Monday, July 25, 2016
The Poetry of Place
This past weekend I presented my annual summer lecture/workshop on the Poetry of Place for SFU's Southbank Writers' Program.
Among my first examples is a poem by Walt Whitman (1819-1892), who recorded the United States from its backroads, and a prose work by Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), who did something similar, but from the backstreets of Paris. I conclude the lecture with poems and prose works by Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970), Daphne Marlatt (1942-) and Annie Dillard (1945).
The Whitman poem is "A Farm Picture" from Leaves of Grass (1855). The Baudelaire prose work is "Anywhere Out of the World" from Paris Spleen (1869).
Here is Whitman's poem:
A FARM PICTURE
Through the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,
A sunlit pasture field with cattle and horses feeding,
And haze and vista, and the far horizon fading away.
And for fun here is one by Ezra Pound (1885-1972), published fifty-eight years later:
IN A STATION OF THE METRO
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.