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Ark af Ronald Johnson
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Ark (udgave 1996)

af Ronald Johnson

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933224,242 (4)2
This long, complex poem, modeled on the Watts Tower, a Los Angeles folk architecture masterpiece, is the first Living Batch Press "drive, he said book--a series honoring Robert Creeley's "I Know a Man." The title alludes to Noah's ark; to the rainbow ("arc-en-ciel in French); and by extension to Arkansas and hence to Kansas, where the poet was born. "A work of singular beauty and resolution. It takes its legitimate place with the great works of the century of like kind, Ezra Pound's "Cantos, Louis Zukofsky's "A, Charles Olson's "Maximus, and Robert Duncan's "Passages. Its own specific character is, however, brilliantly singular."--Robert Creeley "A late harvest of seeds sown by Blake, L. Frank Baum, the Bible, and Zukofsky, all in a new architecture, a wholly new voice, and even a new chemistry of words and images. It is for those who can see visions, and for those who know how to look well and be taught that they can see them."--Guy Davenport… (mere)
Medlem:doctorserafico
Titel:Ark
Forfattere:Ronald Johnson
Info:Living Batch Press (1996), Paperback, 283 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Ark af Ronald Johnson

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Ronald Johnson, who died in 1998, is little known outside the circle of assiduous students of avant-garde poetry, and for good reason. A West Coast recluse and peripatetic visionary, Johnson's major accomplishment was the epic poem ARK, most of which was either published in limited small-press runs or is out of print. ARK is thus a kind of holy grail of lost American weirdness; the edition I just finished reading is a softcover release from now-defunct North Point Press, dating from 1981. This intriguing backstory I took as an invitation to enter a poetic world of deep, strange, nearly incomprehensible verse that yet moves on a bizarre inner logic all its own. If you can imagine the Old Testament crossed with abstracts of theoretical physics and then narrated by William Blake at his loopiest, then you're approaching what reading ARK is like. It is probably needless to say that I'm hooked, and have ordered, at exorbitant expense, a used copy of the 1984 Dutton hardcover of the next 16 books (or "beams" in Johnson's quasibiblical nomenclature) of this strange, subterranean odyssey. What this all means, if anything, is anyone's guess. ( )
  MikeLindgren51 | Aug 7, 2018 |
Ronald Johnson is a great poet, and his [b:The Book of the Green Man|1342907|The Book of the Green Man|Ronald Johnson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1267626721s/1342907.jpg|1332500] is one of my all time favorite books of poetry. And there are really great moments in this ambitious book length exploration of form, creation, myth, music, etc. But there's also a part of me that doesn't connect entirely with its wide berth. All this talk of the borealis aurora, the Milky Way, aswirl in mathematical forms, seems a bit too abstract for me. I found myself craving small poems, down to earth phrasings, tiny architectures with meager means. As for the music, sometimes it's there and wonderful. Othertimes it's there, but the words seem to take over in a completely architectural manner, as he puts it in the end: a kind of cement. I found myself wanting to hear how the poet would read it himself, as I sometimes had no idea where to pause, to slow down, to quicken up, etc. Because the phrasings often exist next to each other in non-sentencey ways, and often appear as a long string of abutments, there is very little hint as to how to take them, how to read them (I'm not talking about meaning here, I'm just talking about pacing). I wasn't sure how best to read it or listen to it in my head as I was reading it, and sometimes it sounded less than pleasing the way I imagined it. The parts of this book that I liked I really loved, but there were too many parts of it that I did not connect with for me to give it more than 3.5 stars. ( )
  JimmyChanga | Sep 11, 2013 |
Ronald Johnson is a great poet, and his [b:The Book of the Green Man|1342907|The Book of the Green Man|Ronald Johnson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1267626721s/1342907.jpg|1332500] is one of my all time favorite books of poetry. And there are really great moments in this ambitious book length exploration of form, creation, myth, music, etc. But there's also a part of me that doesn't connect entirely with its wide berth. All this talk of the borealis aurora, the Milky Way, aswirl in mathematical forms, seems a bit too abstract for me. I found myself craving small poems, down to earth phrasings, tiny architectures with meager means. As for the music, sometimes it's there and wonderful. Othertimes it's there, but the words seem to take over in a completely architectural manner, as he puts it in the end: a kind of cement. I found myself wanting to hear how the poet would read it himself, as I sometimes had no idea where to pause, to slow down, to quicken up, etc. Because the phrasings often exist next to each other in non-sentencey ways, and often appear as a long string of abutments, there is very little hint as to how to take them, how to read them (I'm not talking about meaning here, I'm just talking about pacing). I wasn't sure how best to read it or listen to it in my head as I was reading it, and sometimes it sounded less than pleasing the way I imagined it. The parts of this book that I liked I really loved, but there were too many parts of it that I did not connect with for me to give it more than 3.5 stars. ( )
  JimmyChanga | Sep 11, 2013 |
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This long, complex poem, modeled on the Watts Tower, a Los Angeles folk architecture masterpiece, is the first Living Batch Press "drive, he said book--a series honoring Robert Creeley's "I Know a Man." The title alludes to Noah's ark; to the rainbow ("arc-en-ciel in French); and by extension to Arkansas and hence to Kansas, where the poet was born. "A work of singular beauty and resolution. It takes its legitimate place with the great works of the century of like kind, Ezra Pound's "Cantos, Louis Zukofsky's "A, Charles Olson's "Maximus, and Robert Duncan's "Passages. Its own specific character is, however, brilliantly singular."--Robert Creeley "A late harvest of seeds sown by Blake, L. Frank Baum, the Bible, and Zukofsky, all in a new architecture, a wholly new voice, and even a new chemistry of words and images. It is for those who can see visions, and for those who know how to look well and be taught that they can see them."--Guy Davenport

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