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Roots and Branches: Poetry

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The poet has said of himself and his work: "I am not an experimentalist or an inventor, but a derivative poet, drawing my art from the resources given by a generation of masters––Stein, Williams, Pound; back of that by the generations of poets that have likewise been dreamers of the Cosmos as Creation and Man as Creative Spirit; and by the work of contemporaries: Zukofsky, The poet has said of himself and his work: "I am not an experimentalist or an inventor, but a derivative poet, drawing my art from the resources given by a generation of masters––Stein, Williams, Pound; back of that by the generations of poets that have likewise been dreamers of the Cosmos as Creation and Man as Creative Spirit; and by the work of contemporaries: Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley and Denise Levertov."


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The poet has said of himself and his work: "I am not an experimentalist or an inventor, but a derivative poet, drawing my art from the resources given by a generation of masters––Stein, Williams, Pound; back of that by the generations of poets that have likewise been dreamers of the Cosmos as Creation and Man as Creative Spirit; and by the work of contemporaries: Zukofsky, The poet has said of himself and his work: "I am not an experimentalist or an inventor, but a derivative poet, drawing my art from the resources given by a generation of masters––Stein, Williams, Pound; back of that by the generations of poets that have likewise been dreamers of the Cosmos as Creation and Man as Creative Spirit; and by the work of contemporaries: Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley and Denise Levertov."

30 review for Roots and Branches: Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mat

    Tremendous. At first glance, many might think Robert Duncan was a bit of an anachronism considering how he wrote in an old, traditional lyrical way but at closer look you will see that he in fact successfully blended the lyrical metres of ancient bards such as Shakespeare, Blake and Shelley and wove them into more modern experiments first seen in the works of Pound, H.D., Williams, Zukofsky, Creeley and others. Not only that, but in my humble opinion, he does it even better than they did. His poem Tremendous. At first glance, many might think Robert Duncan was a bit of an anachronism considering how he wrote in an old, traditional lyrical way but at closer look you will see that he in fact successfully blended the lyrical metres of ancient bards such as Shakespeare, Blake and Shelley and wove them into more modern experiments first seen in the works of Pound, H.D., Williams, Zukofsky, Creeley and others. Not only that, but in my humble opinion, he does it even better than they did. His poems are mysterious but he gives you enough to return to without too much head-scratching as you will get sometimes in Zukofsky and without the need for a guidebook or a book of annotations and exegeses constantly at your beck and call as you do need with Pound. This is a very, very strong collection and the play Adam's Way, which features towards the end of this book, is a nice take on the old Adam-and-Eve story, in a manner somewhat similar to Milton's Paradise Lost (much shorter of course) and highlights some of Duncan's metaphysical philosophies. Highly recommended if you don't mind lyrical poetry.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    "Apprehensions" reads like a poem I've been looking for-- How they ploughd the given field in rows, / prose and / versus . and brought landscape / into being, ... I found a monument of what I am around me as if waking were a dream, a house built in the ancient time when man like a salmon swam ... the orders of the dead and the unborn that swarm in the floods of a man embracing his companion. -- Even interested in the mythos outlined by the play that ends this book, "Adam's Way." And that's saying somethin "Apprehensions" reads like a poem I've been looking for-- How they ploughd the given field in rows, / prose and / versus . and brought landscape / into being, ... I found a monument of what I am around me as if waking were a dream, a house built in the ancient time when man like a salmon swam ... the orders of the dead and the unborn that swarm in the floods of a man embracing his companion. -- Even interested in the mythos outlined by the play that ends this book, "Adam's Way." And that's saying something. Great poets usually write shitty plays. Anyway, this is as good as an introduction to Duncan as I could have asked for. At 176 pages it's not as intimidating as a selected or collected while capturing Duncan working successfully in various modes. What next from him?

  3. 4 out of 5

    univocity

    Grasps you by the soul, dances with you, drops you. Duncan studied his Sitwell and Helen Adam: the poems sing themselves to you. "There are echoes" of every syllable of every word, endless sonic reflection; wonderful assonance, slightly shifting tones, shames Stevens and betters even Pound. And all of this dwelling in an intricate, largely Neoplatonist ontology that I cannot help but find agreeable. Grasps you by the soul, dances with you, drops you. Duncan studied his Sitwell and Helen Adam: the poems sing themselves to you. "There are echoes" of every syllable of every word, endless sonic reflection; wonderful assonance, slightly shifting tones, shames Stevens and betters even Pound. And all of this dwelling in an intricate, largely Neoplatonist ontology that I cannot help but find agreeable.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim Gardner

    Robert Duncan's masterful Roots and Branches includes the Passages series (The Torso: Passages 18, The Spelling, The Architecture). Duncan's syncretic touch spans mid-20thc-life with a healing touch. The Torso presses the reset button on human sexuality (from a gay male's perspective) while The Architecture and The Spelling do similarly for building and philology respectively. Robert Duncan's masterful Roots and Branches includes the Passages series (The Torso: Passages 18, The Spelling, The Architecture). Duncan's syncretic touch spans mid-20thc-life with a healing touch. The Torso presses the reset button on human sexuality (from a gay male's perspective) while The Architecture and The Spelling do similarly for building and philology respectively.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    "The angel was of the gesture, appeard as the lure of flesh, muscular invested, a pure emblematic physique, standing for what scripture? Who are you? where again you go as ever attendant and guardian of all verdant thought." "The angel was of the gesture, appeard as the lure of flesh, muscular invested, a pure emblematic physique, standing for what scripture? Who are you? where again you go as ever attendant and guardian of all verdant thought."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Lovely, sturdy, accessibly experimental work from a poet who is underappreciated by everyone except modern poetry experts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Maybe I just didn't sit with these poems long enough, but I kind of felt like a lot of the poems drew on a lot of cliches of poetry and weren't very creative. Also seems to have a bit of a strong romantic element that I don't overly care for. Maybe I just didn't sit with these poems long enough, but I kind of felt like a lot of the poems drew on a lot of cliches of poetry and weren't very creative. Also seems to have a bit of a strong romantic element that I don't overly care for.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fluor Beard

    My second book by Duncan (reading from "Collected Later Poems and Plays" anthology). It was a bit more difficult to get through than "Opening of the Field" because I felt it was a bit more self-indulgent, but the play "Adam's Way" is lovely. My second book by Duncan (reading from "Collected Later Poems and Plays" anthology). It was a bit more difficult to get through than "Opening of the Field" because I felt it was a bit more self-indulgent, but the play "Adam's Way" is lovely.

  9. 4 out of 5

    R.K. Cowles

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peter King

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul Killebrew

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Kilroy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robert Yagley

  16. 4 out of 5

    Grant S

  17. 4 out of 5

    JJ Cross

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  19. 5 out of 5

    Craig Morgan Teicher

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Reynolds

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Factor

  22. 5 out of 5

    Norman

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matt Sackmann

  24. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Meng

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robert Costic

  26. 4 out of 5

    James

  27. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  28. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Zee Whitesides

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

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