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January 2012


POETRY January 2012

FOUNDED IN 2012 BY AMF NO. 1


EDITOR’S NOTE 100 Years It’s now been a full century since that intrepid and ingenious woman, Harriet Monroe, founded a small but seismic magazine for modern poetry, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Marianne Moore: the story is well known by this point. Much has changed in a hundred years, though Monroe’s commitment to eclecticism (“The Open Door,” as she called it), critical rigor, and general decency have been bedrock principles for the editors who sometimes fell short of them. In the next twelve months we’ll look back at some of the highlights and lowlights of these hundred years, though it won’t be a primary focus. Centenary celebrations can be a lot of bother and blather for those outside the instituions having them, so our goal is to mark the occasion with a few well-chosen pieces and portfolies that we think our readers will find interesting, and to get on with our main business of discovery. Thus, in this issue, V. Penelope-Pelizzon’s essay on lost but worthy poems from the early years of Poetry is paired with Eliza Grizwold’s timely disatch from the overrun and politicized island of Lampedusa. Alert readers will recognize the brand new pegasus on the cover this month, which is the first of twelve we have commissioned from some of our favorite contemporary illustrators. And be sure not to overlook the first of our “Back Page” features, which all year will present curious (and various) artifcats from the magazine’s history.


POEMS


AMF In Love, His Grammar Grew In love, his grammer grew rich with intensifiers, and avderbs fell madly from the sky like pheasants for the peasantry, and he, as sated as they were, lolled under shade trees until roused by moonlight and the beautiful fraternal twins and and but. Oh that was when he knew he couldn’t resist a conjunction of any kind. One said accumulate, the other was a doubter who loved the wind and the mind that cleans up after it. For love he wanted to break all the rules, light a candle behind a sentence named Sheila, always running on and wishing to be stopped by the hard button of a period. Sometimes, in desperation, he’d look toward a mannequin or a window dresser with a penchant for parsing. But mostly he wanted you, Sheila, and the adjectives that could precede and change you: bluesy, fly-by-night, queen of all that is and might be.


AMF Queen, you are fathomed Exalted life this not because you know slavish attention or sit bathed in the royal jellies and rarer distillates nor because it commences backlit all by dorning buzz and the mellow scent of lilac but for your ignorance of desire for your cloistering, Liege Never wondering what tastes abound in distant clusters so rich is your interior your fecundity your multiple dark imaginings Never saying Why

as I do and again

Why

Never saying as I do to the world of surrounding combs Do you think I may someday escape


AMF Among the Gorgons For Eleanor

For seventeen years I was caught in the surf. Drubbed and scoured, I’d snatch a breath and be jerked down again, dragged across broken shells and shingle. I love it, mostly, the need, how I fed the frantic. I’d skipped into that sea. Certainly not a girl, but I could still turn a head as I took the foam between my thighs. Then it was over. Hiss of a match snuffed with spit. The sea had trotted off. I stood in the stink of flapping fish. At first it stung. A galaxy of dimes eyed my sag and crinkles and dismissed me like a canceled stamp, but something tugged at me, silver braids weaving and unweaving themselves and either the path was shrinking or I was getting bigger, for soon the way was just a hair, the extra bit of wit a grandma leaves on her chin to scare the boys, and it led me into a cave crackling like a woodstove with laughter. A landslide opened a seam of rubies and we stepped inside.


Death Gets into the Suburbs It sweats into the tongue and groove of redwood decks with a Tahoe view. It slides under the truck where some knuckles are getting banged up on a stuck nut It whirls in the egg whites. Among blacks and whites spread evenly. Inside the chicken factory, the Falcon 7x, and under the bridge. There’s death by taxi, by blood cot, by slippery rug. Death by oops and flood, by drone and gun. Death with honor derides death without. Realpolitik and offshore accounts are erased like a thumb drive lost in a fire. And the friendly crow sets out walnuts to pop under tires. So let’s walk the ruins, let’s walk along the ocean and listen to death’s undying devotion. With a $400,000 loan and a brand new minivan.


AMF Coffee Lips The guest who came in to the street people’s suppers last night, An elderly man with a lost smart little boy’s face and a look As if he might turn against you anytime soon, As if he’d just come into this world and he was extremely Wary about what the world was going to be, and he said, “If I ask you a question will you give me a truthful answer?” And I said, “That depends on what the question is,” Thinking the little elderly boy looked sophisticated and As if he’d in fact been a long time in the world And would get the tone right, and maybe he did, or maybe he didn’t; At any rate he went on to ask the question, “When I come into places like this and there are people holding Coffee cups to their lips and they look at me, Are they about to drink the coffee or not to drink the coffee?” He was balancing the world on the tip of his witty unknowing nose. I felt like I was falling down someplace else than anywhere there.


AMF Incubus At the supper for street people

The young man who goes about all muffled up from harm, With whatever he has found, newspaper pages Carefully folded to make a weirdly festive Hat or hood, down almost over his eyes. Everything carefully arranged to make him other. The paper-covered razor blade in his mouth, Or the bit of wood, like carrying a message. A fantasy so clever, outwitting itself, That it became what it was he was, and so He was what it was. The long loose shirt too big For him, the pantaloons too big for him Loose like the pantaloons of the circus clown, Some kind of jacket too big, he got it somewhere. His burden slept dreaming everywhere upon him. As if his whole body and teh clothes he wore dreamed Of his condition and the dream came true. His clothes slept on him as if they were his lover.


Ancestral Lines It’s as when following the others’ lines, Which are the tracks of somebody gone before, Leaving me mischievous clues, telling me who They were and who it was they weren’t, And who it is I am because of them, Or, just for the moment, reading them, I am, Although the next moment I’m back in myself, and lost. My father at the piano saying to me, “Listen to this, he called the piece Warum?” And the nearest my father could come to saying what He made of that was lamely to say he didn’t, Schumann didn’t, my father didn’t know why: “What’s in a dog ’s heart ”? I once asked in a poem, And Christopher Ricks when he read it said, “Search me.” He wasn’t just being funny, he was right. You can’t tell anything much about who you are By exercising on the Romantic bars. What are the wild waves saying? I don’t know. And Shelley didn’t know, and knew he didn’t. In his great poem, “Ode to the West Wind,” he Said that the leaves of his pages were blowing away, Dead leaves, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.


Catullus I Who is it I should give my book to, So pretty in its pumice-polished covers? Cornelius, I’ll give my book to you: Because you used to think my nothings somethings, At the time when you were the first in Italy To dare to write our whole long history, Three volumes, under the sign of Jupiter, Heroically achieved; so take this little Book of mine for what it’s worth ; whatever; And oh, patroness Virgin, grant that it shall Live and survive beyond the century.


Virgil , “ Aeneid ,”

II

, ii . 250 - 267

And now the heavens shift and the night comes in , And covers with its darkness earth and sky And the tricks of the Myrmidons . Throughout the city The Trojans , wearied by joy , lie fast asleep . And now the Greeks set out from Tenedos , Their ships proceeding in an ordered line , Under the friendly light of the silent moon , Making their way toward the shore they know so well , And when the royal galley ’ s beacon light Is lighted , Sinon sees it , and quietly goes , Protected by malign complicit fates , And furtively opens up the Horse ’ s flank And frees the Argive warriors from its womb . The Horse releases them to open air And joyfully they come out : first come the captains Thessander , and Sthenelus , and dire Ulysses , Lowering themselves to the ground by means of a rope , And Acamas and Thoas , and Pyrrhus , Achilles ’ son , And Machaon the prince , and Menelaus , And Epeus , he , who contrived the Wooden Horse That fooled us so . And then they enter the city , That ’ s deep submerged in wine and unknowing sleep ; They surprise and kill the watch , and open the gates To welcome in their comrades from the fleet , Letting them in for what they are going to do .


