20180728 Robert Pinsky: PoemJazz



thank you to the community for coming out and supporting book stock because I think every time our community gets together we're stronger so sit back enjoy and somebody's going to come up here and perform good evening welcome to Saturday evening at the 10th count them the 10th annual book stock I know that's it [Applause] my name is Jordan angle I'm the coordinator for book stock I took over a couple years ago from Ron Miller who and who took over from Peter Roman year so we've sort of evolved over the last ten years there's so many people to thank for helping to put on a festival like this and although the list is is it may take me a minute to get through I think we have so few opportunities to recognize the businesses and the organizations that helped make books that happen that I'm going to actually read the whole list because I think these people have provided wonderful support to make it happen so the area businesses that have helped us are the Ardmore in the Charleston house the Woodstock er B&B the deer Brook in the maple leaf Inn fan house and Bentley's restaurant and the organizations that have contributed space time people the Norman Williams Public Library the Woodstock Historical Society artistry in South pomfret the the North Universalist Chapel Society st. James Episcopal Church Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park the Thompson Senior Center pentangle arts changed the world kids congregation cheers Shalom Zac's place the Woodstock Masonic Lodge and the odda cuicci Health Foundation all these there's lists on the back of the program and perhaps you've seen it already one of the contributors that didn't didn't make it in time to make it on the program we got a generous grant from the town of Woodstock through the Economic Development Fund we just heard about that about a week ago so we thanked the town of Woodstock and the Economic Development Fund book stock began ten years ago with a Friday evening keynote address by Reeve Lindberg who interestingly presented a new book during this book stock it was followed on Saturday by 14 author poet readings then it was a book sale there were children's activities under a tent in front of the elementary school we have close to 40 presentations now Woodstock book stock takes over the green I mean you've seen that all today book stock has grown immensely I sort of described it it started out ten years ago as a very wet snowball small wet snowball at the top of a very steep hill and as it rolled down the hill it just picked up things along the way it picked up people and volunteers and organizations until right now it's just this great big snowball that that puts on a wonderful festival I'd like to recognize the people who created book stock oh those many years ago some of you are here some of you are too too tired to have come tonight because of all the work you're still doing Jennie Shurtleff Partridge Boswell Peter Roman year Lynn Peterson Rick Fisk Susan Morgan Michael stoner was part of the original group he who pood the original name for the festival which was words stock and Michael got on his computer and discovered that there was already a word stock literary festival in Portland Oregon so he said well what about book stock and of course that name stuck if I've left out anyone if it everyone in here if I've left that anyone who was there in the original group because I wasn't I mean yell out your name or yell out their name or let me know at some point we do want to try to document some of this so book stock it's a gift that the organizing committee volunteers and local organizations give to Woodstock every summer it's some people in our community run for office and some people do fundraising our gift the people those of us who organize book stock love books and love literature and this is a way for us to give something back to a so the concert tonight just a couple housekeeping things there will be a short intermission after loss Lucas play and at the end of the concert you can buy books in the lobby and then Robert Pinsky will be here you can come back into the house if you want to get the books signed by by Robert Pinsky so the concert tonight will open with loss Lorca's who is a trio of Woodstock Ian's would stockers would stock kites Partridge Boswell Peter money and NAT Williams fuse poetry and music in a passionate and surprising matchups so los loros donde as los loros here they are ah gracias why not snot cheese and happy book stock everybody having a good day did they hear a book stock all right we are too glad to be here in his free and a small claim what as many 19 rules will I have for the honeybee in a bit ugly I will get some peace there peace comes dropping slow drop into the veils are born to wear the crickets sing they're midnight all the purple I will arise and go now for always night and day with those sounds by a shawarma standing on the roof when all the pavement script I commute and the deep I will arise and going at home and Gordon Ennis No in the villa thanks very much we're delighted to be here tonight especially thrilled to be part of this concert featuring a really amazing confluence of poetry and music with Robert Pinsky's poem jazz you guys are in for treating I can't wait you may have recognized some lyrics in there from William Butler Yeats its