Poetry Archive

“The poet is a liar who always tells the truth.”
Jean Cocteau

“The Poetry Archive exists to help make poetry accessible, relevant and enjoyable to a wide audience. It came into being as a result of a meeting, in a recording studio, between Andrew Motion, soon after he became U.K. Poet Laureate in 1999, and the recording producer, Richard Carrington. They agreed about how enjoyable and illuminating it is to hear poets reading their work and about how regrettable it was that, even in the recent past, many important poets had not been properly recorded.”

Roger McGough (b. 1937) is one of Britain’s best-loved poets. Top-selling The Mersey Sound: Penguin Modern Poets 10 with Liverpool poets Brian Patten and Adrian Henri, hits with Mike McCartney and John Gorman in The Scaffold and college touring with GRIMMS were followed by internationally acclaimed collections of poems and stories, regular broadcasts and edited anthologies.

‘Funicular Railway’ is a classic McGough poem, creating humour from an unusual experience and the peculiar ways people, including the poet, react to it.

Meanwhile over in the states… We have a couple of other groups pursuing the same aim.

UbuWeb was founded in November of 1996, initially as a repository for visual, concrete and, later, sound poetry. Over the years, UbuWeb has embraced all forms of the avant-garde and beyond. Its parameters continue to expand in all directions.

Giorno Poetry Systems – Biting off the Tongue of a Corpse. OK so the title of the page is a bit “thing” but here is a chance to hear “Japhy Ryder” aka Gary Snyder Recorded at St. Mark’s Church, New York, Jan 29, 1975. “Japhy Ryder” is the reason I caught a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto and had the most wonderful couple of hours at a buddhist monastery. looking at a stone garden ( possibly in the same spot he sat. Hey it’s my fantasy. I can dream). Any way Gary Snyder was one of the Beat poets and he had a huge impact on Jack Kerouac as detailed in “The Dharma Bums”. Have a listen. Further down the page is a piece by John Cage.

Another gem was U B U W E B :: William S. Burroughs “The Cut-Up Method of Brion Gysin”. I can remember hearing an interview with DavidBowie quite a few years back where he talked about creating song lyrics by using cutups and gave credit to William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin for creating it as a method. It sort of explains away quite a few of the songs I think.

The last word can goto Les Murray.
“Poetry’s a zoo in which you keep demons and angels”
Les Murray

Update: UBU WEB is having trouble with their server at the moment. But there is still a lot to read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.