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February 20, 1970 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-02-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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poetry and prose

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Bly: Bard

of

By MARY RADTKE
RoberI Bly, the 1970 Writer-
in-Residence, is a bard if ever
there was one. Dressed en rap-
port with his audience in wire-
rimmed: glasses and a black and
white poncho, he wove his poetry
into the substance of life and
sent it dancing off the ceiling of
the Natural Science Aud.
He came to' us well-recoim-
mended-National Book Award
for Poetry in 1967, famed for
giving the ward money to Re-
sistance, founder of Writers
Against Vietnam, editor of an
influential magazine of poetry
and criticism, The Sixties, trans-
lator.
He came to talk about doubt,
saying (wonder of wonders)
words that were too new to be
rhetoric. But words and repu-
tation became matters of sec-
ondary importance when he be-
gan to speak, for Robert Bly is
warm and rough and comfort-
ably magnificent; a man whose
poetry is within himself and
can never be completely trans-
ferred to paper.
His voice is deep and pleas-
antly granular, coming from be-
tween the tight lips of a Min-
nesota farmer, often trailing
past in a mumble or swallowed
altogether, but clear and pas-
sionate when the occasion mer-
its. His face bears a fine collec-
tion of creases and wrinkles that
smile often and with conviction.

His hands move constantly,
conducting the rhythms of his
words and spelling them out like
Indian hand symbols. Between
the voice and the hands, it
doesn't really matter what he
s a y s - understanding comes
without the words, and the tone
of his voice tells the poem.
Although Bly's appearance
last night was called a poetry
reading, it was much more of a
poetry talking. He was conver-
sational, intimate; several times,
a poem he knew by heart slip-
ped naturally out of the be-
tween-poem commentary.
Addressing himself to his an-
nounced subject, Bly said that
poetry comes from "the refusal
to go along the tracks that are
already laid out in your head,
and you don't really get off that
track until you doubt.
"The problem in poetry is
first to teach you that you are
asleep and then to wake you
up." This requires, he says, go-
ing beneath your ordinary mind,
and not above it, down to the
secret thing inside yourself."
For Robert Bly the finest
poetry of doubt comes from the
great Spanish and Latin Ameri-
can poets, many of whom he has
translated, and he seems more;
eager to read their poetry than
his own.
Words that are strong and
bare march in hard Anglo-
Saxon stresses through his lines;

doubt
imagery is purposeful, not de-
corative, and tends toward the
physical touch of earth and the
life in it. "There is a solitude
like black mud," he says. And in
another poem, "We are like a
sleek, black water beetle, skating
across still water in any direc-
tion we wish."
Occasionally, as in the anti-
war poem "Counting Small-
Boned Bodies,"' the devastating
simplicity of his words flows
perfectly into the simultaneous
idea and emotion that is the es-
sence of poetry. Sometimes the
strength of his image is arrest-
ing - "The State Department
floats in the heavy jellies near
the bottom like exhausted crus-
taceans."
Sometimes, too, his references
are too subtle. They could mean
too many things, too vaguely,
unless the tone of Bly's voice
or his commentary is there to
pin them down. It helps in the
section of "Three Presidents"
which compares Theodore
Roosevelt to a stone to know
that Bly thinks of all right-wing
people as stones," with 13 purple
legs that would like to run to
the top of an apartment build-
ing and jump off and land on
somebody."
Generally t ho u g h, textual
weaknesses will pass unnoticed
as long as the poem is filtered
through the voice and hands of
Robert Bly.

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El-

From Russia With Love
AUD. A, ANGELL HALL-75c
Fri. and Sat., Feb. 20, 21
Sex and violence in a Turkish mosque
SWith Sean Connery as James Bond

r

COMING SOON:

Charlie Bubbles
Bonnie and Clyde
Desi Arnaz and His
Band (due to popular demand)

-. ~"uy -fl4
An incomparable Andres Segovia in concert at Hill

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Joseph S trick to show
Tropic of Cancer'

....
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THE MERRY WIDOW

theatre:

A

rest from relevance

"I propose a kind of lecture/
demonstration during which, I
can . . . discuss the factors that
led to all the decisions, the cast-
ing decisions, the lighting of' a
scene, choice of angles .. ." said
Joseph Strick the other day
when he decided to bring his
new film, Tropic of Cancer, to
Ann Arbor this Sunday for the
Creative Arts Festival.
Prior to this, Strick was go-
ing to show rushes of his films,
but he was able to obtain a
copy of his latest work which is
premiering in New York t h i s
week. Strick is well known for
The Michigan Daily, edited and man-
aged by students at the University of
Michigan. News phone: 764-0552. Second
Class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Mich-
igan, 420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48104. Published daily Tues-
day thrcugh Sunday morning Univer-
sity year. Subscription rates: $10 by
carrier, $10 by mail.S
Summer Session published Tuesday
through Saturday morning. Subscrip-
tion rates: $3.00 by carrier; $3.00 by
mail.
'I

his cinematic adaptation of
James Joyce's Ulysses and Jean
Genet's The Balcony.
Following the showing of
Tropic of Concer, Strick will
answer questions and generally
speak about the transitions need-
ed to create a film from a novel.
Tickets that have been bought
for the original program at 2
p.m. Sunday will be applicable
to one of two showings on the
same day at 1 and 4 p.m. in
Aud. A. The price will remain
$1.50.

