This unique anthology has as its focus the notion of form in contemporary poetry. No subject has attracted more vigorous discussion within the community of poets and critics in the past ten years. If we are to understand what form is and how it shapes poetic expression, we must turn to the poems themselves for clues. And if we are very lucky, we can listen to the voice of the poets who wrote them.
In Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms, contemporary poets have selected one poem, commenting on the occasion of its creation and on the form the poem eventually took. Originally published in 1987 with a selection of 65 poets, this revised and expanded edition adds selections by twenty additional poets. Other revisions include an enlarged glossary of terms, and more expanded biographies of individual poets. The range of contributors is wide, and includes John Ashbery, John Cage, Rita Dove, Alice Fulton, Marilyn Hacker, Yusef Komunyakaa, James Merrill, Thylias Moss, Robert Pinsky, Charles Simic, and Richard Wilbur. Among the new contributions is Wyn Cooper's poem Fun, which was the basis for Sheryl Crow's Grammy-award winning song All I Wanna Do.
While a student at Harvard in the early years of this century, T. S. Eliot immersed himself in the verse of Dante, Donne, and the nineteenth-century French poet Jules Laforgue. His study of the relation of thought and feeling in these poets later led Eliot, as a poet and critic in London, to formulate an original theory of the poetry generally termed metaphysical - philosophical and intellectual poetry that revels in startlingly unconventional imagery. Eliot came to perceive a gradual disintegration of the intellect following on three metaphysical moments of European civilization - the thirteenth, seventeenth, and nineteenth centuries. The theory is at once a provocative prism through which to view Western intellectual and literary history and an exceptional insight into Eliot's own intellectual development. For the first time ever, the eight Clark Lectures on metaphysical poetry that Eliot delivered at Trinity College in Cambridge in 1926, and their revision and extension for his three Turnbull Lectures at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1933, are now being published in an annotated edition. They reveal in great depth the historical currents of poetry and philosophy that shaped Eliot's own metaphysical moment in the twentieth century.
Read's revolutionary work postulates that there is a hidden key to Pound's lifework, a hermetic coherence created from a pagan calendar that Pound devised and published in 1922 and from the Great Seal and Constitution of the United States. From these Read extrapolates an elaborate combination of heraldry, numerology, and geometry that he applies to Pound's entire poetic work. Discussing each canto separately, Read shows that the designs, paradigms, and arcana were deliberately constructed.
This collection is the first comprehensive treatment of the song lyric (tz'u) in China from its origins through the nineteenth century. Engaging issues of form, language, voice, and transmission, these essays explore the changing and frequently problematic situation of the tz'u over centuries of literary production. They articulate the common ground of critical discourse, focusing on concerns of gender and genre, that took shape in essays, anthologies, and the poems themselves.
These classic Kerouac meditations, zen koans and prose poems express the poet's beatific quest for peace and joy through oneness with the universe.
"The Scripture of the Golden Eternity is fueled by Kerouac's discerning meditation on the nature of impermanence & consciousness, subtle like the dharma it invokes. We're here to disappear, therefore let's be as vivid & generous as we can. The intelligence & compassion behind this text is still alive."--Anne Waldman, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics
Scripture of the Golden Eternity is Jack Kerouac's statement of confidence in his oneness with the universe of energy and form, a confidence to which his whole being swelled. His was not the search for the ecstasy of the mystic or psychedelic or the Artaud-mad. He sought a recognition in philosophy of his early sense that his body participated in the universal forms of energy with a quality of exuberance--that 'serious exuberance' which he so accurately called jazz."--Eric Mottram, Introduction
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was a principal actor in the Beat Generation, a companion of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady in that great adventure. His books include On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Cody, Pomes All Sizes (City Lights), Scattered Poems (City Lights) and The Scripture of the Golden Eternity (City Lights).