Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kim Stanley Robinson editing and writing introduction for a collection of Rexroth's Sierra poems - Upcoming publications: Rexroth in the Sierra:

Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982) was an American poet whose biography is too rich and varied -- to a newcomer like me -- to be summarized in two-three lines for the purposes of this article. His poetry involved themes of love, sexuality, ecology, sociology, mysticism, he was involved in anarchism, communism, buddhism, taoism, dadaism, wobblies and all kinds of radical and free thinkers groups, he is considered as a founding figure of the San Francisco Renaissance of the 1950s, he influenced the Beat generation, he translated lots of poems into English and notably Japanese haikus, he mixed his poetry with jazz, he was a pacifist and conscientious objector of World War II ...
This is one of those instances where I'm going to let my KSR fandom drive and read up on a poet that I haven't heard of now.

A bit of Rexroth's "Toward an Organic Philosophy":

The lake is immobile and holds the stars
And the peaks deep in itself without a quiver.
In the shallows the geometrical tendrils of ice
Spread their wonderful mathematics in silence.
All night the eyes of deer shine for an instant
As they cross the radius of my firelight.
In the morning the trail will look like a sheep driveway,
All the tracks will point down to the lower canyon.
“Thus,” says Tyndall, “the concerns of this little place
Are changed and fashioned by the obliquity of the earth’s axis,
The chain of dependence which runs through creation,
And links the roll of a planet alike with the interests
Of marmots and of men.”

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...