Ironically, one of her doctors, Jason, is a former student and now a budding researcher in his own profession, having been inspired by Vivian's uncompromising scholarship. As the chemotherapy weakens Vivian and the doctors seem to take less and less notice of her pain and diminished capacity, she comes to rely on her nurse, Susie, who sees her suffering and treats her with kindness.
As she dies, having learned much about life, Vivian is at peace with herself and her mortality. And she doesn't mean reading in the intellectual way her character Dr. Vivian Bearing would analyze a poem. She quite literally means teaching reading to small children, which is her main occupation at present. She thinks of herself as a teacher, not a playwright, much less a playwright who won the Pulitzer Prize for drama with her first play. Although the critic John Simon stated in his review of Wit that Edson should be handed the Harvard English department, Edson is committed to her public school kindergarten classroom in downtown Atlanta.
I like being part of students acquiring that power. I like handing that power over.
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Edson, for a while, thought that she would earn a doctorate and pursue a career as an academic, much like Vivian Bearing. In , Edson began a Masters program in literature at Georgetown University. While completing her degree, she volunteered at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church to tutor a boy from the Dominican Republic. By the time she came to write her thesis, she knew academe was not for her. Her thesis project, on the use of poetry to teach reading, concluded with an oral defense in which Edson performed a Queen Latifa rap number before her faculty review panel.
Song and poetry are now integral to her teaching in the kindergarten classroom. Edson's path to playwriting could only be described as circuitous. Her mother, a medical social worker and her father, a newspaper columnist, encouraged her early theatrical leanings: Edson and her girlhood friend, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, of Seinfeld fame, performed plays in their basements and Edson was an active member of the theater program in high school.
She discontinued her theater activities at Smith College, where she took part in the Scholars Program, and graduated magna cum laude in with a degree in Renaissance history. Unsure about a career, Edson spent a couple years going where life took her. In Iowa City, where her sister lived, she sold hot-dogs on the street during the day and at night waited tables at a bar frequented by hog farmers. She learned plain chanting and did manual labor in a French Dominican convent in Rome: "It was just something I felt like doing, so I did," Edson comments. In her unobtrusive clerical position, Edson was able to watch the interactions of very sick patients with their caregivers, and to observe how patients coped with their illnesses and the often dehumanizing environment of a bustling hospital.
She left the hospital after a year, but the experience stayed with her. She went on to intern at a philanthropic organization and do fundraising for a mental health agency, where she published her first piece of writing, a training manual on the psychosocial aspects of AIDS, Living with AIDS: Perspectives for Caregivers. In , just prior to her thirtieth birthday, Edson decided she needed to "get serious" about her life. She intended to go to graduate school in the fall, but before then, there was something she had to do.
She needed to write a play about her year at the hospital. She was struck by the low survival rate of women with ovarian cancer and awed by their dignity and bravery in the face of death: "One was a science writer with three children, going through very aggressive treatment for ovarian cancer. I used to bring her a newspaper every day.
Once, when we were in an elevator and I tried to tell her, in my year-old way, that I admired her courage, and she said very calmly, 'I don't have much choice, do I? It took a while for Edson to settle on an occupation for her main character. Edson knew she wanted her to be someone who moved from a position of authority and power to a position of dependency. She considered protagonists in medicine and law, but liked the idea of a highly articulate academic who discovers that her expertise in literary interpretation has little to do with the real-life trauma of cancer, which cannot be addressed through scholarly research or intellectual argument.
Edson had heard from former classmates that John Donne was one of the most difficult poets to read, so he seemed to be a perfect subject for her hard-edged protagonist's research. Not ever having studied Donne, Edson spent countless hours sifting through centuries of criticism and commentary. She even found a model for her character E. Ashford in the real-life Oxford University professor, Helen Gardner, whose meticulous work on Donne's Holy Sonnets made her a well-known authority among scholars.
She was aided in her research and writing by a former mentor at Smith College, who not only coached Edson about the metaphysical poets, but was also, at the time, going through treatment for breast cancer. From there, Edson claims, the play was clear in her mind. It just came to me. When the play was finished, right before her graduate program was to start, she asked her family to read it aloud around her mother's dining room table.
Her high school friend, Derek Anson Jones, who would later direct several professional productions of Wit , played the role of Vivian Bearing. Her family gave her some suggestions, one of which was to trim the play.
It was nearly three hours long. After some cutting, Edson began to send the play out to regional theaters in the hope of seeing it produced. She recalls that her file labeled "rejection" grew quite thick, but Edson had written the play she had wanted to write and, in the meantime, had discovered her vocation as a teacher, so the rejection letters had less sting. In , having plucked Edson's manuscript from a pile of 1, new scripts, the South Coast Repertory Company in Costa Mesa, California gave the play a public reading, after which, in , it was given a full production with even more cuts.
