Monday, August 10, 2015
Poems for August 3 to be repeated September 17
And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name by John Ashbery
Breezeway by John Ashbery
The Blues by Billy Collins
The Hook by James Wright
We Would Never Sleep by David Hernandez
How much does a poet change? And how much can we know from a random pick of a 1987 Ashbery poem with one from his latest 2015 book?
I was glad to see this older Ashbery poem. What makes this memorable, or not? Why would one engage, or not?
I love how Horace’s words suggest a woman, in the title, and the first line, instead of slamming a door in your face, actually has a cheeky response to the latin and the whole deal of relationship painting/poetry. For someone not interested in such, would they read on?
I find it sheer delight — the tone borders flip, yet serious, tossing a mirror our way — what do we do as we look at a painting, read a poem, communicate with each other?
My father in law shares this about "Ut Picture"
".............. of its desire to communicatei
........ if only for the sake
Of others and their desire to understand you......"
I wonder if today,30 years later, he still would fall for this kind of projection.
Jim Longenbach responds: "With Ashbery, as with any poet of any allure, it's the language that pulls one down the page; otherwise, we'd just as happily be reading interesting emails, right?!
Why "fall for"? That sounds so suspicious! Anyway I don't think John is an artist who looks back much at all; he's the greatest living English-language poet, but, for him, the only thing that matters is what's happening--next. His new book, by the way, is superb--very wry and very moving, the work of a very very old man ."
I'm enjoying the poems of Breezeway -- which is also title poem of his newest book.
Kathy's report: "Even though we could have written off his 2 poems with a "Huh?", we actually spent quite some time biting off chunks of meaning and discussing his literary arts and pop culture references. And we did like his humor in "Breezeway".
For a painting of John Ashbury, this one is up at the MAG, by Elaine de Kooning:
What would be your definition of poetry if you had only these 5 poems?" The group's response was " "wanting to be heard" and "connection with others".
How do the Collins, the Wright and Hernandez paint the tone?
I will use these poems again for Rundel September 17th -- start of the new season!