I HATE THE INTERIOR OF THIS POEM

The National Gallery Masterpiece Tour: Canaletto's 'A Regatta on ...

I hate the interior of this poem,

A wretched copy, a trick of words

Lying on the floor like old records,

The prostitute listening to Johnny Mathis

Before she gets dressed and leaves her boyfriend

Smoking, and longing for her.

I hate the old interior

Of poems, a thousand poems,

Stealing down steps of lights tonight,

A thousand episodes

You suspect are not original,

But you consume them anyway.

Once you start, you can’t stop.

Let’s stay inside all day,

Hoping by the Grand Canal.

THE INVOLUNTARY IS ALWAYS PREFERRED

The Traveler... l âme du voyage: If you have an impecable taste in ...

The involuntary is always preferred,

So that ignorance is not just bliss, but life.

In the involuntary we rest,

And sleep, and do not worry about our breathing,

Do everything without effort,

Live without our heart beat

Ever becoming a distraction.

Or, when our heart does grow loud,

We welcome it

And its sudden excitement.

Everything is as it should be,

(I’ve always wanted to say that in a poem)

Even this rhyme sweetly

Involuntary.

Even on those days of rough fortune,

We would yet be smooth,

Watching our poem write itself.

It might tell us to do something

And we would not do it.

Or, we would do it,

As I did once, when you

Came to me, I don’t know why,

Full of purpose and trepidation.

 

THIS IS WHY I DON’T CARE

The Grand Women Artists of the Hudson River School | Arts ...

The fantasy is always better than the reality

Except in those cases, extremely rare,

Where reality is a happy accident.

That’s why hardly anything happens and we don’t care.

The lazy stealing of money online is the trend these days.

Theives and comics who confront you in person

Are becoming a thing of the past.

Trust us. Mail in your vote.

The bureaucrats who live in blue-state ghost towns

Want you to know that red states,

Gathering without masks at beaches

And shooting guns? “You work for us now.”

Poetry is winning.

We all saw it coming. Robbery with a six shooter

Replaced by robbing with a fountain pen.

A mind, a password, and a few rules

Now rules you. Muscles are useless.

Trump Tower contains Obama spies.

This is real. Fantasy has won.

The lighter it is the faster it flies.

Why should I be with you, or even speak your name?

I feel hot and pleasant

Thinking of whatever I want.

 

THE ATTEMPT TO KNOW

Tips to Understanding Renaissance Paintings

Once my lover told me she wanted to know

The precise date she would die—

No. This is too much courage and foresight for me.

Too much planning would be involved.

Your whole life would become a poem,

And you, its calendar.

I could not do it,

Although there is nothing to do,

But too much to see—

Although how much would we see, really?

The days remaining,

Like phrases of this poem not yet written,

As future days, would still be abstract

Even as we gradually lived them,

The same as before.

I couldn’t do it for me, or for you.

Time moving would be everything,

But isn’t this everything already,

Whether or not we know precisely

When we are going to die?

And yet—the precision

Of knowing when—I need more flattery than that.

To see our death ahead of us

Would replace a general fact

With a specific one.

Why sharpen what is already a sharp knife?

If I knew, I couldn’t love her

So much as mourn for her.

But guess what. I’m doing that now anyway.

She is gone. Yeah, she left me.

I thought too much. And saw too much.

I thought I saw wrong in her.

My attempt at foresight—

Which I never, never wanted—

Betrayed me, anyway.

It removed me from her calendar.

I am gone from her poem.

It’s curious that foresight

Sends us weeping over mountains of the past,

Just as ghosts of whole poems haunt passages.

Don’t they?

 

DISINFORMATION

Can your pets get coronavirus, and can you catch it from them ...

Disinformation Experts played with their kitty cats last night
Before they snuggled into a good night’s sleep.
They woke up with sunny smiles, looking forward to another day
Twittering against disinformation.
A Disinformation Conference sponsored by the Wilson Center
And the Stanford Internet Observatory agreed some top-down protections
Against disinformation were becoming increasingly necessary
Since malign disinformation sources were using free speech laws
To peddle various forms of disinformation to their kitty cats.
We must protect our kitty cats, the Disinformation Experts said.
BuzzFeedNews was preparing more interviews for the sunny day.
Experts and scientists were expected to speak in the beautiful evening
As well, not only about Russian disinformation, but disinformation
Flowing down from White House officials, and disinformation
Continued to mount, according to the kitty cats
Owned and bred by these same officials.
Restrictions on misinformation, disinformation, and even propaganda
From all sources, were being considered, even as some thought about
Their kitty cats. People need to practice safe distancing
As they make up their minds, especially during the crisis.
We’re facing a glut of disinformation, and some controls are necessary,
Said the experts, as they left with their kitty cats.

 

THE WISE KNOW

The top 10 picnics in art | Art and design | The Guardian

The wise know

Emotions need to be kept low,

Or we will spoil

All the excellence and toil.

Let slow emotions be so small

We will not think jealous thoughts at all.

Let the fast emotions die

Which kill in the blink of an eye.

Let’s put all our emotions on the page

To make harmless every kind of rage.

Come, let me read this poem to you

About the wise, and what they knew.

 

 

SOLDIER, YOU DIDN’T WANT TO DIE

Alan Seeger - Wikipedia

Soldier, you didn’t want to die,

But you died. The country you saved

Hasn’t the luxury to perish as you did,

Young, the light blinding in your photo,

Handsome forever.

We are now dying a different way.

Yawning, not wanting to get up;

Some will linger by a ceremony,

Cancelled, because a country is dying,

Or turned into

A small celebration contained by a screen,

Libraries, containing the word “soldier,”

Paused for now.

Hollywood took over gradually.

Now we all exist that way.

Someone is producing this,

Someone who knows better

Why it must happen.

We can see now

Why you died,

Completely helpless, the green sky

Made that way from trees.

 

SHARON OLDS, EDNA MILLAY, MARGARET ATWOOD IGNITE PAMELA HARRIMAN’S DREAMERS

CBC Archives

Pamela Harriman’s Dreamers lead the Modern Division with a 12-4 record, thanks to Edna Vincent Millay’s 8 home runs, Sharon Olds’ 8 home runs, and Margaret Atwood’s 4-0 2.20 ERA record.

Atwood leads the entire Scarriet Poetry Baseball league in wins, and only the Carriages in the Glorious Division have as many wins as the red-hot Dreamers.

Anais Nin is 3-0 (1.40 ERA) and Germaine Greer has a couple of wins in relief.

Pitching coach Susan Sontag couldn’t be more happy, but she’s focused on the future and its details. “We’re working on Simone [de Beauvoir] not to over-throw. It will lead to wildness, and then she’s pitching behind in the count. This is very exciting [Scarriet Poetry Baseball] and some players get a little too excited; who can blame them?” Simone de Beauvoir (8.90 ERA) has 4 no-decisions in 4 starts, and in those 4 starts alone, the Dreamers have yielded more than half the runs they’ve allowed.

The Dreamers magic definitely lies so far with the starting pitching of Floyd Dell, Nin, and Atwood— together they are 9-2 with a 1.90 ERA.

“So far it’s working,” said Dreamers manager Averell Harriman; “with Olds on deck, they have to pitch to Millay, and she’s responded, and then after the damage done by Millay, Olds faces a somewhat shaken pitcher.”

Edna Millay bats third in the order, ahead of Olds in the cleanup spot—their 16 home runs engine is comparable to Joyce (8 Hrs) and Yeats (8 HRs) batting third and fourth for the Pistols. Tennyson and Longfellow for the Carriages have combined for 11 homers; Aeschylus and Bradstreet have 9 for the Crusaders; Li Po and Marx have 8 for the Waves; Rimbaud and Rabelais 7 for the Strangers.

The Dreamers, who play in lovely Arden Hamlet, about an hour’s drive north of New York City, better not look back, however.  Right behind them in the Modern division at 11-5 are John D. Rockefeller’s The Buyers, who play in New York City, and they are tied with the Pistols and the Dreamers for the best 1-2 punch in the League: 16 homers have come from Robert Lowell (6) and Elizabeth Bishop—she leads all players with 10 home runs. Dylan Thomas, who bats fourth, has added 3; Kenneth Rexroth, in a surprise, has launched 4.

The Buyers, managed by Charles Darwin, have a solid pitching corps of Whitman, Freud, Twain, and Paul Engle; and they recently got bullpen help from newly signed Judith Butler, who quickly picked up two wins in relief. Helen Vendler, their stopper, is on the disabled list.  If there is one stat that says the most, it might be runs scored and runs allowed, and the Buyers have the most impressive one in the whole league: 91 runs scored, 56 runs allowed. But will Bishop and Lowell continue to hit this way?  We’ll see.

No pitcher for the Crash, owned by A.C. Barnes, (manager Giorgio de Chirico; pitching coach Henri Matisse,) is doing particularly well. Their ace, John Crowe Ransom, is winless.  John Dewey, their no. 2, starter is 2-2, but lost 18-1 in his third start. The Crash are led by John Gould Fletcher’s four homers, followed by Allen Tate with two.

The Philadelphia Crash are 5-11, as are the Phoenix Universe, Steven Spielberg’s club, managed by Money Ball genius Billy Beane; Tom Hanks is their pitching coach. Juvenal has provided the pop for the Universe; he has clubbed 6 homers, but Bob Dylan, batting third, has only hit one; Anthony Hecht, batting 8th, is second to Juvenal, with 2 homers. Foucault has won a couple of games for the Universe in relief, but their starting pitching has been pretty miserable: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Randall Jarrell and Marge Piercy are all 0-3; Harold Bloom is the bright spot at 2-1 with a healthy 2.78 ERA.

Finally, we have the Printers, Andy Warhol’s team, in last place with a 4-12 record. Their manager is Brian Epstein.  They have yielded 98 runs.  They pounded the Dreamers 20-2 in one game, and lost another to them 15-18; John Updike has hit 5 homers for the Printers in the cleanup spot; Aristophanes has 4, batting third; Hart Crane and Kenneth Koch each have 2.  Don’t ask about the pitching: Duchamp is 0-1, with 3 no decisions, Marjorie Perloff is 0-3, Stephanie Burt is 0-2, and Mark Rothko is 0-4. Pitching coach Peggy Guggenheim points to relievers who are getting lots of work and responding to it well—John Cage, F.O. Matthiessen, and new addition Hilton Kramer together have won 4 games. “The starters just need to loosen up, relax and get into a groove,” Ms. Guggenheim said; “Brian [the manager] and I are not worried.”

