Spontaneous Poetics – 84 (Christopher Smart)

[Christopher Smart (1722-1771)]

AG: Then there was another set of details that I thought I’d go into today having to do, somewhat, with this sense of arrangement, with this interpretation of arrangement of words on a page. So far, what we’ve got here, is this clear in relation to what I’ve been saying before? is this something you could all do if you were writing that sort of form? I was hoping to present something practical and helpful. For those of you who write just along the margin, I was hoping that this would suggest a different way of … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics 83 (Edward Marshall – 3)

[The conclusion of Gary Snyder’s “Myths & Texts Part III – Burning” opposite the opening of Edward Marshall’s “Leave The Word Alone” in The New American Poetry (1945-1960), Evergreen/Grove Press, 1960 – edited by Donald M Allen – Marshall and his poem were omitted from the revised edition of this book subsequent published as The Postmoderns, 1994]

Poet, Ted Berrigan is sitting in on Allen’s class and he chimes in

Ted Berrigan: Well, Allen, there he (Edward Marshall)’s using the word “they” (“they are/ dangerous”)…

AG: Yeah

TB: …to refer to “word”, “Bible” and “barbed wire”…

AG: Okay

TB: …and … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics 82 (Edward Marshall – 2)

[Leave the Word Alone – Edward Marshall (title page spread, including print by James Kearns), Pequod Press, New York, 1979]

This July 5 1976 “Spontaneous Poetics” lecture (a continuation from the July 2 1976 class, the opening class of the second session, recently transcribed) is introduced as “Lively Poetics” (which as Randy Roark notes, “may be the name given to this second-semester class to differentiate it from the session one class”). That class also had the interim moniker – “Spontaneous and Improvised Poetics”.

Roark goes on to note that “this class is recorded a great distance from the speaker…which will … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 79 (Ed Marshall)

AG: I got turned onto that partly by Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues, which were divisions of thought into the spaces of a notebook page, but for larger draughts of thought, or larger breaths of thought, I got turned on to this form of open-page broken phrasing arranged in series out on the page by a long poem called “Leave the Word Alone” by Edward Marshall, which is [was – sic] in the Don Allen anthology, and was, I think, the first, about 1958, breakthrough of this kind of block form, where thoughts were spread around on the page … Read More