David Cherry's blog

Elegies

Sometimes there are no words. 
But time, because it cannot know how fragile we are, will keep flowing.
We will eventually step back into its current. There will be solace.

"And Death Shall Have No Dominion" in The Collected Poems: 1934-1952 / Dylan Thomas
The Book of Psalms
 
Elegy: Poems / Mary Jo Bang
"Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard" / Thomas Gray
The Duino Elegies / Rainer Maria Rilke
"Kaddish" in The Collected Poems: 1947-1980 / Allen Ginsberg
"The Rain" in The Collected Poems 1956-1998 / Zbigniew Herbert

If You Can't Say Anything Nice, Say It in Print: Scattered Thoughts on Criticism

Photo Credit: Underwood Typewriter II by Geof Wilson  Several weeks ago, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea: Why not write a critique of criticism. I thought I would argue that the thumbs-up-thumbs-down approach is too blunt an instrument for poetry and that there seems to be a tendency for poetry critics to review the poet rather than the book, so that every review becomes an appraisal of a career.

On Influence, Influenza and Outright Thievery

Photo Credit: Glad Day for Surfin,' after William "Hodad" Blake by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com Lately, I have been thinking a lot about this aphorism. It seems to have as many originators as it does permutations. The gist of it is, “good writers borrow; great writers steal.”

The Rich, Ouija Boards, and Other Things I Don't Understand

Photo: [Ouija Board] by ~!'s / RyanWhen Frederick Seidel drops a name, it tends to land with the kind of thump that gets a room's attention. Like Neal Cassady's hammer in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, it never happens by accident.

In many ways Seidel is the kind of human being for whom I could work up an unhealthy dislike. For one thing, he's rich; worse yet, he was born that way, and for another thing . . . well, frankly, there isn’t another thing.

Poetry in Motion . . . Pictures: The Uneasy Marriage Between Poetry and Film

Photo: Mayan Again by GIRLintheCafeThere are not a lot of movies about poets, which is probably a good thing. It’s just not easy to make riffling through a dictionary looking for a word that rhymes with angst cinematically compelling, and the act of writing—even with a quill pen--is seldom as riveting as a good car chase. Nor do most poets live lives that lend themselves to anything beyond Hal Hartley-style absurdist vérité.

Rimbaud, Kerouac and Other Heroes I've Slain (A Family Tree of Sorts)

Photo: Details of an Old Typewriter by Raúl Hernández González  Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. “Stop! Stop!” cried the old man, “I didn't drag my own father beyond this tree.”The Making of Americans

Poetry for Hispanic Heritage Month

Photo: Dia de los Muertos by Glen Van EttenIn this day and age when so many people, myself included, are cut off from the worlds from which their families came, we should celebrate all those who have kept and are keeping those ties alive.

I Have Seen the Future, And It's Not Half Bad. (An open letter to poets)

Whazup y’all,

Israeli Postage Stamp: The Prophet Jonah-catalog #301, c. 1963 part of the Festivals 5724 (1963) series. Design by Jean David/Photo by Karen HortonIf you’ve been reading this blog at all regularly, you’ve probably picked up on a certain pessimistic tone regarding the current state and future of poetry. This is nothing new; Eliot and Pound were banging the same drum in the early years of last century.

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