Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Virtual Reading #1

Back in the spring of 2009 when I was actually writing the ghazals section of the book, The Spring Ghazals, I made recordings of a handful of the poems—this was requested by readers on Robert Frost’s Banjo, where the poems were being posted.  I thought it would be a good thing to re-post these recordings on this site.  At some point, I’ll take Jacqueline T Lynch’s suggestion & post a short “video reading.”

The poem “Ghazal 4/24” is the first poem in the sequence, & was also the first poem I composed in the “Spring Ghazals” section of the book—the poems in “Kitchen Poems” section & some of the poems in the “Cloudland” section were composed in 2008.  The April 24th ghazal was in fact inspired by a vivid & somewhat disturbing dream the night before: the dreams that arise from grief are probably always unsettling.  The title of the second poem, “it is night & it is serious,” comes from Kenneth Fearing’s poem, “Green.”  “it is night & it is serious” is positioned in the last third of the 19 poem ghazal sequence.  I should point out that the ghazals only make up one section of a four section book.

In other ghazal news, I’d recommend checking out Jessica Fox-Wilson’s ghazal, “Ghazal on Falling and Flight,” on her excellent everything feeds process blog.  Ms Fox-Wilson handles the ghazal in a more traditional way with consistently rhymed refrains, & has crafted a fine poem within the form.  I also very much appreciate her shout-out to The Spring Ghazals in her post!

Hope you enjoy the poems.

Pic shows the statue of Christ at Swannanoa.  It was taken in the spring of ’87, on a day that recurs in the Ghazals.


  1. Very powerful and dramatic. I like this. Your reading aloud I think is a good showcase.

  2. Hi Jacqueline: Thanks--by the way, I found (& restored) your missing comments from yesterday!

  3. I think this is great, John. I hear my poetry in my head, but I'm not comfortable with reading it out aloud.

  4. Hi Martin: Thanks--glad you liked it. I guess a part of me has always been a performer at heart. When I was younger I gave a lot of poetry readings & always enjoyed them.

  5. This was great! I've heard you sing, but not speak. I would pay to hear you read. I think your voice is captivating and your words are so vivid.

    If you do readings, I'm sure you will sell more books.


  6. Hi Kat: Gosh, thanks. My readings always were popular, both in Charlottesville & SF--it's been years since I last did one, but it just came pretty naturally.