New England anthology; Richard Wilbur and John Ciardi
The following tape recorded program is a presentation of the National Association of educational broadcasters. The Literary Society of the University of Massachusetts presents New England on quality. 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 sixth in our series represent the voices and poems of Richard Wilbur and John Chardy two of America's better known poets both of these poets have been long associated with the New England region Richard Roeper born in New York City in 1921 spent his formative years in New England receiving his higher education at Amherst College and Harvard University at present he's a member of the faculty at Harvard and lives in Lincoln Massachusetts. A short distance from Thoreau's Walden Pond. Since 1947 Mr. Wilbur has published two volumes the beautiful
changes and ceremonies and other poems these display a significant aspect of the New England sensibility. They have a surface of quiet dignity and control coupled with strength liveliness and intensity. They also are both in artistry and themes reveal a native New England individual ism. They do not offer the flattery of easy sentiments to comfortable readers. Now Mr. Wilbur prefers simplicity I would rather see my obscure than how people avoid the responsibility of thought he speaks in many of his poems of freedom through thorough discipline the freedom that flows in form. A man recognizes or creates forms which brief him intellectual narrow artistic and social forms. Each of these liberating forms is dependent on the others as the point is revealed. I'm just what we've been talking about your plans and Mrs. Lee on Barron Mr Robert Tucker and
Mr. Little in Valley of the Literary Society would like to ask you certain questions of interpretation Mr. Bollea. Why don't you start. Mr. Rahman my first 3 mm is the freedom of the intellect not as the law protects it but as the mind frees itself. Your problem being is presents three pictures released sleeping peacefully in their major freedom as the poem says I will be resisting his change from man to the east and man in high windows thinking up proud abstractions. That's right. Did you wish to contrast here the kind of freedom possible for a base for the kind of freedom necessary for man as a rational animal. That's very much what I was after. Cows don't have much trouble fulfilling their natures. But a man being a compound creature has a much tougher time of it. People who don't know around admit that the unstable compounds can't be intellectually free. That thought isn't adequate to the
facts. They keep getting surprised. But let me let me read the prime beasts. Based in their major freedom slumber in peace tonight the guy on his ledge dreams in the guts of himself. The moon plucked waves below and the sun fish leans on a stone slapped by the lyric writer in which the spotless feet to make desolate splashes and to reach the ripped mouse safe in the hours Talon cries concordance. Here there is no such harm and no such darkness as the self-same moon observe us wrapped in window glass it sponsors now the painful change turning his head away on the sweaty barrister. He tries to remember the mood of manhood but is at last as a race letting it happen. The fares are
soft to his face hearing with shock as the winds like setting miners the leaves panic and the degradation of the heavy strains. Meantime at high windows from thicket and pad. Suitors of excellence and turn from their work to construe again the pain for beauty of heaven. The lucid moon and the Risen Hunter. Making such dreams from men as well break their hearts as waves bringing monsters into the city. Crime is on the public statues navies fed to the fish in the dark unbridled writers. In a poem called mind and so seems to do with freedom of intellectual activity and like beasts it uses a J from nature to do so. The perfect adaptation of the bat to its dark cave would be readers that
one delighted. Mind in its purest play is like some bat that beats about in caverns I long contriving by a kind of senseless wit not to conclude against a wall of stone that does not need to Phantom or explore darkly it knows what obstacles are there and so may we venture flatter tip and so are in perfect courses through the Blackest Night has this similar. I like perfection. The mind is like a bat precisely. Say that in the very happiest intellection a graceful error may correct the cave. Is it fair to ask you to explain what the cave was and the movement of the bat in the graceful air or stand for. Oh I thought of the cave as the categories which the mind establishes for
itself. The terms inside of which it thinks the graceful I would of course be some intuitive movement of the mind which violates its own logic and destroys its previous thought patterns. And of course creates not less. Mr. BALLEN has a question. Mr. Weber your poems often seem to speak of moral freedom in your prime he was an old gardener just before he dies. Plants very carefully some fruit trees and the year after his death they break into bloom. Is he perhaps a symbol of a particularly New England kind of individual integrity. Well he might be. I think freedom consists in finding as you said the task most difficult for oneself among tasks not impossible. The unhappy people I know. Are those who are suffering from a lack of self imposed difficulties. I dare say the high
