Maurice Manning's poem "Going Back to Bimble" appears in Smartish Pace, Issue 20, and re-appears at Poetry Daily. Read the poem here. Thanks Poetry Daily! [ read more ]
Smartish Pace nominated Matt McBride's poem "Cities of Advertisers" and Amy Woolard's poem "A Girl Gets Sick of a Rose" for the 2013 Best New Poets anthology. SP is proud ... [ read more ]
Cabin Fever, in Smartish Pace
"Cabin Fever" by Stephen Cushman, as read by Stephen Cushman
Traci O’Dea (Associate Editor, Smartish Pace): How has translating Sappho affected your own poetry?
Aaron Poochigian: I had always wanted each line of my poetry to be songlike and ravishing. Now, after having lived with Sappho for about two years, I have a better sense of what that means. But I should be more specific about her influence. Many of Sappho’s poems give the reader the impression that he or she is eavesdropping on a private conversation, as in the following fragment:As you are dear to me go find a youngerBed as your due.I can’t stand being the old one any longer,Living with you.I now readily slip into the conversational mode in my own work. Sappho, in fact, is credited with pioneering the “personal” in poetry, partly because she gives the reader this window into the intimate. She also makes frequent use of what I call “choral” expression—that is, the speaker as a first person plural “we” representing a group of people. I now often write poems in “group voices.” Perhaps the poem “The Marriage of Peleus and Thetis” is the best evidence of her influence on my work. The Marriage ... [ read more ]
In a recent reading Alex Grant gave at Longwood, he said that during the writing of The Poems of Wing Lei, he became Wing Lei. This latest volume of Grant’s is about the life and poetry of ninth century Chinese poet Wing Lei, who lost his beloved wife, Nagini, in a flood. After her death, Wing Lei left his government position and took vows at a monastery, where he lived for seven ... [ read more ]