L, Michael Lally to Alison Luterman
Michael Lally has lived more lives as a poet than most actors do roles, so it’s no surprise he turns out doing stints for Hollywood (where he ran the Hollyword series for years) and voiceovers. Reading his poems is reading history as liquor smooth and wicked, fun and troublesome.
The text of Langland’s great work, Piers Plowman, is on the Net at the University of Virginia Electronic Text Center & the Humanities Text Initiative’s Corpus of Middle English Prose & Verse. Translations into Modern English are at the Harvard Chaucer Project site.
Philip Larkin was a hard-edged, unsparing common-language poet of everyday life & death, known for lines like “They fuck you up, your mum and dad” (from “This Be the Verse”). Larkin was chosen in a 2003 reader’s poll as Britain’s favorite poet of the last 50 years.
The Last Poets
Years of boat rocking and language rolling have made the Last Poets into THE ur-rappers and speakers for a united front of intelligence from the Black perspective. Their newest book, On a Mission (Holt), record, Time Has Come (Mouth Almighty), & online fragments at bonvibré’s Snally Gaster’s African American Phat Library will magnetize you, eyes to ears.
Dorianne Laux is a poet who reveals the inner sheen of ordinary, difficult daily life by paying attention to life and craft. She began as a single mother, supporting herself in a series of working-class jobs & writing poems during her breaks. Now she teaches writing at the University of Oregon.
David Lehman is an academic, an activist, an anthologist -- hey, let’s face it, the guy’s a poet who is happy that the world revolves, that there’s a sun, that you can talk to it, and that poetry lives day and night.
Levertov is among the most revered & listened to American poets, activist, feminist, avant-garde. In the RealAudio recording of “Tenebrae” from the Norton Poetry Workshop CD-rom, her voice & her poem have both sweetness & bite.
Poet of & for the working class, Philip Levine is a master of history, a storyteller working in the colloquial idiom. He taught for many years at Fresno State University & fostered a lively poetry scene in that out-of-the-way place.
Liebler is known as the poet with the Magic Poetry Band in Detroit. You can read his poems in Rattle, then check out his newest book, Written in Rain from Tebot Bach. His heroes are Jesus & John Lennon.
A reference page on the classical Chinese poet Li Po (aka Li Bai or Li T’ai Po), who was both a rebel wanderer and a courtier in the T’ang Dynasty, revered together with his contemporary Tu Fu as one of the two greatest of Chinese poets.
Li Po (aka Li Bai)
Remembered for drowning while drunkenly attempting to embrace the moon’s reflection in the Yangtze, Li Po is also revered as the best of China’s classical poets. Read his poems in English at the Poetry Store, Wendy Yang’s Classical Chinese Poetry site & at China the Beautiful.
Li Po (aka Li Bai)
Columbia University’s Asian Topics offers comprehensive resources on Li Po & the other great T’ang Dynasty poets: bibliography, stylistic analysis, historical & social context, audio, video & images.
Federico García Lorca
García Lorca was Spain’s most important poet and dramatist of the 20th century, whose work is still beloved for its passion, pride, love and death—in his word, duende. He was murdered by Nationalist soldiers at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
Audre Lorde was a woman writer of color who combined the personal and the political with exceptional skill. She died in 1992 after a long battle with cancer. Poems like “Coal” will live as this strong woman’s loving legacy. You can experience some of that legacy at the site for A Litany for Survival, the documentary film made about her.
A biographical profile of Amy Lowell, who was born into a prominent New England family, essentially educated herself and became a truly independent woman, Imagist poet, critic and biographer of Keats.
For pure driving energy, Rick Lupert’s got the write idea, and he boosts it off toll-free on his Poetry Super Highway. Will you submit, and become a Porsche on the verandah? Or will this become the Bad Poetry Motel from Hell? Time tells. What time is it?
I’ve been reading Alison Luterman’s poems in The Sun Magazine for years now -- she often takes my breath away & compels rereading with the beauty of her lines & the subtle depth of her heart. None of her many poems published in The Sun are reprinted on their Web site, but you can read her work online in Kshanti Literary Review, at Plagiarist.com & in Salt River Review.
A reference page on Liu Xiaobo, Chinese poet, literary critic and activist for democracy and free speech, who was imprisoned in 2009 and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.