Commentaries

Harold Schimmel on Close Listening

photo: Charles Bernstein / PennSound, 2017

Harold Schimmel reading his poetry in Hebrew and English (27:05): MP3; Schimmel in conversation with Charles Bernstein (46:15): MP3.

Harold Schimmel was born in 1935 in Bayonne, New Jersey, and attended Cornell University before immigrating to Israel in 1962, where he started to write in his adopted language, Hebrew. He lives in Jerusalem. Schimmel has translated Hebrew poets Uri Zvi Greenberg, Avot Yeshurun and Yehuda Amichai. His first book, First Poems, came out in 1962 in English. He has many books in Hebrew and two in English translation: From Island to Island (Selected Poems) and Qasida (essay).

Harold Schimmel reading his poetry in Hebrew and English (27:05): MP3
Harold Schimmel in conversation with Charles Bernstein (46:15): MP3

Harold Schimmel was born in 1935 in Bayonne, New Jersey and attended Cornell University before immigrating to Israel in 1962, where he started to write in his adopted language, Hebrew. He lives in Jerusalem. Schimmel has translated Hebrew poets Uri Zvi Greenberg, Avot Yeshurun and Yehuda Amichai. His first book, First Poems, came out in 1962 and was in English. He has many books in Hebrew and two in English translation: From Island to Island (Selected Poems) and Qasida (essay), both from Ibis in 1997 and both translated by Peter Cole.

Paul Zukofsky (1943-2017)

I last saw Paul, for as it now turns out the last time, in Hong Kong a few years ago. He took Zhimin Li and me out to dinner, a French bistro and we had a fine time talking into the night and about all manner of things, including his life in Hong Kong. I had first heard Paul play in the part of "Einstein" (the violin part) in Glass's "Einstein on the Beach" in 1976, a stellar evening at the Metropolitan Opera House. But I only met Paul, in New York, in the early 1990s, and we remained friends since. When I was editing his father's, Louis Zukofsky's, selected poem for Library of America, Paul very much wanted to include "4 Other Countries" -- I asked him to write something to explain why and in his response he goes way beyond that. Here it is. Other articles/essays (on music) by Paul Zukofsky at Musical Observations.

The lives of the experimental poets 16–18

Fitch, Wilkinson, Lorange

“To stick to things, to sail over them, both are wrong,” writes utopian Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch in The Principle of Hope. In scenes of emergent Australian poetries, a new generation of experimental writers equipped with “radical hope” pursue the dream of the New as the avant-gardists did; but understanding that the way to do it is neither sticking to what has been (past vanguards) nor sailing over those works.

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16. Toby Fitch

                 Two versions of a poem, above in Otoliths (journal) the other in The Bloomin' Notions of Other & Beau (Vagabond 2016)

Zero Visibility, by Grzegorz Wróblewski

Grzegorz Wróblewski’s new book, Zero Visibility, translated by Piotr Gwiazda*, has reached me — and I’m thrilled to have it. Wróblewski is constantly fascinating; he is often precise and whacky both. Many modes are here in this new book. One — perhaps my own favorite — is surrealist post-Soviet consciousness:

Cosmonauts

What was going through his mind when for the first time in his life
my dog saw a horse? He frozen like a statue, erect, hypnotized.

It was as if he had encountered a space alien.
He didn’t move until the horse disappeared over the horizon …