George Oppen reads from Of Being Numerous, specifically the long poem “The Route”.
Introducer (Roy Kiyooka)
This evening, we're having George Oppen, who is going to start off the third series, now I want to keep this introduction to George very succinct, and I'm going to quote a part of the letter that he sent to us, [inaudible] his activities, I think it adequately, perhaps, sums up what he's been about. It goes like this: "A bibliography in so far as my memory will produce it. Objectivist Issue of Poetry, Chicago, circa 1932. A book, Discreet Series, Objectivist Press, 1934, re-issued by Asphodel Press, 463 Arcade, Cleveland, Ohio. Pound's Active Anthology, 1936, a number of little magazines during 33, 34, Hound and Horn, I believe, Lion and Crown, etc. There it is, you'll see, 25 year gap. Touched on in some of the poems including [inaudible] in this [inaudible.] A forthcoming book, Of Being Numerous, New Directions scheduled for the spring of 1968." And he ends by saying "there is a moral [inaudible] one has in fact a great deal of triumph, and then, recently, he has had the following books done: This in Which, by New Directions, 1957, The Materials, New Directions again, 1962, Of Being Numerous, 1968. Now if there's any a book of poems, Discrete Series, there is a long preface by Ezra Pound, I'd like to quote a segment of that, which goes like this: "I salute a serious craftsman, a sensibility which is not every man's sensibility, and which is not been got out of other man's books." Ladies and gentlemen, George Oppen.
I think I will, I plan to read two of the longer poems in the last volume, so I will just read the poems. Without pleasantries and so on. We can easily make a conversation afterwards if you want, but I think I better just read the poems, read the poems, and I'll make a few intermissions, it's a great deal of poetry both for you and for me, at a single sitting, and we'll make intermissions however you think are [inaudible.] I'll start with the poem in [inaudible], called "The Route". That's r-o-u-t-e, route.
Reads "The Route".
Begins after CUT "Things relive, and to see them is to know ourselves..."
[CUT] Begins again "When, as the intensity of things increase..."
END OF RECORDING