Author’s comment: “To look at the image of an Aardvark is to take a cosmic Rorschach test, and like a cubist mural is both a microcosm and macrocosm. You understand Intuitively — a Cartesian resolution of body and spirit. The poem presented here is the first of a series of poems titled ‘Beloved the Aardvark,’ related I suppose to the poem ‘Devour Not the Elephant’ that appeared earlier in Poems and Poetics.” — Rochelle Owens
[NOTE. I published this earlier in a nonlineated prose rendering in America a Prophecy, coedited with George Quasha in the early 1970s. Well-enough known as one of three Dickinson letters addressed to an unidentified “Master,” this version, following closely her handwritten draft, emerges (for me at least) as a near-projective forerunner to what would become a dominant form of North American experimental composition a century after her own writing. The result anyway is based on the transcription in The Master Letters of Emily Dickinson, edited by R.W. Franklin and published by Amherst College Press in 1986. It will likely be the version used by me and Heriberto Yépez in our transnational anthology of North and South American poetry, now in preparation for University of California Press. That the full-blown sense of thwarted intimacy here is both surprising and overwhelming is also to be noted, as is the quirky and volatile language that connects the voice behind the letter to that of her better-known poems. (J.R.)]
[Milton Resnick was a very visible and dynamic artist when we met him in the early 1960s, but beyond that he was also a persistent practitioner of poetry, less in a public sense than as a release for ideas and feelings that were a necessary supplement to his life’s work as a painter.
The translation of Likht’s “Every New Poet: Proem” will appear in Global Modernists on Modernism, a two-hundred-thousand-word anthology of texts — manifestos, essays, prologues, statements, forewords, letters, etc — by modernists across the arts, with an emphasis on texts that reflect on the theory and/or practice of modernism in a range of national, transnational, indigenous, regional, diasporic, and stateless contexts.
Translation from Yiddish by Ariel Resnikoff and Stephen Ross