Spontaneous Poetics – (Reading List 6) (Frank O’Hara, Hart Crane, John Milton)

AG:Frank O’Hara Lunch Poems is an easy way to get into O’Hara. Put out by City Lights.

Anne Waldman: Selected Poems would be the best buy tho’

AG: Yeah

Anne Waldman: And there are some (of them) in it.

AG: Are (the) Lunch Poems in there? – Yeah? – Okay, then the Selected Poems. There’s a giant book (Collected Poems) and then there’s a selection of the giant book – and of those..”Khrushchev Is Coming To New York” [the actual title is “Poem (Khrushchev is Coming On The Right Day)]- well, a lot of things in the Don Allen anthology are classic Frank O’Hara – “In Memory of My Feelings”, “Khrushchev Is Coming To New York” (sic), “Ode to Mike Goldberg” (is that in there?) [ the full title, “Ode to Michael (‘s birth and other births)”] – Goldberg- So look him up in the Don Allen anthology and then, there’s the whole book. He is the most modern American poet, in that sense of Apollinaire being the first modern-world, international-style, poet.  Yeah.

AG: Hart Crane. (A) great soul. There’s a lot of Crane in the library. He has a long poem called “The Bridge”, in which different sections are interesting. The “Proem” is interesting, and “Atlantis”, but  anywhere you look in “The Bridge” will be good. “Atlantis” is a great peon Bach- fugue hymn rhapsody (somewhat like (Percy Bysshe) Shelley’s “Ode To The West Wind” in its quality of rhapsodic ascent.

Student: Allen?

AG: Yeah

Student: “Voyages I, II, (and) III” is a.. good short..introduction to Hart Crane.

AG: Yeah, I would say “Voyages” and “In Memorium, Ernest Nelson

(Michael) McClure, you’ve already a sample of, (Robert) Duncan, you’ve already a sample of ….

AG: (John) Milton.  Since under half (according to the survey) haven’t read Milton, try getting in to “Lycidas”, that’s one poem, “Lycidas”, his elegy for a dead poet friend.

Student: Il Penseroso?

AG: Well, there’s “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” – they’re the best known (“L’Allegro is the best known poem. (Then there’s) the sonnet “On His Blindness” (and) “On The Piedmont Massacre”(“On The Late Massacre in Piedmont”), but “Lycidas” is probably the strongest thing, among short poems by Milton.

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