Popping with a flurry of consonantal k sounds (“Popcorn-can cover”) that settle down in the poem’s successive lines (“screwed,” “cold” and, finally, “can’t”), “Popcorn-can cover” reminds me that Niedecker’s is a poetry of pressure. Not only the pressure of brevity but also of everyday existence.
Popcorn-can cover screwed to the wall over a hole so the cold can’t mouse in — Lorine Niedecker
“Blame Not My Lute” is but one of eleven Thomas Wyatt poems that Basil Bunting read at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1977. Wyatt was keeping good company on that occasion as Bunting, it appears, also read poems by Pound, Spenser, Whitman, and Zukofsky. Here for the "First Readings" series is Ross Hair's take on Bunting's take on Wyatt.
The black screen that greeted me when I opened the PennSound link seemed particularly appropriate for the First Reading assignment. No context, no introduction, no preamble; just a recording of Bunting in the form of a nondescript audio file that, after clicking play, inched its way across the black screen, its bar changing from grey to white in just under three minutes. The URL reveals that the recording dates back to 1977. The PennSound Bunting page yields little extra: “Blame Not My Lute” is but one of eleven Wyatt poems that Bunting read at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1977.