i'm reading david antin's talking at the boundaries. what poetry are you reading?
― mustread guy (schlump), Tuesday, 31 December 2013 17:58 (six years ago) link
it would maybe need a caveat before being uncontroversially included in a poetry thread; maybe it's better in a which erratically typeset books are you reading discussion. i love him talking around marriage, in a private occasion in a public place, & this loose solution he found to wanting to use poetry without reciting poetry, to be able to digress to make himself understood, this long memory of a girl he was involved with in new york & what it is to him now & then the interruption of trying to remember what it was to him then.
suppose you sign another agreementthat is you decide that you have a relationship with each otherwhich is of such an order that you haveappetite for each otherinterest in each other fondness for each otherwhatever the word means you love each other so to speakbut you dont have any control of each otherthat isas soon as anybody feels some other impulse he/she goes makes it with whoever he/she wantsyou can try thatits difficultand i know this kind of experienceits the kind of experience that takes awaya kind of evennessa kind of funny unpressured lifethat isit puts life at the pressure of a romantic adventurebecause anything can dissociate into its separate parts at any momentyou can always at the moment of an adventure disappear from somebody else
― mustread guy (schlump), Tuesday, 31 December 2013 17:59 (six years ago) link
i'm reading sharon olds too. i can only read one or two a day, they're so intense. & for days on end i would go back & read robert creeley's please. i think i first read it on ilx? it felt powerful to pick it up everyday & need to read it for comfort.
for James Broughton
Oh god, let's go.This is a poem for Kenneth Patchen.Everywhere they are shooting people.People people people people.This is a poem for Allen Ginsberg.I want to be elsewhere, elsewhere.This is a poem about a horse that got tired.Poor. Old. Tired. Horse.I want to go home.I want you to go home.This is a poem that tells the story,which is the story.I don't know. I get lost.If only they would stand still and let me.Are you happy, sad, not happy, please come.This is a poem for everyone.
― mustread guy (schlump), Tuesday, 31 December 2013 18:02 (six years ago) link
i'm reading anthony hecht 'collected later,' which has in it the transparent man, flight among the tombs, and the darkness and the light
also p stoked to have a copy of thom gunn's fighting terms on the way.
― creating an ilHOOSion usic sight and sound (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 31 December 2013 18:12 (six years ago) link
Hypnos Waking - Rene Char Early surrealist who later was a major figure in the Resistance, contains complete translations of 'Leaves of Hypnos' his war journal and Le Poeme PulveriseFigured Image - Anna-Marie Albiach Translated by Keith Waldrop Rough going with this gal who is concerned with language and the body in a very textural/french way. Post Apollo Press does an excellent job with their books, I'd like to find everything by them. Mute Objects of Expression - Francis Ponge Translated by Lee Fahnestock One of my favorite french poets who writes about objects or nature.Early Poems 1947-1959 - Yves Bonnefoy Translated by Galway Kinnell and Richard Pevear Contains a complete translation of 'On the Motion and Immobility of Douve' one of the most beautiful poems I have read. I never tired of him.Breathturn - Paul Celan Translated by Pierre Joris I also really like Sun & Moon Press, I have a few more Celan books but I'm completely lost, Maybe I need to read German, I took a break from him and Think I'll take him up again this year.
― JacobSanders, Tuesday, 31 December 2013 18:25 (six years ago) link
is the motion and immobility of douve a book length thing, jacob? i feel tentative with long poems, & reading what you both read it feels like you're maybe a lil more ambitious.
i just e-mailed my friend & included a jack gilbert poem & was so pleased to find it online, on a tumblr ("stillgreen"), because it's so specific, so gently transportive,
Trying to Have Something Left OverJack Gilbert
There was a great tenderness to the sadness when I would go there. She knew how much I loved my wife and that we had no future. We were like casualties helping each other as we waited for the end. Now I wonder if we understood how happy those Danish afternoons were. Most of the time we did not talk. Often I took care of the baby while she did housework. Changing him and making him laugh. I would say Pittsburgh softly each time before throwing him up. Whisper Pittsburgh with my mouth against the tiny ear and throw him higher. Pittsburgh and happiness high up. The only way to leave even the smallest trace. So that all his life her son would feel gladness unaccountably when anyone spoke of the ruined city of steel in America. Each time almost remembering something maybe important that got lost.
