Sunday, December 27, 2015

Phil's Lists, Part 14: Poems

Of the millions of poems in print, I have read only a few thousand. Here are some that have moved me, which means they still move me after a hundred reads. Some I could not find online and some of the links may be broken, but I still urge you to read them. The list will grow as time permits.

  1. Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost
  2. After the Dinner Party by Robert Penn Warren
  3. Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Rilke
  4. Ask Me by William Stafford
  5. Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson
  6. Death, Be Not Proud by John Donne
  7. Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas
  8. Fable of the Water Merchants by Stephen Dunn
  9. Forgetfulness by Billy Collins
  10. Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden
  11. Harlem by Langston Hughes
  12. The House on the Hill by Edward Arlington Robinson
  13. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
  14. I Am a Little Church by e. e. cummings
  15. I Am Waiting by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  16. I Knew a Woman by Theodore Roethke
  17. I'll tell you how the sun rose by Emily Dickinson
  18. If I Could Tell You by W. H. Auden
  19. In a Dark Time by Theodore Roethke
  20. Ithaka by C. P. Cavafy
  21. Last Gods by Galway Kinnell
  22. Little Girl Wakes Early by Robert Penn Warren
  23. Losses by Grace Schulman
  24. Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  25. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
  26. Mad Girl's Love Song by Sylvia Plath
  27. Mortal Limit by Robert Penn Warren
  28. My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke
  29. No Man Is an Island by John Donne
  30. O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman
  31. Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth
  32. Ode to Ironing by Pablo Neruda
  33. Ode to a Lemon by Pablo Neruda
  34. One Art by Elizabeth Bishop
  35. Preludes by T. S. Eliot
  36. She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron
  37. Sisters of Mercy by Leonard Cohen
  38. somewhere i have never travelled by e. e. cummings
  39. Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare
  40. Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare
  41. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
  42. The Stranger Song by Leonard Cohen
  43. A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg
  44. Theme for English B by Langston Hughes
  45. This quiet dust by Emily Dickinson
  46. Touch Me by Stanley Kunitz 
  47. Traveling through the Dark by William Stafford
  48. Unable are the Loved to die by Emily Dickinson
  49. The Waking by Theodore Roethke
  50. When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone by Galway Kinnell 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Phil's Lists, Part 13: Theater Companies

I almost never go to musicals, except for obligatory ones with relatives visiting from overseas, but I go to dozens of straight plays each year. Working playwrights should learn what's out there, and attending productions by these theater companies:    

New York

  • Classic Stage Company introduced me to Harold Pinter and Tennessee Williams's lesser known works in the 1970s, so I'm glad to know it's still thriving.
  • La MaMa is what brought Sam Shepard and Lanford Wilson to the world.
  • Some of our most famous actors flock to Manhattan Theatre Club to act in this company's deep list of contemporary plays.  
  • New York Theatre Workshop is hip in a cool East Village location and seeks to be on the cutting edge of drama. 
  • Pearl Theatre Company stages several provocative dramatic works each year.
  • The Public Theater, also known as Joseph Papp's Public Theater, has been a go-to company for actors like Robert DeNiro, John Malkovich, Al Pacino, and Meryl Streep.
  • Primary Stages has produced numerous new plays by prize-winning playwrights. 
  • Playwrights Horizons has lived up to its name for decades by being a central source for new American plays. 
  • Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the most upscale companies, featuring both classical and modern drama.
  • Signature Theatre, my favorite, is dedicated to the playwright and to selling reasonably priced tickets, which even students can afford.

New Jersey

Los Angeles
  • Mark Taper Forum, which is where Hollywood folks try their hand at real performance.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Phil's Lists, Part 12: Movies

Great movies always get me to think about the human condition, and that's what writers write about. Here are some lists of must-see movies: 

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Phil's Lists, Part 11: Speeches

Studying great speeches helps writers determine the pathos of a presentation, the emotional connection that speakers make with their audiences. Here are some sites to get you started: 

  • Nobel Prize website includes the Prize lectures of every winner who gave one. My favorites are the ones from the literature laureates.
  • American Rhetoric, a worthwhile first stop for the best in political and legal presentations.
  • History Place offers a bit more of an international selection.
  • See what Time considers the best ten speeches of all time--wow, does it miss the mark by not including more from international sources.
  • The best source, and once again Wiki wins, is this site, which crosses many centuries and nations.