Poetic Idealism and the Search, pt. 1

Many of the readers who end up at this blog do so by searching Google with the phrase “idealism in poetry” or something similar. While I think the overall contents of the blog offer my thoughts on the topic, I am sure that many of these searchers are looking for research for their undergraduate or high school papers. This post will offer some reflection on the concept in general, but I would like to also point them toward the recently updated “plagiarism note” in the right column. Your teacher/professor will recognize a voice other than yours, and drop text into Google to figure out where it came from. Then you will fail the paper, if not the course. Be forewarned.

Continue reading “Poetic Idealism and the Search, pt. 1”

After Reading Sam Hamill’s “The Necessity to Speak”

As poets, as writers, as humans, we cannot afford to ignore the terrifying injustices that proceed around us every day. It may be complacency which drives the majority of our human peers to continue living as though these terrors were simply nightmares – shadows driven by overactive imagination. Or it may be fear of falling through the cultural systems we have developed to a space in which they cannot ignore these crimes we perpetrate against one another – the systems do not kindly treat outliers. A life constantly confronted and challenged by these things is hard, it’s difficult; and difficulty is one thing we in America have forever striven to delay/decrease/divorce. It is clear that a person constantly confronting this madness may go mad – there are plenty of examples. On the other hand, there are plenty of examples of intentional ignorance which also descend into madness. Continue reading “After Reading Sam Hamill’s “The Necessity to Speak””

You know, I was going to comment in the comments for this article, but HuffPo wants me to sign in with google or facebook or twitter, and I don’t really feel comfortable doing that, so here is my response to this article:

You know, I thought about applying to Cardiff, but the program is only 1 year. Decided more time to slog through both teaching and writing offered an opportunit­y to get my head straight. US schools it was. Ending up with 21 credits (that’s a year+) of literature courses, 15 credits of workshop courses, 18 credits of thesis/col­loquium and 3 credits of teaching university compositio­n.

Also, having edited a couple of lit mags, I can tell you that I at least don’t know your name, or possibly the name you’re dropping, and either way don’t read your bio until after I have decided on the poem. I don’t ever really care who gets snubbed, but you better be sending in some good poems.

In the end I’ve found that reading a lot helps develop the ear, but it’s the writing a lot that develops the voice. Endless writing – critical and creative.

I wanted to leave this where I thought the author might see it, and maybe he’ll see it here…

Thoughts: End-of-Semester Overload

So I’ve spent the last few days trying to forget the near self-implosion of burnout caused by not turning hardly anything in on time this semester.

This was mostly attempted through trying to melt brain cells with vast quantities of entire TV seasons through Netflix, along with ignoring responsibilities such as cleaning the apartment, waking up at any reasonable hour, and eating when any normal person would think to, such as when hunger arises.  Alas, I had to resurrect some sense of responsibility today by taking a shower and paying some bills…

This has also brought me around to reading poetry again, which I’ll be posting on again shortly.  Look out for thoughts on some of the books on the list.

I’ve also just realized that I now have a two-foot pile of books I have to find a home for.  I’m considering giving some of them out to readers here, so keep an eye open.

What Makes for a Successful Literary Submission?

So many submissions come in to the literary magazine I help staff – a relatively new literary magazine – that examining the framework of a “successful submission” becomes a lesson in self-reflection. From my experience working on various literary journals, the submissions that find a way through the editorial process have similar characteristics, even though the journal, the editors, and the submissions may be vastly different. For the most part, this framework can relate across different literary journals with different scopes as well. At the broadest level, I see the framework resting upon awareness. Continue reading “What Makes for a Successful Literary Submission?”

Parallels between OWS and Chartism

There is a contemporary parallel to the Chartist movement in nineteenth century England.  That parallel is the Occupy Wall Street movement, and although the specific goals are different, at their hearts, these two movements are linked despite the intervening 173 years.  These movements are both about representative government and the demand to see fair and equal representation.  In the case of Chartism, the protestors argued that suffrage be expanded to include voting rights in the middle and lower classes (although at this time women were still excluded), while Occupy Wall Street seeks, in one sense, to remove corporate control over legislative bodies.  Both of these goals stem from a great economic inequality.  In early 19th century Britain, as clearly represented in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton, “the most deplorable… evil that arose out of the period… was this feeling of alienation between the different classes” (127).  That same feeling appears again today with the Great Recession and the beginnings of the Occupy movement.  The parallels between the two movements, and the media coverage thereof, extend beyond the reach of this essay, but should be readily apparent by the conclusion. Continue reading “Parallels between OWS and Chartism”

Linh Dinh’s View of the Country

Ran across Lin Dinh’s State of the Union blog today.  There are some interesting, disturbing, and inspirational images on it, chronicling the results of the depression the country is in.

Recommended reading.  I don’t agree with everything he says, but he’s doing good work, and more people should see it.

How Repetition does not = Truth

Ken Cuccinelli spoke to ODU’s College Republicans Friday night.  They did not publicize the visit very well, but AltDaily’s John McManus did cover it.  McManus did not offer any critique of Mr. Cuccinelli’s words, but  one thing that struck me in the transcription is the following:

“It’s clear: the Founding Fathers believed the foundation, the source of the rights they were trying to protect, was God.”

Continue reading “How Repetition does not = Truth”

A New Draft (an excerpt)

Disclaimer: I don’t normally post poems here, because I feel that they have a much better chance at legitimacy if they live a long revision life and see the light of publication in a real venue, not my own blog… However, because of the nature of this poem and my slight intoxication, I have decided to request feedback over the internets, which are known for their fair and balanced opinions.

Written tonight, this draft is rant-y, and liberal.  I post because I want feedback, but I’m not entirely sure about the politics…

**edit: if it seems cut-off, it is.  This is the first third (about) of the poem**

See for yourself after the jump.

Continue reading “A New Draft (an excerpt)”