Saturday, July 25, 2009

Last of a Generation

Harry Patch, the last British soldier who served in the trenches, has died at the age 110. Fortunately memories of the Great War are captured in the lines of the war poets.
Here's Poet Laureate Andrew Motion's interview with Harry Patch in the Guardian.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Poetry on the train

The poets of the 19th Century were the media superstars of the their day. And while the likes of Lord Byron were a good deal more gifted and interesting that Paris Hilton, their antics shocked polite society.
Today poets are an obscure and elite band. If you were to go to the nearest shopping mall and take a poll you would be hard pressed to find someone able to name a single contemporary poet.
I found this article from the Prague Post interesting.
This year's San Francisco International Poetry Festival features Israeli poet Roy Arad who has been an outspoken activist against the war in Gaza, and Bangladeshi poet Taslima Nasrin who has three fatwas against her life and was forced into exile from her country for her writings' frank sexual content, radical feminist views and open criticism of Islam. Read more:

Narin's work includes Prisoner Poems written in an Indian Jail.
"The room in which I now live has a closed window,
A window that I cannot open at will.
The window’s covered with a heavy curtain that I cannot move at will.
I live in a room now,
Where I cannot open the door at will, cannot cross the threshold."

see her home page.