- A belated post this week. Not as much but I’ll add more if I find more (or by your recommendations).
- Many discussions on various forums which, though interesting, are too changeable to reference.
- If any readers would like to recommend sites or blogs please do! Feel free to recommend your own blog or poem if you like but please don’t post your poem in the comment field (provide a link and the first lines).
- Search terms used to find these posts: Rhyme, Meter, Formal, Formalist, Poetry
GEOFFREY CHAUCER (British) (1340 – 1400)
He was the fist poet to write in modern English. “He found his native tongue a dialect and left it a language”.
Son of a well to do wine merchant, he lived in the troubled times. He served in the army for some time. He was taken prisoner by the French and released only after the peace of Bretigny was signed in May 1360. He served as one of the valets of the King’s chamber and went abroad on embassies and missions. In 1366 he married one who was closely connected with the court. In 1372 he visited Genoa, Pisa and Florence. In 1382 he was appointed as comptroller of the Petty Customs and shortly after he left London for Greenwich, where he spent most of his remaining years, until just before his death, when he took a house near the Chapel of St. Mary in Westminister. In 1386 he was elected as a Knight of the shire for Kent in the Parliament. By 1389 Richard II appointed him clerk of the King’s works at Westminister...
8th Annual Pleasanton
Poetry, Prose & Arts Festival Overview
Dana Gioia is a poet, critic and best-selling anthologist. He recently served as Chair for the National Endowment for the Arts. He is one of America’s leading contemporary men of letters. Winner of the American Book Award, Gioia is internationally recognized for his role in reviving rhyme, meter and narrative in contemporary poetry. He combines populist ideals and high standards to bring poetry to a broader audience…
Langston Hughes (1902-67) was among the first American Blacks to make a living as a writer. Although he was associated with the “Harlem Renaissance” of the 1920s and ’30s, he lived into the 1960s, “The Decade of Protest.” As Richard K. Barksdale showed in Langston Hughes and His Critics (1977), Hughes’ output was enormous, and it covered the field; he wrote drama, fiction, autobiography, libretti for musicals, opera, and a cantata — but it is as a poet that he stood as a model for post-Modernist Blacks such as Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks (see elsewhere on this blog), Amiri Baraka, and Don L. Lee. Although Hughes was accused of being the next thing to a member of the literary establishment and of not writing enough consciousness-raising material, he was in fact the first to write civil rights protest poetry that was identifiable as such, and he did it when it was quite dangerous to do so, long before it was fashionable.
At the Poetry Foundation I’ve been involved in an interesting discussion on John Donne’s Sonnet: Death be not proud… As part of the discussion I started searching the web to see what others had written. (I especially wanted to find readings and performances.) But, to my astonishment, I saw that everyone was misreading the poem!
As it turns out, this Sonnet (like Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116) is one of the most misread sonnets in the English Language.