It's time to play...whooooo said it?!
Today's quote is not poetry related, but it's so good I couldn't resist. This is a three part quiz.
1. Who said the quote above?
2. Who are they talking about?
3. And who wrote it down for posterity?
ANSWERS in RED below:
Who said: "I'm interested in concrete poetry, in some attempt to return to the manuscript page, to use the page space, and the technical possibilities."
a. Guillame Apollinaire
b. Charles Olson
c. Kenneth Patchen
d. John Updike
e. John Auslander
"If the poet begins to ask us to accept a system of opinions and attitudes, he must manage the task of rigorous thought."
a. T. S. Eliot
b. Yvor Winters
c. George Oppen
d. Geoffrey Hill
e. Carl Rakosi
Who said: "there seems to be a desire for austerity and bareness, a striving towards structure and away from the messiness and confusion of nature and natural things."
a. Richard Howard
b. Adam Kirsch
c. T. E. Hulme
d. T. S. Eliot
e. Philip Whalen
Who said: "Poetry will flourish - in terminal capitalism as in terminating communism - only when it is harder to find, when it is perceived as a valuable and virtually disallowed production that must be sought by need and by desire."
a. Geoffrey Hill
b. T. E. Hulme
c. August Kleinzahler
d. Richard Howard
e. Frederick Seidel
Who said: "All poetry is an affair of the body – that is, to be real it must affect the body."
a. T. E. Hulme
b. Alan Ginsberg
c. Robert Pinsky
d. James Dickey
e. Robert Howard
In the quotes below, the subject of the quote has been replaced with the word "poetry" or "poem."
1. Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater.
Author: Albert Einstein
2. A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.
Author: Ludwig Wittgenstein
3. Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about.
Author: Bertrand Russell
4. Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it.
Author: Albert Einstein
5. Evolution is not a force but a process.
Author: John Morley
6. Politics ruins the character.
Author: Otto Von Bismark
7. In politics, nothing happens by accident.
Author: Franklin Delano Roosevelt
8. An excessive knowledge of Marxism is a sign of a misspent youth.
Author: John McCarthy
9. Music fills the infinite between two souls. This has been muffled by the mist of our daily habits.
Author: Rabindranath Tagore
10. There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music. Author: T. S. Eliot
11. Music is the shorthand of emotion.
Author: Leo Tolstoy
12. A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Author: Paul Cezanne
13. Treat a work of art like a prince. Let it speak to you first.
Author: Arthur Schopenhauer
14. Time is the measure of business.
Author: Francis Bacon
THANKS FOR PLAYING!
I'm back in the sidesaddle, and here are the answers to our quiz.
This is going to expose my geekish immaturity re. everything, but the douse (sing. of dice (analogously to 1 mice= mouse(tip o’ th’ hat to Margaret G. for this))) is cast. Ridicule and snigger up your shirt sleeves, those of you who would do so.
From Michael Swanick’s Vacuum Flowers. It’s the rhyme-key that the main character, Rebel Elizabeth Mudlark/Eucrasia Walsh, uses to access another character’s (Wyeth) personality, which she had previously reprogrammed into four distinct persons (warrior, leader, mystic and clown (or fool)). I mean “access” in the same way that a technician at the Apple “Genius Bar” would run diagnostics and generally fiddle with the software and hardware on your iMac (should that be “on youMac”--?). It may not come across –ectomied from the rest of the book as it is, but there’s something haunting and a little unheimlich about those last two lines. Brr.
Michael Swanick, like many good writers who mostly ply the science fiction field, has a refreshingly journeyman-ish approach to writing: learn your craft, work hard, persevere, talent only goes so far, be a professional.
He also runs a blog with poetry, where he will put up a poem and comment. These are usually classics, and, where they are contemporary, he honorably puts up just the beginning lines, as the poem is under copyright. Another sign of a professional who respects profession.
Putting this together I was hoping to recover ditties from the realm of poetry or, barring that, from(ish) the literary canon. But brain functionality was not at the requisite level. So I ended up with obvious ones from so-called high culture, and others from so-called low culture: genres of male adolescence in perpetuity, comics, kid’s cartoons, the movies.
Ditty number two is naturally from Jim Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I read a stanza break after the second “Pull out his eyes.” Joyce is, as James Longenbach points out, a great writer of lines, even here, with the most elementary of elements.
Origin: Winemaker F. F. Coppola’s still underappreciated movie, One From The Heart. Natassa Kinski sings this Tom Waits song to Fred Ward, wherein she is billboard-sized and blue (like the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin™, but way hotter). This is the second or third stanza, I think. Meanwhile, Fred’s SO, Terri Garr (we love you, Terri!) is off having an encounter of her own with monsieur Raul Julia. OFTH is a wonderfully emotionally satisfying flick, in an earned-with-interest way. Aside: Ms. Garr (w.l.y., T!) is the best female guest actor to appear in the archo-Star Trek series. I brush aside any comments to the contrary with ill-concealed contempt.
Another from the sci-fi/scientifiction/speculative fiction world of letters. This is hard to admit, but this is the kind of stuff I remember, as opposed to, say, the whole of Lycidas. If I wasn’t such a poseur, I’d be a dilettante.
From Holiday magazine editor Alfred Bester’s the Demolished Man. It’s the earworm that the protagonist uses to fend off the intrusive mental fingers of telepaths (Espers!). It’s just like the real world, where everyone—save you, Dear Reader—can peruse your thoughts like so much teleprompterese. Yes, you are a blind man in the country of the all-seeing. Didn’t you *know* that?
From Walt Kelly’s Pogo comic. This particular songette was collected in “Potluck Pogo,” I think.
From Tom Disch’s short story The Man Who Had No Idea in the eponymous collection. The protagonist, who is The Man Who Has No Idea, meets an elderly and famous women poet. For some reason, TMWHNI inspires the poet and he gives a list of prompts, the penultimate of which results in the above.
The prompt was, and I quote:
Worth extracting is this slightly earlier exchange between the Man Who and the poet:
From an early 60’s cartoon, Mr. Wizard. In each episode Tutor (or Tooter) Turtle entreats Mr. Wizard (a lizard with an Eastern European Jewish accent) to magicify him into a new career/life/destiny, such as big game hunter, pirate, circus acrobat. When this inevitably turned into a life-endangering catastrophe, TT would shout in a paroxysm of fear “Halp me, Mr. Wizard.” Mr. Wizard would return Turtle safely to the Wiz’s hollow tree house.
From Thomas Stearns Eliot’s 1930 poem, The Hollow Men.
Origin: Also, naturally, The Hollow Men. The Nursery Rhyme this derives from starts with a nine syllable line:
Here we go ‘round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go ‘round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.
To go along with the tune, I want to read Eliot’s lines as
This is the way the world will end,
And so on. Eight syllables. Eliot’s actual line is only seven syllables and only works with the tune of the original nursery rhyme if you stretch out “world” something like whirl-uld. But that seems wrong.
So was Eliot deliberately bringing the line up short deliberately, to throw us off, or was his ear a bit off here?
To sum up:
Nothing makes poetry happen.
Poetry listens to nobody.
Most poets are the unacknowledged poets of the world.
Our usual Saturday Video will be delayed due to technical difficulties, tryptophan-induced coma, cuisine- related injuries, and indolence.
See you in the next day or two....
Also answers to our quiz...