November 7, 2011

Lots of fun doing Contemporary Christian poetry again. We loved them all Merton, Berrigan, Karr, Wright, Gioia, and now Murray, plus some side paths. Merton always hits for me, except maybe his very young stuff when the bad guy was out there somewhere. He's always got this huge infusion of monastery grace in the background, or so it seems. Loves Jesus, Mary, the Eucharist, the Church. What's not to like Berrigan was great, a Jesuit, much more of the world than Merton--a little denser. He only teeters a bit when he enters his hippy phase. Then it's he and his boys against the man.

Karr and Wright are a lot alike. Both gritty scrapers of the bottom, where the residue is pure. You can't argue with the voice because of that (usually), and so they are great truth-speakers, though Franz is always alone while Karr is after at least some sense of community. Both great reads.

Gioia is always Gatsby for me, though his bitterness is pure in INTERROGATIONS. Some poems seems to work a little better than others, but he's great. We start Murray today. He's got the gravel guts going too, though I miss more than I might were I to know more about his homeland. (Tennis: Rod Lavar, Newcombe; Australian rules football. . . . Did get to go to Sydney once, though.)

Mariani, Hodgen, Levertov coming up. Will try to sneak in Daniels, Everson, Sasanov, others--though the days dwindle. . .