― mustread guy (schlump), Tuesday, 31 December 2013 19:57 (six years ago) link
re celan: i think if german is needed then it's a reaaal fluent german, in which case i'm screwed. i've found that it helps to be able to parse the german, at least, maybe because it helps to sort of justify some of the choices in the english (absent which they can sometimes have a tinge of, come off it, pal to them), some of the patterns of sound and syllabation are audible/visible, etc. —but for the most part i just had to reread repeatedly, and be in the right mood. trying to take in the whole sequence of one of the breathturn sequence books seems to be crucial too.
lately i've reread a little creeley. that's all.
― j., Tuesday, 31 December 2013 21:54 (six years ago) link
strangely, I've just been reading Celan as well (selected poems, Hamburger trans.)—having previously been of the I'm completely lost, Maybe I need to read German mindset towards him, I now think I'm starting to "get it" a little more...
― confused subconscious U2 association (bernard snowy), Wednesday, 1 January 2014 00:40 (six years ago) link
'On the Motion and Immobility of Douve' is a book length poem, but well worth reading. I've also been reading Edmond Jabes's Book Of Questions which are astonishing and sometimes heartbreaking.
― JacobSanders, Wednesday, 1 January 2014 18:54 (six years ago) link
I am only familiar with Jabes via Derrida's essays, which made him seem both brilliant & tedious
― confused subconscious U2 association (bernard snowy), Wednesday, 1 January 2014 23:56 (six years ago) link
I think I would like to read what Derrida wrote about Jabes, which book is the essay from?
― JacobSanders, Thursday, 2 January 2014 00:53 (six years ago) link
Writing & Difference—I believe the title of the essay is "Edmund Jabes & the Question of the Book"—I read it c.college because I was into, like, Borges & 'postmodernism' & shit, so possibly I didn't totally get it... I remember the characterization of the jew as a fold in history(?)
― confused subconscious U2 association (bernard snowy), Thursday, 2 January 2014 02:20 (six years ago) link
in that perloff essay (on gass on rilke) i linked on another thread she takes that celan as an epitome of the translatable
i think i'm going to read some celan this year
i've been failing to read 'dear world and everyone in it' for months. dear world and everyone in it, i don't care about your shitty poetry
― ♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Thursday, 2 January 2014 18:03 (six years ago) link
John Berryman - The Dream SongsMichael Robbins - Alien Vs Predator
Both discovered via ILB.
― o. nate, Thursday, 2 January 2014 18:28 (six years ago) link
She talks about Trakl too, who is also mentioned by Michael Hofmann is given v high praise in this piece on Kraus/Vienna, so his name has been in my mind lately. Hope to track something down.
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 2 January 2014 19:33 (six years ago) link
mr bones vs predator, that would be good
― j., Thursday, 2 January 2014 19:59 (six years ago) link
Robbins, of course, was not the first to call Rilke a “jerk.” John Berryman did this scandalously in The Dream Songs (first published in 1964). Robbins has absorbed Berryman’s haunting work, the vaguely formalistic structure (rhythmic lines of varying length/beat and ninja rhymes that ambush the reader), frequent references to movies, songs, art, black culture, multiple narrative identities, uninhibited sexual appetites and the brooding sense of loss that lies at the heart of it all, and nuked it till it has bloomed with an acid glow that (&c &c)
― confused subconscious U2 association (bernard snowy), Friday, 3 January 2014 05:02 (six years ago) link
TAKING SIDES: Rilke vs. Berryman-Robbins (aka 'Team Snark')
― confused subconscious U2 association (bernard snowy), Friday, 3 January 2014 05:05 (six years ago) link
not reading him right now, but closely following developments in this r s thomas on crisp packets story.
― woof, Wednesday, 8 January 2014 16:15 (six years ago) link
Michael Robbins - Alien Vs Predator
― o. nate, Thursday, January 2, 2014 6:28 PM (4 weeks ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
did you like this? i enjoyed it at first, but once i 'got it' i sort of didn't enjoy it anymore.
― i have the new brutal HOOS if you want it (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 31 January 2014 17:48 (six years ago) link
― i have the new brutal HOOS if you want it (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 31 January 2014 17:49 (six years ago) link
what adrienne rich should i start with, do people think?
― i have the new brutal HOOS if you want it (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Friday, 31 January 2014 17:50 (six years ago) link
― flopson, Friday, 31 January 2014 17:50 (six years ago) link
did you like this? i enjoyed it at first, but once i 'got it' i sort of didn't enjoy it anymore
I still like it, yeah. I take it down from the shelf and read one or two every once in a while. Some I like better than others. The best ones hold up well, I think.
― o. nate, Saturday, 1 February 2014 02:00 (six years ago) link
I'm not as familiar with Rich's work as I'd like, so I hope others better informed can advise, but Diving into the Wreck is probably a good place to start; I'm also partial to the long poem "Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law" from the book of the same title.
