Saturday, September 01, 2007

Leonard Cohen & Other Interesting Poetry Links

Todd Swift highlights Leonard Cohen's long awaited Book of Longing on his blog Eyewear recently and I went for an amble on google and found this article about Irving Layton & Cohen. The connections between mentor and and poet mentioned in the article not only made me want to discover Layton and his work, but reminded me of another article I read recently about a possible link between Robert Frost and Thomas Lovell Beddoes, an 18th century poet.

The assertion was that at some stage Frost must have read 'The Phantom Wooer' by him, because of the echoes between the lines,

Young soul put off your flesh, and come
With me into the quiet tomb,
Our bed is lovely, dark, and sweet;

and a line from 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening:' the woods are lovely, dark and deep. The resonances are not just in the line but in the tenor of the poem too. I love reading about connections like this, as it always shows how we build on what has gone before but we sometimes don't see or get what has gone before because our knowledge needs to broadened. Debts outstanding, is what J. D. McClatchy calls it in his article, 'Writing between the lines,' in The Practice of Poetry, a great book for springboarding new poems or just trying to organise workshops.

So what ye read shall ye sow. Lots more books to order now!


chiefbiscuit said...

Well-written stuff is such a treat - like this post Barbara. So well-written :) I learnt something. Well ... actually, I learnt more than something. I learnt a whole lot of things. Thank you.

Colin Will said...

Very interesting Barbara. None of us, as writers, spring up out of nowhere; we all have connections and influences, even if they're sometimes unconscious.

I'm deconstructing one of my own poems - Heron - at the Callander Poetry Weekend next Saturday. One strand of the deconstruction will be to look at my connections with other poets. In the case of this poem: Norman MacCaig, Brother Antoninus, Dylan Thomas, Ted Hughes, Kathleen Jamie, Ruth Padel.

It's also interesting to note that the poets people like to read aren't always the ones who influence their writing.

Cailleach said...

Thank you both - I'd love to hear a blog version of that one Colin, hope you get a chance to share.

I learned loads in the reading for this CB and what I've taken to doing lately is if something grabs me, I blog on it because the world of blog is quickly becoming my first point of reference. It's like having a journal online and lots of other things all rolled into one: an invaluable resource