Several of the poems in Gary Snyder’s The Back Country (1967) were written in an oil tanker, one of his methods of transpacific travel as he was writing poems melding Far Eastern philosophies to his native Pacific Northwest realities in the late 1950s.
[The excerpts that follow are from a work in progress, A Field on Mars: Poems 2000-2015, scheduled for publication next year by Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre (Jusqu’a/To Books) in simultaneous English & French editions. The note below explains whatever else needs explanation. (J.R.)]
So if you were to flip through my personal copy of The Critique of Judgment and land on § 49 “On the Powers of the Mind Which Constitute Genius,” the most important pages to me as an undergraduate and graduate student, you would see that some classmate rudely crossed out the words “A poet” and replaced it with “Maggie” so that the sentence in my edition reads: “[Maggie] ventures to give sensible expression to rational ideas of invisible beings, the realm of the blessed, the realm of hell, eternity, creation, and so on.” (183) What does this mean?
This essay by Andrea Brady is the first of five “first readings” we will publish — initial responses to the experience of hearing Basil Bunting cover Thomas Wyatt’s “Blame Not My Lute.” The recording is linked here and also available at PennSound’s Bunting page. — A.F., B.R. & C.W.
Basil Bunting’s voice is so familiar – the Briggflatts intonation, half-Santa Claus, half-priest, that hieratic tone which makes Ezra Pound reach for his kettle drum; those luxurious rolling rs.