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Poem of the Day (part three) -- Garrett Hongo

By John Published: April 30, 2010

I've saved my Sensei for the last Poem of the Day in April, National Poetry Month. Garrett Hongo made the University of Oregon's Creative Writing Program one of the top 10 in the country. He also edits poetry for Northwest Review. He opened for me the world of modern poetry, which I did know before taking his classes and might never have known. I owe him an eternal mahalo.

The Legend

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Poem of the Day (part two) --Issa

By John Published: April 30, 2010

Poem of the Day (part one) Ecclesiastes

By John Published: April 30, 2010

We're catching up with some poems of the day to close out National Poetry Month. First up,  from The Great Poems of the Bible by James L. Kugel. The last line here may be better known by the King James version: "Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity."

Ecclesiastes 12:3-8

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Cuts precede tax attempts

By John Published: April 30, 2010

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer
&nbsp

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UA to increase several student fees

By John Published: April 28, 2010

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer &nbsp

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Poem of the Day-- Robert Wrigley

By John Published: April 27, 2010

Robert Wrigley was one of my teachers at the University of Oregon. He introduced me to my favorite Whitman poem, A Clear Midnight, and taught me to love the sounds of words. Here is his poem Dog, from The Virginia Quarterly Review.

Dog

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'Orientals' nickname is on the way out

By John Published: April 27, 2010

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

East High School probably will have a new name for its sports teams when its newly renovated building opens next fall leaving behind the ''the Orientals'' nickname.

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Poem of the Day--Muriel Rukeyser

By John Published: April 26, 2010

We missed Sunday, so here's a longish poem that will serve for Sunday and Monday. This is one of my favorite poems of all time, from The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser. published by McGraw-Hill. 

Ballad of Orange and Grape

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Poem of the Day--Ezra Pound

By John Published: April 24, 2010

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

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Poem of the Day--William Shakespeare

By John Published: April 23, 2010

Happy 446th to the Bard! Chicago celebrates his birthday today by Talking Like Shakespeare. If you're in Washington D.C. this weekend, drop by the Folger Shakespeare Library. If you travel west this summer, visit the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon (my home town).

Here's one of Shakespeare's most famous sonnets, No. 18

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Poem of the (Earth) Day-- Robert Frost

By John Published: April 22, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day by swinging on a birch with Robert Frost.

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Poem of the Day--Sappho

By John Published: April 21, 2010

Plato considered the Greek poet Sappho (6th century BCE) to be required reading.  Few intact poems survive, but fragments of poems survive because they were quoted by other authors whose works have survived.

Here's one of her famous poems, The Anactoria Poem,  from a 2007 translation by Jim Powell, who reads it here. The POETS.org web site also has a translation of the same poem by Richard Lattimore. I've always liked the Mary Barnard translations.

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C-Falls school board violated Ohio Sunshine Law

By John Published: April 20, 2010

UPDATE: Here' s my story in today's Akron Beacon Journal.

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Poem of the Day--Richard Hugo

By John Published: April 20, 2010

Richard Hugo is another one of my favorite poets of the great Pacific Northwest.  His book of essays on writing, The Triggering Town, is the kind of book you'll read and re-read for its generous wisdom. When in Seattle, visit the Richard Hugo House.

 Here he is reading Degrees of Gray in Phillipsburg.

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Poem of the Day--E.E. Cummings

By John Published: April 19, 2010

I first heard this e.e. cummings poem in a Woody Allen movie (Hannah and Her Sisters), deployed by Michael Caine's character to win the affection of his wife's sister (Barbara Hershey).

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

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Poem of the Day--William Butler Yeats

By John Published: April 18, 2010

Here the Irish master himself read (rather, chant) The Lake Isle of Innisfree:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

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Poem of the Day--Dorianne Laux

By John Published: April 17, 2010

Dorianne Laux was my teacher at the University of Oregon. Perhaps she was thinking of the great trees of the Pacific Northwest when she wrote The Life of Trees. Here she is reading that poem.

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$9 million for STEM in Ohio

By John Published: April 16, 2010

 

More than $9 million in Choose Ohio First Scholarships will be awarded to get STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) teachers into hard-to-staff schools around the state.

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Streetsboro student wins library writing award

By John Published: April 16, 2010

This just in:

According to the press release:

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CSI-Stow-Munroe Falls

By John Published: April 16, 2010

Here's a video of a story I'm writing (published Sunday) about Carolyn Kurtz's extremely popular forensic science class at Stow-Munroe Falls High School. On Friday, the class learned about the physics of ballistics (no real guns, just a contraption that shoots pegs) with the help of Hilman Setiawan, a visiting teacher from Indonesia. He is in the United States with the International Leaders in Education Program (funded by the U.S. State Department) at Kent State University. Friday was his last day working with Kurtz's students and he returns home next month.

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Poem of the Day--Wislawa Szymborska

By John Published: April 16, 2010

I thought I'd close out our mini-series on Postwar Polish Poetry with another poem by Nobel Prize winner Wislawa Szymborska about the Holothurian, or Sea Cucumber.

 

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Brain science in English for parents

By John Published: April 15, 2010

The University of Oregon Brain Development Lab, under the direction of Helen J. Neville, is doing interesting work studying the influence of environment on brain development. She  is the executive producer of a DVD you can watch online called Changing Brains.

Although the DVD is produced for a broad audience in simple language, its content is supported by scientific research. The DVD is divided into segments on reading, math, music, attention and other topics. Especially interesting is the segment on emotions and learning, which reviews evidence showing that chronic  stress, neglect and depression produces chemicals that literally are toxic to the brain.

