PURSUING THE MODERNIST VISION:
THE “ACTIVIST” MOVEMENT IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICAN POETRY
By John Hart, as published in Literary Imagination 3 no 3 (2001): 386-400
Around the middle of the 20th Century, from the start of the 1940s to the end of the 1950s, a group of West Coast poets called the Activists was making its mark on the American poetry scene. With two books in the Yale Series of Younger Poets, two group features in Poetry magazine,[ii] and numerous publications elsewhere, these young writers seemed on their way to serious recognition. Then, as far as reputation went, they all but disappeared. Yet the poetry of Robert Horan, Jeanne McGahey, Rosalie Moore, and the other Activists—both that written during their initial prominence and the equally distinctive work done later—remains a stubborn and intriguing landmark of the Modernist enterprise in American poetry.
They called themselves the Activists to avoid presenting themselves as what they were: students, albeit at a very high level, of a maverick teacher/critic named Lawrence Hart. The evasive label was perhaps regrettable, because it became more and more of a task, over the years, to explain what the Activists were not: political poets of any stripe whatsoever. This very reserve made them unusual in their home region, the San Francisco Bay Area, where poetry and politics have often been cozily bundled; and it may have contributed to their eclipse, for it was the much more ideological “San Francisco Renaissance” that went on to represent the region on the national scene.
What, then, were these oddly named Activists up to?
The story has to begin with Hart. Like Ezra Pound, whom he resembled in the ferocity of his opinions, the vastness of his reading, his lack of formal credentials, and his distrust of received wisdom, Lawrence Hart was born in a remote mountain setting: a ranch outside Delta, Colorado, called Harts Basin. A year younger than the century, he was the descendant on his father’s side of a local pioneer family.
This frontier heritage would fascinate him later, but he had no contact with it as a child. His parents were estranged; his biological father soon absent and mentioned only with bitterness; his stepfather abusive. The unhappily blended family moved continually around the West. Shaking free as soon as he could, young Hart kept on wandering, accumulating the kind of experiences that would read well on a book jacket: organizing a revolt against compulsory military training at his high school in Santa Rosa, California; working as a roughneck on a southern California oil rig; canning fish in Alaska; beginning and abandoning a career as a reporter. Wherever he went and whatever else he was doing, he carried a book.
To the stresses of his early life Hart had a classic if unusual response. Seeking some better foundation in a shifty and often hostile world, some strategy for living, he embarked on an encyclopedic study of religions and philosophies. He read the Buddhists, the Confucians, the Stoics, the Pragmatists. He would wind up, eventually, as a species of modified Gnostic.
He was reading just as widely in poetry: not poems but poets, whole lifetimes of verse from the first line to the last. He marked and memorized the passages he liked best and began to ask himself by what criteria he chose them.
In the late 1920s, Hart settled in San Francisco. Seeking out artists and writers, he lived first on Telegraph Hill and later in the famous old Montgomery or “Monkey” Block on Montgomery Street, a warren of studios that was the city’s informal artists’ colony. (The TransAmerica Pyramid stands there now.) He got involved with the Barter Movement, an interesting social experiment that arose in response to the economic hard times. Cold-shouldered by the New Deal as too radical, it was at the same time infiltrated by orthodox Communists, who sought to make it a front organization. Finally, it fell apart in dissension.
Hart was now writing poetry of his own and getting some of it published. He wrote reviews for several publications and even did some criticism for local writing circles. He also started a literary magazine, Talisman, which lasted only two issues.
In 1934 a friend made the suggestion that might be said to have begun Hart’s real life: Why didn’t he apply for a teaching post in the Emergency Education program? This New Deal venture was designed to provide a bit of income for just about anybody who felt an urge to teach. He applied, was accepted, drummed up some students, and began telling people how to write poetry.
Hart at this point was no stylistic radical. Weaned on the English Romantics and far from the transatlantic cultural trade routes, he had been slow to warm to the innovations of his own time. It appears to have been a long conversation with Yvor Winters in the summer of 1934, on the very eve of his teaching career, that began to change his mind.
Once begun, the reorientation was rapid. Within a couple of years, he was a passionate advocate of literary Modernism. In the major and even in the lesser poets of the era he came to recognize a level of excitement—a skill and daring in the use of language—that exceeded anything in English since Milton. Even the failures fascinated him. He felt he was witnessing an age of discovery. He was determined to be among the discoverers.
Like the Pound who described The Wasteland as the longest continuous poem in the language, Hart distinguished sharply between lines and passages that seemed to him to be really doing the poetic work, producing memorable, permanently valuable experience, and surrounding material that was less fully realized. Only the high points, the resonant lines and passages, interested him. He marked these in a hundred books, typed them off into lists, and subjected them to a minute analysis: exactly what were these writers doing with language to move us so, to create the unforgettable?
