Art With and For the People You Know

Saturday, we sat in an old meat processing plant on folding chairs facing a make-shift stage, while Annie Sellick swayed in her red dress and sang to us the most amazing jazz.  Something about the whole thing just seemed so tremendously blessed.  This is a great way to hear jazz, in rooms intended for something else.

I keep quoting Ginsberg, because I adore him, and I adore him because, as far as poets go, he’s kind of like jazz in an old crumbling building right next to the river.  He’s always taking words and phrases that seem like they were intended for something else and through some raucous process turning them into poetry.

William Carlos Williams kind of does this–taking words that are intended for something else and making poems out of them.

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

But Williams seems, at least to me, like he’s elevating the ordinary into poetry.  Ginsberg’s talent is slamming poetry into the ordinary.

I wanted to find online Ginsberg reading “America,” so that you could hear it for yourself, but I could only find this little snippet.  Still, click away and then check out the rest of the website.  It has audio clips, so you can hear him.

4 thoughts on “Art With and For the People You Know

  1. Not buying it. If so, I also elevated the ordinary into poetry this morning with the note when I left for golf: NosePicker:Leave a noteas to where you’ll be. I’ll be back around 12:00.(heart) MomMake sure the garage dooris closed if you leave. Am I a famous poet now?I am? AWESOME!

  2. Peg, I could totally work up a little criticism of your poem! I think you have to have some criticism before you can be a famous poet. That’s what makes you famous–others’ desire to talk about you.I’ll write an article about how you precicely capture the tension of a mother wanting to grant her son independence but still create for him a safe comfortable environment.

  3. I always thought there was something lovely and sad about that poem, the regret at denying someone pleasure in order to provide for your own, thoroughly enjoying it but feeling the need to confess. Sure, it’s about the ordinary, but it’s also about the emotion the ordinary can evoke. Or maybe I can just see myself as the plum thief.

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