Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Struck by Lightning"

A poet is someone "who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times." Randall Jarrell, as quoted by David Orr in his review of Robert Hass's new volume of selected poems.

This is a sentiment I've always ascribed to and which was considered at length in a bestselling novel that I reviewed for another blog. So, the next time you see a bunch of old dogs standing out in the rain and not moving, you know what's going down.

lightning flash--
in pampas grass ensconced
a fifty year-old's face
translated by David G. Lanoue



Charles Gramlich said...

That's a great way of putting it. I try to get struck by lightning. It sure isn't easy to do.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Thanks, Charles ...

Ed Baker said...

a James Dickey film just on

Dickey, also< a very fine poet..

Buckdancer's Choice struck me

anyway he was just talking of Jarrell's "out in the rain" quote:

I paraphrase: " a poet is that person who stands out in the rain ... struck by lightening once and he is remebered
struck four or five time and he is great"

then Dickey,, with that smile-to-grin expression says:

" ... and not too many wanna stand out in the rain and
take the chance." (his grin now taking over his face blonded)

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Hmn, haven't quite connected with Dickey yet but have read some things I've liked.

There are not many willing to stand out there in the rain ...

Ed Baker said...

to the books!

"Poems 1957-1967 James Dickey"
and "Helmets"

there is/was also that "little thing" called Deliverance

Bly called Dickey "a huge blubbery poet... a sort of Georgia cracker Kipling." Dicky called Bly nothing more than "a farm bum" and that the government should, like they subsidize farmers not to grow crops, pay Bly not to write poems.

He was Randall Jarrell's and Howard Nemrov's friend... an was my teacher (Rudd Fleming)'s friend.. 1967-68 they used to hang out with us at Maryland Dickey was at Library of Congress...

I cut out the Washington Post' 1997 Dickey obit just found it in my copy of

Helmets... will scan and send