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November 09, 1978 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-09

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6-Thursday, November 9, 1978-The Michigan Daily

Poet Shore's diversity confusing

By CAROL WIERZBICKI
The thin, diminutive woman cleared
her throat, set her shoulders, and began
to read in a clear, quiet voice. She han-
Wtled each poem tenderly, as if reading a.
.jpidnight story to a child. All in all,
"Jane Shore conveyed a feeling of seren-
ity and composure as she read to an en-
thusiastic audience at Benzinger
Library in East Quad Tuesday night.
A successful young author whose first
book, Eye Level, won the Juniper prize
for poetry, Jane Shore has taught at
several Eastern colleges, including

Harvard. Eye Level, she claims, has no
unifying theme; it's simply a collection
of poems. Reading it, I came away
somewhat confused. For one thing,
there are several paradoxes in her
style. Her poems waver between
childlike simplicity and grandiose
imagery. Shore attributes this sharp
contrast to her personality, pointing out
that the simpler poems were usually
her earlier ones. She says the content of
the poems is largely intellectual - yet
sometimes she uses simplistic means to
express the obvious. She has a wealth of
expressive imagery to draw from, but
once in a while, cliches pop up:
.Se's as remote as a star,
and he is her only planet.
YET WHEN Shore breaks out into a
new frame of reference, the result is
freshness of language and vision. She
seems to achieve a clearer imagery
with crisp metaphors than with the
similes which dominate some of her
poems. "Dieting" is chock-full of that
resplendent imagery; extravagant,
unattainable objects float in and out,,

I
1

R. C. Players presents.
ENDGAME
and other short works
by SAMUEL BECKETT

8pm
r

NOV. 9,10,11
EAST QUAD

Ir

The Ann Aebor Film CooperftiVe presents at Aud. A
Thursday, November 9 ADMISSION FREE

THE CRUEL SEA

(Khalid Siddick, 1971) 7 only-AUD. A
Story of an ill-fated love among pearl divers in the Bahrian. This
Kuwaiti film has won nine international awards.

complementing and contrasting the
theme of dieting:
Am I a cannibal?
Eating little, I digest myself.
Meanwhile, dawn isbreaking over Boston,
her rosy fingers curled like shrimp.
Picasso's omelet is singing on my plate.-
One poem, called "The Reader,"
comes off as somewhat wordy and sim-
plistic. On the page opposite is the first
part of a lengthy poem, "This World
Without Miracles." It is delicate and
tightly-woven, and quite beautifully in-
corporates several natural and man-
made images.
It is this firm use of imagery which
makes some poems more powerful than
others, and that I wish she would em-
ploy more often:
Ihear
cars approach from miles away and
celebrate the personality of engines!
... The bird-hearted
pulse of the raspberry bush in bloom.
SHORE'S USE OF rhythm and oc-
casional rhyme are definite strengths
in her poetry. Sparingly used, they ap-
pear unexpectedly, but contribute to,
rather than detract from, the mood of a
poem. The author does best with bright,
earthy, small images, as in the delight-
ful language of "Skating:"
Red flag up -
the lake is frozen over ...
wooly skulls - sleek, hooded ...
Wind at my back
like a large impersonal hand
sends me skidding off...
Then, too her "literariness" comes in
handy for describing complex ideas and
feelings, as in "The Glass Paper-
weight." Here Shore conveys the con-
flicting and disturbing emotions ex-
perienced while looking at a glass snow
scene - in the tersest, most condensed,
most effective language possible.
Other times, I am confounded by her
/vague endings and circular speech:
In the mind of the island's one survivor
the rescuer is always sailing, toward
his other self, who swims to meet him.
And I can't help thinking how just one
more new image tacked on the end,
might 'fave helped to round out and
clarify the poem.
The way Jane Shore makes brilliant
phrases leap out at us from a cloud of
ordinary language is truly amazing.
According to her Advent calendar
poem;
In the night sky, stars are falling.
I open the crescent window of the rnoon.,
Inside, a man is hiking in sheer daylight
clear across Tibet where it is day.
Fantastic imagery, voiced in simple
speech, and clear, concise, uncluttered
lines - these are the factors that stand
behind Shore's real successes. The

poems in which these devices occur
seem to be the ones which speak most
directly to the reader. One of her new
poems, called "Cuttings," uses the
image of plant cuttings to express the
pain of moving to a new place. At the
same time, it describes an exotic friend
in terms of different spices. The small,
tender objects peopling the poem make
it an easy one for anyone to identify
with.
Jane Shore's poetry is, on the whole,
puzzling. She seems to write not in one
specific style, but in many, and the fact
that there is no unifying element in her
book adds to the confusion. Usually,
when one reads a book of poems, he
gets a sense of what the poems are
collectively trying to say, as well as the
personality behind them. While I do get
a feeling that all these poems have
something to do with eyes and vision (a
new way of seeing the world and
oneself), I find myself asking the same
question: Who is Jane Shore?