Richard Lovelace (pronounced “loveless”) has boomed three homers for the successful Dreamers in the second position in the lineup; Carolyn Forche, batting lead off, has stolen six bases and scored 17 runs. Pamela Harriman’s team, despite being managed by hubby Averell Harriman, a 20th century commercial/political titan, is dominated by women.  Lovelace, the Dreamers third-baseman, a Renaissance lyric poet, and one of the few men with the club, hitting .399 and having a wonderful time so far, is the author of these famous lines:

Stone Walls do not a Prison make,
Nor Iron bars a Cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an Hermitage.
If I have freedom in my Love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.

Neither batting box nor strike zone have contained, so far, these Dreamers of Dame Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman.

STANDINGS

Harriman’s Dreamers 12-4 — Runs 91, Allowed 76

Rockefeller’s Buyers 11-5 —Runs 91, Allowed 56

Spielberg’s Universe 5-11 —Runs 54, Allowed 70

Barnes’ Crash 5-11 —Runs 53, Allowed 84

Warhols’ Printers 4-12 —Runs 79, Allowed 98

LEADERS

Wins

Margaret Atwood, Dreamers 4-0 ERA 2.20

Anais Nin, Dreamers 3-0 ERA 1.40
Freud, Buyers 3-0 ERA 3.10

Harold Bloom, Universe 2-1 ERA 2.66
Paul Engle, Buyers 2-1 ERA 3.25
Floyd Dell, Dreamers 2-2 ERA 4.23
John Dewey, Crash 2-2 ERA 5.12

Relief

Foucault, Universe 2-1 ERA 0.90
F.O. Matthiessen, Printers 2-0 ERA 1.18
Judith Butler, Buyers 2-0 ERA 1.22
Germaine Greer, Dreamers 2-2 ERA 4.09

HRS

Elizabeth Bishop, Buyers 10

Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dreamers 8
Sharon Olds, Dreamers 8

Robert Lowell, Buyers 6
Juvenal, Universe 6

John Updike, Printers 5

Aristophanes, Printers 4
John Gould Fletcher, Crash 4
Kenneth Rexroth, Buyers 4

~~~

Scarriet Poetry Baseball News

WHAT IS MORE MEANINGFUL THAN THIS?

Pin on The Resurrection

Your heart goes zing zing zing
With your arm in a sling.

Love is dancing right there
With you in a wheelchair.

She has a kind surprise to tell.
You’re not feeling very well.

Ecstatic, you start to get off
When you feel a cough.

She is climbing in your bed
As you hear voices in your head.

You’ve never seen anyone more beautiful
As you go under at the hospital.

You are feeling sweet, joyful, and vague
During instructions on how to fight the plague.

You see her naked in the rain
As they operate on your brain.

You love her, and persist
In the gas and the mist.

You say, darling I’ll see you later
Hooked up to a ventilator.

You smell a lovely, familiar perfume
In the tomb. In the tomb.

 

 

 

NO YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND

Have You Seen The most recent Street Art photography? | Turner ...

No you don’t understand;

The horror is not what I describe

In this poem; there’s nothing to fear

In what I describe. We are the horror. The horror is here.

The flames are not coming for us;

We are the flames. What you are reading is burning.

There is smoke. There isn’t any learning.

There is heat, which you cannot escape.

It is burning burning burning.

Pack your bags. They are on fire.

This poem and your eyes are the combined flame

Of everything. Nothing is the same.

This is your desire.

 

 

MORE TERRIBLE THAN GOOD

5 Surprising Facts about Robespierre - Discover Walks Blog

The summing up is never far behind.

The math of it all preys on us.

The fear of it lives one hair below the mind.

This implies more sadness, this less.

Because their suffering is not our suffering,

Our pride can tolerate them.

Similar suffering is unbearable.

There are truths of conscience which come too close;

Much of the world we simply can’t abide.

Some we love, others make us hide,

But not one can read our thoughts;

Not one knows who we are

Or why we love or don’t love them.

And we cannot explain it.

No philosophy can.

And for all the lamps and halls of learning here,

No matter how full of understanding we are, how polite,

All we do is obfuscate and fear.

Life is not an “is” but a “should.”

Some souls are glittering illusion,

Some souls are smoky, comforting confusion.

Some souls remain in the young, green wood

Never to face what we have to face, that life

Is more terrible than good.

This is the truth we run from every night

To the bored lover in the temporary day

Who tells us everything is going to be alright.

 

 

 

 

KOLKATA COBRAS SENDING GANDHI BACK TO BULLPEN?

Rupi Kaur Is the Writer of the Decade | The New Republic

Rupi Kaur is the manager of the 8-8 Cobras in the Peoples League

Satyajit Ray has a dilemma. His Cobras are pitching and hitting well, but they’re only winning half their games, and they’re losing close games.

Everyone knows this is the fault of the bullpen—so do the Cobras use their best starting pitcher, Mahatma Gandhi, as a relief pitcher?

“I’ve talked to Gandhi, and he will do whatever we ask to help the Cobras win,” said Cobras manager Rupi Kaur.

Pitching coach V.S. Naipal put it this way, “a relief pitcher can be used almost every day, so the fans will see more of Gandhi, and he will really fill a need. We’re not competitive enough in the late innings. We’re losing the tight contests.”

Rabindranith Tagore, the no. 1 starter, has been solid, but only has one win. Rumi has logged a lot of innings as the no. 2 starter, and has come away with three wins; Gandhi is 2-1, Hesse is 1-2, with a shutout.  Not bad.

Vikram Seth leads the club with four home runs, Jadoo Akhtar and Gajanan Muktibodh each have 3 round-trippers; Allen Ginsberg and George Harrison both have two. The Cobras lead the Peoples Division in homers and runs scored.

But here’s the problem.

Ray’s team was counting on Kabir Das as their stopper.  He’s 0-3, with one save, and a 5.08 ERA.

A poem that doesn’t end well is a failure.

The only win in relief for the Cobras is by Nissim Ezekiel—he finished a 3-0 win began by Gandhi.

Krishnamurti and Faiz A. Faiz have not been effective.

The Cobras are trying to sign Salman Rushdie, Raja Rao and Meera Nair.  But these writers are busy.

Rupi Kaur feels a dominating closer will mean a championship.

But that’s easier said than done.

Naipal, again: “How many pitchers can enter a tie game with runners on, and throws strikes and get people out, with no room for error, on a consistent basis?  That’s rare.  But when you find two or three pitchers who can do that, it picks up the whole team.”

~~~

John Lennon leads the entire Peoples Division with five home runs for the Tokyo Mist. Hilda Doolittle has slugged three homers, and Yoko Ono has two.

But the Mist also have bullpen woes.

Kobe Abe is 1-2, with a couple of blown saves, and D.T. Suzuki is 0-2.

The starting four for the Mist—Basho, Issa, Mishima (who replaced the injured Heraclitus) and Noguchi—have all pitched well, but the late innings have not been good to Akira Kurosawa’s team.

Pitching coach Mieko Kawakami expressed confidence in her relief pitchers: “We shouldn’t panic. We have good pitchers and we should let them pitch. Mitsuyo Kakuta and Takaaki Yoshimoto are both healthy now. That will help.”

Manager Eiji Yoshikawa: “Our team is fantastic. We need everyone to produce. I’m not particularly worried about the bullpen. This game is about streaks and bad bounces. I agree with Mitsuyo. We need to be patient. The season is still young.”

The Mist flew into Beijing and got swept by Chairman Mao’s Waves.  In the first game, the Mist put up 14 runs, but lost 19-14. Then the Waves beat them by one run in the next three games.  “That was agonizing,” Kurosawa said. “But we beat the Waves 3 out of 4 in Tokyo.  We were 7-5, and feeling pretty good about ourselves, but we didn’t focus in China.”  After that series, the Mist fell to 7-9, and last place.

~~~

Chairman Mao’s Beijing Waves are in first, and they, too, were also having bullpen problems.

Khomeini, their relief ace, is currently 0-1, with 2 blown saves.

But just 10 days before the crucial series in Beijing against the Mist, the Waves signed a new pitcher.

Confucius.

First, Confucius started in the place of injured starter Voltaire, and pitched a complete game 6-1 victory.

Then, pitching against the Mist, he was the winner out of the bullpen in the series’ games three and four, won by the Waves, 2-1 and 6-5, putting Mao’s team in first place.

“We may have our new closer,” said manager and Twitter guy Jack Dorsey.

“We’re so glad we signed Confucius,” gushed pitching coach Nancy Pelosi.

On offense, the first place Waves are led by Karl Marx (4 homers), Li Po (4 homers) and Tu Fu (3 homers).

~~~

Dick Wolf’s Laws are an interesting team. Call them scrappy. They are 8-8, tied with the Cobras in the thick of the Peoples Division race, and their top starters Aristotle and Francis Bacon have no wins. Horace and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr, the no. 3 and 4 starters, are 1-2 and 1-1.  But out of the bullpen the Laws are 5-0!  Mark Van Doren is 2-0, M.L. Rosenthal is 1-0, Yvor Winters is 1-0, and Ring Lardner Jr. is 1-0.

Martial, the Roman poet of the social epigram (witty gossip as “law”) leads his team with 4 homers. Donald Hall and John Donne have each hit 2.

~~~

The Gamers are a California team, like the Laws. The LA Gamers, owned by Merv Griffin, are in last place with the Mist—they are both 7-9.  Billy Collins leads the Gamers with 4 homers. No other player has more than one.  Ernest Thayer (author of “Casey At the Bat”) has a homer for the Gamers off the bench. Also homering for the Gamers: X. J. Kenndy, Noel Coward, Dorothy Parker, Thomas Hood, James Whitcomb Riley, and Joe Green.

Lewis Carroll, their ace, has won two. Menander has won two games in relief.  Lorne Michaels, the pitching coach, and Bob Hope, the manager, had nothing but good things to say about their club. “We can win, and we will win,” Hope said.

