Thursday, December 02, 2010

me and jimmy s.

seem to be in a poetic lull. it happens every now and then. i've learned not to worry, poetry will come again. not that i'm not writing, and i've written a few texts that might become poems. but the overall urge to make a book, which hit me hard a couple months ago, seems to be gone. i've learned to trust in poetry and allow it to speak when it wants and try not to force it. when i'm in a lull i do a lot of reading and trying to get to that original impulse thru movies. by movies i'm talking not only watching them but reading favorite critics, like stephen thrower and bill landis. but the most important of all is rereading jimmy schuyler. for me schuyler is my lodestar when i'm feeling blue and when i'm feeling lost in that sea of words. i came to the poet later in my life, when i was 29 and beginning a slow recovery from a fairly serious breakdown. won't get into details but that is when i read schuyler's diary and his collected. these works are so thrilling and so grounded in life that i really do believe that they sped up the process of my regaining some balance. schuyler is, to this reader, a sane poet. and loving and generous. he was i gather from his work a demanding friend too and lost a few because of his own personality and mental illness. but his overall spirit of generosity and his love of people and words and this world helped bring me back too. so now i'm rereading schuyler, pulling his collected, his diary and his selected letters off the shelf these past few days and i remember once again why i love poetry and why i love, no matter the b.s. of the usual varieties, being in this world.


At 9:20 AM, Blogger Allen said...

I love his novels, too. Nest of Ninnies (with Ashbery) is lavishly funny in its extreme pointlessness. The characters simply withdraw from anything approaching Novel Interest, yet their life ripples with hilarity. Alfred and Guenivere is underplayed with such subtlety that one might miss how sensitive and funny it is. These selfsame qualities arise in Schuyler's poetry as well.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Okir said...

I love Schuyler, and he has been an important poet for me too!

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Vaguely Quotable said...

I think it's always productive to have some fallow time. Step away. Enjoy others' work. Regroup. Etc. Having said that I hope I do see a new book from you soon. Ryan

At 11:12 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

allen, i've known about the novels for like forever but haven't ever found any copies so never read them. at one time i was absolutely fascinated by poets' novels and there was a time when it seemed that every poet, if he or she wanted a book deal for their collections of verse, had to also write a novel so the publisher might have something the public would want to buy.

thanks, jean. there are a few poets i love totally, thom gunn is one, schuyler is the other.

i appreciate that, ryan. i've been toying with the idea of going thru lulu and bringing out my own collections and buying batches of them to pass out to friends.


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