[AUTHOR'S NOTE. Scrolls is a new “experimental” collaboration in progress by James C. Hopkins in Kathmandu and Yoko Danno in Kobe. One of us writes the first half of a sentence and the other follows up with the rest of the sentence. The latter begins the next sentence and drops it halfway, which is taken over by the former. Writing thus in turn we draw “picture scrolls” with words. There is no rule except that a scroll should consist of five paragraphs. When we start a scroll we never know how it will develop and end.
[Along with Whitman & Darío, Sousândrade (Joaquim de Sousa Andrade, 1833-1902) emerges today as one of the great nineteenth-century forerunners to a full-blown poetry of the Americas. Nearly forgotten after his own time, he was brought back through the enthusiasm of Haroldo & Augusto de Campos, to become, in Latin American terms at least, the epitome of a late experimental romanticism & a prefigurer of new poetries to come.
[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.”
[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