rate of alcohol consumption in the United States has something to do with the fact that fewer and fewer jobs contain any real difficulty. It isn't hard to be a salesman It's just tedious. The happy people make something that's hard to make and that's worth making. Like an orchard or a statue. He was. He was a brown old man with a green thumb. I can remember the scrape on stones of his how. The child could choke on high Madrigal use of a spray cart bumping below the sputtering leaves of the apple trees. But he was a dumb who filled some question of the day with sound. All of my childhood when I heard of his labors I can now recall never a single word until he went in the dead of battle to the drowsy underground. Having planted a young Richard with some great care in
that last year but none was last and may I ask them I don't believe saying that it's praise for the livening clay and the found voice of his buried her rose in a spot away. And in this time and in several others Mr. Wilbur this seems to be the idea of shaping a life as if it were a work of art. Did you intend an analogy here between Mal and artistic freedom. I suppose I do said artistic freedom I think amounts to being able to chose the difficulties which will draw you out and allow you to say what's lying unsaid inside your stanzas and rhymes give the poet the difficulty he needs. If he's lucky the poet chooses difficulties which can be turned to advantages I might run into a problem called a Black November Turkey and that's prime I chose a stanza with three very
short lines and one long one so that once I overcame the form that could serve to express both the jerky motions of chickens and the pompous floating notions of a turkey. Non-white chickens come with hot chili rock and heads jabbing among the chips the chaff the stones and the corn husk shreds and a bit by bit infringed upon the dusty light spectral in shadow until they bobbing like one by one ignite. Neither player nor bright but turkey cock parades through radiant Scrat eyes darkly auspicious as the ace of spades. Himself his own cortege and puffed with the pound pumped air for a house saying over and over with strangled to rival his latest breath the vast black body floats about the crossing knees as a cloud over
thrashed branches a Carm ship over choppy seas. Shuddering it's famine and feathers in fine soft clashes with the sound that the wind makes foundling paper ashes. The Pale Blue Bunny had sat on its shepherd's crook like a saint death mask. Turns a vague and timeless look upon these clucking hens and the cocks that run by one drown after matter. With a very good job I claim the sun. Mr. Tucker do you have some questions Mr. Wilbur I wonder whether or not these two poems you've read recently suggest a New England setting. Unfortunately the particular gardener and the particular Turkey were from New Jersey and New Mexico respectively. But most of my experience of gardeners in Turkey has been in New England and I'm sure that there's much of New England in these
poems. They're probably a composite of Gardner and Chucky. Do you find a New England scene is particularly appropriate to what you have to say. We like to think that New England is still a proper climate for every kind of freedom. Across New England never did produce a weed less crop of Henry David Thoreau Rose and I gather from my neighbors in Lincoln that thought I was most unpopular with their for barriers. Still I put up with them. I hope a New England climate is still hospitable to cranks. That's what really matters. That suggests the fourth round of freedom social freedom. So far you've read poems which do it with intellectual moral and artistic freedoms. Would you say that any planned speech for the repeal of the McCarren Act and after the last bulletins you emphasise social freedom. Yes that's what I wrote about before I read speaks for the repeal. I better mention that when Stalin was mentioned in the first line. It was an
11th century Archbishop of York who gave a famous salmon to the English at the time the Danes were running the country and telling them that it wasn't the Danes who were causing the trouble but their faithlessness of the English to themselves. There's the Poland speech where the repeal of the Macallan act. As we said on another occasion the strong net value is in the wind and the spider rides it out. But history that sure blunder ruins the young Count to AB. However Silva I am not speaking of rose windows shattered by bomb shock. The lead's towers and the glass cranes broadcast. If there are always be living at all again grapples for a big pile of churches. Nor do I mean railway networks turn up tracks are no great trouble as well. Stalin said it is a breach faith preach love
preach bring the invaders into the estuaries. I shall run my drive before him ten unstrung from say to say Let thought be free. I speak of the spirits weaving the new lab. The self true mind the trusty reflex just a weapon you mention in your column after the last bulletins and the loss of individual consciousness in sleep. Do you make analogy here with the general tendency to undervalue the individual or not. That's about right. That's close to it. This is a rather bitter prime. It's a problem. Against the loud oppressiveness of community opinion in our time and the dwindling of the personal life. Sleep is a very poor refuge from newspapers and glad speakers. But on this planet any rag I think of it as the last retreat of the embattled private personality after the last bulletins.
