Expansive Poetics – 24 (Lorca on Dali)

[Federico Garcia Lorca and Salvador Dali c.1925]

Expansive Poetics – June 30 1981, a new class. Allen takes up, once again, briefly, after he left of, with further remarks on Federico Garcia Lorca and the wider context of European modernism – and a read-through/analysis of Lorca’s poem, “Oda a Salvador Dali”  AG: .. my own method was, as I conceived it, taking the naturalistic long-line of (Walt) Whitman, or the naturalistic humanistic open form, and combining (it) with the mind-jumps of twentieth-century post-Einstein-ian Surrealism. Because (Albert) Einstein‘s Theory of Relativity was actually conceived around 1907-1917, about … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 23 – (Lorca 4)

[Allen’s Lorca class, continuing from here. A student is reading from Lorca’s Llanto por la muerte de Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“  (“Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“)]  Student: “La piedra es una frente donde los suenos gimen/sin tener agua curva ni ciprerss helados./La piedra es una espalda para llever al tiempo/con arboles de lagrimas y cintas y planetas.” AG: That’s a pretty great line, in English – “Stone is a shoulder on which to bear Time/with trees formed of tears and ribbons and planets.” Let’s see now, “ “Stone is a shoulder” – … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 22 (Lorca – 3)

AG: We might get on to this [Lorca’s “Llanto por la muerte de Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“  (“Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“)], because this is a very amazing piece of rhetoric, depending a lot on repetition. (It’s at the end of the book) “A las cinco de la tarde” (I guess the Spanish would be subject more to intelligence) – “tarde“- “A las cinco de la tarde/Eran las cinco en punto de la tarde” – It was exactly five in the afternoon  – “Eran las cinco en punto..” – Right on the point – “…de la tarde/Un … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 21 (Lorca – 2)

Llanto por un amigo muerto, del poeta García Lorca. AG: Well, the “Ode to Walt Whitman” was my favorite of all the (Federico Garcia) Lorca poems. But the international classic that everybody cites as Lorca’s great poem is his “Lament for a Bullfighter” [“Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“] because the subject-matter is so central (to the) Spanish – a bullfighter – upon the death of a bullfighter – and it’s also one of his most elevated poems, and the homoerotic element in the “Ode to Walt Whitman is at least suppressed sufficiently, or generalized sufficiently into a cultural stereotype that Lorca can get away with all … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 20 (Lorca -1)

[Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936)]

[Lorca’s Passport]

AG: How many know this poem? – Lorca’s “Ode to Walt Whitman”?  One, two, three, four, five, six. seven. Anybody else over there? How many do not? Oh great, great.  I think this is my idea of the greatest poem of the century, or this is my idea of what.. between this and (Guillaume) Apollinaire’s “Zone” (“Zone”, because it was original, it was the first one that invented Surrealist mind, breaking-apart, this, because it took elemental Spanish lyric passionate intensity and mixed it up with Surrealist cut-up, so to speak – the Surrealist … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 12 (Walt Whitman – 1)

Walt Whitman
AG: With (Walt) Whitman what I want to do is.. With Whitman I thought now we’re getting into the heart of the 20th Century expansion and expansiveness. So what I’ll do next – this class and the next class (is ) – a sequence of Whitman, followed by sons of Whitman or admirers of Whitman –  heroic poets reflecting Whitman.  So it would be Fernando Pessoa in Portugal, 1904, writing an “Ode to Walt Whitman” (Saudação a Walt Whitman), and then (Federico) Garcia Lorca
Student: How do you spell that?
AG: P-E-S-S-O-A – Fernando Pessoa. He’s the … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 132

[Henri Rousseau – The Sleeping Gypsy – oil on canvas, 129.5 cm × 200.7 cm (51.0 in × 79.0 in) 1897 in the collection ofthe Museum of Modern Art]

Student: I’d like to ask you and Philip Whalen what languages that you read poetry in besides English and in what ways you find it useful? AG: I read Spanish – (Federico Garcia) Lorca and (Pablo) Neruda, and Saint John of the Cross, and various little odd things in Spanish – and I was influenced a good deal by Lorca’s “Ode to Walt Whitman” – the rhythm and sort … Read More