Thursday, March 13, 2014

BRONK-TO-CORMAN ~






william bronk


More correspondence (all Bronk) that has come my way on a typical circuitous route from some place in the US to someplace overseas and bounced back to Vermont. I don't mind, it gets here. The letters are one more essential back-feeder into the workings of William Bronk, a poet crucially still unknown to many readers.

As I wrote to my Cid Corman drug supplier (remember to chuckle people, laughter is good for you): 

Here, to my mind, via Bronk (who did write me a very brief letter once upon a time relating to Cid) is his core thinking at least on his poetry (1961): " I am after "the weight, the texture, the strength," not of words but of statements, something initially more static than you are, the shape of the rocks as they lie against each other not the sound they make as they tumble over together. What was breath in your metaphor becomes rocks in mine to your great disadvantage but this is my letter and I'll make the metaphors." I think of two poets — you and Joe Massey, who may, just may, over time be thought of two poets after Cid and Bronk who distilled both their mannerisms from their poetry into your own. A fine blend. . .

. . .Of course since early 1974 I went through with Cid his dismissal by Bronk. I can well understand why both men did what they did since they essentially acted on their own personalities, and these were largely different, but complimentary with intent. It's curious what we become. Bronk was a Dartmouth man (we took you to the town, remember the rocking chairs on the porch?) and Cid was anything but. Bronk was small town a wee bit west of New England but still very much of old New England stock. Once upon a time Susan and I went to Bronk's town, he was still alive, and walked down his street, found his large Victorian home, attractive front yard, wide berth porch, winding to disappear behind the house driveway, and looked around at the surroundings. In these letters when he gets up off the porch to take a walk, I know, somewhat, where he was walking. There was one used bookstore in town, a pretty good one, Bronk sold books from his personal library to the store and I found some of these and bought what I could find, they also interested me. In the back of the store was tucked away a magic shop. It was ideal for our purposes because it kept Carson enthralled for hours. Like my father, Bronk was involved in lumber and coal, which he mentions very little in his letters or writing. Cid was the champion of inclusion and thinking he knew best about people and for people (and he was often right), but when he was wrong (as he mishandled some of Bronk, certainly not all) he hit his thumb with his own hammer. Bronk admits that without Cid his poetry may never have been seen. Cid brought it by his persistence and desire to the eyes of Jim Weil and James Laughlin and other publishers watching the pulse of Origin.

[ BA ]







photo by Lisa Mahoney

cid corman


Cid Corman passed away ten years ago, yesterday, March 12.
 Instead of recognizing the day, I thought to pay attention to the next day, and the next.

Career

WMEX Radio, Boston, poetry broadcaster, 1949-51; Origin magazine and Origin Press, Ashland, MA, and Kyoto, Japan, editor, beginning 1951. Private teacher, Bari/Matera, Italy, 1956-57, Kyoto Joshidai, Japan, 1958-60, Kyoto, Japan, 1962-66, 1974-79. Sister City Tea House, Boston, owner, operator, teacher of poetry: forever.




To come out
after a
long day's work

into snow —
the latest
version of

nothingness
and all so
light
and crisp —

as if we're
the candles
on the cake.

CC





5 comments:

Conrad DiDiodato said...

The few references to Bronk I've encountered in the Samperi-Correspondences give a picture of a solid, very talented and grounded poet and person. The spiritual qualities certainly resonated with Frank. John Taggart, in his article "Reading William Bronk" refers to him as "the dark angel of the power of the mind".That Corman esteemed the poet and man is easily seen in the countless times he'd published Bronk in "Origin".

Thanks to you, Bob, for keeping this wonderful Corman-Bronk dialogue alive to us today.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Corman and Bronk--two essential rock solid poets.

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Hello Conrad & Vassilis,

I'm right in-step with you both. The men are gone and they left some everlasting for many friends and associates. In the meantime — actually forever — no matter whichway the world goes, the poets books are here. What a gift. To read, and reread.

all's well, Bob

donnafleischer said...

A second sunrise this morning to find Bronk, Corman, and Arnold here; less coffee drunk, as a result.
twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, stars, sunshine, and candles on the cake

love, Donna

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Yes, Donna,

there is Cid as relaxed and nimble as the snow itself, athletic even, as he makes for us a cake.

Let's not blow out the candles
stay warm, Bob