Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2 at 8: Angle



Angle 8, edited by UK poets Ann Drysdale and Philip Quinlan (with web mastery by poet Peter Bloxsom), is now up. The issue is full of interesting poets drawn to form, including Claudia Gary, Kate Bernadette Benedict, Norman Ball, R. Nemo Hill, Mary Meriam, Anna M. Evans, Charlotte Innes, Janet Alexa Kenny, Alan Wickes, Maryann Corbett, Deborah Warren, David M.Katz, Catherine Chandler, Kevin Durkin, John Whitworth, Jeff Holt, David Wayne Landrum, Jennifer Reeser, Marybeth Rua-Larsen, Siham Karami, Rick Mullin, Ed Shacklee, Terese Coe, John Foy, and more. (Hat tip to Claudia, as I lifted the list from her Facebook post, rather than industriously cobbling it together on my own.) The archive is here.

Two of my poems may be found in the issue. One is "Dread," lodged in the second half of the issue. I wrote that one after reading some translations from Robert Walser, but it's also under the sway of late winter in Cooperstown, a time in which a Southerner (and perhaps even a born-and-bred Yankee) begins to believe that the White Witch of Narnia might really hold sway and that winter will not end: "...No little wood stove witch / Is opening a door on burning souls,  / No evil but the dread you wear like skin / Is muttering your name in conjure tones."

The other finds a place in the middle section of the issue, Arsy-Versy: Ekphrastic Supplement. That one, "Parque Forestal," was jotted in a pocket notebook while traveling in South America last fall; the park, a wonderful and various city greenspace, follows the Mapocho river in Santiago, Chile. I stumbled on a monument to Rubén Darío, his "name / Mingled with drops and stone and evergreens / And dawn as yellow as a daffodil."

The easiest way to find them in the .pdf file? Go to the table of contents and click on the page number by my name for "Dread" and by the name of the supplement for "Parque Forestal"--and then scroll down four pages--but I recommend a wander through the issue.

8 comments:

  1. I recognize several solid names in that lineup. And downloading the PDF is free? A good deal for readers...

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  2. neat picture. ozymandias obelisk...

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    1. I think that's by one of the editors, Philip Quinlan. He has some other photographs in the issue.

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  3. Now here's an oddity. Not surprisingly the US has been far more reluctant to absorb Brit slang (and naughty words), than the other way round. Size counts in the parliament of vulgar speech. So imagine my surprise to read in the line beginning "The other finds a place..." a comparatively obscure, if very mild, naughty British word (actually hyphenated) which I haven't heard spoken in Britain for at least a couple of decades. Perfectly explicable given that the editors of Angle 8 are British.

    Unlike most naughty words, there's an ounce of wit in its derivation, though the details are fuzzy in my mind. I sought to clarify its origins and perhaps - if it turned out I was right about the wit - to construct a feuilleton suitable for the comments column of The Palace at 2 am. I turned to our lord and master - Google.

    Which is why I appear to be pussy-footing about, unable to refer directly to the word. Google knows and Google's a prude. Or perhaps it's Microsoft that's prudish. Each time I slotted in the word Internet Explorer had a conniption fit, refusing to soil its virgin fingers with this corrupting term, saying there had been "a problem". Let me stress, by today's standards we have here a very mild naughty word.

    So here's your feuilleton. It isn't as revelatory as I had hoped. Nor is it able to touch on a matter which has always fascinated me - anything that contributes towards an exact meaning of the word "wit".

    I remain your humble and obedient servant; yours to a cinder:

    RR

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    1. Enough pussy-footing, as you say, around! Now, Rod, whose poem was that? Angle is a very big issue this time! I'm presuming you are touching on (so to speak--once one starts, the puns are endless) Elizabethan ideas of "wit."

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  4. Check out the line beginning "The other finds a place..." in your own post. As to wit, wider than the Elizabethan idea; the combination of a concise, usually unexpected, often amusing idea expressed in language that is also unexpected and often amusing. That presumes knowingness in the reader, thus is more allusive than direct. That encourages the reader to plagiarise it. That, at its best, induces envy. Evelyn Waugh was in Britain's Top Five of witty writers. This definition ending up, as I knew it would, as unwitty.

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    1. Ah. Well, perhaps it's like me to ignore my own words! I do prefer a Herbertian "fine and wittie." Autocorrect thinks that a "wit tie," which is also curious.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.