Dear Drought Offer your usual posy of goatheads. Proffer asdfa garlands of thistle & Incas’ thin down; asdfsfafh bugs strung on blighted stems; send asdlkasjdflaksd every reeking pearl I crushed, asdflkajsdlkjas dklj I scraped away with knife asdl;kjasdlaha;h a;gha Wake me sweat-laced asdljkasdfl;kja;ghgha; asd ables: the gentle foals asl;jkasa;lakjsdf lakjdsf alk af glected. Dear ;lajsdf ad ;adsf as asdkfja sdf overrun again a;lsdjkfadflk adslkjasdf askdjfa s fell to bits. asd;lakjsdfl;a ag;lhad al;gh asdfaslf asdck.


AMF Lithium Dreams (White Sea) The Salar de Uyunni in Bolivia hold the world’s largest lithium reserves. “As remote and unlikely a place as can be imagined for the world to seek its salvation .”—Matthew Power Once, volcanoes walked & talked like humans. Married. Quarreled & gave birth. When the beautiful Tunupa’s husband ran away & took their only child she mourned: she cried & stormed , her full breasts spilled until she made this sunken bed, a dry & ragged ice-white sea . Tears & milk. Salt . Silver liquor of the spirits , the winter tuber’s pulp. = Buzz Aldrin spied a plain from space : twice Rhod Island- sized , not a glacier but this vast evaporation, a place so flat we use its plane to calibrate the altitude of satellites , measure the retreat of polar ice. A dry lagoon of element. Energy. Winking like a coin in a well. = In bare Salar the tourists bottle sand & salt : mug & pirouette across this lithic sink of drought, empty leagues of sky & light, slight mist of silt . We dream our dreams of clean—or cleaner— means to drive and speak —o Li, atomic number three, be our Miracle element! Prehistoric smelt , simmer & distilled in Altiplan climes, your samite matter known to quiet, after all, the manic brain, the urge to suicide ; proven to dispel the voice that whispers fire from the gods in never free— Lithium chloride & plain table salt under ancient ocean crust; fossils & aglea; a bird so bright & blackly drowned, pickled in the salt brine pool:


the desert is generous. The desert is a pot boiled dry. This road will turn to dirt and then to salt , to the workers in jumpsuits, veiled & covered from the brutal sun ; but we’re not here, not here— what matters are the distant cities: Chongquing, Phoenix, Quebec, Lagos, far & star-chalked : splitting at the seams . Now = the shrouded workers wait for sunset . The desert is patient. They see the bed plowed under: slapdash trenches in the legend, in the hasty furrows raked. With eyes narrowed from the endless light. See Litio. Wages in the veins laid open; see paid the lush reduction of her ditches’ spill . This new abyss to feed our traffic.


Hard Times The lousy job my father lands I’m tickled pink to celebrate. My mother’s rosary pinching hands stack pigs in blankets on a plate. Teeny uncircumsised Buddha penises (cocktail hot dogs in strips of dough): I gobble these puffed-up weenie geniuses as if they’d tell me what I need to know to get the fuck out of here. They don’t only stink of fear. They’re doom and shame and dumb pig fate. I tell my mom I think they’re great. Dad chews his slowly with a pint of gin, and says he eats a whole shit deal because of us. My mom’s in tears again. I don’t know who to hate or how to feel.


AMF Epic Simile For Rachel

Right shoulder aching with day long butchery, Left shoulder numb with dints clanged on the shield, The hero is fouled with blood, his own and others’. First slick, then sticky, then caked, starting to mat His beard—the armor deadweight all around him; His teeth grit and rattle with every jolt of bronze-rimmed wheels behind the shit flecked horses. But when he glimpses the mountains, the distant snow, A blankness swoons upon him, and he hears Nothing but the white vowels of the wind Brushing through stands of spears like conifers While a banner slips its staff and hangs in the blue Like a kestrel or a contrail. The hero’s death, The prize, elusive quarry of his life, Stand stock still in her cloven tracks in snow And turns, one ear tuned to the creek’s far bank, One dished towards him. Her unstartled gaze Beads on him like a sniper’s sites, until At the clean report of a cracking poplar branch, She leaps away like luck, over rapid water, And snowfall scrims the scene like a mist of tears, Like a migraine, like sweat or blood streaming into your eyes.


First Miracle Her body like a pommegranate torn Wide open, somehow bears what must be born, The irony where a stranger small enough To bed down in the ox-tongue-polished trough Erupts into the world and breaks the spell Of the ancient, numbered hours with his yell. Now her breasts ache and weep and soak her shirt Whenever she hears his hunger or his hurt; She can’t change water into wine; instead She fashions sweet milk out of her own blood.


After a Greek Proverb After a Greek Proverb adfsssh

We’re here for the time being, I answer to the query — Just for a couple of years, we said, a dozen years back. Nothing is more permanent than the temporary. We dine sitting on folding—they were cheap but cheery. We’ve taped the broken window pane. TV’s still out of whack. We’re here for the time being, I answer to the query . When we crossed the water, we only brought what we could carry, But there are alwys boxes that you never do unpack. Nothing is more permanent than the temporary . Sometimes When I’m feeling weepy, you propose a theory: Nostalgia and tear gas have the same acrid smack. We’re here for the time being, I answer to the query — We stash bones in the closet when we don’t have time to bury, Stuff receipts in envelopes, file papers in a stack. Nothing is more permanent than the temporary . Twelve years now and we’re still eating off the ordinary: We left our wedding china behind, afraid that it might crack. We’re here for the time being, we answer to the query . But nothing is more permanent than the temporary .


AMF Lost to View A range of cloudladfla laksjda lsdkj l Of that apor aslkdjalkj alsdjf laksd f f Blue mo;lajdfj alsdkjfals dfjl;jalksd jf Bursalsj a;lkjsdf alskdjflas;kdfjas kdfj Paslkdjfadl;jasdfasdfasdfals; dfjfjfjfjffjf Aadlfjaljflad lahg al;j sdafljadsf j;lgl;ajd A wadf adfa;lkj aslkdf lasdlasdgjlagjl fl g The badf;lkj laljdf fljf;lasjdfl;jf asdlkfj Across thaldjf aldjfal dsfhwjl aljfha ad And shatterf adjf;ljadsf al;skdjfhg ljls In tern and galdjf llasdf lhasd ghasdh And trees asl;dfjl ahsdfhsdglj;ljmmfnn Whichad;lfkj fhads;g lasjdf alsjf j Whead;laskdjf sd flkjadfl;lj l;asd fl; lja Aa;ldjfl;a l;ajsdlfjasldfj ljasdlfkjasdflkj a Madl;jasdflkj ;alkjd alsdjf lk alsdf l; ;l Suadslkfjhadflkjahsdf klhsd fkljhsadf It taadfl;jasdl;jf lsdfl asdlfkjasdf asdflkj That vadlfasd;lfkjasdf ;lkjasdf asd fasd And, whadl;fkjasdflkj asdlfkjasdf asd To call himlasdflkjasdf l;kjasdf asdflka The subiadfasdf;lkj asdflkjasdf asdlkjfa The oasdfakjdsljadsf;lkajdsf adsl;kfjasd Anasdfasdfasdfasdfasdflj ;lkj lasdfjasdf; asdl;jfasfdl;kj asdfl; asdfl;kja sdfl;kjasdf The spray will hang its veils and the adf


AMF A Summer Garden 1

Several weeks ago I discovered a photograph of my mother sitting in the sun, her face flushed as with achievement or triumpl. The sun was shining. The dogs were sleeping at her feet where time was also sleeping, calm and unmoving as in all photgraphs. I wiped the dust from my mother’s face. Indeed, dust covers everything; it seemed to me the persistent haze of nostalgia that protects all relics of childhood. In the background, an assortment of park furniture, trees and shrubbery. The sun moved lower in the sky, the shadows lengthened and darkened. The more dust I removed, the more these shadows grew. Summer arrived.. The children leaned over the rose border, their shadows merging with the shadows of the roses. A word came into my head, referring to this shifting and changing, these erasures that were now obvious— it appeared, and as quickly vanished. Was it blindness or darkness, peril, confusion? Summer arrived, then autumn. The leaves turning, the children bright spots in a mash of bronze and sienna.


