Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Word Play- We Have A Poet What Now?

Reading Mat Callahan's The Trouble With Music recently I came across a chapter about rappers as poets. With Cadence Weapon's recent appoinment as Edmonton's poet laureate, people might question if acceptance has hit the mainstream. But is that acceptance for hip hop as poetry? Or acceptance for poetry in general? When ran the story people seemed just as shocked that Edmonton had a poet laureate in the first place as they did that a rapper was chosen.

I'll tell you 5 more places with poet laureates. Can you identify who they are? To help you along, I've given you a sample of their poetry, with some letters left out. Filling in the blanks will reveal the poet.

1. St. John's, Newfoundland
"If they left it -lone, Mike said,
and someone -ot hurt, the- th-y’d be blempt for it.

I hold onto before, before our
tongue- -ere twisted -round corrected speech.

He was so grand he couldn’t say Okay,
-ike the re-t of us,
-e said Oh Kah."

(Read the entire poem here.)

2. The United States
"Her trac- is gr-celess, like dragging
A packing-case places, and almost an- slope
Defeats he- modest hopes. Even being practical,
She’s often stuck up to the axle on her wa-
To something edible. With everything optim-l,
She skirts the ditch which would co-vert
Her shell into a serving dish."

(Read the entire poem

3. Toronto, Ontario
"It was shady deals and
Connie Francis on the jukebox
juni-ers and chevy convert-bl-s
pa-ked outside Dino's restaurant;
it was bri-hter sk-es, manageable
skyscrapers, gang-fights and Kennedy;
it was gambling at Atlantic City with
the F-u- Seasons, it was crabs and
Johnny Unitas and Connie Arena who
teased my heart throu-h ten school
years, her father pract-cing race-track
c-rnet every-ay dr-ving us nuts on
su-h bored summers of tee-shirts
with -igarette packs at the sleeve and
Beachb-ys and weights."

(Read the rest

4. Saskatchewan
"Six in the mo-ning
and dark -utside
Wind already -lowing
as I driv- you to the ai-por-
In pla-es snow
b-ilding again whe-e a blade
has channeled out the -oad
Open spots and ground dr-ft
pulling th- car toward the ditch"

(Read the rest

5. The U.K.
"I had grieved. I had wept for a night and a day
over my loss, ripped the -loth I was m--ried in
fr-m my breasts, how-ed, shrieked, cl-wed
at the burial sto-es u-til my han-s bled, retched
his name over and over again, dead, dead.

Gone home. G-tted the place. Slept in a single cot,
widow, one empty glove, white -emur
in the dust, hal-. Stuffed dark suits
into black bags, shuffled in a dead man's shoes,
noosed the double knot of a tie around m- bare neck,

gaunt nun in the mirror, touching herself."

(Read the rest here.)

Does your town/city or country have a poet laureate? Do you know who it is?


raidergirl3 said...

The poet laureate on PEI is David Helwig.

#5. Carol Ann Duffy is the poet laureate of the UK (with what appears to be a name straight from PEI) Thanks for making it possible to answer without knowing before hand!

Wanda said...

#4. Saskatchewan poet laureate is Robert Currie.

The current poet laureate of Nova Scotia is the beautiful, vibrant and multi-talented Shauntay Grant. My daughter is a big fan of Shauntay's spoken word poetry and was delighted to meet her a few years ago when Miss Grant came in as a guest speaker for her ACL class in High School. I loved her children's book Up Home! It took this year's Best Atlantic Published Book Award and the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustrations.

btw, my word verification is manever ... not sure if I should read that as (ma? never!) or (man.. ever!) lol ;)