So I am in the middle of my Alice Notley Period and reading Reason & Other Women, slowly and with some astonishment. In a break from the poetry, while riding the bus to Boston, I was reading her essay on Ron Padgett in Coming After. I thought "this guy sounds pretty cool & I've never heard of him" ... The next day we were in the Trident Bookstore on Newbury Street and there he was:
So I took a look inside. Though there is much here that puzzles me, it all works on me somehow & I have to second these remarks by Anne Waldman:
“Ron Padgett’s poems are essential and Ron Padgett is a genius. His poetry is masterful for its panoramic humanity and mind-stopping verbal wit, its breathtaking power and beauty. We want to stay with the person in these poems all day long, to be changed by the possibilities palpitating from the smallest increments of our existence to the most sublime as they as they leap from Padgett’s brain onto the page. This inspiring tome is the transcendent friend.”
If you have any doubt, get inside the book on amazon here, get to the table of contents and find pg 114 - Ode to Stupidity and read THAT! I am reading the whole book straight through - making more blue skies in my life as i go...
Like Critchley, I was profoundly affected by The Ascent of Man. I was 21 in 1973. I saw the whole series and loved it. I will never forget watching Episode 11. It has remained seared in my soul ever since. There's a quote from this segment in one of my books. I am very glad to see Bronowski brought to the front page of the New York Times for a new generation.
"there might be recovered some sense of what the mind was like before Homer, before the world went haywire & women were denied participation in the design & making of it. Perhaps someone might discover that original mind inside herself right now, in these times. Anyone might." - Alice Notley, "Homer's Art"