|A young Russell Edson....|
It's Poetry Friday, and I'm going to send you over to Poetry Northwest to read an essay (you might call it a mix of memoir and essay) I wrote about the late poet Russell Edson and my first encounter with his work. If you already love Edson's sly, curious prose poems, you'll know why I mourn his passing. If you don't know his work, oh - run out, find it, read it, let it sink in, try to imitate it, see what he's doing, see if you can do it. You'll have some fun, but it goes deeper than that. As the essay says, I used to think his work was all about whimsy - but no, as I've learned more about life, I see it's not. Click here for the link.
And if you're in the mood for a less autobiographical reflection, you'll want to read Cody Walker's farewell tribute to Edson. Cody exactly captures what it is about the poet that is most exciting and strange - over at The Kenyon Review blog
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The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted this week by Catherine Johnson.
Head over to her blog to see what other people have posted.
What an interesting poet!ReplyDelete
Thank you for introducing me to Edson - I had not heard of him, and now I want to read more.ReplyDelete
Mary Lee - "interesting," yes. He's not for everyone, of course ( who is? Not even Billy Colins, not even Mary Oliver.) But sometimes when I 'm trying to think of who I was and what I read as a "young adult" (publishers hadn't created that category in the 1960's) I think of Edson. He's a perfect guide - a little off-kilter, a little rebellious - to lead some teens to poetry. Actually, I'm not sure I thought of him as a poet, so it stretched me in that regard, as well.ReplyDelete
Tara, I think Edson's reputation is not what it used to be. I do hope people get curious and look (or look again) at his work.ReplyDelete
We've lost so many poetry elders this year. Thank you for sharing Russell Edson's voice.ReplyDelete
Julie, what a fabulous essay! I have never heard of Edson but now I have another poet's work to seek out. Your description of his work's effect on you reminds me of the first chapter in Edward Hirsch's book How to Read a Poem, where he speaks of that mysterious link between writer and reader. Here's the final sentence of that chapter: "Poets speak of the shock, the swoon, and the bliss of writing, but why not also speak of the shock, the swoon, and the bliss of reading.?"ReplyDelete
It's true, we've lost some fine writers recently - Charlotte Zolotow, Sue Townsend, Maya Angelou, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Alistair McLeod, Chinua Achebe, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Peter Matthiessen, Russell Edson - and just today, Eric Hill. Plus a few of my favorite poets - Seamus Heaney, John Hollander, Maxine Kumin. Gosh, the talent represented in that list is mind-boggling.ReplyDelete
Violet - I heard Edward Hirsch talk (at the Dodge Festival several years ago) about his English teacher in junior high. It was clear to me that he had been instilled at an early age with that shock, swoon and bliss of reading. What a lovely man he is - and a fine poet. Do you know his poem "Branch Library"? If not, you'll find it over at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179467ReplyDelete
Thanks for introducing me to Edson's work. I'm intrigued. I'll have to find more to read.ReplyDelete
You were more literate than I was in 1966, Julie. I think I was reading Tiger Beat (I was ten). I could feel 1966 when I read it your essay.ReplyDelete
Read "Branch Library" Julie. Wonderful! Thank you.ReplyDelete
Julie, your comments about being young in the late 60s resonated with me. Later in the early 70s I was swept away by the lure of creative writing and had long talks with my poetry professor about it. That time frame was interesting but I never heard of Edson so thank you for bringing him to the forefront for me.ReplyDelete
I am so glad to "discover" Edson's poetry, and your fabulous blog! Thanks so much for sharing the link to your essay--it was wonderful.ReplyDelete
I'm glad everyone has been enjoying Edson! It's so satisfying to share a favorite author with someone, isn't it? And thanks, all, for visiting The Drift Record.ReplyDelete
Hi there dearest Julie. Thank you so much for letting us know about Edson - I visited the link you shared and his poems are truly unique - with a distinct voice. :)ReplyDelete