I Desire More Jargon




I love this Jonathan Williams photo of Denise Levertov from 1957.  I always think Levertov is going all Marianne Moore.  The must be a story behind this photo and I am dying to read Levertov's letters to Duncan, maybe they shed some light on this image.  To be perfectly honest, I know nothing about Levertov and even less about Moore but to me Levertov is channelling Moore in this photo.  Or maybe Hester Prynne.  The Williams photographs from this period are superb.  An iconic shot for a poet that has failed to leave a mark on me.  I have always wondered why Levertov made it into Allen's New American Poetry.  Her poetry seem to me as tightly bound as her turtle neck.  Diane Di Prima and Joanne Kyger would have been better choices. 

That said Overland to the Islands looks fanastic.  Books like this are the reason I want to collect Jargon up to 1960.  I draw the line with the Cornith/Jargon reprint of The Maximus Poems.  Maximus 1-10 and Maximus 11-22 are so tangible.  They feel extravagant.  The Cornith/Jargon edition feels cheap and the reprint really cheapens the earlier editions.  It seems almost mass market to me.

But Overland to the Islands possesses a richness.  Like Zukofsky's Some Time.  Jargon at its best.  They stand out as objects to be held, to be fondled.  They are seductive, printed in scarlet letterpress.  I am bitten by the press's kiss.  I desire the early Jargon titles deeply.

JB

7 comments:

Louis Profeta said...

The review review is so packed I lost the road signs half way in, if happens when packed tight I suppose.

Louis Profeta said...

Jargon, the word pleases me this week, been writing it on and on as it seems to total all poetry, each poet has his own jargon, don't they though? Eliot certainly does, don't he, and take a breeze at e.e. cummings, laugh at his happy genius, jargon, is his, too, what about Poe, all day long, too!

Louis Profeta said...

A nice word in itself, I'm naming my cat again!

Louis Profeta said...

Years ago Eliot whispered 'unguent" in my ear been reading him ever since, such a nice boy, I whispered back! I was his.

Louis Profeta said...

Larkin, then it was Philip he spoke dirty and foul in such a nice way and it seemed all perfectly true, true foul mouth I had almost given up on it. After all everyone was doing it but not like him.I love them all, think of it, they are able to do anything as they are totally free.

Louis Profeta said...

I agree with your note, British poets are the best minds out there in the misty lake free floating and reviewing the size of heaven for a new critique.

Louis Profeta said...

Poetry has given me truth, from that truth I am slowly learning who I am, and I confess that truth as I walk the wooded trail because there I am in the common world of truth that all living things possess naturally and we're most happy together, me and my dog.

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