New Directions 20
The lead piece in the ND Annual is an important essay by Thomas Merton, “Symbolism: Communication or Communion,” which goes to the core of a crucial issue: the function, and malfunction, of language, of writing as it should affect and direct our actions–individual, social, international–in the world today.
In “Some Notes on Organic Form,” Denise Levertov examines the poetics which underlie the most vital new direction in American poetry of the past decade, the movement toward “open” forms inspired by the theories of Charles Olson and the practice of William Carlos Williams. She shows how this kind of poetry is conceived and structured, how its form is the revelation of its content.
From England comes a long excerpt from Alan Burns’ Europe after the Rain, a powerful work which extends the range of Surrealist fiction. And from Scotland, the complete text of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s early book of poems, The Dancers Inherit the Party, never before published in this country. Latin America is represented by translations of the leading Brazilian poet, Manuel Bandeira.
Here’s the complete table of contents:
Manuel Bandeira: NINE POEMS Alan Burns: EUROPE AFTER THE RAIN Russel Edson: THE WEDDING NIGHT Mary Feldhaus-Weber: THE VIRGIN, THE LIZARD, AND THE LAMB Richard Fields: AT THE SILVER RAIL Ian Hamilton Finlay: THE DANCERS INHERIT THE PARTY Paul Friedman: PORTRAIT: MY AMERICAN MAN, FALL, 1966 Jonathan Greene: FIVE POEMS Charles Guenther: ESCALATOR Elia Katz: REYNOLD STENGROW’S SHORT STORY Allen Katzman: THE COMANCHE CANTOS Kenneth Lash: ANNETE: A FABLE Denise Levertov: SOME NOTES ON ORGANIC FORM Thomas Merton: SYMBOLISM: COMMUNICATION OR COMMUNION Frederick Nicklaus: FOUR POEMS Steven Osterlund: EIGHT POEMS James Purdy: SCRAP OF PAPER WATER BIRD Kenneth Rexroth: THE HEART’S GARDEN, THE GARDEN’S HEART Muriel Rukeyser: THE SPEED OF DARKNESS J. Edgar Simmons: OSIRIS AND THE SACRAMENTS OF EROTIC HESITATION Tennessee Williams: YOU AND I