“The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” has a very complicated history. I can’t even say “Ezra Pound’s ‘The River Merchant’s Wife”— though he’s often listed as the author. Let’s begin, as a river or a journey might, at the beginning. Back in the 9th Century in China there were two great poets. One of them … Continue reading The River Merchants Wife
We’re approaching the halfway point in the Parlando Project’s first year, and my plans for 2017 are to feature more 21st century words, when and if I can get permission from publishers/authors to use them here. Today’s audio piece features words from the first “external” 21st Century author to be used here: Philip Dacey. Philip … Continue reading Butterly
Let’s imagine that it’s 1914, and on both sides of the Atlantic curious short poems with precisely chosen and concrete imagery are appearing here and there. This is Imagism, the premier movement of Modernism in English. Long-time readers here will know* that these small and unpresupposing poems came from several sources: the away-with-19th-century-Romanticism ideas of … Continue reading Two Cinquains from Adelaide Crapsey
I promised a return of Dave Moore earlier this month, and here he is, presenting a story that frames itself three ways. In today’s piece Dave reads a short passage from Greil Marcus’ 1975 book Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock’n’Roll Music, which in turn includes this story 20th century musician Frank Floyd told … Continue reading The Testimony of Harmonica Frank Floyd
Here’s more of our “Before they were Modernists” series, another by Ezra Pound from his 1908 pre-Imagist collection A Lume Spento. “And Thus in Nineveh” is a curious short poem, kind of a humble brag where the speaker starts right out saying “I am a poet” but then goes on to assess that craft in … Continue reading And Thus in Nineveh
It’s now 1916—well not really—but allow me immediate mode for the time being. Some early 20th Century Modernist characters we’ve already met are about to collaborate in New York City with a largely forgotten figure whose words we’ll meet today. The Provincetown Playhouse, that CBGB’s of Modernist American theater, has moved its organization from the … Continue reading To W.C.W. M.D.
As I started doing some translations of Tristan Tzara, the man who was most famous for being one of the “Presidents of Dada,” I was surprised in more than one way. Like some writers I’ve presented here, Tzara was known to me only by reputation, as a name, and that reputation was not only as … Continue reading Vegetable Swallow