ThiS 1

iW~RPI
O.~A
o.Uw

Operetta -by Franz Lehar
Conductor: Josef Blatt
Stage Direction: Ralph Herbert
FEBRUARY 27 and 28
MARCH 2 and 3

8 PA.M
. Admission $3.00

Friday & Saturday
LORI NG
JAN ES
ISA

I

Mendelssohn Theatre
Ticket Information: 764-6118

MAIL ORDERS: SCHOOL OF MUSIC OPERA, MENDELSSOHN
THEATRE, THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, ANN ARBOR,
MICHIGAN 48104. BOX OFFICE HOURS: FEB. 23-26, 12:30-
5 P.M.; FEB. 27.28, MAR. 2, 3, 12:30-8 P.M. (CLOSED SUN-
DAY, MARCH 1)
School of Music and Department of Art 0 University of Michigan

4

By BETSY SMITH
Despite the spoof of interpre-
tive. program notes (sexual in-
nuendo In The Drunkard) and
the "almost unpolluted wa er
used for the Bartender's beer,
John Styan's direction of the
Lord Chamberlain's Players in
P. T. Barnum's temperance
melodrama at Canterbury House
is avowedly traditional. When
Mary Wilson (Tennie Cham-
berlain) urges boys to sign the
pledge "that will end all con-
flict the cheer is exultant but
relaxed. No one is going any-
where, the play exists to be sav-
ored, song by song - pose by
pose.
Slow pacing permits each
piece of stage business to be
well-realized. Asides, significant.
pauses, tableaux, ensemble
numbers; all reflect attention to
minute details and effects. Sing-
ers . sing falsetto and off-key,
actors don voices as if they
were hats or masks and postures
rather, than walk.
EdwardMiddleton's decline
and near decay as a drunkard
is merely the excuse for a series
of .exploits and near-crimes.
Forgery, eviction, blackmail
rape take their positions beside
mangled lines from familiar
poetry in the best commedia
tradition. As much as tem-
perance, the play is about gen-
tility, religion, idealism, with
the style of each exaggerated to
absurdity. The setting is vaguely
New England with Southern
overtones, the ethics are rural
America, the heroes are rustic
and the ending is happy.
Certain performances stand
out: Zibby Oneal's lascivious
songs, as Sophia Spindle, Mrs.
Wilson's (Gerry Creeth's) moth-
erly love and her mother-in-
lawly demise; Joe Pehrson the
piano player's deliberately miss-
ed notes; Lawyer Cribb's (play-
ed by. Howard Buten) special
moustache flourish and his
masterful conductingsofstherau-
dience's boos and hisses; Bert
Hornback as the Bartender ac-
tually collecting dirty cups from
the audience during a scene.
Because of the coffeehouse
setting, the use of the audience

Sunday--8:30
JON
SUN DELL
farewell performance
41a

1

Phone 764-0558

Order Your Daily NOW-
FOURSHOWS SAT. &iSUN.

The Best of the
Underground-Film
Artists
Brakhage, Anticipation
of the Night
Emshwiller, Relativity
Nyitany, Overture
to an Embryo
SAT., FEB. 21, 1970
EAST QUAD, 9:00 P.M.
NO CHARGE
More on Sat., Feb. 28'
and Sat., March 14

both inside and outside the play
is effective.
If the action errs on the side
of slowness, the lines are per-
haps at times delivered too fast,
and tend to jumble, as the
dominant style of the action
would imply; like a tape jamming
as it comes out of the recorder.
But the nature of highly stylized
action is to welcome staginess
with it, stagey mistakes, whether
intentional or not. Thus a char-
acter can miss his lines and
wink to the audience about it
without falling out of his role.
The play is not about sexual
identity at all. It is about re-
pression of individual will to
the will of the majority, under
the blessing of a benevolent
deity, who will unmask the of-
fender and restore the rightful
heir to his patrimony, for which
we, the audience, will be of
course immediately, and he the
heir, (we hope) be eventually,
grateful.

