Blatant Bibliophile Blog

…feeling the need to read

Posts Tagged ‘poets’

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 6, 2008

violet

According to Contemporary Writers.com today’s author, poet and novelist Ciaran Carson was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1948. After graduating from Queen’s University, Belfast, he worked for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland until 1998. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 1978.

His collections of poetry include The Irish for No (1987), winner of the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award; Belfast Confetti (1990), which won the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Poetry; and First Language: Poems (1993), winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize. His prose includes The Star Factory (1997) and Fishing for Amber (1999). His most recent novel, Shamrock Tea (2001), explores themes present in Jan van Eyck’s painting The Arnolfini Marriage. His translation of Dante’s Inferno was published in November 2002. His most recent collection is Breaking News (2003), winner of the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year).

Ciaran Carson is also an accomplished musician, and is the author of Last Night’s Fun: About Time, Food and Music (1996), a study of Irish traditional music. He lives in Belfast.

The Assignation
by Ciaran Carson

I think I must have told him my name was Juliette,
with four syllables, you said, to go with violette.

I envisaged the violet air that presages snow,
the dark campaniles of a city beginning to blur

a malfunctioning violet neon pharmacy sign
jittering away all night through the dimity curtains.

Near dawn you opened them to a deep fall and discovered
a line of solitary footprints leading to a porch:

a smell of candle-wax and frankincense; the dim murmur
of a liturgy you knew but whose language you did not.

The statues were shrouded in Lenten violet, save one,
a Virgin in a cope of voile so white as to be blue.

As was the custom there, your host informed you afterwards—
the church was dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows.

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Let’s Read Some Poetry!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 5, 2008

Today’s Poem of the Day from The Academy of American Poets is by Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan. Born in Santa Monica and raised in Los Angeles, Born in Santa Monica and raised in Los Angeles, Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan received her B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and earned an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow, and completed her M.A. in literature from the University of California at Berkeley. At the University of Houston she was a Cambor Fellow and earned a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing. She is a full-time instructor at Houston Community College, Central Campus. She lives in Houston with her husband, Raj, a scientist specializing in HIV/AIDS research at Baylor College of Medicine, and their three cats.

Terzanelle: Manzanar Riot
by Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan

This is a poem with missing details,
of ground gouging each barrack’s windowpane,
sand crystals falling with powder and shale,

where silence and shame make adults insane.
This is about a midnight of searchlights,
of ground gouging each barrack’s windowpane,

of syrup on rice and a cook’s big fight.
This is the night of Manzanar’s riot.
This is about a midnight of searchlights,

a swift moon and a voice shouting, Quiet!
where the revolving searchlight is the moon.
This is the night of Manzanar’s riot,

windstorm of people, rifle powder fumes,
children wiping their eyes clean of debris,
where the revolving searchlight is the moon,

and children line still to use the latrines.
This is a poem with missing details,
children wiping their eyes clean of debris—
sand crystals falling with powder and shale.

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