPHIES, VOL. 2

TORMENTING THE MONKEYsatires

COUSIN HAROLD’S ADVENTURES IN THE REAL WORLD – satires

Ebooks at $3.99 –

CELESTIAL MIGRATIONS IN THE EMPIRE

OF THE DOMINIONS UNLEAVENED

ALL THESE BEING HINTERLANDS

DARK EARTH

SILENCE LOUDER THAN A TRAIN

BLOOD UPON THE MOON

THE TRANSITS OF REVELATION

THE ESCHATOLOGICAL DOG

Ebooks at $4.99 –

IN RIPARIAN FIELDS

OF FLESH SCULPTURES AND ABANDONED LOVE

CELESTIAL MIGRATIONS IN THE EMPIRE published on Dec.20/17, and OF THE DOMINIONS UNLEAVENED, published a few weeks ago have a companion volume:

The third volume in the unofficial trilogy, ALL THESE BEING HINTERLANDS, my 25th book is published.

None of these were rushed out, thrown together in any hasty measure, but with care and dedication combined to come together in the writing, editing, and process of publication for a period of well over a year +.
It wasn’t until I began winnowing out any number of poems that didn’t fit with the themes I saw developing that the fact that there would be a few books, and then a third brought itself to light.

Enjoy.

[these books are very inexpensive $3, $4, $5 – why ‘click’ without a decision to buy?]

©Dean J. Baker

https://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM

The Poet In Journals – St. Denys Garneau

One of my favorite books from ages ago, The Journal Of St. Denys Garneau which I discovered in a bargain bin at the Coles where Neil Young worked.
I had been frequenting the Champlain bookstore in Toronto, when I first saw a mention of him, picking up books in the European style or French style, uncut pages you had to razor open to read Marie Claire Blais, Anne Hébert(Garneau’s cousin), and others, etc. Which of course led to other readings of Hubert Aquin, Michel Tremblay, etc etc.

All their works were distinguishable from  but inseparable from others such as Marian Engel’s Bear, Miriam Waddington’s poems, Frank Scott’s certainly, or Monique Bosco’s Lot’s Wife.

Favorite because it fit right in with circumstances of thought, countryside and origin (I’d go to read it in solitude in a place near Ottawa, having visited my mother’s birthplace in Campbell’s Bay, Quebec), and the poetic disclosures. The discovery attached to slicing open pages, and translating – since the poems were in French – always felt fresh and new, and I could see what was missed in other translations though John Glassco’s comes closest.

Reminded me that favorites are often due to a time and place, as are poets whose popularity mysteriously decline upon their deaths; similar to the most popular novelists of decades or centuries past whom not many can even recall.

The book lasts for many reasons then, one of which would be the essential self, made bare without being mired in the spectacles which pass for a self these days, through literate and real details as is the case in many of his poems at whatever level they may be taken.

He was as much a denizen of my ‘neighborhood’ of spirits and souls as Shelley, Shakespeare, or reaching back, Archilochus, and Marcus Aurelius.

©Dean Baker

For The Feminist Few – William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley: Father, Mother, Daughter, Poet

 

 godwin_

 

William Godwin, father of Mary Shelley, and husband to Mary Wollstonecraft, her mother, wrote a book which has influenced many great poets and writers, and ought to influence many more.

Not in the sense of being a treatise, or bible of belief, but as fertile ground for what is inspiring and true in the entirety of the book.

An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice was written in 1793, during the French Revolution.  “Its powerful critique of the institutions of government and support for individual liberty of judgement raises profound questions about the nature of our duty to others that is still relevant today.” – https://global.oup.com/academic/product/an-enquiry-concerning-political-justice-9780199642625

“No work gave such a blow to the philosophical mind of the country as the celebrated Enquiry … Tom Paine was considered for a time as Tom Fool to him, Paley an old woman, Edmund Burke a flashy sophist. Truth, moral truth, it was supposed had here taken up its abode; and these were the oracles of thought.” – William Hazlitt, Spirit Of The Age

This book served the poet Shelley his entire life, as well as Byron and many others following.

