quarta-feira, maio 21, 2008

California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present

California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present
By: Josh Hastings May 20, 2008 Literature

It's classic iconic subculture reflections of California’s powerful beatnik literature, among other genres. The early 20th Century poets are the roots of the beat generation’s impact. Dadaism and Surrealism both had a large influence on the Beats. Dadaism criticized high-culture elitism. Surrealism altered Dadaist’s defiant nature into a positive sociocultural movement with a focus on subconscious revelations. With California the main epicenter of the beatnik impact, “California Poetry: From The Gold Rush to the Present” is an excellent poetry anthology inclusive of many groundbreaking poets that were the mainstays of that movement, in addition to their predecessor foundational masters.
Ina Coolbrith had devoted herself to organizing and conducting salons and was also the 1915 California poet laureate, which marked the first of the series of a long lone of talented poet laureates for the state. Bohemian Charles Warren Stoddard and is understood to be a homosexual. Charles Edwin Markham who corresponded with Ambrose Bierce, Jack London, Carl Sandburg and Amy Lowell. Hildegarde Flanner who was an American poet and activist and had attend UC Berkley. George Oppen, a political activist and member of the Objectionist Group. Oppen had to leave the States for Mexico to due to the scathing eyes of the House Un-American Activities Committee. When he returned to the U.S., he won the 1969 Pulitzer.
Included in the numerous famous poetry and poets in this anthology is the eminent beatnik Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-owner of the one-of-a-kind City Lights Pocket Bookshop, now City Lights Books, in San Francisco and from 1953— the present, founder, publisher, and editor of City Lights Books. The following untitled poem, but popularly known as “In Goya’s greatest scenes we seem to see. . .” is a disorientating tie between centuries exposing human misery through the condemnation of the dehumanizing of civilized man. In this beautifully constructed poem, Ferlinghetti writes of car engines devouring America.
In Goya's greatest scenes we seem to see
the people of the world
exactly at the moment when
they first attained the title of
"suffering humanity"
They write upon the page in a
veritable rage of adversity
Heaped up
groaning with babies and bayonets
under cement skies
in an abstract landscape of blasted trees
bent statues bats wings and beaks
slippery gibbets cadavers and carnivorous cocks
and all the final hollering monsters
of the
"imagination of disaster"
they are so bloody real
it is as if they really still existed
And they do only the landscape is changed
They are still ranged along the roads
plagued by legionaries
false windmills and demented roosters
They are the same people
only further from home
on freeways fifty lanes wide
on a concrete continent
spaced with bland billboards
illustrating imbecile illusions of happiness
The scene shows fewer tumbrils
but more maimed citizens
in painted cars
and they have strange license plates
and engines
that devour America
Charles Bukowski, perhaps most influential to the subculture of Los Angeles, is also part of the middle and perhaps most read section of the anthology with his My Old Man poem.
Along with Ferlinghetti and Bukowski is Suzanne Lummis, a member of the West Coast Advisory Council for the legendary Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice where the famous Wednesday night gathering and the West Coast's longest running free poetry workshop is held. Her poetry is forceful, feminist and powerful.
The book’s editors are Dana Gioia, Chryss Yost and Jack Hicks, each an outstanding literary artist in their own right. The anthology contains 101 authors across two centuries, with poetic styles ranging from haiku to ballads and progresses into an endless list of acclaimed poets from the region. Published in 2004 by Heyday Books and Santa Clara University, “California Poetry: From The Gold Rush to the Present” was Malibu’s April 2008 “One Book, One City” read.
"California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present" is available from HeyDey Books for $21.95
FONTE: Malibu Arts Journal - Malibu,CA,USA

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