Category Archives: Response Required

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE FOR 2018

Roundhouse Community CentrePrior to our meeting on Thursday, October 26th, please take a few minutes to peruse the tentative schedule for 2018 on the SCHEDULE PAGE and make notes for suggested changes, additions and deletions. We can then have a short discussion to finalize the program.
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Please also take the time to register at the Roundhouse Community Centre (in person, by phone or online) for the October and November sessions. So far, only five of us have registered.

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MY 12-HOUR LUNCH DATE WITH JONI MITCHELL

DAVID YAFFE ON TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH AN ICON

When I was 15, I had a high school girlfriend who was a couple of years older than me—dog years in those days. She had a piano and a stereo in her room, and very tolerant parents. We were both music students at an arts high school in Dallas; she sang, I played piano. We had a ritual of lying on her bed together in pitch-darkness, taking in what we were hearing with everything we had—the Velvet Underground, Miles Davis. One day, she played me Joni Mitchell’s Blue. Years later Joni would tell me that when she made that album she was totally without defenses, as vulnerable as “a cellophane wrapper on a packet of cigarettes,” as she once put it. When one is 15, everything is new and raw. I was falling in love with a girl and falling in love with this music. Neither came to you. You had to come to them. I held on tight in those tender, cellophane years.
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In time, I would learn that while Joni was famous for being tender in public she also had to be tough in private. By the time Blue was released in 1971, she had survived polio and a bad first marriage, and recently fended off a marriage proposal from Graham Nash, whom she had loved. I didn’t know about these things yet. But my need to know about this woman I heard on the record eventually brought me closer and closer.
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Over the years, I would turn to Joni’s music, sometimes when I needed to hear her tell me, as she does in “Trouble Child,” that I really am inconsolably on my own: “So what are you going to do about it / You can’t live life and you can’t leave it.” Ouch. And yet, in that voice, in those chords, there was nevertheless an implicit promise that life would go on, and would be full of surprises. And in her music, as again and again she sought someone who could understand her, who could offer a counterbalance to her ramblings and yearnings, she would tell us not to listen for her but to listen for ourselves. She wanted us to have some sort of transference. It was not a delusion to listen for yourself. It was an injunction.
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Joni Mitchell_s Openhearted HeroismExcerpted from David Yaffe’s Reckless Daughter

Read the complete excerpt
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David Yaffe was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1973. He is a professor of humanities at Syracuse University and a 2012 winner of the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism. His writing has appeared in many publications, including The Nation, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, Slate, New York, The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, and Bookforum. He is the author of Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown and Fascinating Rhythm.
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A selection of Joni Mitchell’s lyrics will be included in our study of “The Poetry in Popular Music” on October 26. Please bring your own favourite examples – whether on the original or expanded topic – and, preferably, post them first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly
See the SCHEDULE PAGE for submissions to-date.

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Time to Register for our July 27, 2017 Summer Session

reminder-2Poetry lovers, it’s time to register for our summer 2017 session (July 27). Registration is free, of course. You may register in person, via telephone (604-713-1800) or Register online.
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Please take the time to do this, as our free room at the Roundhouse Community Centre depends upon their awareness that we are an active group. So far, only two of our members have registered for the summer session.

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Time to Register for the Spring 2017 Sessions

reminderPoetry lovers, it’s time to register for our spring 2017 sessions (January 26, February 23 and March 23). Registration is free, of course. You may register in person (e.g. before or immediately after our meeting on January 26), via telephone (604-713-1800) or online at: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search/roundhouse-poetry-circle/87155 (then follow the registration instructions).
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Please take the time to do this, as our free room at the Roundhouse Community Centre depends upon their awareness that we are an active group.
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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. We’re all eagerly anticipating another year of great poetry at the Roundhouse.

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Metaphors of a Magnifico

By Wallace Stevens

metaphors-of-a-magnificoTwenty men crossing a bridge,
Into a village,
Are twenty men crossing twenty bridges,
Into twenty villages,
Or one man
Crossing a single bridge into a village.
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This is old song
That will not declare itself . . .
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Twenty men crossing a bridge,
Into a village,
Are
Twenty men crossing a bridge
Into a village.
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That will not declare itself
Yet is certain as meaning . . .
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The boots of the men clump
On the boards of the bridge.
The first white wall of the village
Rises through fruit-trees.
Of what was it I was thinking?
So the meaning escapes.
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The first white wall of the village . . .
The fruit-trees . . .
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Read a brief analysis of this poem: On “Metaphors of a Magnifico.”
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A mid-month reminder that we’ll be discussing the role of metaphor in poetry on November 24. Please bring your own favorite examples or illustrations and post them on the blog first via the “CONTACT US” page, or email them to me directly. So far, we only have three submissions – see the SCHEDULE PAGE
. While there, please also peruse the tentative schedule for 2017 and be prepared to discuss changes, additions and/or deletions on November 24.

