Posts tagged ‘Bach’

December 15, 2013

listening to Bach

by jhon baker

Written earlier in the year – much earlier but I like it. – Jhon


listening to Bach

listening to Bach

two part inventions

number 1 in C Major,

BWV 772

not drinking beer

not going to the OTB

or wrestling with dogs.

Robinson Jeffers died today, 1962

and wrote a lifetime of poetry

after his genius had faded.


it is January, 20 2013

51 years past his death,

his work still overlooking Big Sur.

sharp pains in my chest and I heave;

I am only 36

and my genius has yet to flower

and bear fruit.

timing is everything.


– Hoc Scripsi

June 12, 2010

on poetry

by jhon baker

This morning started with Mahler but has nicely moved on the Bach, as nothing else would do.
Last night I was kept up by the question – is poetry really subjective? and I think I’ve a simple answer for this question – a resounding no and yes. Poetry has two distinct levels of quality, the first is where most people stay in fear of being wrong – the truly subjective, do I like it? which has no bearing on whether or not it is a good poem. this can be anything from being able to relate to it to liking the way it sounds. on the other side there is the measurement of academia – is it a good poem regardless of my personal connection to it? this looks at the treatment of everything from meter (if present) to symbolism. A great example of this is Emily D.’s ‘Because I could not stop for death’ – great poem on both levels and you do not need to know about the massive amount of symbolism and adherence to meter to enjoy it as a poem, it speaks to a great many people who don’t know that the ride with death passes through her life from youth to old age (which she never made it to, eventually slamming on the brakes for death). It is also a sound poem. There are a great many poems out there that I do not care for but are great poetry and I am able to look at them from these two angles. In my taste and opinion a bad poem is a bad poem but there are a great many people who truly enjoy bad poetry. I have yet to like a poem that is bad but yet to like all the poetry that is sound. This has a single exception that I know of – my own poetry, I am unqualified to judge it’s academic and subjective merit and at times I hate my own work so I leave that to others.
this may sound as though I am saying all academic poetry is good – far from it, most poetry tries to be too academic and fails in a spectacular way, this is where a lot of poetry is lost in the realm of bad. When the poet writes what they like it tends to come out shining on all fronts, when the so called, self called poet writes it tends to not work on either level. but there are no strict rules that govern poetry so this makes it harder and the reason why people shy away from it in terms of it’s poetic merit.

As always I retain the right to change my mind.

April 8, 2010

Picasso, Buddha, Bach vs. Back and sadness.

by jhon baker

Dear reader,

in 1973, Picasso dies on the Buddha’s birthday which all is recognized as having had happen on the eighth of April. This also happens to be today, and probably not by coincidence or design it is Kofi Annan’s birthday as well.
Today my wife goes grocery shopping, today she restocks us on sympathy cards because it has been a tough year and we’ve run short by one. My good friends mother passed suddenly and she is now going home. Today is a grieving day for many I know and I think deeply, meditate on what has happened, there is nothing I can do for my friend, there is nothing he has asked so I wait for further instruction. My thoughts are with him and his wife and his departed Mother. She was a good woman I hear, I was not of her company, and if you are the praying sort, pray for her now. If you are the meditating sort, meditate on the swiftness of death and the suddenness of her departure for her final, our final home.
Noah, I am with you where you are where you must be surrounded by love. Our hands are offered if you need but I doubt you will read this today.

I’ve discovered a poem amongst the completed poems of 2009 that had a word misspelled that completely altered the meaning and readability. So much so I couldn’t figure out the word and had to refer to the original draft. Sometimes MS Word auto corrects Bach to be back without due consideration for the content of the phrasing. The alteration did not improve the whole but destroyed it. Now even with the word corrected the whole is a loss and needs to be taken down to the studs and begun again.

the last three lines (containing the error now rectified) go thus:

the radio switches to Bach;
I make leave to
as a haiku it would suck – as the ending of a poem it is decent but now needs a poem in front of it. Speaking of Haiku, here is some – not-haiku. I don’t write haiku, I used to but got tired of arguing with people stuck of the 5-7-5 but more than willing to ignore the necessary line references – Tomorrow I will excerpt my treatise on Haiku as today I talk about not-haiku.

Falling leaves:
Whose illusion?

Killed a bug: my
life should be
so important.


                     Melting snow.
The sounds of lovemaking
are infinitely brutal.

– Hoc Scripsi

There are dozens of these in my folders and binders. I really like to write them as an exercise in the correct words as they are meant to be painfully concise, and vividly detailed. I think each one goes through at least a weeks worth of revision and often ends nearer to the first draft than the seventh or seventeenth depending on how far I take it. Some – like the second were there immediately and took no revision. It was a moment when I had smashed some poor creature who was part of a greater whole, killed while performing some unknown vital task, and I took it’s life instantly filling with regret at the realization of the enormity and importance of such small beings. It was a satori moment for me.

next I thought of David Ignatow and how he captured a similar experience in a poem about killing a fly. that can be found here and here is a page of the book it is from, scanned by Google.

my auto correct knows to capitalize Google but not how to spell Bach. humph.

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