Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
VOTING CLOSED! Thanks to everyone who cast their vote, tried to cast their vote a few more times, told their friends, tried to vote a few more times. It looks like "Fault Lines" finished a strong second. The winner was a 12 year old girl from Chile. How cool is that? Keep checking out the Broadsided Press site, become a vector, help get poetry into unusual places! Thanks again to all.
Monday, November 8, 2010
A longer post than usual here but there's a new project I'm working on that takes a little explaining...
Sunday, October 3, 2010
to read Adrienne with her right hand
while collecting the remnants
of daily life with the left.
On Fridays, she sorted words like laundry:
plate and table to the left,
grace and hunger to the right.
Some demanded definition.
Others sprawled across her desk
like sullen teenagers, daring to be defined.
Once on a late train from Baltimore,
her ghost floated over the Chesapeake.
Mirror-flipped, her words tumbled right to left,
fluent in a foreign tongue, exotic as silk,
until the train reached home.
A trick of the eye sees parallels converge
like train tracks far beyond the station.
But she knows what is true
and what she keeps leaving behind.
Beth Feldman Brandt
Want to be in touch, email me here.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Ryan spoke about how she feels the most interesting things in poetry (and in life) happen at the edges. She writes poems with very short lines but great depth, exposing all the edges to scrutiny with sort of a 'bring it on' bravado. She also investigates phrases we take for granted and tries to juxtapose new meanings on them. So, with a nod to Kay Ryan...
Sunset over a blue ocean
won't do it.
Neither will a candle lit
against the darkness
or a cool hand on
a fevered forehead.
It has to be more
than lingering last notes,
a small kindness,
dignity in adversity.
Certainly not love.
This is the least
she would expect,
although she is pleased
anyone thinks of her
at all anymore.
Beth Feldman Brandt 2009
Saturday, February 27, 2010
- It's been a helluva a winter in Philadelphia -- almost 80 inches of snow and it's only the beginning of March.
- I am not a winter person.
Anyway, I've spent some of my snowbound days reading a new book of poetry by Liz Bradfield entitled "Approaching Ice". Liz is a naturalist who has spent time in Alaska and other cold places, and has created a stunning book of poems that trace the journeys of polar explorers interspersed with moments of personal reflection and insight. It is a book that made me thankful that my biggest problems in a blizzard are the line in the supermarket and whether the cable goes out. You can find the book on Amazon or get your local independent bookseller to order you a copy.
A while ago, I was doing some research for a poem when I came across an article that said that there was a 50-50 chance that the polar ice caps would totally melt last summer. I started thinking about what would happen if all those who had been lost in the ice were finally freed...and the poem went from there.
If the ice melts, there will be
no floods, no tidal waves.
No need for sharp metal at the prow.
No tins of meat sealed against the cold.
No one searching. No one awaiting word.
The open waters will unbind
those whom it has held,
now left without landmarks
to find safe passage home.
You are lost to me
on twilight afternoons
when you search past yourself
through black windows,
adrift at the kitchen table
while dinner warms on the stove.
I wait for your return
through ice-strewn waters,
your presence slowly revealed
like toys in the backyard
after a long winter.
Beth Feldman Brandt, 2009
Want to be in touch? Email me here.
"Litt's setting of Brandt's "Transmutation," for cello, violin, and flute,
forcefully welded text and music in illuminating Darwin's stuggle with
faith and science"
-Daniel Webster, The Philadelphia Inquirer , 2/23/2010
The "Dialogues with Darwin" Poetry Project wrapped up last weekend with performances by Network for New Music at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. The range of pieces gave an interesting collection of perspectives on Darwin's life and work. I have to say it was an adventure from beginning to end that culminated in a moving interpretation of my poem "Transmutation" by composer Andrew Litts. There should be a recording posted up at some point (since it was played by a professional ensemble, we can't just throw it up on YouTube) but it the meantime, you can read about it by checking out the review in The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Broad Street Review.
Of course, we don't believe in reviews...except when they are good ones!
Thanks to all of you who came out to the performances or sent long-distance encouragement. Stay tuned for more Darwin collaborations with my now favorite composer.
Want to get in touch? Email me here.
Monday, January 18, 2010
The Ten Suggestions
Let this come first.
What you have can be enough.
Tell the truth if you can.
Take only what is yours to take.
Be steadfast in your love.
Revive what can be saved.
Stop. Rest a bit.
See things for what they are.
Remember who carried you here.
Write their names.
Information on the Dialogues with Darwin performance on February 19 and 21 can be found below.
Want to get in touch? Email me here.