Readers' Comments on the two versions of Reznikoff's poem


Date: Mon, 02 Aug 1999
From:
I prefer: Can't decide
Comment: many times poets (or at least I) refer back to older poems and not necesarily revise them, but form a new poem. these two poems are totally different poems. one describes different seasons, and the other is simply an imagist poem of the month april. however, Reznikoff might have just enjoyed that particular stanza in his poem and decided that it was worthy a title of its own (I certainly do; WOW what imagery!).
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Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999
From: mamancio@estado.com.br
I prefer: the longer version
Comment: We have two poems here about the same subject, I think. The point is the possibility to "see" two aspects of the landscape. The second one is tightly focused and good, but is not so estimulating. Moacir Amancio - Sao Paulo Brazil
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Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999
From: jjsacha@dellmail.com
I prefer: the longer version
Comment: Reznikoff is awesome!
Actually I'm looking for some of his books and they are so hard to find. I teach poetry K-6 at my kids' school as a volunteer (BA in Creative Writing from UW-Madison, '82) and I want to see how much of his work is usable with children. Lots of it's too scary, but I love it.
-- Amy Harder Sacha
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Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999
From: CJKopka@aol.com
I prefer: Can't decide
Comment: (1)is not Reznikoff's vision of April, whereas April is. Separate poems: related yet distinct. Blurred by buds is April, but April's blurred buds are but a part of (1)'s vision.
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From: psmathers@hotmail.com

I prefer: the shorter version

Comment: in terms of vision translated to mean environment the second stanza treats the stiff lines like a camera zoom and in effect deserves its own frame, april. Publish?: Yes, post my comment.

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From:

I prefer: Can't decide

Comment: many times poets (or at least I) refer back to older poems and not necesarily revise them, but form a new poem. these two poems are totally different poems. one describes different seasons, and the other is simply an

imagist poem of the month april. however, Reznikoff might have just enjoyed that particular stanza in his poem and decided that it was worthy a title of its own (I certainly do; WOW what imagery!).

Publish?: Yes, post my comment.

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From: mamancio@estado.com.br

I prefer: the longer version

Comment: We have two poems here about the same subject, I think. The point is the possibility to "see" two aspects of the landscape. The second one is tightly focused and good, but is not so estimulating.

Moacir Amancio –

Sao Paulo Brazil

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From: jjsacha@dellmail.com

I prefer: the longer version

Comment: Reznikoff is awesome!

Actually I'm looking for some of his books and they are so hard to find.

I teach poetry K-6 at my kids' school as a volunteer (BA in Creative Writing from UW-Madison, '82) and I want to see how much of his work is usable with children. Lots of it's too scary, but I love it.

Publish?: Yes, post my comment.

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From: CJKopka@aol.com

I prefer: Can't decide

Comment: (1)is not Reznikoff's vision of April, whereas April is. Separate poems: related yet distinct. Blurred by buds is April, but April's blurred buds are but a part of (1)'s vision.

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From: threemstunk@hotmail.com

I prefer: the shorter version

Comment: I always reckon that minimalism is ok if you manage to actualy communicate something. I never heard of yer man Reznikov till I read a bit about him in an essay by Tom Leonard- the quotes he used made want more. These poems (it is two se perate poems, two different Aprils)renew the interest-Thank you for the work Mr Cooney- I go off to hunt books!

Richie Maguire

Amsterdam

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From: rdanberg@mail.slc.edu

I prefer: the shorter version

Comment: The first version of the poem proceeds as a catalogue, at least until we arrive at the last stanza, which begins "Or" and turns a catalogue into a question.

Or, rather, the answer to a question. Let's just say it introduces a note of reflection or reconsideration. I find it less satisfying than the second because it seems incomplete, a truncated thought. The acts of perception reconsidered doesn't find it' s home in the poem. The second poem completes itself, and as is so often true in Reznikoff's shorter, observational poems, contains elements that resonate with one another and release meaning in the reader. The poet's language for the image jump starts th e process of reflection and reconsideration that makes Reznikoff's shorter poems so satisfying. "Blurred by buds," the coming life of spring, against the winter's stiff twigs, points us toward the mystery of a coming season, of a birth that will render, w hen finished, the brittle winter a memory. Of course, it's an armature like memory, one contained with frenetic burst of green that follows the appearance of buds. The operative verb, blurred, is also an exxageration. The small, fuzzy buds on a tree, clos ed and tight, do not in fact, obscure or vision. But the impression of growth, stamped so on our minds, can.

I see the first poem standing between work like April and Reznikoff's longer narrative work, where the poets perspective as listener and watcher informs the poem's work. (I) is a poem that proceeds as if it has a method, but in the end, does not. The r esult is that none of the images startle us in reflection and reconsideration. In fact, I find myself remembering little but the opening image of the branch blown back like brown hair. As opposed to the much quoted "In a cloud bones of steel," that image does not reveal something to us of the nature of the thing CR observes, but imposes too much of the maker on the scene.

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