Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Neruda and WCW at lunch

Fun lunch with Y today, soup and good chat about inter alia, Neruda, imagism, mergers and acquisitions and law school. We started talking shop rather a lot but ended off with a discussion of the gorgeousness of Neruda's poetry.

There's nothing wrong with the mundane but it's nice to have excursions into the sublime once in awhile - went back to work with some half remembered Neruda lines reverberating around my head and feeling thrills down my spine.

Promised to send her some William Carlos Williams - there's such a sense of cleanness about his verse. One gets the same sense with well taken photographs - this clarity of vision - when every object speaks and is heightened beyond its everyday self. (Gah, I know there's a Harold Bloom line on this somewhere but I haven't got the book with me now so I can't type it out)

Below are three very commonly reproduced WCW poems; I doubt there's a lit student alive who hasn't read that plums poem :) but it has somehow escaped becoming cliched, probably because of its sharp crisp simplicity.



Flowers through the window
lavender and yellow

changed by white curtains –
Smell of cleanliness –

Sunshine of late afternoon –
On the glass tray

a glass pitcher, the tumbler
turned down, by which

a key is lying – And the
immaculate white bed


The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white


This is just to say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

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