EU

CAMP CHI

An exciting co-ed social group-work camp located.
in Wisconsin needs male and female waterfront
personnel, skiing instructor, sailing instructor, MALE
COUNSELORS.
interviews-FEB. 24-25
Call SAB, 764-7460 for appointment
A service of the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago
h -

Read and Use
Daily Classipeds

Studnt
air fares
to Europe
start at
Icelandic has the greatest
travel bargain ever for stu.
dents ... our brand new
$120* one-way fare to
Luxembourg in the heart of
Europe. If you're travelling
to or from your studies at a
fully accredited college or
university, and are 31 years
old or under, you qualify for
this outstanding rate: It's
an individual fare, not a
charter or group; you fly
whenever you want, and
can stay up to a year. Inter-
ested? Qualified? Also, if
you are thinking of Europe
but not for study, we've got
the lowest air fares. Call
your travel agent or write
or Student Fare Folder CN.
Icelandic Airlines, 630 Fifth
Ave. (Rockefeller Center)
New York, N.Y. 10020.
*Slightly higher In peak
/season.
ICELANL1fICAI~s
S TILL
LOWEST
AIRP FRES
TO EUROPE
of any scheduled airline.

"Hip Off-Broadway Hit
Knocks The Box
& Other American Fetishes"
. . you'll think you never laughed so hard"
-Johanna Steinmetz, Chicago Today
".. .more aching laughter than I have heard on
Broadway this year"
-Ton Prideaux, Life, 12/1 9/69
"GO And See
GROOVE, TUBE
-Clive Barnes, N.Y. Times, 10/12/69
"Outrageously Funny"-Cue
'. . . a wicked and hilarious lampoon of TV pro-
grams"-Look
"Now TV executives are faced with the ultimate
weapon. Groove Tube demolishes television.'"-Play-
boy
Presented by KENNETH N. NEMEROVSKI

'l

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"TWO OF THE YEA R'S 10 BEST"
-Neal Gabler,

Mich. Daily

Even conservative profs rebel - --
against smear tactics on termngo.
papers. You're always better off 8L
with erasable Corrasable~ Bond. ~ AL
An ordinary pencil eraser lets
you erase without a trace on
Eaton's Corrasable type- EATONS CORRASABE
writer paper. At college book-- TYPEWRITER PAPER
stores and stationery stores. (- - --
Only Eaton makes Corrasable*
1ATON'S CORRASABLE BOND TYPEWRITER PAPER
Eaton Paper Division of jextroni Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201

"TENDER, LOVING, FUNNY-SAD!"
-N.Y. Daily News
"Besides being one of the truly funny sophisticated
comedies, it starred one of the best looking chicks
ever." -Neal Gabler
BIE MUS'IS AVRYNNY, SYA
*VIE...A THING OF REAlANDUNMUSUAL PlEA r- ° '
"GOODBYE, COLUMBUS' IS
BOUND TO BE A GREAT
TFDM R10NPT
Fri.-"ROMEO & JULIET" 6:45, 1 1:00-"COLUMBUS," 9:15
Sat.-"ROMEO & JULIET," 2:30, 6:45, 11:00-
"COLUMBUS," 5:00, 9:15
"DAZZLING!,once you see it, you'l never again picture
'Romeo&Juliet' quite the way you did before!" -LIFE
PARAMOUNT PICTURESeprent.
A lSHE lilA
The
FiwNCO ZEFFIRELLI
Production of
ROMEO
~JULET

'Wijich One
is the
'Ri ulist?

11

It's easy to tell a Paulist: Just
talk with him.
The first thing you notice is
that he's contemporary. He
lives today, but plans tomorrow
with the experience and knowl-
edge of yesterday. That's a
Paulist characteristic: the abil-
ity to move with the times and
to meet the challenges of each
era.
A Paulist is also the mediator
of his age: he tries to bring to-
gether the extremes in today's
world and the Church, the lib-
erals and the moderates, the
eternal and the'temporal.
Next, he is very much an indi-
vidual. It sets him apart imme-
diately. He has his own partic-
ular talents and abilities -and
he is given freedom to use them.
If you are interested in finding
out more about the Paulist dif-
ference in the priesthood, ask

THURSDAY and SUNDAY: 7:30 and 9:15
SATURDAY: 8:00, 9:45 and 11:30
Prices: Thurs. & Sun.: $1.75; Sat. $2.50
NO FRIDAY 'PERFORMANCES
THE VIDEO GALLERY
in the H I LLEL SOCIAL HALL
1429 Hill Street
PHONE RESERVATIONS: 769-0130
TICKETS AT THE DOOR AT SHOWTIME

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F Teegarc
t FEBRUAR

elen and
Van Winkle

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Y 24, 25, 27, 28, MARCH

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