poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz (with 8-string stuff)
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this and that

Drove about 800 miles last weekend, slept very little, and got even less work done, but it’s worth it to see my stepdaughters, and I do have a few links to share.

The first is to the Associated Press’s unofficial collection of poems written for the inauguration. Most, unfortunately, seem to me worse than the pretty bad official poem, but I do like Julia Alvarez‘s untitled poem beginning “The land was never ours, nor we the land’s …”

The second is to the text of the poem Robert Frost wrote for but did not read at the inuguuration of John Kennedy, “Dedication.” It’s not terrifically good either.

But the third is a link to a very good thing: a song from an early incarnation of Baker’s Boys, “The Rain Will Hide Our Tears,” is featured this week at MadeLoud.

By the way, we might be changing our name, since these days 4 of the 9 of us accompanying Krys Baker on her musical journey are female. Got any ideas?

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1 Patrick Gillespie { 01.28.09 at 7:30 pm }

I agree with you about the Frost poem.

I love Frost’s earlier poetry. As he aged though, he became too self-satisfied & pat – his rhyming pentameters too avuncular. I always wonder what happened. Did his inspiration flag? Was it age? Was it arrogance? Maybe, like McCartney, he just lost his edge.

2 judy thompson { 02.04.09 at 6:04 pm }

I have yet to see an official poem written under duress (no matter what you call it, Writing the Dedication or Inaugural Poem is not an easy task) that worked as poetry. It’s political,
slanted, and often delivered, as Frost’s was, in gale winds and something just short of hypothermia. Plus Frost was never a good reader, at his best.

If you doubt me, try to write one. *g*

As to the Baker name (I have a partiality to that, it was my birth name), how about something like the Baker Street Irregulars?

3 Mike { 02.04.09 at 6:38 pm }

Judy! How are you!

I agree that these days almost all official poetry, and almost all poetry written for occasions, under deadline, is pretty bad. But remember that As You Like It was written on demand;that until the 19th century poets were expected to be able to write to order, and that they often did damned well. The thing is, most of us a’re not taught to work like that anymore, and they way we are taught works against being able to “versify,” to write “what oft was thought but ne’er expressed so well.” There are exceptions — librettists, for instance, work to tight deadlines.

BTW, I did write one — I’ll send it to you after band practice.

And I looked up the name — it’s taken, by about a dozen other bands. No biggy until there’s money involved. We’re thinking about 5 Kitties and the Bad Bone Boys (2 trombones, ya know.)

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