Wednesday, March 02, 2005

everyone meet Shecky Artaud, Tom Beckett's alter ego at his new blog. I've kept the archive of his old blog up at my links cuz I dig it, and I dig it that Beckett is back doing personal blogging.

I've got a jones for poets' notebooks. I don't read much fiction, really, but I do love reading the notebooks of poets. that is why blogs are so attractive to me. I've noticed poets are such inquisitive creatures who read everything under the sun. is it the same for writers of fiction? do they also read poetry as deeply and lovingly as poets read novels, stories, bios, textbooks, journals, magazines, etc. etc. is that an idiotic question?

anyway, I've been thumbing thru the notebook entries of a great pleasure-giving poet, Anselm Hollo, lately. his selections were published in The Poet's Notebook: Excerpts from the Notebooks of Contemporary American Poets, ed. by Stephen Kuusisto, Deborah Tall and David Weiss (W.W. Norton; 1995). bought the book from the university bookstore back in my undergrad days. there are scores of other writers here but my favorite is definitely Hollo. here is a taste.

Uninspired
today
my 'inspiration' is like Kit Robinson's cats
First
they move into the kitchen wall
Then
they were gone.
(p. 91)

or here is Hollo on the art of translation.

On translation: the latin shrug does not involve a raising of shoulders / contraction of shoulderblades. It is, instead, an oblique glance skyward, plus a tilt of chin, accompanied by palms outspread between waist and shoulder level: Hence, "shrug" (noun or verb) is not really translatable into Spanish. (Informant: Argentinian poet Mario Trejo.)
(p. 96)

that entry alone is worth the price of the book. and but so.