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Robert Duncan


Image credit: Noah Saterstrom

PoemTalk #27, discussing Duncan's "Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow," feat. Jeffrey Robinson, Jerome Rothenberg, and Charles Bernstein

Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.

PennSound #38: Robert Duncan on Walt Whitman

Complete recording (16:33): MP3


Memorial Reading for Robert Duncan, San Jose State University, Incognito Lounge, November 1990

  1. Introduction (2:44): MP3
  2. Jim Powell (12:56): MP3
  3. Aaron Shurin (12:24): MP3
  4. Leslie Scalapino (8:49): MP3
  5. David Bromige (15:01): MP3
  6. Aldon Nielsen (13:05): MP3
  7. Robert Glück (17:31): MP3
  • Complete reading (1:23:42): MP3

Seminar on H.D., 1986

  • Part 1 (46:42): MP3
    1. The drive to wreck the Christian tradition (5:10): MP3
    2. Mystery in Imagist poems and Yeats' turn to philosophy (4:04): MP3
    3. What arouses the poet to write and H.D.'s interest in astrology (1:41): MP3
    4. Jung and Freud (3:18): MP3
    5. H.D.'s interest in the period at the end of the 18C and the war trilogy (3:19): MP3
    6. Lore and the lure of meaning (2:04): MP3
    7. Divine mystery, Robert Graves' handbook on Greek mythology, and variations on myths (8:55): MP3
    8. Comparative religion and contradictory stories (4:38): MP3
    9. Fictions and the matter of the poem and rarefied literature (3:18): MP3
    10. Contradictions in Bible passages, the cult of Mary Magdalene, and H.D.'s use of Biblical figures (10:12): MP3
  • Part 2 (46:12): MP3
  • Part 5 (44:29): MP3
  • Part 6 (44:11): MP3

"Another Look at Imagism," recorded at University of Maine, Orono, March 31, 1983

  • Part 1 (46:35): MP3
    1. Hulme, the beginning of Imagism, and the Neoplatonic idea of what an image is (5:47): MP3
    2. Accurate presentation in Hulme v. later Imagist poems (2:58): MP3
    3. The mystery of what Imagism was (6:10): MP3
    4. Flint's description of Imagism from the March 1913 issue of Poetry (5:58): MP3
    5. Evocation, the nature of the magic image, the presence of the idea, and the manifestation of divine forces (12:09): MP3
    6. Pound, rhythm and the intellectual and emotional complex (4:12): MP3
    7. Simplex/complex split between Impressionist Imagism and Pound's Imagism (4:02):MP3
    8. Eliot's etherized patient as a memorable image, his conversion to the Anglo-Catholic Church, and world poetry (5:10): MP3
  • Part 2 (46:41): MP3
  • Part 3 (30:46): MP3

Recording courtesy of Rachel Blau DuPlessis.

Reading with Michael McClure at SFSU, February 16, 1983

  1. Robert Duncan: introductory remarks (2:38): MP3
  2. Robert Duncan: Walking on Kearny Street (1:03): MP3
  3. Robert Duncan: Descriptions of Imaginary Poetries (3:30): MP3
  4. Robert Duncan: Stuff ark mower bottle (1:24): MP3
  5. Michael McClure: And cold tired empty to be so spread in air (1:29): MP3
  6. Michael McClure: La Plus Blanche (1:01): MP3
  7. Michael McClure: Mad Sonnet (1:07): MP3
  8. Michael McClure: We're in the middle of a deep cloud (0:44): MP3
  9. Robert Duncan: RE- (2:06): MP3
  10. Michael McClure: Cousin to the mole and mold (2:03): MP3
  11. Michael McClure: Ode to Jackson Pollock (3:38): MP3
  12. Robert Duncan: A Set of Romantic Hymns (13:00): MP3
  13. Michael McClure: A Fantasy and Courtly Poem (1:37): MP3
  14. Michael McClure: Yes Table (1:46): MP3
  15. Michael McClure: Rant Block (4:18): MP3
  16. Robert Duncan: A Poem of Despondencie (3:56): MP3
  17. Michael McClure: The Rains of February (1:49): MP3
  18. Michael McClure: How beautiful gravity is (1:20): MP3
  19. Michael McClure: How beautiful gravity is (second reading) (0:28): MP3

Complete reading (49:38): MP3

(There is a five-second break at around 44:00 where the tape turned.)