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Poem of the Day-- Anna Swirszczynska

By John Published: April 15, 2010

Hearing Lici Calderon speak of fear and uncertainty made me think of Anna Swir's poem about the Warsaw Uprising. This is from Postwar Polish Poetry.

Building the Barricade

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2010 Holocaust Commemoration

By John Published: April 14, 2010

Here is the winner of the Dorothy O. Jackson award in the City of Akron's 2010 Holocaust Commemoration arts and writing contest.
"It Takes But One" -- by Elizabeth Denholm and Allyssa Dziurlaj of Archbishop Hoban High School -- also is the cover of the book (click on the picture) showcasing the other winners in visual arts, writing and multimedia. More than 200 students from Akron and Summit County submitted entries. 

My story in the Beacon Journal  focused on the keynote speaker, Lici Calderon, a Holocaust survivor. Here is a short video I made of the commeration ceremony. The dance at the end is an excerpt from Spirit Unbroken, performed by the Manchester Dance Ensemble.

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Poem of the Day--Tadeusz Rozewicz

By John Published: April 14, 2010

Milosz describes Tadeusz Rozewicz, who served in the guerilla Home Army in World War II, in Postwar Polish Poetry as  a "nihilistic humanitarian, constantly searching for a way out of his negation which is mitigated only by pity; his tenderness bursts  out only when he writes on little things of everyday life."

Leave us Alone

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Poem of the Day--Wislawa Szymborska

By John Published: April 13, 2010

Wislawa Szymborska, like Milosz, is a Nobel Prize winner. We remember the Holocaust today in Akron and this poem (Postwar Polish Poetry, University of California Press) captures well the futility of trying to explain the unexplainable.

Every Case

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Akron could lose almost $45 million in worst case scenario

By John Published: April 12, 2010

The best case scenario for the next state budget isn't pretty either (minus $33.7 million for Akron Public Schools),  according to a handout Akron Public Schools treasurer Jack Pierson shared with the school board at tonight's meeting. Here's a quick rundown of the numbers.

The grim tidings come from the latest issue  ( April 8 )  of OASBO eNews, a publication of the Ohio Association of School Businesss Officials. Pierson said the projections are based on an analysis by Ohio Rep. Randy Gardner (R- Bowling Green) of what happens  in the state FY 2012-2013 budget if:

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STEM and Kindergarten

By John Published: April 12, 2010

Back from vacation and going through emails, I came upon this story from eSchool News about how to intetgrate STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) disciplines into early education.

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Poem of the Day--Czeslaw Milosz

By John Published: April 12, 2010

As Poland mourns the shocking loss of its first family and other leaders, let us honor this week the great Polish poets of the post World War II era, beginning today with Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz. This is a poem by Milosz from the anthology he selected and edited called Postwar Polish Poetry, published by University of California Press. We'll feature other selections from this anthology this week.

Dedication

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Poem of the Day--Derek Walcott

By John Published: April 11, 2010

Derek Walcott, a native of Saint Lucia, the West Indies, received the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature. Here he is reading his poem,

A Lesson for Sunday.

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Poem of the Day--Charles Wright

By John Published: April 10, 2010

We've heard from the great Ohio poet James Wright. Charles Wright, as far as I know, is related only by music, by the love of the sounds of words, built from deep rhythms stretched over a lattice of lines. Here is Wright reading Early Saturday Afternoon, Early Evening.

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Poem of the Day--Adrienne Rich

By John Published: April 9, 2010

Adrienne Rich broke all kinds of ground, literary and cultural, making her one of the most important poets in recent decades. Click here to listen to a reading of this poem.

Diving into the Wreck

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Poem of the Day--Charles Baudelaire

By John Published: April 8, 2010

I've always liked this affirmation of life by one of France's famous poets. I had a chance in my youth to meet the translator, the great American poet of suburban life, Louis Simpson.

Be Drunk

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Poem of the Day--Langston Hughes

By John Published: April 7, 2010

Hear the great poet of the Harlem Renaissance read:

 The Negro Speaks of Rivers.

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Poem of the Day- Theodore Roethke

By John Published: April 6, 2010

If you're thinking about planning a garden, think of Theodore Roethke, the great poet of my native Pacific Northwest.

ROOT CELLAR

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Poem of the Day--James Wright

By John Published: April 5, 2010

We've heard from Rita Dove. Today's poem is from another great Ohio poet, James Wright.  This poem is from Wright's second book, Saint Judas, in which he struggles to speak for himself in his own voice, not in the voice of the poetic tradition he's inherited:
"Leaning for language on a dead man's voice.
Now sick of lies, I turn to face the past."

The poem signals Wright's break in the early 1960s away from traditional rhyme and meter toward free verse and deep image, beginning with his third book, The Branch Will Not Break.

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Poem of the Day--Elizabeth Bishop

By John Published: April 4, 2010

Elizabeth Bishop is one of my all-time favorite poets. The Sandpiper shows how much power you can pack into a quiet poem:

The Sandpiper

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Poem of the Day--Walt Whitman

By John Published: April 3, 2010

So much of Walt Whitman to love in Leaves of Grass, but on this Easter eve, I think of this poem from Drum Taps, his poetic witness to the Civil War.

Reconciliation

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Poem of the Day- Akron's own Rita Dove

By John Published: April 2, 2010

Rita Dove was raised in West Akron. This is what she told former Akron Beacon Journal columnist David Giffels in 2004:

Here's Dove giving and interview on New York Public Radio on Nov. 24, 2009 about  Sonata Mulaticca.

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April is National Poetry Month-Poem of the Day

By John Published: April 1, 2010

CALLED BACK.

Just lost when I was saved!
Just felt the world go by!
Just girt me for the onset with eternity,
When breath blew back,
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide!

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