Saturday, June 2, 2007

Summer Poetry Challenge Update!! - The Details

The Challenge: Assign yourself 4 poems you have not really read:
  • 1 poem written before 1900
  • 1 poem written 1900-2000
  • 1 poem written in 2000-2007
  • 1 poem you're intimidated by, find mysterious, or simply don't understand, from any period.
These can be any length - really. They can be haiku, they can be book-length. They can be famous, they can be unknown - just don't use your own poetry, please. Otherwise, suit yourself.

What to do: Please formally enroll yourself here with your blog name in parentheses and blog URL (linking me directly to your posting of the poems will make the process more efficient for your visitors, but do as you wish). Also list your four poem titles and poets, please. If you change your mind or fill in one as you go, please mark your addendum as "your blog name" poetry submission #2 (etc...). Please label all posts "summer poetry challenge." One submission (of four poems) per person, please.

Sign-up deadline: No later than July 20, 2007.

I will post an index of all participants, listing your name, blog, four poems and poets. I will be on vacation from June 27 - July 9, so don't panic if you submit in that period and don't see yourself immediately. That index will link readers in our "reading week" to your poems directly.

Posting deadline: For one week, beginning August 1, post your poems (unless they're too long, in which case your thoughts on them, your questions about them, and any excerpts you choose can be posted instead). If they are long poems, post sooner so others can read them too if they choose!

Posting the poems on your own site will create readers for you and put your dialogue right at your fingertips, but with any luck we will get a cross-dialogue going.

If there is to be any sort of contest, details will follow but right now, I'm thinking the pleasure is in the reading.

Please inform me if I could be organizing things better - I haven't been blogging very long. Thanks for your guidance, Imani!

Check in periodically for updates.

Most of all - read gorgeously good poems and spread the word(s)!


Anonymous said...

I will definitely play along! I have to give some thought to which poems I want to read.

Ted said...

Yay - 4 and counting! I can't wait to see what you pick.

Anonymous said...

Count me in, poetry excites me in a sickeningly nerdy way.

Ted said...

Welcome, Siew! Glad your playing - cool site you have too!

meli said...

Me too! I think I'll do some Hesiod, but I'm not sure about what else yet.

Ted said...

Glad you're playing, Meli!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I picked my poems already!
Here are my four poems:

Before 1900: “And did those feet in ancient time” by William Blake — 1804

1900-2000: “Les Feuilles Mortes” by Jacques Prévert — I haven’t found an exact date for this poem, but Prévert lived from 1900 to 1977, so it fits.

2000-2007: “We Gather” by Nikki Giovanni — 2007

A poem I find mysterious: “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll — 1871

And now I can just sit back and wait for August 1, right?

Ted said...

Yes indeed, Dewey. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight. I love that you chose a poem from THIS year! I'm unfamiliar w/ Nikki Giovanni, and reading her name everywhere, so I'm looking forward to reading something she wrote.

Anonymous said...

For years as a kid, I was able to recite the entire Jabberwocky. I love Lewis Carroll.

Okay, my choices for poetry are:

Before 1900: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (translated by Edward Fitzgerald), written 11th or 12th century. Recommended to me once by Persian gent I befriended, and I never picked it up.

1900-2000: 'The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower' by Dylan Thomas (I have been chastised, as an English student, for never having picked up a Thomas poem) - 1933

2000-2007: 'Cactus' by Siobhan Harvey (one for Australia!) - 2007.

Lastly, 'Waiting for the Barbarians' by Constantine Cavafy, mysterious to me as it's captured the inspiration of some of my favourite writers, yet I have never read it - 1904.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so here are my choices.

Before 1900: Paradise Lost - by John Milton. I read it when I was a junior in high school, for English - and I can honestly say that that doesnt' count. I need to read it in its entirety again.

1900 - 2000: To Brooklyn Bridge - by Hart Crane

2000 - 2007: Anahorish 1944 - by Seamus Heaney

Poem I find mysterious: Sailing to Byzantium - WB Yeats

I have my work cut out for me. I'm so psyched.

Thanks, ted, for this great idea. I can't wait to read everybody else's posts as well.

Unknown said...

I'd like to participate!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am Sheila's sister and I want to participate - but I have to choose my poems...My name is Jean!

Anonymous said...

Do I need to have a blog to participate? Because I don't have one...

Ted said...

Jean - play anyway!! I think we met once - maybe at a cornell thing? maybe at a party? I don't know. at very least you'll be reading and reading posts and you can start conversations through comments at others' blogs OR you could start your own expressly for this purpose. Hmmm, that's an idea!
Yay, another customer.

Loose Baggy Monster said...

I'd like to join in the fun, if I may. Here are my choices:

Pre-1900: Dante's "Inferno"
1900-2000: Something by Osip Mandelstam (perhaps "To the German Language"-1932).
2000-2007: "Early Hour" by Wislawa Szymborska-2006.
Any period: "For My Enemies" by Boris Pasternak (because I've only read his prose, so his poetry is still a mystery for me)

Ted said...

Loose baggy monster - delighted you're playing!

Eva said...

I'm down to the wire, but I'm going to sign up. :) I had my doubts about my ability to approach poetry, but then I thought, practice makes perfect! So, here are my picks...

Before 1900: Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience (I'm reading the whole collection, but I'll choose one poem from each part to post)

1900-2000: Yevgeny Yevtushenko, "Tomorrow's Wind" (1977) (I *love* Russian poetry, but I usually read the older stuff)

2000-2007: "Reading the Entrails: a Rondel" by Neil Gaiman (I'm awful about modern poetry, but I like this poem and it's short)

Other: Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" (I chose it because 1) I've always had a problem w/ Plath for committing suicide and 2) the poem itself is quite disturbing, but also haunting and powerful)

Ted said...

Eva - I'm delighted that you are joining us!

Nyssaneala said...

Is it possible to still sign up? I was planning on participating (and will do the challenge anyway, even if it's not officially), but I didn't realize the 20th was the deadline. I'll be posting my poetry choices soon. Thanks!

Ted said...

Nyssaneala - that would be great - please do join us!

Nyssaneala said...

That's great! Here are my selections, which I just posted on my blog:

1. Before 1900: 'The Mouse and the Camel' by Rumi (13th century).
2. Between 1900-2000: 'Her Kind' by Anne Sexton, from To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960).
3. 2000-2007: 'Pilgrimage' by Natasha Trethewey, from Native Guard: Poems (2006)
4. An intimidating poem: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (12th century).

Ted said...

Nyssaneala - yay! Welcome.

Dewey said...

Ted, I wanted to share a handy tool with you and the other participants before people start posting. Sometimes a poem is formatted in a particular way that would be hard to recreate in a blog post: unusual indentations, concrete poems. etc. You can see what I mean here where one of the poems I chose is shown with all its indentations.You can use the preserve tag before your posting of the poem as you have copied it in its original structure. Just copy the poem, past it, and put the preserve tag around it. The preserve tag is just pre (with the usual html/xtml brackets around it >< (those only backwards). After the poem, use /pre in the same brackets. This will display the poem exactly as it should look. If anyone has any questions about this, feel free to email me at dewpie at gmail dot com.

Ted said...

Dewey - Thank you - that's great info, I had no idea - in fact, I had just that problem posting the James Wright poem on friday! I'll get the word out.