It’s way past dusk,
Robert tucked snugly
fervour serenade for me.
I wrestle with cadences
to sooth my concerns
of Robert’s decline.
As I pause to mull,
I hear silence of him asleep.
Archive for the ‘News’ Category
It’s way past dusk,
3 precious critters under
the plum tree bewitching me.
As I picked-up one of the darlings,
it hissed fiercely less than a kitten.
After my photo-shots, I went in,
the 3 gone forever. Occurring
belatedly, “where was the ma?”
Is she road-kill or
targeted as varmint?
Bliss to my dumbness!
I was spared from her
rabid leap to my jugular.
He vaguely reads the news.
He knows Barrack is President,
otherwise the day is filled
with his quirky cheeriness.
His thin hairless legs elevate
in his cherished
dirty leather recliner.
He opens his wallet,
riffles his dollars,
doses, hands fold,
at his bandaged baby toe.
What’s wrong with it?
Sweetie, it’s a “booboo pad”.
The private life without impiety
is now a bit public.
Bob’s legs & feet still remain swollen in spite of his new medication furosemide which replaced a common so-called “water pill” hydrochlorothiazide. Bob dealing with congestive heart failure mixed with his level of dementia is a challenge to say the least. I do have to prepare for the worse. We have a follow up check with our Kaiser Doctor today. I did take Bob to see his neurologist the other day. In short, my confidence is sorely lacking in the neurologist’s knowledge replete with its future ramifications of dementia. I feel so alone with this journey. Kaiser here lacks comprehensive geriatric dementia care. Neurologist are more adept dealing with visible signs of neuropathy, Parkinson’s, strokes, head injuries, MS etc. In short again, Bob’s neurologist says Bob’s current combination of memory pills is the best he can do for him. Bob has been on Aricept since 2003. Then about 2005, he then was prescribed with namenda. There’s no way to prove otherwise but I do believe these drugs indeed have had slowed down the over-activity of his glutamate neural transmitters of killing off his neurons.
O’Hara’s brand of outrageous, gimlet-eyed poetry criticism became a cottage industry for one of the unsung heroes of contemporary poetry, Robert Peters. Peters is the author of the iconoclastic poetry collections Songs for a Son, Love Poems for Robert Mitchum, and Snapshots for a Serial Killer. He is also an eminent scholar of Victorian poetry. However, he may be best known (though, I think, not well-known enough) for his criticism of contemporary poetry from the 1970s and ‘80s. In an era immediately prior to the Internet and blogs, Peters was King Critic of the Poetry Scene.
When my first book was coming out in 1996, my then-editor Bill Truesdale suggested we get a blurb from Peters. Though I admired Peters’ work, I thought this was a bad idea. His Black and Blue Guide to Poetry Journals, and the even harsher (yet far more-often-than-not truth-telling) series on individual poets, The Great American Poetry Bake-Off, could, for all their humor and generosity, be scathing. Though I thought these books were enormously helpful to me as a young poet—and I still highly recommend them to my students—I didn’t think my fragile fledgling poet-ego would hold up if he hated my debut. In 1982 Peters states straight out, “My pleasure in any good poet transcends conflict: I don’t see poets as enemies. But, for better or for worse, the critic must play wolf-roles, especially when poems generate in him little else than a tedious conjugality.” He goes on to say of one of the leading poets of the day that he wishes he could make him “feel less lost, elegiac, submissive, self-pitying.” Another poet’s new book convinces Peters that, “a writer by becoming a celebrity can get work published and sold, and earn a rather large reputation.” Ouch. Of the late ‘80s he declares, “The ‘ego’ poem, or ‘I’ poem, is the genre favored by most poets….”
For whatever reason, I lucked out. Peters liked the galley proofs of my book, and even invited me when I was coming to L.A. to visit him at the house he has shared for decades with fellow-poet Paul Trachtenberg. I’d like to believe that I would admire his work and like him even if he hated my work.
What makes Peters’ criticism so incisive, and his poetry so utterly contemporary, is his thoroughgoing knowledge of the history of poetry. He knows what made the new truly new in every period. His stance is related to Eliot’s in “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” but he calls for a more radical departure from the tradition. Here’s the beginning of his 1974 poem “the word yes”:
slowly a great rain of piss
begins (god beats on
the galvanized lid of heaven
the stars piss, Danae yells
for a sponge, Castor and Pollux. . .)
the rain is orange, the skies
are hepatitis colored, word
balloons are full of
comicbook doomwisdom. yes.
Today, Ron Silliman has taken Peters’ Poetry-Critic Crown and removed it into the blogosphere. Although Silliman’s views are always interesting and insightful, he is less focused on poetry criticism than Peters was, not to mention kinder and gentler.
Hunting the Snark
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
First edition cover
Author(s) Robert Peters
Country United States
Publisher Paragon House
Publication date 1989
Pages 396 pp
Hunting the Snark is a compendium of poetic terminology that mirrored American contemporary poetry of nineteen seventies and eighties written by Robert Peters. The book sorts through contemporary American poems, separating them into nearly a hundred categories. The book’s foreword is written by founder of the New York Quarterly, William M. Packard. He says, “Hunting the Snark is an extraordinarily well-informed, joyous encomium to poetry itself. It displays the variety and diversity of our contemporary American scene.”
1 Classifications and Terminology
2 The Title
3 Passel of Poets
Classifications and Terminology
His classifications are concepts like: “Sylvia Plath Poems”, “Wise Child poems”, “Snapshot Poems”, “Academic Sleaze”, “Fruits-and-Flower-Poems”, “Ezra Pound poems”, “Jazz Poems”, “Self-Pity Poems”, “West Coast Poems”.
