Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Skyscraperpage.com (and Layton poems), blog entry, Jan 4 06


1.4.06 by Kilgore Trout
Republished Globe & Mail article By Scott Deveau
Location: montreal

1/4/06 by Kool Maudit

another gone from this city's first greatness.

neither tribal nor trivial he shouted
from the city's centre where tramcars moved
like stained bacilli across the eyeballs.
dart into the perilous shrubbery


1/9/06 by Habsfan
Location: The Mecca of Hockey

Apparently Leonard Cohen was at the funeral!

Does anyone Know if Cohen still resides in this city, or does he live in L.A.?

1/9/06 by Elsonic
Location: Montréal

je ne connais même pas Mr. Clayton. pour quelqu'un qui ne lit même pas de poésie dans sa propre langue, auriez-vous des suggestions d'oeuvres pas trop difficiles ?

1/9/06 by Kool Maudit
Location: montreal

cohen lives a few places; always spends part of the year here though.

i've seen him on st-laurent a few times.

the following is from 1945's 'first statement:'


Neither tribal nor trivial he shouts
From the city's centre where tramcars move
Like stained bacilli across the eyeballs,
Where people spore in composite buildings
From their protective gelatine of doubts,
Old ills, and incapacity to love
While he, a Joshua before their walls,
Sells newspapers to the gods and geldings.

Intrusive as a collision, he is
The Zeigeist's too public interpreter,
A voice multiplex and democratic,
The people's voice or the monopolists';
Who with last-edition omniscience
Plays Clotho to each gaping customer
With halcyon colt, sex crime in an attic,
The story of a twice-jailed bigamist.

For him the mitred cardinals sweat in
Conclaves domes; the spy is shot. Empiric;
An obstreporous confidant of kings
Rude despiser of the anonymous,
Danubes of blood was up his bulletins
While he domesticates disaster like
A wheat in pampas of prescriptive things
With cries animal and ambiguous.

His dialectics will assault the brain,
Contrive men to voyages or murder,
Dip the periscope of their public lives
To the green levels of acidic caves;
Fever their health, or heal them with ruin,
Or with lies as dangerous as a latter;
Finally enfold the season's cloves,
Cover a somnolent face on Sundays.

- Irving Layton
dart into the perilous shrubbery
1/9/06 by MTL - 514
Location: montreal

very nice write-up. Interesting...

while for much of my life I've heard the name Irving Layton referred to as one of Canada's alltime best-known and most influential writers/poets, I have never read a single poem or writing by him until the excerpt posted just above. funny that we never learned any of his stuff back in school. when I think of it, very little of the literature we learned back in high school was Canadian. that's a pity...

I wonder if that has changed at all in recent years

gotta say, I'm not much of a poetry buff, but I think it's still important for kids in school to at least get exposed to some of the most important works out there, and some of the important literature from year hometown or region...


1/14/06 by Kilgore Trout
Location: montreal

there was always a very strong canadian component in my junior high and high school english classes: mordecai richler, timothy findlay, margaret atwood, etc.

i learned about and read layton in two of my mcgill classes: canadian literature (which was mostly devoted to poetry, because the professor rightfully felt that it was underexposed) and literary montreal (which was not actually a literature course -- it looked at montreal through the prism of its literature, with an emphasis on the 1940s).

and man, i would have loved to be at the funeral.


Post a Comment

<< Home