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2785985-enquiry-concerning-political-justice-and-its-influence-on-modern-morals

 

 

In 1792 Mary Wollstonecraft  wrote  wollstonecraft A Vindication Of The Rights Of Women (With Strictures On Political and Moral Subjects), of which there are many great quotes to be derived. Such as “If women be educated for dependence; that is, to act according to the will of another fallible being, and submit, right or wrong, to power, where are we to stop?”

http://www.bartleby.com/144/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Shelley, with the benefit of inspiring suggestions from both Shelley and Byron, made her book maryshelley  Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus in 1818 when she was only 21.

All three of these books have a suggestive confluence together and apart; are revelatory for their own reasons, as such as was being created in those times when it may have been less difficult, or apparently so, for some great and unique literature to be created appears as obvious and transparent truths due not to the age but the authors’ abilities.

 

 

And all in a measure with one of the greats of poetry, Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of my most favorite poets ( along with John Donne, George Herbert, etc etc).

 

©Dean J.Baker

https://writingsofdeanbaker.wordpress.com/

all my books on salehttp://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM

https://ohcanaduh.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/the-herald-2/

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Alden Nowlan – Greatness in Poetry

nowlan_

 

 

 

 

 

Alden Nowlan is one of those poets whom I never got to meet, and always wish I’d been able to do so.

I first saw one of his poems when I was in high school. And as with that poem, his other poems: they always evoke, a ‘yes!,’ about honesty and the truth of things. Always memorable. You’ll find them repeating themselves at the least expected moments.
The poem that first struck me was his ‘Aunt Jane.’

Aunt Jane

Aunt Jane, of whom I dreamed the nights it
thundered,
was dead at ninety, buried at a hundred.
We kept her corpse a decade, hid upstairs,
where it ate porridge, slept and said its prayers.

And every night before I went to bed
they took me in to worship with the dead.
Christ Lord, if I should die before I wake,
I pray thee Lord my body take.

 

©Alden Nowlan

Just to be sitting in your own world and to have 8 lines smack you awake out of the blue, away from your concerns and take you to revelation so quickly, so easily, and with such delight – amazing.

But Alden has many, many poems of the kind that do so – surprising in their humility, strength and understanding. His are the works you could carry in a small book with you and find sustaining every time you looked.
He covers history, patriotism, and more all in a beautiful way.

One other:

Canadian January Night

Ice storm: the hill
a pyramid of black crystal
down which the cars
slide like phosphorescent beetles
while I, walking backwards in obedience
to the wind, am possessed
of the fearful knowledge
my compatriots share
but almost never utter:
this is a country
where a man can die
simply from being
caught outside.

©Alden Nowlan

 

Brilliant work.

And from Alden Nowlan, Selected Poems

A Poem About Miracles

Why don’t records go blank
the instant the singer dies?
Oh, I know there are explanations,
but they don’t convince me.
I’m still surprised
when I hear the dead singing.
As for orchestras,
I expect the instruments
to fall silent one by one
as the musicians succumb
to cancer and heart disease
so that toward the end
I turn on a disc
labelled Götterdämmerung
and all that comes out
is the sound of one sick old man
scraping a shaky bow
across and out-of-tune fiddle.

 

©Alden Nowlan

These poems of Alden’s are a few of the good, and representative of his best. You need the book to even begin to get an awareness of his greatness.
Robert Frost may be more well known, but for me Alden wins the laurels.

© Dean J. Baker

all my books on salehttp://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM

https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/links-to-my-books-in-print/

Sweetness – by Stephen Dun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac

with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
has come
and changed nothing in the world

except the way I stumbled through it,
for a while lost
in the ignorance of loving

someone or something, the world shrunk
to mouth-size,
hand-size, and never seeming small.

I acknowledge there is no sweetness
that doesn’t leave a stain,
no sweetness that’s ever sufficiently sweet ….

Tonight a friend called to say his lover
was killed in a car
he was driving. His voice was low

and guttural, he repeated what he needed
to repeat, and I repeated
the one or two words we have for such grief

until we were speaking only in tones.
Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan, stays just long enough

to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark
source. As for me, I don’t care

where it’s been, or what bitter road
it’s traveled
to come so far, to taste so good.
© 1989 by Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn, “Sweetness” from New and Selected Poems 1974-1994. Copyright © 1989 by Stephen Dunn.

A truly great poet – with  any number of fine books to choose from.

©DeanJBaker