Tending by Laura Grace Weldon

tending-by-laura-grace-weldon
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Aldrich Press (November 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615913423
ISBN-13: 978-0615913421
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Reviewed by: g emil reutter 
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Laura Grace Weldon has a gentle brutal voice in this exceptional collection of poems. It is reflected in the opening stanza and closing two stanzas of Ruminating, a poem about the family cow.
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Animals are incapable
of higher thought and emotions
or so I was taught
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She moves to the last two stanzas, the gentle Isabelle is observing the farm family as she relaxes in the pasture along the fence line, ruminating….
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Isabelle regards us
from the nearby fence line
her soft lips moving
as she chews, ruminating.
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Our breath hangs in the cold air
smelling of her son
roasted with onion, herbs, wine
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In Santa Clara County V. Southern Pacific Railroad, Weldon reflects wealth traveling through rural poverty with images that pop from the page:
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The day a car uncoupled,
spilling frozen beef,
armed guards arrived to destroy the cargo
but hungry people pushed onto the tracks
They bent gladly all the way home
Bearing suppers heavy promise.
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Torn hillside nearly empty, still
those who know what it is to be broken
stand on crushed grass
staring at tracks
leading away from here.
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The poem, Making it Work, concerning domestic strife, the wife is surrounded…
Where everything is beige and brown framed in flowered wall paper.
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In these poems Weldon creates images that reflect not only the beauty of rural American life but of the brutal reality that it truly is.
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g emil reutter 2-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/

Nude Descending an Empire by Sam Taylor

nudeSeries: Pitt Poetry Series

Paperback: 104 pages

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (August 9, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0822963043

ISBN-13: 978-0822963042

Reviewed by: g emil reutter

   Poet Sam Taylor’s Nude Descending an Empire is a collection driven by the moment with an occasional glance over his shoulder. Taylor writes poems that are created by surroundings and events, more often than not he avoids modern poetry’s preoccupation with self, although he dips his keyboard there every so often.
   He brings us to old Europe into the dust and sand of places we may not want to be, to the heartland and swamps of North America. In the poem, Jataka Tales, he writes
I can’t stop dreaming of maps/ but from my life as a stone/ I have yet to speak.
   And then there is his visit to China, when surrounded by locals he attempts to speak to them in their language, not knowing he was using the wrong tone. Poet and shit use the same structure but with different tones, so when asked what he does in the poem The Book of Poetry, he responds in the wrong tone, I am a shit man. I write shit and repeating it. A shit person, I write books of shit. Understand?
     I am glad to say Taylor doesn’t write books of shit. A great example are a few words from the poem The Book of Winter, which knowingly or not, Taylor gives a nod to Sandburg.
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In the pasture
heaven is falling
into heaven
into the bare willows
and oaks, and cottonwoods,
over the vertical
exhaust pipes
of parked semis,
their white cabs
with painted blue
flames.
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This collection of poems by Sam Taylor is worth the read, you should pick up a copy.

You can check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Nude-Descending-Empire-Poetry-Series/dp/0822963043

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April 12, 2014 007-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA).  http://gereutter.wordpress.com/

A Walk Through The City: My changing landscape By Doug Holder

A beautiful piece by Doug Holder at The Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Blog

man walking

http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2014/07/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none_21.html

Poets and Poetry in the News

news

Poet reads in Las Vegas Lounge

http://www.latimes.com/nation/great-reads/la-na-c1-las-vegas-poet-20140718-story.html#page=1

The poetry on Washington’s poet laureate’s shelf

http://crosscut.com/2014/07/18/books/120985/book-recommendation-elizabeth-austen-poet-laureate/

NC’s controversial poet laureate resigns

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/17/4012769/ncs-disputed-poet-laureate-resigns.html

The price of pillow cleaners

http://rapidcityjournal.com/lifestyles/columnists/ted-kooser/american-life-in-poetry-the-price-of-pillow-cleaners/article_40f70082-d351-5ea0-9225-2ec9e717d8a0.html