2

When I had recovered somewhat from these events, I replaced the photograph as I had found it between the pages of an ancient paperback, many parts of which had been annotated in the margins, sometimes in words but more often in spirited questions and exclamations meaning “I agree” or “I’m unsure, puzzled—” The ink was faded. Here and there I couldn’t tell what thoughts occured to the reader but through the bruise-like blotches I could sense urgency, as though tears had fallen. I held the book awhile. It was Death in Venice (in translation); I had noted the page in case, as Freud believed, nothing is an accident . Thus the little photograph was buried again, as the past is buried in the future. In the margin there were two words, linked by an arrow: “sterility” and, down the page, “oblivion” “And it seemed to him the pale and lovely summoner out there smiled at him and beckoned...”


3

How quiet the garden is; no breeze ruffles the Cornelian cherry. Summer has come. How queit it is now that life has triumped. The rough pillars of the sycamores support the immobile shelves of the foliage, the lawn beneath lush, iridescent— And in the middle of the sky, the immodest god. Things are, he says. They are, they do not change; response does not change. How hushed it is, the stage as well as the audience; it seems breathing is an intrustion. He must be very close, the grass is shadowless. How quiet it is, how silent, like an afternoon in Pompeii.


COMMENT


AMF Everyone Is an Immigrant Two paramedics, a man and a woman wearing green and blue scrubs, toss biscotti to seagulls. They glance out at the open ocean. Behind them, at the old port, their empty ambulance waits. A lone jogger, wearing a sweaty knee brace, runs around the parking lot. He, too, keeps his eyes on the Mediterranean Sea. Although he looks like a tourist, hie’s probably a pliceman. The islane of Lempedusa is overrun with law enforcement types and immigration agents. Along with relief workers and journalists, leary poicemen fill the tourist hotels, restaurants, and beaches. The town is a town of wellmuscled men, impeccably tanned. They aren’t my type, frankly. Clad in their tiny white spandex banana hangers, some even brought their girlfriends along on this phony business trip. Their job is supposed to be to police the thirty seven thousand African refugees who’ve arrived on this island of five thousand. Later, that number will spike to fifty thousand. This massive diaspora is just one side effect of the Arab Spring; it’s also a business. To keep this refugee crisis under control and to monitor who heads north Itally collects money from the rest of the European Union. It’s a spectacular show when the open, wooden boats come in, people huddled against the gunwales. In this human drama, the police are the supporting actors. So are the journalists like me, struggling against the cordon to talk to arrivals. So are the paramedics. We are all waiting for refugess. • For thousands of years, Lampedusa has served as a garrison for empires-including, for a time during the 1980s, America’s. On this island, the Romans made garum, a rancid fish sauce. Third-century CHristians left a cemetery here. Thanks to other old bones, it’s possible to trace the island’s passage between Christian and Muslim hands until the 1840s, when Tomasi di Lampedusa--ancestor to Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, who wrote The Leopard--sold the island to the Kingdom of Naples. The island is politically Europe, but geographically Africa. This is the problem. • What am I doing here? • Reaching the island isn’t simple. I began this notebook in late June on a train traveling south from the Umbrian town of Perugia to Rome. From


Rome I traveled to Sicily, and then on to Lampedusa. As a companion, I took along my friend and colleague, Eileen Ryan, who’s writing her dissertation at Colubia University on Libya. She lives between New York and Rome and speaks fluent Italian. My capacity for lnaguage could be described as remedial restaurantm lots of grand gestures and foul mouthed nouns to compensate for all I can’t say. On the train, it strinkes me that I’ve done a very stupid thing. I’ve left teh castle and fifteenth century farmhouse belonging to the Civitella Ramiera, a tiny artists’ colony near the twon of Gubbio, where my only job was to read the poet Propertius, or whoever I chose, and maybe to write some poems. Propertius was born in Assisi during teh first century BCE. He seems to have been a bit of a recluse. A poet’s poet, he was Elizabeth Bishop in a toga. And he didn’t seemt o be constantly kissing imperial ass like some of his contemporaries. His humor allowed him to see himself. “wehere are you rushing to, Propertius, wandering rashly, babbling on about Fate?” Clad in a bathrobe, I read this and waded into warm, morning dirt and to zuechini flowers off the vine for truffle frittatas. So, what, I wonder, on this train to Rome, am I doing leaving that paradise for the coming chaos of refugess? I need a break from silence and a hit of the world. Also, it’s my responsibility. Having reported in Africa for more than a decade, it’s my job to pay attention when Africa washes up on the shores of Europe. SO as the crisis struck, I sent a note to one of my magazine editors ( not the editor of this one), asking if I could go cover the story. Also, I write better poems on the move and in odd landscapes. Being in unusual places allows me to feel that i have both an ahtority to speak and something to say. I can imgagine bmyself as having a frank, fierce encounter with what’s real, even if this has nothing to do with the external world. It is easier to believe the poems are necessary. Others before me have done the same double work, including James Fenton and Rscard Kapuscinsky, to name the two best. In both, a rage crops up in the poems that is fed by the reportage. We talk about sruvivor’s guilt, but onot about observer’s guilt. For jounalists this is particularly acute, as we are paid to watch suffering and paid more during war. For poets, it’s even worse. It’s Adorno for the twenty-first century. The incomparable horror of Auschwitz has given way to Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. It is not what they built. It is what they knocked down. It is not the houses. It is the spaces between the houses. It is not the streets that exist. It is the streeets that no longer exist.


It is not your memories which haunt you. It is not what you have written down. It is what you have forgotten, what you muyst forget. What you must go on forgetting all your life. And with any luck oblivion should discover a ritual. From “A German Requiem,” by James Fenton I wrote stone I wrote house I wrote town I shattered the stone I demolished the house I obliterated the town From “I wrote Stone,” by Ryszard Kapuscinski • The Africans arriving from Libra aren’t Lbyans. They’re citizens of Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nieria, among other nations. Many are refugees who fled their home countries. For years they’ve been trying to outrun Muammar el-Qaddafi, who, in turn, has been blocking their passage to Europe. Along with Libyan oil, Qaddafi’s horrific immigration prisons guaranteed him friends in Europe. Two moths after I visted Lampedusa, twenty five Africans arrived dead in one boat. Five montths later, a stunned Qaddafi was murdered by a Libyan mob. At the time of my visit, however, such events were beyond imagining. Qaddafi was carrying out his threat to swamp Europe with AFrians in a kind of human body warfare reminiscent of Fiedl Castro’s 1980 Mariel Boatlift, when Castro allowed 124,00 Cubans to flee by boat and overwhelm sotuh Florida. The Libyan ambassador in Italy, Hafez Qaddour, said that Qaddafi “wanted to turn Lampedusa black with Africans.” It’s impossible to ask new arrivals questions about any of thiss--or about anything else. As soon as they arrive on, or even near, the island, Italian coast guard ships approach most of the vessels, load the refugeees up by the hundreds, ship them into port and deliver them to shore, where they are numbeerd before being run through a wiating line of police, Red Cross, and other mergency workers, and boarded onto repurposed tourist buses. The buses take them to “centers,” which are immgration prisons, surrounded by barbed wire. Filo spinato sounds less punative in Italian. The refugees arriving from LIbra spend between a few days and a few


