Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Arise, arise

Welcome back.  I checked the most recent edition of "A" out of the library and read Barry Ahearn's intro, and I checked Zukofsky's play Arise, arise out of another library.  I inhaled both of that as well.  I struggle reading a lot of things, but I have a huge capacity for Zukofsky and writing about Zukofsky.  Not that I understood Arise, arise.  I enjoyed it, but I could not summarize it.  I think reading Pound's Cantos back around 1983 I developed the habit of reading difficult texts as music, not worrying much about the meaning.  I do that most of the time when I read poetry.   Some poetry yields its meaning easily, but I tend to read poetry out loud, focusing on the sound.

Recently I've read some Frank O'Hara.  Thirty years ago I considered him my favorite poet, but now I struggle to read much of him.  I still love a few of his poems: "The Day Lady Died,"  "On Talking with the Sun of Fire Island," etc.  I fell in love with Ken Koch's poetry in 1984, and that led me to his friends Frank O'Hara and John Ashberry.

Last night I taught "The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock" at the community college.  I marvel at the music of that poem.  Now, do I appreciate it because I've read it so often and taught it so often?  I don't know where to turn to find more poems I'll love as much at that one.  Zukofsky seems my favorite guide at present, but perhaps I'll return to Eliot one of the these years in a more serious way.