― one way street, Saturday, 1 February 2014 02:05 (six years ago) link
In music I'm attracted to ambitious disasters; in literature I'm attracted to larval states, during which poets and novelists haven't found their voices. The Diamond Cutters and Snapshots of a Daughter in Law are my favorites of hers: I love the tension between the glacial severity of her images and barely suppressed anger (the enjambments are harsh and sharp too).
― Bryan Fairy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 1 February 2014 02:19 (six years ago) link
you can find a cheap Norton anthology of her selected works that also includes her (essential) essays
― Bryan Fairy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 1 February 2014 02:20 (six years ago) link
Stripped you're beginning to float free up through the smoke of brushfires and incinerators the unleafed branches won't hold you nor the radar aerials
You're what the autumn knew would happen after the last collapse of primary color once the last absolutes were torn to pieces you could begin
How you broke open, what sheathed you until this moment I know nothing about it my ignorance of you amazes me now that I watch you starting to give yourself away to the wind
― mustread guy (schlump), Saturday, 1 February 2014 05:36 (six years ago) link
wait go http://www.best-poems.net/adrienne_rich/poem-43.html for formatting
― mustread guy (schlump), Saturday, 1 February 2014 05:39 (six years ago) link
I don't know, I always found Rich really dry, but it was a talk she gave on Emily Dickinson that made me curious about that author. Because before that I thought Dickinson wrote "little girl scout prayers" as Rich put it (possibly not verbatim), while discussing her image.
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 1 February 2014 17:04 (six years ago) link
(I've at least read one of those Norton selected or collected poems of Rich's.)
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 1 February 2014 17:05 (six years ago) link
Her Dickinson essay is fantastic!
― Bryan Fairy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 1 February 2014 17:05 (six years ago) link
I heard a recorded talk she gave, presumably close to the essay, or maybe a reading of it. (I don't think I ever went on to read in print form what she had to say about Dickinson.)
― _Rudipherous_, Saturday, 1 February 2014 17:08 (six years ago) link
'on lies, secrets, and silence' is a good essay collection
― j., Saturday, 1 February 2014 19:56 (six years ago) link
i am going to post a short verse of a joseph ceravolo poem when i get home, get ready for it
― mustread guy (schlump), Saturday, 1 February 2014 21:40 (six years ago) link
my *selected berryman* showed up last night and man
those fuckin sonnets
"Maybe our safeties…come for our risk’s sake."
― i have the new brutal HOOS if you want it (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 6 February 2014 16:26 (six years ago) link
aw i'm just about to pick up dream songs, from the library, cause i never tended to berryman much& then i read something last week on a blog that knocked me for six, like wow
& i didn't post the ceravolo poem because it was too simple, out of contextlike you needed the mess of the whole thinghe is really interesting!, i think. maybe because sometimes i am cruising this sorta in-love-with-eileen-myles wave of tumblr poetry that takes this elemental small-scale form as a template but has this maybe predictable voice?, now, like there's not a solipsism but a fixed reach to it? a formula by which it roams. & the ceravolo is crazy, it's like frank o'hara free jazz, i can't believe he gets so far with so little, eschewing so much, relying on you so muchmaybe i'll post it later
― mustread guy (schlump), Thursday, 6 February 2014 17:55 (six years ago) link
ah yeah i just read that one last night too, damn near devoured the whole little selected in a few hours
so much to chew on
― i have the new brutal HOOS if you want it (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 6 February 2014 19:01 (six years ago) link
I'm an admirer of Berryman's sonnets, too. He leaves enough of the trad structure intact that it frees his sense of language, imagery and ideas to climb forward, and his plays against the trad sonnet structure gain extra weight because they are so deliberate.
― Aimless, Thursday, 6 February 2014 19:02 (six years ago) link
i got halfway through this great long thing on berryman on the bus home last night, stopped reading to start reading the selected, then picked it back up and realized the whole thing is sort of a long-form review of the selected itself. happy accident.
― i have the new brutal HOOS if you want it (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 6 February 2014 19:04 (six years ago) link
man sharon olds' the dead and the living just came in and i tried to read a bit of it before bed
just awful dark stuff, not meant for the pillow.
mary karr's viper rum is winning me over though. every third one or so is a gut punch, like a slightly unstiffened O'Connor. and i like my O'Connor just fine.
