Saturday, August 26, 2006

William Carlos Williams; Song

beauty is a shell
from the sea
where she rules triumphant
till love has had its way with her

scallops and
lion's paws
sculptured to the
tune of retreating waves

undying accents
repeated till
the ear and the eye lie
down together in the same bed


Hinders Steven Hinders said...

Roses are red
violets are blue

I dig W C W

steve said...

"This Is Just To Say"

This is just to say

I have eaten the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably


for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

(William Carlos Williams)

steve said...

Two poems by Liverpudlian,Roger McGough.


She is so beguiling
That when she beckons
I can run a mile
in twenty seconds


I think about dying
About disease,starvation,
the end of the world

It helps
keep my mind off things

Anonymous said...

Steve - enjoyed the poems..that last one brings to mind one of Baudelaire's. I give you just the last half of it....

'Since you are so fond of rest and quiet, so long as you have some movement to watch,
would you like to go and live in Holland, that land which fills one with bliss?
perhaps you will find plenty to interest you in that country
whose image you have often admired in art galleries.
What about Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts,
and ships berthed right beside the houses?'

My soul remains silent.

'Perhaps you would find Batavia more to your liking?
There, incidently, we would find the spirit of Europe wedded to tropical beauty.'

Not a word. - Can my soul be dead?

'Have you reached such a state of torpor that you enjoy your suffering?
If so, then let us escape to those countries which are the counterparts of death.
I have exactly what you are looking for, my poor soul! We'll pack our bags for Torneo.
Let's go even farther - to the extreme end of the Baltic
- or even farther from life, if you like -
let's set up house at the North Pole!
There the sun only obliquely skims the earth,
and the slow alternation of light and dark cuts out variety and
enhances the monotony, which is half of Nothingness itself.
There we can take long baths of darkness,
while for our entertainment the Aurora Borealis
will offer us its rosy sheaves from time to time,
like reflections of a firework-display in Hell.'

At last my soul erupts and cries out, in its wisdom:
'Anywhere! - so long as it is out of this world!'

- Charles Baudelaire
(Published September 1857.

Sharon said...

From Paterson to Ghetto Defendant? WCW was born and spent most of his life in Rutherford, NJ, two miles from where I was born, two years before his death, and raised. A real local hero (who went to Penn Med, which I stared at for years outside my Penn Museum window), I've always had a soft spot for his work. He was of mixed ethnic parentage like myself and so many from the area and, although of somewhat greater means than the mostly lower middle class community around him, his was a wonderfully accessible regional voice. That accessibility is, of course, what attracted Ginsberg, a native of neighboring Paterson, NJ, to WCW's work (Williams used Ginsberg letters in Paterson). Probably Williams' most famous student, Ginsberg would later co-author Ghetto Defendant, among other works, with Joe Strummer (no secret, a favorite of mine). I'm left thinking about the threads between them. Politics might be the obvious, but Williams seemed to have suffered a great deal of depression from the emphasis placed on his. I'm wondering more about creative threads. I have to get to work on this...

The following always makes me happy.

Danse Russe

If when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,-
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
"I am lonely, lonely,
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!"
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,-

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

Anonymous said...

Sharon -
i remember that poem and love it.
He always straddles the line between humdrum and otherwhere...
thanks much,

ps. they oughta name New jersey the William Carlos Williams State
- Hack N. Sack

Sharon said...

Vin Scelsa, my all-time favorite NJ born and bred DJ, has begun broadcasting Idiot's Delight Redux following the Saturday night broadcast of his long-running free-form show, Idiot's Delight. Redux is a collection of Vin's favorite interviews. He kicked it off this past Saturday night with his 1996 Allen Ginsberg interview in which Scelsa and Ginsberg discuss WCW. Vin spins selections from a new Rhino Records release called In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry, including WCW reading For Elsie. Ginsberg reminisces how WCW was thought of, in his time, as an "awkward provincial jerk" (interestingly, the bad rap I think most New Jerseyans suffer). Ginsberg also reads, sings, and muses on Burroughs...a great listen. Download it here:

Here's to the WCW State...