Segments in this Video

Poetry and Haiku Readings (03:00)


San Francisco poet Robert Hass reads selections from his poetry and haiku translations.

Poems of Personal Exploration (04:45)

Mark Doty's poems illuminate the threads that emanate from a shared spiritual center and link all forms of life in a sustaining web. Doty includes animals in his poetry because relating to animals is less complicated than relating to other humans.

Elements of Poetry (01:50)

A poet can address deep issues in an indirect way by "playing" with voice, perspective, and other elements of poetry, as well as with concepts of time and space.

Poems About Living (05:29)

Thylias Moss, English professor and poet, relies on her dramatically flexible voice to bring us sharp, tough-minded poems that confront race, gender, and national identity. Moss reads "Poem for My Mothers and Other Makers of Asefetida."

Poems About the Natural World (03:23)

Pattiann Roberts willingly embraces the exact language of scientific observation in poems that illuminate all nature. She reads "The Greatest Grandeur" and other poems.

Poem About Birds (03:21)

Pattiann Roberts reads a poem about mating hummingbirds.

Poetry: Passion for Words (03:49)

Poet Carol Muske's passion for words has caused her to "live more fiercely and more fully within the world and to write vivid poem reflecting the diverse aspects of her life." Poetry processes memory and imagination.

Poetry Selections (02:57)

Poet Carol Muske reads a selection of poems including "Talk Show" and The Dakota in Her Speech."

Women and Poetry (03:50)

The voice of the mother is missing from the Western canon of literature and poetry. Poets discuss motherhood and writing. Does the mother write? Or, is the writer a mother?

Themes of Poetry (05:20)

Poet Carol Muske discusses poetry as "the mother" and as "love." Many women poets explore themes of motherhood, gender, self-realization, and race.

Poetry: Irony and Paradox (04:57)

Poet Gerald Stern writes with visionary passion about the scope and tenderness of life. His poetry is heavy with paradox and irony. He has been called "a poet of exile and ruins." Stern reads selections from his poetry.

Poetry Rooted in Land and Experience (03:15)

The poems of Yehuda Amichai are universal in their concern for the ordinary human being, and rooted in the land and experience of Israel. Amichai reads his poetry selections both in English and Hebrew.

Poem About Aging (04:39)

Yehuda Amichai began writing poetry at age 25, after seven years of soldiering in four wars. Poetry helped him heal himself. Amichai reads his poem "1924" at the Biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.

Poem to a Holocaust Victim (04:44)

The poem "Little Ruth" is Yehuda Amichai's homage to a young friend of his who ultimately died in a concentration camp. Amichai's family left Germany before the Holocaust.

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Why We Write

Part of the Series : Poetry Heaven
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In this program, several contemporary poets read from their poems and discuss why they write, and for whom. Poets include Robert Hass, Mark Doty, Thylias Moss, Pattiann Rogers, Carol Muske, Gerald Stern, and Yehuda Amichai. Poetic themes include death, aging, self-realization, race, and gender. Rogers, Moss, Muske, and poet Brenda Hillman discuss the role of women in the field of poetry. Filmed at the Biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. (60 minutes)

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL7950

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.

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