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry

http://www.pressherald.com/2014/07/20/t-a-k-e-h-e-a-r-t-a-conversation-in-poetry-7/

Poet finds her work flows well from Hot Springs

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2014/jul/20/poet-finds-her-work-flows-well-hot-springs/?f=trilakes

Of forgotten poets: The elegist of Peshawar fights a lonely battle for his life

http://tribune.com.pk/story/738554/of-forgotten-poets-the-elegist-of-peshawar-fights-a-lonely-battle-for-his-life/

Noted cowboy poets to perform at Dangberg Historic Park

http://www.rgj.com/story/life/2014/07/20/noted-cowboy-poets-perform-dangberg-historic-park/12876943/

Are Too Many People Writing Poetry?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-r-enszer/are-too-many-people-writi_b_5560772.html

Everybody Should Write Poetry

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/goodletters/2014/07/everybody-should-write-poetry/

The Best Cheesteak in Philly- Joe’s Steaks and Soda Shop

joes steaks 4

Philadelphia is a bastion for the culinary arts but when it comes to cheesesteak, no one has perfected this delight quite like Joe’s Steaks and Soda Shop. These steaks delight the palate like no other in the City of Philadelphia or the Delaware Valley. In addition to the finest steaks in the city, Joe’s has great milkshakes, fountain sodas and if this doesn’t leave you full, (unlikely), you can get a great desert. Not to be cliché but if you have tried the tired old places downtown or the Roxborough joints, you need to give Joe’s a try, you will keep coming back after one visit.

joes steaks 3

You can order in advance as Joe’s is normally packed, there is street parking available, be patient, it is worth the wait. Vist Joe’s at http://joessteaks.com/

6030 Torresdale Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19135

If you been to Joe’s or after you go don’t forget to vote for them at the Philly Hot List:

http://phillyhotlist.cityvoter.com/joe-s-steaks-soda-shop/biz/46907

Ryerss Poetry Workshop – October 4th

ryerss

As of 7/24 all spots are filled.

A poetry workshop will be held on October 4th by Poet in Residence, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, at Ryerss Museum and Library. There are only 10 spots available, of which 4 have been filled. For more information please visit:

http://www.ryerssmuseum.org/2014/07/13/adult-poetry-workshop/

 

Modern American and British Poetry – Anthology- Louis Untermeyer

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A look back…

American

 Untermeyer begins the foreword of this anthology first published in 1922

“Modern” is, perhaps, the most misleading adjective in the dictionary. There is no term more fluctuant and elusive, that shifts its meanings with greater rapidity, that turns its back so quickly upon those ardent champions who defended it most stubbornly. The present merges so swiftly into the past that today’s definition of modernity may seem, after the shortest of intervals, an apology for some safely enshrined tradition. 

In the preface Untermeyer offers a look at the changing American literary landscape, defining when American poets came into their own, reflecting the nation in words as opposed to the literary establishment that failed to embrace the changing nation and remained tethered to England. This history highlights the revolution that was Whitman and Dickinson to Sandberg, Amy Lowell, H.D., Langston Hughes, Frost, and western frontier poetry that enchanted the nation by the likes of Bret Harte, John Hay, Edward Rowland Sill and Joaquin Miller.

This first half of this anthology contains the work of 83 American poets with two distinct threads. The shooting stars and those who faced harsh criticism, endured, who even today influence poets. Untermeyer offers up a history of each poet prior to a set of poems. This in itself is worth the read, as history is a good thing to know.

I picked up my copy at a used book store. It is in very good condition although well read. You can find a copy at Amazon for a whopping $.074 for a hard copy. An anthology and history of poets for under a buck, how can you beat that?

http://www.amazon.com/Modern-American-Poetry-British-Anthology/dp/B000HI34UI

Next time we will have a look at the Brits.

IMG_9390-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia. You can find him at https://gereutter.wordpress.com/