― i have the new brutal HOOS if you want it (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Wednesday, 12 February 2014 21:10 (six years ago) link
This has a lovely cover, but the prose poems it consists of did nothing for me.http://ndbooks.com/images/made/images/covers/Fullblood_Arabian_300_450.jpg I found them facile and pseudo-profound (the nod to Khalil Gibran in Lydia Davis's introduction should have tipped me off), but plenty of people disagree with me.
― ornamental cabbage (James Morrison), Thursday, 13 February 2014 01:08 (six years ago) link
there is just so much in Olds; they're not even so panoramic, just so full and imaginable. three a day, max.
― mustread guy (schlump), Thursday, 13 February 2014 03:09 (six years ago) link
& wait is TDATL the recent one?
nah its one from the early 80s.
― i have the new brutal HOOS if you want it (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 13 February 2014 03:41 (six years ago) link
Petrarch b/w English Alliterative Revival stuff; then a reading of Villon's Testament to close the middle ages
― my collages, let me show you them (bernard snowy), Thursday, 13 February 2014 17:25 (six years ago) link
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 28 February 2014 20:50 (six years ago) link
Seaton's version of Cold Mountain Poems.
― Aimless, Friday, 28 February 2014 20:52 (six years ago) link
read a.e. housman's 'a shropshire lad' on my kindle a few weeks ago. uneven but some great stuff.
― (The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 28 February 2014 21:15 (six years ago) link
I've just discovered this thread. I like Hollander's criticism but I've not read his poetry. Where to begin?
I've been reading a bit of Les Murray and trying to ignore his more, ah, buffoonish commentary. Last Hellos is quite a thing.
― Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Saturday, 16 March 2019 23:15 (one year ago) link
With the LRB archive open (until the end of Jan, I think) I've been reading some of Helen Vendler's articles. This review of Motion's biography of Keats is scabrous and not entirely fair, I think: https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v19/n20/helen-vendler/inspiration-accident-genius
Loved this review of Hopkins' letters: https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v36/n07/helen-vendler/i-have-not-lived-up-to-it
― Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Tuesday, 7 January 2020 20:57 (six months ago) link
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 January 2020 20:59 (six months ago) link
Vendler taught me much about how to think about poetry, and I'm still fond of The Music of What Happens, but she's gotten idk hackish in recent years? She's old too, I suppose.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 7 January 2020 21:01 (six months ago) link
That review of Motion's biography was particularly, huffily critical of Motion's considerations of race, gender and class. It ponged of the anti-PC brigade.
― Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Tuesday, 7 January 2020 21:03 (six months ago) link
I've been reading Michael Hofmann's One Lark, One Horse, and also started Rabindranath Tagore's Collected Poems and Plays.
― o. nate, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 02:22 (six months ago) link
Late Air by Elizabeth Bishop
From a magician’s midnight sleevethe radio-singersdistribute all their love-songsover the dew-wet lawns.And like a fortune-teller’stheir marrow-piercing guesses are whatever you believe.
But on the Navy Yard aerial I findbetter witnessesfor love on summer nights.Five remote red lightskeep their nests there; Phoenixesburning quietly, where the dew cannot climb.
I keep thinking about this. I have a mental image of it, which has little to do with the concrete language - something closer to a feeling of late summer. My associative impulse is to relate it to Skunk Hour but there is no sense of psychosis here. And, looking now at the particulars, there's something occult in the references - the magician, the fortune teller, the phoenixes - and, ultimately a hopefulness. Am I parsing that right? I keep staring at the enjambment after fortune teller's, wanting there to be noun in the blankness.
― Ngolo Cantwell (Chinaski), Sunday, 1 March 2020 13:41 (four months ago) link
But on the Navy Yard aerial I findbetter witnessesfor love on summer nights.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 1 March 2020 13:46 (four months ago) link
See, I can say that I instinctively agree with you without really being able to - technically - say why that's perfect enjambment.
― Ngolo Cantwell (Chinaski), Sunday, 1 March 2020 13:54 (four months ago) link
I've been reading Seamus Heaney's Death of A Naturalist. After reading so much Auden it's both surprisingly prescriptive and, I don't know, loose and roomy - within the space of the lines, at least. As an origin story, it's made me think of the episode of Wordsworth nicking the boat in the Prelude and losing his close ties to mother nature forever, albeit Heaney's loss of nature is much more closely tied to his father and the tradition he was born into (and is partly about the mourning of its loss). There's also something of Eliot's renouncing of Romanticism in there: a really studied look into the eyes of nature in tooth and claw.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 5 March 2020 14:36 (four months ago) link
Heaney might be line by line one of my favorite poets of the last sixty years. The brevity of his verse has a music I swoon to.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 5 March 2020 14:48 (four months ago) link
^^ Speaking of music, you should really try and watch the documentary The Music of What Happens (review here) which is brilliant. A touching portrait by the people who were close to and loved him (including students of his in America) and about the music of his verses, in a way.
― Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 5 March 2020 14:58 (four months ago) link
I missed it when it was on the iPlayer in the UK; now it's in that frustrating declivity between release and DVD etc.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 5 March 2020 15:42 (four months ago) link
Would you recommend any other particular volumes of Heaney's poetry? I have a Selected (and Finders Keepers) but it's dawning on me (I have to learn the simple things last) that individual collections are absolutely the way to go.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 5 March 2020 16:08 (four months ago) link
This is the good poetry:
Alice Oswald (megaphone visible) supporting striking students. Very proud to have her as our Professor of Poetry. pic.twitter.com/YQUfin3YW9— Merve Emre (@mervatim) March 5, 2020
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 6 March 2020 10:49 (four months ago) link
Would you recommend any other particular volumes of Heaney's poetry? I have a Selected (and Finders Keepers) but it's dawning on me (I have to learn the simple things last) that individual collections are absolutely the way to go.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski),
North and Field Work, although his selected poems volume is among my most thumbed collections.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 March 2020 11:56 (four months ago) link
There, in the corner, staring at his drink.The cap juts like a gantry's crossbeam,Cowling plated forehead and sledgehead jaw.Speech is clamped in the lips' vice.
That fist would drop a hammer on a Catholic-Oh yes, that kind of thing could start again;The only Roman collar he toleratesSmiles all round his sleek pint of porter.
Mosaic imperatives bang home like rivets;God is a foreman with certain definite viewsWho orders life in shifts of work and leisure.A factory horn will blare the Resurrection.
He sits, strong and blunt as a Celtic cross,Clearly used to silence and an armchair:Tonight the wife and children will be quietAt slammed door and smoker's cough in the hall.
This feels like relatively minor Heaney but damn: that subject-less opening line, where the vastness of the docker's object-hood seems to obliterate everything else; the granitic weight of the nouns and adjectives in the descriptions: cowling-plated, crossbeam, sledgehead; and the not-so-subtle emergence of the social and religious context*; the beautiful metaphor of the scurf of his pint resembling a priest's collar.
*it's a slow creep through the book as a whole, but here, in the figure of the docker, it walks right out in front of you and pokes you in the chest.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 6 March 2020 18:17 (four months ago) link
He sits, strong and blunt as a Celtic cross,Clearly used to silence and an armchair
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 March 2020 18:55 (four months ago) link
Just spent 15 minutes typing "Lisburn Road" into the browser, only to have it vanish, but here it is anyway, a happy marriage of style and subject matter:
― o. nate, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 02:20 (three months ago) link
I’m not sure looking at working class people in the pub and stereotyping what they might be thinking is a good starting-point for poetry
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 02:24 (three months ago) link
that re the Heaney above rather than ‘Lisburn Road’. I have hated Heaney since the one on a poster in my English classroom at age, what, fourteen? which still comes back at intervals and works me into an apoplexy. The one that ends ‘I’ll dig with it.’
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 02:27 (three months ago) link
what do yall think of denise riley? reading through the nyrb reissue of 'say something back' and 'time lived without its flow' and finding them pretty great. the sense of humor, though not much else, reminds me of rosmarie waldrop a little.
― vivian dark, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 03:03 (three months ago) link
Does the fact that Heaney *was* working class people make a difference here? Plus I'm not sure that's what he's doing in that particular poem, at least not only that. There are awe and respect in there too.
That line is from 'Digging' and is a bit on the nose. It's practically juvenalia though and serves him well enough as a youthful manifesto.
I've been reading Elizabeth Bishop's first two volumes - North and South and A Cold Spring. I've struggled with finding a unifying voice in them and need to re-read with a clearer mind, but there are so many stunning poems: Late Air, the Man-Moth, At the Fishhouses, The Fish, Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 09:54 (three months ago) link
i have nothing not mean spirited to say about heaney so will avoid further comment
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 10:21 (three months ago) link
what's the best ashbery for a beginner? i've read lots of standalone poems and am finishing up tennis court oath but want to know what the usual entry points are.
― vivian dark, Sunday, 12 April 2020 03:32 (three months ago) link
Don’t know if it’s the usual circuit but Chinese Whispers eased me into his late style. Then I dipped backwards into Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.