One of the characteristic Modernist attitudes has been to emphasize the technical basis of the arts. Hart took this as far, perhaps, as anyone has. Though he acknowledged the role of “inspiration,” and sought ways to encourage its appearance, he had no patience with the idea that certain poetic effects are inexplicable, ineffable. If some group of words stands out, leaps up, impresses itself on our minds, there is a reason.
Activist Rosalie Moore, in a poem of tribute, would capture something of Hart’s unabashedly technical approach:
You, Lawrence Hart, had better carry a crux-bug,
Wind up the palm to show—
Say “This makes it go.”[iii]
As a critic, Hart insisted that only some passages in poetry are actually satisfying; felt also that he could identify some of the means by which satisfaction was produced. As a teacher, he drew from this knowledge an uncompromising goal: he would labor to help his students produce poems that had no slack spots, no filler, no lapses into prose or commentary; that achieved intensity, of one or another sort and by one or another means, in every line. This was the challenge wrapped up in the word “Activist”: a poem, to be a poem truly, must be “active” throughout, never sagging back into the prosaic or predictable.
Such was the goal. In his classes, Hart was constantly elaborating the means: trying to determine what particular exercises would help beginning poets to blossom fastest. Through trial and error, he found a sequence of assignments that he stuck to all his life. It began with a type of severely disciplined descriptive writing, free of all comparison and generalization, which he called Direct Sensory Reporting (it has been compared to line drawing). The path continued through a series of exercises in the creation of bold, exotic metaphors. Later, the student would work on the use of abstract language for poetic effect, a group of techniques that Hart summed up as Poetic Statement. By this time, the writer would be doing whole poems, not lines or paragraphs, and the problems of managing highly colored, aggressive materials would come to the fore.
Even in their earliest form, Hart’s teaching approaches attracted a following. With the end of the federally subsidized Emergency Education Program, he was able to shift his classes to several San Francisco-area evening schools including the University of California Extension. Except for a stint at Mills College, it was in such modest institutional settings, as well as in his own home, that he taught for the rest of his long life.
The three best known of the original Activists—Moore, Jeanne McGahey, and Robert Horan—arrived in Hart’s classes at almost the same moment in 1937.
McGahey, alone of the three, had already had some marketing success—a poem had appeared in 1936 in The New Republic—but she was dissatisfied with her skills, feeling, as she recalled, that she didn’t know where to go next. She seized on Direct Sensory Reporting, not as an onerous exercise, but rather as a stylistic tool that she could incorporate immediately into her work.
This early McGahey poem grows almost directly out of this discipline.
WARNING BY DAYLIGHT
This is the corner, look four ways at stone:
Watch in two streets a wind
In the rattled and paper autumn.
(This to be dreamed of,
In some dark waken and hear the heart strike fear.)
Pages against the grating
Turn war and the Katzenjammers, someone named Talbot
She leaned out from a window,
Held apart curtains.
I saw her face
True Romances, the hair yolk-yellow,
And the pearls lay out
On the tight satin, and she held a cup
That was blue and empty: and whatever it was she said,
Or whether she laughed, I saw her mouth move with it,
Dental and bright.
But it was the stone I heard
And gutter of leaves.
And seeing how the wind
Blew big the curtains, and her red-cluttered hand
Twisted the cord, even before I woke
I saw she was the death that I had come for.[iv]
This is a poem of precise observation. At the intersection, we “look four ways at stone.” A newspaper flaps, and particular items glimpsed in its pages are named. The woman’s cup is “blue and empty”; what she says is inaudible, but her mouth is seen to move. Details are chosen for a dreamlike effect, and lined up in support of the menacing final statement.
Most Activist work, including McGahey’s own, was heavily laden with similes and metaphors, which Hart preferred to call “double images.” He asked the writer to think of these, not as likenesses, but as chords of objects and qualities. The more surprising the objects brought together in an image, he taught, the more force it would have—if it didn’t tip over into the ridiculous. The principle was exactly that defined in 1918 by Pierre Reverdy:
[The image] cannot be born from a comparison but from a juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities. The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be—the greater its emotional power and poetic reality.[v]
For “distant” and “true” Hart would substitute the musical terms “discord” and “accord.”
Hart did not (like Harriet Monroe in the famous exchange with Hart Crane) insist that each imaginative departure make some kind of literal sense; but equally he did not (like Crane responding) defend bold combinations for their own sake: the wilder the better, to be sure, but the image must create a satisfying experience, usually in the form of an imagined scene.[vi]
Even very successful images, placed side by side in a poem, could of course get in each other’s way, producing mere confusion. Hart felt that such poets as Crane, Edith Sitwell, and the Surrealists, for all their brilliance, had failed to solve this further problem.[vii] He and his student-colleagues spent years exploring techniques for stacking brilliant images one on another without anarchy.