v

r
pi
'Inc

h
r

R-ECORDS

000,

.. ''...... Ii
*; t

1

I

THE LAW

(Darius Mehriui, 1968) 9 only-AUD. A
Quiet and complex story of a peasant driven to madness by
the loss of his cow. Made in Iran.
Tomorrow: Herzog's AGUIRRE, WRATH OF GOD, plus SIGNS OF LIFE
GUILD HOUSE presents
A NOON LUNCHEON, NOV. 10th
Soup & Sandwich 50C
with
FR. MARTIN GARATE
Chilean Exile, Quaker Center United Nations:
"Political Oppression in Chile"
GUILD HOUSE 802 Monroe
Mediatrics presents:
SMNGIN IN THE RAIN
(Stanley Donen, 1952) This is the best of all Hollywood musicals. From the
title song to Gene Kelly's and Debbie Reynolds duet, "You Were Meant For
Me," to Kelly and Cyd Charisse in "Broadway Rhythm," one line moment after
another. "Enjoying SINGIN' IN THE RAIN has nothing to do with nostalgia or
sentimentality. It is simply stated, a Hollywood Masterpiece."-Vincent
Canby, NEW YORK TIMES.
Thurs., Nov. 9 Mich. Union 7, 8:45, 10:30
CAMELOT
(Joshua Logan, 1967) "Once there was a place called Camelot." The adven-
tures of King Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table and Queen Guinevere
are splendid and colorful in this film version of the Lerner-Lowe musical based
on T. H. White's rewrite of the famous legends about the mythical medieval
Kingdom where it rains on cue. "O why can't a woman be more like a man?"
Three Academy Awards.
Fri., Nov. 10 Nat. Sci. Aud. 7 & 9:40
-AND-
SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE
(George Roy Hill, 1972) Billy Pilfrim is unstuck in time. One minute he is
trapped in a German P.O.W. camp as Allied bombers ruthlessly turn the city
ofresden into an inferno; a moment later he is standinq on the distant
p lanet Tralfamadore, where he meets the buxom movie star Montana Wild-
hack. Novel by Kurt Vonnegut. SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE is the first American
film to win the Cannes Film Festival Jury Award. With Machoel Sachs and
Valerie Perrine. Editing by Dede Allen.
Sat., Nov. 11 Nat. Sci. Aud. 7 & 9:00
ADMISSION $1.50

--
Q: Are We Not Meu? A: We Are Devo!
Devo
Wazrner Bros. BSK 3239
"Be Stiff" b/w "Social Fools"
Devo
Stiff 8BOY 2
By MIKE TAYLOR
Within -just a few short weeks Devo
seems to have become this year's tren-
diest outfit, pop messiahs for Ann Ar-
bor's hip kids. Sure, they made it to the
Midnight Special, Saturday Night Live,
Newsweek, and most recently, Grosse
Pointe. Sure, they're cool.
But they're not the first band to be
cool are they? They aren't the first
band to bend rock 'n' roll into'
something more to their liking, are
they? Not unless you forget about Cap-
tain Beefheart, the Bonzo Dog Band,
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Inven-
tion, Roy Wood, Brian Eno, David
Bowie, Wire, and Pere Ubu, to name
but a few.
Barrier-free design
discussed
The Ann Arbor Center for
Independent Living has joined with
Washtenaw Community College (WCC)
and the Ann Arbor Civitian Club to
present a workshop on barrier-free
design.
The guest speaked will be Jack Butler
of the Ann Arbor Center staff. Butler
serves as the Housing Coordinator and
is responsible for finding barrier-free
units for handicapped individuals.
A film-The Surest Test - will be
shown. The nine minute movie outlines
exactly what barrier-free is and isn't.
The general public is invited to attend
these free workshops. Those in need of
transportation assistance should call
971-0277. People wanting more
information or to register in advance
should call 482-2230.

SO, QUITE frankly, I can't see what
everyone's getting so excited about.
True, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are
Devo is one of the year's most tan-
talizing releases. Devo packs off-beat
pop melodies, burning hard rock
rhythms, and chaotic, visionary vocals
into a delicious package. But I'm not
ready to pray to them.
If I didn't like these five young men
from Akron, Ohio so much, I might
even call them fascists. They tell us
about ourhmechanical, washed-up
world not by singing about it, as most
bands would, but by acting it out. It's a
potent, sometimes scary act. In Grosse
Pointe, Devo managed to play for over
an hour without giving any glimpses of
the human souls within their rubber
performing suits. It's all so convincing,
so God-awful depressing that at times it
seems more than an act. Are these guys
brilliant at maintaining a front, or
would they like to rule the world?
"Social Fools," the flip-side of their
new single on Stiff Records, is par-
ticularly disturbing. In the midst of
power chords and jangling guitar solos
we hear the words, "you may try but
you'll never make it," to which a new,
more taunting voice adds,'you'll never
catch up.
IN "CONCERT," Devo calls us spuds
and laughs at us from their vinyl
paradise. They stand there like
monoliths from the 21st century,
preaching their earthly blend of
nihilism and tyranny. At least we don't
have to look at them when we're
listening to the album.'
Still, after just a few lines of "Jocko
Homo," they've got us singing along
with them:
are we not men?
we are DEVO!
we're pinheads now
we are not whole
we're pinheads all
jocko homo
If you ask me, it sounds an awful lot like
those idiotic chants aliens from outer
space used to force earthlings to repeat
to rob them of their will to resist in
science fiction flicks from the '50s.
And then there's this tune called
"Praying Hands": "you got both han-
ds/you got praying hands/they pray for
no man." Is Devo trying to say we're all
silly? "Uncontrollable Urge,"
"Mongoloid," "Too Much Paranoias,"
"Gut Feeling," "Sloppy (I Saw My
Baby Gettin')," "Shrivel Up," and
their outrageous cover of "(I Can't Get
No) Satisfaction," confirm it. We are
silly. Monty Python at least made
silliness funny. Devo makes silliness
look sick.
BUT DEVO STANDS above all this.
Devo is not silly.:Devo is better than the
rest of us. Devo is equipped to lead us to
something better. We should follow
them.
The easiest way is to buy the album.
You'll enjoy it, and Devo will use your
money to help them lead us. If you can

