Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Muse Asks, Did You Know?

Today's post is another in an occasional series that features poetry-related items you might have missed.

Did You Know. . .

✦ Stephen Owen of Harvard has translated into English The Poetry of Du Fu (De Gruyter, Library of Chinese Humanities, December 2015), comprising 1,400 extant poems. The translation project took Owen, now 69, nearly 10 years to produce. The collection is 2,962 pages and requires 6 volumes totaling 9 pounds. An e-book edition (pdf) is available.

Read Jill Radsken's article, "Translating Nine Pounds of Poetry", Harvard Gazette, April 11, 2016. At the link are several audio recordings.

✦ You can create Dadaist poetry at Sauntering Verse. Read about the artistic and literary movement at The Art Story. (My thanks to Poetry's Don Share for the link.) 

✦ Explaining why he writes free verse instead of metrical verse, former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser told The Writer's Almanac Bookshelf, "When I was young I subscribed to the idea that poetry was made up of elevated language. . . Now I believe that poems are most effective with readers when they sound like everyday speech." Read Kooser's interview posted during the now-concluded National Poetry Month. (Interviews with other poets are at National Poetry Month 2016.)

✦ The "Poem of the Last Judgment", published in 1446, is among the first poems to have come off Johannes Gutenberg's printing press. This and other interesting facts about the printing press and its invention and applications are at Idea Finder.

✦ According to Kevin J. Hayes's A History of Virginia Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2015), the first poem printed in Virginia (my home state) was poet and attorney John Markland's "Typographia: An Ode, on Printing" (1730).

A History of Virginia Literature on GoogleBooks

✦ There's a place online to recommend poets. The Website is called Poet Tips. Its creator, Robert Peake, describes it as "a bit like Pandora or Spotify for poetry, allowing you to find new poets based on your tastes." Peake launched the site March 28; read his post "Poet Tips Has Hatched".

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