weeks on the island until their numbers swell to two thousand. At that point, they are loaded onto a ferry and takent o te island of Sicily and to the Italian mainland to yet another center, and another, until eventually, they are granted asylum and allowed to stay in Italy or travel north to other European countries. The refugees arriving form Tunisia are a different case. Because their livesa aren’t at risk if they’re returned to their country, Tunisians are regularly sent home agaimse their well. This is one reason why they’re generally more unruly than the new arried sub Saharan Africans: they have nothing to gain by being cooperative. Ttwo years ago on Lampedusa, someone set fire to the Tunisian immigration prison. I hear different things about who started the blaze. First, it was lit by very pissed of Tunisians. Second, it was lit by very pissed off locals, who didn’t want their island, which survives on tourism, to become a safe haven for African reguees, especialy Tunisians. Four months later, hundred escaped from a center and marched around calling for freedom. • “Tunisians are like extrem Sicilians,” Francesco Luciforo says. “Put them on the surface of the moon, they will survive.” I meet Lucifor, forty-five whose last name means what it looks like, among the crowd at the dock awaiting the arriving sinking boats. Behind the wheel of the tourist bus-cum refugee transport, which he drives, he’s wearing a yellow hazmat suit. It’s not in my notes, but I remember him smoking. The Africans arriving from Libya have been so poorly treated under Qaddafi that they are terrified. They do what they’re told. Luciforo says: “Poor things, if you tell them to stay somehwere, they’ll stay there. Even if the end of the world comes, they won’t move.” Luciforo has been driving this bus for more than a year. Before that, he worked for a Christian volunteer group called Misericordia. Workers collected on teh dock during refugee season. The name Misercordia is familiar. I realized I heard it latst week when I was with fellow Civitella artist touring the Umbrian town of Sansepolcro. There, in the famous Piero della Francesca triptych, a hooded man kneels at the base of the cross. He looks like a hangman, but win fact he’s a member of this group, Misericoria. While they were doing charity work among the sick and dying, they wore black masks to protect against disease, and to protect their identity so they couldn’t be thanked. I imagine Luciforo in his yellow hazmat suit and a hood.


“Luciforo, what have you seen that you can’t forget?” I ask. “One night, I wateched mothers throw their babies into the sea. They popped up like corks,” he says. “One night, I wateched mothers throw their babies into the sea. They popped up like corks,” he says. • Midway down the island’s main drag, Via Roma, I find the American Bazaar. The gift shop’s shelves are lined with sleazy seashell ashtrays, canvas bags, pastel sea turtle T-shirts. Owning the American Bazaar is Luciforo’s far less lucrative job. These days no one comes in. His Sieilian grandfather sold American goods, garters. And that’s where he got his nickname. Now Omericano is Luciforo’s nickname also. It sounds like half Homer, half American. Across Via Roma, there’s another shop called Pakistani Bazaar: a successful street corner of globalization. I stop in. The owner, a rich man form Lahore, sells high-end shalwar kameez as beach cover upos. Business is terrible. “I tell other Pakistanis not to come to Europe now,” he says. “But they think I’m trying to keep something good for myself.” • Hoping for refugees. Rough winds. No one comes. • We are always watching the sea. • The first sign of their arrival is a disappearance. The hulking gray coast guard boats that wait in the harbor cast off from their moorings. They head out to sea to esort the wooden refugee boats in to shore I am growing desperate. To try to speak to the refugees, I rent a boat. It’s an unusual measure and has to be handled with some tact at the dock. “We’d like to rent a boat,” my friend Eileen tells the man at the boat stand. “That’s fifty Euros plus the captain--you need a captain,” he says, looking us up and down. We don’t lok like journalists, partly because Eileen has insisted we pull ourselves together. “The captain will costy you nothing--a regalo--a figt,” a man behind him


in the shack says. Pino, our captain, is a laconic fisherman who would be shuttling tourists, but none are coming thanks to the news, broadcast by journalists like us, that the island is overrun with refugees. He asks us where we want to go and I lay it out straight: we want to go close to the coast guard boats of refugees. We want to talk to them. He’s disappointed. He’d hoped we were tourists. We compromise. First, he takes us swimming in caves the ocean has scoured out of the base of white, limestone cliffs on Isola dei Conigli, Rabbit Island. Where the water meets the rock, the cliffs are the color of sulfur. The salt must create this hideous color in reaction to limestone. “Ci sono medusas?” Are there jellyfish? I am petrified of being stung after an incident on the Aeolian island Stromboli. Pino peers over the gunwale and sees none. “If you’re going in, go in,” he says. We dive in the cold water. Back on the boat, he talks politics with Eileen. “Since there are no tourists, maybe I should advertise trips to see the immigrants,” he says in dark Sicilian humor. “I’m just joking. Don’t write that down.” I smile and write it down. “The refugee problem isn’t only Muammar el-Qaddafi’s fault,” he says. “Qaddafi is just one crazy man. This government is shit.” Berlusconi’s government is failing. To shore up its base, the prime minister came to Lampedusa a few months ago and promised to bring the situation under control. Keeping refugees off the streets is a political neccessity. Apparently, Berlusconi said he’d buy a house here on the island, too, as if that would be any solution. That promise hasn’t materialized. Refugees are just living widgets in this human commerce that surrounds us. We are part of it. Italy gets cash from the European Union. The private company that runs the centers is paid well per head. The people (like Luciforo) who work in the centers are paid well, too. Everyone knows this. “The refugees are a business,” Pino says, echoing my thoughts. beyond the basics of his conversation, I can’t catch his dark jokes. Eileen laughs and translates what’s especially telling. Tehir conversation becomes a backdrop, impersonal as the sound of waves. I have no responsibility to it. Sometimes I love not speaking a language. I find conversation exhausting much of the time, and the excuse not to participate can be a relief. I pick up my notebook. Garrison island, let me find in your deprivation, my love of deprivation, in your bleakness,


my bleakness, in your frank cliffs the same. Teach me to align my will with what is. • They’re coming. Crammed onto the foredeck of a gunmetal coast guard boat, around three hundred men and a handful of women from Ghana, Sudan, SOmalia, Cameroon, Nigeria. Eritrea and Ehtiopia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh grin and wave. They wear fake fur-trimmed ski parkas, woolen hats, backpacks, bandanas, the silver and gold mylar blankets given to marathon runners and hypothermia victims. “Where are we?” a man shouts down to us on the deck of our rented boat. He, too, is wearing a cap and ski parka to ward off the brutal blue sky. “Lampedusa! You’re safe!” I shout back. “Where are you from?” “Sudan!” I try to shout more questions as a coast guard shoos our gnat of a white boat awat. Pino complie. I watch the boat dock, and the arrivals file quietly one by one from the vessel. They drag wheelie suitcases, carry white plastic bags and babies in snowsuits. A Red Cross worker shouts out their number as they step onto firm earth: “Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven.” • Immigranti is the polite term. It’s the one islanders use when speaking to outsiders. Turki is the actual name for the arrivals. It’s slang for invaders. The turks captured the island so many times throughout history that the harbor is named from them. Baia Turkia--Bay of Turks. This is another invasion. A huge yellow sign atop a hotel, Hotel Baia Turchese, dominates the harbor and serves as the proscenium for arriving refugees. • A leather-hued man wearing a sea turtle T-shirt marches down the bobbing dock toward the Sky TV News crew. He’s upset. Their ninety seconds of stand up over, they’re shutting down their cameras. The reporter replaces her baseball cap. The man she’s just interiewed, thte head of the coast guard wearing a dress white uniform and Ray Bans, relights his cigarillo as he walks down the dock toward a grean convertible. The man in the turtle T-shirt begins to shout, although he’s clearly trying


