Saturday, 5 November 2016

Max Richards shares: 9, Denise Levertov

Cuttings, held together by a slightly rusted paper clip, fall from his copy of Penguin Modern Poets 9: Denise Levertov, Kenneth Rexroth, William Carlos Williams. (Penguin Books, 1967). They include a typed version of 'The Rainwalkers', and photocopies of 'February Evening in New York' and 'The Cold Spring', the second with a note in Max’s hand "comp[are] with Dickinson ‘The Bustle’." Was he taking a class or writing a review? Then this one page hand-written set of notes about poetic construction. Are they Max Richards’ own responses or his summary of things by Levertov collated from her writings for reference? Or a bit of both? Whatever the case, the page has the feel of a trouvée poem:



Denise Levertov

on non-traditional metrics

free verse: impulse to flow, avoidance of the

interruption of pattern

But ‘wellwrought’…? ‘organic form’ 19th c.

a term taken over by shampoo manufacturers!

‘exploratory form’ giving us process rather

than results

sonnets etc. have closure, may sound

anachronistic if not used ironically

the line break & the dynamics of

perception & word choice

nonsyntactic pauses

dance/song rather than walk/statement

see Valéry

indentation too        hesitations

many epiphanies

effect on ‘melody’

pitch patterns combined with rhythmic patterns

fidelity to experience

& experiencing the experience

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