Reading in Buffalo, 1982

All poems read, with the exception of "The Five Songs", appear in the "The Regulators" sequence of Passages, from Ground Work II: In the Dark.

Complete preamble (17:54): MP3

  • Reading
    1. The Dignities (18:07): MP3
    2. From Passages: Stimmung (7:28): MP3
    3. From Passages: Enthralled (3:27): MP3
    4. From Passages: Quand le Grand Foyer Descend Dans les Eaux (2:50): MP3
    5. From Passages: In Blood's Domain (6:00): MP3
    6. After Passage (5:19): MP3
    7. Seams (2:45): MP3
    8. The Five Songs (16:35): MP3

    Complete reading (1:02:08): MP3

  • PLUS: Sermon (21:02): MP3

"On Olson and Projective Verse," New College, February 17, 1982

Complete recording (2:21:27):
MP3

Lectures on Walt Whitman, New College, June 11-18, 1981

June 11, 1981

June 16, 1981

  • Part 2 (2:55:12): MP3

June 18, 1981

  • Part 3 (2:44:11): MP3

Recordings provided courtesy of David Levi Strauss.

Lectures on Emily Dickinson, New College, June 23-July 2, 1981

Recordings provided courtesy of David Levi Strauss.

June 23, 1981

  • Part 1 (3:08:42): MP3

June 30, 1981

  • Part 2 (2:54:31): MP3

July 2, 1981

  • Part 3 (2:51:53): MP3

Reading of Various Poems at Intersection, March 24, 1981

  1. Introductory remarks (3:06): MP3
  2. The Dignities (11:07): MP3
  3. The First (6:35): MP3
  4. Stimmung (7:07): MP3
  5. Enthralled (3:03): MP3
  6. Quand le Grand Foyer Descends dans les Eaux (6:21): MP3
  7. Blood's Domain (4:50): MP3
  8. After This Passage (3:35): MP3
  9. With In (0:59): MP3
  10. From the Fall of 1950 December 1980 (4:36): MP3

Complete reading (51:51): MP3

Reading on "Wind and Sea, Fire and Water" at the American Psychoanalytic Society, November 23, 1980

Complete reading (1:24:09): MP3

"Beginning with Sordello...", recorded March 30, 1980

Complete recording (1:39:45): MP3

Lectures at the Zen Center, recorded February 10 and March 9, 1980

Charles Olson Memorial Lectures at SUNY-Buffalo, March 1979

Recordings from the Ben Tripp Tapes:

  • Lecture 1, March 20, 1979: Side A, including introduction by Robert Creeley (47:30): MP3
  • Lecture 1, March 20, 1979: Side B (46:11): MP3
  • Lecture 2, March 22, 1979: Side A (47:11): MP3
  • Lecture 2, March 22, 1979: Side B (45:52): MP3
  • Lecture 3, March 27, 1979: Side A (49:55): MP3
  • Lecture 3, March 27, 1979: Side B (41:45): MP3
  • Lecture 4, March 29, 1979: Side A (43:38): MP3
  • Lecture 4, March 29, 1979: Side B (38:25): MP3