to restrain himself. “It’s right that you are filming them,” he says, pointing to the daparting buses of refugees in teh background. “Now turn your cameras around and film them, too.” On the hotel Baia Turchese beach behind our small crowd of reporters, scantily clad subnathers dip their Mediterranean toes in the Mediterranean Sea. They’re policemen, of course, but that’s not his point. From this distance, they appear to be tourists. “This is not a crisis!” he continues. The Sky TV reporter called the refugee situation just that--a crisis--about an hour ago. All of us now on the dock watched her broad cast at the port’s nearby cafe while we stood at the bar drinking our morning coffee. Tan turtle T-shirt goes on: “While you’re paying attention to all of these immigrants, we’re getting into debt. No one is coming to Lampedusa. When this situation ends, and you go away, we’re going to end up in prison.” He thrusts his wrists towards the reporters, gesturing as if wearing the manacles of debtors’ prison. The summer season begins within days. The arrival of good weather is supposed to mean the arrival of tourists. Instead it means safe passage for refugees. • Among the chocolate haired Italians still on the dock, one sprightly red bearded man stands out. He squints from beneath a floppy famer’s hat as if the sun was an assault. Andrew is a forty-one-year-old New Zealander who won’t give his last name or his phone number. “This work is too controversial.” It’s not like he’s working undercover: he’s weawring a bright yellow crossing guard vest that reads “Christian Century.” He’s a missionary here to preach to African Muslims. Still, Andrew’s irritated at being approached by a reporter. I couldn’t help but spot him. I’ve spent so much time in place where missionaries are the only white faes other than mine, I’ve developed a kind of ecclesiastical radar. • Before several months ago, I knew of Lampedusa only as the ancestral home of the charismaic aristocrat who wrote The Leopard. I once stayed with his elegant nephew in Sicily, where he runs a hotel with his wife. Here I learn that it was Qaddafi who put Lampedusa on the contemporary world map. In 1986, to challenge the United States, Qaddafi lobbed missles at the Loran Base, a US military listening post. Suddenly, the world turned its attention to this tiny miperiled island. Looking more closely at the coastline, I notice it’s littered with WWII


bunkers. Unliked most of the beutiful, clean lines of fascist architecture of that period, these bunkers are right off the set of Dr. Who: the concrete imaginings of someone who designed modern warfare to look forbidding. The military ruins are impossible to eneter; their broken steps steeped in pee and human shit. I wonder whoe--maybe refugees on the lam? Who else would hike out to these desolate trenches to micturate? • There’s a sign in the new port addressed to journalists like me. A lefty youth organization posted it a couple of years ago. Eileen and I translate aloud: A smile for the press: While you follow aid and immigrants, Lampedusa runs the risk of discounting this emergency, which you compose of summary information that’s reductive and sometimes false. You present the immigrants’ arrival as an aggression, a threat we should fear. Furthermore, you have no respect for those who arrive in inhuman conditions, and suffer in vain. This includes the economic/touristic effects on the inhabitants of Lampedusa, despite their tireless work. Stop the reality show. • Everyone here is an immigrant. Everyone came from somewhere else. • The man-made cave is a hollowed-out boulder scorched by centuries of fire. Fig and olive trees, paper bougainvillea blossoms line the walkway between the grotto and a nearby church. From Christian to Muslim to Christian again, this island has changed its religion as empires have risen and fallen since the third century. At the grotto, our unlikely tour guid is Jaafar Kriden, a Tunisian refugee who has just ben granted political asylum in Italy. Eileen and I meet him by accident in frton of a hair salon near the old port when we stop to ask him directions. He proposes a tour of the island, and we accept. He describes his plight as a political refugee, assuming that we will find him sympathetic. He sees himself as a victim of history. If he goes hom to Tunisia, he might be targeted as a former lackey of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the country’s recently overthrown dictator, who held power for more than twenty years. Jaafar Kriden served as the party’s treasurer in his town. To save his skin, once revolution broke out on January 14, 2011, Jaafar


Kriden asked his parents for a few thousand dollars and hopped the next boat out of the country. As we walk the mile up and back from town to the grotto, Kriden tries to convince us that single party rule--dictatorship--is the best system for Tunisia. He says eyebrow-raising things like: “Arab countries aren’t ready for democracy.” I’ve noticed that tyrants the world over love that line; it transforms their repression into benevolence, caretaking. I’ve also noticed that in the soporific heat of many such equatorial nations, I find myself nodding along to such statements, lulled by seeming common snese until I remember to whome I’m listening. • There are three boat graveyards on Lalmpedusa: one inland at the town dump, one by the harbor, another in the water. The wheel-houses of wrecked vessels poke out of the water. The refugee boats could belong to Lampedusa’s fishermen, except for the Arabic names scrawlled on their blue hulls and the green dates spray-painted on each, the dates of their landing. The boat graveyards are so rife with facile poetry that I avoid visiting them until the very end of my visit. When I do, I attempt to record the physical details, the tinself of used Mylar blankets, the names--Hajji Hassan, Basam--and none of the wistfulness the ruined boats imply. • While the refugees are hidden away, there are two black faces visible on Lampedusa. One belongs to the woman on the napkin dispenser at the port cage. She smiles from every table, her face emerging from a sea of coffee beans: “The Pleasure of Black” reads the slogan beneath her disembodied head. The other face belongs to Father Vincent Mwagala, a Catholic priest and very different kind of missionary who has come from Tanzania to work among the refugees and islanders here. Above his desk there’s a cross made of two ribs of sunk refugee boats. Orange crosses blue. The priest is as frustrated as I am about the impossibility of speaking to arriving refugees. “We know they’ve arrived but we don’t have contact with them,” he says. On rare occasions he talks to arriving sub-Saharan Africans coming from Libya. “Life is difficult for them there. They are poorly treated in different ways. Their labor is unpaid and when they got to report it, the police pay no attention to them. IT’s worse if you don’t speak Arabic.” I ask him if he’s suffereing here, and he says


something odd. It’s in English, so I’m sure I’ve heard it right. “I’m suffering like a woman who is bearing a child.” I ask him to repeat it: “I’m suffering like a woman who is bearing a child.” I ask him to elaborate. “Look at faces of those arriving. The world has to change. It’s time to look in the face of one another and learn the needs of one another. Poor people in this world don’t even have a blade of grass.” His boss enters. Father Stefano Nastas--portly, smoking. Around him swirls a ponytailed, self-styled manservant who makes a steady stream of espressos in tiny plactic cups that remind me of the dentist’s rinse and spit variety. Nastas seems irritated by this Italian gadfly. He’s as down to earth as they come. He’s a Franciscan, and I notice a replica of the San Damiano Cross of St. Francis on the wall, the one that spoke to the saint centuries ago. seems irritated by by this Italian gadfly. He’s as down to earth as they come. He’s a Franciscan, and I notice a replica of the San Damiano Cross of St. Francis on the wall, the one that spoke to the saint centuries ago. I ask him if, in his opinion, Lampedusa is more Europe or Africa. “Geographically this is AFrica by politically this is Europe.” “What side of the story is the press missing?” I ask. “The human side,” he says. He allowed five thoasand Tunisians to sleep in the church when the boats didn’t stop a few months ago. Although they were Muslims, they came to Mass and made their own gestures in front of the cross when it passed before them. • In the foyer of the ugly church, there’s a bit of an ancient gravestone. It says, “Here lies someone who died of the plaguge.” • Across the piazza, there’s a little museum for the found leavings of refugees. Here are the tthings that wash up: plates, water bottles, prayer books in every imginable language. Its curator is Giacomo Sferlazzo, in dreadlocks, who is a painter and musician (he gives me a CD). These few photographs, the odd shoe, and water-warped ID cards are most of what he sees of the refugees. “The refugees are like ghosts,” he says, “you don’t see them on Lampedus. You see them in Rome, in Milan. This island is a frontier--a bridge


between AFrica and Europe.” Immigration is a kind of sham, he thinks. “We’re the ones who arm dictators and terrorists in Libya and Eritrea, so we’re the ones at fault. All of this is a consequence of post-colonialsim. No one cares about Africa. They follow their own interests in maintaining control to exploit resources.” • I am not going to write an article about this trip. I am going to write only this notebook, because I don’t think that what I’ve seen here, the story I’ve been able to gather with the refugees at such a distance, is a matter of news. What I’ve seen is a complicated set piece, a drama, which I’ve watched only as a memeber of the audience sat before the false proscenium. I’ve experienced violence firsthand that far out strips what I’ve encountered here on Lampedusa. But this violence is equally sinister--it’s abourd the ships, it’s in the prisons, it’s in Tripoli. I tihink of what Wallace Stevens says in The Necessary Angel. A poet has a moral role. A poet has to use imaginatino to press back against the violnce of reality. I don’t agree. He also wrote that reality was growing more insistent, more violent. I agree with that. • From the farmhouse porch, I read his poem “Frewell to Florida”: Go on, high ship, since now, upon the shore, The snake has left its skin upon the floor. Key West sank downward under massive clouds And silvers and greens spread over the sea. The moon Is at the mast-head and the past is dead. • High ships. High ships. High ships. • High ships come in bearing black strangers who call over the harbor, Where are we? Arrivals, it will get worse.