After the last bulletins the windows darken and the whole city founders readily and deep. Sliding on all its pillows to the thronged Atlantis of personal Sleep and The Wind Rises. The Wind Rises and bones of the day's letter revenues in the alleys. Trash tears itself from the railings. So unfair as with a soft crash tumbles and soars again on relief flights scamper the park and taking a statue for Dad strike at the positive eyes batter and slap the stolid head and scratch the noble name. In empty lots are journals spiral in a fierce NY art of thought to think. We're caught in corners cramp and rock and twist words and some from gutters flail that tatters at the tired Patrolmen's feet like a rat fisted snow that cried beside his long
retreat. Damn you damn you to the Emperor's horses heels. Oh none too soon through the air. Right and dry with a clear announcer's voice beat like a dive and you and I from the heart and I can't responsible town return by subway mouth to life again battering the morning papers. And cross the park west saint like man right and absorbed with stick and bag remove the letter of the night and footsteps rose with confident maddening sound the song birds in the public powers. John Chatty who shares this programme with Richard Roeper was born in Boston in 1916 with Mr. Wilbur he's taught at Harvard. Both men are at present members of the poets theatre at Cambridge they have long been friends. John Chardy completed his panel education at Bates
College Tufts College and University of Michigan. He served in the Air Force and World War 2. He's taught at the University of Kansas City as well as at Harvard. And the present he teaches at Rutgers. He's edited mid-century American poets a collection of works by poets reaching their maturity around the mid century and has published several bottoms of his own poetry such as homeward to America. I was guys live another day and from time to time his translation of Dantes Inferno was published by mentor books in 1954. When finance and John shot is my recent poetry. It concerned to express how time changes family relationships a concern with the metamorphosis of sons who become fathers mothers who become their sons children and a concern with the inexorable movement toward death. But in the midst of change and death the poet celebrates a marriage. From time
the unchanging man woman woman man which is day shelter and home so that out of the deliberate and careful movement of times Metamath disease emerges a mountain tenderness which get poignance to change and prominence to family relationships in spite of time. John Chinese New England is like everyone's region seen mostly through his family relationships. So that's all there is whatever Pritam he claims as his own. His family came from Italy to become his New England. He has said the New England I'm home Ian is the man that was left after the Irish and Italians took up residence in city hall. He's critical of his New England as one who honestly cares for ADD. New England has acquired some historical fame as a rich hunting ground. John Chatty would be glad however where his neighbors forever free from whatever assumptions and fears can
make them sharpen their nails and go hunting human which is what comes pretty awesome John Chinese terms is art that freedom which grows and bare arm and still is pretty twitchy current of the common dynamics of the human spirit. Mr. JOHNSON. You listen patiently to these introductory remarks. I want to change them. How for instance does the foregoing account of the New England differ from your own account. Only to the extent that it's obviously a more complicated thing we can possibly be said in a minute or so. I don't really write New England poems. I try to write human poems but I am undoubtedly conditioned by the fact that most of my experience of humanity has occurred and knowing then that with a special emotional orientation since I was brought up by Italian tyrants immigrants. I think one of the major differences between the
country they left and the United States is a change in my general waste. Your opinion has nothing to waste we have something to waste and we have developed some attitudes toward it which I think of the essential attitudes of American freedom. But I think we have less and less to waste as time goes on that important things are changing in America's attitude. Right I should like to rescue from that change of the free mind by free I mean free to be human rather than partisan or regional. Mr chatty I think we don't like you much do you read some of the points in which you do suggest this attitude toward the free mind. I'd be happy to. Let me begin by saying that right I mean by the free mind to simply free to be human and to be on go on living and eventually stop it. Let me start with Part 1 of a poem and three parts called the three views of a mother. Good my my bad as my dog.
