YOUR most influential writers.

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by parmalee, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. jessiej920 Shake them dice and roll 'em Valued Senior Member

    Ginsberg is another one of my favorites...

    Parmalee...see post #18 for my reply to your comment on my list

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  3. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    I'm assuming you mean Allan? He and Ivor Cutler would be on my list for unique and creative use of the harmonium--and I saw Ginsberg "sing" and play harmonium shortly before he died--but I've already got Nico at the top for both that and stream-of-consciousness writing that betrays a variety of nihilism.

    I forgot about P.K. Dick. His stories and style are awesome, but it's the way that consistent perceptual anomalies and extreme emotional lability--along with Poe and Lewis Carroll--inform his thinking that make it for me.

    Ligotti, again is amazing--very dry and English, and the horror can easily be overlooked altogether if one is not wholly attentive.
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  5. jessiej920 Shake them dice and roll 'em Valued Senior Member

    Yes, I'm speaking about Allan Ginsberg; Howl has to be one of my favorite writing pieces ever. I also like the stream-of-consciousness writing that just pulls you along with the piece, as if you become one with it; definitely cool. And I also like the nihilism, the idea of a doomed world and self-destruction...I like the darkness in it.

    I hadn't heard of P.K. Dick until my first year of college where I had to take a class called Social Functions of Science Fiction. P.K. Dick was one of my favorite authors that we read that quarter. I think I enjoy Poe so much, not just because of the darkness in his work, but also the rhythm and meter of his poetry, I love the way it flows and rolls off the tongue when read aloud.

    I will definitely have to check out Ligotti...I have a very dry sense of humor and I like horror that isn't too blatant and in your face so I will probably enjoy him.

    What other authors do you like? What about poets?
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  7. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member


    I'm still as infatuated with English Romantics as I was when I was a teenager (Blake and Wordsworth, in particular). Also:

    Anatole France
    Edmond Jabes
    Helene Cixous
    Georg Trakl (especially dark, kind of like a depraved Gnostic)
    J.L. Borges
    Sylvia Plath (especially "Lady Lazarus")
    R.L. Stevenson (yeah, the one who wrote Treasure Island)
    T.S. Eliot
    Wallace Stevens

    Again, I have trouble with contemporary stuff--the ones who come to mind are:

    Rosemarie Waldrop (primary translator of Jabes and also my favorite book on Rimbaud--Rimbaud in Abyssinia. She's actually a friend through another friend, who studied under her and her husband.)

    Vicki Hearne (animal trainer, philosopher, and poet--her stuff is kind of "academic" (i.e. doesn't read that well), but a lot about dogs and horses)

    John Hollander

    And you?
  8. jessiej920 Shake them dice and roll 'em Valued Senior Member

    Well, for me poetry is like water; I have to have it no matter what it tastes's really hard for me to narrow down poets as I have so many favorites. Let's see...I also enjoy older poetry, though contemporary does have its good points. you and I enjoy many of the same poets:

    Sylvia Plath
    T.S. Eliot
    Gwendolyn Brooks
    Ginsberg (and other beat-poets)
    William Carlos Williams
    Langston Hughes
    E.E. Cummings

    I could go on forever...some of my favorite poems are actually by people who's names I can't remember, lol.

    Let's see if we can narrow it down further...

    What are your favorite poems?
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  9. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    I also consider poetry--and music--essential, but it sometimes complicates things. I'm completing an English literature textbook (for Canadian secondary schools) that is primarily poetry--the Canadian curriculum is very clearly defined, i.e. specifically these poets, these poems, these concepts. My girlfriend wrote the core text, and I am proofing, editing, appending, etc. The final product is supposed to be only so many pages, yet at present we have a book that is nearly twice as long as it ought to be. This is a problem for any discipline, but far moreso for poetry: poems are interminably referential and tangential--and one can only be so parsimonious without neglecting what is important.