The island is running out of water. Prison awaits. From some distance, you saw the steel lintel of Europe’s doorway standing open. There is no door-a yellow hello hung with your forefather’s shoes, a cross nailed from the ribs of your sunk ships, paper prayer scraps, one million calls to the wrong God. Be grateful you wear that fake-fur parka, the violet, pompomed hat; you drag that odd wheelie bag, the snow-suited baby. Among defunct bunkers on this tropical rock it’s difficult to coneive of winter. And you, giddy with surviving war elsewhere, unsure of who you should please, grin at every white face and wave wildly down to me as I shout welcome from a rental skiff. My job is to learn where you’re from. I’ve come by water to reach you before the police. We have seconds. Ignore my pleasantries. Demand what my straw hat costs, how much I pay for my skin. I don’t say go north. Stay off the train. Lampedus II


AMF Technique’s Marginal Centrality A t the court of the Shugn Iyen a ri, it w a s a tense moment. Hokus a , a lre a dy well est a blished a s a prodigiously gifted a rtist, w a s competing with a convention brush-stroke p a inter in a fice-off judged by the shogun person a lly. Hokus a i-p a inted a blue curve on a big piece of p a per, ch a sed a chicken a cross it whose feel h a d been dipped in red p a int, a nd expl a ined the result to the shogu: it w a s a l a ndsc a pe showing the T a tsut a River with flo a ting red m a ple le a ves. Hokus a i won the competition. The story is well known but the re a ction of the conventional brush-stroke a rtist was not recorded. It’s quiet likely th a t he thought Hokus a i h a d done not much more th a n register a n ide a or, a s we would s a y tod a y, a concept. A loser’s view, perh a ps; though not without subst a nce. If Hokus a i h a d spent his c a reer dipping chickens in red p a int, he would h a ve ben Yoko Ono. B ut Hokusai did a lot more, and the same applies to every artist we respect, in any field: sometimes they delight us with a b surdly simple things, b ut we expect them to b ack it up with plenty of evidence that they can do complicated things as well. And anyway, on close examination the a b surdly simple thing might turn out to b e achieved not entirely without technique. Late in his career Picasso would take ten seconds to turn a b icycle saddle and a pair of handle b ars into a b ull’s head and expect to charge you a fortune for it, b ut when he was sixeteen he could paint a cardinal’s fulllength portrait that looked b etter than anything ever signed b y Velazquez. You can’t tell, just from looking at the b ull’s head, that it was assem b led b y a hand commanding infinities of know-how, b ut you would have b een a b le to tell from looking at Hokusai’s prize-winning picture, that a lot of assurance lay b ehind the sweep of b lue paint, and that he had professionally o b served floating red maple leaves long enouhg to know that the prints of a chicken’s red-painted feet would resem b le them, as long as the chicken could b e induced to move b riskly and not just hang a b out making puddles. When we swit c h this test apparatus to poetry, we arrive qui c kly at a c lear division between poets who are hoping to a c hieve something by keeping te c hni c al c onsiderations out of it, and other poets who want to keep te c hnique out of it be c ause they don’t have any. R.F. Langley, one of the s c hool poets around Jeremy Prynne, died re c ently. As an adept of that s c hool, he had put many dedi c ated years into perfe c ting the kind of poem whose integrity depends on its avoiding any hind of superfi c ial attra c tion. Part of one of his poems was quoted in tribute by the Guardian obituarist, himself an affiliate of the Prynne c ena c le. It was instantly apparent that the poet had su cc eeded in all his aims:


We leave una c hieved in the summer dusk. There are no maps of moonlight. We find pea c e in the room and don’t ask what won’t be answered. Impeccably blan d , resolutely combed for any hint of the conventionally poetic, it’s lack of melo d y exactly matche d by its lack of rhythm, Langely’s poem had shaken off all trace of the technical heritage, leaving only the question of whether to be thus unencumbere d is a guarantee of novelty. Har d not to think of how far mo d ern poetry has come since T.S. Eliot continually improve d his technical comman d in or d er to make his effects by leaving it unemphasize d , a vastly d ifferent approach to the question: They are rattling breakfast plates in basment kitchens, And along the trample d e d ges of the street I am aware of the d amp souls of housemai d s Sprouting d espon d ently at area gates. --From Morning at the Win d ow To writ e a stanza lik e that, with no e nd-rhym e s but with a subtl e int e rplay of int e rior e cho e s, w e t e nt to assum e that th e po e t n ee d e d to b e abl e to writ e the rhym e d stanzas of “Sw ee n e y Among th e Nightingal e s,” and th e n sit on th e knowl e dg e . At th e tim e it was writt e n, e v e n th e most absolut e of e nthusiasts for mod e rn po e try would hav e h e sitat e d to point out th e truth--that th e stanza was h e ld tog e th e r by its rhythmic driv e --unl e ss h e furth e r point e d out that it was also h e ld tog e th e r by th e sophisticat e d assiduity with which it didn’t rhym e . In oth e r words, th e whol e of E nglish po e try’s t e chnical h e ritag e was pr e s e nt in E liot’s work, and n e v e r mor e so than wh e n it s ee m e d fr ee in form. But since that time, there has been a big shi f t in belie f , and we are living with the consequences now. Ezra Pound that only genius should excuse himsel f f rom traditional measures, but he soon decided that he was a genius, and several generations of his spiritual descendants either f elt the same about themselves or--more likely--took the new liberties more and more f or granted as time went on. The moderns not only conquered the f ields of art, they conquered the f ields in which art is thought about. The idea that f orm can be perfectly f ree has had so great a victory, everywehere in the English-speaking world, that the belie f in its hidden technical


support no longer holds up. Or rather, and more simply, the idea of technique has changed. It is no longer pinned to f orms. I f f ew territories go quite so f ar as Australia, where it is generally held to be unlikely that a poem can be f ormally structured and still be modern, nevertheless the general assumption that beginning poets had to put in their time with technical training, like musicians learning their scales, is everywhere regarded as out of date. This near consesnus is wrong, in my view, but you can see why it prevails. And it does have ony big advantage. Though a poet who can’t count stresses and syllables might write mediocre poetry, there is a certain kind of bad poetry that he won’t write. Every editor in the world knows what kind of bad poetry I am talkin g about. It arrives by the sheaf, by the bundle, by the bale. The poet, usually youn g , but sometimes in his old a g e, has discovered his power to rhyme, and what he thinks is rhythm. The editor, in his turn, discovers over and over that the more a poet’s creativity mi g ht be lackin g , the more his productivity will be torrential. The trouble with a really awful poem is not that its author lacks technique, but that his technique is fully expressed: whatever he can do, he does, especially if he has g ot past the early, drunken sta g es of findin g rhymes and has entered the determined sta g e of makin g lists. Whole careers have been ruined by virtuoso exuberence, as when a tenor who can sin g a clean to C spends all day sin g in g nothin g else, and leaves his chest voice in ra g s. In t h e first h alf of t h e twentiet h century, t h ere was an acomplis h ed poet in just t h at condition. H e was the Australian emigre man of letters W. J. Turner. H aving based h imself in London, h e h ad built up an enviable reputation as an expret on music: h e was a valued friend of the great pianist Artur Sc h nabel, and h is book about Mozart, still read today, was h eld to be in a class wit h t h e monograp h by Alfred Einstein. But Turner was also a prolific Georgian poet, and in h is prolificity lay h is ticket to oblivion. H is work mig h t h ave survived being wildly overpraised by Yeats, but it could not survive its own fluency. H e h ad a certain success wit h a poem about t h e Aztecs. Studded wit h catc h y pre-Columbian names, it was t h e sort of t h ing t h at could be recited after dinner ina drawing room. (On YouTube h e can be seen reciting t h e poem h imself, in an over-enunciated voices weirdly suggesting ectoplasm and planc h ette.) But in masses of ot h er poems h e overdid t h e catc h iness, and everyt h ing in t h e poem was so attention-getting t h ere was no way to recall it: t h e purposeless glitter was packed tig h t like a second- h and furniture dealer’s storeroom full of c h andliers: In a sea of Cyt h erean