~~~

STANDINGS

The Waves  10-6  —75 Runs, 65 Allowed

The Cobras 8-8 —80 Runs, 67 Allowed

The Laws 8-8 —62 Runs, 76 Allowed

The Mist 7-9 —70 Runs, 79 Allowed

The Gamers 7-9 —59 Runs, 65 Allowed

LEADERS

WINS

Confucius, Waves 3-0, 1.05 ERA
Lucretius, Waves 3-0, 2.33 ERA
Rumi, Cobras 3-0, 3.40 ERA

Lewis Carroll, Gamers 2-1, 3.11
Gandhi, Cobras 2-1, 3.67 ERA
Issa, Mist 2-2, 4.80 ERA

RELIEF

Van Doren, Laws 2-0, 2.18 ERA
Menander, Gamers 2-2, 2.44 ERA

HRS

John Lennon, Mist 5

Vikram Seth, Cobras 4
Martial, Laws 4
Billy Collins, Gamers 4
Marx, Waves 4
Li Po, Waves 4

Scarriet Poetry Baseball News

 

 

SCIENCE IS A SHADOW

Framed Print - Black & White Night Sky with Full Moon (Picture ...

Sometimes at night

When we flip on the light

We think a shadow is a thing.

In the daytime, it’s called hearsay—

Or certainty, when it’s lecturing.

Only trust your eyes,

The master, da Vinci, said,

And today I looked

At his masterpiece of shadows

Lately risen from its shadowy bed.

It tells the ancient story

Of a shadow, once a shadow, and reviled.

A scientist is a shadow,

Clarifying the shadows to the shadows.

But this shadow, I swear, it smiled.

BEN FRANKLIN’S SECRETS BATTLE HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S ACTORS FOR FIRST PLACE

Paul Simon strummed a guitar with his right hand, played catch ...

Paul Simon plays right field for the Secrets. He has one homer after sixteen games.

The Secrets and their ace, Edgar Poe (who made a couple of costly fielding errors) lost their first game of the season against the Actors in Westport, Connecticut, 7-2.

But the next day, Plato threw a complete game, three-hit, shutout, and Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg hit back-to-back homers, as the Secrets beat the Actors, 4-0.

Since then, it’s gone back and forth in the early part of the season; currently the first-place Secrets (10-6) hold a one game lead over the Actors (9-7) in the Secret Society Division in the Scarriet Poetry Baseball League.

Naturally, a keen rivalry has developed, the kind one can just feel in the air when these two clubs meet.

Look at the contrasts.  Manager for Ben Franklin’s team: George Washington.  Manager for the Actors: Johnny Depp.  Can you say “two worlds?”

Ben Franklin has assembled a remarkable team. Coaching at first, JFK.  Coaching at third, Winfield Scott.  The pitching coach, Clarence Thomas.  In the bullpen, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe; the closer, Francis Scott Key.  In the outfield, Kanye West, Paul Simon, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Pitching coach for the Actors? MLK.  Coaching at first, Meryl Streep. Coaching at third, Oprah.  In the outfield, Marilyn Hacker, Amiri Baraka, and Langston Hughes.

Big names are great. But can they play? Can they do the job? Are they motivated?

If you’re standing in against Lord Byron, who is throwing a hundred miles per hour, no one cares how good a poet or artist you are, much less yourself.  You have a split second to prove yourself, or you’re out of there.

Plato will make you look like a fool with his change up. It doesn’t matter how many odes you’ve published, or how many fans you have.

Scarriet Poetry Baseball League is not a vanity project.

This is real.

Neither The Secrets’ Poe nor The Actors’ Byron has won a game yet.

The Secrets owe their success to Plato (3-1, 27 strikeouts, 1.66 ERA).

Chaucer (3-1, 19 strikeouts, 1.55 ERA) also a no. 2 starter, has been just as good for the Actors.

There have no on-field brawls, yet, between these two teams.

The Actors had a good one with David Lynch’s Strangers in Westport, won by the Actors 5-3 against relief pitcher Philip K. Dick, and an even better one in New York, when Chaucer shut out J.P. Morgan’s War for his third win.  Other teams tend to get frustrated and “lose their heads” with the Actors, a generally “laid back” team (Byron and Chaucer telling a stream of dirty jokes) and cunning in unseen ways. This is manager Johnny Depp’s mantra; you can always hear him saying to his team, “Don’t lose your head. Let the other team lose its head!”

George Washington’s team, The Secrets, has not yet lost its head.

~~~

The Emperor Division
The Glorious Division
The Secret Society Division  THE FOCUS THIS WEEK
The People’s Division
The Modern Division

STANDINGS

Franklin’s Secrets 10-6  —Runs 59, Allowed 53

Weinstein’s Actors 9-7 —Runs 55, Allowed 52

P.T. Barnum’s Animals 8-8 —Runs 66, Allowed 71

J.P. Morgan’s War 7-9 —Runs 73, Allowed 74

David Lynch’s Strangers 6-10 —Runs 43, Allowed 47

LEADERS

HRS

Rimbaud, Strangers 5
Thomas Nashe, Actors 5

Seamus Heaney, Animals 4
Stephen Crane, War 4

Frost, Secrets 2
Sandburg, Secrets 2
Philip Sidney, War 2
Apollinaire, War 2
Robinson Jeffers, Animals 2
Jack Spicer, Animals 2
Rabelais, Strangers 2

WINS

Amy Lowell, Animals 3-0 ERA 2.72
Chaucer, Actors 3-1 1.55 ERA
Plato, Secrets 3-1 1.66 ERA

Shakespeare, War 2-0 3.19 ERA
A Pope, Strangers 2-1 2.41 ERA
Henry Beecher, Actors 2-1 ERA 3.20
F. Nietzsche, Strangers 2-2 ERA 1.90
J. Verne, Animals 2-2 ERA 4.13
Walter Scott, War 2-1 ERA 3.34

Relief Pitching

Thomas Jefferson, Secrets 2-0 ERA 1.06
F. Scott Key, Secrets 2-1 ERA 2.22

IT’S FINALLY GREEN

The Wayside Inn Grist Mill in Sudbury Massachusetts on a spring ...

There’s so much industry and comfort

In places of winter and war.

Indian goddess, beautiful and sad,

Your tears are pathetic. They make me mad.

The best actresses are angry actresses.

Our tragedies last but a day.

In Massachusetts, tragedy is far, far away.

I took the train into town

To buy my red haired daughter a beautiful wedding gown.

Now, in Massachusetts, it’s finally green.

The winter which made us dream of heaven is over.

At every flower a flower-hungry bee is seen.

Starving bees are feeding in the clover,

Enslaved by their needy queen.

We called need, “necessity,” in the science lab.

In the winter mud, I called you a cab

On a whim—I didn’t know you then—

And when you fell in love with me,

I increasingly dreamed in poetry.

The bees, in the green, are making repairs.

Our heaven runs parallel to theirs,

Their working hum a background to our music.

It’s finally green, and every secularist is happy;

Every feminist and communist is happy,

Because green is the true heaven.

Ask any bee.

I only need your love. What’s mere heaven to me?

 

 

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE BERLIN PISTOLS?

General Snobbery | Film and Philosophy

The philosopher. Heidegger. Pitching coach for the Berlin Pistols in the Glorious League.

The Scarriet Poetry Baseball League is organized this way:

The Emperor Division (5 teams)   LAST WEEK

The Glorious Division (5 teams)   THIS WEEK

The Secret Society Division (5 teams)

The Peoples Division (5 teams)

The Modern Division (5 teams)

We already looked at the Emperor Division—two teams (11-5) with ancient and renaissance grandeur are tied for first; Napoleon’s Codes (Homer, Hesiod) and the Ceilings of Pope Julius II (Milton, Spenser), followed by the sturm & drang Goths of Charles X, featuring Goethe, Baudelaire, and Wilde, and these two teams are tied for last: the Broadcasters of Fellini, a modern unit of Jim Morrison, Rilke, Nabokov—and the Crusaders, owned by Philip of Spain, a devout team of Thomas Aquinas, Mary Angela Douglas, Bishop Berkeley, and St. John of the Cross.

WH Auden (Codes), Henrich Heine (Goths) and Aeschylus (Crusaders) lead the Emperor Division with five home runs.  Milton of the Ceilings is the ERA leader with 1.15.  Chauteubriand (Goths) and Kant (Codes) have 3 wins.

Some wonder why Auden is playing for Napoleon, but some teams hire anyone they think can help them win.

The season has just started, but the pitching of the Ceilings (11-5), led my Milton, is the story of the Emperor Division so far; they’re allowing about two runs per game, and that’s how you win titles.

~~~

The Glorious Division is dominated by British icons from Shakespeare’s time to our day.

On top of that division right now, with a 12-4 record, are the Carriages, led by Tennyson’s 7 homers and Andrew Marvell’s 3 wins and 1.30 ERA.

As you know, versifying skill means good defense in the field and the ability to get on base, popular works of fiction of any kind means power, and philosophical, transcendent, or critical acumen translates into great pitching. Marvell was more than just a great lyric poet; he was a politician, wrote long satires, and convinced the new government after Cromwell not to kill Milton.  Marvell is the ace of a pitching-rich ball club.

The Carriages, owned by Queen Victoria, with manager Prince Albert, pitching coach Joseph Priestly, are a tough, no-nonsense, team, marked by high seriousness. Look at their pitching staff: Marvel, Virginia Woolf, William Hazlitt, Henry James, Jeremy Bentham, Charlotte Bronte, and Charles Lamb. (The more introverted Emily Bronte recently joined the Goths.) George Bernard Shaw has slammed 5 home runs off the bench, including two pinch hit game winners, giving the Carriages a tremendous boost; Longfellow has 4 round-trippers from the cleanup spot, and Robert Browning has also drilled four home runs batting fifth. Paul McCartney has 3 home runs and seven stolen bases at the top of the order. The Carriages are absolutely the team to watch in the Glorious Division.

The Laureates are owned by 17th century Poet Laureate of England Nahum Tate, who was born in Dublin. His most popular work was an edition of King Lear, re-written with a happy ending. This gives you an idea, perhaps, of the nature of this team. The Laureates are in second place in this division full of strong modern teams, and much of it is thanks to Livy’s strong work in the bullpen, and the offense led by Alexandre Dumas, Charles Dickens, and Aphra  Behn (14 homers between them). Sara Teasdale has hit 3, and JK Rowling, 2.  The Laureates, who play in Dublin, are similar to London’s Carriages: popular writers tend to have pop in their bat, and the Laureates have plenty of that, and clutch hitting, too. Their starting pitchers are not overpowering, but manager Ronald Reagan and pitching coach Bobby Kennedy feel they can get the job done: Edmund Burke, Thomas Love Peacock, Samuel Johnson, and Leigh Hunt are all healthy and have pitched fairly well. The Irish-Anglo scientist Robert Boyle was picked up to help Dana Gioia and Livy in relief.