― coviderunt omnes (pomenitul), Sunday, 12 April 2020 04:21 (three months ago) link
When I asked Alfred on ILB, he rec. Houseboat Days, but I haven't tried it yet. Mostly know him as a critic: v. astute observations here , which became the intro to Once and For All, ace Delmore Schwartz comp. The Lowell poem about Delmore, which Ashbery ends with, got me into Frank BIdart's monster RL collection: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-heavy-bear-on-delmore-schwartz
― dow, Monday, 13 April 2020 19:01 (three months ago) link
Any of those mid seventies collections will do: The Double Dream of Spring, Self-Portrait..., Houseboat Days. I'm partial to As We Know and A Wave. But, really, after 1974 a distressing sameness creeps into the work common to poets who finesse their manner.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 April 2020 19:10 (three months ago) link
This 1997 poem is my favorite late Ashbery lyric. It's called "Wakefulness."
An immodest little white wine, some scattered seraphs,recollections of the Fall—tell me,has anyone made a spongier representation, chasedfewer demons out of the parking lotwhere we all held hands?
Little by little the idea of the true way returned to me.I was touched by your care,reduced to fawning excuses.Everything was spotless in the little house of our desire,the clock ticked on and on, happy aboutbeing apprenticed to eternity. A gavotte of dust motescame to replace my seeing. Everything was as thoughit had happened long agoin ancient peach-colored funny paperswherein the law of true opposites was ordainedcasually. Then the book opened by itselfand read to us: “You pack of liars,of course tempted by the crossroads, but I like eachand every one of you with a peculiar sapphire intensity.Look, here is where I failed at first.The client leaves. History natters on,rolling distractedly on these shores. Each day, dawncondenses like a very large star, bakes no bread,shoes the faithless. How convenient if it’s a dream.”
In the next sleep car was madness.An urgent languor installed itselfas far as the cabbage-hemmed horizons. And if I put a littlebit of myself in this time, stoppered the liquor that is our selves’truant exchanges, brandished my intentionsfor once? But only I getsomething out of this memory.A kindly gnomeof fear perched on my dashboard once, but we had allbeen instructedto ignore the conditions of the chase. Here, itseems to grow lighter with each passing century. No matterhow you twist it,life stays frozen in the headlights.Funny, none of us heard the roar
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 April 2020 19:14 (three months ago) link
― dow, Monday, 13 April 2020 22:13 (three months ago) link
getting around to the small contingent of recent poetry books on my shelf: francine j. harris's play dead last week, this week ruth ellen kocher's third voice. it's a weird one. it contextualises itself with quotations from minstrel-show how-to texts every so often; various famous figures of black american history have imagined encounters; a narratorial persona has anxieties. this last is (via the minstrel show bit, i guess) meant to be somehow riffing on the eliotic 'third voice' which i know nothing about. it's all formatted like this:
Skit: Pearl Bailey and Eartha Kitt Revise Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful
Whether we love it or hate it is irrelevant to its worth. We haveheard more women call women whores than we have heard mencall women whores. We have more light than we know what to dowith. Live with it. Some time ago, a Woman asked us for fivewomen we loved and five women we hated and five women wehated to love . . . or maybe five women we hated and five womenwe loved and five women we loved to hate . . . or both. We haven’tbeen able to answer. We’re trying not to sing too easy green andviolet veins meaning moth-winged flower or would it be worse to say bloom? The shackled hardwood, the ribs of the house, the ribsof a huge beast, the ribs of a fossil, the ribs of a thing destined tobe stone. We call ourselves Away. Stranded is a place not a thing
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Tuesday, 14 April 2020 12:18 (three months ago) link
(n.b. i tried to read this before last year and gave up because a lot of the poems are single long verse-paragraphs like that but the typesetting leaves two or three lines on the verso of the page and it drove me insane)
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Tuesday, 14 April 2020 12:19 (three months ago) link
First impression is of going for/with hard statements of/as facts/home truths, illuminations, not reductions, casting toward "shackled hardwood" and so on---"we" unity too restless vibrant jittery to be "I" for a while.
― dow, Tuesday, 14 April 2020 21:30 (three months ago) link
This is a good tweet.
At the last we wantunit costs plus VAT, patient grading:made to order, made to care, poisedat the nub of avid sugar soap.-- J.H. Prynne, The Oval Window (1983) pic.twitter.com/hLsX6fIOmk— Jeremy Noel-Tod (@jntod) April 16, 2020
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 16 April 2020 12:35 (two months ago) link
is it tho
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Thursday, 16 April 2020 12:45 (two months ago) link
i lazily copied the kocher poem above from elsewhere on the internet and gosh, i just realised they've re-punctuated it
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Thursday, 16 April 2020 12:46 (two months ago) link
A lot of tweets are good not bad imo.
