Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Thomas Meyer — From the Beowulf translation: 'Fit Nine'

Portrait drawing of Thomas Meyer by David Hockney
Portrait drawing of Thomas Meyer by David Hockney

[NOTE.  After two years in public view (the project goes back some forty years before that), Thomas Meyer’s translation/transcreation of the Beowulf poem stands out as an extraordinary example of the transposition of a major poem from one language or epoch to another.  It’s my contention further that translation, as here, can serve as a form of composition, to make a new work in which the presence of the old is a necessary underpinning or shadow, as in the words of Gertrude Stein, rather than Pound in this instance: “As it is old it is new, and as it is new it is old, but now [she adds] we have come to be in our own way, which is a completely different way.”

Stanley Diamond: PRIMITIVE, the critical term (redux)

[In the first & heady days of ethnopoetics I was led by Gary Snyder into a close association with the anthropologist Stanley Diamond, a covert poet & a major thinker on the limits & pitfalls of civilization as a state of mind & of governance.  For Diamond, while we all recognized its inadequacy, the term “primitive” remained the defining & necessary counterproposition “to understanding,” as he put it, “our contemporary pathology and possibilities.”  For me at that time the two key essays in his oeuvre were “In Search of the Primitiv

Alana Siegel: From 'Archipelago,' 'Communion (A Preludium)' and 'Afterword'

[NOTE.  Soon to be published by Station Hill of Barrytown, Alana Siegel’s Archipelago adds a new presence & intelligence to a major subset of postmodern American poetry with traceable connections to Duncan’s “grand collage” & Olson’s “composition by field.”  In her own way, which is “a completely different way” (G.

Rochelle Owens: 'Hermaphropoetics' / 'Longing'

Sculpture by Eugen von  Bruenchenhein (1910-1983) as shown in Outsider Art exhib
Sculpture by Eugen von Bruenchenhein (1910-1983) as shown in Outsider Art exhibit at Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2013

In a dream

of a hermaphrodite

in silhouette

slender and elongated


a hermaphrodite

shimmering in scene after scene


staged and scripted


out of a lost narrative

Jerome Rothenberg: Eleven new books & publications in 2013

[For the record I will briefly insert the following list of some of my updated book publications, published this year or now awaiting publication.