Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Aimless Reading: The D's, Part 43.3 (Robert Duncan)

Stein Imitations
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Duncan, Robert
Writing Writing
A Composition Book
Stein Imitations
For Madison 1953
(Trask House Edition)

Purchased, I think, at Talking Leaves...Books.

Well, this is a pretty lighthearted book for Duncan. While there might be some surface resemblances between the repetition Duncan employs in these poems and the work of Gertrude Stein, the similiarity stops there. These are DEFINITELY Robert Duncan poems. Even in the snippet of a poem below, his archaic ear makes itself felt. I can't imagine anyone but Duncan in the 20th century crafting a phrase like "a nose in a/handkerchief hidden." I guess there must be something to the idea that the great poets can't hide themselves -- their language always betrays them.


Out the soft-toothed cloud, out
the miser, out the mile-high regret.
And a, a no thing nosing nothing.
A no thanks of a nose in a
handkerchief hidden. Enuf, enuf
of such cloud cottony stuff. Snuff.

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