    I tend to favor "poetic" writers outside of poetry as well--and not just literature, but any genre of writing. Science and philosophy in particular might seem less likely, but both must employ certain heuristic devices to illustrate ideas, for instance. And I think that philosophers can still be rigorous while placing considerable import on form, the problem sometimes seems to be with the audience--the Bible and Nietzsche come to mind.

    Certainly, there is a place for everything and where poetry is inappropriate, but today there seems to be a considered resistance and reluctance to the poetic in general. Though whether it is a willful ignorance or a genuine blindness is not entirely clear. Are people naturally loathe to ambiguity? I don't think so; I think people are naturally inclined to both the ambiguous/ambivalent and the clearly, well, bivalent. But there's an obsession with the latter.

    It's hard to imagine that there was a world in which poetry could be regarded as subversive; I mean, to be considered dangerous, it's got to matter in the first place. The closest thing I can think of today is the conviction that rap is nefarious.

    Your poetry is great BTW (in the poem thread)--you wanna write lyrics for me? Fortunately, my music is hardly "songlike," so there's a lot of liberty as far as form goes. As mine are typically crap, I on rare occassion adapt something proper for the project: I worked Rilke's "Eighth Duino Elegy" into a 14 minute (only the first minute-and-a-half had vocals, the rest instrumental) piece once--"The Open"--and managed to make it not seem pretentious; fortunately, my drummer was keen to these things, and she liberally expurgated the lofty bits--we removed four minutes from the end which was entirely vocal (pretty much the body of the poem). A potential catastrophe averted.

    Will get back on this one.
  10. jessiej920 Shake them dice and roll 'em Valued Senior Member

    That's awesome that you and your gf are writing a book together. It must be nice to have someone to share such a passion with. I understand about it being hard, trying to condense something down to standard when there is so much to say. That's the problem with loving something so much

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    Agreed. I do love rap though. Good rap, not shit rap. I love the way rap plays on words and the way it spits and flows; it can be so angry and powerful and paint such a vivid picture. This is a couple fave verses of mine from west coast rapper Crooked I, who I should really add to my list of favorite poets

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    "Grippin’ on my pistol while I’m sippin’ on my cisco
    And the block is hotter then chicken when it’s sizzlin’ in crisco
    Fo sho
    I’m spittin’ at this thick ho
    The brizzles say she strippin’ for quick doe
    She pop pizzles and sniff blow"

    I just love the way that verse flows and sounds.

    "Mathematic with rounds, I bust
    Squeeze the trigonometry on the 40 cal, to less
    Subtract you down to dust, divide your wig plus
    Knock a square out you cowards, when shots ring to the third power"

    And I love the play on words in this verse. I don't care what people say. That's talent.

    Thanks! That's cool that you checked out my poetry. I love to write it and I would also love to write lyrics for you! It would be fun to swap work some time. Let me know what you want and I'll see what I can give you.
  11. jessiej920 Shake them dice and roll 'em Valued Senior Member

    Oh, here are three of my favorite poems:

    The Sick Rose

    O rose, thou art sick!
    The invisible worm
    That flies in the night
    In the howling storm

    Has found out thy bed
    Of crimson joy,
    And his dark secret love
    Does thy life destroy.

    -William Blake

    Another favorite is Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, by Dylan Thomas.

    And One Art by Elizabeth Bishop:

    The art of losing isn't hard to master;
    so many things seem filled with the intent
    to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

    Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
    of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
    The art of losing isn't hard to master.

    Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
    places, and names, and where it was you meant
    to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

    I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
    next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
    The art of losing isn't hard to master.

