Symposium of the Whole
Jerome Rothenberg (Author), Diane Rothenberg (Author)
Paperback, 522 pages
In this gathering, the Rothenbergs follow the idea of an ethnopoetics from predecessors such as Vico, Blake, Thoreau, and Tzara to more recent essays and manifestos by poets and social thinkers such as Olson, Eliade, Snyder, Turner, and Baraka. The themes range widely, from the divergence of oral and written cultures to the shaman as proto-poet and the reemergence of suppressed and rejected forms and images: the goddess, the trickster, and the “human universe.” The book’s three ethnographic sections demonstrate how various poetries are structured and composed, how they reflect meaning and worldview, and how they are performed in cultures where all art may be thought of as art-in-motion.
Among the poetries discussed are the language of magic; West African drum language and poetry; the Huichol Indian language of reversals; chance operations in African divination poetry; picture-writings and action-writings from
[N.B. A pre-announcement of this reissue appeared in Poems and Poetics on August 17, 2015, along with a reprinting of the opening section of the original 1983 pre-face. (J.R.)]