Lake Island and Venice free we are going to travel now from innisfree on down to southern Spain and Lucia to the Vega of Andalusia with with some help from another one of our poetic heroes Federico Garcia Lorca all right and in honor of what I think is a full moon tonight pretty close like to this one's called the moon rises la Luna a soma cuando Sally LaDonna say Pierre den Las Campanas yeah Paris on Las Sendas impenetrable s cuando Sally la luna el marquab reality era el corazon se siente isla in L infinity Nadia common Ana's bajo la luna llena s preciso Camille fruta Verde Illawarra cuando se de la Luna this Eno rostros iguales la manera de plata tsuyosa in El Paseo [Applause] when the moon rises bells and silent an impassable footpaths appear [Applause] how could I leave you here turn and walk away into the Vega burning on there tonight [Applause] when the moon rises the sea covers and the heart feels like vanity under the weeping of tree hey explain scatter born shadow the poor patient rhynocs me tell them my eyes stayed all better but I went to my star without tell them understanding how Danny open waiting for lovers Falls sing me to them no one did soldiers under one was it for that is green cold how did we ever go they came our way across the veil – pizza better party well born of a hundred places you're dreaming footsteps this week how could you leave us turn away looming on me agita tell them my eyes stayed open that I went to mind standing in the open waiting for the bus more you [Applause] thank you this is called all the little losses probably remember last spring when it was still winter with the losses pile up like change and you use it against your will like time as the snow falls down upon the daffodils covering spring itself like a sheet you did not want to see or field the scrim blade stick through she's of grass like Second Life as saw there again a word left on high while we avoid the shroud if it's only a page that will be unwritten swirl in the figurative changes to squall and we who are human well as if the weather is about something else it is it is about papers the past do the hurry hurry the hurdy-gurdy of our lungs beyond skid and accident beyond natural death age cancer language formed by lips and tongues sound resonating moaning from the cave of the foreman seed we who survived or we who gave away whisper and hands in goodbye we'll along comes time again and you are there ten branches eight with the ash of the Fallen and goodbye just turn to hello as you stand looking that's not against know something light as sheets [Applause] [Applause] waves crashing home it's like I know where I need to be I can't figure how much with your tire brushes for so bill we'd figure out we're young [Applause] and now this is my desire show me by the fire beside chalice for something you did a full of the touch me I know that I'm in Beach and for something beautiful [Applause] something beautiful saving the flies some fall down only to roll off the roof we never know what happens to them others are stuck for days upside down in the showers one remaining puddle their wings windsurfer sails caught flat a soft veil of sea and when I approach their threads forelegs twitch and spin really like a baby being diapers there there now I began and I slipped the wedge of something found under their bodies instantly their il they grip unless they're dead what's possible again as if they hadn't lain there for two days modeling for a poem about Emily Dickinson and although it is cold where I free them is it feeding minuscule birds through a distance gave me crepe disintegrating disintegrating disintegrating cage Beach by each they find a chip we'll paint along the windowsill outside and cling to it until they regain their wit to fight for flight first feeling a direction then becoming supreme and in a second powering their way across the yard sure little days wouldn't you be at which point in time they care not to be sane probably i suspect out of embarrassment but even if i were not alone saving flies this morning lightens the empty house i would be one of them honestly I admire what they have done trapped by the smell of something attractive beaten by the lure of screens whose tiny crossbars look like hatch patterns of hundreds like them if just their skeletons they rise yes sometimes needing help from being dead in the water skunked sputum a desirable Selva T lethargy with drunkenness West's sarcophagi of what remains of efforts in oncoming winter boasting or resilience stored and called upon than not even their tribe knew because who has time to be sentimental anymore someone must be a monk to the least among us baby the language with fingers instead of forks and I did it because they cried out by being silent and I forgave them after they've been annoying and numerous during certain weeks of summer autumn winter and spring and I believed it was worth it because what is time if not for saving something and because I can imagine that fly my enemy left defiant equally trying to get away equally hungry [Applause] thank you NAT Williams Portrush blows well thank you so this next poem goes back a few years takes place in New York City but I think it resonates today – it's called behind me I can hear them talking be it behind us or on Twitter we hear them talking behind me I can hear them talking