The title is a reference to Lewis Caroll’s poem Hunting of the Snark.
Passel of Poets
Peters anthologizes in Hunting the Snark a comprehensive amount of poets and their poems including widely noted poets such as Robert Hass, Billy Collins, Denise Levertov, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery to obscure noted poets Wilma McDaniel, Paul Vangelisti, David Ray and Alfred Starr Hamilton.
On the Trico libraries news and notes web, library associate Evelyn Khoo chose the Hunting of the Snark as “Curious, Useful, Edifying, Inspiring: The Reference Books of McCabe Library”. Khoo assesses the book as a book that replaces the standard poetry anthologies with the usual geographic or chronological format for most reference works, with classifications like “academic sleaze”, “poultry poems”, “bent genes poems”, and “Disney poems”.
Each category has a selection of classic and contemporary poets, which embody the spirit of each genre, tied together with Peters’ critical analysis.
Poet and noted biographer of Sylvia Plath, Edward Butcher, wrote an essay on Peters, stating that he “fairly categorized terminologically American poems and poets with his original poetic terminology”.
^ “Review”. Powell’s Books. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
^ Reference Books of McCabe Library
^ Great American Poetry Bake-Off-4th series
Snow White’s wicked stepmother Queen Ravenna’s matrix some say is the sixteenth century Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Bathory, thus far in recorded history is the most alledged female serial killer. Apparently, there are plenty of written records of the trial of her atrocities. To this day her nortorious legendary status forever grows. It has been said and written that up to seven hundred women and girls were killed under her name. Bathory was never tried and convicted but walled away in a castle until her death. Part of the legend has it that Bathory needed blood of virgins to maintain her beauty & youth.
Going back to Queen Ravenna, she needed Snow white’s heart to maintain her beauty and youth and to always be the fairest of the kingdom she ruled. The latest incarnation of Queen Ravenna and perhaps the Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory is actress Charlize Theron’s rendition of her in 2012 film Snow White and the Huntsman. Theron’s Ravenna is exquisitely delicious. Theron’s beauty makes Ravenna scarier. What filmdom can do with digital techniques used in today’s films, these techniques were magically executed in this particular film. The ultimate psychosis of maintaining eternal youth is well displayed in Queen Ravenna and the Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory.
I saw Meryl Streep’s portrayal of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in movie THE IRON LADY. It’s not surprising to me that her portrayal is causing a great stir. Ms Thatcher presently has dementia and Streep tackles getting inside the mind of Thatcher utterly flawlessly. There’s not one nuance out of place of Streep’s enactment of a person with dementia along with a person who once was so powerful and visible on the global stage of history.
I have read where Ronald Reagan’s son Ronald Reagan Jr disapproved of Thatcher’s daughter Carol’s biography on her Mother with very candid details on her dementia. Well I disapprove of Reagan Jr disapproval because he thinks Carol exploits her mother’s private matter of dementia. Having dementia is not a disgrace; it’s a brain disease, which needs to be explored in order to develop knowledge to see if any remedy is at hand. Sugarcoating dementia by keeping it closeted leads nowhere of dealing with its insidious reality.
Reagan Jr’s dad former President Reagan made his own public announcement of his dementia, which his brain disease was commonly labeled as Alzheimer. As American aging population lives longer the percentage of dementia is forever on the increase.
I too, live with a person with dementia. He is the well-known poet and critic and former Victorian Scholar Robert Peters. He’s been my beloved companion for almost forty years. He developed signs of dementia for at least ten years. He’s been taking namenda and aricept drugs for his dementia for some time now. I believe these drugs have kept the progression of Robert’s dementia at bay where he still can be a jolly fellow without any concern of his plight. It’s my job to protect him from harm’s way. Comparing notes with other caretakers of how to deal with dementia is definitely therapeutic.
Meryl Streep, Carol Thatcher or I owe no apologies for sharing the world of dementia because it is here with us with a vengeance.
I find it arduous at times to unblock the flow of blogs and keep a steady currency but I insist on trying. In the relative news of poetry I received word from Lawrence R. Smith, editor of Caliban Online is going to run Robert Peters’ long poem How an Old Man Commemorates Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) in #3 issue in mid-April. This forthcoming issue of Caliban will be paying tribute to the deceased Renaissance poet George Hitchcock (1914-2010) It great to see that Lawrence has resurrected his now au courant magazine being online and all. He took a hiatus from his editorship of Caliban by doing his own writings– novels and such. As they say, there’s a season for everything.
I’ve never been that big of an advocate of “oral” poetry (in fact it suggested sex to my dirty mind). Nor did I care that much for “voice” or “performance” poetry, which always suggested to me a way to present otherwise dull poetry where everyone bows their head to the grave task of “understanding.” I thought of it as more arts org decoration because no one knew what real poetry was when funding it, so applause would thus take cues from Jerry Springer with all the slam and “stuff.” I am old fashioned enough to know that in black ink the love of poetry still shines bright. So what do I get in the mail but the new wave of the future of publishing: a cd of the recorded voice; a little booklet of poems; the photo of the poet’s life all in one neat little package! i revised my thinking on the topic. Maybe it WAS important to hear the old Celtic tremble of Yeats, or the dramatic sculpted prosody of Pound in recordings. So here is the gift of the voice of Robert Peters, Professor Emeritus who is probably the last academic scholar and real voice in American poetry to be heard.