To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Friday, March 27, 2009

Reconfiguring Romanticism (26): Jeffrey C. Robinson, Spliced Romanticisms

Link words from the famous Romantic Poets to our bardic contemporaries in more-or-less chance correspondences.


This pleasant tale is
What is “there is”
Ghost and jealous mother
A Poet’s death
Fruit ripening in stillness
The peach teaches thuds

(John Keats, Lyn Hejinian)


A man
down by sickness:

Therefore we

(William Wordsworth, Paul Celan)


Spinning still
I let the incense grow cold
giving my body giving
idle since getting up
bedcovers tumbled
neglect / neglect
spinning still
the rapid line of motion
the curtains down in the sun
earth rolling with visible motion
my body emaciated a prisoner
neglected endless staring
sweeping through the darkness
cliffs wheeling by me

(William Wordsworth, Li Ch’ing Chao)


along the silver of a morning raga
this dull and clodded earth
over inner structure of the Human Thing
touch ethereal along the river Rio Grande

(John Keats, Ed Dorn)


light with
kill or cure
no irritable
get real

(John Keats, Anne Waldman)


rivulets and beauty born murmuring
her face / but who is she / who
the hook / moving in water
peeling onions / in glade and bower
I sit with her on this calm heath
a Lady of my own / who is she
something is moving

(William Wordsworth, Lucille Clifton)


trapped in a box of colors
sealed in / rolled round
history a coffin

the touch of

(William Wordsworth, Adonis)


Speak against bonds, my songs,
Deriving thy light from Heaven
--untended watchfire—
Go, my songs, to those who have delicate lust,
The Tricksome Hermes is here.

(William Wordsworth, Ezra Pound)

N.B. Of his "splicings" & related works, Robinson writes: "The splicings derive from having some years ago noted two poetic domains of literary interest and pleasure continually abutting in my mind. So, it started in response to a personal confusion as to where-I-was in the world. But at some point this juxtaposition took on a more representative cast, indicating an actual historical linkage between a romanticism and a modern-/postmodernism, in the spirit of Pierre Reverdy (as noted in Jerome Rothenberg’s Technicians of the Sacred, p. 456): 'The more distant and legitimate the relation between the two realities brought together, the stronger the image will be . . . the more emotive power and poetic reality it will possess.'” A scholar & a poet by turns, Robinson is the co-editor & co-author of Poems for the Millennium, volume 3 -- our big romanticism book.

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