he's complaining to her he's saying you can't even walk then there are too many people he says I wish a disease would come and wipe out half the people in a kind of bored and monotone type of voice and I look at him walking walking steadily he and she without stumbling as those through a field side by side in synchronicity and I call out to him as he's moving ahead of me would you be one of them but he doesn't hear me or it doesn't matter he was moving just fine maybe a bad day but I'm left standing in front of the Woolworth entrance staring at him and wondering what half he belongs what half do I belong [Applause] [Applause] to the lady in pink standing the bridge seeing that a lady a lady emerge and the lights behind me Satan hurry say madness emergency lanes each jammed with drivers and clocks and an ambulance surge onward up the ramp on cathedral gates you stand high in triforium an opera of red lights beneath loudly the police intercom and traffic people moved your left or to your right and the white lights from their blue truck search for space to move a rescue headlights dead in my cabbies face as he turns toward me in agentic and so the cop back on the PA shouts cabbie use your friends now move and we must all be fools on this bridge tonight lady lady the light sent to get you pink who you died and all the cops upon your figure do you use the opportunity as your church do you wish this thing gone shout I found my god now leave me alone for your standing the dispatcher over the cab radio announces all cars stay clear the Brooklyn Bridge they got a jumper into the cabby I say did it look like she was going to jump down the ramp to Brooklyn and my cabbie says maybe maybe in the river his eyes are mostly white so wide my turn to watch a pin drop see it leap to night sky but Manhattan's yellow night glow doesn't catch her and immediately after feeling that close to the jumper I'm stunned no longer excited by passing death courage if only in a car maybe her life is saved behind me or maybe the cops looked down no longer coaxing the dead to live Oh lady the lights behind me hurry thanks very much we've got a couple more for you here's one you may have caught it last night's Poetry Slam they found a little bit different there though this is called ode to my dap and if you don't know what dap is well let's just say it's a customer in greeting between two people as I get adapter outright uptown that's a long where you sit my bill green with a pushy [Applause] hyoeun world with jheri curl I will burn my way to the back of the seniors bus for all of us not just us wait to give us seats up to the next mother-child Cantera and 128-bit Street will lava come to town unabashed down on the back of some tits force-fed common but not over lesson harmony wings [Applause] of an actual angel we go with very aa Beyonce till it rises you get a cleric course right open the moment they will feel before I'll rewrite history I condemn the risk [Applause] I'll remove these hands from my throat use them for their intent down would lattice bones the shade of my soon as I get done I can get my rap down when I come back to tell you all the crap I learned in high school I try to heal yet still these things sacraments sweat on my forebears for nothing sweet pea okay miss and you can get the pump shutter and resist gutter and fall into this before drawing not from skin from a deeper the water hope you share will help get my head around how the Azua caged in not only age to support but they will decay just around on the Internet soon as I get my staff down soon as I can synchronize solitaire the first the whole of my mother not just a tongue the dream from [Applause] slaps instead la dancing Jesus Barragan Fishbach will care soon as again but that time I'll hold you into a let's shake them thanks so much we've got one more for you then we're all in for some fun you ready for Robert Pinsky's poem jazz yeah it's gonna be quite a trip it's been a real pleasure to play play for you tonight and be part of book stock in this 10th anniversary celebration so just want to say thanks Pentangle thanks to Lita and Seth everybody here pentangle for having us for being such a wonderful reliable venue year after year for book stock also and thanks to the organizers a book stock for inviting us to play a little pleasure thank you first out I just let you know this is on guitar this is NAT Williams is she going [Applause] and over here on vocals an Appalachian strum stick and the beatbox we have Peter money [Applause] let's call papa we from boiled egg bowels Saturday morning tack away sleep days better right straight for the wrapkin field last night [Applause] an homage to the great adrenaline archetype and on a price buying to break our balls in the guinness world [Applause] Tom didn't slow you wrap your banana bike hard on the approach pass the hushed gang of squirrels robins hold and water you must be always with us was his helmet screwed on time he succeeds and fails Eric devil dared and fair warned you rocket as advertised on woodland [Applause] your space you push dorm room farewell first rock concert at the Orpheum [Applause] your body's first chemistry experiments first storm that can drive your first arrest first born silence ghost your island that formed in a widening of when your first greyhounds go away it the book the