find it, buy the English import. It's
more expensive, but the cover is mere
colorful than the American one, i
comes with two posters, and the recdr
itself comes in any of these colors: blue
green, red, yellow,.purple, orange, ge
and pink. My bright yellow albu
always draws compliments, but th
grey disc seems more suited to th
cold, metallic nature of the music.
In "Uncontrollable Urge," Devo bi
wig Mark Mothersbaugh tells us we v
"got an urge, got a surge and it's out o
control/got an urge I wanna pupg
'cause I'm losing control." And he teol
it delightfully. The drumsticks snip,
the guitars blaze, the bass surges fbr-
ward.
"IS THIS the Who?" a friend askel
as he passed my door. He steps inside
we start to dance, and suddenly I'n
seized by an untrollable urge - I tur
the volume up.rr
It's "Satisfaction," once a Roljn
Stones song, but now firmly Dev
territory. The guitar hook is gone,, bu
riveting percussion more than fills the
gap. Brian Eno's finesse as a producei
shines brightly on cuts like this -
everything is brought to the front.
"Space Junk" and.f"Come Back
Jonee" are both sleazy, but likeable rip-
offs of theteen idol genre, a-genre,. in.
cidentally, that hasn't really been ex-
plored since 10cc's first album. Both
deal with tragic loss, Sally in the first
case and Jonee in the second. Both are
spiffy and essentially meaningless.
MUCH LIKE Nick Lowe, Devo is
unafraid to rip-off whatever it enjoys.
"Uncontrollable Urge" takes a little bil
from the Stones' "She Said Yeah;"
"Space Junk"s makes use of Talkin
Heads' delightful "Love Goes to
Building on Fire" hook; and the guita.
solo that opens "Gut Feeling" bears
more than a slight resemblance to the
Animals' version of "House of. the
Rising Sun."
And for "Too Much Paranoias, they
even lift the words out of one of
America's most favortie ballads:'
think Igot a big mac attack
hold the piclles hold the lettuce
special orders don 't upset us -
all wse ask is that you let uts
serre it your way
Of course, Devo supplies the melody.
Speaking of melodies, "Mongoloid"
and "Shrivel Up" are blessed with
tunes that will keep you humming for
weeks. "Mongoloid" is the happier of
the two, with its message that
mongoloids are people too a pleasant
one. "Shrivel Up," on the other hand, is
a bit too fatalistic for my taste:."It's
rule number 1 living right isn't fun."
Devo should write more tunes like these
two, because it's easy to keep the
masses in line by feeding them hum-
mable jingles.
So go ahead. But Q: Are We Not Men?
A: We Are Devo! Listen to it. You'll ljke
it.

Join
the
Arts
Page

Now Showing Central Campus Butterfield Theatres

England's finest progressive music
in the tradition of Genesis, Yes and
ELP;
BRXNDX
TIIURS., NOV. 9, 8:00 p.m.
at
university of Mich.-Dearborn
Recreation Organization Center
Tickets only $4.00 at Schoolkids, Peaches, and 4t the door
Sponsored by U-MD's Office of Student Life, 4901 Evergreen,
Dearborn. Call 593-5390 for more info.

Me, I'm going to listen
Summer's "I Feel Love"
time.

to Doina
one ipore

ARTS STAFF
Arts Editors
OWEN GLEIBERMAN MIKE TAYLOR
STAFF WRITERS: Mary Bacarella, Bill Barbour, Mark Dighton, Patricia Fabrizio, Diae
Haithman, Katie Herzfeld, Steve Hook, Mark Johansson, Eleanora DiLiscia, Marty Levine, Rck
Loranger, Dobilas Matulionis, Anna Nissen, Joshua Peck, Christopher Potter, Alan Rubenfeld, Will
Rubino, Anne Sharp, Renee Schilcusky, Eric Smith; R. J. Smith, Tom Stephens, Keith Tosolt. Iri"
Weiss, Carol Wierzbicki, Bruce Young, Eric Zorn.
_ e

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