    I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
    some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
    I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

    -- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
    I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
    the art of losing's not too hard to master
    though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

    And also The Rose of Battle by Yeats:

    ROSE of all Roses, Rose of all the World!
    The tall thought-woven sails, that flap unfurled
    Above the tide of hours, trouble the air,
    And God’s bell buoyed to be the water’s care;
    While hushed from fear, or loud with hope, a band
    With blown, spray-dabbled hair gather at hand,
    Turn if you may from battles never done,
    I call, as they go by me one by one,
    Danger no refuge holds, and war no peace,
    For him who hears love sing and never cease,
    Beside her clean-swept hearth, her quiet shade:
    But gather all for whom no love hath made
    A woven silence, or but came to cast
    A song into the air, and singing passed
    To smile on the pale dawn; and gather you
    Who have sought more than is in rain or dew,
    Or in the sun and moon, or on the earth,
    Or sighs amid the wandering, starry mirth,
    Or comes in laughter from the sea’s sad lips,
    And wage God’s battles in the long grey ships.
    The sad, the lonely, the insatiable,
    To these Old Night shall all her mystery tell;
    God’s bell has claimed them by the little cry
    Of their sad hearts, that may not live nor die.
    Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World!
    You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
    Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
    The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.
    Beauty grown sad with its eternity
    Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea.
    Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait,
    For God has bid them share an equal fate;
    And when at last, defeated in His wars,
    They have gone down under the same white stars,
    We shall no longer hear the little cry
    Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die.
  12. Japarican Registered Senior Member

    As for poets:

    Arthur Rimbaud
    Pablo Neruda
    Federico Garcia Lorca
    Robert Frost
    Nikki Giovanni
    Langston Hughes
    Rainer Maria Rilke
    Maya Angelou
  13. ScaryMonster I’m the whispered word. Valued Senior Member

    “And what shoulder and what art could twist the sinuses of thine heart and when that heart began to beat? What dread hands forged thy feet?”

    I Love Blake he's one of my favorite Romantic poets, Yeats is pretty good as well!

    "Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

    The Second Coming by W. B Yeats.
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Reading Yeats again now. The old man likes to throw Quayam at me. Fine, fine: wine and women and no God. I get it. No, really.
  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

  16. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

    Robert Heinlein
    Robert Anton Wilson
    Ayn Rand
    Lysander Spooner
    Ann Coulter
  17. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    A few:

    Innocent and Vain

    The secrets that I do not know
    I cannot understand them
    A wanted series printed over
    Words are his defences

    The battle bracelets do not fit
    My favorite gladiator
    A fanatic hero piously
    Has to be a faker

    He is a dangerous creator
    A master in his mortal cave
    I am a savage violator
    A valet innocent and vain
    Lady Lazarus
    Sylvia Plath

    I have done it again.
    One year in every ten
    I manage it--

    A sort of walking miracle, my skin
    Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
    My right foot

    A paperweight,
    My face featureless, fine
    Jew linen.

    Peel off the napkin
    O my enemy.
    Do I terrify?--

    The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
    The sour breath
    Will vanish in a day.

    Soon, soon the flesh
    The grave cave ate will be
    At home on me

    And I a smiling woman.
    I am only thirty.
    And like the cat I have nine times to die.

    This is Number Three.
    What a trash
    To annihilate each decade.

    What a million filaments.
    The peanut-crunching crowd
    Shoves in to see

    Them unwrap me hand and foot--
    The big strip tease.
    Gentlemen, ladies

    These are my hands
    My knees.
    I may be skin and bone,

    Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
    The first time it happened I was ten.
    It was an accident.

    The second time I meant
    To last it out and not come back at all.
    I rocked shut

    As a seashell.
    They had to call and call
    And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

    Is an art, like everything else.
    I do it exceptionally well.

    I do it so it feels like hell.
    I do it so it feels real.
    I guess you could say I've a call.

    It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
    It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
    It's the theatrical

    Comeback in broad day
    To the same place, the same face, the same brute
    Amused shout:

    "A miracle!"
    That knocks me out. There is a charge

    For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
    For the hearing of my heart--
    It really goes.

    And there is a charge, a very large charge
    For a word or a touch
    Or a bit of blood

    Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
    So, so, Herr Doktor.
    So, Herr Enemy.