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O, vengeance! Why, what an ass am I!

by Stuart Kelly

o-vengeance-why-what-an-ass-am-iJohn Kerrigan’s examination of the many vows, oaths, promises, pledges and profanities contained in Shakespeare’s plays provides further rewarding reading

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Given this year’s 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, there was always going to be a slew of new publications; few, I suspect, will have as long-lasting an effect as John Kerrigan’s. His field of inquiry is both straightforward and complicated. It is almost retrospectively obvious that Shakespeare’s plays contain a great amount of vows, oaths, swearing both covenantual and vulgar, pledges, promises and imprecations. The same might be said for a great many playwrights’ works; but the depth of subtlety which Kerrigan finds in the handling of these specific rhetorical forms is compelling.

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It comprises broad historical context —this was an age in which oaths of allegiance were politically demanded and theologians debated, sometimes clandestinely, the extent to which one might perjure oneself for a higher moral reason — and attentive readings of the plays. Although it deals with major texts, the concentration on less well known or infrequently staged plays is welcome: the forswearing of female company (and avowals of fidelity) in Love’s Labour’s Lost; the compacts of vengeance in Henry VI Part 2 and Titus Andronicus; the oaths and tokens in Troilus and Cressida and the forked-tongue allegiances in King John, Henry VIII and the unstaged Sir Thomas More.

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Read the complete review

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In the Company of Rilke: Why a 20th-Century Visionary Poet Speaks So Eloquently to 21st-Century Readers

By Stephanie Dowrick

 

In the Company of RilkeA celebration of the creative genius of Rainer Maria Rilke, his spiritual quests, and his always interesting poetry.

Book Review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Stephanie Dowrick is a writer and interfaith minister whose interests include a variety of literary, ethical, and spiritual topics. In this maverick work, the author plunges into the manifold writings of Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926). He believed in the power of poetry and in art as a “cosmic, creative, transforming force.” He also conveys the interplay between art and life: ” ‘I do not want to tear art from life,’ Rilke wrote. ‘I know that somehow and somewhere both belong together.’ “

Read the complete review plus an extract from the book

 

A reminder that on September 22 we will be discussing the poetry of Rainier Maria Rilke, (focusing on translations by Stephen Mitchell and J.B. Leishman). See the SCHEDULE PAGE for a list of poems to be featured.

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Time to Register for the Spring 2016 Sessions

reminder-2Poetry lovers, it’s time to register for our spring 2016 sessions (January 28, February 25 and March 31). Registration is free, of course. You may register in person (e.g. before or immediately after our meeting on January 28), via telephone (604-713-1800) or online at: http://roundhouse.ca/registration-services/ (then follow the registration instructions).

Please take the time to do this, as our free room at the Roundhouse Community Centre depends upon their awareness that we are an active group.

Happy New Year to everyone. We’re all eagerly anticipating another year of great poetry at the Roundhouse.

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Sounds of the Winter

by Walt Whitman, 1819 – 1892

Sounds-of-the-winterSounds of the winter too,
Sunshine upon the mountains—many a distant strain
From cheery railroad train—from nearer field, barn, house
The whispering air—even the mute crops, garner’d apples, corn,
Children’s and women’s tones—rhythm of many a farmer and of
flail,
And old man’s garrulous lips among the rest,
Think not we give
out yet,
Forth from these snowy hairs we keep up yet the lilt.
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Another early reminder that Bill Ellis will be leading a discussion on Walt Whitman at the Roundhouse on January 28. Please bring your own favourite Whitman poems or excerpts for reading and discussion and please also post them on the CONTACT US page or email them to me directly.

I will prime the pump with my own pick: A Noiseless Patient Spider.

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Change at the Roundhouse Poetry Circle

Roundhouse_communityGeoff Mynett, who has provided sterling service as coordinator between the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre and the Roundhouse Poetry Circle since our inception in the spring of 2012, is stepping aside to pursue other activities, although he will still attend the poetry discussions as time permits. Bill Ellis has kindly volunteered to take his place, but he hastens to add that he’s prepared to relinquish this role should anyone else be inclined to step into it.

The change is effective immediately, so please take the opportunity to welcome and thank Bill for assuming these duties at our next meeting on November 26. Without Bill’s willingness to adopt the position of coordinator, the Roundhouse Poetry Circle would have ceased to exist.

Also, a reminder that we will be reading and discussing the poetry of Emily Dickson on the 26th. Please send in your personal selection of Dickinson’s poem(s) via the CONTACT US page, or email me directly. Submissions to-date can be found on the SCHEDULE PAGE.

Please also come to the meeting with some topic ideas and suggestions for 2016.

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