The Sun are in third place with a .500 record. They are owned by PM Lord Russell. Winston Churchill (!) is their manager. Lord Palmerston is their pitching coach. The Sun has a modern, worldly scope, fed by the pride of the British Empire, and could dominate this division if it ever clicks into gear. Ralph Waldo Emerson (if one looks deeply into his biography, Waldo is just as British as he is American) is their ace; John Stuart Mill will be out for a while, and John Ruskin will replace him as the no. 2 starter, Aldous Huxley is starter no. 3, followed by Thomas Carlyle. Bertrand Russell, Thoreau, Joshua Reynolds, and Christopher Ricks are in the bullpen. Basil Bunting has been an unlikely power source for the Sun, with 6 home runs batting eighth! Kipling, Wordsworth, and Matthew Arnold are the big bats, but largely silent, so far.  Aside from two unusual games, totaling 60 runs, team Sun has not scored much.  They massacred the Pistols 27-3, and also beat them 23-18.

The Banners, of Lorenzo de’ Medici, the fourth place team at 7-9, have not been hitting much either, but their pitching staff may be the best in the whole league: Dante (Ficino filled in recently), Shelley, Virgil, Leonardo da Vinci, Boccaccio, Bronzino, Botticelli, and William Rossetti.  The Banners hitting features Keats (no home runs yet), Friedrich Schiller (5 homers to lead the team), and DG Rossetti (one home run) in the 3,4,5 part of the lineup. Ben Mazer has been a pleasant surprise for the Banners, with 3 homers from the lead off position.  The Banners will certainly give the Carriages a run for their money. Queen Victoria has to respect de’ Medici.

What’s wrong with Eva Braun’s Pistols?  They are 5-11, but it feels like they are doing much worse. The pitching coach, Martin Heidegger, has been under fire, as the team has allowed a whopping 121 runs.  The Pistols have been hitting, especially Joyce and Yeats (8 homers each!). T.S. Eliot, their ace, is 0-4, and has been getting worse with each start. Three of the Pistols’ five wins have come when William James has started, and James had to leave a tough 3-1 loss with depression. Pound is 1-1, and started the horrendous 27-3 loss; he didn’t want to come out, and people are wondering whether Randolph Churchill, Winston’s son who married Pamela Harriman, has the stuff to manage this team. It’s great that Randolph’s father is Winston Churchill, but do the Pistols need someone tougher to lead them?

Standings

Carriages 12-4  —75 runs, 57 against

Laureates 9-7  —82 runs, 76 against

Sun 8-8  —-95 runs, 73 against

Banners 7-9 —48 runs, 49 against

Pistols 5-11 —82 runs, 121 against

Leaders  WINS

Marvell 3-0, ERA 1.30  –Carriages
Shelley 3-1 ERA 1.78    –Banners

Hazlitt 2-1 ERA 3.09     -Carriages
W James 2-0 ERA 3.10  -Pistols
Woolf 2-2 ERA 3.65      -Carriages
Carlyle 2-1 ERA 4.42     -Sun

Livy 3-1 ERA 2.99   –Laureates   Relief Pitcher
Gioia 3-1 ERA 3.20 –Laureates   RP

C Bronte 2-0 ERA 2.33 -Carriages RP
B Russell 2-0 ERA 2.73 -Sun  RP

Leaders HRS

Joyce, Pistols 8
Yeats, Pistols 8

Tennyson, Carriages 7

Bunting, Sun 6

GB Shaw, Carriages 5
Dumas, Laureates 5
Dickens, Laureates 5
Schiller, Banners 5

Behn, Laureates 4
Longfellow, Carriages 4
Browning, Carriages 4

Scarriet Poetry Baseball News

 

WHY DO I WRITE POEMS THAT ARE SAD?

Mother and Child by Mary Cassatt | Mother and Child, c. 1905… | Flickr

Why do I write poems that are sad?
When we celebrate, we drop the letter on the ground
Which says, “Congratulations! You have won…”
And we hug each other, and dance around.
Nor is the happy message profound.
Perhaps the mother makes it all about her son.
It doesn’t come up with a beautiful sound.
This letter, bringing good news,
Is true. It is not a ruse.
Whereas my poem cannot be good news.
And this is what a poem is: no good news.
No one would read a poem, if it weren’t a ruse.
Either you make a vow in the air
To show, on impulse, that you really care,
Or you draw up a contract, and if you break
It—here, read of it—my heart will ache.

 

 

MY SECOND MISTRESS CAME TO ME TODAY

The Mina Loy Mysteries – RhysTranter.com

My second mistress came to me today and told me I was wrong.

I had taken a quote from Mina Loy

Who said all women at puberty should become wise,

That feminine virtue is a vanity invented by men,

And compared it to satanism,

That worships the goddess,

And pleads women discover their natural selves,

For influence and pleasure.

She rebuked me gently. She said

I could no longer love her,

That of course we would remain friends,

—Stop fidgeting, make some tea—

Of course we would remain,

At last, and finally, the best of friends.

My philosophy intervened;

I rejected her offer of friendship and I wept,

And went to my other mistresses,

And even with them, cried.

PISTOLS AT CARRIAGES

Father and Son - The International Churchill Society

Randolph Churchill MBE. Manager of the Berlin Pistols in the Glorious Division.

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to London, England where Queen Victoria’s Carriages host the Berlin Pistols.

The Carriages have taken the first two games of this four game series with Andrew Marvell and Virginia Woolf getting the wins.

Spring has arrived, and the vines and flowers which adorn Queen’s Ball Park—the most “comfy” stadium on earth—are colorful and fragrant.

Today it will be William Hazlitt making the start for London.

Marla Muse spoke briefly to the Carriages’ pitching coach, Joseph Priestly, who had this to say about his no. 3 starter:

“Hazlitt throws hard, and comes right at you. He has no delicacy on the mound. After all, he did say this, to quote him directly, if I might: ‘Love turns, with little indulgence, to indifference or disgust: hatred alone is immortal.’ If that doesn’t say something about him, I don’t know what does. I have a great amount of confidence with him on the mound. He challenges hitters, and never makes excuses.”

Eva Braun’s Pistols will counter with William James, the “Nitrous Oxide Philosopher,” Harvard professor, brother of the famous expat novelist, godfather to Ralph Waldo Emerson, and inventor of Stream of Consciousness writing, based on his absolutely brilliant, depressing, and self-observed psychological experiments.  Anyone who has ever taken a psychology course in college can thank William James, who made Psychology a respectable subject in college for the first time. James has a very slow delivery, a curve ball that dreams its way to the plate; he doesn’t throw hard, but he’s sneaky fast.

Here’s the defense behind William James.   In center field, the passionate DH Lawrence.  In right field, the austere Ted Hughes. In left field, the mysterious Aleister Crowley. James Joyce at third base, Ford Maddox Ford (German, British, and American) at first. At shortstop, William Butler Yeats, at second base, Gertrude Stein, and behind the plate, doing the catching, Carl Jung.

For the Carriages: Longfellow is in center, Philip Larkin holds down right field, and Sylvia Plath is over in left.  At third, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. At first base, Geoffrey Hill.  Up the middle, we have Paul McCartney at shortstop and Tennyson at second. Playing catcher, Robert Browning.

Andrew Marvell of the Carriages out-dueled T.S. Eliot of the Pistols (15 K) in game one, 2-0, with the Brownings each hitting a home run.

The Carriages won game two 6-3. Virginia Woolf went nine innings and allowed three runs; a 3 run homer in the bottom of the ninth by George Bernard Shaw off George Santayana, game 2 starter for the Pistols, was the difference. Paul McCartney singled twice and stole a base. Sylvia Plath tripled and scored on a two strike, two out single by Woolf. Longfellow knocked in two. Simon Armitage began the rally in the ninth with a bloop single.

