Monday, January 23, 2012

Aimless Reading: The R's, Part 6 (Kenneth Rexroth)

One Hundred More Poems From The Japanese
Rexroth, Kenneth
One Hundred Poems From The Japanese


I was about to write that I had purchased this at Talking Leaves, but now I am not so sure. A vague impression has crept into my mind of having held this book in my hands while standing in a Barnes & Noble somewhere, possibly Sarasota, Florida, where my mother lived for many years.

I do recall that we lived in our house in Black Rock at the time. I remember reading the book in bed in that house, and that I may have purchased it in the same spirit I bought all those books by Pam Rehm, that is, the poems in here are quite short and I did for a time study that form looking for useful models.

I may have bought this for another reason, though.

After reading Creeley's biography, followed by the Duncan/Levertov Correspondence, both of which spell out in great detail the affair between Creeley and Rexroth's wife, how they ran off together, even took the Rexroth children with them, and the terrible rift this caused, not just between Creeley and Rexroth, but between Creeley and Duncan and Levertov and Jess and the whole SF scene.

I may have bought it because I realized that I hadn't really read much Rexroth beyond a book of his literary essays.

I may have been thinking about all of this when I was standing in the poetry section of the B & N Sarasota. I may have said to myself, hunh, maybe I should read this.

I may then have stepped forward to counter, purchased the book, and driven back to my mother's house to read.

But this is all speculation.

from One Hundred Poems From The Japanese

I passed by the beach
At Tago and saw
The snow falling, pure white
High on the peak of Fuji.

Yamabe No Akahito

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