Notes to Chapter 3
of Morgan Gibson's Revolutionary Rexroth

1. "The Surprising Journey of Father Lonergan," The Elastic Retort, 274.

2. "Poetry, Regeneration, and D. H. Lawrence," Bird in the Bush, 18. Reprinted from Selected Poems of D. H. Lawrence.

3. CLP, 285.

4. CSP, 48.

5. The Heart's Garden, 285.

6. CLP, 295.

7. "About the Poems," The Phoenix and the Tortoise (1944), 10. Albert Schweitzer illustrates Rexroth's concept of the realized "true person."

8. "Berenike," BM, 181.

9. Introduction to CLP, n.p. See also: "The 'holy' is not the Judaeo-Protestant 'utterly other'--a term of Otto's--but the utterly same." "American Indian Songs," Assays, 58.

10. AN, 152.

11. MS, 20.

12. CLP, 9.

13. American Poetry in the Twentieth Century, 52.

14. Bird in the Bush, 5 and 12.

15. Ibid., 5.

16. Ibid., 5.

17. Ibid., 16.

18. Ibid., 7.

19. "Poetry, Regeneration, and D. H. Lawrence," 193.

20. CSP, 227.

21. Preface to The Signature of All Things, 10.

22. AN, 192 and 256-258.

23. CLP, 14, reprinted in a passage entitled "Adonis in Summer," CSP, 160.

24. Jerome Rothenberg, ed. The Revolution of the Word: A New Gathering of American Avant Garde Poetry, 1914-1945 (New York: Continuum, 1974).

25. AN, 149-150.

26. Introduction to The New British Poets: An Anthology, p. ix. See also American Poetry in the Twentieth Century, 100 and passim.

27. CSP, 27.

28. 1949 Preface to The Art of Worldly Wisdom, reprinted in the 1953 edition, n. p.

29. Preface to Pierre Reverdy, vi-vii.

30. CSP, 5. Comparing Rexroth's cubism with the work of Gertrude Stein and Laura Riding, Dorothe Bendon Van Ghent showed how images are abstracted from personal experience so they are dissociated--"just as Alice saw the smile of the Cheshire cat hanging lone and unattended, abstracted from the cat." Towards such objects, she argued, the reader can observe language in a process of emergence, like things of nature, and is left free to have his own attitudes and feelings, whereas traditional poetry controls the reader's experience. She concluded her perceptive interpretation by comparing Rexroth with Dante in moral and intellectual commitments. "Some Problems of Communication," 1-15.

But there are problems with Rexroth's cubism which cannot be solved in the present study. In a letter to me of 11 December 1982, Marjorie Perloff wondered how cubist Rexroth's work really is: "I know he thought of himself that way but to me the Andromeda poem you cite seems very different--perhaps more Surrealist than Cubist. There are fragmented images but as you say, one experiences extreme vertigo--and it's something of a visionary poem whereas Cubist work usually deals with fragmented images from a single discourse radius, faceted, made ambiguous. The Rexroth poem is not ambiguous in that sense, is it? In other words, if you take Gombrich's definition of Cubism as the art form in which images cancel each other out, in which it's impossible to apply the test of consistency, then I don't really feel this is a model. Cubism was also opposed to mysticism." These are shrewd observations. I find the poem more ambiguously fragmented than she does; but if she is right that Rexroth's practice did not conform to cubist theory, that may have been an important motive for his turning to "natural numbers" and excelling in that mode.

31. Pierre Reverdy, x.

32. Poems from the Greek Anthology, 99. See also "When We with Sappho," CSP 139, and AN, 154.

33. CSP, 34-35.

34. CSP, 234.

35. AN, x.

36. "Unacknowledged Legislators," Bird in the Bush, 16 and 5.

37. W. C. Williams, The Collected Later Poems (New York: New Directions, 1963), 13.

38. Rexroth reviewed Buber's I and Thou (New York, 1958) in "The Hasidism of Martin Buber," Bird in the Bush, 106-42, and frequently alluded to his ideas in conversation and writing.

39. "Preface" to the 1802 edition of Lyrical Ballads, ed. H. Littledale (London: Oxford, 1911) 237.

40. Assays, 57.

41. 252.

42. 19, 67-79, 91, 114, and 332-39, for example.

43. CSP, 237-43, 260-65, and 255, respectively.

44. CSP, 153, 186, 154, 166, and 190, respectively.

45. MS, 47-82.

46. CLP, 123, 128, 140, and passim.

47. The Phoenix and the Tortoise, 9.

48. CSP, 193-95. See also "A Public Letter for William Carlos Williams' Seventy-Fifth Birthday," Assays, 202-205, and American Poetry in the Twentieth Century, 75-84 and passim. A longer interpretation of the poem is contained in my Kenneth Rexroth, 17-20.

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Light and Dust Anthology of Poetry