March 26, 2013 |
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a sweet poem for actress Helen Hayes' daughter, Mary McArthur. Then, six years later, he penned her another one on the reverse of the same page that's, well, a little unsettling. Would you write to a 7-year-old about the "thumb-print of lust"? The poems can be seen at the website of Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs and Memorabilia . They are part of a lot that is set to go up for auction on April 2. The first poem was written to Mary when she was just a year old. It's a singsong verse: "Is Papa / Your Papa / My Papa?
February 28, 2013 |
Just a few months ago, Eloise Klein Healy was chosen as L.A.'s first poet laureate. Now a new anthology of Healy's work offers ample proof, if any were needed, what an inspired choice she was. "A Wild Surmise" is a vivid record of one woman's artistic and emotional quest, a journey that unfolds, for the most part, in the streets, gardens and homes of Los Angeles. The City of Angels appears again and again in the work of Healy, a native of El Paso who grew up in Iowa but who has made Los Angeles her home since the 1970s.
February 25, 2013 |
Poet Simon Armitage has announced a plan to walk 260 miles along the English coast this summer. During this sojourn, Armitage will offer readings at pubs, schools and other venues in exchange for food and shelter, carrying no money and relying on his pen to sustain him. "The whole idea is that of the barter. All I've got to offer is my work, and the reading of it," he told the Guardian. "Will that be enough for people to say I can stay at their home, or that they'll give me some sandwiches?
February 20, 2013 |
An unpublished manuscript by the 19th century Scottish poet William Topaz McGonagall is up for auction at Bonham's this spring, and is expected to fetch something in the neighborhood of $4,600, according to the Guardian. This price is not despite its notable badness, but exactly because of it: McGonagall, born in 1825 in Edinburgh, is widely considered to be the world's worst poet. The achievement, if one can call it that, has kept McGonagall's work in print over a century after his death, even as his more talented (not to mention mediocre)
February 11, 2013 |
Fifty years ago Monday, Sylvia Plath, a 30-year-old American living in England, put her head in her oven and committed suicide. Her two children were upstairs; her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, had left her after a tempestuous relationship. Her poetry and the semi-autobiographical novel "The Bell Jar" have become lasting parts of our literary culture. Today, Plath is much remembered -- and specifically, she's being remembered online. Poet Craig Morgan Teicher looks at the poems in Plath's debut collection, "The Colossus," at NPR: "The strange psyche at the core of these poems is made powerful by its seemingly limitless ability to endure self-destruction ... . As tragic and dark as her end would be, it's nonetheless thrilling to watch this great artist becoming herself.
January 21, 2013
The following poem was delivered by inauguration poet Richard Blanco during ceremonies for President Obama's second inaugural Monday. The text of the poem was provided by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. "One Today" One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores, peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies. One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.