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March 19, 1965 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-03-19

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1'

PAGE TI O

THE MICHIGAN ifAIL

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Contemporary

Poetry

Highlights

Creative

Arts

Festival

A I

4
Filling her compact and delicious body
with chicken paprika, she glanced at me
twice.
Fainting with interest, I hungered back
and only the fact of her husband and four other people
kept me from springing on her
or falling at her little feet and crying
'You are the hottest one for years of night
Henry's dazed eyes
have enjoyed, Brilliance.' I advanced upon
(despairing) my spumoni.-Sir Bones: is stuffed,
de world, wif feeding girls.
-Black hair, complexion Latin, jewelled eyes
downcast ... The slob besides her [feasts ... What
wonders is
she sitting on, over there?
The restaurant buzzes. She might as well be on Mars.
Where did it all go wrong? There ought to be a law
against Henry.
-Mr. Bones: there is.
From 77 Dream Songs
-JOHN BERRYMAN

f

FOR SALE
Poor sheepish plaything,
organized with prodigal animosity,
lived in just a year-
my Father's cottage at Beverly Farms
was on the market the month he died.
Empty, open, intimate,
its town-house furniture
had an on tiptoe air
of waiting for the mover
on the heels of the undertaker.
Ready, afraid
of living alone till eighty,
Mother mooned in a window,
as if she had stayed on a train
one stop past her destination.
From Life Studies
-ROBERT LOWELL

:I

t

John Berryman

Robert Lowell

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Explore Poetry of Lowell, Berryman, Penn

Warren

And-now
We see, below,
The delicate landscape unfurled:
A world
Of ripeness blent, and green:
The fruited earth,
Fire on the good hearth,
The fireside scene.
(Those people have no name,
Who shall know dearth
And flame.)
It is a land of corn and kine.
Of milk
And wine,
And beds that are as silk.
The gentle thigh,
The unlit night-lamp night.
This much was prophesied:
We shall possess;
And abide
--Nothing less.
We many not be denied.
The inhabitant shall flee as the fox.
His foot shall be among the rocks.
From History
--ROBERT PENN WARRREN

EDITOR'S NOTE: The recent flood of breaking local news has created
a shortage of space in The Daily which forced the delay of this feature
page. It was scheduled to run yesterday before the Robert Penn warren
poetry reading. Across Campus, the daily calendar, appears on Page 5.
By KAY HOLMES
In an age which denies absolutes and defies definition, it is not
surprising that the perception of the contemporary poet negates
the optimism and the ephemeral world of the romantics. The
present is their perspective; the past is barely a heritage, the future
is unknown or unknowable.
It is this world of the contemporary poet, and the conflicts and
quests it holds in relation to his perception of it, that was dis-
cussed in the "Panel on Contemporary Poetry" Tuesday evening.
An introduction to the three major poets who wil take part in
the Creative Arts Festival,-Robert Penn Warren, Robert Lowell,
and John Berryman-the poetry symposium was given by Peter
M. Wyman, Generation editor George Abbott White, '66, and Tony
Stoneburner of the English department.
Robert Penn Warren
Discussing the work of Robert Penn Warren, Wyman, writer
and proprietor of Ann Arbor's poetry bookstore, characterized him
as "the rhetorician of the fall of man." For Warren, "the fall"
explains the comlexities of experience and the loss of certainty of
individual will. In "this fallen world, poetry must be earned and
the poet must prove his vision."
Poetry for Warren is motion brought to a point of rest; but
to be of moment it must be resisted, Wyman said. "This re-
sistance to oneness, to God"' embodies the desperate metaphysics
of Robert Penn Warren. For him a fine autumn day is "poised
between summer's lust and winter's harm."
Thus "Promises," written in a year when promises were
broken, finds that despite the imbalance, man may obtain a pre-
carious poise, Wyman noted. Behind the poise looms the abyss,
seen in the images of motion in these "journey poems."
Compare Warren, Lowell
Comparing Lowell and Warren, Wyman described the former
as "escaping into freedom," while Warren "moves from liberation
to constriction." Christian innocence can't be purchased by
Christ's blood; redemption is an anachronism and man must pay
for his sins, for his identity, with his own blood. Hardly "a lyricist
of innocence," Warren believes that man's quests are feeble, ren-
dered in wasted motion.
Discussing Warren's poem "History," Wyman said that "his-
tory has nothing to tell us"; all isunfilled, "a seed flung in the
wind." The image of motion is countered with transcendent still-
ness; in leaving the world of motion, stasis is correlated to iden-
tity. The act, the moment alone is pure, for it is static. The
quest of the ancestors is similar to the search of modern man;
however, for him the pure act is not available, he can but look
for its meaning. For him there is no myth of the chosen people;
le can't escape the langor for "Time falls, but has no end."
Petitions Available for 1966
MICHIGANENSIAN Staff
Available in 'Ensian Office,
420 Maynard
Due: Saturday, March 20, by noon
Interviews to be held Sunday, March 21
For information call:

The quest for permanence is the true vocation of mankind,"
Wyman interpreted. 'T'he absolute is necessary and the absolute
is impossible: that is the fall of man."
Robert Lowell
White characterized the work of Robert Lowell as "written in
the midst of action from the world of experience." A "poetry of
rebellion," Lowell's works deal with "the conflicts and agonies of
coming to terms with contemporary existence." Through the
Christian, and New England myths, power reverberates outward
and universality is achieved in his regionalism.
In his "harsh, rattling style" Lowell evidences a "profound
dissatisfaction with humanity and the universe," White said. "The
landscapes are strewn with rubble and decay; human successes
and conventional love have no place" in his poetry. Lowell's re-
volt is complete; however it is against the existent pressures, not
against reality itself. "Although Lowell stares into the void, and
leans into the abyss, he comes out," White said, and his "poetry
reflects acclamation."
Lowell's poetry evidences progress because of the myth he em-
ploys and because of his growing maturity, White said. His poetry
is dense, fragmentary, and moves through powerful allusions. He
changes from traditional to naked speech for at the crux of poetry
is experience; the rhythm is but the person himself.
Lowell's Progression
Discussing Lowell's progression, White said that his poetry
becomes increasingly specific and concrete. "As the geographical
limits contrast the images turn inward," and his poetry becomes
an emotional reaction to people and situations. "The revolt has
now mellowed to rebellion, and there is a note, of compromise,"
White said.
Life Studies represents. Lowell's "election to reality," White
said, "in a rigorous attempt to find out who he is and what he is."
In the rejection of one tradition, Protestant heritage, he adheres
to another, Catholicism. Similarly, his poetry of rebellion is done
in traditional form, and this revolt becomes a rebellion which
culminates in acceptance.
John Berryman
Stoneburner, poet-critic-teacher, characterized John Berry-
man's works as that of dislocation and frustration. Frustrated by
the quirks of living and society's attempts to deny him, the poetry
of Berryman contains a unique combination of humor and terror.
The Dispossessed contains brief patches of Yeatsian splendor
and juxtaposed wrenching lines, which systematically disappoint
one's expectations, Stoneburner said. Metrically symptomatic, for
Berryman'never attempts free verse, he illustrates in these poems
that "poetry can no longer be one rising splendor," for he inserts
"cinders without modulation."
Stoneburner described "Homage to Mistress Bradstreet" as a
love poem between a 20th century man and a 17th century woman,
in which Berryman uses this "science fiction device" of one mind
sharing the conscious of two. In this poem "the body is the clue to
everything," Stoneburner said.

In 77 Dream Songs. Berryman carries the wrenching effect
further, in the form of split-level poems, Stoneburner said. Perhaps
in using this device of emerging, unconcluded dialogue, Berryman
means to illustrate that men are split level, that life is frustrating
and unfulfilling. However, the risk of split-level poems, the handful
of fragments, is that sometimes they cancel each other out, Stone-
burner said.
In his reading of Berryman's poetry, Stoneburner demons
strated the humor and terror connotations. "The high ones die, die,
they die" evidences the complete frustration, the sense of nothing
left that some of Berryman's works bear. However, this terrifying
void is at other times filled with humor:
"Life is boring . . . we must not say so
My mother told me, repeatedly
That tQ say so means one has no inner resources.
I conclude now I have no inner resources."
FESTIVAL CALENDAR
The following is a calendar of coming events in the Creative
Arts Festival:
TODAY
8 p.m.-Claudel's drama "L'Annonce Faite a Marie" will be
performed in Trueblood Aud.
SATURDAY, MARCH 20
8 p.m.-Robert Lowell will read from his poetry in Hill Aud.
SUNDAY, MARCH 21
3 p.m. --John Berryman will read from his poetry in the
Michigan Union ballroom.
TUESDAY, MARCH 23
8 p.m. - Jerome Badanes will read from his poetry in the
Union ballroom.
FRIDAY, MARCH 26
8 p.m.-Shepherd Mead will lecture on "mass culture" in the
Union ballroom.
SATURDAY, MARCH 27
8:30 p.m.-The University Mens' Glee Club will perform An
Hill Aud.
SUNDAY, MARCH 28
3 p.m.-A panel discussion on "In White America" will be
held in the Union ballroom.
TUESDAY, MARCH 30
8 p.m.-"In White America" will be performed in Trueblood
Aud
8:30 p.m.-I Solosti di Zagreb, chamber orchestra, will per
form in Rackham Aud.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31
8 p.m.-"In White America" will be performed in Trueblood
Aud"
8dp.m.-The Gilbert and Sullivan Society will present "Yeo-
men of the Guard" in Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.
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Robert Penn Warren

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662-6264

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