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Showing posts from April, 2011
Ah, Philip Larkin.  Being shown Larkin in college was revelatory for me.  I wrote my final paper on his poetry.  Looking at it now I can see both what appealed to me then, but I can also see how amazing his writing is, what depths can be discovered.  I think that I found him to be a bridge between the formal poetry of the past and the themes that would come to dominate poetry in the late 50's and 60's in free verse. 
Larkin was a bitter and cynical man and his poems reflect a very post-war, British sensibility of austerity and change (in my American eyes).  And while his poems reflect that cynicism, it is interesting to me that he was still able to produce this body of work--that nihilism and pessimism did not stop him from the need to write.  Like Dorothy Parker, he flirted with suicide, wrote of it as a desirable thing, and yet staggered on creating.

This is probably his most famous poem.

This Be the Verse
~Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, b…

Poems for National Poetry Month

~Simon Armitage
Batman, big shot, when you gave the order
to grow up, then let me loose to wander
leeward, freely through the wild blue yonder
as you liked to say, or ditched me rather,
in the gutter…well, I turned the corner.
Now I’ve scotched that ‘he was like a father
to me’ rumour, sacked it, blown the cover
on that ‘he was like an elder brother’
story, let the cat out on the caper
with the married woman, how you took her
downtown on expenses in the motor.
Holy robin-redbreast-nest-egg shocker!
Holy roll-me-over-in-the-clover,
I’m not playing ball boy any longer
Batman, now I’ve doffed that off-the-shoulder
Sherwood-Forest-green and scarlet number
for a pair of jeans and crew-neck jumper;
now I’m taller, harder, stronger, older.
Batman, it makes a marvelous picture:
you without a shadow, stewing over
chicken giblets in the pressure cooker,
next to nothing in the walk-in larder,
punching the palm of your hand all winter,
you baby, now I’m the real boy wonder.

On Being a Woman

Review of the two versions of Frankenstein

Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature, Jonny Lee Miller as Frankenstein Alas, they put him in a loin cloth--probably to not have to rate it R over here. But the bum was still awesome and yes, I thought how uncomfortable those boys must be during--like puppetry of the penis. The play (IMHO): BC/Creature--11 (BC was perhaps a tad too funny--I'm dying now to see the reversal) JLM/Victor--10 (a little too one-note, but I think that was a fault of the script.) Karl Johnson/De Lacey--9 Rest of cast--5 (except the maid--she was cool) Text--8 Set--besides the big musical numbers (Steampunk Starlight Express and Brigadoon, the Zombie Version)--9 (the floor in particular was perfect) Music/sound (in our version)--too loud and inappropriate in some scenes Lighting--intriguing, prob. 8. I liked the use of lightbulbs--the subtle suggestion of industry and electricity--and there were enough of them to be very, very good. Some bursting flares that were a little odd. Reminded me of a recent produc…