2020

BOOKS



A Peep Into English Poetry

By Madan G Singh 

Poetry of John Dunne and Milton

The period from John Dunne to Milton spans just half a century. Both poets are considered among the foremost English poets and have an assured place in the history of English literature. John Donne lived from1572 - 1631, while Milton lived from 1608-1674. For some time the life of both poets overlapped. Both poets have made a mark in English literature. Milton became famous earlier and the value of John Donne as a poet was recognized much later. In fact a good 200 years later.

John Dunne

John Dunne was a satirist, lawyer and cleric in the Church of England. He is considered one of the foremost exponents of metaphysical poetry. Metaphysical when applied to poetry means poems with love, science, romance and sensuality integrated with man's relationship with God. These poems are lyrical poems containing intense meditations. John Dunne was greatly influenced by the church as such his poetry had a religious bent.

Metaphysical poets

Along with Dunne the other metaphysical poets were George Herbert (1593-1633), Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) and Henry Vaughn. They had their own distinct styles which was sensual and included love poetry, religious poems and sermons. The Metaphysical poets were overtaken by the romantic poets a century later. Marvell had a connection with John Milton. He was his secretary and once when Milton was jailed during the Restoration; it was Marvell who had him set free after he had petitioned for his release.

The poets Andrew Marvell and George Herbert never published their poems during their life time and their verses were published posthumously.

John Milton

John Milton who lived during the same period was a scholarly man of letters. He was also a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England, led by Oliver Cromwell. His monumental work 'Paradise Lost' puts him in the top bracket of English literature. Milton had the mortification of losing his eyesight towards the end of his life, yet he took it in his stride and there is no remorse or self pity at this handicap being thrust on him.

In contrast to John Dunne and his compatriots, Milton was not a metaphysical poet. Though he lived during the same period his style and themes were of an entirely different genre. Milton concentrated on social issues and religion. In his epic 'Paradise Lost' Milton's goal was to justify the ways of God. His primary aim was to explain the ways of God to man.

Milton achieved international recognition during his lifetime. During this period he wrote 'Areopagitica' a condemnation of pre-publication censorship. Milton was an erudite man and wrote in English, Latin and Italian.

Milton and Dunne's interpretation of Mans Relationship with God.

Milton and Dunne are studies in contrast. Milton in 'Paradise Lost' recounts the fall of man in the Genesis. He relates graphic conversations of Adam and Eve with God. He describes the demons and their exile to Hell. Donne on the other hand in 'Holy Sonnet XIV' creates an entirely different scenario. He illustrates man's utter dependence on God. John Dunne was highly religious and his poetry brings out the rationality and beauty of faith in God.

Both the poets thus wrote poetry touching two different aspects of man's relationship with god. The fact is that both poets had god as a central theme, though they interpreted man's relations with the almighty differently.

Milton and Politics

Milton was aware of John Donne. He travelled every day from school to home and crossed St Paul's. In all probability he listened to the sermons put on during this time by John Donne. Milton's poetry had a different approach from Donne and the Metaphysical poets. He was more alive to the political scenario of that period.

England was in turmoil with Cromwell and Milton sided with him. Cromwell is a towering figure in English history and at that time he was all powerful. That may have rubbed off on Milton, as he sided with Cromwell. John Donne was not that politically inclined, influenced as he was more by the church.

Last Word

Poetry of both poets Dunne and Milton is a treasure. The short period saw other poets emerge during the time of these two poets. Nothing however matches the luminosity of these two. Both poets made the English language richer and now almost 400 years later we can appreciate the greatness of these two poets.


The Power of Faith

By: Omarr R. Lee

Sojourner Truth's heart,
Was led by Faith, and
Faith says words,
That are unspoken,
Because Faith can't talk;
It can only walk,
With you to a greater height, and
Sojourner Truth was a remarkable woman indeed,
She lived a life that was led by faith, therefore
Her story is so encouraging to read,
Her style of grace,
Is something that all women should admire, or cherish,
Her legacy will always be remembered,
it will never perish,
Truth was a beacon of hope,
Let the truth be known because it has already been spoken.

What Everyone Should Know About Short Poems - Articles Surfing

Not everything needs to be long and cumbersome to be considered an art form and in poetry, this is especially the case. Poetry has long broken new frontiers in displaying brevity and concision with words as an artistic expression. From the Japanese haiku of only 17 syllables to the short form of a simple limerick, there are dozens of different kinds of short poetry.

