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Call It Thought

Selected Poems

Stephen Rodefer

Call It Thought: Selected Poems
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857549 49 2
Series: Poetry Pléiade
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, American
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 2008
216 x 154 x 23 mm
193 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Reviews
  • Call It Thought spans more than forty years of writing by an American poet whose career has encompassed a large portion of modern literary culture. As a student, Stephen Rodefer conversed with Robert Frost; he studied with Olson, Creeley, Ed Dorn and Basil Bunting before moving in the 1970s to San Francisco, where his work was first published and where he was an original member of the Poets Theater.

    Grounded in the modernism of Stein, Pound and Williams, Rodefer is heir also to Frank O’Hara’s playful virtuosity, and associated with the experimentalism of Language poetry. Touching all these, his work is a series of provocative re-inventions, exhilarating, innovative and independent of any orthodoxy.

    This volume brings together his work for the first time. New, unpublished writing is included as well as some of his acclaimed translations of Villon and part of his award-winning Four Lectures, of which Robert Creeley declared, ‘Very SOLID, GREAT and useful satiric ploy with bedrock concerns. Grab Four Lectures, it’s possibly the last real sense you’ll be offered.’
    Table of Contents


    Double You: The Writing of Stephen Rodefer by Rod Mengham


    from Four Lectures


    Preface
    Pretext
    Codex

    from Lies of the Artists


    Artist's Life
    Villon
    Hart Crane
    Sappho
    Picasso
    Corazon de Melon
    A Day in the Country
    Hotel des Artistes
    Is Taylor Mead Home?
    Interview with Robert Creeley
    for Shocks
    Chicago
    Not An Easy Appointment
    I Make Out Henry Moore

    from One or Two Love Poems from the White World


    On the Line
    Blue Angel
    Let Us Now # 5
    Pastorale
    After Lucretius
    Ode on Easter Morning Riding Westward
    Asinine
    New Mexico Lunch
    Sweet Uses
    Commotion
    The Electrified World
    Did Cave Women Come
    In the Nursing School Auditorium
    She Cine
    Poem Called the Beauty of Park Benches
    Old Times Now
    Erosie
    See the Perfect Stanza Beginning Tarzan
    Your Veins Are Using Up the Redness of the World

    from Villon, by Jean Calais


    Le Noel, morte saison
    De ce je me puis revenchier
    Bien est verte
    Ma nominacion de l'universite
    De povrete
    Ou tout vif aller es cieulx
    Poem from Death Row: Freres humains qui apres nous vivez
    Dictes moy: Ballad to Lost and Jaded Time
    Se celle
    Car elle sans moy
    En ce bordeau ou tenons nostre estat
    A filletes monstrans tetins
    Cy gist
    'J'en appelles'
    Icy se clost le testament

    from The Bell Clerk's Tears Keep Flowing


    Serving Time
    Dante in the Limpid Cloud
    Romance and Desuetude
    D(ear) J(esse)
    Felix Navidad
    Poetry and Sleep
    Ode on Revolution and Fertility
    Show a Little Emotion
    Nosotros
    Bucolic Aire
    Mientras Tomo una Taza de Cafe
    Ode to the End
    Nerves of Dolor and Carnage
    Love Thirty
    Stormy Weather
    Poem (Sometimes I forget you don't love me anymore)
    Poem (When the dirt)
    B
    Friend of the Hopi

    from Emergency Measures


    Chaplinesque
    Collateral Damage
    Adamant Dote
    The Heavenly Bodies That Go By
    Flaky Material Like Talc
    Imitation W
    George Eliot in Oakland
    Suicide: An Ode
    Islets of Langerhans
    Identified Asylum
    Oppening
    Dancing Bar in Baden-Baden
    Slipping Glimpser
    Poem Beginning with a Line by Carla
    Drove of Stallions
    Time Loves a Hero
    The Accoucheur Comes
    Numberless Shadows
    Closure
    Hungary
    Eats Lake
    Drowsy Strelitz

    Oriflamme Day (with Benjamin Friedlander)

    from Passing Duration


    Enclosure of Elk
    Inscription
    Stray Wood
    Hunting
    Riches
    Endscape

    A & C: An Idyll in One Act

    Daydreams of Frascati (with drawings by Chip Sullivan)

    from Writing Out of Character


    Another Wedding Day
    Fleur du Val

    from Left Under a Cloud


    Beauty’s Solitary Sober
    Anemic Cinema
    La Nuit Fattuski
    Brief to Butterick
    March Ample Life
    To a Reader
    Child of Faust
    In Memory of Ted Berrigan
    Harkening Still
    Spurwhang Filch
    Wittgenstein’s See
    And Reawakement
    Titular
    To the Empress
    Arabesque at Bar
    Who I Am
    The Day Lady Died
    Indent
    Answer to Doctor Agathon
    Stewed and Fraught with Birds

    from Erasers


    Beating Erasers

    from Mon Canard

    from Fever Flowers: Les fleurs du val


    To Any Reader
    Healthy Diction Being Benediction
    Albatross
    Elevator
    Adulterers

    from How to Fall Off the Pony in New York


    Lang gaz verlangen
    Coughing Laughter Before Yawning Death
    The Law We Love Is Erotic Memory
    Sylvie et Cie Sylvie
    Sleeping on the Window like a Duck
    Drinking Amongst the Wafering Drinkers
    Looking for the Key Ajar in My Kentucky Home
    Blue Loss


    Index of Titles
    Index of First Lines



    The American writer Stephen Rodefer, who lives in Paris, is the author of many volumes of poetry, prose, plays and translation. His work extends the tradition of the Black Mountain and New York schools of American poetry. His book of long poems, Four Lectures, was a winner of the ... read more
    'Stephen Rodefer’s writing is simply one of the eight wonders of the world.'
    Ian Patterson
    'Youthful what? Where is Rodefer, he’ll know. That damn Lycidas. Whatever else England draws upon, it’s native talent will out. The damn Lycidas! Where did Rodefer go? Youthful what?'
    Charles Olson
    'Of all the most intensely American of poets, Stephen Rodefer is the most European. The scenes and images and vocabularies of homecoming that dominate his work are all translated from foreign tongues, making his poetry the most complete form of cultural longing, a wandering further and further off, finding new phrases to move straight out of, nostalgic for a syntax of belonging whose rules have never been known.'
    Rod Mengham
    'Stephen Rodefer is in my view, and in that of many others... quite simply the most important living American poet.'
    Simon Jarvis
    'His intellectual voracity, combined with a democratic enthusiasm for the common tongue, gives his poetry its depth and breath and brilliance. A major poet.'
    Maud Ellmann
    Praise for Stephen Rodefer 'Rodefer has, tactically and syntactically, been a remarkably consistent writer since the fantastic Four Lectures of 1982... [he] invites us to rebel against the authorities who mow down language as if it were just blades of information. His love of the immediate transforms the mediated, revalues the debased currency of ads and slang.'
    Andrea Brady, Jacket
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