first long is the father solving through every stunt sense thank for the abyss utilizing too your trajectory is off by InTouch and this is going to hurt you brace yourself [Applause] [Applause] he always wears stars astray [Applause] ready to fly Godwin's coming the heart thank you very much have a great night [Applause] antique I drowned in the fire I drowned in the fire of having you I drowned in the fire of having you i burned i burned in the river of I found in the fire of having UI burned in the river of not having you we lived together for hours in a house of a thousand rooms we lived together for hours in a house of a thousand rooms and we were parted for a thousand years ten minutes ago ten minutes ago we raised our children they come they cover the earth and they have forgotten that we existed i drowned in the fire how do you I burned in the river of not having you and it was not the worldly illusion of Maya it was certainly not a ladder to perfection it was this cold sunlight falling in this when I turned when I turned you went to hell well your fled the battle I followed you I've followed you and lost the world without your bread without regret but with stormy recriminations someday someday far down that corridor of horror the future someday far down that corridor of horror the future somebody will buy this my picture of you somebody will buy this my picture of you for the frame and a stall in a dwindled City and studying your face studying your face that person will decide the Harbert a little while longer from the waters of anonymity and the acids of breath because I burned in the river of not having you and I drowned in the fire of having you i drowned in the fire of how you i burned in the river of not how to be you someday somebody will buy this my picture of you for the frame at a stall in a dwindled City and that person will decide to harbor your face a little while longer from the waters of anonymity and the acids of breath [Applause] thanks so much I'm Robert Pinsky and I'm honored to play with the great Stan Strickland [Applause] and thanks to Stan I have now met and I'm getting to play with Steve hunter [Applause] hunt Steve hunt I told you I just met him Steve hunt and he's gonna change it to Hunter now is the stage the next the next thing we're gonna do is called street music it's it's based on taking the idea of reincarnation a little more seriously than one normally does it's the idea of previous lives and to some extent we have a previous life here just in their technology we're using that we got from the dead and it survives and musical instruments and so forth the poem takes that a little more seriously in thinking about the idea of what your previous lives are and of course all lives are previous to us [Applause] street music sweet Babylon headphones Sawbones at a slate and stairways bass alone and unready not far from the taxis and bars of the old stone station to find yourself back in the bronze ordinary afternoon light to find yourself back behind that real City and inside this other city this other city were you slept in the streets your bare feet gray tunic of a child your bare feet gray tunic of a child you slept in the street course sugar of memory course sugar of memory salt Nineveh of barrows and stalls the barber with his copper bowl Biggers and grain sellers the ally of the writers of letters in different dialects stands of the ear cleaner tailor Spicer the rain of Ashurbanipal head woman or merchants and porker errand boy child sold from the doorway child course sugar of memory salt Nineveh of barrows and stalls Andy Memphis of exile and hungers [Applause] [Laughter] [Applause] [Applause] course sugar of memory salt Nineveh of barrows and stalls candy menses of exiles and hungers honey calories and Dre's syrup summers and sicknesses rules donkeys twins hams tunes on the Mount are shuffles and ram dealer fresh water sewage wherever you died in the city sometimes your soul flies up out of you hunting for buried cakes here in the city coarse sugar of memory salt Nineveh of barrows and stalls great tuning of the child employment partnership the writer of different templates and our rain of Ashurbanipal salt Nineveh of Carroll's trays shuffles and rags candy Memphis of exile and hungers honey talons and praise your bare feet wherever you died in the market sometimes your soul flies up out of you hunting for buried cakes here in the city candy Memphis of exiled and hungers salt with barrows and stalls coarse sugar of memory [Applause] to give you some idea of how we think of what we're doing I'm going to read a poem written at the late 16th century by the great poet Ben Johnson Johnson I think wrote the best ear candy of anyone of course his Canterbury Shakespeare had a bigger imagination but nobody wrote more sweetly than Johnson and I'll say the poem for you first acapella and then we'll show you what we do when we put these poems together with music here's Ben Johnson's poem his excuse for loving let it not your wonder move less your laughter that I love though I now write 50 years I have and have my beers poets are human not to find some of Love's old again and it is it always face clothes or fortune gives the grace or the feature or the youth but the language and the truth with the ardor and the passion gives the lover weight and fashion in this great