4 jun. 2009

David Bromige has died... What a loss. A marvelous man and a marvelously modest poet.

You didn't always realize how good Bromige was (I didn't, I mean), because he didn't seem to be making an undue effort. He wasn't trying to impress you all the time. I also like many poets who are making that obvious effort too; I'm not saying one is better than the other. It's just easier for some to appreciate the Oscar Petersons of the world, with their incredibly fast sextuplet runs.

David was a different kind of poet. One of his most representative works is a work in which he just sets out to explain what his poetry does. "My Poetry." At the beginning of the work, he deliberately disavows that kind of attempt to make a strong impression through flashy stuff, but rather works cumulatively and slowly:

‘My Poetry’ does seem to have a cumulative, haunting effect — one or two poems may not touch you, but a small bookful begins to etch a response, poems rising in blisters that itch for weeks, poems like ball-bearings turning on each other, over & over, digging down far enough to find substance, a hard core to fill up the hand. ‘It’s through this small square that my poems project themselves, flickering across the consciousness, finally polarizing in the pure plasma of life. The reader grows impatient, irritated with my distancing style, coming at him in the rare book format, written under not one but two different kinds of dirty money, & knowing me to be an english teacher.’

Interestingly, with this modesty this paragraph does actually make an assertive claim for its effects.

1 comentario:

K. Silem Mohammad dijo...

"My Poetry" is a collage of various reviews by others of Bromige's work, with the pronouns adjusted so that it's in first person.