It’s surprising at times with how reading a collection of poems, or even one poem or its title, will take you on a search for understanding that brings you back to where you began. That’s what happened with These Intricacies.
With me, it was the title that first captured my attention. The collection contains no title poem. The title does come from a poem, “Blood From the Stone” by George Oppen (1908-1984), the leading proponent of the Objectivist school of poetry, popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Objectivism “emphasized simplicity and clarity over formal structure and rhyme,” according to the Poetry Foundation.
Both a poet and editor, Oppen worked with Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, among others. In the 1950s, he was caught up in the Red Scare of the 1950s (he had been a member of the communist party), and fled to Mexico rather than go to prison. When he returned, “Blood from the Stone” was the first poem he wrote, the reference in which became the title of Harrity’s collection of poems.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.
Photograph: Poet Dave Harrity, author of These Intricacies.