Billows are rolling, rolling, rolling Over stillness molybdenea H ung wit h t h e scrolling Abyss-plants w h ose fingers C h aldean Rock Slumber under foam-frot h w h ere lumber... Threaten i ng always to g i ve b i rth to Ed i th S i twell l i ke Venus i n a seashell, even i n i ts heyday such b i llow i ng foam-froth counted as h i gh sp i r i ts at best, and i n the long term a whole trad i t i on was doomed by wordplay: you can hear why, a few decades down the l i ne, the danger of mak i ng so much vap i d no i se should have dr i ven the Prynne people of a Trapp i st vow of mak i ng no no i se at all. But at least one occasion Turner wrote differently, and it was probably because he was in the grip of a real emotion. It was a case of the visione amorosa, in that especially painful version when the aging man finds himself suddenly longing for the unattainable young woman. His title, “Hymn to Her Unknown,” betrays all his usual deafness (Hymn to Her Unknown What?), but the text itself, from the first line to the last, is fully j udged, with no sign of automatism. He starts by setting the scene of a memory: In despair at not being able to rival the creations of God I thought on her Whom I saw on the twenty-fourth of August nineteen thirty-four Having tea in the fifth story of Swan and Edgar’s In Piccadilly Circus. From then on, throughotu the barely fifty lines of his tiny epic, his sole apparent tric k is to go on raising the level of the diction, from the Biblical through the heroic to the exstatic. The unapparent tric k s are many--her really did k nown how to balance a line--but they are all camouflaged in support of this main strategy, which he sensibly doesn’t vary until the last stanza, when a few rhymes are allwed in as evidence of the effort it has ta k en to k eep them out. The young lady is married, she has her child with her, and clearly, though she k nows the poet is watching her, nothing he could do would alter her life as she might alter his if she so chose. Such is the powerful combination of her beauty and moral character than he can’t describe her adequately, even with his language at full stretch: What is the use of being a poet? Is it not a farce to call an artist a creator, Who can create nothing, not even re-present what his eyes


have seen? But of course in ca ll ing her indescribab l e he has described her, and has defined a moment that we wi ll a ll grow better at recognizing as we grow o l der. The poet wi ll be born again, and so wi ll the young woman that he adores. It is a stunning poem to have been a l most entire l y forgotten. One of the questions the poe m s raises, however, is whether Turner really had to learn all that tricky stuff he did elsewhere just to increase the efect of leaving it out here. With T.S. Eliot the results of his for m al work are so sharp that we can take it for granted that the acquired skill helped to m ake his infor m al work even sharper, although really we are betting on a case of correlation as causation. But by now we have seen so m any successful inor m al poe m s that we m ust conte m plate the possibility that there is such a thing as an infor m al technique, in which it is no longer necessary to count stresses or m ast r any regular stanza. M ost poets now will never feel called upon to m ak e a poe m look organized. Those who do feel the call often produce results so clu m sy tat we are te m pted to conclude that the thing can’t be done without practice. But this again m ight be an unwarranted assu m ption: m aybe those particular poets just haven’t got the knack. This concession would leave the roo m for the further possibility that so m e poets do have the knack but it hasn’t shown up because they haven’t felt called upon to exploit it. Here we are perilously close to the pestiferous, Lucy, the Pea n uts character who thought she could play the pia n o like her little frie n d Schroeder if she just k n ew which keys to press dow n . u n fortu n ately for a n y dreams of critical simplicity, such a fa n tasy is n ot empty. There are some who are ig n ora n t yet can perform prodigies, educating themselves with frighte n i n g speed as they go N obody devoid of a proper musical educatio n is ever goi n g to saw away i n a scratch orchestra a n d produce a theme from Bach. Performa n ce skill is too great a factor. But i n poetry, the performa n ce skills for orga n izi n g chai n s of words i n to forms seem ofte n to be lyi n g arou n d piecemeal i n the li n guistic attai n me n ts of tyros who have n ever lear n ed to cou n t a stress. I n a phrase that we te n d to avoid because it does n ’t sou n d precise e n ough, they have feel for it. In the Guggenheim Museum o n Fifth Avenue y o u can see a nightclub scene by Picass o that pr o ves he mastered the wh o le heritage o f the Impressi o nist painters in ab o ut am o nth. The imp o rtant thing here is n o t t o belittle an intrinsically c o mplex pr o cess just because it bretrays less o ver eff o rt than we think appr o priate. Take o ne o f the smallest and apparently m o st elementary o f the standard p o etic f o rms, the c o


uplet. F o r the p o et, the her o ic c o uplet is a wickedly difficult frame in wich to narrate. This being kn o wn t o be true, a wh o le critical myth o l o gy has built up ab o ut what Dryden did t o devel o p the trick that P o pe perfected. But really, as a f o rm, the c o uplet was perfected l o ng bef o re, and alm o st o vernight, by R o bert Herrick: C o me, my C o rinna, c o me; and, c o ming, mark H o w each field turns a street, each street a park. When P o p e, in The Ra p e of the Lock, turned cou p lets as light and neat as that, he got famous for it. Nobody remembers Herrick for inventing the p ossibilities beause he never ex p loited them. His favored form, even in the most frivolous lyric, was an argued p aragra p h, rather much more serious, much more holy George Herbert, who would invent some sha p ely littel edifice of words in order to fit the structure of a thought, and then move on. For Herbert, the thought was the p oetic substance. Unlike Donne, he wasn’t distracted even by imagery. Herbert could do images, but they had to fit the argument. This p urity of p ur p ose makes Herbert the most meta p hysical of all the p oets we give that name. The name has been p rominent since the first a pp earance of Grierson’s anthlogy in 1921, and famous since Eliot sought amongst the metah p hysical p oetry the hard antidote for flumer. But what Eliot learned best from Herbert, what we all learn, is how to argue; or rather, we learn that the argument is the action. The contemporary American poet Daniel Brown writes as if he were taking classes from Herbert once a week. Throughout his slim but weighty collection Taking the Occasion, Brown proves that for him the reasoning is in command of the imagery and not vice versa. Since pracitically the whole of hte mdoern movement in poetry, as we have come to recognize it, was based on teh notion that imagery ruled, Brown’s priorities wouold seem willfully archaic if not for the the functionality of his neatness, which reminds u sthat his hero Herbert, thinking as he went, necessarily operated in the here and now. R easoning is as contempo r a r y an activity as you can get. In his poem “On Being Asked by Ou r R eceptionist If I Liked the Flowers,” B r own makes capital out of explaining, fo r himself and us, the mental p r ocess by which the vase of lilies she was r efe rr ing to had been condemned by he r existence to the status of “A spledno r I’d have seen for su r e,/If less employed in seeing he r .” He r be r t would have app r oved of how the image a r ose f r om the idea, and of the compactness of the w r apping: a couplet ha r d at wo r k th r ough making itself look easy. Contrary to more than a hundred year s of s teadily accumulating s chol-


