Spontaneous Poetics – 35 (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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