One of these techniques he called Connotation Line. The principle was to choose metaphors so that the various objects mentioned had some qualities in common, permitting them to chord rather than to clash. Rosalie Moore was a master at it.
Watching, watching from shore:
Wind, and the shore lifting,
The hands raising on wind
And all the elements rising.
Calmly the wreck rides,
Turns like leviathan or log,
And the moon-revealing white turns upward
(Upward of palms, the dead);
And all the of the sea’s attack, small tangents and traps,
Is wasted on it, the wind wasted,
Helpless to wreck or raise.
Often in sleep turning or falling
A dream’s long dimension
I rock to a random ship:
The one like a broken loon,
Clapping its light and calling:
The one bug-black, signing its sign in oil;
The telegraph-tall, invented—
Moved by a whine of wires;
The Revenge riding its crossbar,
Raising its sword hilt:
And I know their power is ended, and all of the dreams
Too vacant and inhabited:
The ships with lights on their brows, the mementos, the messages,
The cardinals, couriers to Garcias;
And after it all, they say,
The ships make more noise than the sea
And I look again
At the equal ocean
With its great dead ship.[viii]
The Connotation Line technique is on display in the central, virtuoso burst of images about doomed ships:
The one like a broken loon,
Clapping its light and calling:
The one bug-black, signing its sign in oil;
The telegraph-tall, invented—
Moved by a whine of wires;
The Revenge riding its crossbar,
Raising its sword hilt
Even if removed from context and simply placed in a list, all of the major words reinforce one another connotatively. Everything speaks of distress, useless messages, disaster. It is hard to imagine a change of diction that would not weaken the pattern. As Jeanne McGahey would ask, “What if Moore had written instead, The one like a broken cup? Or the submarine ebony black? Or the ship treetop-tall?”[ix] The rest of the poem is largely a framework to support this aria of objects and their chords.
A more extreme example comes from a later Activist, Lois Moyles, who worked with Hart in the late 1950s. Consider this almost dizzying fragment (never published as a poem):
In dream we pursue those beaches behind the senses’ foreground
Searching among waves breaking like cabins
for the mislaid
for the wooden handled words,
And poking among the conches like hardened throats
discover old seas
like an untellable terror,
a collusion of muscle where sound was once made.
Or turning away to private flames, piled together like instruments,
stare with the clear attention of dogs,
Having seen nothing,
having learned it all by ear.[x]
Two trains of objects intertwine: one drawn from the seashore, and one from a rustic domestic scene, as in the “wooden handled words.” In the practice of many poets, one or two of these images would suffice for a poem. Moyles furnishes with them a whole small world. Obscure in the sense of resisting paraphrase, the poem moves with the authority of the dream it describes. However mysterious, the emotional impression coheres.
Connotation Line was only one of the techniques the group defined for poem plotting or “organization.” This was in fact a perennial challenge and concern: an early and rather opaque manifesto, published as an issue of Circle magazine in 1945, was titled Ideas of Order in Experimental Poetry.[xi]
Some critics found little “order” in the Activist methods. John Crowe Ransom, responding to a submission in the late 1940s, wrote: “I like the two lady-poets [Moore and McGahey] best, and in fact I like them a good deal. But I gag at the theory, the heroic, quixotic theory: that they must resist the ordering that could unify the poems. In my theory the prime essential of a poet is the gift of association and free meaning, but it is technically or formally subordinated to the scheme or order; without the latter, the poem falls apart.”[xii]
To Hart, Ransom’s dichotomy was false. The poem must be ordered, to be sure, but the “scheme or order” need not in all cases be imposed from outside; it could arise from the vivid component materials themselves.
Robert Horan was the last of the original three Activists to join Hart’s circle but the first to publish a solo book. He came to Hart’s classes in Berkeley as a prodigy of 13 and by age 15, in 1939, had already appeared in The Yale Review. He moved to New York in 1946, where by indirect channels his work came to the attention of W. H. Auden, then editor of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. In 1948, Horan’s one volume, A Beginning, appeared at Yale. Taking a different direction than his early Activist colleagues, Horan relied less on bold combinatory imagery and more on meter and rhyme.
What is it eats the hunter’s breath
as he picks through the thicket?
The blood that’s bound to bleed to death
like a leak in a bucket.
What is it tires the oarsman so
as he climbs the chaste water?
The love that he leaves and the winds that blow
him on green miles after.
What is it drains the drinker there
at the jumping fountain?
