Sunday, May 6, 2012

O Pen: poems for May 9 -- Larkin + Patchen

Poems for May 9

Thank you Mary for sharing Paul Muldoon’s review of “The Complete poems” by Philip Larkin in the April 22 NYT Book Review. “Like Bishop, Larkin is not particularly well served by having every napkin-or matchbook-jotting published”. Indeed, it is a good reminder or human expression, whether a Picasso, a 20th century archetypical British poet or unidentified soul on the street, we all bear many phases, and wear faces, fashioning and wearing us in turn.

The May/June 2012 issue of American Poetry Review shares many sides of Kenneth Patchen (December 13, 1911 – January 8, 1972) in a retrospective including articles by David Rivard, Henry Miller (Patchen: Man of Anger and Light, 1946), an interview by Gene Detro, dozens of examples as well as complete poems. Reading Patchen is to follow a crazy quilt, stitched with the “language of revolt”, distinctive “poem-paintings”, his pacifism, his heroic suffering from a crippling back injury, and a sense of the title of his last book, “Hurray for anything”. What is it we praise, celebrate, criticize, support without knowing? And what tone do we use? for bio: and more poems:

To quote Rivard (p. 23, APR) “As Patchen’s champion, Kenneth Rexroth wrote in one of his own poems, “today the evil is clean/and prosperous, but it is/everywhere, you don’t have to / take a streetcar to find it,/ and it is the same evil.”
It was hard to choose from among so many poems. If you have a favorite of Larkin, or Patchen, do let me know.

Church Going – by Philip Larkin
5 Poems by Kenneth Patchen
In Order to (utube: )
Nice Day for a Lynching (vs. The Murder of Two Men by a Young Kid Wearing Lemon-colored Gloves which uses only two words in the body of the poem.
Lonesome Boy Blues
The Origin of Baseball
As we are so wonderfully done with each other

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