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Poetry: September 16, 2020 Issue [#10365]

 This week: Poet Laureates
  Edited by: eyestar~Happy 20th WDC!
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

*Delight* Hiya everyone! I am happy to be your editor this week! *Balloonp*

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Letter from the editor

*Questionr*What do poets John Dryden, William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Joy Harjo, David Eggleton and Ted Hughes have in common?

They all held the title of "Poet Laureate" at one time! That means they were officially appointed by a government of conferring institution as a poet of influence and merit. Composing poems for events and functions of the organization would be one of their duties. Depending on the nature of the organization, they may be called to speak, take on literary projects, promote literary endeavours and may be expected to compose poems for specific events and occasions.

For example, in England, Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate in 1984, was charged with chronicling in verse the births, marriages and deaths of the Royal Family. He filled the post until his own death in 1998. His heartfelt patriotism shone as he tried to honour the monarchy when it was going through a tough time.

"A Nation's a Soul
With a Crown at the hub
To keep it whole."

*Vine1* "Laureate" means "crowned with laurels" from the latin as a mark of distinction and dates back to ancient times. In ancient Greece, the laurel was used to form a crown or wreath of honour for poets and heroes. It was a custom based on the myth of Daphne and Apollo. The poet laureate was a prestigious role in the Greco-Roman world, but it disappeared at the end of the classical age.

In 1315 Italian poet, historian, statesman, and playwright Albertino Mussato was handed a scroll and crowned with a wreath of myrtle, ivy, and laurel to become the first Poet Laureate after classical times. His tragedy "Ecerinis" was an award winner. In 1341, Francesco Petrarch was crowned Poet Laureate by Rome, and the tradition continues now.

In Britain, the term dates from the appointment of a poet and friar, Bernard André by Henry VII of England. The royal office of Poet Laureate in England dates from the appointment of John Dryden in 1668.

*Vine2* Today, countries, organizations like the Poetry Foundation, regional and community groups may choose of name a poet laureate in their areas. for examples some cities and provinces in Canada choose poet laureates for their area. I think it helps recognize more creative people.

The qualifications and lengths of terms may vary in each case. Usually the nomination and appointment to the position is based on the written body of work. Its quality has been shown through honours, awards or some kind of recognition. The subject matter is often specific to the state or region.

There is even a Young People's Poet Laureate, chosen by the Poetry Foundation to foster literacy. For 2019-2021 it is Naomi Shihab Nye. She aims to raise awareness that young people have a natural receptivity to poetry appreciate it especailly when they are written for them.

*Vine2*In the United States, the position was begun in 1937 and was known as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. In 1985 the congress changed it to Poet Laureate. During their term the Poet seeks to raise bring a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry. It is the purpose of the role in many places. The current US Poet Laureate, appointed by the Library of Congress is Joy Harjo for her second year.

"Imagine what would it be like to dance close together
In this land of water and knowledge. . .

To drink deep what is undrinkable." From Speaking Tree


*Vine1*The Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate was established in 2001 and is a two year term. It was Georgette LeBlanc last year. Nominations are pending for 2020.

Two of her poems "Why Poetry" and a poem for International Woman's Day are here:

why Poetry Source below

*Vine1* In Great Britain, where the notion took root, the new 10 year post will be held by Simon Armitage who took over from Dame Carol Ann Duffy, the first woman, first Scot, first openly gay poet to hold the position.

"And I couldn’t escape the waking dream
of infected fleas

in the warp and weft of soggy cloth
by the tailor’s hearth

in ye olde Eyam.
Then couldn’t un-see...: from Lockdown



*Vine2* In New Zealand, The National Library has been responsible for the Laureate since taking it over from Hawke's Bay winery, Te Mata estate in 2007. It began there in 1966. *Smile* It is a two year term for the Power, who is to inspire poetry, create new works and advocate and "public presence" for New Zealand poetry. David Eggleton holds the post from 2019-2021.


From the past: Enjoy the reads!

Alfred, Lord Tennyson published In Memoriam, one of the greatest English poems about grief, loss, and consolation, and he was named Poet Laureate, after Wordsworth. Queen Victoria held him in high regard and made him a baron.

One of his most popular Poet Laureate poems is the _"Charge of the Light Brigade" which made that fiasco battle famous. It is one of my favourites. *Delight*

"Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!"

*Vine2* Marriage a-la-Mode by John Dryden, one of the great poets of the Restoration in England, appointed by the returning Charles 11.

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now
When passion is decay'd?
We lov'd, and we lov'd, as long as we could,
Till our love was lov'd out in us both:
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled:
'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

If I have pleasures for a friend,
And farther love in store,
What wrong has he whose joys did end,
And who could give no more?
'Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another:
For all we can gain is to give our selves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

*Vine2* Another of my favourite poets for his nature themes is William Wordsworth, Poet Laureate, 1843-1850.

King's College Chapel, Cambridge,

"Tax not the royal Saint with vain expense,
With ill-matched aims the Architect who planned—
Albeit labouring for a scanty band
Of white-robed Scholars only—this immense
And glorious Work of fine intelligence!
Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore
Of nicely-calculated less or more;
So deemed the man who fashioned for the sense
These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof
Self-poised, and scooped into ten thousand cells,
Where light and shade repose, where music dwells
Lingering—and wandering on as loth to die;
Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
That they were born for immortality."

*Vine2**Quill*The Poet Laureate as an old tradition continues today with its pros and cons depending on poet point of views. There have been some who have turned down the post, some who have enjoyed the role and others who have found it confining to their creativity according to my reading. Yet, most have considered it an honour to have been nominated and or take on the position. *Smile*

*Smile*Thanks for reading.

Cool sources


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Ask & Answer

*Heart*Thank you for your comments on my last newsletter "Poetry Newsletter (August 19, 2020)

"Very interesting indeed! It really is so simple but so incredibly well crafted and created.
I could learn a thing or too about living if I was more like a poem and less like a person lol!

Thanks for the great newsletter!"


"Think I will pass on this one. Age you know? *Smile*"

LOL. yet it is such an ancient form. *Laugh* I hear ya, though.

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