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Charles Reznikoff



Photo courtesy of Abraham Ravett (click here to see more)

PoemTalk Podcast #56, discussing Charles Reznikoff's "Salmon and red wine" and "During the Second World War, I was going home one night," July 26, 2012

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

Reading from Holocaust in his NYC Apartment, December 21, 1975 (recorded by Abraham Ravett)

Reading on Susan Howe's radio program, 1975

Part of Howe's "Poetry Today " series produced for WBAI/Pacifica.

  • March 27, 1975 session (25:21): MP3
  • starts with Susan Howe bio/intro
    Samuel ["A Fifth Group of Verse No. 20"] (1:20)
    Hanukkah ["Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays IV" from "Inscriptions No. 13"] (1:47)
    New Year's ["Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays I" from "Inscriptions No. 13"] (2:14)
    Day of Atonement ["Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays II" from "Inscriptions No. 13"] (1:40)
    "Salmon and red wine" ["Inscriptions No. 23"] [text] (0:40)
    "I have neither the time nor the weaving skill, perhaps" ["Inscriptions No. 21"] (0:52)
    "When the sky is blue, the water over the sandy bottom is green" ["Jerusalem is Golden No. 71"] (0:18)
    Building Boom ["A Fifth Group of Verse No. 13"] (0:28)
    "The house-wreckers have left the door and a staircase" ["Poems No. 7"] (0:09)
    "Among the heaps of brick and plaster lies" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 69"] (0:09)
    "These days the papers in the street" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 10"] (0:18)
    "Scrap of paper" ["Inscriptions No. 24"] (0:09)
    "The birds sing" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing I No. 5"] (0:29)
    "Of course we must die" ["Inscriptions No. 41"] (0:12)
    "Rails in the subway" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 17"] (0:11)
    "This subway station" ["Autobiography: New York XVIII", from "Going To and Fro and Walking Up and Down"] (0:16)
    "What are you doing in our street among the automobiles" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 39"] (0:11)
    "Permit me to warn you" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 42"] (0:08)
    Similes [excerpt, "By the Well of Living and Seeing I No. 45"] (0:07)
    "As I was wandering with my unhappy thoughts" ["Inscriptions No. 20"] (0:31)
    "On a Sunday, when the place was closed" [""Autobiography: New York XXVII", from "Going To and Fro and Walking Up and Down"] (0:18)
    Neighbors ["By the Well of Living and Seeing I No. 10"] (0:17)
    "Horsefly" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing I No. 14"] (0:08)
    "The victorious Greeks before Troy, according to Homer" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing I No. 40"] (0:17)
    "A row of brownstone buildings" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing I No. 27"] (0:35)
    "Ah the drill" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing I No. 15"] (0:11)
    "In the street, nine stories below, the horn of an automobile out of order" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing II No. 29"] (0:50)
    "Fraser, I think, tells of a Roman" ["Inscriptions No. 45"] (0:17)
    "On this beach the waves are never high" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 13"] (0:37)
    Rhetoric ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 30"] (0:14)
    "Rooted among roofs, their smoke among the clouds" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 40"] (0:10)
    Scrubwoman ["Rhythms II No. 7"] (0:17)
    "The elevator man, working long hours" ["Autobiography: New York XVII", from "Going To and Fro and Walking Up and Down"] (0:15)
    "Showing a torn sleeve, with stiff and shaking fingers the old man" ["Poems No. 9"] (0:16)
    "The young fellow walks about" ["Autobiography: New York XXV", from "Going To and Fro and Walking Up and Down"] (0:30)
    "The shopgirls leave their work" ["Rhythms No. 9"] (0:13)
    Cooper Union Library ["Autobiography: New York XXIII", from "Going To and Fro and Walking Up and Down"] (0:11)
    Depression [excerpt, from "Separate Way No. 8"] (0:31)
    Depression [excerpt, from "Separate Way No. 8"] (0:30)
    "You must not suppose" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing I No. 11"] (0:11)
    "Two girls of twelve or so at a table" ["Inscriptions No. 7"] (0:41)
    "I am always surprised to meet, after ten or twenty years" ["Autobiography: New York XXVI", from "Going To and Fro and Walking Up and Down"] (0:22)

