waxing laxly

i was rather late in coming to find the work of Robert Lax
& as Geof Huth writes about him in this link below,
"Every minimalist poet must come to terms with Lax."

a couple of months ago i came across a very affordable copy of "New Poems", published in 1962 by Journeyman Press, it was only $9.00 & i went ahead & got it, i was happy to get it from Jackson Street Books, which was the best bookshop in Athens Georgia when i was living there, but i was somewhat saddened to read the description of the book they offered, even moreso because it was coming from a well-seasoned bookdealer:

"In these new poems Robert Lax achieves an intense fusion of emotional force and classical simplicity." Here's a quote from page fourteen: "AAA/AAA/AAA/AAA" Repeat, more or less, three times and you have your classical simplicity. Lax is the key word here, folks. Light wear to covers & owner inkstamp to half-title. We're almost embarrased to sell this!"

& so it goes, this kind of reaction is all too common,
but oh well, each is each & own is own.

here's a good pdf i enjoy'd reading:
The Abstract Minimalist Poetry of Robert Lax

3 kommentarer:

troylloyd sa...

Robert Lax Archives

three windows (1999) by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel

Bavarian Radio in Munich produced in the 1990s at the suggestion by Hartmut Geerken and sigrid Hauff many broadcasts from and about lax: radio plays, readings, interviews, portraits

Why Should I Buy a Bed When All I Want Is Sleep (55 min. b&w. 1999)
A chamber film with Robert Lax by Nicolas Humbert & Werner Penzel (CineNomad)
Contents: “a single room …” [description of house on Patmos]
On writing poems (“…put yourself in the place where grace can flow to you”)
“our dreams …” (Lax reads to camera, ends with shot of the moon)
Lax goes to town
“One Island” [13:14-24]
tracking shot of feet walking away along rocky path
man with donkey stopping at well
old bearded man working on stone wall
dark countryside with white smoke in foreground
opened book on Lax’s lap
Lax in profile on train
peasant talking with his hands
door of Lax house on Patmos
Lax’s face reflected in window of train
Lax’s hands drawing (shot from over his shoulder)
man riding donkey (in longshot) showing stone walls
old couple sitting in their house
[segment ends with the couple talking in Greek]
Lax sitting on floor of his house, talking about the importance of the present
moment, dream & reality … cut to black … hear his voice saying “I have
spoken” … cut back to Lax laughing in the same room [26- ]
Lax talking about art (Schopenhauer: “all art aspires to the state of music”) …
here & gone … permanence of some art forms is not something necessarily
in their favor [29:20-
Scene on boat. Importance of the moment. drawing all things into a single line
Scene on train: camera behind Lax walking in the direction the train is going …
we see the outside rushing by through windows on both sides.
Back at home. [30:30- ]
Home on Patmos [33:28-38:06]
“…sounds come and go, but the silence remains”
Scenes: wading into the water / typewriter / reading poem / talking on
telephone / shopping.
Five Years Later [46:36- ]

Stephen Nelson sa...

Hey, I ordered a copy of his New Poems and discovered he was close to Thomas Merton, everyone's favourite Christian mystic. Very much interested in this correspondence and all things Laxness.

Cheers mate!

troylloyd sa...

cheers Stephen,
yep, i still need to look into Merton, especially his letter-writing w/ Lax, i think there is a book of their letters -- ah, here it is:
When Prophecy Still Had A Voice

A Thing That Is is also a great collection of Lax's work.

for some reason, the New Directions book , "33 poems" is very expensive...