Pierre, it's very interesting to me that you use the word "parochial" in
relation to Seamus Heaney. Patrick Kavanagh, whom I could never really
see past to Heaney, made a famous distinction between "parochial" and
"provincial": for Kavanagh there was assurance and confidence in
parochialism, but only cravenness and ignorance in provincialism.
Kavanagh had a big influence on me. Historically, he is the first Irish
Catholic poet of peasant origin writing in English to achieve a popular
and literary reputation (quite a specialized field that!!). When I was
younger I thought Heaney reaped the rewards of Kavanagh's struggle. Now
I am more at peace with history.
I still attach favorable connotations to "parochial" though!
>>> [log in to unmask] 03/07/05 9:45 AM >>>
> Thomas Fallon wrote:
> Most poets I've heard, including Seamus Heaney and Robert
> Creeley, do not read well. I don't really care if they do, but
> think they should educate themselves for their readers' sake.
> You expect poor readers at open mikes, but not on the
> international level.<<
Hmm. Have heard Creeley any number of times over the last 25 years,
have in fact brought him on one occasion together wiht Steve Lacy, the
great soprano sax player, in order to record a poetry /jazz session for
a radio program on RC: I have found him to be mainly a superb reader of
his work, and someone truly wanting and working at sharing with what he
loves to call his "company" -- those around him, an
attentive/responsive audience, for example -- a truly communitarian
sharing as company has at its root "con pan" = with bread, to break
bread with. On occasion, for various reasons, he has been less than
stellar -- but who hasn't off days? My sense would be that beyond the
pleasure of Creeley reading, it is still, even today, a very valuable
lesson in how to read poetry -- the care to the syllbale & the line
break is exemplary -- even if one's own praxis doesn't emphasize
exactly those areas.
The Shameless Hussy I only heard once & he was a very convincing
Excellent Professional Irish Poet. I was intereste din hearing him,
especially as I had never cared for his work on the page, and in some
way hoped that the live reading could bring me to a better appreciation
of the work. Unhappily, the reading did not alter those earlier takes
-- the poetry remains parochial and uninteresting to my ear & mind.
"Lyric poetry has to be exorbitant or not at all." -- Gottfried Benn
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