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December 10, 1981 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-12-10

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ARTS

#

*he Michigan Daily

Thursday, December 10, 1981

Page 5

Poet writes of the basics-

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By Carol-.Wierzbicki
AVID BUDBILL, the first author
in this year's Residential College
Writers-in-Residence series, read from
his work Tuesday night at East
Quadrangle's Benzinger Library. Bud-
bill, who lives on a farm in Vermont,
has written\ three books of poetry, in-
cluding Chainsawy Dance and From
Down to the Village, and is the author of
a prize-winning novel.
Dressed in a denim shirt and jeans,
B'udbill had a straightforward rapport
with his audience, as he told his stories
of Vermont people and places in an
easy, conversational tone. The evening
was full of world-weary stories. For
example, "Hermie", the first character
the poet introduced, burns down his
homes in an effort to find the "perfect
place" for himself and his Indian wife.
Ironically, he ends up living in a bread
truck because "it wouldn't burn."
Most of the force and energy of Bud-
bill's style, in fact, comes from charac-
terizations. From grizzled New
England farmers who live by routine;
to hermits and curmudgeons whose
stubborn individualism seems to
outlast time itself; to a young and
alienated Viet Nam "hero" who returns
to his small town, David Budbill creates
characters that h'arken back to those
of Robert Frost, yet that have a con-
temporary life of their own.
These "old codgers" seem to turn in
their own circles, though they are a
vital part of the community. The
disturbed warveteran never really fits
back into New England life, and after
he disembowels his deer on a hunting

trip, much the way he had disfigured
"the enemy" in Viet Nam, his
bewildered fellow citizens move
cautiously around him in "ever
widening circles".
Using imagery similar to that of
Frost's poem, "Mending Wall," Budbill
in one poem personified a dying farm,
touching on architectural details of the
warping of wood, the decaying of
stones, and the final intrusion of nature.
Yet Budhill's aim is not to sound like
Robert Frost: "Every Vermont poet
since has lived in his (Frost's) shadow,
and all Vermont poets must do away
with him somehow." Budbill then read
a poem in which he shoots the ghost of
Robert Frost-with words in place of
bullets.
Budbill's choice of "beat" or poor
characters as subjects for many of his
poems, coupled with his honest,
straight-to-the-point approach, called
to mind the short stories of
Hemingway:
"Roy MacInnes is a welder. He spen-
ds his life with chains and block and
tackle, steel and torches, lives with his
days inside a hood looking like a
medieval warrior, peering through a
small rectangle of blackened
glass ...
In contrast, his prose poem, "Corot's
Pool", displayed the poet's capacity for
lyrical elegance as well:
". . . on a sunny summer morning,
the light through the trees falls upon the
water and makes a dappled quietude of
irresistable tranquility."
Budbill's images were at times too
predictable-his elaborate com-
parisons of a welder's shop to a
"cathedral", a damaged truck to a
"wounded beast" and the welder to a

"celebrant"-when they should have
been unique and arresting. But his por-
trait of the Hoppers (a welfare family
with three snow machines, one color
TV., and kids with bugs) demonstrated
his ability to convey povertyasha
double-edged sword, and here his
dialogue-crafting and storytelling skills
came into perfect focus.

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Daily Photo by DEBORAH LEWIS
Annabella Lwin: Lead singer for BowWowWow

wo

By Mark Digh ton
T UESDAY NIGHT SAW an Af-
rican reinterpretation of The
Ventures led ,by a Burmese
cheerleader visit Second Chance.
Yes, BowWowWow brought their
frenzied synthesis of everything but
the kitchen sink to Ann Arbor,
dishing out a nice sampling of
material from their album, singles,
and "cassette pet." Some of the
numbers didn't quite match up to the
recorded versions (mostly victims
of a poor mix that left Annabella
Lwin's vocals just below audible
range), but just as many were better

than on vinyl. (Now imagine that!)
Annabella was, of course, the star
of the show with her winning Shirley
Temple eyes and freshly mohawked
pate. But the real treat of the
evening was the two dancers added
to the line-up. These women
borrowed shamelessly from The
Jacksons and the Zulu nation to
fashion a seamless dance routine
that would stop the whole Soul Train
gang dead intheir tracks. -
To top off a nearly perfect
evening, BowWowWow trotted out
their polyrhythmic celebration of
Ricky Nelson's "Fools Rush In" as
their fourth encore. Like the rest of
the evening, it was just too cute for
words, so what is there left to say?!

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A jazz sin ger

DANCE

By Elizabeth James
T HURSDAY NIGHT Ann Arbor will
get a taste of jazz, funk and soul all
rolled into one with the appearance of
Michael Henderson at the Second
Chance. Henderson, a Detroiter, began
his career at age 13 in the early sixties
and since then hasn't stopped growing
as a performer and a musician.
After working as a session musician,
Henderson was taken under the wing of
one of the masters of jazz, Miles Davis,
for seven years. Being yvith Davis
taught Michael a great deal. "With
Miles it was more of a feeling he wan-
ted," he says. "Most musicians today
feel that they have to play a lot of notes
in order Jo impress, but a lot of times,
it's just at you don't play that makes
the song happen."
When he finished his association with
Davis, he began another one with
drummer Norman Conners, because he
agreed to allow Henderson to record
some of his songs on Conner's albums.
During this time, Henderson became a
lead vocalist on songs like "Valentine
Love" and "You Are My Starship".
This success led Henseron to launch
his own career. He received excellent
reviews for his early albums and his
last three, In the Nightime, Do it All,
and Wide Receiver, demonstrate his
versatility and ability as a composer,
vocalist and musician.
His current release entitled Slingshot
features a number of songs like "We
are here to Geek You Up" that show
him branching out even farther and ex-
perimenting with funk and rock. But

the album still retains his classic ballad
style on such songs as "Make it easy on
Yourself" and "Come To Me."
It's extremely important to Hender-
son that he not be typecast in any way.
"I want to do everything," he says.
"My music is always changing and I
enjoy it that way. I funk it up and keep
the slow songs and everybody gets off."
Thursday night at Second Chance, Ann
Arbor will receive an opportunity to see
Henderson do it all.,

--I N'
december 11 &12 8pm
december 13 3pm
power center
tickets at ptp
michigan league
764-0450
special discount
with student id ..

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COMPANY

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"A chamber ensemble of extraordinary talent ...
Market Square, Pittsburgh
Concerto Soloists
of Philadelphia
with Hermann Baumann, French horn
K.P.E. Bach: Sinfonia No. 5 in B minor
Haydn: Horn Concerto No. 1
Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite 3
Britten: Simple Symphony for Strings, Op. 4
Haydn: Horn Concerto No. 2
Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8:30
Rackham Auditorium

/

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