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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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

..from DARK EARTH….’THE HERALD’… with biographical notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing more than abstract ornament,
explanations and discussions
keeping us to ourselves; we were
too petty for anything else. God
and Spirit, man and God again: no
insight into the common denominators.

Stupidity categorized the crews
taking over. In Canada, one was
reduced to waiting; at best,
you sent yourself notes (not poems)
hoping they would stay closed, or
fall open revealing all upon arrival.

You are lost either way. Death
enters your life: a troubadour
strolling through the provincial town.
Each gesture of government singing
the unwanted guest to bed, who is
finishing the last bite of food.

One brought no plans for conversation,
issuing invitations in the dark
he slips from his clothes. The livery
stark amusement, leaving only the arc
of a streetlamp which constellates:
the hard vistas of distant expectation.

©Dean J. Baker

first published in Jewish Dialog

  • excerpt from

  • DARK EARTH – 142 pages, $16.99
    ” The most unique set of poems I have ever read.”Rabelais and Hieronymus Bosch look out of dark chinks in these poems… instead of Emerson’s “Whim” above Dean’s lintel we might assume “Melancholy” resides here… that dark brooding that laughs below, and rises through the bones to jerk you awake from your too lazy sleep of existence.”
  • “Dean’s books will someday be required reading for anyone who studies literature, poetry, or, human artistry.”
  • “Having read Dark Earth by Dean J Baker my first reaction is WOW. This was written for me.
    His poetry speaks to me deep down in my soul.”
    https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Earth-Dean-J-Baker/dp/150052591X

A few notes on The Herald: I went to an advertised poetry reading at York University where I’d only previously been to meet up with Irving Layton.
Couldn’t find the room and was wandering the halls when I turned a corner and ran into Joe Rosenblatt, Francis Sparshott, and John Newlove.

I got to know Rosenblatt and Newlove, edited two books for Rosenblatt, and traded books and drinks and food with John Newlove. Outside Irving Layton, Gwen MacEwen, Al Purdy, Alden Nowlan, & Patrick Lane, and Milton Acorn – Acorn, Purdy, MacEwen whom I would come to know, exchange letters, share food and drinks, phone calls, Christmas cards, with – these two, Rosenblatt and Newlove, were my favorites. And Giorgio DeCicco, Maggie Helwig.

One day I wrote The Herald and mailed it to John Newlove – just the poem typed out, no note. Canada Post being what it was in those days I got a phone call the next morning from John.
Fairly wordless for John anyway, he stared by saying, ‘You have got to get this published. I’m speechless about it.’ etc.

NEW BOOKS

Celestial Migrations In The Empire 122 pages, $15.99

‘the best new book of poetry in ages..’

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companion book Of The Dominions Unleavened, 102 pages, $13.99

home base – http://deanjbaker.wordpress.com

 

 

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/