second sentence it's to sentence upon if you then would hear the story first prepare you to be sorry that you never knew till now either home to love or how but be glad along with me when you learned that this is she of whose beauty it was sung she shall make the old man young keep the middle-aged stay and let nothing high decay till she be the reason why all the world for love may die and that's that's like some great extended in a lot of craze in Charlie Parker or in Mozart or something I'll steal from the musical idiom I'll do a reprieve I'll say that second sentence again and then the three of us will do it together but just listen to the way the grammar is like a very intricate melody and he's writing in those he's writing the meter of chemical took a little star but he's making it sound like he's just talking to you if you then would hear this story first prepare you to be sorry that you never knew till now either home girl of or how but be glad along with me when you learned that this is she of whose beauty it was sung she shall make the old man young keep the middle-aged stay and let nothing high decay till she be the reason why all the world for love may die let it not your wonder move less your laughter that I love so I now write 50 years I have had and have my peers poets are human not divine some of loved is old again and it isn't always face clothes or fortune or the feature or the youth but the language and the truth with the order in the bash that is the looker waved and fashion if you then would read this story first prepare you to be sorry that you never knew to now either home to love or happened but be glad along with me when you learned that this is she of whose beauty it was some she shall make the old man young keep the middle-aged stay and let nothing high decay till she be the reason why all the world for love may die if you then would read the story first prepare you to be sorry that you never knew till now either home to love her how but be glad along with me when you learn that this is she of whose beauty it was sung she shall make the old man young keep the middle-aged stay and let nothing high decay till she be the reason why all the world may love for died be glad as soon with me when you learn that this issue of whose beauty it was some she shall make the old man young keep the middle-aged stay and let nothing hide decayed till she be the reason why all the world for love may die [Applause] thanks the saxophone for me is a very important symbol of culture it was invented in Paris in the 19th century by a Belgian man named Sachs Adolphe Sax his name is on some Belgian banknotes when my friend sent me a banknote with a picture of Sachs and his saxophone on it you would say that makes it a European instrument except we know it's not it's an American instrument why and how it was made so by geniuses in one generation Johnny Hodges Lester dumb Coleman Hawkins later generations Charlie Parker John Coltrane and so forth they made it their instrument and for me that is a summation of what culture is itself you have the opportunity to make it your instrument this is not the poem this is the traditional poetry reading chatter about the poem the poem is called Ginza Samba and of course the history of the saxophone like the history of everything for Anitha mystery of microphones everything has beauty and horror in it you know I just named people who had descended from Africans who were kidnapped and made slaves and then they give us jazz and we the history of anything is endless and endlessly admirable and deplorable horrible the poem the poem tries to understand a little tiny bit of that Ginza samba [Laughter] amana's of the big european a monosyllabic european named Sachs invents a worn while not world a deep walk a kind of reason twisty clarinet the kind of brazen twisted clarinet but with its column of vibrating air shaped not in a cylinder like a clarinet but in a coma why didn't he ever outward and bah-bah-bah spouting infinitely upward through an upturned swollen golden bell rimmed like a gloxinia flowery and saxs belgian imagination in Sax's belgian imagination and in the unfathomable matrix of mothers and fathers a genius gravy humming into the cells of the body or saved cupped in the resonating grail of memory memory changed and exchanged memory changed and exchanged as in the trading of grasses pearls ivory molasses calico and slaves ivory molasses calico and slaves slave laborers and slave girls true cousins in the royal family of niger known as the birds or hawks two cousins in a royal family of Niger known as the birds or Hawks in Christendom in Christendom one cousin's child becomes a quote favored negro and cold ennobled ennobled by decree of the tsar and he founds a great family elana courtiers generals and dandies including the poet Pushkin the poet Pushkin Bushkin killed in a duel concerning his wife's honor while the other cousin sails in the belly of a slave ship to the Port of Baltimore where she is raped and dies in childbirth but the child the infant will marry a Seminole and in the next course of time their child father's a great Paul or bird with many followers among them this great grandchild of the Jewish manager of a Pushkin estate this great grandchild of the Jewish manager of a Pushkin estate blowing his American breath out into the wiggly