This is my first time reading all of Louis Zukofsky's "A"; I'd read parts before (e.g., # 7 - the sawhorses), but never the whole. When I began, I was like, Oh - it's a leftist Cantos (which I guess is how some people think of it). Not a bad thing in itself. But as one gets farther into it, the more it becomes apparent that "A" is a much more formally (and thematically?) various text than the Cantos. One gets the sense of the poet (and person) changing over time, in response to changing circumstances (McCarthyism not least among them). And trying out different things. I find that a much more congenial approach than Uncle Ez, who thinks he has things figured out at the outset, and works deductively from there.
Preliminary conclusion after having read through movement 10: This is all about the potential harmonization of (seeming) opposites: Marx and Spinoza; general and particular; matter and spirit - - "tonus Contrarius" - the poem as fugue. I've started plowing through 12, and it's clear how things changed by the late 40s (as they did for so many writers).
The great thing about blogs is that you can write fresh impressions that probably recapitulate what somebody has already said, and it still has the charming naivite of the neophyte. And, since nobody makes any money from poetry, nobody really cares. Except maybe Paul Zukofsky. But that's another story.
At the New Orleans Poetry Festival, April, 2017 - Eileen Tabios, Tim Dyke, Lo Mei Wa and myself before the Tinfish Press reading.
2 hours ago