Showing posts with label The New Sentence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The New Sentence. Show all posts

Monday, April 20, 2015


The New Sentence

The original talk


September 16, 1979

at the San Francisco Art Institute

in Bob Perelman’s Talk Series

The later essay was based upon this talk
which was improvised
following a rough outline
with a stack of books
to which I could refer

It’s interesting to note
that this version
is just ten minutes shorter
than Charles Olson’s
“endless” reading @ Berkeley


Special thanks to Bob Perelman for hosting the talk
& making a recording
while he & Francie Shaw were also dealing
with a one-week old newborn
& to James Sherry & David Sternbach
for editing the later draft
into something approaching coherence

Monday, December 10, 2012

When, in 200 years, students are reading the poetry of Lyn Hejinian – as certainly they shall if humans are still about – those readers will undoubtedly begin with My Life (hopefully in its initial Burning Deck version, not because the earlier edition is “better,” but because that is the volume that changed the lives of so many other poets). Those who go on to read Hejinian’s finest work, however, will then turn to The Book of a Thousand Eyes, which Omnidawn brought out earlier this year.

Coming in at 333 pages, Eyes is a project on which Hejinian has been working for decades and the concentration of effort yields remarkable insights. Although 95% of the volume is in verse, Eyes is – alongside Tony Lopez’ forensic masterpiece Only More So – the deepest thinking over the role, form, history & future of the sentence I have encountered:

Perhaps my dear family can profit from my story

As it continues two pickpockets are denying a robust policeman’s suggestions that they are ‘suspiciously encumbered’

If encumbered, they insist, they would resemble kids with a lot to say

They would resemble unwanted sympathy

They would not be like holes in a hallway