Frank Ormsby's seventh collection of poems reflects not only the beauty of the Irish landscape and the sensuous and aesthetic impact of the small farms among which he grew up, but also the continuing violence of the 'Troubles'. Close to the surface of mountain and bogland lie the hidden graves of the 'Disappeared'. Ormsby continues to make vivid use of the short, resonant poems which were a striking feature of Goat's Milk and The Darkness of Snow. Here too the content is often delivered and reinforced through rich, contrasting images within or between poems: the scarlet flowers growing in a black kettle, the fuchsia that is both 'redolent of old battles' or a 'peaceful tapestry in the annals of stone'. Among the personae of the collection is the obliging father who volunteers to be buried by his children up to the neck in sand within sight of but some distance from the 'cold shadow of the mountain'. The elegiac note that echoes through the poems rarely darkens the mood. Ormsby’s wit and humour, his sly sense of the absurd and what might be called his affection for the living and the dead draw the reader into considering the conviction that it is sometimes 'possible to believe / that joy grows irresistibly at the roots of everything'.
The renowned Rilke scholar brings the poet’s work to life for modern readers through 26 essays, each devoted to a single word found in his writings. Ulrich Baer’s The Rilke Alphabet explores the enduring power of one of the world’s greatest poets, a visionary who saw that even the smallest overlooked word could unlock life’s mysteries. With deep insight and love for Rilke’s language, Baer examines twenty-six words that are not merely unexpected in his work, but problematic—even scandalous. Through twenty-six evocative essays, Baer sheds new light on Rilke’s creative process and his deepest thoughts about life, art, politics, sexuality, love, and death. The Rilke Alphabet shows how the poet’s work can be a guide to life even in our contemporary world. Whether it is a love letter to frogs, a troubling—though brief—infatuation with Mussolini, a sustained reflection on the Buddha, or the impassioned assertion that freedom must be lived in order to be known, Rilke’s thoroughly original writings pull us deeply into life. Baer’s decades-long experience as a scholar, translator, and editor of Rilke’s writings allows him to reveal unique aspects of Rilke’s work. The Rilke Alphabet will surprise and delight Rilke fans, and deepen every reader’s sense of the power of poetry to penetrate the mysteries of our world.
At the age of twenty-six (at the height of the Great War in Europe), the religious pilgrim and maverick Kurata Hyakuzo wrote a profoundly philosophical play called "The Priest & His Disciples" ("Shukke to sono deshi"). This stage play is based on the life and teachings of the 13th century Buddhist priest Shinran (1173-1263) and quickly became immensely popular. Shinran, the historical founder of the True Pure Land School of Buddhism (Jodo Shinshu), encounters the poor family of Hino Saemon and his wife Okane, and converses with them about how to live in circumstances of change and turmoil and hardship. Most of the ideas represented as Shinran's are really Kurata's own philosophies, an amalgam of Eastern and Western ideas adapted by his own iconoclastic spirit to the tumultuous times of early twentieth-century Japan. - Summary by Expatriate
This volume of poetry brings together poems throughout history with very special women. The relationship with our Mother is one of the most powerful many of us will ever feel. It rivals those with our children and partners in a way that both permeates and challenges how and on what terms we live our lives. A woman giving birth is not only bringing life into the World, she is doing so, usually, at great pain to herself. The fact that this is transformed within minutes of birth to a deep, unconditional love is truly beautiful. Whatever the future brings for Mother or child that bond will hold. The first attempts at language by babies is usually 'muh' or 'ma' - a universal sound for Mother. In every race, culture and domain Mothers are seen as both a symbol and living emblem of love and nurture, of comfort and safety. As we grow older that relationship changes but on a fundamental level remains giving, unconditional and unequivocal. As we become parents ourselves that circle of experience completes a full turn. For poets through time this unique and fulfilling relationship has enabled some of the greatest verse to be written by some of our most famed poets from Wordsworth to Whitman to Tennyson and many, many others. We hope this experience of listening to these carefully chosen words will help you reflect and further enjoy the experience that a Mother's love has brought to your life. Their devotion to ours ensures ours to theirs. Whilst we celebrate Mother's Day once a year, every day is their day.
Abraham Lincoln read it with approval, but Emily Dickinson described its bold language and themes as "disgraceful." And Ralph Waldo Emerson found Leaves of Grass "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed," calling it a "combination of the Bhagavad Gita and the New York Herald." Published at the author's own expense on July 4, 1855, Leaves of Grass initially consisted of a preface, twelve untitled poems in free verse (including the work later titled "Song of Myself," which Malcolm Cowley called "one of the great poems of modern times"), and a now-famous portrait of a devil-may-care Walt Whitman in a workman's shirt. Over the next four decades, Whitman continually expanded and revised the book as he took on the role of a workingman's bard who championed American nationalism, political democracy, contemporary progress, and unashamed sex. This volume, which contains 383 poems, is the final "Deathbed Edition," which was published in 1892.
In 1855, Walt Whitman published, at his own expense, the first edition of Leaves of Grass, a visionary volume of twelve poems. Showing the influence of a uniquely American form of mysticism known as Transcendentalism, the writing is distinguished by an explosively innovative free-verse style and previously unmentionable subject matter. Exalting nature, celebrating the human body, and praising the senses and sexual love, this monumental work, now a classic of American poetry, was condemned as immoral upon publication. Included in this edition are some of the greatest poems of modern times, works that continue to upset conventional notions of beauty and originality even today.
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