Articles about poetry and favourite poems by others
One hundred years ago, an arts movement was forming in a mainly-black district of New York City. Later known as the Harlem Renaissance, it was primarily cultural but also inescapably political. Literature, poetry, jazz, theatre, sculpture and more articulated the lives and demands of African-Americans no longer willing to be grateful that they were no longer enslaved.
O black and unknown bards of long ago.
How came your lips to touch the sacred fire?
How, in your darkness, did you come to know
The power and beauty of the minstrel’s lyre?
Who first from midst his bonds lifted his eyes?
Who first from out the still watch, lone and long.
Feeling the ancient faith of prophets rise
Within his dark-kept soul, burst into song?
James Weldon Johnson
In April 2015, the awesome Lunar Poetry Podcast interviewed Janine.
Listen to the podcast here (and listen to Lunar's many other most excellent poetry interviews and discussions)
Here's the transcript:
Host: David Turner – DT; Guest: Janine Booth – JB
- a rewrite of John Betjeman's The Subaltern's Love Song
Young Duncan H Dunn was the subaltern's son
Born then withdrawn when the courting was won
Conceived in the back of the subaltern's car
His dad had not planned on it going so far
In the 1790s, poet William Blake wrote 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell', which included 'Proverbs of Hell'. Here is a modern poem of proverbs ...
If it ain't broke, it soon will be
If you want to get ahead, get yourself a trilby
A roast duck won't fly into the mouth of a peasant
No man is an island but some are a desert
This stanza is sponsored
by a weekend bonanza
of two-for-one deals
on our easy-cook meals
from the town's happy eater
which has paid for its meter
All of its sponsors
have generously given
a big wodge of dosh
for their brand on its rhythm
A local disk jockey
has sponsored a trochee
(That's a tum-tee-tum beat
with some well-branded feet)