Fire in winter, a little pulse
Louis Zukofsky’s poem “Xenophanes,” which begins —
Water, cold, and sweet, and pure
And yellow loaves are near at hand,
Wine that makes a rosy hand
Fire in winter, the little pulse.
— was not apparently a poem that Zukofsky liked to read aloud or indeed ever read while a recorder’s reels were turning, so far as we knew from the readings we have on Zukofsky’s PennSound page. I had gone looking for it there, but no luck.
But wait a moment. It’s there. The poet created a home-made tape recording for the Library of Congress on November 3, 1960. He read thirty-nine poems. The sixteenth was “So That Even a Lover.” He hardly paused after reading that short poem and then read “Xenophanes.” We missed it when segmenting the mp3 we made from the reel-to-reel tape. If you listen to “So That Even a Lover” long enough you’ll hear “Xenophanes.”
We’ll resegment and add the link to “Xenophanes,” but enjoy it in the meantime as an encore, a bonus track.