    I am your opus,
    I am your valuable,
    The pure gold baby

    That melts to a shriek.
    I turn and burn.
    Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

    Ash, ash--
    You poke and stir.
    Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--

    A cake of soap,
    A wedding ring,
    A gold filling.

    Herr god, Herr Lucifer,

    Out of the ash
    I rise with my red hair
    And I eat men like air.
    Eighth Duino Elegy (Excerpt)
    Rainer Maria Rilke

    The creature gazes into openness with all
    its eyes. But our eyes are
    as if they were reversed, and surround it,
    everywhere, like barriers against its free passage.
    We know what is outside us from the animal’s
    face alone: since we already turn
    the young child round and make it look
    backwards at what is settled, not that openness
    that is so deep in the animal’s vision. Free from death.
    We alone see that: the free creature
    has its progress always behind it,
    and God before it, and when it moves, it moves
    in eternity, as streams do.
    We never have pure space in front of us,
    not for a single day, such as flowers open
    endlessly into. Always there is world,
    and never the Nowhere without the Not: the pure,
    unwatched-over, that one breathes and
    endlessly knows, without craving. As a child
    loses itself sometimes, one with the stillness, and
    is jolted back. Or someone dies and is it.
    Since near to death one no longer sees death,
    and stares ahead, perhaps with the large gaze of the creature.
    Lovers are close to it, in wonder, if
    the other were not always there closing off the view.....
    As if through an oversight it opens out
    behind the other......But there is no
    way past it, and it turns to world again.
    Always turned towards creation, we see
    only a mirroring of freedom
    dimmed by us. Or that an animal
    mutely, calmly is looking through and through us.
    This is what fate means: to be opposite,
    and to be that and nothing else, opposite, forever.
    I think I could turn and live with animals
    Walt Whitman

    I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and
    I stand and look at them long and long.

    They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
    They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
    They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
    Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of
    owning things,
    Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of
    years ago,
    Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

    So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
    They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their

    I wonder where they get those tokens,
    Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?
  18. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    The funny thing is that I'm a minimalist--and while there's a serialistic aspect to my music, I'm more of a minimalist in Robert Wyatt's sense:
    Aye. My girlfriend is anything but.

    For the most part I hate rap, though I acknowledge there is some good stuff. It just amuses me that people find it somehow more sexist and misogynistic than anything else. Not hardly. Also, I think it's impotent compared to that former sense to which I alluded. I think Gil Scott Heron must find rap awfully disappointing, he was quite eloquent but could be blunt when it suited him:

    A rat done bit my sister Nell.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Her face and arms began to swell.
    (and Whitey's on the moon)
    I can't pay no doctor bill.
    (but Whitey's on the moon)
    Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
    (while Whitey's on the moon)
    The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
    ('cause Whitey's on the moon)
    No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
    (but Whitey's on the moon)
    I wonder why he's uppi' me?
    ('cause Whitey's on the moon?)
    I wuz already payin' 'im fifty a week.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
    Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
    The price of food is goin' up,
    An' as if all that shit wuzn't enough:
    A rat done bit my sister Nell.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Her face an' arm began to swell.
    (but Whitey's on the moon)
    Was all that money I made las' year
    (for Whitey on the moon?)
    How come there ain't no money here?
    (Hmm! Whitey's on the moon)
    Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
    (of Whitey on the moon)
    I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
    Airmail special


    (to Whitey on the moon)

    The problem is that I also need someone with a proper voice. And touring is problematic when I lack the person I used in recording, I need back my little drummer girl.
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Some messages are sufficiently plain that they don't really require poetry. Hence, above.
  20. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Huh? I can't figure out whether that was an insult in general, or to a particular.
  21. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    It wasn't an insult to anyone, actually. The message was: The point is so obvious and critical that it insults me that anyone should need to find the time to write art about it.

    Or: fuck NASA. You could more generally indite waste if you like.
  22. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

  23. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Ah. Got it. I thought you might have been referring to the Gil Scott Heron song, but I wasn't sure.

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