Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)

  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
  • DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
  • CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
  • KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Niedecker and Overemployment

No, I'm not dead, just busy. Speaking of which, I want to mention a comment that Joseph Hutchinson posted re: my Jan. 20 post ("When We Are All Unemployed"), to wit:

"What about overemployed but underpaid? Will we all become one-line poets? Might be a good thing. As Tadeusz Rozewicz writes somewhere: you could say that the poets have stoned poetry to death with words."

This struck a chord, since I've just finished "teaching" Lorine Niedecker. It's quite striking the way that, when she begins her cleaning job at the hospital, her poems become very, very small. "Haiku-like," I think the term is. Anyway, very, very condensed - even moreso than in New Goose or For Paul. And it's hard not to reach the conclusion that working long hours of demanding physical labor (in her 50s) left little time or energy for poetizing - as important as that was for her.

No matter where you are
you are alone
and in danger -- well
[space ..............] to hell
with it.

This seems different to me than, say, Dr. Williams scribbling stanzas on his scrip pad. The "in danger" seems to have to do with the bomb (it's the late 50s, and many of her poems mention it), but there's clearly more to it, for someone in her economic & social position. Or less. A room of one's own ain't much good without a few hours of one's own. "Time for sleep, time for work, and time for what we will." That was a long time ago.