Sunday, February 28, 2010

Good poets: modern, PH on the Hudson

Yesterday was the second of two Saturday afternoon sessions on modern poetry, taught by Michael Heller and spnsored by Poet's House on the Hudson (formerly known as Poet's House).

Of yesterday's poets--Zukofsky and the Objectivists and on, the poems that were the strongest and hit the room's emotional gut were by Lorine Neideker, Toomer, Hughes, Brooks and, sigh, one poem by Bly.

My take on things, certainly. And certainly I admired the brilliance of the Objectivists (MAJOR NOTE: Nothing to do with Ayn Rand). I know individual poets, but as a school, they're new to me. Oh, how I hate to admit that, but I really haven't read Zukofsky, who spearheaded the movement. Oppen, yes, I've read him. Reznikoff, yes. William Carlos Williams, and how. Zukofsky, no but will descend to the third floor as soon as I publish this, find his work to check out.

I look forward to hearing these same--and other--poets discussed in a looser framework. Michael Heller has a lot of information to share and I appreciate his doing so with great enthusiasm and intellect. One quibble is a comment that the Black poets all reflect strains of jazz, and so on, in their work. It's not that such an insight isn't relevant to Toomer, Hughes, Brooks & co., but that such insights are accepted wisdom. A new approach is on the way, I'm sure.

I'm at the library. Almost out of time. Gotta go.

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