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The following tape recorded program is a presentation of the National Association of educational broadcasters. The Literary Society of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst presents New England anthology and expression and poetry of the American concept of the free man by writers who make use of the New England scene background or heritage. This program the ninth in our series will present the voices and poems of Robert Francis and Arnold kinds of poets who make their homes in Amherst Massachusetts. Robert Francis born in Upland Pennsylvania came to New England when he was a young boy. Ever since his formal education at Harvard University he's lived in Amherst although he's a frequent visitor and lecturer at both the University of Massachusetts and Amherst College. Mr. Francis has consistently refused the official label of teacher preferring to be known primarily as a writer. He's established his reputation as a
writer by means of his short novel. We fly away. His essays and his volumes of poetry stand with me here. Val Howe another poems. The sound I listen for and the face against the glass. But in these works he has also revealed a technique immediately reminiscent of the manner of the skillful teacher is writings display a great pleasure in clarity a patients inspired by compassion. As word follows common word in these poems the reader almost imperceptibly is brought to acknowledge an insight he didn't know he possessed but in these words the pleasure and clarity and the compassion of patients are more than mere technique. They constitute both the style and the statement of Robert Francis. He realizes the frailty of human nature and he tries in his poems to discover the qualities and attitudes which will make that frailty more bearable most necessary to this
discovery is the ability to distinguish carefully among things that tend easily to overlap to become confused. Sometimes the search for clarity is expressed in the treatment of man's relation to nature or the artist relation to all men or the individual's relation to his society. Mr. Francis historicity Abramson and Mr. Leon Baron of the Literary Society would like to ask you some questions about your poetry in a bad way. Miss Abramson didn't you have a special request. Yes I have. Mr. Francis as you may know we have frequently used one of your lines on this program. It's the line from seagulls that speaks about freedom that flows in form and still is free. Would you read us the poem from which the line is taken. Certainly between the island and the up are blue. All day the seagull Klein and swear and Sar
are intersecting arc curve over current. And you may watch them weaving a long time and never see their pattern twice the same. I see their pattern once imperfect. Take any moment they are in the air. If you could change them if you had the power. I would you place them other than they are. What we have labored all our lives to have and failed. These birds effortlessly achieve freedom that flows in form and still is free. It seems to us Mr. Francis that this freedom you mention is the kind that man desires in all of his activities. Did you have a particular freedom in mind when you wrote the poem.
The poem is actually as much about form as it is about freedom freedom. I am for spontaneity and discipline unconventionality and the law and order. We want them both and we want them together whether in a work of art or in human society in art we sometimes almost achieve it. In society we fall woefully short. That's why the soaring birds are so refreshing to watch. They look as if they have mastered the trick combination just barren. I believe you had a question about technique. Yes I do. In reading your poems Mr Francis I have often noticed that you like to display this freedom in terms of one created being working with another of a different kind. Sometimes say in terms of man working with nature would you say that this was one of your customary techniques.
Sometimes we are more successful in working with nature than we are in working with human nature. I'm thinking of a couple of poems of mine. Rhonda is a farmer who knows perfectly how to collaborate with his horse. The other is a swimmer. Any good swimmer mastering the water by trusting it. One wonders if the statesmen and diplomats of the US have sufficiently observed such things. The sound I listened for what I remember is the ebb and flow of sound that summer morning as the mower came and went and came again crescendo and diminuendo. And always when the sound was loud as to how we seized the moment while he backed the horses for the turn. The rapid clatter of giving place to the slow click and the mowers
voice that was the sound I listened for. The voice did what the horses did. It shared the action and sympathetic magic gods or incantation the fairies. Oh and then the horses hauled the strength of Ron was in the hour and in the strength was no impatience. Over and over as the mower made his rounds I heard his voice and only once or twice he backed in turn and went ahead and spoke no word at all. Swimmer observe how he negotiates his way with trust and at least violence making the stranger a friend the enemy ally the depths that could destroy Gentoo he supports him with water or he defends himself from water
danger or he leans on rests in the drowning sea is all he had between himself and drowning. Want to live our ever away more mutually with his beloved His always reaching arms stroking his smooth and powerful caresses. Some dryland in love as in dark water and song by a wav are strongly held as the green sea now holds the swimmer indolently turns to follow the swimmer float a lot of our sleeps. Mr. Francis these poems seem to suggest the beauty of cooperation which results from love and understanding. Would you call this the basis for that freedom that flows in form. Yes I suppose it is for a contrast to take
someone who tries to impose his will absolute way. The rigid regimented author are a Tarion way even a flower garden you know can be a perfect tyrant. Exclusive boo her flowers were exclusive blue no other color scheme would do better than God she could reject being a gardener. More sea of black goo goo it was against the green with nothing not blue sewn or seen yet secret was she half confessed with who she was not wholly blessed all who she found do not agree. Blue riots in Variety purist perfectionist at heart. Her vision flew beyond her art beyond her art her touch her power. To teach one boo to each who follow.
