Four kinds of orphic poets. Peter O’Leary on Gustaf Sobin’s Collected Poems.
way that they ruffle in
that rock windcell (that their buds un-
scroll and open: opened,
asking myself only for what I see….). (CP 214)
There are four kinds of Orphic poet, each distinguished by a stage of Orpheus’ life. First, there’s the poet who subdues the natural world in the singing of poems. There’s the poet of unbridled eros and loss, singing his love for Eurydice. There’s the poet who journeys to the underworld, where secrets are revealed. And, finally, there’s the poet sacrificed to death but resurrected to prophesy to the end of time. Ronald Johnson was an Orphic poet of the first, third, and fourth kinds; Sobin was an Orphic poet of the first and second kinds. Robert Duncan’s Orphism embraced all four kinds. So did Rilke’s. No matter which kind, the Orphic poet finds power in song and vision, language and mind:
what brought me, then,
over the low
ledges. brought that I
bring: impelled that I urge, herd, drive the
luminous salvage. and stand, there, in those
linked shadows, thus
lit. (CP 331)
And the aforementioned Ronald Johnson.
the man that walk in the way of day and night
like a tree of water, leaf
chaff which the wind
imagine the earth set against sun,
uttermost parts like a potter’s O: trembling sands round about
Arise, and ray.
Early experimentalist Bob Brown writes tiny poems that require magnification alongside his other full size work. Must track these down!
Kansas photographer creates 360 panoramas of limestone cellars in the Flint Hills.
The first came when he was a boy of 9 or 10, living on a remote stand of prairie outside Manhattan.
“We didn’t have cable TV, so the wilderness was the entertainment,” Parish says. One day, he and some pals came upon what looked like a pile of rocks in the middle of a field. It turned out to be the entrance to a cave, and the boys, afraid, dared one another to go into it. They ran down inside and immediately back out again without pausing to examine the inside.
Parish, now 37, could not locate the cave recently when he tried to find it. “Memory is very unreliable when it comes to distance and direction,” he says.
The second cave he discovered, in 2007, was a Cadillac of sorts, built behind a stone house on Moro Street in Manhattan by a mason who worked on some of the original buildings on the K-State campus.
Parish was wowed by the workmanship and created a panoramic image of it.
Then he began to wonder: How many more of these are out there?