Friday, June 18, 2010

Aimless Reading: The H's, Part 28 (Gerard Manley Hopkins)


Poems and Prose
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Hopkins, Gerard Manley
Poems and Prose


I am not sure, but I think I may have bought this at 7th Street Books in New York (RIP).

I went through a serious GMH phase when I first arrived in Buffalo. I learned a lot about rhythm from his work by writing imitations. I once wrote and published a short piece called "Three Imitations of Gerard Manley Hopkins." It was an imitation of the metrical and stanzaic structure of "The Wreck of the Deutschland." I think the process for writing the poem involved a kind of homophonic-homolinguistic translation. I tried to imitated nearly the exact sound of the words in the poem. It all escapes me now.

The poem was self-published in a little pamphlet called "three." It featured three poems by me, three by Eleni Stecopoulos, and three by Jonathan Skinner. All three of us were reading at Double Happiness in NYC in, I think, February of 1999. Part of the reason for the title was that the reading had been billed as "Three from Buffalo" and we were trying to removed the modifier, which seemed limiting. I think Eleni suggested we call it "two" or "four" in order to take the resistance one step further.

Jonathan and I had planned to print the books and leave on Thursday night from Buffalo. He had borrowed a pickup from a friend with whom he was going to stay in Brooklyn. I was to stay with my friend, P., in Stuy-Town on 14th St. Our plan was to leave at around 7 PM. Jonathan being Jonathan, we left at around ten. We got into the pick-up and drove for about an hour before we realized we had left all of the books back in Buffalo. We tgot off the thruway and headed back and didn't end up leaving again until 1 AM, arriving in NYC after sunrise.

It was very dark at Double Happiness. I remember while reading being able to hear, but not see, Charles Bernstein and Garret Kalleberg munching on peanuts in an alcove near the stage.

Link to the Wreck of the Deutschland

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