I suppose the sun that shines indiscriminately on red flowers and yellow flowers and white flowers as well as on blue flowers is as uncompromising a Democrat as can be found anywhere. Sun arch Democrat of our enlightenment more Jeffersonian than Jefferson. You dazzle us newly with your declaration that bomb men bank to man are one man impartially and with strict indifference. You span across and be a little rivers and ranges and every bonder a natural and unnatural. And every visible or invisible fence. Your light and speculated in and hoarded
unallocated and rationed an untaxed unprocessed dung package done on some farms on economic and political fact. You're being or nonbeing the loss of hers do not dispute you. You are evidence and the simple do not have to have revealed to them. Reveal your benevolence the love the unloved indistinguishably a lift to your comprehensive kiss. Where could be a rival constancy intensity where owls so gentle and so fierce a fire. Osan unbridled dun bribable and pure sun irreproachable just turn on more equitable than Jory jawed German cart you will gather in t the basest we will die
under your blaze grass green and flowers glitter the white sheet on the line burns white or white to terra cotta the slow Sunday the Templars and the pouring water bathing turns pure copper. The sun could also stand for the perfect gift I would can given given not exhaust itself in giving is a puzzle. Atomic physics sheds some light when a near man tries to get himself out her way. He may find the forest giving takes the strictest savey desiring to get all desiring to give all to be all give a living than to give a day and
he gave to friends the best thoughts in his head. Then the eking generosity with thrift ponder if there might not be found a way whereby the head itself the clean bare skull might not be saved and deeded to a friend for some not always sentimental land but something sold were simple functional a paperweight for a desk a doorstop say to serve and some are on a blowing day. Mr. Francis we've noticed that in many of your poems you use imagery drawn from the New England landscape and in some poems you like to make use of an attitude usually associated with New England as you do when you show frugality at work and desiring to give all. Is this true of your poem Annette not. Yes I can't deny it. Monadnock is a New
England Mountain and my poem is both about the mountain and about conservatism. The good kind of conservatism. You know the geologists tell us that and we're not knocking God to be a mountain by holding on to itself by holding on to its past while the surrounding of it was eroded down to a Pina plain. My admiration for Manav nark helps me to appreciate a really high grade New England conservative. Whenever I encounter. But not enough youth to the taunting piano playing in the pee is standard Radlick anachronism fossil. The peak can stand to talk there was a time when the peak was not a pea but granite and resistant car something that refused to wear
away time and when the revers wore the rest away. Here is the thing the nervous Rev left behind and Dorrance is the one not X alteration to and or an excellent patient I would tower an Dorrance X saltation. Robert Francis and Arnold Kenseth are neighbors and Imust and are good friends. Mr Kensit born of Milton Massachusetts in 1915 has lived all his life in New England completing his higher formal education at Bates College and Harvard University. He has in the past taught English speech philosophy and the Bible at various institutions and has been curator of the
Harvard College Library poetry room is been chop led to Protestant students at the University of Massachusetts and is presently pastor of the South Congregational Church in Amherst. He's published poems and reviews a nationally circulated magazines and has published a volume of his poetry. The cycle of praise Arnel Kenseth exercises in poetry is freedom to enquire into the nature of man and his freedom to praise God. He sees these two freedoms as inherent in the New England tradition. He believes that man's ultimate freedom arises from his acceptance of God's grace. But Mr cans it has said all this in his own way. Mr. Kendall would you read us some of your points. The first three poems I shall read derive from the freedom that man has to wrestle with his own mystery and the presence of God.
Simon to myself by day I speak the hydro word of God but spoken splits and truckload headed flames to burn the blockhead pews of honest names. Dr. Judas Mrs. Gordon deacon not they said so much for that as I dare my day the sun upon their flesh the three faced beast cut straight back to content to crowds despair and strips man's costume griped a naked lease at night I'd probably lie doc wanted in while Christ the child problems in my Bramble heart a dove of grace I raise my hand in and sixt winged God causes my flesh to stop
for I am Sunday Judas charged in fraud. Myself am Mrs. good and Deacon not. The next point most anime massive contains the following allusion. Devil's temptation of Jesus. The legend of father sed the Tower of Babel the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and Christ Nativity or star and me massive that. Always stand me massive that against all mortal evil against my midnights when my amorous devil of Shreyas me as white as bone and shrewdly wakes me in to the rituals that come dome to the magic of more sin. Or when he shoulders over me like Heaven's tumbling doll
with bright wings hover over me and put between us. Love the bread of stone and power the Eucharist of Mammon defend me at each hour in penitential famine and should I like old forced against you Tower me. Our money land my ghost for science on a tree. Scott I'm a gonna let my tongue's Bell wild charge me in the manger save me in that child. Eucharist not out to the stable we'll limp home on when great man not finest good from brief calamitous flight to taste again numb our old were all brilliant brittle Alan
E. writing has wonderful bones on cloud warming his summer time a flash his eyes I was soaring and on by how bright he treads against the sun. I carry and sure there's no one is real. He plunges chromosomes the light tone landscape sprouting death and steel. So by this board of all his doubt he will sink down a glossy wings sweep mechanic blah sky swagger gone on e-gold in a frightened us power rode down to zero. Earth I smashed a sick bundle of defeat. Yes but I could be going to rise and from those crippled hands take fire and eat. How do these poems particularly the last express freedom
are you saying that man is not free. Eucharist is not a denial of man's freedom but it raises the question of the Right uses of freedom. The poem isn't a science. Paul is between you and Lee Stoa coming from to cry. I have the captain of my soul and signed a customs perhaps the House just made us for the Myself and all hearts are restless until I find their rest in me for me Augusten is right now the point that has to be emphasized is that man is free to choose heaven or hell just to decide for or against God voluntarily. This is the refrain of the last two lines in each verse of Song of grace the poem I shall read next. A song of grace.
