Rural Poetry Series: Lorine Niedecker
[Untitled]Remember my little granite pail?
The handle of it was blue.
Think what's got away in my life-
Was enough to carry me thru.Poet's WorkGrandfather
Learn a tradeI learned
to sit at desk
and condenseNo layoff
In the great snowfall before the bomb
colored yule tree lights
windows, the only glow for contemplation
along this road. I worked the print shop
right down among em
the folk from whom all poetry flows
and dreadfully much else.
I was Blondie
I carried my bundles of hog feeder price lists
down by Larry the Lug,
I’d never get anywhere
because I’d never had suction,
pull, you know, favor, drag,
I heard their rehashed radio barbs–
more barbarous among hirelings
as higher-ups grow more corrupt.
But what vitality! The women hold jobs–
clean house, cook, raise children, bowl
and go to church.
What would they say if they knew
I sit for two months on six lines
The internet also offers a number of ways to engage with Ms. Niedecker’s work. The Electronic Poetry center at SUNY-Buffalo features a useful page of Niedecker links, complete with a rare 16 minute audio recording. Karl Young’s website offers this online facsimile of Paean to Place, one of Ms. Niedecker’s finest long poems. Milwaukee Public Radio’s Lake Effect program is also streaming a segment produced to coincide with the first Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival in 2009.
Lastly, folks may be very interested in viewing Cathy C. Cook’s lyrical documentary Immortal Cupboard: In Search of Lorine Niedecker. Contained below is a brief clip from the film; a half-hour interview with Ms. Cook from Wisconsin Public Television’s Director’s Cut can be found here.