The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 27, 2007

"I Salute That Various Field"

And, the finish off this Friday, one more poem, this one read by Lawrence Joseph (who we also heard from yesterday). It's a James Schuyler poem titled 'Salute,' and I hope I don't offend anyone here by saying that I always think of Schuyler as a real poets' poet. By which I mean NOT that he's a writer who can only be appreciated by other writers--there's a simple narrative happening in this poem, the story of the difference between what we plan to accomplish and what we actually get accomplished--but more that his work can be appreciated on several different levels.

And those levels are exactly what Joseph describes in his introduction below. The poem is short, only fifteen lines, but that's because Schuyler has managed to boil down the language so incredibly that each word seems to do the work of fifty. I think it's best to listen to Joseph read this poem more than once for maximum impact. Download it and play it on your iPod when you're running late for a meeting. Or, even better, when you're out gloriously wasting a spring day.

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