Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 12 -- Levine, Taylor, + scattered notes. to be continued

Salt and Oil: Kathy Commentary: vs. Salts and Oils;
The Valley

Salt and Oil as two characters... and as preservatives... how Levine draws us in --
"we", "you", "I"... repetition. How to use memory and writing to preserve... which is what the poem does.
vs. Pluralizing... a scandal of particularity that reveal a God in the shabbiest of places...
Louis MacNiece: Snow. vase of roses on one side... The world is suddener -- he sees reflection... the world is always more than one flat picture.
incorrigeably plural...

anomalous specificity

The words have come the whole way... time out of time... vs. 1948...
the real salty and oily food...

Two Henry Taylor poems:
Riding One-Eyed Horse

Perspective... like Odin...
undismissable dignity...

9/11... and lots of poetry ten years later.
Last night heard a poem about 9/11/11... and the day after 9/11/11...
Wage Peace -- attributed to Mary Oliver

It was refreshing to read a Richard Wilbur article from 1969, reprinted in the electronic Shenandoah... Richard Wilbur: from 1969:
There are two main ways of understanding the word “poetry.” We may think of poetry as a self-shaping activity of the whole society, a collective activity by means of which a society creates a vision of itself, arranges its values, or adopts or adapts a culture. It is this sense of “poetry” which we have in Wallace Stevens’s poem, “Men Made Out of Words,” where he says

The whole race is a poet that writes down
The eccentric propositions of its fate.

But “poetry” may also mean what we more usually mean by it; it may mean verses written by poets, imaginative compositions which employ a condensed, rhythmic, resonant, and persuasive language. This second kind of poetry is not unconnected with the first; a poem written by a poet is a specific, expert, and tributary form of the general imaginative activity.
the desire to lay claim to as much of the world as possible through uttering the names of things.

I am struck by the poetry of poets who have this sense of "a whole race" -- not just an original voice... or a voice that could just as well be droning on a phone as opposed to line-breaking and calling it a poem.

Philip Levine is NOT a droner surfing through linebreaks. We enjoyed

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