Sunday, February 26, 2012

e.e. cummings. Contrary to popular wisdom it was not cummings who chose to spell his name in lowercase, but his publisher. And as Norman Friedman pointed out “the common misperception that he is a lowercase poet is his usual printing of `I’ as `i’.” In his letters, cummings “most frequently used the uppercase form, with his signature at the bottom in caps.”

Sunday, February 12, 2012

“Sunday Morning” - a poem to rival Eliot’s “The Wasteland” - and “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” featured prominently in Stevens’ major collection Harmonium. The book was a commercial flop, however, selling no more than a few hundred copies, and for the next half dozen years Stevens turned away from poetry and focussed on becoming the best vice-president of insurance he could be. He remains a poet for the ages.

Wallace Stevens

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Derek Walcott...

In 1989 Derek Walcott flew to London where he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, the first for a Commonwealth citizen. During his conversation with the Queen he mentioned an American penchant for speaking Shakespearean verse. “Ma’am,” he said, “you know Sly Stallone. Well, his version of Hamlet goes, `To be or what.'” The Queen, says Walcott, “cracked up.”

(Bruce King, Derek Walcott: A Caribbean Life, 2000)

Derek Walcott