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POETRYETC  October 2008

POETRYETC October 2008

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Subject:

Re: Poems by others: Ann Lauterbach, "Gramercy Park Evening"

From:

Frederick Pollack <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc: poetry and poetics

Date:

Mon, 6 Oct 2008 09:45:32 -0400

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text/plain

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  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Halvard Johnson 
  To: Johnson Halvard 
  Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 9:33 AM
  Subject: Poems by others: Ann Lauterbach, "Gramercy Park Evening"




  Gramercy Park Evening


  I am, in these instances, aware
  there is much to be desired, much left to desire,
  and the rest abided. The late hour has everything
  turned down; even the constant fleet of wheels
  is another noise: less. I was trying to sleep
  and to imagine us near the sea, the light
  skinny and unhedged, the sea
  a ribbed plate, a wide blue absolute
  into which pink is introduced like an idea in music.


  Desire is an aspect of ethics; belief is not.
  You can move a peach across the table
  without changing its color but the light, this light,
  casts a shadow of doubt. What we perceive
  is part dream, part deceit; what we want 
  touches knowledge. The park is something you
  could not know about: late afternoon, a walk,
  the walk I sometimes took towards a cadence
  of real images: the gate, the grass, the lock.
  There was a sense that things were lit
  from within, of high, shut carriages and women in hats.


  --Ann Lauterbach




  fr. Many Times, But Then (1979)
  in If in Time: Selected Poems: 1975-2000
  [New York: Penguin Poets, 2001]






  This is really really really terrible.  The word "light" - usually pronounced, at readings, with a kind of tearful gurgle before the l and a breathy-ecstatic gasp after the t; the "you" interpolated like a bumper between speaker and reader; the gassy-ethereal non-situation and non-emotions; the emphasis on "images" - otherwise she'd haveta mention "language" --- I've noticed this poet before; she seems to be respected by po-biz flacks.  And why not?  In her, Langpo meaningless mates elegantly with Mainstream triviality.

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