"The Adventure of Whitman's Line," recorded February 18, 1979

"Physics and Literature," Miriam College, 1978

Complete recording (1:00:10): MP3

Reading at the Woodberry Poetry Room, Harvard College Library, 1977

  1. Introduction by Jim Randall (1:42): MP3
  2. Toward His Malaise (from "To Master Baudelaire") (7:39): MP3
  3. Among His Words (from "To Master Baudelaire") (1:42): MP3
  4. The Face (from "To Master Baudelaire") (2:13): MP3
  5. A Glimpse (4:04): MP3
  6. And Hell is the Realm of God's Self-Loathing (0:40): MP3
  7. O! (3:52): MP3
  8. Childhood's Retreat (1:27): MP3
  9. Structure of Rime XXVIII: In Memoriam Wallace Stevens (3:22): MP3
  10. A Little Language (from "Dante Etudes") (7:01): MP3
  11. To Speak My Mind (from "Dante Etudes") (1:29): MP3
  12. Everything Speaks to Me (from "Dante Etudes") (2:14): MP3
  13. My Soul Was as if Free (from "Dante Etudes") (3:59): MP3
  14. Nor Dream in Your Hearts (from "Dante Etudes") (1:20): MP3
  15. For the Sea is God's (from "Dante Etudes") (1:52): MP3
  16. Where the Fox of This Stench Sulks (from "Dante Etudes") (3:34): MP3
  17. In Truth Does She Breathe Out Poisonous Fumes (from "Dante Etudes") (1:36): MP3
  18. Then Many a One Sang (from "Dante Etudes") (1:23): MP3
  19. In My Youth Not Unstained (from "Dante Etudes") (1:49): MP3
  20. And a Wisdom as Such (from "Dante Etudes") (1:24): MP3
  21. Of Memory (from "Four Supplementary Etudes") (3:23): MP3
  22. Hers (from "Four Supplementary Etudes") (0:58): MP3
  23. I Too Trembling (from "Four Supplementary Etudes") (1:11): MP3
  24. In the South (from "An Alternate Life") (9:39): MP3
  25. Home Coming (from "An Alternate Life") (4:17): MP3
  26. Supplication (from "An Alternate Life") (4:55): MP3
  27. Quotidian (from "An Alternate Life") (8:10): MP3
  28. Closing Remarks (0:24): MP3

Special thanks to the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University for providing these recordings.

Reading at National Poetry Festival, June 14-24, 1973

Objectivists and After

Reading at the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, December 12, 1972

  1. Poetry, a Natural Thing (2:46): MP3
  2. Spark from this Flint by von Heartstruck (3:46): MP3
  3. Opening: Eliot & the Metaphysical Poets (3:34): MP3
  4. Being Imitations, Derivations, and Varitations upon Certain Conceits and Findings Made Among Hard Lines (0:52): MP3
  5. From Sir Walter Raleigh's "What Is Our life?" (3:43): MP3
  6. From Thomas Suttle's "The Burning Babe" (5:33): MP3
  7. From George Herbet's "Jordan I" (2:47): MP3
  8. From George Herbert's "Jordan II" (1:26): MP3
  9. Passages 36 (False Start and Tape Change) (1:12): MP3
  10. Passages 36 (Complete) (6:39): MP3
  11. Despair in Being Tedious (4:20): MP3
  12. Opening : On "Over There" (3:28): MP3
  13. Over There (4:26): MP3
  14. Structured of Rime 28: In Memoriam Wallace Stevens (3:23): MP3

Complete reading (48:46): MP3

"Romeo and Juliet as a Mystery Play," UC Berkeley, February 8, 1972

Complete recording (1:45:01): MP3

Reading From Passages in Berkeley, March 6, 1970

  1. Introduction by David Bromige & "This Place Rumored to Have Been Sodom" & Passages 1-10 (48:23): MP3
  2. Passages 11-13 (25:18): MP3
  3. Passage 14 (29:03): MP3

Recording courtesy of Ron Silliman.

At the Berkeley Poetry Conference, 1965

  1. Often I am Permitted to Return to a Meadow (from The Opening of the Field) (1:08): MP3
  2. Structure of Rime 9 (from The Opening of the Field) (2:03): MP3
  3. Structure of Rime 10 (from The Opening of the Field) (1:38): MP3
  4. Structure of Rime 11 (from The Opening of the Field) (1:13): MP3
  5. Apprehensions (from Roots and Branches) (17:02): MP3
  6. Osiris and Set (from Roots and Branches) (2:54): MP3
  7. A Poem Beginning with a Line by Pindar (from The Opening of the Field) (11:14): MP3
  8. The Continent (from Windings) (4:30): MP3
  9. The Multiversity (from Groundwork, Vol. 1) (4:04): MP3

"Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow" is also featured on PoemTalk Episode 27.

At the Berkeley Poetry Conference, July 16, 1965