It ran for seven weeks, got rave reviews and won numerous drama awards in the Los Angeles area. Then nothing.
Edson kept getting the same negative response from producers: cast size too large, too much talk, too sad, too academic, too disease-of-month. Her high school friend, Derek Anson Jones, who by now was working professionally in the theater, had been carrying the script around in his backpack showing it to producers he met and gaining an ally in the actor Kathleen Chalfant. Finally, in , he convinced the artistic director of the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut to allow him to direct a production with Chalfant playing Vivian.
Audiences loved it. In January the production, with Anson Jones directing and Chalfant in the lead, moved to the larger off-Broadway Union Square Theatre and became one of the hottest tickets in New York. Unfazed by success, Edson flew up from Atlanta for her openings only if she thought she could spare the days being out of her classroom. Another honor came early in when Wit was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Chalfant took the lead in the London production in March of this year. The play has been produced around the country at regional theatres in Seattle, Ashland Oregon , Cincinnati, Houston, Atlanta, Sarasota, and is now being produced in many other cities, as well as in translation abroad. The New York Times critic called Wit , "the kind of theatrical experience of which legends are made.
The play "isn't a tearful lecture on how to die; it's a dry-eyed lesson on how to live--with simplicity and kindness. It is at once funny, sad, tragic and life-affirming, complex and simple--yes, a metaphysical paradox. For current information on performances of Wit , see the Wit Homepage. Director Leslie Swackhamer has been thinking about the meaning of the word "wit" and her own personal connection with Edson's play. Prior to becoming a director, Swackhamer was a successful lawyer, living by her wits, that is, her intellect, to win cases in court. She sees parallels between her own life of the mind and the way in which Edson's character Vivian lives a life of the mind so thoroughly that she has forgotten her soul.
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Even in her study of Donne, Vivian Bearing has lost the true "soul" of Donne's poetry, which addresses the nature of the human soul with heartfelt questioning. Swackhamer left law and finds theater to be a profession where she can employ her intelligence and passion. Swackhamer sees Edson's play as examining the life of a woman who is not whole, someone who has isolated herself in an ivory tower of intellect and is unable to respond with feeling to others.
In one of Donne's meditational essays, written while he was quite ill, the poet reflects on the tolling of funeral bells he can hear from his sickbed. He writes,. According to Swackhamer, Vivian has isolated herself from other people and hidden her emotions behind her erudition. In her sickbed, with the figurative bell tolling for her, she is forced to review her connections to humanity. The play, Swackhamer says, is Vivian's "journey to grace" in which her natural curiosity and keen mind drive her to become introspective.
One day. Lost beneath the trees where we have wandered. Let me stroke your hair and make you feel that all is fine. If you would just be mine we could be crazy together. And you can feel the way you should if you hang em up for good. Please stay. I want you to stay. Even if it's one more day. Shovel in the cactus, all that I can chew. Grandma Grandma said she erupted from a mountainside. Walked around the desert all alone an cried. A tricky little dude who knew a lot about his food, he would say.
He cooked his own special way. And at the end of the day The meat inside the pot would be some crazy thing he got underground. Or from some tree that was downed. Or even road kill he found. Like praire dog poutine and lemon lizard was routine for a bite. I love that… Rattlesnake Bake, cactus stew. Fired Fired …said that his grandma loved a BBQ. She had a couple tricks he paid attention to. Started with a savory, marinade ragoo. A charcoal queen of the west. And bobcat with a rosemary braise.
My favorite was her coyote glaze. The recipe is still unclear, but her chameleon cakes were revered. You can bet that they disappeared. I love my jack rabbit juice in the morning. I love my scorpion mousse in the afternoon. Rattlesnake Bake, cactus stew. We fill our lives with goals and dreams and make our friends and float the streams That lead us to the ocean of our world.
How we soared above we spread our wings to find the love And gathered all the riches on the way. We feel the gently breeze that comes with living life at ease By trusting all the choices we have made. Just look around at what you see and cherish the variety of Selection in your life you would not trade. And when you choose to join a soul and bring your love to life The sun will shine much brighter on that day. And he will come into this world with a fire in his eyes Taken from the same flame that made you fly. I need to get away.
This place is way to quiet. Gonna find some lights, going out tonight. How long have I been sitting in my favorite chair? You fancy meeting someone soon. Will anybody even dare to come my way? Shine me up and tease my hair and push me towards the county fair. Gonna meet some folks gonna tell a couple jokes. I need a good cajole, cause I fell into a hole. The leaves are turning on the trees. It seems like only yesterday so many things we had to say.