turn the wiggly tune uncurling its triplets and 60s the Ginza Samba of bread and brass the Reid vibrating as a valve the ether the unimaginable wires and circuits of an ingenious box here in my room and this house built a hundred years ago while I was elsewhere it is like falling in love it is like falling in love the atavistic imperative of someone voice or face the skill the copper filament the golden bellyful of notes twirling through their invisible element from Rio de Tokyo and gathering speed in the variations as they tunnel between haunted librarians of stirrup and and are echoing here stirrup and anvil echoing here in the harkening instrument of my skull his American breasts the vibrating valve the ether the flowering imagination the gloxinia raped in childbirth and the seminal will marry the infant and in the next course of time who knows [Applause] now he's come to possibly my favorite part of the plan I'm going to sit down and listen with you while Stan Strickland and Steve hunter no longer Steve hunter the former Steve hunter Steve hunt they will play an instrumental together a composition of Steve's and I will listen with you [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] and another trying to show the difference between simply hearing the poem and hearing the poem in relation to music I'll read another poem to you you could say acapella you could say that I would if I were giving a poetry reading at a university and then the band will do it with me the poem is called samurai-sama samurai song when I had no roof I made audacity my roof when I had no supper my eyes dined when I had no eyes I listened when I had no ears I thought when I had no thought I waited when I had no father I made care my father when I had no mother I embraced order when I had no friend I made quiet my friend when I had no enemy I opposed my body when I had no temple I made my voice my temple I have no priest my tongue is my choir when I have no means fortune is my means when I have nothing death will be my fortune need is my tactic detachment is my strategy when I had no lover i courted my sleep when I had no supper my eyes died when I had no eyes when I had no ears I thought when I had no fault I waited when I had no father I made care my father when I had no mother I embraced order when I had no friend I made quiet my friend when I had no enemy I opposed my body when I had no temple I made my voice my temple I have no priests my tongue is my choir when I have no means fortune is my means when I have nothing death will be my fortune need is my tactic detachment is my strategy when I had no lover [Applause] when I had no ears when I had no thought when I had no thought I waited I had no father I take care of my father when I had no friends quiet my friends what I had no enemy I opposed my body when I had no roof I made her destiny my roof when I had no supper my eyes thine when I had no eyes I listened when I had better news I thought when I had no father I waited when I had no father I made care my father when I had gone mother I embraced order when I had no friend I made quiet my friend when I had no enemy I opposed my body when I had no temple I made my voice my temple I have no priest my times my choir when I have no means fortune is my means I have nothing death will be my fortune need is my Technic detachment is my strategy when I had no lover but I had no lover i courted I quoted my sleep [Applause] [Applause] thanks so much we'll do we'll do one more poem for you and we'll do it's the poem that I started off my poetry reading this afternoon with this poem called rhyme and the contrast here is just for anybody who was around then and this will be the last poem thank you very much for the hospitality I'll say again how grateful I am to these musicians and here is our closer rhyme rhyme err an instrument of the tongue air and instruments of the tongue of the tongue and instrument of the body air and instrument of the tongue the tongue and instrument of the body the body and instrument of the Spirit air and instrument of the tongue the tongue and instrument of the body the body and instrument of the Spirit the spirit a being of the air you each bird the medium of its song each bird the medium of its song and each song a world a containment like a hotel room ready for us guests who inherit our compartment of time there in the Joseph Cornell box among ephemera as its element the preserved bird that preserved bird a study in spontaneous elegy the parrot art mortal and it's cornered fear each room the stands are wrong in lettered filament and a later'd filament clambered by all s unsteady chambered spirits that climate each one reciting I tuned was here a laddered filament cambered by all us and steady chambered spirits that climate each one reciting I too was here I too was here each one reciting I too was here I too was here in Iran the song in the box in books each element and instrument the body still straining the power the spirit being of the air air and instrument of the tone the Talmud and instrument of the body the body an instrument of spirit the spirit a be of the air in a room or I'm a song a box in books each one reciting I too was here thank you all very much Steve hunt Stan Strickland the Robert Pinsky [Applause] [Applause]

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