The Pistols scoring was provided by a solo homer by Yeats, and a two-run double by Joyce.

~~~

Hazlitt’s first pitch. A ball.  And we’re underway!

The next delivery to Lawrence at the plate…he turns on it…wow, he got all of it…that ball…is out of here!  Gone!  A home run!  Pistols lead, 1-0.

Here we are in the fourth inning…still 1-0 Pistols, on the home run by DH Lawrence…Longfellow facing William James with two outs and nobody on…James has pitched well so far…and there’s a ball to right field…way back…way back…And Longfellow has tied up this game! All Ted Hughes, the right fielder for the Pistols, could do was look up.  It’s now 1-1.

In the sixth, still 1-1.  Both starters Hazlitt and James pitching brilliantly.  Wait. William James is motioning to the dugout. He wants the manager. Something’s wrong. Randolph Churchill, the Pistols manager is coming out of the dugout.  Let’s see… Well, I guess that’s it for James. He’s coming out. Not sure what’s wrong with him. Richard Wagner is up warming in the bullpen for the Pistols. And he’s going to get all the time he needs, because this is considered an injury. Not sure what it is, though. The umpires are discussing things with Churchill on the mound. It’s apparently…depression. William James is depressed, and has to come out. James has suffered bouts of depression all his life.  This is considered an “injury.”  He just can’t pitch any longer, even though up until now, he’s been terrific!

Wagner now pitching for the Pistols. And he strikes out Paul McCartney to end the inning!

William Hazlitt is cruising along, making it look easy. He’s busting his fastball inside, then freezing hitters with changes and curves away.

We’re in the bottom of the 8th, score still tied at one. The Carriages’ James Shirley pinch hitting…there’s a single up the middle!  Here’s George Bernard Shaw, who hit the big pinch hit home run yesterday. Shaw is batting for McCartney, who looked bad last at bat against Wagner. The catcher, Carl Jung, Yeats, the shortstop, Gertrude Stein the second baseman, Heidegger, the pitching coach, and Wagner, the pitcher, are talking things over on the mound. Wyndham Lewis and Hugh Kenner are throwing in the bullpen. They’re ready to come in.

Heidegger goes back to the dugout. Randolph Churchill (son of Winston) decides to stick with Wagner, their ace relief pitcher.

Shaw fouls off pitch after pitch…

Shirley has some speed at first…Ford Maddox Ford is on the bag, taking throws from Wagner, as they want to keep Shirley, the potential winning run, from taking a big lead…

Here’s the 3-2 from Wagner to Shaw…well-hit to center field…DH Lawrence goes back…back…back…gone! A home run for Shaw! George Bernard Shaw has done it again! Can you believe it?

The Carriages lead 3-1!

Hugh Kenner comes in and gets Tennyson on a fly to right.  Inning over. But the damage has been done.  For the second straight game, George Bernard Shaw has burned the Pistols off the bench.

Hazlitt will get the win, if Charles Lamb can take care of the Pistols in the ninth…

Gertrude Stein and Aleister Crowley go quietly, a pop fly and a ground out.

Pinch hitting for Kenner in the pitching spot is Filippo Marinetti, the founder of Futurism.

The Pistols are down to their last out.

Charles Lamb gets a called strike.  0-1.

Wasting no time, Lamb comes back with a fast ball, just off the plate. Ball one.  One and one, now…

Marinetti hits a shot towards third…

Caught by the third baseman Elizabeth Barrett Browning!

And the London Carriages have won their third straight against the Berlin Pistols!

William Hazlitt wins; he’s 1-0. Richard Wagner loses; he’s 0-1.

Ezra Pound will try to salvage a win in the four game series for the Pistols tomorrow.  He will face Henry James.

Good night, Marla!

 

 

NEWS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE, EMPEROR DIVISION STANDINGS, LEADERS

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a5/4e/04/a54e0454b4d75c7e4329db2c5014dca3.jpg

Fellini’s Broadcasters play in Rimini, Italy. Nero is their manager. They’re currently 6-10.

Dublin Laureates Get John Townsend Trowbridge

The prolific author John Townsend Trowbridge, born in 1827, has just signed with the Laureates in the Glorious League. Friends with Whitman and Twain, Townsend spent the last half of his life in Arlington, Massachusetts. He traveled to the South right after the Civil War to interview ordinary folk for his book, The South: A Tour of its Battlefields and Ruined Cities.  Guy Vernon is his remarkable verse novel which has gained recent attention. Manager Ronald Reagan was very happy the Laureates were able to secure Townsend, tweeting, “The man who wrote the sweet versed Guy Vernon is ours! He will make an immediate impact on our ball club!”

Napoleon Glad Homer’s Injury Is Not Serious; Auden Continues To Answer Questions

The Corsica Codes, run by Napoleon Bonaparte, favored by many to win the Emperor Division, are currently tied for first place with the Ceilings of Pope Julius II. Napoleon got a bit of a scare though, when his “Ancient Ace,” Homer, complained of shoulder stiffness after pitching the Codes to a 2-1 ‘no decision’ win.  Manager Alexander the Great rested Homer for his next start; critic and poet William Logan went to the hill in his place, allowing 2 runs and 6 hits over seven, in a game won by the Codes 3-2, Immanuel “Manny” Kant picking up his third win out of the bullpen. Doctors have cleared Homer to keep pitching.

In another Codes piece of news, W.H. Auden has banged out 5 home runs to tie for the Emperor Division lead with Aeschylus (Madrid Crusaders) and Heine (Paris Goths) and is obviously enjoying playing for Napoleon’s stern and serious ball club. Look at the Codes pitching staff: Homer, Cicero, Hegel, Hesiod, and Kant. Can the genial and low-key Auden (ss) get along with Callimachus (1b), Racine (cf), Villon (rf), Tati-Loutard (c), and Victor Hugo (2b)?  The manager Alexander the Great? The owner, Napoleon?  Auden’s countrymen, and many Americans, wonder what he’s doing on Napoleon’s club. “I like being on a great team, an historic team. I’m being paid well,” Auden said in a recent interview. Auden’s friends in England and the United States shake their heads when they hear talk like this. Some are absolutely incensed: “Paid well?”   “I love all kinds of literature,” Auden tweeted yesterday, “always have.” He’s playing well, and so far, it doesn’t seem like he’s been affected by the criticism. Alexander, the manager, made a simple observation: “Napoleon wants good players. Auden will help us win a title.”

The Codes started off on fire, winning five of their first 6.  They’ve cooled a bit recently, and were embarrassed at Madrid, in the Crusaders‘ home park, losing 19-0. Phillis Wheatley, Anne Bradstreet, John Paul II, and Mary Angela Douglas homered for Philip of Spain’s team.

Graves Sent To War, Pessoa To Replace for Strangers

Robert Graves, the starting second baseman for David Lynch’s Strangers, has been traded to J.P. Morgan’s War—for Ben Lerner, Franz Wright, and WS Merwin. Fernando Pessoa will replace Graves in the Strangers starting lineup.  “We thought Graves was strange, but he wasn’t strange enough. I don’t think he quite fit in,” said Bram Stoker, the Strangers manager. “We wish him well.” Laura Riding remains on the Strangers, playing shortstop.  Both the Strangers and the War play in the Secret Society Division.

Crusaders Sign Handel

The Crusaders of Madrid got a big boost when they signed George Frederick Handel to bolster their pitching staff. JR Tolkien moves to the bullpen. Christopher Columbus, pitching coach for the Crusaders was ecstatic: “This is wonderful. Handel has a fastball around 100 and one of the best curve balls in this league.”

~~~~~~~~

Emperor League Standings and Leaders

Ceilings 11-5    —–Runs 53, Allowed 37

Codes 11-5       ——Runs 67, Allowed 75

Goths 9-7         ——Runs 82, Allowed 80

Crusaders 6-10   —–Runs 89, Allowed 99

Broadcasters 6-10  —–Runs 58, Allowed 71

~~~

The Ceilings play in Rome. Owner Pope Julius II. Manager, Cardinal Richelieu. Oliver Cromwell, first base coach. Pope Urban VIII, third base coach. Marco Polo, pitching coach.

The Codes play in Corsica. Owner Napoleon Bonaparte. Manager, Alexander the Great. Johann Fichte, first base coach. Napoleon III, third base coach. Julius Caesar, pitching coach.

The Goths play in Paris. Owner Charles X. Manager, Arthur Schopenhauer. Alexander Humboldt, first base coach. Grand Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenbach, third base coach. Charles de Gaulle, pitching coach.

The Crusaders play in Madrid. Owner Philip II. Manager, Cervantes. Francisco Goya, first base coach. Salvador Dali, third base coach. Christopher Columbus, pitching coach.

The Broadcasters play in Rimini, Italy. Owner Federico Fellini. Manager, Nero. Claudius, first base coach. Augustus, third base coach. Seneca, pitching coach.

~~~

The Broadcasters are the “strange and modern” team in this division.  Their starting lineup includes Anne Sexton, Bukowski and Jim Morrison.  Mick Jagger. Rilke.  Sappho. Celebrities are hanging out in Rimini. Rumor has it Augustus has already complained about this over Nero’s head to Fellini. Although they’ve lost 7 of their last 10, to fall 5 games off the lead in the Emperor Division, the Broadcasters shouldn’t lose hope.  They’ve lost a bunch of games by one run, and their pitching has been decent. Nabokov (2-1) tossed a 1 hit shutout. Leopardi, Ben Jonson, and Coleridge have all thrown good games; Valery has been solid out of the pen.

The Ceilings are really the team to watch, with a 2.40 team ERA. J.S. Bach has won three games in relief. John Milton, their ace, has been almost unhittable, and in their latest starts, Ariosto and Swift have thrown shutouts. John Dryden has been almost as consistent as Milton. The run production hasn’t been great, but Edmund “Eddy” Spenser has provided pop from the cleanup spot, and when William Blake and Petrarch at the top of the lineup start getting on base, watch out.

The Codes are getting solid pitching, hitting from Auden, and not much else.  They need Victor Hugo to hit, and more consistency throughout their lineup, but they are getting the job done.

The Goths have to be happy with their pitching—Goethe, Chateubriand, Wilde, Baudelaire, AW Schlegel, and the hitting of Sophocles and Heinrich Heine. Their bench is deep. Ronsard had to miss some games at first; Tasso filled in admirably. They are poised to rock this division.

The Crusaders started out slowly, but their ace Thomas Aquinas has won his last two starts and they are now playing .500 ball. Adding Handel to their starting staff is huge. Aeschylus and Anne Bradstreet in the middle of the lineup are killing the ball.

Streaks

last 10, ceilings 7-3
last 10 codes 6-4
last 10 goths 6-4
last 10 crusaders 5-5
last 10 broadcasters 3-7

 

LEADERS

 

HR

Aeschylus, Crusaders 5
W.H. Auden, Codes 5
Heinrich Heine, Goths 5

Anne Bradstreet, Crusaders 4

Edmund Spenser, Ceilings 3
Sophocles, Goths 3

Rilke, Broadcasters 2

WINS-Starters

Chauteubriand, Goths  3-0, 3.10 ERA

Milton, Ceilings 2-1, 1.15 ERA
Swift, Ceilings 2-1, 1.40 ERA
Nabokov, Broadcasters 2-1, 3.37 ERA
Aquinas, Crusaders 2-2, 3.45 ERA
Hegel, Codes 2-0, 3.67 ERA
Hesiod, Codes 2-1, 3.75 ERA
Baudelaire, Goths 2-2, 4.05 ERA
Cicero, Codes 2-1, 4.70 ERA

WINS-Relief

Kant, Codes 3-0, 3.99 ERA

Bach, Ceilings 2-2, 4.12 ERA
AW Schlegel, Goths 2-2 4.21 ERA

 

Poetry Baseball News reporting.

 

SCARRIET POETRY BASEBALL: LAUREATES TAKE ON MERV GRIFFIN’S GAMERS

HD wallpaper: baseball stadium, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Dodgers ...

Laureate fever is sweeping Los Angeles.

A small band of fans have gathered in an undisclosed location near Hollywood to vocally cheer on the Laureates, the “Irish” team of the Scarriet Poetry Baseball League.

A few supporters had signs saying, “We Want Yeats!  We Want The Beatles!”

One of the fans could be heard saying, “The Beatles were Irish, you know…”

John Lennon plays on the Tokyo Mist with Yoko Ono.

George Harrison plays on the Kolkata Cobras.

Paul McCartney plays on The Carriages, the team owned by Queen Victoria.

And William Butler Yeats plays with Ezra Pound on Eva Braun’s The Pistols.

Laureate fans wants these players on their team.

