Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Muse Asks Did You Know

Today's post is another in an occasional series presenting something you might not know about poets or poetry.

Did You Know. . .

✦ The voice of English poet Robert Browning (1812-1889) was recorded in 1889. Go here to listen to Robert Browning Trying to Recite His Poem "How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix".

✦ The renowned Italian painter, sculptor, and architect Michaelangelo (1475-1564) wrote more than 300 sonnets and madrigals in his lifetime. In 1904, Charles Scribner's Sons published the second edition of The Sonnets of Michaealangelo Buanarroti: Now for the First Time Translated Into Rhymed English, currently housed at the Internet Archive.

James Joyce's publisher Elkin Matthews rejected Joyce's Dubliners in 1907 but that same year accepted Chamber Music, a selection of 36 poems written for an imagined love; it is, perhaps surprisingly, accessible reading. The version available at the link was published by B.W. Huebsch in 1918. Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Company Press published in 1927 Joyce's collection of 13 poems titled Pomes Penyeach; a group of composers subsequently wrote musical settings for each of the poems, which were compiled in The Joyce Book, published in 1933 (see "Musical Settings of Pomes Penyeach").

✦ Witty poet e.e. cummings dedicated his collection No Thanks (1935), which he self-published with $300 from his mother, to the 14 publishers that had turned him down. The collection, originally titled 70 Poems, was issued in three formats of 9, 90, and 900 copies. The dedication was a concrete poem, that is, a poem composed visually to resemble a funeral urn.

✦ In addition to being a writer, cummings was a painter. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin owns 87 original artworks by the poet, including portraits and landscapes, as well as some works by others from cummings's personal collection.

✦ There are more than 133,000 entries for poetry in the Open Library. Among some of the more unusual titles are Soul of Tiger Woods: Sports Poetry in Motion (Gramercy, 1998),  Asinine Love Poetry (XLibris Corp., 2005), Supernatural Poetry (Riverrun Press, 1978), and Parlour Poetry: A Hundred and One Improving Gems (Michael Joseph, 1967).

1 comment:

Hannah Stephenson said...

You could publish a desk calendar with these little interesting fragments, Maureen!