Thursday, February 1, 2007

Memory and Poetry

Went through a very engaging Celan conversation last night with poets Jen Scappettone, Bob Archembeaux, Mike Antonucci, Garin Cycholl, Bill Allegrezza and Stefania Heim.
First off this meeting was refreshing because it was remarkably free of poetic posturing. It was interesting to get various insights from poets whose formations and poetic focuses are so different. The difference is what made the conversations interesting.
We had allot of questions regarding Celan and the different translations. Pierre Joris used a word Moor Soldier which was translated as differently in another translations that led to some spirited discussion and talking about Celan and memory and mental illness brought out some interesting ideas. In the end it is hard for me to enjoy or be engaged by the poet like Celan. He is so rootless and so anguished in some ways. I have the unfortunate or fortunate problem of being very rooted. I remember as a kid watching Roots on TV and thinking- wow African Americans don't know where they are from? I have been fortunate to have deep roots in Italy and a sense of place during my entire life.
The best thing about the evening was seeing Jen Scappettone's new hat and Stefania Heim's cool glasses. I am looking forward to our next poet and some more good argument.

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