26 mar. 2005

What if Pound was already a late modernist? What is the "it" that must be made new? The literary tradition itself. His best poetry is translation, revision of the literary tradition. Bringing "it" up to date. More pastistic than futuristic. The Calvacanti, the Cathay, the Lude sing Godamn, the Seafarer. How about Joyce's medieval scholasticism, Yeats' sense of belatedness? So late Beckett is modernism on life support, agonizingly eking out a few more decades. I can't go on. I must go on. Yet what do we have now? 21st Century modernism. Barbara Guest's nostalgia for imagism.


Here is my list of 20th Century American poetry, exclusive of the New York School. These are just the works that have meant the most to me. I'd have to make a separate list just of the New York School.

Stein. Lectures in America
Stevens. Harmonium
Pound. Cathay
WCW. Spring and All
Spicer. A Textbook of Poetry
Creeley. For Love / Words
Silliman. Paradise
Niedecker. [Everything]
Ginsberg. Howl.