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 16 April 2020 12:54 (two months ago) link
sure but in the hierarchy of things tweeted is that really one of the better ones
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Thursday, 16 April 2020 13:02 (two months ago) link
It's got potential in that I nearly picked up my J.H. Prynne's Poems to read the whole thing.
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 16 April 2020 13:05 (two months ago) link
yeah i went to google books, my collected prynne is in another country. i'm not sure what point jnt thinks he's making with it but i don't think it stands up to much inspection
― the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Thursday, 16 April 2020 13:08 (two months ago) link
I read this and a few others by him last night. It's from circa 1934. He chose not to divide it into stanzas:
Valediction by Louis MacNeice
Their verdure dare not show . . . their verdure dare not show . . .Cant and randy — the seals’ heads bobbing in the tide-flowBetween the islands, sleek and black and irrelevantThey cannot depose logically what they want:Died by gunshot under borrowed pennons,Sniped from the wet gorse and taken by the limp finsAnd slung like a dead seal in a boghole, beaten upBy peasants with long lips and the whisky-drinker’s cough.Park your car in the city of Dublin, see Sackville StreetWithout the sandbags in the old photos, meetThe statues of the patriots, history never dies,At any rate in Ireland, arson and murder are legaciesLike old rings hollow-eyed without their stones,Dumb talismans.See Belfast, devout and profane and hard,Built on reclaimed mud, hammers playing in the shipyard,Time punched with holes like a steel sheet, timeHardening the faces, veneering with a grey and speckled rimeThe faces under the shawls and caps:This was my mother-city, these my paps.Country of callous lava cooled to stone,Of minute sodden haycocks, of ship-sirens’ moan,Of falling intonations — I would call you to bookI would say to you, Look;I would say, This is what you have given meIndifference and sentimentalityA metallic giggle, a fumbling hand,A heart that leaps to a fife band:Set these against your water-shafted airOf amethyst and moonstone, the horses’ feet like bells of hairShambling beneath the orange cart, the beer-brown springGuzzling between the heather, the green gush of Irish spring.Cursed be he that curses his mother. I cannot beAnyone else than what this land engendered me:In the back of my mind are snips of white, the sailsOf the Lough’s fishing-boats, the bellropes lash their tailsWhen I would peal my thoughts, the bells pull free —Memory in apostasy.I would tot up my factorsBut who can stand in the way of his soul’s steam-tractors?I can say Ireland is hooey, Ireland isA gallery of fake tapestries,But I cannot deny my past to which my self is wed,The woven figure cannot undo its thread.On a cardboard lid I saw when I was fourWas the trade-mark of a hound and a round tower,And that was Irish glamour, and in the cemeterySham Celtic crosses claimed our individuality,And my father talked about the West where years backHe played hurley on the sands with a stick of wrack.Park your car in Killarney, buy a souvenirOf green marble or black bog-oak, run up to Clare,Climb the cliff in the postcard, visit Galway city,Romanticise on our Spanish blood, leave ten per cent of pityUnder your plate for the emigrant,Take credit for our sanctity, our heroism and our sterile wantColumba Kevin and briny Brendan the accepted names,Wolfe Tone and Grattan and Michael Collins the accepted names,Admire the suavity with which the architectIs rebuilding the burnt mansion, recollectThe palmy days of the Horse Show, swank your fill,But take the Holyhead boat before you pay the bill;Before you face the consequenceOf inbred soul and climatic maleficenceAnd pay for the trick beauty of a prismIn drug-dull fatalism.I will exorcise my bloodAnd not to have my baby-clothes my shroudI will acquire an attitude not yoursAnd become as one of your holiday visitors,And however often I may comeFarewell, my country, and in perpetuum;Whatever desire I catch when your wind scours my faceI will take home and put in a glass caseAnd merely look onAt each new fantasy of badge and gun.Frost will not touch the hedge of fuchsias,The land will remain as it was,But no abiding content can grow out of these mindsFuddled with blood, always caught by blinds;The eels go up the Shannon over the great dam;You cannot change a response by giving it a new name.Fountain of green and blue curling in the windI must go east and stay, not looking behind,Not knowing on which day the mist is blanket-thickNor when sun quilts the valley and quickWinging shadows of white clouds passOver the long hills like a fiddler’s phrase.If I were a dog of sunlight I would boundFrom Phoenix Park to Achill Sound,Picking up the scent of a hundred fugitivesThat have broken the mesh of ordinary lives,But being ordinary too I must in course discussWhat we mean to Ireland or Ireland to us;I have to observe milestone and curioThe beaten buried gold of an old king’s bravado,Falsetto antiquities, I have to gesture,Take part in, or renounce, each imposture;Therefore I resign, good-bye the chequered and the quiet hills,The gaudily-striped Atlantic, the linen-millsThat swallow the shawled file, the black moor where halfA turf-stack stands like a ruined cenotaph;Good-bye your hens running in and out of the white houseYour absent-minded goats along the road, your black cowsYour greyhounds and your hunters beautifully bredYour drums and your dolled-up virgins and your ignorant dead.
