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Book Title: On the Edge: Collected Long Poems|
Date of issue: July 25th 2012
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: Kenneth Koch
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 334 KB
Read full description of the books On the Edge: Collected Long Poems:You'll never catch me saying a poem is the greatest poem I've ever read but goddamn if The Duplications isn't the funniest, most entertaining, and life affirming poem I've ever read. Koch squeezed all the inventiveness out of Roussel, hypercharged each word of it with juice and sunshine, and whipped it into a near-hallucinatory clarity and instant accessibility Roussel only dreamed of, and without that chilling a-human void at its core (not that I have a gripe with chilling a-human voids). After reading 20 - 30 pages I'm so keyed up with positivity and humor and surging juices that when I dip back into Mishima I can't read even Runaway Horses without construing it as a comedy. Even gut-spilling Mishima is a laugh riot after Koch!
And Donald's doom was on him in two days...
A Chinese gentleman named Hu Ching Po
Was interested in living different ways
Spending the month on Crete, he wished to know
The black, the white, the intervening grays
Of all that happened there. Well, he was so
Surprised to see a duck walk up and speak
To him that he stared madly at its beak -
Or "bill" - men have a lot of names for noses:
"Schnozzola," "target," "ray-gun," and "proboscis";
And "implement for getting kicks from roses,"
Or "helpful, with the eyes, in winning Oscars,"
And "fresh air opens up what clothespin closes."
Whether by cows or beautiful young Toscas
Borne in the midst of face, it has the beauty
Of being both delicate and heavy-duty;
We breathe all day and then we breathe all night -
Sometimes, it's true, the mouth takes over for it,
But mainly it's the nose, when sun shines bright
Or when stars gleam, that does, like Little Dorrit,
More than it seems it ought to do. Our sight
Is veiled by lids, our hands in sleep lie forward
And do not touch, our ears the brain takes care of
By making dreams of sounds we're not aware of -
But nose, you go on breathing all night long!
What was I speaking of? Oh, Donald's bill.
Yes, well, an animal, chicken or King Kong,
Will have a different nose than humans will.
A nose which on a girl might look all wrong
Would on a hen be beautiful; yet still
We think our own of a superior grade.
Don's was two dots upon a bony blade.
When Hu Ching Po, astonished, saw the beak
Of Donald Duck, and heard him talk, he couldn't
Believe he'd not gone crazy. In a week
They had him out of surgery, a wooden
Brain inside his head, and in his cheek
A "thinking cathode," which would help him gooodn-
Ess knows get through life's ordinary duties.
But now to Mickey and his "You, too, Brutus:
Attitude toward Donald, for he found him
In Minnie's arms, with Minnie gently sighing!
"Minnie, goddamn, you've your two arms around him!
I see, cried Mick, "a duck will soon be dying!"
And, seizing a huge rock, began to pound him
(Poor Donald Duck) to death. "I'm not denying
I hugged him hard, but good Lord, Mickey, listen!"
He stopped; he saw her eyes with teardrops glisten.
There are 115 pages of such as this! Pure pleasure!
Read information about the authorKenneth Koch is most often recognized as one of the four most prominent poets of the 1950s-1960s poetic movement "the New York School of Poetry" along with Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery and James Schuyler. The New York School adopted the avant-garde movement in a style often called the "new" avant-garde, drawing on Abstract Expressionism, French surrealism and stream-of-consciousness writing in the attempt to create a fresh genre free from cliché. In his anthology The New York Poets, Mark Ford writes, "In their reaction against the serious, ironic, ostentatiously well-made lyric that dominated the post-war poetry scene, they turned to the work of an eclectic range of literary iconoclasts, eccentrics and experimenters."
Fiercely anti-academic and anti-establishment, Koch's attitude and aesthetic were dubbed by John Ashbery his "missionary zeal." Ford calls him "the New York School poet most ready to engage in polemic with the poetic establishment, and the one most determined to promote the work of himself and his friends to a wider audience." Koch died of leukemia at age 77, leaving a legacy of numerous anthologies of both short and long poems, avant-garde plays and short stories, in addition to nonfiction works dealing with aesthetics and teaching poetry to children and senior citizens.
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