Sunday, 16 March 2008

kenneth white

again at stAnza

what to say about kenneth white? that i haven't seen him in over a decade. that in the interim i've lost the feeling for his poetics, still read the bird path, but unsure what i saw in it, even as i was still recommending poem to my coat to others.

but to see him again, to hear him again was to find him in sparkling and even better form, looking and sounding extremely well, and if anything, even more enthusiastic. t loved him, wanted to take him home so that we could listen to him some more. we especialy liked hearing scotia deserta as i'd read it last year prior to our boat trips out to corrievreackan and the surrounds. as it was he was finished all too quickly and although he volunteered to stay for a blether tiredness and the need for an early rise was devloping into a speed wobble for me so we couldn't really stay.

i would've liked to have asked him questions tho- as usual i didn't think his interlocutor served him the best - and they would've been something along the lines of....

- i think of you these days, especially when you're talking about the antilles, in something of the same mind as derek walcott. do you think this is a fair comparison? if so, and if not, how would you compare and contrast your poetics to those of walcott?

- the white field. i'm intrigued by this. i'd like to know how you see the white field in the context of the daily life. does it inform it or is one suffused by the other?

- wow, i've been reading the bird path on and off for over twenty years. is this too long?

i came out of this feeling recharged, re-energised. what a great thing....


Sorlil said...

Kenneth White was by far the highlight of stanza for me, I really could have listened to him all night. think I'll be spending a lot of time poring over his collected with his voice in my head. was good to put a face to the pseudnym btw!!

swiss said...

good to see you too.

yes, white was great, but i was really into the translation thing also (see the next post). each day we seemed to be doing more and speaking to more people. by suday afternoon we were like - that can;t be it surely? we just wanted to come back for more!

Colin Will said...

I think we at StAnza would have liked to give Kenneth White more time too, but the Byre had booked a stand-up act - not part of StAnza - that night, so we were very pressured on time. Not our fault. I cut the conversation slightly to give him a bit more time to read, and I thought he was terrific.

swiss said...

i think he'd need an enotrie day on his own! lol tho we did hear at least two people who weren't so impressed. it sounded a bit like curmudgeonliness (!) to me but it was a shame i couldn't catch up with them to see what had annoyed them so much. still, each to their own