Friday, August 19, 2005

Neither Did Weldon Kees

It’s not like I’ve come to read this poetry out of the clear blue sky. My first devotions besides Frost included Whitman and Ginsberg and Snyder. Especially in the seventies. So The New York School I & II were, although overlooked, not outlandish. And unlike some, they never bore me. Especially the likes of Berrigan and O'Hara.
Sonnet August Seventeen

I want to write a poem in faultless meter
but in that New York School of easy diction
like Frank O’Hara played on Lana Turner,
but I sustained a haircut yesterday
and now there’s less to animate my speech
so vast anxieties insinuate
ancestral grand conspiracies about
my daughter married to an officer
and I BESEECH a perfect gentleman,
then moving to Japan, abandoning
her lifework, getting stationed later in
some netherworld like Newark blighted,
bottomless pit, but then it comes to me
that Frank O’Hara never had a daughter.

~Son Rivers 2005
And then there’s this Ron Padgett & David Shapiro quote from a preface to An Anthology of New York Poets discovered this morning at Shanna Compton’s place :
…there has never been any kind of hard and fast notion of how a person ought to write. If he wanted to write a sonnet he could do so without feeling that someone might look at him sideways, even if his sonnet did have fifteen lines, or fifteen thousand lines. The freedom to work with traditional forms and syntax, and the freedom to work with them freely, to use them as the Muse dictated, or to ignore them altogether, is one of the most cheerful things…

3 comments:

vincentt said...

Words are cool...

Mark said...

Hah! The spam comments are somehow appropriate in the context of the poem (which is charming, by the way.) Most people worry about their daughters marrying poets!

Greg said...

They are that Vincentt

Mark, at least she's not considering marrying a spammer!