What Are You Reading?Winter 2010
Posted 09 May 2011 - 03:32 PM
Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:13 PM
which leads perhaps, through Auden, to Elizabeth Bishop's Letter to N.Y.:
"and coming out of the brownstone house
to the gray sidewalk, the watered street,
one side of the buildings rises with the sun
like a glistening field of wheat.
"Wheat, not oats, dear I'm afraid
if it's wheat it's none of your sowing..."
Pretty good, and probably doesn't lead to Georgia O'Keeffe's
'I just think New York's wonderful
It makes all the European cities look like villages'.
My sentiments exactly, and I consider it a poem even if she didn't.
Which then reminds me, though may not lead elegantly, as with Quiggin's, to Joan Didion's 'New York was no mere city. It was instead an infinitely romantic notion, the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself.'
Didion wrote a marvelous essay in 'The White Album' on o'Keeffe's evening star that she used for a number of water colours. They are two of a kind, but I don't know if they lead to each other. With the 'don't tread on me' attitude firmly entrenched in either, they might not like the idea. I don't even know if they met. I've memorized parts of 'The White Album', especially the page about the party that Janis Joplin came to 'at the big house on Franklin Avenue', so I'm reading these again in my mind right now. The opening long essay says that the 'big house' would be demolished (this was written in the late 60s or 70s), but it wasn't, because I've been to it. I asked her about it at a reading and she told me it was still there and gave me the number afterward. It still had panel trucks that scared her to the point of writing down their license plate numbers and storing them in a drawer, but I didn't think the house was that big.
What WAS the number (address) on Franklin Avenue Didion gave you for the old house she rented?
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