We walked the canyon up and down, slipped in secrets of our town. The words the danced upon the air everyday we walked up there. So many things inside our heads but come to realize instead That we should spend some time alone. At first we even tried the phone. We only laughed at what might be. A year has passed. It cannot be. Through all my hems and haws and trials every day you seemed to smile. You believe that more is less.
La da da di… I love you dear for all these things. Your loving voice the way it sings. You inspire me. I cannot lie. You lift my spirits up so high they touch the sky. That in the end when I look down, my feet they barely touch the ground. A year has passed it cannot be.
It seems that only yesterday we had so many things to say.
Poetry - Wikipedia
Jones It started out so simply. Two lonely glances met. Desire and confession. Connection satisfied. But her bitter sweet beginner to his unworldly sinner Was just not justified. She tried to prove that her love would work. She knew it was all she had to give.
So what had she ever done to deserve This life she lived? Witholding love, his petty games, a jealous heart, his desperate claims. His threats to go, his selfish stands, his beatings without force of hand. His loaded compliments, no bloody confidence, She took what no one would. She had vowed to love in sickness And loving freely she would learn That she would only see his best When it was on his terms. Without force of hand. The girl broke down and cried Witholding love, his petty games, a jealous heart, his desperate claims.
The girl broke down and cried. His threats to go his selfish stands his beating without for of hand. Yes, I believe that you understand. Be the inspiration for the things you achieve. Serve it up and pass it around. The more you do the stronger grows your will to succeed When everything is coming down.
You gotta mix it up and put your heart on the line. Take it from someone who knew. You better make it interesting along the way Cause before you know it time just blew. Shake it all up, a shot between the eyes Spin a new perspective on this magic maze. X Monkey see what monkey do That monkey on your back has got a hold on you. Take a first hand look at your yard sale mind There might be something there that you could leave behind. Why the worry? Ask the questions. Make no exceptions. So worth the cost to cut you free.
Stimulate, make a tasty plate of all the Fascinating fortune for you to find. Initiate communication, feverish acceleration, finishing opinionation, offering a celebration, the energy to entertain a new day. What we have, what we have right here… Now let me get this straight What we have…yeah I hate to say it. No sleep for a broad like me. She was the par-ty girl who kept us entertained. She had a mouth to make a sailor blush. Pull out the party favors, stock up the drinks. Chicky had look like she was mad as hell as she had Bil l pinned above the cigarette machine.
Bill just laughed without a clue As everybody looked away so he could get his due. With a tight fist chicky made a piercing roar And like a little girl, Bill went screaming out the door. The Romans had a strong tradition of satirical poetry, often written for political purposes.
A notable example is the Roman poet Juvenal 's satires. The same is true of the English satirical tradition. An elegy is a mournful, melancholy or plaintive poem, especially a lament for the dead or a funeral song. The term "elegy," which originally denoted a type of poetic meter elegiac meter , commonly describes a poem of mourning. An elegy may also reflect something that seems to the author to be strange or mysterious.
The elegy, as a reflection on a death, on a sorrow more generally, or on something mysterious, may be classified as a form of lyric poetry. The fable is an ancient literary genre , often though not invariably set in verse. It is a succinct story that features anthropomorphized animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that illustrate a moral lesson a " moral ". Verse fables have used a variety of meter and rhyme patterns. Dramatic poetry is drama written in verse to be spoken or sung, and appears in varying, sometimes related forms in many cultures.
Greek tragedy in verse dates to the 6th century B. Speculative poetry, also known as fantastic poetry of which weird or macabre poetry is a major sub-classification , is a poetic genre which deals thematically with subjects which are "beyond reality", whether via extrapolation as in science fiction or via weird and horrific themes as in horror fiction.
Such poetry appears regularly in modern science fiction and horror fiction magazines. Edgar Allan Poe is sometimes seen as the "father of speculative poetry". Prose poetry is a hybrid genre that shows attributes of both prose and poetry. It may be indistinguishable from the micro-story a. Latin American poets of the 20th century who wrote prose poems include Octavio Paz and Giannina Braschi  .
Light poetry, or light verse, is poetry that attempts to be humorous. Poems considered "light" are usually brief, and can be on a frivolous or serious subject, and often feature word play , including puns , adventurous rhyme and heavy alliteration. Although a few free verse poets have excelled at light verse outside the formal verse tradition, light verse in English usually obeys at least some formal conventions. Common forms include the limerick , the clerihew , and the double dactyl. While light poetry is sometimes condemned as doggerel , or thought of as poetry composed casually, humor often makes a serious point in a subtle or subversive way.
