In a discussion over on this forum recently, Roddy Lumsden said that, what with his fifteen year hiatus from writing, James Fenton (who recently published a Selected Poems that didn’t include his single best poem, ‘A Staffordshire Murderer’) had effectively turned himself into an ex-poet.
Ex-poets. Hiatus poets. Francis Stuart took an eighty or so year breather between his first and second poetry books. That’s some lunch-break. Trevor Joyce took a large mid-career leave of absence. My esteemed fellow blogger John Latta did likewise (was I the first person to use the Jeffrey Dahmer joke on him, I wonder, when I received a copy of his first book and thanked him with ‘Thank you for your Torsos, as Jeffrey Dahmer use to say to his fridge’). It was practically obligatory for the Objectivists, whose late flowerings were a bit like Son House, Mississippi John Hurt and Bukka White getting tracked down in the 60s, decades after their scratchy recordings in the field.
Though then again arch pisseur de copie Georges Simenon struck
Though then again arch pisseur de copie Georges Simenon struck‘writer’ from his passport when he retired as a novelist, almost defiantly. Over and out.
Anyway, when George Oppen gave up poetry after Discrete Series he went to work as a carpenter instead, down
Music, that marvel
trying to exist
out of this forest to come forth
The world is black magic
The world is half magic
The universe moved
and we moved
in this monstrosity
The ordinary words
come to mean
In a way I live on words, forget words