The onion skin bleached hand under the peach head deep she says from the vegetable lobby. I language of roots from the forgotten God. She found was like a trusting way of over the child it is impossible not to see her break and battery on the child swim up a girl and the girl reach shore a woman on my last beach day. I will not fight I drown enough I love God and I am curious however to know what world this is the honeydew head of the child. The call I thought I had of the grandmother in the sea under the God d d. The grandmother wrestles her hands like two dry leaves and the child arrives round as a slug to feel pleasure leaving the trail of its going wet on the world. And there's two I suppose a New England say no it would not normally be
recognised in the midst of the New England elegy for sound. Read down into the dead and close to the wind and graphs the route sighted land sliding on Razor bill Don and dock of the pit. My stupid cousin the Messina scholar of the father of nothing and boxer who never won a fight is done to the tears of women from the womb that stood in dreams and the soft from dreamed clay like the sun of the night untouched and given an eye on the whole double sweet and milk of the flesh to dissolution. And the slain son so like a pendulum under the time in the sky. The woman who was gifted gives back barren son. He was the of but not last lives deaths. Those sons they on needing a Sunday visiting check writing first felt the
blood stay faint at the tram lanes. But he was the last to need infests most gone from morning she had to have breasts greatness. While this one lived she had a child and was mother to my child as she sees him down the spilled sand back and the unfolding ways into the blood black deep past time to the stone was stopped. Not a pebble rattles but skirted priest runs on toast saints and and big sons turn back to the world and she is with child. And I think a very important freedom. Involved in personal relationship. To Judas. Men I think you need. Marry you. Morning by morning day by day night by night
and every night rage makes this marriage and you know in the broken name of Heaven and the light the shadows granted by the spitting show that leaps on the rabbit was like a kite. I marry you from time. And a great dog is shot and the stage is shot against when you see the sun and heaven and him went inside the house of skin and the straps of Ben. And women women and should I marry you and then have my life death. Why should I bother the flies about me. Let them and do. Not and queen. By hidden names but that sin rhymes through reasons. No reason is true and then matter a point they
need to marry you. Perhaps a small point right of an old woman so he's sitting on a doorstep in Colorado. An experiment at trying to draw a human thought right suddenly aside from region. None Domenic I got a knot on who sits in the sun on the step of her house in the library. There are seven men one for women in the village who come and they are in the strays found in the blooms down on like hill and valley. No one can see in the memory from this step the nun Domenico when she found her hands in her lap. They find together like two Christs fallen from a driftwood shrine others are twisted into them there is not in them that will not become but can only be waited for. These hands on not sad not happy not tire not
strong they are simply complete. They lie still in her lap and she sits waiting quietly in the sun for what will happen. As for example a paddle may blow down on the wind and lie across both of those. And she looked down at it. Mr TRT How would you regard the paradox if it is one that the planet must be limited by the forms his audience knows in order to communicate an expression of real freedom. I think it's a matter of what one means by audience I should claim that the audience is part of the poet's imagination an extension of himself sometimes he calls it fit audience though feel still he must work to win a standard or he has nothing to work to put on. The show was by means of a pub you have heard today how you achieve this expression of freedom. Let me try it in terms of this poem in the which condensation.
I tell you and don't trust the living. Their eyes go mad for a practice they're possessed possessing. Give them one good Friday on that up and ready with the nails and religions hysterias. There's a scratch on them that won't do they have to either thing the sticky with bleeding get thin. Put by some dying before you are around a hot shank and mouth I went out namely not use full fat raisins. Get a grave behind you. Right outside this I have been seen used the mob at the city gate when the band strolled back as easy as gypsies or loud. Ask as red St. Elizabeths mismanaging a dozen languages in a rage of tricks to pile on halves into one dictionary. Ask Blake had first in the Tiger's mouth. Done being bad for God. Ask Byron being bad. I asked Dr. Johnson what he's doing dead when Graham is cracking wide eyed every day
paid in full lies or as one safe man in danger is today is my saint. It's been a great pleasure to hear the point Treon comments of the poets. Richard Wilbur and John Chardy. 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. This is the sixth in a series of programs 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 project supervisor was Robert Tucker production director was Anthony's ates technical assistance were W. Worster Smith and William Alford. The script was written by David Clarke and Robert Tucker editorial assistance where Leon
- New England anthology
- Richard Wilbur and John Ciardi
- Producing Organization
- University of Massachusetts
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program focuses on the poetry of Richard Wilbur and John Ciardi.
- Other Description
- A series featuring New England poets who read and discuss their own works.
- Broadcast Date
- New England--Poetry.
- Media type
Narrator: Niedick, Arthur
Performer: Ciardi, John, 1916-1986
Performer: Wilbur, Richard, 1921-
Producing Organization: University of Massachusetts
Speaker: Toscanini, Walfredo
Writer: Clark, David
Writer: Tucker, Robert
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-9-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “New England anthology; Richard Wilbur and John Ciardi,” 1955-04-24, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 16, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-7940wr87.
- MLA: “New England anthology; Richard Wilbur and John Ciardi.” 1955-04-24. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 16, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-7940wr87>.
- APA: New England anthology; Richard Wilbur and John Ciardi. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-7940wr87