More on the Long Poem

I'm looking specifically at North American long poems and I'm leaning towards more contemporary works, though the Moderns are okay.

So far your contributions:

Nathaniel Mackey--"Song of the Andoumboulou"
James Merrill--"The Book of Ephraim"
Mark Strand--"Dark Harbor"
H.D.--"Helen in Egypt"
Anthony Hecht--"The Transparent Man"
Ann Carson--"Glass Essay" or "Autobiography of Red"
T.S. Eliot--"The Four Quartets"
Harriet Mullen--"Muse & Drudge"
Alice Notley--"The Descent of Alette"
Rita Dove--"Thomas & Beulah"
Wallace Stevens--"Notes for a Supreme Fiction"
Gertrude Stein--"Tender Buttons"
G.C. Waldrep--"The Batteries"
Walt Whitman--"Song of Myself"
Allen Ginsberg--"Howl"

What about:

Claudia Rankine--"Don't Let Me Be Lonely"
Galway Kinnell--"The Book of Nightmares"
Ezra Pound--"The Cantos"
John Berryman--"The Dreamsongs"
Derek Walcott--"Omeros"

And then there's the whole issue of what's teachable in a span of 10 weeks (we're on the quarter system here at WWU). . .

Now, these would be great books for a lit seminar, but this course is going to be taught as a workshop. What then? How do you teach a sustained meditation on a subject, keeping in mind the complexities of graduate student life?


Workshopping a long poem . . . I remember there were folks in my grad school days that would bring in excerpts of their long poems for workshop. We wanted to smack those people upside the head.


Lovely, lovely Killarney Clary. We're reading her in my prose poem class. No, she's not easy to pin down . . . especially on the heels of Edson and Simic collections. But man I dig her work.


Bruce Beasley: "How's it going man?"

Me: "Good, 'cept I'm not writing."

Bruce Beasley: "That's okay. I mean, how're you going to write with all your new responsibilities?"

Me: "Yeah, you're right."

Bruce Beasley: "Very few poets can write when they have new babies in the house . . . except Sylvia Plath. Don't be like Sylvia Plath."

Oliver de la Paz