Friday, June 24, 2011

Gerald Stern Reading

 Jack Gilbert & Gerald Stern 

For this Friday, here is a full-length reading by Gerald Stern at Fishouse. It takes a bit to get started with a long intro and Stern taking some time to get to the mike (with many a nearly off-mike comment on the way), but it's worth the wait.

I also found part 1 of the Drexel Interview with Stern (which has been viewed by 3 people and I think I was 2 of them), with part 2 seemingly lost in the ether or just never posted, either at YouTube or on the Drexel page.  Though it is only the first half, it is a solid, satisfying first half (about 15 minutes), which I highly recommend.

I've just begun reading the new Kabir translations by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra.  Here is one of the poems from that collection which originally appeared in the New York Review of Books, who is also the publisher. I hope to report back on this collection sometime soon.

Except That It Robs You of Who You Are

   Except that it robs you of who you are,
   What can you say about speech?
   Inconceivable to live without
   And impossible to live with,
   Speech diminishes you.
   Speak with a wise man, there’ll be
   Much to learn; speak with a fool,
   All you get is prattle.
   Strike a half-empty pot, and it’ll make
   A loud sound; strike one that is full,
   Says Kabir, and hear the silence.
Kabir, translated from the Hindi                               
by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

"moon" and "blossoms"
empty babble
of a floating world
translated by David G. Lanoue


Finally, some early returns from around the web on Past All Traps which I thought might be of interest:

the outlaw poetry network
Poems as Gifts: The Improvised Life
Pittsburgh City Paper
Razored Zen


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature.  Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 106 songs


Anonymous said...

I was # 4 ..

some his stories right out of my 40's and 50's experiences/ childhood..

my parents also threw out a trunk full of my 50's and 60's 'stuff'


Issa's Untidy Hut said...


We'd all be millionaires many times over if we still had those baseball cards, comic books, and books that found their way serendipitously to the curb.

Anonymous said...

most of what was in what I had thought was safe
MY trunk was my own writings/notes/drawings//
et ceteras

when I after a few years went to that trunk what I found was about 15 years of my parents tax returns
and their back-up documentation just in case their DGS grocery store & they were audited...


on the top of the trunk was their collection of 40-50 Reader's Digest Condensed Books !

very similar story as the one Gerald Stern tells...


the mac and phony cheese with canned tuna-fish & canned cream-of-mushroom GOOP in it
was our Friday meal

I didn't collect many baseball cards as we sold them in the store
what I collected was REAL silver dollars. quarters & dimes the ones before that copper was inserted...

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Ah, yes, real silver dimes, quarters and all ... were your drawings etc. from childhood or a bit later on?

That kind of loss, no matter the age, has the power of the loss of a first love ...

Anonymous said...

things were from around The 6ith Grade

which was about when Ike/Nixon "ran" things

(into the ground

my solution to losing things AND especially those great loves & the images of "Her" (a cutie named Anita, one named Betty, another called Diane, etc

was to internalize and hold the images until

again and again and again

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

We all right the same poem etc. over and over ...