― A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 23 April 2020 01:42 (two months ago) link
I'm trying to read John Ashbery's Houseboat Days and am intrigued enough to stick around but he doesn't give you much, does he? I like the idea of writing *alongside* meaning and trying to follow the logic of music but it's frustrating and knotty. First noticing: he's opaque with pronouns, which I love; time is everywhere, and passing quickly; there's a Jamesian complexity to his sentences (clause, meet clause); he can stop me dead: '‘The omnipresent possibility of being interrupted/While what I stand for is still almost a bare canvas’ or
You turned your face fully toward night,Speaking into it like a megaphone, not hearingOr caring, although these still live and are generousAnd are all ways contained, allowed to come and goIndefinitely in and out of the stockadeThey have so much trouble remembering, when yourforgettingRescues them at last, as a star absorbs the night.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 23 April 2020 15:38 (two months ago) link
I love "The Wrong Kind of Insurance."
Yes, friends, these clouds pulled along on invisible ropes Are, as you have guessed, merely stage machinery, And the funny thing is it knows we know About it and still wants us to go on believing In what it so unskillfully imitates, and wants To be loved not for that but for itself: The murky atmosphere of a park, tattered Foliage, wise old treetrunks, rainbow tissue-paper wadded Clouds down near where the perspective Intersects the sunset, so we may know We too are somehow impossible, formed of so many different things, Too many to make sense to anybody. We straggle on as quotients, hard-to-combine Ingredients, and what continues Does so with our participation and consent. Try milk of tears, but it is not the same. The dandelions will have to know why, and your comic Dirge routine will be lost on the unfolding sheaves Of the wind, a lucky one, though it will carry you Too far, to some manageable, cold, open Shore of sorrows you expected to reach, Then leave behind. Thus, friend, this distilled, Dispersed musk of moving around, the product Of leaf after transparent leaf, of too many Comings and goings, visitors at all hours. Each night Is trifoliate, strange to the touch.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 23 April 2020 15:41 (two months ago) link
He's got my number
― dow, Thursday, 23 April 2020 16:03 (two months ago) link
Yeah, this is magnificent, and 'The message is learned/The way light at the edge of a beach in autumn is learned' could well function as a manifesto from what I've read so far.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 23 April 2020 16:28 (two months ago) link
I finally read Leaving the Atocha Station. I didn't love it exactly (I don't know that I needed a novel about a writer's struggle for meaning, couched in ironic distance) but the Ashbery section, that functioned as the centrepiece-as-enacted-criticism, damn well nearly *did* make me fall head-over-heels with it. I've read excerpts of The Hatred of Poetry and think I should read it.
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 26 June 2020 17:23 (two weeks ago) link
'centrepiece-as-enacted-criticism' already makes me want to punch myself in the eye, but it was the best I had for how that bit of buried criticism functioned as a codebreaker for the whole text. I wonder if a stricter editor might have got rid of it because too on the nose?
― Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 26 June 2020 17:27 (two weeks ago) link
I've read excerpts of The Hatred of Poetry and think I should read it.
Indeed you should, it's excellent. I can't think of a single similarly titled essay that isn't worth reading (Georges Bataille's own Hatred of Poetry aka The Impossible, Pascal Quignard's Hatred of Music, Jacques Rancière's Hatred of Democracy and William Marx's Hatred of Literature, which I assume has yet to be translated into English).
― pomenitul, Friday, 26 June 2020 18:22 (two weeks ago) link
Aimless, that Louis Macniece poem is extraordinary
― blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Monday, 13 July 2020 01:05 (two days ago) link
I thought it was one of the better things I've read in the past few years. It contains a lot in a little space. I can see where you might find resonances in it that correspond to your own circumstances.
― the unappreciated charisma of cows (Aimless), Monday, 13 July 2020 03:11 (two days ago) link