“It’s only fair!  We’ve got a good team, already, but we want to be better” said one young, brown-haired, brown-eyed, beauty, giggling.

~~~

Scarriet readers will recall that in game one of this series, in Los Angeles, the host Gamers of Merv Griffin, led 8-3 going to the ninth.

The Gamers then yielded 6 runs in the final frame—an Aphra Behn grandslam off bullpen ace Menander the winning blow. The Laureates had loaded the bases against relief pitcher Charles Bernstein.

The Dublin Laureates are owned by Dublin-born, 17th century English poet laureate, Nahum Tate.

Tate made a name for himself re-writing King Lear with a happy ending.

The Laureates are guided by popularity and kindly humor.

The Gamers and the Laureates, of the twenty five teams in the Scarriet Poetry Baseball League, are most representative of Light Verse and Satire, though the Laureates tend to be sagacious and moral; the Gamers are more playful and slapstick.

~~~

The motto of the Gamers, written by starting pitcher, Lewis Carroll, is “He thought he saw an elephant that practiced on a fife.”

The third baseman of the Laureates, Mirza Ghalib, the Urdu/Persian poet, is responsible for the Laureates motto: “Luck is bestowed even on those who don’t have hands.”

~~~

The muses are jealous of these proceedings; it is only with great difficulty, and with the assistance of the one muse who talks to us, Marla Muse, that we are able to broadcast our spotty coverage of full season play. This game was played weeks ago, but we’ll get the general news out to you, more or less, in a timely manner.

Marla Muse: All the muses covet this league. Only imagination itself is more dear.

Idealist philosophy gets news every day.  We just can’t possibly get it all.

~~~

The 19th Century English Thomas Love Peacock, who befriended the much younger Percy Shelley, and wrote satires of elaborate conversation (with no plot), liked, more than anything, as most writers did then, to walk the British Isles up and down, finding he could not write very well on long voyages aboard ship. Thomas Peacock is the Laureates’ game two starter.

Facing Peacock is the L.A. Gamers wry and fanciful poet, E.E. Cummings.

Cummings went to Harvard, and eloped with the wife of Scofield Thayer, owner of the revitalized Dial Magazine of the 1920s, which gave T.S. Eliot his prize for “The Waste Land.”  Scofield Thayer’s uncle, Ernest Thayer, wrote “Casey At The Bat.”

Ernest Thayer has no desire to play for Scarriet Poetry Baseball—which he thinks is silly.  But Merv Griffin is putting tremendous pressure on Thayer to play for the Gamers. We’ll see.

Alex Trebek is calling balls and strikes behind home plate here in Los Angeles, on a beautiful sunny day.

Ronald Reagan is the newly named manager for the Dublin Laureates.

The first base coach for the Laureates is Arthur Guinness and coaching at third for the Laureates is Bono.  

Bob Hope is the Gamers manager. Groucho Marx is the first base coach, and over at third for the Gamers is Moe Howard.

Here are the Lineups…!

The 1-0 Laureates have Sara Teasdale leading off, playing second base, followed by Oliver Goldsmith in center, Alexandre Dumas in left, at first base, Charles Dickens, Aphra Behn in right field, Mirza Ghalib holding down third base, Boris Pasternak, the catcher, JK Rowling at short, and Peacock, the pitcher.

The Gamers will try again to get their first win of the season with Noel Coward at short, Betjeman in center, Billy Collins in left, Eugene Ionesco, catching, Thomas Hood at second, W.S. Gilbert at first, Ogden Nash in right, Joe Green at third, and the pitcher, Cummings, batting ninth.

~~~

Bob Hope’s Gamers take a 4-2 lead into the eighth—Dorothy Parker, a new Gamer acquisition, pinch hitting for Cummings in the bottom of the seventh, ripped a double (as we see in this replay) off relief pitcher Dana Gioia to drive in Billy Collins and Thomas Hood, to break a 2-2 tie.

But here, in the top of the 8th, when Menander allows a single to the Laureates Teasdale, and walks Goldsmith, scattered boos and groans can be heard around the LA ballpark.

Lorne Michaels, the Gamers pitching coach, hops out of the dugout to talk to Menander:

“Go right after him, let’s get a double play ball,” Michaels says.

What else can he tell him? Menander complies, and Dumas hits one on the ground…but by the diving Noel Coward at short!!—a single. The bases are loaded!

Out comes Bob Hope, the Gamers manager. The call to the bullpen is going out to Christian Morgenstern!

Morgenstern earned a spot on the Gamers roster with this gem:

The Two Asses (Die Beiden Esel)

Not too enchanted with his life,
An ass once told his lawful wife,

“I am so dumb, you are so dumb,
The two of us should die, now, komm!”

But it should come as no surprise,
That they decided otherwise.

Charles Dickens greets Morgenstern with a double down the line in right, clearing the bases.

The Laureates, for the second straight game, have rallied in the late innings, as they take a 5-4 lead!

Charles Dickens, the most popular author of all time, claps his hands vigorously over his head as he stands on second base, Noel Coward and Thomas Hood a picture of disappointment on either side.

~~~

In the bottom of the ninth, the Laureates Gioia walks Joe Green on four pitches!

Livy, the closer for the Laureates, is warming up.

The pitching coach for the Laureates, Robert “Bobby” Kennedy, slowly walks out to the mound.

The Laureates Gioia stays in!

Gioia faces Gamers pinch hitter James Whitcomb Riley—who also walks!

The New Formalists are known for being too careful sometimes, Marla.

Marla Muse: That’s two walks in a row for Gioia. Reagan’s got to take him out now!  Come on Ronnie!

Out of the dugout comes manager Ronald Reagan. That’s all for Gioia.

In comes Livy, and he will face Tony Hoagland, pinch hitting for Coward.  There are two on and no outs for the Gamers!

Strike three!  Got him swinging…

John Betjeman, centerfielder for the Gamers is now at the plate (bit of an irony, Betjeman is a poet laureate of England—his amusing verses are why he signed with Griffin’s team)…

Oh! Livy’s fastball goes right by Betjeman, a swinging strike three.

Two down.

Here’s Billy Collins for the Gamers. Remember, Collins scored the go ahead run for the Gamers back in the seventh.

Livy delivers…

Billy Collins hits it sharply to Teasdale at second…she’s got it! Nice play! Over to Van Morrison (defensive replacement for Dickens at first,) and that’s it!

Laureates 5, Gamers 4!

The Laureates go to 2-0, as they prevail again in Los Angeles!

Dana Gioia earns the win. Livy picks up the save.

“Another one in the bag,” said a smiling Ronald Reagan after the game.

Is that really Ronald Reagan?  It’s difficult to see. Is that him?

Marla Muse: That’s him.

Tomorrow it will be James Tate of the 0-2 Gamers against the 2-0 Laureates Samuel Johnson.

This is Scarriet Poetry Baseball News.

 

NOTHING IS NICE FOR LONG

BBC - Culture - The timeless allure of ruins

We arrived somewhat late to the line.

She didn’t want what she wanted.

How should I read my song?

Nothing is nice for long.

Today in May is thirty degrees.

By middle age we are rotting fruit.

It’s cold. And something is wrong.

Nothing is nice for long.

The honey is gone. And the bees.

For a day they danced around our heads.

The aroma we announced was strong.

Nothing is nice for long.

She didn’t want what she wanted.

I believe she was forty three. That’s what it was.

I kept thinking I had done something wrong.

Nothing is nice for long.

 

LOVE’S ANSWER

Rome: Nature and the Ideal. Landscapes 1600-1650 - Exhibition ...

May I be honest with you?
No. since I love, honesty will never do.

May I say exactly what I think?
No. I will miss the ‘exact.’ I blink.

May I say what brought me here?
No. Not even the present is clear.

May I read you a story I wrote?
No. I worry what it might denote.

May I sing you a song I composed?
No. My musical ignorance will be exposed.

Can I tell you I love you, that everything will be okay?
No. I’m sad. And you said that yesterday.

Shall I kiss you? I can’t think of anything more.
Too late! Why didn’t you ask that before?

Then what shall I do?
Never love me as I love you.

I cannot understand how you love.
Yes, you can. Because you love.

 

I SLEEP WHEN IT’S COLD

The Eurasia Art: Masterpiece "emperor Napoleon of the full dress ...

I sleep when it’s cold,

Wearing my blankets like an emperor.

Then walk into the blue day.

Noon begins to be warm

And I feel the occasional ray.

The sun is generous, and with so much generosity,

Clouds and night are easily overcome.

This is the entire meaning of poetry.

I sleep. Then walk into the blue day.

Will you come?

NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU

Black and White Picture/Photo: SoHo street. NYC, New York, USA

I looked around in Soho,
The upper West Side, too,
I crossed over to Harlem,
Nothing to do with you.

I think I’ll go to Egypt,
Or prepare a cordon bleu.
Or duck into the movies.
Nothing to do with you.

I thought I might be crazy,
Maybe a touch of the flu?
I felt a little dizzy,
Nothing to do with you.

I thought about my grandma,
My covid grandpa, too.
I thought about them, merely.
Nothing to do with you.

I have friends and I have work,
But I don’t know what to do.
I look out the window.
Nothing to do with you.

I keep thinking I know,
But I really don’t have a clue,
All afternoon I’ve been eating.
Nothing to do with you.

I thought this was a science—
I narrow it down to a few.
Still, I don’t know what I want.
Nothing to do with you.

I thought about my safety,
And this was nothing new.
In a hurry, more, perhaps?
Nothing to do with you.

 

 

 

 

WHEN THESE CREATURES SLEEP

Qué querían simbolizar Van Eyck con su cordero místico?

When our big puppy closes his alert, roving eyes
And curls up, it’s always something of a surprise.
When these creatures sleep
It dawns on us: the silent and the shallow is deep.
When the silent, and the every-step-is-over, dead
Come into our thoughts, and our thoughts of mortality have sped
Into more thoughts unfathomable, we think,
Perhaps immortality is possible. Then we long to drink
Contradiction’s shallow spring,
Where all that ends and wishes not to end is never ending.

 

BEFORE TODAY COMES TRUE

A Still Life of Global Dimensions: Antonio de Pereda's Still Life ...

Before today comes true,

Look again at what yesterday never knew:

Yesterday’s yesterday was the thing more true.

Yesterday’s dishes disheveled and piled up

Hide today’s teacup.

I want a simple cup of tea

But last night’s dishes are looking at me.

A new poem wants to be written

Because yesterday I was bitten

By the inspiration which never came

Because yesterday’s yesterday was hiding its name.