  • May 13, 1975 session (24:30): MP3
    1. introduction by Susan Howe (1:11): MP3
    2. Fable ["Inscriptions No. 50"] (0:36): MP3
    3. "One of my sentinels, a tree" ["Inscriptions No. 3"] (0:11): MP3
    4. "I have not even been in the fields" ["Rhythms II No. 1"] (0:13): MP3
    5. "Blurred sight and trembling fingers" ["Inscriptions No. 48"] (0:18): MP3
    6. Heart and Clock [excerpt, from "Separate Way No. 1"] (1:03): MP3
    7. "Our nightingale, the clock" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 61"] (0:12): MP3
    8. "The clock" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 62"] (0:12): MP3
    9. "My hair was caught in the wheels of a clock" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 63"] (0:08): MP3
    10. "Hardly a breath of wind" ["Inscriptions No. 12"] (0:17): MP3
    11. "After I had worked all day at what I earn my living" ["A Fifth Group of Verse No. 19"] (0:22): MP3
    12. Te Deum ["Inscriptions No. 22"] (0:28): MP3
    13. "The dogs that walk with me are now and here" ["Inscriptions No. 38"] (0:19): MP3
    14. "God saw Adam in a town" ["A Fifth Group of Verse No. 17"] (0:18): MP3
    15. "Look triumphantly" [from the original edition, "Rhythms No. 7"] (0:14): MP3
    16. "It was in my heart to give her wine and dainties" ["Jerusalem the Golden No. 57"] (0:31): MP3
    17. "The new janitor is a Puerto Rican" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing II, No. 10"] (1:48): MP3
    18. "This Puerto Rican, just an ordinary laborer" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing I, No. 22"] (0:12): MP3
    19. "During the Second World War, I was going home one night" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing II, No. 28"] (1:43): MP3 [text]
    20. "Most of the stock in the hardware store" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing II, No. 13"] (2:01): MP3
    21. "The Chinese girl in the waiting-room" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing II, No. 11"] (0:24): MP3
    22. "Would I write a letter for him?" ["By the Well of Living and Seeing II, No. 3"] (1:53): MP3
    23. "The company had advertised for men to unload a steamer across" ["Testimony I"] (2:07): MP3
    24. "Amelia was just fourteen and out of the orphan asylum; at her first job" ["Testimony II"] (1:23): MP3
    25. Land of Refuge [excerpt, from "New Nation" from "Separate Way No. 11"] (1:08): MP3
    26. Brief History [excerpt, from "New Nation" from "Separate Way No. 11"] (0:39): MP3
    27. Brief History [excerpt, from "New Nation" from "Separate Way No. 11"] (0:31): MP3
    28. A Citizen ["A Fifth Group of Verse No. 10"] (0:21): MP3
    29. "You are young and contemptuous" ["Inscriptions No. 5"] (0:12): MP3
    30. "A well-phrased eulogy, a low-itched dirge" ["Inscriptions No. 25"] (0:31): MP3
    31. "How grey you are! No, white!" ["Inscriptions No. 49"] (0:21): MP3
    32. "Now it is cold: where the snow was melting" ["Autobiography: New York VI" from "Going To and Fro and Walking Up and Down"] (1:13): MP3

  • September 6, 1975 session, ("Poems for Jewish High Holdays") (38:25): MP3

  • introduction (1:32): MP3
    New Year's Day ["Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays I" from "Inscriptions No. 13"] (2:33): MP3
    Samaria Fallen: 722 B.C.E. [excerpt, "In Memorium No. 1"] (2:31): MP3
    The Academy at Jamnia: Anno 70 [excerpt, "In Memorium No. 3"] (2:56): MP3
    Poland: Anno 1700 [excerpt, "In Memorium No. 6"] (2:29): MP3
    Russia: Anno 1905 [excerpt, "In Memorium No. 7"] (2:03): MP3
    Russia: Anno 1905 [excerpt, "In Memorium No. 7"] (0:46): MP3
    Massacres [excerpt, "Holocaust V"] (3:02): MP3
    Entertainment [excerpt, "Holocaust IX"] (2:24): MP3
    Ghettos [excerpt, "Holocaust IV"] (1:06): MP3
    Escapes [excerpt, "Holocaust XII"] (10:46): MP3
    "One man" [excerpt, "Inscriptions No. 1"] (2:28): MP3
    Kaddish ["Separate Way No. 13"] (2:35): MP3

    Used with permission of Susan Howe.

Reading at the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, March 21, 1974

