Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Arlene Corwin writes

Am I Really Bad?
(after reading about Charles Wright –
named America’s Poet laureate two days ago [2014])

Am I really bad?
Because I feel the beat
Up to my
Use pronoun I
When I is definitely out? I try
To skimp on adjectives,
Shave words
To not disturb
A decent verb.
But there are buts and ands
And linking cons -
That juncture – itises:
An irritation to all poets.
I feel as if it’s good;
Some of it good,
Say, out of ten there’s one –
But certainly not none!
Am I bad without the really?
It was just the other day I thought a genie came to live with me.
It’s ok,
You can say it like it is!
I can take it.

Charles Wright
 Charles Wright -- David Levine

1 comment:

  1. Charles Wright was born in Pickwick Dam, Tennessee, in the US and became a poet while serving in the US army in Italia after reading Ezra Pound's verses written there. A graduate of Davidson College, a small private liberal arts school in Davidson, North Carolina, that has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars, and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Sapienza University of Roma and at the University of Padua. From 1966 to 1983, he taught at the University of California, Irvine, where he directed the school's Master of Fine Arts program, before becoming chancellor of The Academy of American Poets and Souder Family Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. A prolific poet, his translation of Eugenio Montale's "The Storm and Other Poems" won him the PEN Translation Prize in 1979, and hor hos own work he garnered the National Book Award in 1983 for "Country Music: Selected Early Poems," the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for his lifetime achievement, awarded annually by The Poetry Foundation (the publisher of "Poetry"), and he Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for "Black Zodiac." In 2014-2015 he was "Poet Laureate of the United States" -- formally, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. The office was created in 1985 to replace the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. At the time of his appointment he commented, "If people are good you don’t teach them; they learn and they pick up stuff because they’re already on their way. People that are not good, you could talk around their poems. You could teach them notions of lousy, you could teach them prayer and you could teach them strict attention."
    Words and the Diminution of All Things

    The brief secrets are still here,
    and the light has come back.
    The word remember touches my hand,
    But I shake it off and watch the turkey buzzards bank and wheel
    Against the occluded sky.
    All of the little names sink down,
    weighted with what is invisible,
    But no one will utter them, no one will smooth their rumpled hair.

    There isn't much time, in any case.
    There isn't much left to talk about
    as the year deflates.
    There isn't a lot to add.
    Road-worn, December-colored, they cluster like unattractive angels
    Wherever a thing appears,
    Crisp and unspoken, unspeakable
    in their mute and glittering garb.

    All afternoon the clouds have been sliding toward us
    out of the
    Blue Ridge.
    All afternoon the leaves have scuttled
    Across the sidewalk and driveway, clicking their clattery claws.
    And now the evening is over us,
    Small slices of silence
    running under a dark rain,
    Wrapped in a larger.


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