This poem arrived in a hurry

In ratio to how yesterday is slow, and doesn’t worry.

I want to write this now, but poetry

Must wait. I need to pee.

Oh damn, I will forget

The words; is it yesterday yet?

The morning is full of things which must be done;

Today’s must wait for yesterday’s sun.

I’m impatient to know

How this poem is going to go.

My inspiration is coming fast.

The ending which came to me first will be the ending at last.

I’m thinking (right now) about how I loved you then,

How much I loved you, but didn’t know anything then,

How much I want to love you again.

There I was. Can you see me standing

In the middle of the kitchen, not understanding?

I look at my cup, thinking, “What did I miss?

Did I kiss you today because yesterday I didn’t kiss?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

THAT I CAN SIT HERE AND TURN THESE PAGES AND NOT DIE: BEN MAZER’S LANDMARK EDITION OF HARRY CROSBY’S POEMS

The arrest of Dora Marsden, 30th March, 1909

SELECTED POEMS OF HARRY CROSBY, Ben Mazer, ed, MAD HAT PRESS, 6/22/20

DECEMBER 10, 1929

That I can sit here and turn these pages and not die,
As you did, Harry Crosby, when the time was right,
Saying goodbye to Caresse, as you and Josephine turned out the light,
Every poem leading up to your death was just the way it had to have been,
Unless we don’t know that—because of freedom.

No one published your poems for 87 years, until Ben Mazer,
Who finds everything in the darkness of letters, like a laser.
I think of the Tell-Tale Heart when the old poetry had to die
And new poetry opened the door and shot light into the dark room onto the eye.

I can hear T.S. Eliot breathing low
In the stuffy rooms at Cambridge
When during the weekend Pound decided to come down.
Now, after another 27 difficult years, Robert Lowell sits there, remorseful, in his dressing gown.

The sun! give me the sun,
The true dawn, or none.
Give me the diary, Harry, give me the gun.
Was there freedom,
Too much freedom, too much—or absolutely none?

Ben Mazer, poet and editor, born in 1964, is saving poetry from its 20th century catastrophe.

He personally rescued Landis Everson, the most obscure figure of the San Francisco Renaissance, and found him publishing outlets.

He edited The Selected Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman (Harvard University Press).

He edited the Complete Poems of John Crowe Ransom (The American South’s T.S. Eliot), noticed in a review by Helen Vendler in the New York Review of Books.

He recently received the green light from FSG to compile the first Collected Poems of Delmore Schwartz.

And now, perhaps the most exciting of all.  Harry Crosby.

Ben Mazer is seeing into publication this year, as editor, the Selected Poems of Harry Crosby, allowing the world to see this central figure for the first time since this Back Bay rich boy (nephew to J.P. Morgan) danced on the world’s stage and self-published his poetry almost 100 years ago.

Crosby belonged to poetry’s One True Circle which overlapped, as one would expect, with the worlds of High Finance, War Profits, and Modern Painting.  Crosby knew Hart Crane, Ezra Pound, DH Lawrence, among others, and was mentored by a wealthy gentleman, Walter Berry (Crosby got his book collection when Berry died in 1927 a few days before Crosby’s 30th birthday) who knew Henry James and Marcel Proust.

Crosby, however, has been utterly forgotten.

Why?

This is what makes Mazer’s project so exciting. Crosby exemplified, perhaps more than any other poet, the One True Circle of 20th Century Anglo-American Poetry, the Who’s Who of Modern Poetry All Intellectuals Know. 

Crosby was the craziest of all.  The really embarrassing one.  He was loved.  But he was excluded—that is, written out of the canon. 

The insane, tabloid, side of the One True Circle is embarrassing, and much of it is not fit for school.

A 20th century poet, to be known, had to be taught in school.  Ezra Pound and WC Williams were as unknown as Harry Crosby, when a couple of government-connected New Critics, in the middle of the 20th Century, put Pound and Williams in a college textbook, Understanding Poetry.

License.

The license of those times, the moral looseness of the One True Circle itself, was one kind of very real license. This was widely understood.

The poems selected for especial praise by the editors of Understanding Poetry were two very brief ones—one by Williams, and one by his U Penn friend, Pound—describing plainly, a red wheel barrow, and petals on a black bough.

Poems praised—and yet poems anyone could write.

The other kind of license was the one for the public at large.

The poetry establishment, without directly saying so, was giving the public license.  The Petals-and-Wheel Barrow clique was rather priestly and private, but it’s implicit message to the reading public was loud and clear: to be a Byron was now a snap—poetry was now extremely brief and extremely easy.

Harry Crosby did not write a two-line poem on flower petals or a one-sentence poem on a wheel barrow.

Crosby went Williams and Pound one better.

Harry Crosby produced a one sentence poem:

a naked lady in a yellow hat

Crosby was too hot to handle for a college textbook in the 1930s; Crosby made the tabloids when he shot himself on December 10th 1929, in a suicide pact with his mistress.

Pound and Williams were more attractive.

First, they were alive; second, their poems were austere and moral compared to Crosby’s—who more accurately (and this was a problem in itself) reflected the unfettered, anything-goes, private-parties-of-the-rich sensibility of the One True Circle.

But now Pound and Williams are also dead.

And we can handle anything.

And as we disentangle ourselves from the selling of poetry—the selling that was very consciously done by the One True Circle in the 20th century, and view poetry and the One True Circle more discerningly—we can welcome Harry Crosby into the wider fold, and allow him his rightful place in a pantheon which may be sordid and embarrassing, but is necessary, not only for historical study, but for poetry, itself.

Mazer is also, for those who know his work, perhaps the most important American poet writing today.  His Selected Poems is recently published.

Americans don’t even speak of 21st century poetry. The whole thing is too embarrassing.  Too painful.

There isn’t one critically acclaimed, popular, anything in poetry left.

There’s merely a cool kids list which changes every few months.

There is no poetry, in terms of centralized recognition.

We now live in the Great Empty Hangover of a 1920s Gatsby party.

New Jersey poet Louis Ginsberg was a Nudist Camp member, and belonged to the One True Circle—in particular: Alfred Kreymborg/WC Williams/Ezra Pound/Wallace Stevens/Man Ray/Duchamp. His son was Allen Ginsberg.

Ginsberg, who gained fame, like Baudelaire and Joyce, completely from obscenity controversy, died in 1997.

Maya Angelou died in 2014.

John Ashbery, known for poetry which “makes no sense,” associated with Modern Art circles in New York City, including Peggy Guggenheim, a modern Gertrude Stein, who was awarded his Yale Younger Poets Award by W.H. Auden, died in 2017.

No one has replaced these figures.

A few replacement figures may exist, poets who knew Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, for instance, but the magnetic pull which holds pieces of inspiration together—think of Plato’s Ion—just isn’t strong enough. These figures may be on poetry lists, but the public doesn’t know them.

The total absence of poetry in the 21st century, its complete de-centered, trivial, existence is the void now faced by Mazer with his lantern.

Here’s an example. The Essential T.S. Eliot was just published (April 2020), reprinting the better-known poems and one essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent.”

The only thing new in the Essential T.S. Eliot is the introduction by Vijay Seshadri. A nice essay.  He has the slick, academic, ‘priesthood patter’ down—Pound and Eliot are profound and wonderful in all sorts of (World War One! The Horror!) ways.

However, in this new, rather sizeable introduction, no one after the middle of the 20th century is mentioned.  

I find this very interesting. The occasion of reprinting T.S. Eliot, in 2020, is cause for not even the faintest flutter in the post-Eliot Tradition.

So what is all this fuss about the Tradition, then?

Does it stop with Eliot and Pound?

Walt Whitman makes an appearance in the introduction—Seshadri tells us Eliot and Whitman are opposites, but also informs us that both were reactionary in their politics and both were influenced by a terrible war.

The most recent figure mentioned in Seshadri’s introduction is Hugh Kenner.  Seshadri reminds us that Bertrand Russell—son of Lord Russell, Prime Minster of England when Whitman was writing—slept with Eliot’s wife. Well, what would an examination of the One True Circle be, after all, without a Harry Crosby type of anecdote?

Eliot, and especially his associate, Ezra Pound—-both unknown and hungry during World War One—as mature, middle-aged, literary figures, both bet, essentially, on the Axis Powers to win World War Two. The second half of the 20th century, therefore, saw the entire sensibility of poetry, unlike the booming, victorious-over-Hitler, United States itself, become a high brow contest to see who could best apologize for what we were told was the best of our poetry—which had lost.

The worst “loser,” the embodiment of all that was lauded in the “new” poetry, was Ezra Pound—a T.S. Eliot objection away from being hung as a traitor in Italy in 1945. Ezra Pound, the irascible, cash-handy, “Make It New” deal-maker, the flesh of the poetry that was supposed to carry us forward to new heights of insight and interest.

But a curious thing happened.

As the 20th century went on, the “new” poetry, instead of taking us forward, took us back.

Poetry kept returning to Ezra Pound, Imagiste poet of World War One; it kept going back to T.S. Eliot and The Waste Land, which will be a hundred years old in 2022; this was the narrative: Pound, Eliot, Pound, Eliot.

But what of us?  What of the next generations?  Well, you had Ashbery, the late 20th century god, chosen by Auden—who had been chosen by Eliot.  There was simply no escape.  The One True Circle, which began in William James’ mental laboratory, kept shining. The rest of us could go to hell.

The One Circle trapped us in so many ways.

The 1970s pot-smoking professors trapped us, with their unreadable doctoral theses on Finnegan’s Wake and The Cantos.

There was the poetry itself which trapped us, the poetry which now anybody could write, and they did: your professor, your classmates, all the while doing the necessary obeisance to the “new” poetry—the crappy sort of poetry so easy to write—it only had to be obscure enough, which made it possible for anyone to believe they were a poet—as long as poetry that was actually good was kept, as much as possible, out of sight.

The poetry that was actually good was anything studied, anthologized, and written, prior to the existence of the One True Circle—that is, whatever Pound and Eliot dismissed: Milton, Poe, Shakespeare.

