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Friday, 3 August 2012

AcornFest Arrives! sneak peek Jim Larwill's presentation

           Organice Earth Love



You growing and your thought threading
the delicate strength of your focus,
out of a clamour of voices,
demanding faces and noises,
apart from me but vivid
as when I kissed you and chuckled:

Wherever you are be fearless;
and wherever I am I hope to know
you're moving vivid beyond me,
so I grow by the strength
of your fighting for your self, your life.

Milton Acorn 

          (Drawing of Milton Acorn by Greg Curnoe)


You came in out of the night
And there were flowers in your hands,
Now you will come out of a confusion of people,
Out of a turmoil of speech about you.

I who have seen you amid the primal things
Was angry when they spoke your name
In ordinary places.
I would that the cool waves might flow over my mind,
And that the world should dry as a dead leaf,
Or as a dandelion seed and be swept away,
So that I might find you again,

                                            Ezra Pound
                                                                                                          (Drawing of Ezra Pound by Gaudier-Brzeska)

Day and night. Good and evil. Life and death. Left and right. Dialectical matter in motion and idealist framing of thought. You Growing and  Francesca.  Milton Acorn and Ezra Pound.

Today we are living in a time when all clearly drawn lines of our recent history and indeed our distant past are being distorted and confused around us.  What once seemed to be within our grasp is now out of reach.  Like a child we had been learning to walk holding onto walls and furniture.  These walls, tables and chairs provided security while we explored a new plane of existence.  The child had even come to imagine a day when she would walk free of all external support.  A bold vision.  A vision that filled the child with fear, so filled the child with fear of her own power that she rejects walking: She returns to the floor to crawl and now finds as she looks up, what was once familiar is distant and distorted.  She feels small and alone for a time but soon will decide to stand up and walk, her path no longer mapped by the positioning of tables, chairs and walls as she comes to determine her own future course upon a new path of life and existence.  “Walk with me and sometimes cover your shadow with mine” as Milton Acorn suggests in his poem Live With Me On Earth Underneath The Invisible Daylight Moon.

A poet once commonly stood physically before their audience and two physical representations that shed light upon the subjects in question are upon the cover page of this paper: on the left, a fine line drawing of Milton Acorn by Canadian Greg Curnoe; on the right, a harsh brush stroked representation of Ezra Pound by the modernist Gaudier-Brzezka.

Acorn, in the Curnoe drawing, is looking over his shoulder, as a man might be rowing a boat towards a self-defined future “taking direction from where they’d been/with only quick-snatched glances at where they’re going” (The Squall, Acorn).  His hair is wind swept and unkempt; his eyes well defined and focused; his rotten toothed smile the half cocked grin of a divine carnival jester.  A face alive with organic fractal growth.

In contrast, Gaudier-Brzeika’s Ezar Pound is an image devoid of life.  It is as if it were an embossed silhouette carved into a tombstone.  The mouth is clenched shut; the eyes closed or at best staring into “the obscure reveries/Of the inward gaze” (Pound, 20th Centery Poety and Poetics 29).  Even the hair, while falling forward, seems pressed ridged into place.  This drawing comprises of four parts: the neck, the skull cap, the hair placed upon and in front of the skull cap, and the mask – a mask looking like the side view of a skeleton’s face.  Here fragments cast a fixed shadow that never moves with the sun’s course.

Clearly Acorn’s You Growing is a rewrite of the earlier Francesca and one can by simply reading the two poems see why Acorn included You Growing as an illustration in his essay On not being banned by the Nazis right before he starts railing away at the Ezra Pounders who “look on life as a process of decay” (Acorn).  The two poems are two opposing views in what on the surface appears to be very similar poems.  With twelve lines each Pound and Acorn both unequivocally define a relationship with a distanced love-one.  Subtle differences of form blend with their content.  Acorn uses regular lines of six to nine beats in balanced stanzas of six lines; Pound uses irregular lines of one to thirteen beats broken up into two uneven stanzas of four and eight lines.  Acorn creates a soft singsong tone with a melodic and harmonious rhythm.  Pound’s many single syllable words shoot out one-at-a- time.  Acorn showers his love with the soft nurturing sound of rain.  Pound sprays his possession with the angry machine gun beat of bullets.

As the world around us may indeed be drying as a leaf, do we strive to be free of the ordinary?  Do we continue to fill out hands with flowers?  Or do we simply learn to kiss gentle petals and chuckle as we find a vivid focus out of today’s demanding clamour of voices?  The struggle of poetics and its connection to the world continues.  For… “I Whisper Love with the cool breath of spring as nestling feathers tickle your neck… hoping to free you with a heart.”                                                                         
                                                                                                                             Jim Larwill              

Aug. 3/2012

Above is a sneak peek at the paper Jim Larwill be be presenting at tomorrow's Symposium on Milton Acorn:
William Shannon Room *** Marmora Library Building *** 12:30 - 2:30 pm

The symposium will be emceed by professor/author Terry Barker, who will present a paper by James Deahl, editor of the new selected of Acorn's work, IN A SPRINGTIME INSTANT Author/professor Joye Wayne will also be presenting, and Mamora poet Chris Faiers will read his poem showing the mentorship role Acorn played as a shamanic influence.

After the symposium, around 3 pm, popular Marmora singer/songwriter Morley Ellis will entertain on the islet in the Marmora Dam. Joyce will read a chapter from her new novel, and everyone is encouraged to participate in a round robin poetry reading. 

On Sunday afternoon two group readings will take place at ZenRiver Gardens retreat in the hamlet of Malone. Tai Grove will host the launch of Hidden Brook Press' new anthology
THAT NOT FORGOTTEN (edited by Kingston poet Bruce Kauffman). Then Tai will host a reading by members of The Canada-Cuba Literary Alliance. Readings should begin around
1 pm (maybe a bit later - it's a major heatwave here!)

All Welcome to events
peace & poetry power!



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