I watch the light by which I see Saw away at my wooden head, Living or dead? I haven't been told and I'll never be. Who is it calls us home from play? That nurse of darkness with Nothing to say. One last up and down. And then Never again.
Universal Humming and Other Poems [Prof Chandrakant P Desai] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A glimpse in the content of the book by. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Chandrakant P. Desai has been writing poems in English for the last 25 years, and in Gujarati for the last 55 years.
Lest I paint too dark a picture of this book, I point out that it is brightened by many examples of Hollander's light-handed intellectual satire. She said, Let there be night and there was night, Intensest night, within which Nothing might Be seen emerging from its ruined tomb. A Selected Poetry is an author's autobiography, his attempt to sort out what seems to have mattered over the years and to connect his several ventures into one coherent story. When a poet makes such a volume he must, like the anthologist, expect to be taken to task for his "shocking omissions.
Only perhaps by adding new poems not in fact from the volumes to which he assigns them but somehow implicit in those poems!
It is curious what Hollander does leave out: all of the poems from Types of Shape , all of the verse from In Time and Place , and everything from Reflections on Espionage. When Hollander left the last-mentioned out of his last selected poems, he argued that it was unexcerptable, but surely a prose gloss such as he used to provide when he read from that volume would make excerpts intelligible, and surely they are charming enough to be worth the risk.
Powers of Thirteen , to my mind not only Hollander's most inventive volume but also his deepest, appears here in its entirety, as does all of his major sequence "Spectral Emanations. How few of the steps recorded in this book turn out to be false ones, how little time, over the decades, has John Hollander spent trying on the current style or retuning his poetic voice.
It is striking not only how strongly Hollander's career is unified by his exploration of the many branches of one big problem what is the relationship between particular poetic forms and the characteristic truths they are able to disclose , but also how often the arguments critics make about his poetry are already issues argued out in the poetry itself.
Consider for instance the oft repeated exclamation: "But all this is just poetry about poetry! I wanted to hear poetry about life! When, aping the literary love, his eye filled With one star, I at eighteen tried rhyming into bed A tall, dark girl named Barbara, now dead, everyone Had an earful of my earnest conceits, studious Wit, and half-concealments of the way I'd hoped we'd end Up; and the more contrived my rhyming became, the more It meant about desire this the ear-filled ones could not Understand.
I marvelled, dazed, at what was done by less Textual souls for fun; I hoped to, like the girl-shy Yeats, pass through the tenderest of gates, and discharge with A mighty spasm in her deep, romantic chasm. The truth was that, though she and I rhymed a few times, my Young words on their paper sheet had far more joy than we. Impatience with poetry about poetry is a form of impatience with poetry qua poetry: "Cut out the fancy stuff and speak the truth" is a way of putting certain kinds of truth out of reach, analogous to the vainglorious pseudo-candor that knows that love is just sex and sex is just biology or that truth is just power and power is just economics.
Form, as Stephen Cushman remarks, is trope. A thought plainly blurted out is less of a thought. Hollander's concerns are intensely particular, which is why his poetry is full of object lessons about form, about metrics, about enjambment, about how to retain an easy and conversational tone--the tone of someone thinking aloud as J. McClatchy puts it --even when solving a technical problem of mad arbitrariness. How many poets love acrostics as Hollander does? Who else would write a thirteen line poem about the U. This concern with verse particulars is partly a consequence of skepticism about grand theory in poetry--which Hollander gently parodies in his mock-high-romantic "Mount Blank.
He has Wittgenstein's faithfulness to the particulars, not Kant's sweep. This particularity and perhaps an embarrassment about things that need saying in a loud voice makes Hollander appear to be a poet of fancy more than a poet of imagination, but the kind of power one calls imaginative often marks Hollander's poetry in ways that a more direct poetry would falsify. Hear it for instance in this meditation on being an American poet, a belated heir to a poetic tradition which made him but which he cannot quite make his own, and which he also cannot fully renew: ubi sunt is the dwelling place of one kind of the sublime:.
We ramble along up-hill through the woods, following No path but knowing our direction generally, And letting fall what may we come up against the worn Fact that all this green is second growth--reaches of wall Knew-high keep appearing among low moments of leaf; Clearings, lit aslant, are strewn across old foundations, This is of course New England now and even the brook, Whose amplified whisper off on the right is as firm A guide as any assured blue line on a roadmap, Can never run clear of certain stones, those older forms Of ascription of meaning to its murmuring, as We hear it hum, O, I may come and I may go, but Half-ruined in the white noise of its splashing water.
What the study could not teach—what the preaching. Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg'd waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sunset! Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers! Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta!
Throb baffled and curious brain! Sound out, voices of young men! Live, old life! Consider, you who peruse me, whether I may not in. Come on, ships from the lower bay! Flaunt away, flags of all nations! Appearances, now or henceforth, indicate what you are, You necessary film, continue to envelop the soul, About my body for me, and your body for you, be hung. The words of true poems are the tuft and final applause.
O for the dropping of raindrops in a song! O for the sunshine and motion of waves in a song! It is not enough to have this globe or a certain time, I will have thousands of globes and all time. To push with resistless way and speed off in the distance. I join the group of clam-diggers on the flats, I laugh and work with them, I joke at my work like a. I know the buoys, O the sweetness of the Fifth-month morning upon the. O something pernicious and dread! Something far away from a puny and pious life! Something unproved!
Something escaped from the anchorage and driving free. To behold his calmness—to be warm'd in the rays of his.
To go to battle—to hear the bugles play and the drums To hear the crash of artillery—to see the glittering of. To see men fall and die and not complain!
To taste the savage taste of blood—to be so devilish! To gloat so over the wounds and deaths of the enemy! There—she blows! Again I spring up the rigging to look with the rest—we descend, wild with excitement,. What attractions are these beyond any before? What beauty is this that descends upon me and rises out. Iowan's, Kansian's, Missourian's, Oregonese' joys! To rise at peep of day and pass forth nimbly to work, To plough land in the fall for winter-sown crops, To plough land in the spring for maize, To train orchards, to graft the trees, to gather apples in.
Joy of the glad light-beaming day, joy of the wide-. Joy of sweet music, joy of the lighted ball-room and the. Joy of the plenteous dinner, strong carouse and drinking?