Old Poetry Magazines - part one Denise Levertov on John Wieners

So, here I am taking strolls down poetry's memory lane for a buck seventy five (the combined costs of the 2 issues I bought at the used book store yesterday). Just reading a review of "Ace of Pentacles" that Denise Levertov did. I think she articulates a lot of the reasons why John Wieners is my Dead Gay Poet Husband, and not just another Dead Gay Poet boyfriend, like Duncan and Rimbaud.

A long quote: "The things various confessional poets describe have happened to him too -- drug addiction, the pain and loneliness of homosexual love, the mental breakdowns -- everything except marriage and divorce [side note: that could've changed by now, had he made it longer, him being a Mass resident and everything! ha!]; but in this case they are not autobiographically written about, they are conditions out of which it happens that songs arise. There is never any sense that he capitalizes on dramamtic events or is dependent upon them for his poetry; he doesn't see them as dramatic. What moves us is not the darkness in the world in which the poems were written, but the pity and terror and joy that is beauty in the poems themselves. When there is no song, no honey on the lips, only the presentation of drama, it can happen that the subject-matter itself is invested with false glamor. In Wieners the glamor is in the word-music itself..."

Those last lines and this quote, "they are not autobiographically written about, they are conditions out of which it happens that songs arise..." Well, it's just very nice to read. I've mentioned in previous entries the push and pull that people have mentioned happens in things I've written. "Go one way or the other," they say. But my Dead Gay Husband just shows that that's not necessary. Perhaps, as I mentioned when I first brought this up, I don't need to go one way or the other, but do a better job at going in all the directions which I chuse...Someday, when I get back to writing poetry (in major dry spell right now), I will take that into consideration.

Popular Posts