Two Things I Read for the First Time Today That You've Probably Already Read
1. Hymn to Life
by James Schuyler
This poems shimmies forward so effortlessly. Not only by the mechanics of enjambment but because each sentence brings a surprise with it. Rarely is the surprise momentous enough that you have to stop & copy down or meditate on, but rather is a kind of delight of image or thought or transition that propels. So good that it feels like Spring.
And that same blue jay returns, or perhaps
It is another. All jays are one to me. But not the sun which seems at
Each rising new, as though in the night it enacted death and rebirth,
As flowers seem to. The roses this June will be different roses
Even though you cut an armful and come in saying, “Here are the roses,”
As though the same blooms had come back, white freaked with red
And heavily scented. Or a cut branch of pear blooms before its time,
“Forced.” Time brings us into bloom and we wait, busy, but wait
For the unforced flow of words and intercourse and sleep and dreams
In which the past seems to portend a future which is just more
Daily life. The cat has a ripped ear. He fights, he fights all
The tom cats all the time.
2. Call Me Ishmael by Charles Olson
Far more Montaigne than lit crit. In the end this books seems to be a way of mapping out his own geography of influence. It helps me to understand Maximus better than the exegetical books I've looked through. Olson's playing the role of Melville, jumping the line between an accumulation of the interpretation of facts & attempting the fiction of recreating the creative mindset. Such a thrilling read that it takes a second look to see that I disagree with his assumptions.