Saturday, June 14, 2014

The night will be dark and cold the ground

The way the willow catches the last light of each day here; 
I always notice these few splendid moments.

There has been a great deal of fussing in the news about the new US Poet Laureate, Charles Wright. In checking books I have here in Idaho, I found only one. It is a long landscape-format book that was put together by Wright and artist Eric Appleby, called Outtakes. Each double page spread pairs a small abstract section of a black and white photograph by Appleby with a typed poem by Wright, presented in facsimile, including dirty typewriter keystrokes and a few hand-corrections. It is an interesting idea that I would like to copy. Naturally I find interesting the the conjunction of image and text. Although these images are such small details so enlarged as to be virtually meaningless blurs, I think. I also notice that, around the middle of the book, Wright seems to have cleaned his typewriter keys.

All our family typewriters are gone, alas, our college portables went to India with a friend many years ago, and I have forgotten what we did with the dissertation Smith Corona which lived on the workbench in the garage for many years before it left our ken. Because these poems have made me quite lonely for typescript.


Deadfall and limb-bearded tamaracks,
                                         the grass in ginocchio, creek gurgle,
Landscape on which the sun has gone down,
First smudge of shadows beginning to form,
                                                         light still on ridge line.

Year after damped year, anxiety burns out my heart,
I know that one must not say so,
But, year after year, anxiety burns out my heart.

Charles Wright, from Outtakes, Sarabande, 2010. no page numbers.

Typing this poem, I noticed the big difference in this font and typewriter font. This font is much more economical of space, so, in the book, the poem spreads out across the whole long page.

In ginocchio,I think, means on one's knees, or kneeling. And I quite like the rhythms of this bleak poem when read aloud.

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