29 November 2005

Help wanted...

...in two disparate categories!



1. It's time for me to start pre-planning for the MFA Craft & Theory course I'm teaching in Spring 07. Yes, I am getting an early start, but I want to actually read the books before assigning them. The topic I've chosen is Poetry of the Body, and I want a diverse group of readings, both creative and critical. I don't want to just assign my favorites, so I'd love some blogospherical input. I'm looking for poems (and essays about poems) that deal with the body in health and in crisis: desire, disability, disease, you name it. I'm particularly interested in new books, and in need of some MALE authors to create a balance. If your book, or your best friend's book, fits the bill, don't be shy or feel like you're bragging; let's hear about it. Input is very, very welcome, and much appreciated.

2. On a fluffier note, I've decided to go back to netflix, and can't find the lame hard copy of my old queue. (Every time I read that sentence I keep thinking it says "lamé hard copy", which doesn't sound lame at all.) If there are movies I need to add--especially ones from the last year--please let me know! I have been shamefully remiss in the film department.

Thanks!

14 comments:

Charles said...

Lie Awake Lake (Beckian Fritz Goldberg) is perfect for "Poetry of the Body." It's about the death of a father and about the failures of the body. And it's really beautiful.

poetzie said...

I keep thinking of Rick Barot's poetry, which I had the pleasure of hearing not too long ago, which was very aware of bodies, namely male, and their relationship to each other. There was one image of a man's inner thingh which I just cannot get out of my mind. Very sensual. He's great.

Justin Evans said...

Dave Lee wrote a poem called "Ugly" which chronicles the passage of a kidney stone through a hispanic man in West Texas, and his efforts to kioll himself because the pain is so bad. Here is the link:

http://members.tripod.com/~bumbleshoot/poetry/lee1.html

Ignore the center justification. I can mail you a hard copy and a cd with Dave Lee reading his own poem. It is one of the funiest poems ever written.

I will get back to you about the films.

Carol McCarthy said...

Hi Mary, just thought I'd recommend Beth Ann Fennelly's book titled Tender Hooks. I know it does not help you with the male poet request, but I absolutely adore this collection which centers around motherhood.

P. J. said...

I have two.

"In the Theatre (A True Incident)" by Dannie Abse is my favorite poem about the body (specifically the brain) in crisis. It's about a brain surgery operation gone horribly horribly wrong; really haunting and should freak out your students a bit.

"The Shipfitter's Wife" by Dorianne Laux is similar to Ondaatje's cinnamon peeler poem. The imagery is borderline obvious, but it got even my slackers, drunkards, and slackjaws to take notice.

Bonus: There was a dirty limerick in the men's room that a rhyming visitor scrawled into the stall door; apparently his experience made him "broken-hearted" but seeing as its anonymous (and ubiquitous) I won't recommend that one. [Do girls know this poem? Hmm.]

Justin Evans said...

Oh, You need to read Gary Short and his poems about his brother and mother who died. Just say the word and I will be happy to send you a sample or two of his poetry. Here is a link.


http://www.greatbasinweb.com/Poetry/ilaymybrotherdown.html

Because his poems of the body are spread ot over several books, I am more than happy to copy some off for you to look at. Again, just let me know.

Penultimatina said...

Holy wow, y'all! Thanks for the recommendations, and keep 'em coming! Justin--those poems sound great, and I'll email you my address. Thank you for helping me out!

PJ, yes, female audiences have also been privy (HA!) to that stellar work.

femme feral said...

these might be obvious, but J.D. McClatchy's poem "My Mammogram" and Mark Doty's tatoo poem -- I think it might just be "my tatoo" -- are interesting -- and really accessible -- poems about the body. Is it contemporary poets only? If not, D.H. Lawrence and Blake come to mind, and many of those 17th century religious poets wrote about christ's body. Also -- not a boy but -- Marie Howe's book what the living do .

Just out of curiousity, what are your favorites?

Penultimatina said...

FF--those aren't obvious at all. Thank you! And thanks for asking about my faves. I think I will whip up a list and post it tomorrow, when I have all of my books handy.

jeannine said...

Not to pimp poets from blog land, but Peter Pereira's book, Saying the World, contains quite a few poems of the body - as does Kelli Russell Agodon's Small Knots.

Matthew Thorburn said...

MB, I can come up with more ideas, but the poem that pops immediately into my mind is Robert Hass's "A Story about the Body" and then right after that, his "My Mother's N*pples."

Charles said...

Yes, the Doty poem is called "Paul's Tattoo," and I believe it's included in Source.

Matthew Thorburn said...

P.S. I also just read Rachel Zucker's The Last Clear Narrative, which includes many excellent poems about pregnancy and childbirth. Familiar topics, but her style and approach struck me as different from most everything else I've read....

Byf said...

Sorry I'm late to the party, but I wanted to suggest some poems by Marjorie Agosín in her collection "An Absence of Shadows." The poems are in both English and Spanish, and many describe — in first person — the torture of Jews during the Holocaust.

Not terribly uplifting, I know, but they're excellent poems, especially "Zones of Pain II" and "Torture," and tell important stories in a way that had never been done before.