Different Kinds of Short Poems

There are hundreds of different formats of poetry ' from the classic sonnet to the increasingly rare sestina. However, very short poems are much rarer than one would expect. Traditional poets almost all followed a preconceived format, with a set meter and line format. It might be considered boring by today's standards, but it was tradition and as a result, short poems were less common. However, there are some examples that break the rules including:

Haiku is the most famous of short poetic forms. Developed by the Japanese, this simple and elegant style has managed to find popularity in numerous cultures and countries.

Triolets are eight line short poems with a very unique rhyming scheme.

Ghazal is a Persian form of poetry that can be as short as ten lines, famously used by Rumi.

Cinquain is similar to the haiku in that each of the five lines is designated a certain number of syllables.

And of course free verse poems in which any format is acceptable

There are dozens of different forms of poetry though in which short poems can be written, using the familiar conventions and tweaking them with the artistic license that all poets have. In the case of some of history's greatest poets, form was not nearly as important as substance.

Short Poems from History's Greatest Poets

John Keats often wrote short, yet elaborate poems designed to capture all of the energies of a larger, more intensely styled work without putting its reader to sleep with overabundant metaphors. Though he only lived a scant 26 years, his work has had a profound effect on just about every poet since the early 19th century.

Robert Louis Stevenson of Treasure Island fame also penned his share of short poems, including 'To Friends at Home' a very simple yet poignant message to his fellows back home describing how much he misses them. Like many writers of his time, his poetry has been overlooked in favor of his fiction. However, the two are almost equal in volume, and his short poetry is especially well written.




Slam Venue Listing

Boston Poetry Slam @ the Cantab Lounge (Cambridge, MA)

The core Boston Poetry Slam show runs at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Mass. every Wednesday night, beginning with an open mic, closing with a poetry slam, and frequently featuring a headlining poet. Additionally, the Boston Poetry Slam frequently produces outside shows at other coffeehouses, bars, theaters, and schools across New England. The organization hosted the National Poetry Slam in 1992, 2011, and 2013, and has selected and sent a team to every NPS since 1991. 

Please see our website at bostonpoetryslam.com for all the most up-to-date information, including our feature schedule, slam rules, and special events.

Port Veritas Slam - Portland Maine (Portland, ME)

Port Veritas Slam 
Tuesdays @ 7:30pm (Workshops @ 6:30) 
Bull Feeney’s Yeats' Room - 375 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101 
$3-$5 Suggested Donation [$3 Cover @ Second Tuesday Slam] 

PVS is Maine's longest running poetry reading and slam. Each week we feature local and nationally touring performers. Prior to the reading there are weekly writing, editing and performance workshops hosted by guest poets and members of our local community. Signups begin at 7:30. Slams are held the second Tuesday of each month. Please visit our website for more information and to join our mailing list www.portveritas.com

Rock Slam (Nyack, NY)

We're a poetry slam that takes place once/month in Rockland County, NY. We've existed since December 2011. Lately, we've been having our slams the first Saturday of every month at Casa del Sol in Nyack, NY.

Zork's White Plains Library Slam (White Plains, NY)

Westchester County's 1st and ONLY National Certified Slam and the ONLY Nationally Certified Slam at a Public Library!!! Meets every 1st Wednesday [Except for August when we are off at the National Poetry Slam]. Every month has a world class Feature [fresh off the FINAL Stage of the National Poetry Slam], an Open Mic and an Open Slam. We have an audience of 25-45 on a regular basis. We know in White Plains that the competition is a gimmick and we treat it accordingly. The series is hosted my what PSI calls [On the "Slam Safe DVD"] a ICON of the National Poetry Slam, Eric ZORK Alan. He believes in adding the goofy to poetry and helping people have FUN with it. Oh, and it's FREE with tea, coffee and crumpet too! 

When: 1st Wednesdays at 6:30pm to 9:00pm [signup 6:30pm, show start 7:00pm]

Dallas Poetry Slam (Dallas, TX)

Dallas Poetry Slam & Open Mic 
Open Mic every Friday 
Slam 1st and 3rd Fridays 
Heroes Sports Bar & Grill 
3094 N. Stemmons Frwy

Dallas, TX 75247 
Sign up at 7:30pm 
Show at 8:00pm 
$5 Admission 
Free Parking 
Drink Specials 
Food Available 
www.thedallaspoetryslam.com

Denver Mercury Slam (Denver, CO)

Denver Mercury Cafe is the home of the Denver Mercury Slam. 

