I like the innocence of Kenneth Patchen s voice He represents a particular time and attitude His romantic poems are especially strong. Patchen is such a maverick figure, making his various forms of art, yet also a craftsman with vision and imagination He makes it new again and again, never wrote the same book twice Much to learn from this great Amercan poet here. @READ PDF ⚶ Collected Poems Í From The Appearance InOf Kenneth Patchen S First Book, The Voice Of This Great Poet Has Been Protesting War And Social Injustice, Satirizing The Demeaning And Barbarous Inanities Of Our Culture Entrancing Us With An Inexhaustible Flow Of Humor And Fantasy Patchen was one of my favorites when I was in college He did a great book which is hard to find where he took fish, dipped them in ink and then laid them on paper With a Japanese coligraphy sp he wrote his poems It was a fresh idea that has not been replicated as well that I know of. An old favorite of mine. One of my favorite poets We don t hear enough about Patchen. pure and simple as the shepherd s song
The poet Kenneth Patchen is a fascinating figure He was a conscientious objector in World War II, the good war even many pacifists would refuse to have stayed out of He was unconnected to academia, writing highly personal poetry without quotation of other works or allusions to the canon And he was an eclectic figure, the poet as loner one moment and a collaborator with jazzmen in poetry recitals the next Yet, for all the fascinating details of his biography, his poetry is overwhelmingly disappointing This volume of collected poems , really a selection of material from 1936 to 1967 that leaves quite a bit out, shows the wild inconsistency of his entire career.In the poetry of World War II, pacifist prophecy is in the spotlight, and it is often as troublesome to the reader as Ezra Pound s work of the same era In the The Stars Go to Sleep So Peacefully , the first poem selected from An Astonished Eye Looks Out of the Air 1945 , written long after the U.S was dragged into the war and the Final Solution was under way, Patchen calls the Allies little fools in haste of money That he afterwards adds the eloquent lines Love is impaled on a million bayonets doesn t mean the reader forgets about his peculiar view on this war In The Way Men Live is a Lie , from the same volume, a diatribe against supposedly greedy generals looking for profit which due to its considerable use of profanity I cannot quote here is again followed by general pacifist sentiments that would be unobjectionable if not for what came before.The war poems could be left aside if the rest of the material were good as, for example, is often done with Pound But he other themes make for embarrassing verse Patchen deeply loved his life Miriam, writing numerous love poems to her These, however, are usually doggerel worthy of shy high school note passing Take, for example, the poem For Myriam 1942 O the world is a place of veils and roses when she is there I come to her in wonder And there is nothing cruel or mad or evil Anywhere This last poem features further one of Patchen s most tired trope, the filler O Almost every poem of his contains this, e.g O the eagle empties his terrible eye upon them , O the beautiful again , O the wonderful wonderful wonderful , O green birds that sings the earth to wakefulness , O she is as lovely often as every day Patchen the poet had no skill in naturally flowing poetry, everything is full of ridiculous rhetorical exaggeration.Patchen s prose works, THE JOURNAL OF ALBION MOONLIGHT published by New Directions and SLEEPERS AWAKE long out of print, but available at many libraries are much less problematic than his poetry. Maybe one of the things I m proudest of is turning Philip Dawkins on to this poet Literally He slept with the book Read his review Patchen is my favorite poet and I feel I have only scratched the surface of his work He represents, without hyperbole, everything I love about poetry in particular, and the playful, sad, beauty of the English language as a whole I first read him in college and fell in love, and unlike most things I loved in college Southern Comfort, Our Lady Peace, girls my feelings for Patchen are unchanged. Few poets keep my attention over the years like Patchen His blend of human worries and divine introspection adds new depth to every reading, and unlike many inspired by the modernists he succeeds at form and meaning His Instructions for Angels is amazing and answers every Vonnegut ian question of the reader Put the tips of your fingers On a baby man Teach him to be beautiful.