Plurality By Louis MacNeice

Plurality

By Louis MacNeice

It is patent to the eye that cannot face the sun
The smug philosophers lie who say the world is one;
World is other and other, world is here and there,
Parmenides would smother life for lack of air
Precluding birth and death; his crystal never breaks—
No movement and no breath, no progress nor mistakes,
Nothing begins or ends, no one loves or fights,
All your foes are friends and all your days are nights
And all the roads lead round and are not roads at all
And the soul… Click here for this wonderful poem…

NPG P1676; (Frederick) Louis MacNeice by Rollie McKenna

by Rollie McKenna, bromide print, 1954


Ralph Ellison’s Faux Haiku

Albert Murray, Ralph Ellison’s friend, remembers a short poem, which I will call a haiku, from their days as students together: Murray recalls the author of Invisible Man as the smartest-dressed upperclassman at Tuskegee.  Murray was impressed that Ellison always seemed to check out the best books in the library, and he presented a “nascent elegance” in his two-tone shoes, bow tie, contrasting slacks, and whatever else the best haberdasher in Oklahoma had to offer.

Ralph Ellison In Harlem

“I even remember the poetry Ralph wrote,” Murray said:

“‘Death is nothing, / Life is nothing, / How beautiful these two nothings!’ “


Ring Them Bells, brothers and sisters

Ring Them Bells
BY: BOB DYLAN

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Ring them bells, ye heathen
From the city that dreams
Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
’Cross the valleys and streams
For they’re deep and they’re wide
And the world’s on its side
And time is running backwards
And so is the bride

Ring them bells St. Peter
Where the four winds blow
Ring them bells with an iron hand
So the people will know
Oh it’s rush hour now
On the wheel and the plow
And the sun is going down
Upon the sacred cow

Ring them bells Sweet Martha
For the poor man’s son
Ring them bells so the world will know
That God is one
Oh the shepherd is asleep
Where the willows weep
And the mountains are filled
With lost sheep

Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf
Ring them bells for all of us who are left
Ring them bells for the chosen few
Who will judge the many when the game is through
Ring them bells, for the time that flies
For the child that cries
When innocence dies

Ring them bells St. Catherine
From the top of the room
Ring them from the fortress
For the lilies that bloom
Oh the lines are long
And the fighting is strong
And they’re breaking down the distance
Between right and wrong


Melville’s rightness

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Greek Architecture
Herman Melville

Not magnitude, not lavishness,
But Form—the Site;
Not innovating wilfulness,
But reverence for the Archetype.

I just finished Moby Dick for the second time. A hybrid, genius work way ahead of its time, combining a nonfiction, direct address to the reader and narrative fiction, in short a swirl and swerve that follows Melville’s daemon to tell his tale like no other, which he did. By the end, he’s understandably exhausted. But we have been told in a new, pre-modern archetype.


Harrison writes about Red Pine

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Red Pine, Stonehouse and Gary Snyder are mentioned in Jim Harrison’s new trilogy of novellas that was just released, The Ancient Minstrel:

“After attending and giving at least a hundred poetry readings he could remember only one that struck him as a hundred percent genuine and honest. A poet named, simply enough, Red Pine read from an ancient Chinese poet he had translated, called Stonehouse. Red Pine read with quiet integrity just what he translated. Usually after a reading he was in a private snit and needed a drink, but now he walked down and looked at the harbor, his spine still tingling. The other true exception was Gary Snyder. He never wanted Snyder’s readings to end.”


It

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Photograph by Alex Markovich

 

 

It

Isn’t it it

Or is it it

Or is it it

It’s it isn’t

It.


Jim Harrison, RIP

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A great writer, Jim Harrison. died today at his casita in Patagonia, Arizona.

Soul

My spirit is starving.

How can it be fed?

Not by pain in the predictable future

nor the pain in the past

but understanding the invisible flower

within the flower that tells it what is,

the soul of the tree that does the same.

I don’t seem to have a true character

to discover, a man slumped on his desk

dozing at midafternoon… – From Dead Man’s Float

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