[for Ko Un]
You were thrown from a bridge
left to drown
in what remains of the drought-
Today I find your body
caked in mud
unaware of the violent days ahead:
hundreds, no thousands of beatings
everything we know to sand.
[This is another poem I wrote during my weekend in Blackall… it is a hard land, and the people working it are currently doing it very tough. These are the words I found to try and tell a little of their story.]
Tomorrow, March 21 is World Poetry Day. One of the driving ideas of the day is to share poetry with the world, so here’s a handful of readings / films from three of my all time favourite poets. So either dive in early, or hang back and savour it in the morning… but do open your ears and let these poems in.
First up is a set from New Zealand icon, the first poet I ever saw read live, Sam Hunt. This is Hunt at his wildly unpredictable best… and he reads two poems that will always be close to me, Wave Song and Naming the Gods.
Next, a reading from Korea’s spiritual force of nature, Ko Un. He will always be a guiding light…
And finally, let William S. Burroughs enter your head and open fire… no one messed with language more than WSB and this short film by Anthony Balch, showcases Burroughs’ early work at its mind-bending best.
Happy World Poetry Day to you all! Feel free to drop me a link to something you feel I should be watching.
The good folks over at Lilliput Review have been compiling a list of perfect or near perfect books of poetry and it has now reached the 200 mark.
You can check out the list here: http://lilliputreview.googlepages.com/nearperfectbooksofpoems
Many of the books on the list are books that have had a huge influence on me: Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Collected Greed Parts 1 – 13 by Diane Wakoski, 100 Poems from the Chinese tr. by Kenneth Rexroth and Poet in New York by Federico Garcia Lorca to name a few.
There are many books on the list I have never read (aaahhh to have the time to read everything I want) and there are of course many titles that I feel should be listed. After all, it wouldn’t be a list if you didn’t want to add to it!
So here are 5 suggestions from me…
On Love and Barley by Basho tr. by Lucien Stryk
The Best of Henri by Adrian Henri
The Clean Dark by Robert Adamson
Radiant Silhouette by John Yau; and
The Three Way Tavern by Ko Un
Each of these collections has had a profound impact on me and I could go on and list more, but I would love to hear which books of poetry you feel deserve to be on the list. So, please add your list of titles in the comments section and feel free to tell us why.
Look forward to hearing from you…