Click Image to Visit the Pecan Grove Press Web Page for Poetry from Paradise Valley


Poetry From Paradise Valley

Pecan Grove Press has released an anthology of poems, a sampling of works published in Valparaiso Poetry Review during its first decade, from the original 1999-2000 volume to the 2009-2010 volume.

Poetry from Paradise Valley includes a stellar roster of 50 poets. Among the contributors are a former Poet Laureate of the United States, a winner of the Griffin International Prize, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two National Book Award winners, two National Book Critics Circle winners, six finalists for the National Book Award, four finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award, two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and a few dozen recipients of other honors, such as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, etc.

Readers are encouraged to visit the Poetry from Paradise Valley page at the publisher's web site, where ordering information about the book can be found.

Best Books of Indiana 2011: Finalist. Judges' Citation: "Poetry from Paradise Valley is an excellent anthology that features world-class poetry, including the work of many artists from the Midwest, such as Jared Carter, Annie Finch, David Baker, and Allison Joseph. It’s an eclectic and always interesting collection where poems on similar themes flow into each other. It showcases the highest caliber of U. S. poetry."
—Indiana Center for the Book, Indiana State Library

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Mark Doty, and the Berlin Wall

In the city’s melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched

With faces hidden while the walls were tightening . . .
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.
—Bob Dylan

In recognition of the twentieth anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s destruction, begun by citizens chipping at its structure with hammers and chisels on November 9, 1989, the New York Times invited a distinguished group of poets to write works inspired by this occasion. The authors contributing poems to an opinion piece, titled “What Fell Apart, What Came Together,” include Mark Doty, Marie Howe, Yusef Komunyakaa, Ewa Lipska, Vera Pavlova, Tomaz Salamun, Zafer Senocak, Bruce Weigl, and C.K. Williams.

In an excerpt from Doty’s fine poem, “The Lesson,” readers are reminded of the scene many of us remember as transmitted on television screens and witnessed around the world that night twenty years ago:

. . . the night they first scaled the wall,

the people at the top reached down to pull
the others up, and shouted Come on,
Come on! When the guards turned the water cannons on them,

they sprayed back from open bottles of champagne.
Then the broken chunks appeared, in the hands of those
who had loosened them, fragments of concrete

glazed with spray paint inscriptions, scarred
with sledgehammer and chisel: instruments of union.

As I wrote earlier this year in an article, “Bruce Springsteen Sings Bob Dylan’s ‘Chimes of Freedom’ in East Berlin,” relating to the observed event, “the images of young folks opening the barrier between East and West piece by piece remain among the most exciting ever witnessed on television, as their courageous acts indicated a close to the Cold War was at hand. Today, my son possesses a piece of the Berlin Wall, which continues to exist as a concrete reminder of the value of freedom.”

In addition, I suggested readers celebrate the historic moment by revisiting the following video of Bruce Springsteen performing Bob Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom” to hundreds of thousands of dancing and clapping Germans in an East Berlin concert just a year before the wall crumbled.


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Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson performed in front of the Reichstag on, I think, the same date, and became the subject of scrutiny by the Stasi. Why is it that he never seemed to get the credit for anything positive he did while alive?