The past had to be read selectively, based on the One True Circle’s recommendations—one couldn’t just love old poetryno, that was forbiddenVillon, yes.  The “French Symbolists.” Yes. Rimbaud was terribly, terribly cool, even in a Bob Dylan, son of Woody Guthrie, sort of way. Even though no one knew what Rimbaud was talking about. (For a while we didn’t know what Dylan was talking about.) Obscurity was always good.  So Rimbaud was good. Baudelaire was good, no, great, because he was completely wretched. It was as if Baudelaire were alive during WW I!  So he was good. And French, of course, was good. A few tortured passages by Donne. Yes. That was okay, too. Pre-Raphaelite was very good. Because it was prior to the Renaissance, you see. And the Renaissance, because it was truly good, was very, very bad. Byron, Poe, Milton, Elizabeth Barrett, Edna Millay, Sara Teasdale. No way.  Millay and Teasdale were especially annoying, because they wrote a little too much beautiful poetry that actually was good, and they also had the audacity to be contemporary. Hugh Kenner, the Pound fan, was quick to dismiss Millay. And those in the One True Circle nodded silently.

So here we are in 2020, with a big poetic nothing.

We are still talking about Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, or Pound’s friend, WC Williams.

And exactly in the way the New Critics wanted us to talk about them.  The “difficult,” academic-priestly, text-centered way, is how we appropriately baffle ourselves.

There is only one thing which can be discussed outside the text.

World War One’s horrors.

It isn’t so much that we shouldn’t be talking about Eliot.  Certainly, we should. He was a good poet, and a good critic, and the Great War did happen, after all.

But what about everybody else?  What about the big future nothing which the cloudy, morbid, obsession with Modernism has created?

We hear, over and over again, how Eliot’s entire poetic being was a casualty of WW I, (the way “mad Ireland hurt” Yeats “into poetry”—Auden) but Modernist critics never stop to think how maybe the reader is a casualty of Modernism, which came about, as every Modernist is quick to point out, in de rigueur wretched tones, because of a horrific war.  If the horrific war was real, and Modernism’s reaction to it was real, then here is the Romantic poison drunk during the French Revolution—only we can’t talk about the French Revolution, because the One True Circle needs to be historically exclusive, as we see time and time again. Go back—but only to Pound and World War One, please. Stop there. And then, and only then, perhaps, you may perhaps travel indirectly back—as long as you don’t lose the thread, and forget that it connects to Pound—to, let’s say, Rimbaud, the anti-Romantic.

And never, never say the Modernist poets were part of the same group that produced World War One.  Always portray the Modernist poets as victims of the Great War.  Even if Ford Maddox Ford worked in the War Propaganda Office. Whatever you do, don’t mention that! Modernism was a burning cauldron heated by the fires of World War One.  And it melted everything.  That is all.

We bet on the Pound clique, and lost.

After the war, Pound had to be rescued; somehow World War Two had to be forgotten; unlike WW I, there was no WW II poetry of any note.

The Bollingen Prize—the first one—in 1949, was the stamp of approval, the swift and necessary repair of Pound’s reputation. Had Pound been quickly shot as a traitor, the poetry of our age would look entirely different.

The Bollingen Prize was presented to Pound, (amid howls of protest, of course) by three judges W.H. Auden, TS Eliot, and Conrad Aiken.

The One True Circle had to defend itself; it almost imploded, as World War Two made World War One temporarily irrelevant.  Thank God for the Bollingen and 1949!

New Critic and Southerner Allen Tate, who New Englander Robert Lowell worshiped (his eyes on the One True Circle) helped start the Writing Program at Princeton—where professor RP Blackmur taught the younger Princeton creative writing professor John Berryman how to drink—ending in Berryman’s suicide at the U. of Minnesota.

Princeton eventually took over the Bolligen Prize, which was the unofficial life blood of the One True Circle, as the 20th Century progressed, and they give out the Bollignen Prize to this day, the prize itself over-shadowing poets whom no one knows.

The Bollingen continues, but it only exists because Pound had to be saved.

Bollingen, by the way, is the name of the house of Carl Jung. The Bollingen prize originally had non-poetry money attached to it (normal for how poetry grew during the 20th century). Fortunately for the One True Circle, it fell into the lap of Pound’s friend, T.S. Eliot, and the two other judges, who were both Eliot’s friends, at the Library of Congress.

Conrad Aiken and Eliot were old Harvard friends—Harvard profs William James (sometimes known as the Nitrous Oxide Philosopher) and George Santayana, a bachelor who lived the last 20 years of his life in fascist Italy, were the two greatest influences on Aiken and Eliot (as well as Wallace Stevens).

Ralph Waldo Emerson—the antithesis of Poe and friends with T.S. Eliot’s New England grandfather—was William James’ godfather—and William James was the brother of the Great, Inscrutable, Expat, Novelist Henry James. William James was the founder of the first Psychology Department in the United States, at Harvard—and it could be said that William James might be the beginning of the One True Circle, if we must trace it back. (Though it’s in the nature of any True Circle never to be understood.) William James (also known as the Stream-of-Consciousness philosopher, though of course he didn’t invent stream of consciousness) also taught Gertrude Stein (one foot in the Nonsense Poetry Business, one foot in the Modern Painting Business)—she is of course an important member of the One True Circle.  (This game is very easy, but don’t let the ease fool you.)

Eliot was very much like the trans-Atlantic Henry James. The distinguished magazine, The Atlantic, was where Henry James was first published—by William Dean Howells, the editor set up there by Emerson. Eliot’s early tea-cup poetry resembles the novels of Henry James.

The One True Circle is almost entirely made up of men—but women were extremely influential behind the scenes, just as a great deal of non-poetry money was behind the scenes.  Pound needed lots of ready money to be the influence he was, and this mostly came from Pound’s female contacts.

Eliot’s first book (it was really a “pamphlet” according to Seshardri), Prufrock and Other Observations, was subsidized by Pound’s wife and published by the Egoist, a vital Modernist magazine, (Conrad Aiken was the first to review Prufrock and Other Observations—do you see how it works?) and yet the magazine itself, prior to being the Egoist, had been a radical feminist one, The New Freewoman, run by Dora Marsden, before it became, still under her leadership—but guided increasingly by Pound—the Egoist.

Marsden was too radical for even her radical feminist cohorts; she lived the last 40 years of her life as a broken recluse.  She was a passionate believer in radical individualism, feminism, and free love. This is somewhat ironic, given the fact that the mature, “conservative” Eliot excoriated the young Shelley for advocating free love.  Eliot’s career was born on the shoulders of “free love.”  Eliot never had to apologize for his abuse of Shelley, however, because Shelley, the stunning Romantic poet, was persona non grata to Pound’s One True Circle, anyway.

Letters in the 20th century decided to make an American poetry hero out of Ezra Pound and to make College Writing Programs (‘you, too, can be a poet’) the key to success in poetry.

The result: American poetry no longer has a public.

Of course, what happened, happened.  Nothing written here is the attempt to make it all go away. Quite the contrary. We might as well go into it even deeper, if we are to come out of it, and start anew.

Harry Crosby and his Black Sun Press is an important part of that story.

It was suppressed then, and Ben Mazer is bringing it back to light, now.

Mazer’s introduction to Harry’s poems is mostly factual. He details Harry’s life as WW I soldier, poet, and lover. He praises the poetry as having that quality where every reader can see something different in it. He lauds its sincerity. The introduction ends this way:

A notable occasion in Harry’s life was when he witnessed Lindbergh’s landing in Paris on May 20, 1927. On August 1, 1929, he decided that he wanted to learn how to fly. Soon he was taking lessons, and going up with an instructor. Then, he became more and more impatient as he yearned to be allowed to fly solo, but continued to be sent up with an instructor. He was determined to fly solo before departing for America. Finally, on Armistice Day, November 11, Harry completed his first solo flight. Five days later he and Caresse sailed for New York on the Mauretania. On November 18, Harry received a radiogram from Josephine: “IMPATIENT.” On November 22, the Crosbys docked in New York. The next day, Harry visited Josephine before the Harvard-Yale football game. Harry saw much of Josephine in the next two weeks. The final entry in Harry’s diary reads:

One is not in love unless one desires to die with one’s beloved

There is only one happiness it is to love and to be loved

One can get lost in the tabloid excess of Harry’s life.  But there was a tragic Romantic figure beneath the excess—a deeply sensitive man who loved.

The poems of Harry Crosby are bright, fanciful. Here are two samples:

I am endeavoring to persuade a Chinese professor who is at work on a torpedo which he expects to shoot to the sun to allow me to live in the centre of this torpedo

And

a giraffe is gorging himself on sunflowers a Parisian doll is washing herself in a blue fingerbowl while I insist on their electrocution on the grounds of indecency

Crosby’s poetry has a quality which represents the times in which he lived better than anything else that was being published then.

T.S. Eliot thought.

Harry Crosby lived.

The following is one of the most interesting things I found in the book.

This excerpt—from a critical piece Crosby published in the summer of the year he died—proves that Harry belonged, at least in his own mind, to the One True Circle.  You can tell by his likes and dislikes. The following perhaps reveals too much. There is a cult-like worship of those in the One True Circle, which may have even unsettled the members of the One True Circle themselves.  Did Crosby hate Amy Lowell because she was against the U.S. entering World War One—which made his uncle, J.P. Morgan, rich?  Amy Lowell was dedicated to poetry. Pound, police commissioner of the One True Circle, did nothing but ridicule her. And why did Crosby reject a beautiful poet like Edna Saint Vincent Millay?  Perhaps Millay wanted nothing to do with the One True Circle? After all, not everyone liked Ezra Pound.

A well-known phenomenon in the East is the False Dawn, a transient light on the horizon an hour before the True Dawn. The False Dawn = the poets sponsored by Amy Lowell and the Imagists who flickered for a brief instant on the horizon before they dwindled into the Robert Hillyers and Humbert Wolfs, the Edna Saint Vincent Millays, the Walter de la Meres, the Benets and Untermeyers, the Auslanders and Teasdales who spot with their flytracks the bloated pages of our magazines and anthologies. Once again the general reader has been deceived by the False Dawn and has gone back to bed (who can blame him?) thus missing the True Dawn which has definitely appeared on the horizon harbingered by T.S. Eliot, heralded by the Morning Star of Joyce and heliorayed with the bright shafts of Hart Crane, E.E. Cummings, Perse and MacLeish, Gertrude Stein, Desnos, Eluard, Jolas and Kay Boyle.

—Harry Crosby, 1929

Thank you, Ben Mazer.

Harry Crosby and the True Dawn (there was some truth) will always be looking for us.

Those “bright shafts.”

~~~~~
Salem MA, May 1 2020

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