arly opinion, Pope never made the couplet look ea s , even at hi s mo s t frolic s ome. Hi s s ocial poem s fit into a pla s ter and gla ss pavilion a s though part of the furniture, but they are under a greater s training than their s urrounding s : an internal s train. Heroic couplet s are clo s ed, and the clo s ure exert s pre ss ure even when nothing much i s being conveyed except atmo s phere. When a rea s oned argument i s being conveyed, the pre ss ure can s plit the pipe s . It wa s recognized even at the time that the vaunted logical progre ss ion of “E ss ay on Man” was a s ucce ss ion of limp s and s tumble s in mechanical s hoe s . By hi s very diligence, Pope proved that hi s favored form’ s s elfcontained refinement wa s a clum s y vehicle for argument. Except when expre ss ible in an individual apercu, thought i s s eldom s elfcontained. Probably for that rea s on, the mature S hake s peare u s ually confined hi s u s e of the couplet to clinching a s cene. The couplet s top s the action. Pope never took the hint. Jus t before WWI, George Sains t burry, in his li tt le book T he Peace of t he Augus t ans, found t he righ t language for disliking “Essay on Man” and also wen t deeper t o spo t some t hing inflexible abou t t he heroic couple t in i t self ” Pope’s rigorously observed caesura, t he cen t ral pause of t he line, formed a “crease down t he page.” Bu t really t he heroic couple t had already been prac t ically, if no t cri t ically, undone in t he day of i t s domina t ion, by poe t s who wished t o keep t he rhyme of t he couple t bu t no t i t s self-con t ainmen t . Charles Churchill is no t much t hough t of now, bu t his popularity a t t he t ime depended on his knack for making t he couple t spring along ins t ead of hanging abou t . Ins t ead of being bu tt oned up a t t he end of t he second line, t he syn t ax of a so-called “romance” couple t ran on in t o t he couple t t ha t came nex t . Samuel Johnson, rigorously formal Au t hor of “ T he Vani t y of Human Wishes,” would have been horrified a t t he t hough t of le tt ing acouple t do t ha t ; and Oliver Goldsmi t h, whose accomplishmen t s as a poe t Johnson righ t ly revered, wro t e his mas t erpiece T he Deser t ed Village wi t hou t slipping ou t of t he heroic frame even once. (A t t he au t hor’ s invi t a t ion, Johnson even con t ribu t ed a few couple t s t o Goldsmi t h’s poem, and t hey fi t righ t in: you can hardly see t he join.) B u t the new possibilites provided by the romance co u plet were now there, and in the nineteenth cent u ry Browning made a u thoritative u se of them to create the pro u dly demented narrative fl u ency deployed by the narrator of “My Last D u chess.” U nimpeded by enforced caes u ra or end-stopped second line, the D u ke’s s u avely heightened conversation virt u o u sity, as if emanating from the caref u lly trimmed beard of Vincet Price by firelight, do u bles the impact when we realize that he is as n u tty as a fr u itcake. He killed her. Stop him before he kills again.


It is an open question which form of the couplet demands the more technique, heroic or romance. All we can be sure of is that each v ersion demands plenty. Perhaps the romance couplet always demanded most, as it headed towards the freedom we enjoy now, in which we persuade orusel v es that freedom from all predictability equals the perfecctly expressi v e. Whether they stop and start or flow forward in a paragraph, couplets require their author to put his syllables and stresses in all the right places. Rhyming is the easy part of the job, and e v en that turns out to be de v ol v es around a thousand-line poem composed in couplets. A tour de force of fake history and pseudo-scholarship, the book would ha v e been daunting enough ahd the poem been clumsy. But it was perfect. Perfect, or nearly so. A professional might have niggled that in line 497 (“In the w et starlight and on the w et ground”) the second “the,” w hich ought to be stressed but can’t be, dictates a needlessly attention-getting departure from strict rhythm; but other w ise scarcely a foot had been w rongly placed. The s w eetly flo w ing tide of romance couplets even had fully formed heroic couplets occasionally decorating them, like candles floating on the w ater: The little scissors I am holding are A dazzling synthesis of sun and star. There could be no objecting to that. Here was the occasion for the astonished reader to remember that Nabokov was a neophyte poet only in English. In Russian he had been an e x pert, and all the Russian e x pert poets are e x pert technicians, because Pushkin, the supreme technician, sets the historic pace, Nevertheless, Nabokov had pulled this marvel out of his hat the first time, a rabbit as big as a freight train. How was it possible? The onl y answer is that he did it because he wanted to. He had had an idea about a prominent American poet being stalked b y a conceited scholar who was reall y a wacko European monarch on the run, and for the screwball plot to wrok he needed a poem: so he wrote one. The urge had preceded the accomplishment, as it alwa y s must. If Nabokov had been writing a treatise on English prosod y , it would not have led him to write the poem in Pale Fire. Technique is a subservient impulse. One of the wa y s we know this to be true is the mess that ensues when fashion makes it a dominant one, and artists in all fields start shoving stuff in just because the y can do it. Critics become more useful when they learn to appreciate that the creative urge leading to a work of art may be a complex, irreducible compound of the impulse to get something new said and the imulse to get a new technique into actino. But the second component should always at-


tend upon the first, even when, as so often happens with a poem, a technical possibilit y is the first thing to hit the page. The possibilit y won’t go far unless the constructive urgenc y takes over. The point is proved, rather than otherwise, by the poets who gush technique but hardl y ever write a poem. Turner’s “Hymn” was, and is, a unicorn raised among a herd of horses. Since the poem is impossible to find even on Google. I am very conscious at this point that I should get ahead with my long-cherished project to edit an anthology of one off poems, by poets who wrote only one hit among their many duds, or never wrote anything except the hit. I have several title for the book--”They Never Had a Chance” and “Poems of the Doomed” are two of them--but publishers want names, and names are usually what such poets don’t have, even the productive ones, buried while they breathed under the tumulus of their own output. It can take a long time for apoet to build a name, but once the name is built it affects everything, like gravity. Just recently on the secondhand book market, Elizabeth Bishop’s copy of Jude the Obscure, in the Modern Library edition, came up for sale. The mere presence of her ownership signature on the flyleaf would already have put the price up, but puuting the price through the roof was the presence in one of hte endpapers of the draft for a poem. Never mind for the moment wht such a rare occurrence says about the confluence of art and commerce. Let’s just marvel at what it says about poetry and criticism. here, we may be sure, is the clearest proof that we are dealing, down there at bedrock level, with an urge as strong as life, if no more simple. She was out somewhere without her notebook, and she had an idea. It couldn’t wait, so she started writing it down on the only blank paper available. Any poet will read about this, scan his crowded bookshevles with a sad eye, rememember the number of times he was caught by the same fever, and wonder if some book he once woned will ever be news because he scribbled in it. The chances are that it won’t. But that’s the chance that makes the whole deal more exciting than Grand Slam tennis. Unless you can get beyond yourself, you were never there.


AMF Infallible Pope of Letters T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S.


T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S.


T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot


POTSHERS & ARROWHEADS


Figure 1: Vachel Lindsay wearing a suit in front of a wooded area with his hands behind his back. He appears to have suffered a great loss just before the picture was taken.


Figure 2: Joan Mitchell, standing by a diving board in one of two postures, or balancing on the edge of it in a handstand. If she is the one balancing, she is showing off for her friends. If not, she is quietly brooding as the other swimmers look on and wait.


Figure 3: A man named Alfred Kreymborg standing in the shade of an uknown tree. In the background, less than 100 yards away, a house, which may or not be his. He is either arriving or leaving, it is impossible to tell.


Figure 4: A young Emanuel Garnevali sitting on the ground, shyly hiding his hands underneath his legs. It is possible that he was sick at this point in time.


Figure 5: A sepia photograph of Marya Zarturenska carried lovingly through two seperate war zones to finally arrive at a brick building, a metal box, and four decades of dust.


Everyone here is an immigrant. AMF


NO 1