Posts Tagged ‘ George Oppen ’

A Longhouse Birdhouse: RE-READING GEORGE OPPEN ~

Waking Who Knows


the great open

doors of the tall

buildings and the grid

of the streets the seed

is a place the stone

is a place mind

will burn the world down alone

and transparent

will burn the world down tho the starlight is

part of ourselves

George Oppen
Black Sparrow Press, 1978




Source: A Longhouse Birdhouse: RE-READING GEORGE OPPEN ~

Of Being Numerous by George Oppen

pure joy of the mineral fact, says dmf, who blogs at synthetic zero

George Oppen reads at

Two Recommendations: The Poetry of George Oppen and Larry Eigner | Sibila


Two Recommendations: The Poetry of George Oppen and Larry Eigner | Sibila.

On Fear by Mary Ruefle / Poetry Foundation

On Fear by Mary Ruefle.

And Edmond Jabès, in The Book of Questions: “If you bend over your pageand do not suddenly tremble with fear, throw away your pen. Your writing would have little value.”

And George Oppen, who said, “Great artists are those, in the end, who do not have a failure of nerve.” Afraid, yes, but there they are, having locked themselves alone in a room with fear. – Mary Ruefle

a photograph from Nicky Dobson, origins unknown and George Oppen’s Of Being Numerous Section 20


—They await

War, and the news
Is war

As always

That the juices may flow in them
Tho the juices lie.

Great things have happened
On the earth and given it history, armies
And the ragged hordes moving and the passions
Of that death. But who escapes

Among these riders
Of the subway,

They know
But now as I know

Failure and the guilt
Of failure.
As in Hardy’s poem of Christmas

We might half-hope to find the animals
In the sheds of a nation
Kneeling at midnight,

Farm animals,
Draft animals, beasts for slaughter
Because it would mean they have forgiven us,
Or which is the same thing,
That we do not altogether matter.
George Oppen
Of Being Numerous Section 20

George Oppen / Psalm


Veritas sequitur . . .

In the small beauty of the forest
The wild deer bedding down —
That they are there!

Their eyes
Effortless, the soft lips
Nuzzle and the alien small teeth
Tear at the grass

The roots of it
Dangle from their mouths
Scattering earth in the strange woods.
They who are there.

Their paths
Nibbled thru the fields, the leaves that shade them
Hang in the distances
Of sun

The small nouns
Crying faith
In this in which the wild deer
Startle, and stare out.

George Oppen
This in Which (1965)


Louise Gluck, Guest Poet of Michael Braziller’s Poetry Course — Our Life in Six Lyrical Poems: George Oppen