Breath Poems

[Zephrus. God of the winds (detail from “The Birth of Venus,” Sandro Botticelli]

AG: .. ..(I cited some lines)  from Hart Crane’s poem “Hurricane” as an example of dochmaic meter… and the whole poem is really interesting, and it’s just in the sequence of poems I’ve been referring to, one time or another, like William Carlos Williams’ poem about Thursday  (air – coming in and out of his nose) , Shelley’s “Ode To the West Wind – (“Make me thy lyre even as the forest is’”… “Be thou me spirt fierce (the wind)”, or, “The breath whose might I have … Read More

From The Elizabethan Songbook (Breath & Air)


 [ The Fool’s costume (the jester’s costume) – cap ‘n bells]

Student: Yeats wrote a poem called “The Cap and Bells

AG: Well (W.B.) Yeats did.. (that’s more) Irish..This is Cap and Bells too. I just (give you) that – but I wanted to get back into the breath into the open space. So it’s sort of insubstantial breath finally, So we can go back to Samuel Daniel. where we were,  on page one-hundred-and-ninety, can sort of get back into…

Peter Orlovsky: Which page?

Student: One-ninety

AG: Oh yes, before.. yes, one-ninety. Before we get there, … Read More

Meditation and Poetics – 14 (Thomas Greaves)

AG: (However,) I wanted to read a couple (of poems))  I want to stay with the breath for a moment.  Back to the breath.
Thomas Greaves – 1604.  You can find this in an Elizabethan Songbook edited by Noah Greenburg, Doubleday, 1955:
“What is beauty but a breath?  Fancy’s …” 
Is somebody making noise here? –  Okay –
 “What is beauty …” – I’ll start again.
What is beauty but a breath?/Fancies twin at birth & death./  The color of a damask rose/ That fadeth when the north wind blowes/ ‘tis such that though all sorts do … Read More