We are located at 2199 California St. in Denver. 
Sign-up begins at 7:30pm with the open mic at 8p, 
followed by our feature and then the slam. 

Our slam is every Sunday night, (with the second 
Sunday of the month being reserved as a Denver Minor Disturbance 
Youth Slam ages 13-19). 

We are proud to be one of the venues that does not 
request a cover at the door, we do pass a hat and request a $5 
donation from our audience. 

Our venue serves food and beverages, and is 
powered by wind and solar energy. They offer a 
variety of menu items including vegan and gluten-free 
items.

Omaha Poetry Slam (Omaha, NE)

The OM Center has been a place for great poetry and performance since January of 2002. Doors open at 7, with an open mic (you have up to 3 minutes to read whatever you'd like) starting at 7:30pm, then a great featured performer, and the poetry slam (3 rounds) beginning afterward. The event features many of the nation's finest poets, it's guaranteed better than a night at the movies for only a $7 suggested donation.

Port Veritas Slam - Portland Maine (Portland, ME)

Port Veritas Slam 
Tuesdays @ 7:30pm (Workshops @ 6:30) 
Bull Feeney’s Yeats' Room - 375 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101 
$3-$5 Suggested Donation [$3 Cover @ Second Tuesday Slam] 

PVS is Maine's longest running poetry reading and slam. Each week we feature local and nationally touring performers. Prior to the reading there are weekly writing, editing and performance workshops hosted by guest poets and members of our local community. Signups begin at 7:30. Slams are held the second Tuesday of each month. Please visit our website for more information and to join our mailing list www.portveritas.com

Laredo BorderSlam Poetry (Laredo, TX)

Laredo Border Slam 
2nd and 4th Thursdays 
Two 3-min rounds 
Gallery 201 
Historic Downtown 
Doors open at 9:00pm 
Slam starts at 9:30pm 
BYOB 
$2 
Cash and quirky prizes

Portland Poetry Slam (Portland, OR)

Beautiful weekly head-to-head style Slam and open-mic. Open to all, supportive of all. 
Touring features and new brilliance every week in one of Portland's coolest and most eclectic venues. 
Sign-ups happen at 6:30pm sharp and the show starts quickly thereafter. All ages.

Rock Slam (Nyack, NY)

We're a poetry slam that takes place once/month in Rockland County, NY. We've existed since December 2011. Lately, we've been having our slams the first Saturday of every month at Casa del Sol in Nyack, NY.

The Pigeon Presents: The Philadelphia Poetry Slam(Philadelphia, PA)

Jacob Winterstein and Alyesha Wise ("Ms. Wise"), created this event to improve the writing and performance of the poets in Philadelphia. 

The first Friday of the month from October-May we will bring you an amazing out-of-town featured poet, a fantastic local spotlight artist and a three round elimination slam. 

www.thephillypigeon.com 
www.facebook.com/thephillypigeon 
www.twitter.com/thephillypigeon

Nuyorican Poets Cafe (New York, NY)

Poetry Slam @ the Nuyorican Poets Cafe is truly poetry of and by the people. Winners of any Nuyorican Poetry Slam are chosen entirely by our varied audience members; a continual stream of changing faces, ages and backgrounds that make up New York City on any given night. Audience judges are not required to have any special skills or history and that's what always makes our slam so exciting and unpredictable. 

Many Poetry Slammers have begun their careers in either the Wednesday Night Slam Open or the Open Room. Some will come back and compete many times before winning a slam, so keep on coming! 2008 National Team member, Rico Steal, began his career at the Nuyorican in the Open Room and didn't quit until he was slamming on Friday Nights! 

Winner of Wednesday Night Slam Open is eligible to compete in a Friday Night Slam. If you win a Friday Night Slam, you are eligible to compete in one of the five Semi-Final Poetry Slams that happen throughout our Slam season. 

If you win a Semi-Final slam, you will become one of five poets to compete in our yearly Grand Slam Finale, which generally happens in April. The winner of that slam takes the Grand Slam Champion title for that year and immediately qualifies to be on our National Team. The rest of our yearly National Team comes out of three Run-Off Slams, which happen after the Grand Slam Finale. We send these team members to compete yearly in the National Poetry Slam.



2020

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