Per Contra Poetry Summer 2008
"My poet grandmother wrote down my first poems verbatim, and then she and my aunt Rhina taught me to write them down for myself. It was something I knew my grandmother did, and I loved hearing her recite, and loved to be read to from books of poetry and stories. It seemed like a form of play at first, and it's never wholly lost that quality of play for me, even after I learned, years later, that this particular "game" was sometimes a way to deal with sorrow, and it became a more 'serious' pursuit."
After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost - Click Here
Birches by Robert Frost - Click Here
Mending Wall by Robert Frost - Click Here
The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost - Click Here
The Silken Tent by Robert Frost - Click Here
"So a poet ought to pay attention to everything from Tom Swift to Shakespeare, whom I haven’t mentioned much as I haven’t mentioned air, because you can take it for granted that I breathe when write. A poet ought to read everything from Heraclitus to the respectable newspapers and the headlines of the tabloids one sees when one is checking out of a supermarket. Just the headlines. Because there are, after all, limits to what one can read."
"By January of 1954, while I was still nineteen years of age and not yet two years out of high school, my poems were appearing more or less regularly in the little magazines, and I’d had several poems appear in Our Navy, a monthly slick, which had begun to publish a poetry column for which I suspect I was responsible — other sailors, having seen my poems perhaps, had begun sending in their own."
"Without the long history of this universally disparaged art, there would be none of the intellectual and aesthetic cultural crossbreeding that gave us Homer, the Hebrew Bible, Virgil and Dante, to name only a few of the texts without which our literature would be unrecognizable. Clearly our view of the world and of ourselves as a species depends, in large measure, on what authors distant in space and time have left us in all the world’s languages."
On the Street and One Day You Will by Gagan Gill Translated by Arlene Zide and the Poet
© 2005-2008 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas