I just finished an interview with Lawrence Ferlinghetti in a recent issue of Poets & Writers. For some reason, I always thought he was just kind of a kooky poet, so I was surprised to learn how interesting he really is. Shame on me for my ignorance. I am not a huge fan of the Beats, so I never read more than I had to by or about them.
In the interview Ferlinghetti talked about how most of his poems where written to be read aloud. His latest book, Americus: I, is supposed to be read and is in the same tradition as Pound’s Cantos, Williams’s Paterson or Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems. Personally, I prefer shorter poems that have a definite beginning and end, but that is probably due to laziness. I get that same feeling reading a long poem that I get when I’m at a museum for too long. I can only absorb so much. My weakness aside, I have wanted to read the Maximus Poems for a long time and maybe I’ll start to do that this summer. There is also a guide to help me through – A Guide to the Maximus Poems of Charles Olson by George Butterick. It’s always nice to have a helping hand. We’ll see if I actually do it. I’ve also been wanting to read Anne Bradstreet and then John Berryman’s Homage to Mistress Bradstreet. Well, I’ll put them on “my list” just the same.