Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Biscellany

Some odds and ends:

1) Thanks to Mars Needs Guitars for putting me on their blogroll. And I didn't even ask to be put on it. It's always nice when someone links to you because it makes you more "relevant" on Google and other search engines. I am on Mars' list of "music blogs," so I guess I'll continue talking about music. By the way, Mars currently has an embed of XTC's "Dear God" video. Great song.

2) Speaking of blogrolls, the first one I was ever added to was Ron Silliman's. He added me after I asked nicely. Silliman's blog is dedicated to poetics, mostly. He puts much more thought and effort into his than I do mine. His site meter reads around 730,000. Anyway, the other day, I posted about the "Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years," which is a New York Times piece that Jill alerted me to. Silliman discusses the same article here. He gives it much greater analysis than I did. If you found my post at all compelling, then check out Ron's blog.

3) Segue-ing my way through this post, Silliman's blog, which usually is among the first webspots to announce the passing of a great poet, hasn't even mentioned Stanley Kunitz' passsing. Since I just posted his picture and a poem, I thought I'd do a little more. First, I am linking a video of Kunitz reading a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins here. This is from the "Favorite Poem Project" website, a great site if you are interested in exploring a little poetry read by average Americans. Granted, Kunitz was beyond average, but the majority of the readers are your average Joes and Janes.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kunitz on several occasions, twice at the 1998 and 2000 Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival. Even in his nineties, Kunitz was a pleasure to hear reading, and a pleasant amiable person. On those two occasions and one more, he signed seven items for me, many of which are anthologies. Click here for a very nice obit, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.

Here's another one of my favorites of his:

Touch Me

Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that's late,
it is my song that's flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it's done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.


4) I hereby lay claim to the term "Biscellany," referring to the miscellaneous thoughts of someone named Bill. There is no link of this word on google (although there will be once I click "Publish Post"). William Safire, if you're reading this, I want credit.

2 comments:

merz said...

hey, the thanks goes to you, I really like this blog!

Merz

Ruth said...

Wow! What a poem!! Thanks for your whole blog! I'm enjoying it.