Whitman, continued from last night.
A note on yesterday: I went to the listening room of the library & heard some Jazz, the first movement of Beethoven’s Violin concerto, J.F.K.’s Inaugural address, Adlai Stevenson giving a eulogy of him, (part of that), & William Faulkner accepting the Pulitzer prize–speaking mainly to those young men & women who would be writers, encouraging them to study the struggles of the human heart, and to try and go beyond the flat possibility of atomic destruction, asserting that we are immortal, because we have souls. Of the Jazz I liked best Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five,” and listened to that lively & dreaming primal piece 3 times.
Back at my desk I read over the intro to Francis Murphy’s critical collection on Whitman, which is the best I have seen, reading enthusiastic & powerful essays by D. H. Lawrence & by Whitman himself about himself–and reading with an attentive & successfully critical eye an essay by dull & dragging Eliot about Whitman, who claimed that Whitman applied only to his particular time & place, which is almost a
From red sand to China and Lovers
River red sand fast twig and land, penumbra revisited, space, crystal,
dynamic, edge-glow, sound patter, sadness in the river, the heart we know,
glistening rod[?] to that, reverent in th room around that–
orange potato & glow to the field, diamond and earth shame
we’re done with you now–can you cake roses & shoulders for leaving
the house exposed by Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse entuned sadly–
wringing asleep the pattern of (it’s summer & I’m creating)
or the wong tipped horse of doubt who comes to tell me
I must be doing something else, let’s go to it.
Silence! red horse of driving flame, or else meet the
mighty carpet in the dust whence you began
Drive not me but pedantry & waste forward–it is a sin for
you to touch creation Lo! Henceforth!
& the wind sparkles solid clasping bosoms of peace
you’re all there waiting for me on the other side
of what I must go through.
I’ll be there! Wait up for me. Don’t worry.
Already done & droning now busy in China on a hill, a little ways off
lies and willow and under there you will find two lovers, lying,
looking up at the sky through the branches and leaves.
warbling low & fleshy rooted matted & patted fresh down in caky brown
sponge loose & arriving at the buoyant stream, reason for entwining, meeting,
& seething under the cross[?] river
Well, dashing delightful & crispy, an end to silence spoken
just make sure they get put in there the right way
glad to see you’ve arrived
how many days a week & it looks like I can’t do it
No I don’t have a means of transportation
If tyou want
Not around here ma’am it seems pretty abundant
It’s hot, hot, and I could use a good breeze
have had water, sausages, cheese & muffins which melted away,
cereal, orange juice & milk & fallen asleep over Whitman
& reread–the essay by Randall Jarrell, read an essay by Pound
& some others & some more of To the Lighthouse &
the rest of Huckleberry Finn,–I finished, & I
think a lot of it. Have arranged my bookshelves &
looked a little for addresses & not finding them quickly
put the box away. Now I am falling asleep writing.
–It often happens–when I
am a mature poet–I won’t fall asleep
What I write will not knock me out (maybe)
like it does not. I will be stronger for it.
(sweat drops roll off my nose)
Generic Christian forms appropriated by various peoples in different ways
I walked down the street and to the left around a block coming to a church, with a partly opened gate & a fence to the back which I got over. A lot of sheep were grazing among the old tombstones–they moved away from me–and there were flowers and their waste & the sunlight streaming against the side of the things there. The air was clear and things were peacefully right. Part of the old town wall was in the back (Cashel) and I spent some time staring at a sheep, writing some, & wading[?] among the stones & to the back where the wall was.
“Where is the supreme ecstasy in mankind, which makes day a delight and night a delight, purpose an ecstasy and a concourse in ecstasy, and single abandon of the single body and soul also an ecstasy under the moon?”
D. H. Lawrence.
“Believing in Democracy; We acknowledge no superior.”
–on Firehouse on North Main Street.
Letting Lawrence live in me (because I read him) I can’t help it
(Becoming toward him) What he was, when he thought and read (and wrote)
I thinking (in the quick of life) with passionate energy (violently awake)
Strong on orange juice
Dancing Destructive Shiva (Moonshine, Midnight, Dark (rest)
Nervously Excited–Asked to create–Genius cooperating–Must give forth
The Intelligent Answer Emphasized to the quick of itself (the phrase)
or the thought wanted (Homely in Idaho) A whole state (congealed,
thickened by the mass) Only dangerously still (Like a cult, at night)
The One Answer
Becomes distinctive midnight
The Child at Night
The One Star and Soft Night
In the East
In the Wind.
Lawrence (Genius to me here as there) Confirms (Excites, destroys, refuses)
Leaves (Bourne ona tree, by the wind, shadowing awake A mind,)–
Allowed to form after several and various readings
Reading Lawrence Again
So that here–
In Providence–I may also join,
in his blooming discoveries of Mind
transforming soul in the leveling destruction of the finest & deepest criticism
to the things in the blood (and of the blood)
Providence July 1983
Let mind criticize herself to destruction until [so that] after the leveling the
soul may rise, whistling with the being found there,
in a new and incomprehensible situation under the stars.
May orange blossoms bloom in fragrant tufts forever by your home.
Let the wet whistling wind breeze in shifting slants at unexpected moments.
Let winnowing puddles of fresh & furrowing rain mold gracefully a bowl for you.
Let you still be ready to stand at the soil’d edges of the leaping foam.
May you always be gifted at the delicate moment to deliver your flowers in handfuls.
May you never be afraid to easily and generously create.
“The present eye praises the present object.”
Ulysses, Troilus and Cressida
III iii 180
“Magic of style is creative: its possessor himself creates, and he inspires and enables his reader in some sort to create after him. And creation gives the sense of life and joy: hence its extraordinary value.”
“To be saturated in expressions of this kind, is to have a language sensitive to the slightest finger-touch, and at a time like the present when the fashion is to insist on the infinite complexity of the modern consciousness, and to make fritters of English in the attempt to communicate this complexity, an intimate knowledge of Shakespeare seems doubly advisable.”
–J. M. Murry:
“Studying Shakespeare is studying how to write.”
“The art of recognizing his perceptions is itself perceptive, and the delight of ratifying his language, by reference ot the reality upon which he shaped it, is almost a creation.”
I want to study Shakespeare because I want to learn how to write. I am young yet, and am not done with my early growing. My maturity in language depends on the intimate knowledge of Shakespeare I can get by often reading & trying to remember his writing.
I can agree on the importance of order–on myself as yet growing, on Shakespeare’s lines.
“lackeying the varying tide”
as making the most of mothion, possessing the best
mention if ideas / rhytmical thoughts in images
the highest, the best, and the brightest style of
language, rich, loaded with sensuious perceptions.
a man[?], a treasurehouse, and me in immediate relation with my voice.
Faulkner is to Thomas what
Cezanne is to Van Gogh.
Let me sleep to the heart entire, off the shaded path
on the grassy bank, strewn with rose petals and dangled
with a jetty of pure air, a fountain of freshest droplets
silvery cold and iced with dew
When writing (but not a letter) there is a violent
reduction of security
Your one a
If I could fissure out all unnecessary words
Find a pattern in the words themselves
Forget that I use words at all
Try to learn something new about literature
(literature is not just [?])
Basho: “No matter where your interest lies, you will not be able to accomplish anything unless you bring your deepest devotion to it.”
the celebrations the parades
the nights in bed in Oxford
May Day Morning
Meadow Walk with Amanda
As firmly cemented clam-shells
Fall apart in autumn,
So I must take to the road again,
Farewell, my friends.