God in my heart will not let go. The sheep who from his pastures run into the tangled lines below toward meadows green and flushed with Sun web browser's poison to the tongue destroyer the silly sheep with these oh i the shepherd song must sing and call him back because I please Tiger send me home a rod my secret pods my hidden dock. Proud of my blood and spring with fire brands me with blood passions Mark God hunts these and under his down instead and fade to the more than what they lose on Passions cup and passions bread I eat but only if i true. It is all has come for the lamplit crumpling of my forest lies
danger by all the death Sawyer and fear of all my mysteries. He calling this the cliff side they're not climb he day as the Woodside then are they. He said it was the innocence in me but only you have to like him. I have. One from perches on the mind my spot rose forwards for the sun and break against the clumsy wind and short winged fall collapsed on Don. He gently with a gray suit and persuades them back to a placid earth and comforts me on human life. But only if I know its worth. God in my heart I know like yeah. Before the seasons made as sad but there is sadness in me away this love
prepares me to be glad he has a child whose simple song exclaims delight across my field but never a tune I hold for long. Except I am his joy and he'll miss the cancer. What would you consider the highest use of a man's freedom. What follows when one except as the grace of God is not the words of the blasted reformers come very much alive. They said that she found a man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. The last poems I shall read are in this very fundamental sense written to the glory of God. They are points of praise. As if for the angels as I have for the angels God Isaiah's me I am trying so hard I am sick but
Heber has five really candles you know as Blake saw in the tree branches of weighings painted I didn't go out. So I write down the versions of my joy because these holy ones guessed in my heart wonder my blood make my glad bones employ themselves. That's done daily and the honest automatic ration probably knew well why we are here. He saw it all things in Flash. They all would have left it up. The scarlet flash but Tong was God's call of mercy to the tongue. So I am first my death after I die then I am burdened and birth all my fellow masers and I become God's man is a warning bell run back
and forth in ever after praises. And I don't ration and the snow fall season. The birth of God's furious son tender son gives us our holy days by fire and ice cradles once more it's hope that heave and her when her children will receive the sunlit garden. Because fear has no room in our Saviour's castle. All love shepherds us pageant Kings weep for us in our joint rings heavens while Gabriel's rustle for our very soul. What stable is here there is time for us to give our sin the shape of kneeling to parts seven times seven days singing Robins of forgiveness on our arms blessing our enemies at the bones which
we have broken may rejoice no one is lost. Not one who yields himself to Christmas. The red ribbons of his grief had on us the voice of his mercy is heard in all I feel. A cycle of praise the roads of our village amble through views of four seasons. The I love the sun follows the ritual year through occasions the vassal of saying humble all knowing changes are heard. Spring drums and the little hollows the two one from one bird of summer tour. I joined autumn crumpets on the hills all sceneries life urging from the heart. All our praise to Him
who is laughter wells our glory be of days especially now do we feel his sounding joy on this day when sundials point winter and day lights grow faint when how to find how notes are straights in a snow fall of prayer. From when dogs are fired trees wink out show devotion because whose birth by oil spill alarms of love at our gate and we wake with his innocence in us here and was here. But we begin in the end stand soft bright adoration. It has been our great pleasure to hear the poetry and comments of the poets. Robert Francis and Arnold Kansas. This program was presented by the Literary Society of the University of Massachusetts. It was produced by the National Association of educational broadcasters under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. Permission to read the poems the sound I listened for and seagulls from the volume the sound I
listened for. Copyright 1944 was granted by the publishers the Macmillan company. This is the ninth in a series of programmes untitled New England anthology and expression and poetry of the American concept of the free man by writers who make use of the New England scene background or heritage. This program was produced on the campus of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. This is the ne e b network.
New England anthology
Robert Francis and Arnold Kenseth
Producing Organization
University of Massachusetts
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on the poetry of Robert Francis and Arnold Kenseth.
Series Description
A series featuring New England poets who read and discuss their own works.
Broadcast Date
New England--Poetry.
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Performer: Francis, Robert, 1901-1987
Performer: Kenseth, Arnold
Producing Organization: University of Massachusetts
Speaker: Abramson, Doris
Speaker: Barron, Leon
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-9-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:30
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Chicago: “New England anthology; Robert Francis and Arnold Kenseth,” 1955-05-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
MLA: “New England anthology; Robert Francis and Arnold Kenseth.” 1955-05-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <>.
APA: New England anthology; Robert Francis and Arnold Kenseth. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from