Reading by Charles Reznikoff (49:27): MP3, RealAudio
  1. Introduction by George Oppen (4:45): MP3 [text]
  2. (23) "Salmon and red wine" (00:40): MP3 [text]
  3. (21) "I have neither the time nor the weaving skill, perhaps," (00:24): MP3
  4. (3) "When the sky, the water over the sandy bottom is green" (00:20): MP3
  5. (13) Building Boom (00:30): MP3
    1. "The avenue of willows leads nowhere:"
  6. (7) "The house-wreckers have left the door and a staircase," (00:08): MP3
  7. (69) "Among the heaps of brick and plaster lies" (00:09): MP3
  8. (10) "These days the papers in the street" (00:18): MP3
  9. (24) "Scrap of paper" (00:08): MP3
  10. (41) "Of course, we must die." (00:12): MP3
  11. (17) "Rails in the subway," (00:09): MP3
  12. (XVIII) "This subway station" (00:15): MP3
  13. (39) "What are you doing in our street" (00:09): MP3
  14. (42) "Permit me to warn you" (00:06): MP3
  15. (20) "As I was wandering with my unhappy thoughts" (00:28): MP3
  16. (XXVII) "On a Sunday, when the place was closed," (00:15): MP3
  17. (45) "Fraser, I think, tells of a Roman," (00:15): MP3
  18. (32) "The hillside facing the river" (00:33): MP3
  19. (XII) Rainy Season (00:13): MP3
    1. "It has been raining for three days."
  20. (7) Scrubwoman (00:15): MP3
    1. "One shoulder lower,"
  21. (4) "The pedlar who goes from shop to shop," (00:11): MP3
  22. (5) "The winter afternoon darkens." (00:10): MP3
  23. (XVII) "The elevator man, working long hours" (00:13): MP3
  24. (XXV) "The young fellow walks about" (00:29): MP3
  25. (9) "Showing a torn sleeve," (00:14): MP3
  26. (7) "Two girls of twelve or so at a table" (00:37): MP3
  27. (8) from Depression (01:04): MP3
    1. "simple soul, who so early in the morning..."
    2. "in the drizzle"
  28. (9) "The shop girls leave their work" (00:12): MP3
  29. (28) Millinery District (00:10): MP3
    1. "Many fair hours have been buried here"
  30. (XXIII) Cooper Union Library (00:18): MP3
  31. (11) "You must not suppose" (00:09): MP3
  32. (XXVI) "I am always surprised to meet," (00:22): MP3
  33. (10) "The new janitor is a Puerto Rican;" (01:15): MP3
  34. (13) "Most of the stock in the hardware store" (01:43): MP3
  35. (11) "The Chinese girl in the waiting-room..." (00:21): MP3
  36. (28) "During the Second World War," (01:31): MP3
  37. (50) Fable (00:24): MP3
    1. "It is very pleasant to walk in the woods"
  38. (3) "One of my sentinels, a tree," (00:10): MP3
  39. (1) "I have not even been in the fields," (00:08): MP3
  40. (48)"Blurred sight and trembling fingers-" (00:15): MP3
  41. (I) Heart and Clock (00:): MP3
    1. "Now the sky begin to turn"
  42. (II) "If my days were like the ants," (00:): MP3
  43. (62) "The clock" (00:): MP3
  44. (63) "My hair was caught in the wheels of a clock" (00:33): MP3
  45. (12) "Hardly a breath of wind," (00:14): MP3
  46. (19) "After I had worked all day" (00:09): MP3
  47. (22) Te Deum (00:07): MP3
    1. "Not because of victories"
  48. (II) "Amelia was just fourteen" (01:10): MP3
  49. (4) Testimony (01:38): MP3
    1. "The company had advertised"
  50. (11) from New Nation (00:37): MP3
    1. (I) "Land of Refuge"
      1. "the sky is cloud on cloud"
  51. (11) from New Nation (00:33): MP3
    1. (II) "Brief History"
      1. "the bells of Philadelphia are ringing"
  52. (74) The English in Virginia, April 1607 (01:10): MP3
    1. "They landed"
  53. (20) Samuel (01:11): MP3
    1. "All day I am before the altar"
  54. (15) From the Apocalyptic Ezra (03:10): MP3
    1. "Because I saw the desolation of Zion,"
  55. (7) "The highway I was walking on" (03:33): MP3
  56. (14) "Horsefly," (00:06): MP3
  57. (27) "A row of brownstone buildings-" (00:32): MP3
  58. (17) "God saw Adam in a town" (00:15): MP3
  59. The Bastard (03:29): MP3
  60. (3) from Autobiography: Hollywood (00:36): MP3
    1. "I like the streets of New York City,"

  61. All poems in this reading are from The Collected Poems of Charles Reznikoff.

    Original recording by the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University. PennSound publication made with thanks to the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University for their archival work.

Interviews with Reinhold Schiffer, SUNY-Buffalo, 1974*

  1. First Segment (30:44): MP3
  2. Second Segment (31:29): MP3
  3. Third Segment (30:40): MP3
  4. Fourth Segment (31:26): MP3

  5. * Please note that this is an informal recording; the interviews are not complete and are often cut off prematurely. Tapes available courtesy Stephen Fredman.

SUNY-Buffalo: June 21, 1973

introduced by George Oppen
(1:09:51): MP3

From The World Record: Readings at the St. Mark's Poetry Project, 1969-1980

  1. from Going To and Fro and Walking Up and Down ("The young fellow walks about...") (0:32): MP3
  2. from By the Well of Living and Seeing ("You must not suppose...") (0:12): MP3
  3. Love Story (3:47): MP3

Reading at the 92nd Street Y, New York, 1967

  1. Part One (29:06): MP3
  2. Part Two (6:49): MP3

Also at PennSound:

Charles Reznikoff on PennSound Daily

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. © 2004-2008 Charles Reznikoff. Used by permission of the Estate of Charles Reznikoff and Black Sparrow Press. Distributed by PennSound.