Many of the most renowned "serious" poets have also excelled at light verse. Kennedy , Willard R. Espy , and Wendy Cope. Slam poetry is a genre, that originated in in Chicago , Illinois , when Marc Kelly Smith organized the first slam. Slam performers comment emotively, aloud before an audience, on personal, social, or other matters.
It focuses on the aesthetics of word play, intonation, and voice inflection. Slam poetry is often competitive, at dedicated " poetry slam " contests. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 5 July This article is about the art form. For other uses, see Poetry disambiguation. For other uses, see Poem disambiguation , Poems disambiguation , and Poetic disambiguation.
Main articles: History of poetry and Literary theory. The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this section , discuss the issue on the talk page , or create a new article , as appropriate. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Meter poetry. Main articles: Timing linguistics , tone linguistics , and Pitch accent. Main article: Scansion.
Main articles: Rhyme , Alliterative verse , and Assonance. Main article: Rhyme scheme. Main article: Line poetry. Main article: Visual poetry. Main article: Poetic diction. See also: Category: Poetic form. Main article: Sonnet. Main article: Shi poetry. Main article: Villanelle. Main article: Limerick poetry. Main article: Tanka. Main article: Haiku. Main article: Thai poetry. Main article: Ode. Main article: Ghazal.
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Main article: Narrative poetry. Main article: Lyric poetry. Main article: Epic poetry. Main article: Elegy. Main article: Fable. Main article: Speculative poetry. Main article: Prose poetry. Main article: Light poetry. Main article: Poetry slam. Poetry portal. However, in some forms, the unit is more equivalent to wak. To avoid confusion, this article will refer to wak and bat instead of line , which may refer to either. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press.
Merriam-Webster, Inc. Poetry: an introduction. Edinburgh University Press. Selected Essays. Modern Poetry After Modernism. Harvill Press. International Communication Gazette. The Interface Between the Written and the Oral. Cambridge University Press. The Epic of Gilgamesh Revised ed. Penguin Books. New York Times. Retrieved 1 May A small tablet in a special display this month in the Istanbul Museum of the Ancient Orient is thought to be the oldest love poem ever found, the words of a lover from more than 4, years ago.
The Odyssey Re-Formed. Cornell University Press. Chinese Civilisation: A Sourcebook 2nd ed. The Free Press. A poetics handbook: verbal art in the European tradition. In Kern, Martin ed. Text and Ritual in Early China. University of Washington Press. A history of literary criticism. Aristotle's Poetics. Genre Reprint ed. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Burnett, Charles Brill Academic Publishers. The Universities of the Italian Renaissance. Johns Hopkins University Press. Critique of Judgment. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link Kant argues that the nature of poetry as a self-consciously abstract and beautiful form raises it to the highest level among the verbal arts, with tone or music following it, and only after that the more logical and narrative prose.
Keats and negative capability. The constructivist moment: from material text to cultural poetics. Wesleyan University Press. Journal of Translation. Archived from the original PDF on 9 March The classical tradition: Greek and Roman influences on western literature Reissued ed. Literary Criticism: A Short History. Vintage Books. Why write poetry?
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. The Cambridge companion to modernist poetry. Postmodernist culture: an introduction to theories of the contemporary 2nd ed. Princeton Encyclopaedia of Poetry and Poetics enlarged edition. London and Basingstoke: Macmillan Press. In Bloom, Harold ed. Contemporary Poets. Bloom's modern critical views revised ed. New York: Infobase Publishing. Retrieved 7 May The generation of poets who stand together now, mature and ready to write the major American verse of the twenty-first century, may yet be seen as what Stevens called 'a great shadow's last embellishment,' the shadow being Emerson's.
Rhythmic Grammar. Walter de Gruyter. Cambridge textbooks in linguistics. University of Minnesota Press. Hebrew for biblical interpretation. Society of Biblical Literature. Tamil Internet : — Free Verse An Essay on Prosody. Northwestern University Press. Fondazione Universitaria in provincia di Belluno. Archived from the original PDF on 8 March Retrieved 10 December The British Museum. The Founding of English Meter. Columbia University Press.
Notes on Prosody. Bollingen Foundation. In Gaylord, Alan T ed. Essays on the art of Chaucer's Verse. Beowulf and old Germanic metre. Art of Chinese Poetry. University Of Chicago Press. The chances of rhyme. University of California Press. University of Pennsylvania. Qasida poetry in Islamic Asia and Africa. Reading modernist poetry. Middle English Literature: a guide to criticism. Blackwell Publishing. Harvard Theological Review.
Reading the Visual — 17th century poetry and visual culture. GRIN Verlag. The aesthetics of visual poetry. University of Chicago Press. Archived from the original on 27 October