One of the great things about having daughters in college is they get excited about their reading and performing and I get to vicariously fall in love with poets again. Caitlin is enraptured with William Carlos Williams. She is taking a book history and binding class and plans to put shorter WCW poems into the pages she is building. She is at that stage of quoting a few lines and practically swooning, "Tufts of purple grass spot the / green meadow and clouds the sky" she says, "I could eat those words." Not to mention the plums.
I have directed her to Neruda (Twenty Love Poems & a Song of Despair) and the visual treats of William Blake.
Natalie is performing a gruesome scene from one of Shakespeare's bloodiest romances, Cymbeline, for her acting 3 class. As princess Imogene she awakens next to a headless corpse she believes is her husband, the appropriately named Posthumus. Lots of shock and weeping, and smearing of gore. Delicious amounts of rage. She did a summer intensive at Shakespeare & Company when she was 18. Since then she has had classes that have added more depth to her understanding of the language and context. Not to mention becoming 21. How I wish I could see her perform. I hear the excitement in her voice.
And I am rereading the wonderful poetry of Bill Matthews. God he could write. He made the meditations of a drunk man pissing off the back of a boat into poetry. His language has that immediacy of surprise. The sure heft of original observation. So good to rediscover and find it still is as good as I remembered.
When I was 18 I was crazy about Don Marquis' Archy and Mehitabel poems. I still am.