Larry Eigner

Well, there's been a bit of an uproar in a tiny part of the poetry blogosphere today and I think a worthy and fascinating discussion has come as a result. The Collected Poems of Larry Eigner was published by Stanford University Press recently and the editors' decision to stay as faithful to the font, space between words and lines and general feel of the original wasn't as faithful as it should be, for some...

In this post, Fama makes a good case for his argument that editors Curtis Faville and Robert Grenier's lack of adherence to Eigner's left hand margin placement of poems does a disservice to the intent of the poet. While it's clear that Faville and Grenier embarked on a labor of love, in the ensuing arguments within the the blog post comments, Fama and others, make a good case for the poems being placed further from the LH margin, as originally done by Eigner. Particularly important was this quote, excerpted by one of the blog commenters, from a fascinating letter Eigner wrote to Ina Forster

on page 4

LE says about that left margin (and more):

"(...)as Olson had it) energy. When I took out a word after I'd
written it, rather than moving the next words on that line
leftwards, I'd leave the space open, not filled, I didn't
close it up, anyway at the beginning of a line, then
soon(?) I was indenting, not returning to the left margin
wholly or much at all, directly, per se (and the less of a
margin the less set and rigid a poem appeared, the more
easily it seemed, seems, to come off the page into speech,
into the head..."

If you wish to stop watching so much TV but don't have the wear with all in your brain to continue chipping away at that 572 page Zukofsky bio you borrowed from the library, it's worth a read.

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