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Whitman -- Alfred Kreymborg

Prompted by Thomas's mention of Whitman...
(Poem #245) Whitman
  After we've had
  our age of gold
  and sung our song of brass,
  fingers will brush
  the age aside,
  fingers and leaves
  of grass.
-- Alfred Kreymborg
A wonderfully understated poem - like all the good Imagists, Kreymborg seems
to have mastered the art of saying a lot in a few words, letting the
reader's imagination and experience supply the rest. To explain such a poem
would be both inadequate and superfluous; I'm not even going to try.

A few footnotes - the 'leaves of grass' is a reference to Whitman's most
famous work; you can find an online copy at
<http://www.bartleby.com/142/index1.html>. And for completeness sake, here
are some reviews of Leaves of Grass:
<http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/whitman/works/leaves/1882/reviews/index.html>

And science fiction fans can doubtless think of several stories that echo
both the tone and content of the poem - Clarke and Bradbury especially come
to mind.

Biography:

  Kreymborg, Alfred

  Pronunciation: [krAm´bôrg]

   1883-1966, American poet and anthologist, b. New York City. Originally one
   of the imagists, he wrote poems collected in Mushrooms (1916), Manhattan
   Men (1929), Selected Poems (1945), and Man and Shadow (1946). He
   chronicled American poetry in such works as the critical history Our
   Singing Strength (1929, 1934) and the anthology Lyric America (1930). His
   puppet plays were also popular.
         -- <http://www.infoplease.com/ce5/CE028989.html>

From a review of his autobiography:

  Below is a book review, written by the poet and critic Mark Van Doren
  about a memoir by modernist poet and editor Alfred Kreymborg. Kreymborg's
  book is called Troubadour (1925). Kreymborg, as everyone associated with
  poetry knew then, was for many years right at the center of the New York
  poetic avant garde--if not necessarily as a poet in his own right, then as
  a promoter of modernist sensibility and as an editor and anthology. He was
  co-editor of the modernist magazine, Others, to which William Carlos
  Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore et alia contributed.

  [...]

  Mr. Kreymborg met so many people because he always, apparently, was at the
  center of things. When Greenwich Village was a center he was there, so
  that his life throughout one period becomes its history. As director in
  one capacity of another of the periodicals Musical Advance, The Glebe,
  Others, and Broom he touched hands with dozens of musicians, painter, and
  poets-- particularly poets. As playwright and producer with The
  Provincetown Players and The Other Players he entered still another circle
  filled with names that now are magical; he caught more reputations on the
  rise. And whenever circumstances failed to throw in his way a writer whom
  he admired he went on purpose to see him, gathering material before he
  returned for the row of portraits which he now paints with so knowing a
  hand. If "Troubadour" survives as nothing else it must survive for its
  sketches--not lacking in humor--of Theodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson,
  Carl Sandburg, Lola Ridge, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, E.A.
  Robinson, Harriet Monroe, Wallace Stevens, Maxwell Bodenheim, Marianne
  Moore, and William Carlos Williams. Of such--and indeed merely of
  such--have some of the richest of autobiographies been composed.

        -- <http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/first-glance.html>

Information on two of the groups he was involved in, the Others group and
the Glebe magazine, may be found at the following sites:

  [broken link] http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~slatin/20c_poetry/projects/relatproject/glebe.html

  [broken link] http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~slatin/20c_poetry/projects/relatproject/arensbergothers.html

m.

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