Friday, September 24, 2010

Found Items Friday ...

Found in a used copy of Carl Jacobi's Revelations in Black

Herein, some misc items, seen around the web and in print, for your perusal while I knuckle under, working on the 4 presentations I have to do in the next 8 or so weeks: they are specifically on haiku, Robert Frost, Robinson Jeffers, and, for work, customer service as a vocation or a way.

This first item, found in an old paperback copy of a horror novel I picked up probably 10 years ago, shows a shopper, on a meager (probably early 70's) budget, who has her priorities straight: Books, Drinks, Shop, and Food.  We can only hope that the remaining $45 was as wisely allotted.


A Wallace Stevens quote found somewhere on the net:

"Poetry and surety claims aren't as unlikely a combination as they may seem," observed Wallace Stevens.

Ancedote of the Jar
I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness

Surround that hill.
The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion every where.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.
Wallace Stevens


Here is the short film, in three parts, on the magnificent Gerald Stern, entitled Still Burning.   He has a brand new volume, Early Collected Poems, 1965-1992, which contains the books, Rejoicings, Lucky Life, The Red Coal, Paradise Poems, Lovesick, and Bread Without Sugar, his first six.  It not only contains some of the best, most accessible, heartrending American poems of the 2nd half of the 20th century, but it is dedicated "To the Sorrowful."

You know who you are. 


To complement the Stern film, an interview with his old pal, Jack Gilbert, another fine poet, from the Paris Review.


In a very positive review (link is an excerpt) of the debut collection by Evgenia Citkowitz entitled Ether: Seven Stories and a Novella, Joyce Carol Oates pulls a great quote from W. H. Auden:

This [collection] is not elevated tragedy or even the more familiar fissures of domestic drama but the stoic-melancholy vision of W. H. Auden, for whom "the crack in the teacup opens / a lane to the land of the dead."

It is amazing, how a brief quote from a longer work can open up its world, ironically not unlike the little crack in the little teacup ...

As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
"Love has no ending.

"I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,

"I'll love till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.

"The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world."

But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
"O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.

"In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.

"In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
Tomorrow or today.

"Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver's brilliant bow.

"O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you've missed.

"The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the teacup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.

"Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
And Jill goes down on her back.

"O look, look in the mirror,
O look in your distress;
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.

"O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbor
With all your crooked heart."

It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.


Here's a 49 second visualization of the haiku by Moritake, "drifting back to the branch:"

"drifting back to the branch" by Moritake from arjuno kecil


This week's feature poem from the archive comes from Lilliput Review #132, July 2003.  Enjoy.

at the edge of the world
to ask
           why the wave drowns
           the fisherman
is to give
           the wave
and to take
           away our own
Jeff Stumpo

And Issa, to wrap it up:

hey boatman
no pissing on the moon
in the waves!
translated by David G. Lanoue 


PS  Get 2 free issues     Get 2 more free issues     Lillie poem archive


Charles Gramlich said...

I got a big kick out of that "Grocery" list. yes indeed. Books budgeted the most!

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

I knew somebody would dig that ...

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed immensely so much of this posting — a favorite Stevens poem, an animated haiku!, and the Paris Review interview of the great poet, Jack Gilbert. I have read almost all of his work, had the good fortune of workshopping with him and taking a long walk together surrounded by lakes and trees. For some as yet unknown reason I feel moved to share a poem I wrote:

pulling the dark net
to his wee boat at dawn
September moon slips through

ah, autumn. Thank you, Don.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Glad you liked Donna. Jack Gilbert's work means a lot to me. Really an excellent poet.

Enjoyed your haiku ... thanks.