The desert he crossed that brought him there
and the next mountain.[xiii]
This seems to be a poem about cost, about the price we pay for our quests, whatever they are: and it seems also to be a poem about time-hauntedness. The hunter looks ahead to the death of his quarry (and his own). The oarsman looks back to a lover left behind. The drinker is not really present at the fountain, at the moment his thirst is slaked, but looks away to struggles past and future.
Another distinctive voice among the early Activists was Robert Barlow, a rather romantic figure. He began as part of the circle of H. P. Lovecraft and went to a brilliant career in Mesoamerican studies. Along the way he became an accomplished Activist poet. Initially very skeptical of Activist practice, he simultaneously mocked it and modeled it in the poem “To Rosalie,” concluding:
o her eyes were like
eyes with spigots in them
peering through a melanesian gloom
on hybrid horses, and the Nisaean plain
(receptacle of moonlight) blasting with plum trees
where the (minnesinger’s) (messenger’s)aspect
blotted a beetle[xiv]
Hooked in spite of himself, Barlow went on to produce polished poems drawing on his growing anthropological interests:
THE GODS IN THE PATIO
Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Historia y Etnografía, México, D.F.
Fifty bones of a murdered world are on view today at eleven. Guests will please smuggle cameras and check their tips. Have the gods herded into some cave, their clumsy joints all bent in the direction of flight: Is there a spider hanging its gourd in the jar of Tlaloc, where rain once shook golden rings? Are all the Cholula plates broken?
O Tiger Knight, I saw your torso like a maize-ear, I saw the rusty roses on your garment. I saw princes who would be beautiful if they were statues, who envied only the snake, the jaguar and the ant. How long must they lie, the robbed and fragrant dead, by the Snake Wall, the Coatepantli?[xv]
Robert Barlow died in Mexico, a suicide, in 1951. The story goes that he left on his door a note in Mayan pictographs: “Do not disturb me. I want to sleep a long time.” In 1962 Hart published a small memorial book called Accent on Barlow, featuring the dead poet’s work but including pieces by the other Activists of the day. By default, and pending a better treatment, this has been “the Activist anthology.”
Although the label itself lost currency, there were in fact many more Activists over the years, the cast of characters constantly changing as writers ceased working with the group and others drifted in to replace them. That this recruitment continued is in a way astonishing, for after about 1960 work of this exigent sort became less and less in demand. Yet there never failed to be a core of poets who found these approaches rewarding. Perhaps the most remarkable of these successors is the fantastical Fred Ostrander, who combines a Surrealist’s imaginative reach with a Buddhist’s compassion for the suffering world: an empathy that extends even to the marginal figures in legends, like the drowning multitudes in a painting of the Flood.
In the museums I return to that massive, dark, over-framed painting of the biblical flood
that howls across the rooms, a wind, a demolition—
it is a fury, like a prophet, a loud half-idiot jeremiad, a damnation of souls—
like that at the streetcorner, finger pointed as in the poster—
it is the verb left out of the language.
Souls—that cling with small hands, with fingers, to badly painted rocks,
beneath the terrible God speaking with repeated brilliance out of the sky—
or they float, mere swimmers, with ineffective strokes in the chaos of lifting
or utterly disintegrating waves—
or floating among the chains—
souls staring with round eyes out of the comical deluge, calling to rescuers
until the paint crumbles upon the canvas)—
to rescuers who themselves, small swimmers, have been pulled into the vast,
insatiate, twisting spiral of the sea.
Together with masts, spars, all, the handpainted half-clothed smiling figurehead,
the little rodents,
and the great vanquished statue of Bel,
the emaciated carriers of the stones,
the particular colors of fallen gardens,
the terrified horses of Babylon (detail of an eye reflecting light),
and the armies unable to swim, helplessly lifted upon the flood . . .
On the right, and distant upon the waves, and growing smaller,
Noah floats with his animals.
This dark, overpopulated deluge.
Punishment. Beneath the lightning and the electricities, one erratic bird.
It is a painting without a miracle.
There is little sky.[xvi]
Like many of Ostrander’s poems, this one is built up largely of lists, in this case of objects and victims borne on the flood. Characteristic, also, are its long lines and its suspended, self-interrupting syntax, in which frank verbs are rare.
Ostrander’s single volume to date[xvii] elicited a puzzled appreciation in Parnassus: Poetry in Review. Calling him “a maverick among mavericks,” Eva Burch wrote: “His Seventeenth Century sensibility, like Richard Crashaw’s, fastens on conceits, emblems and other meditative paraphernalia with an enthralled intensity. This disposition sometimes edges the poet into improbable detail and unfortunate lapses of taste. Nonetheless Ostrander’s odd voice is invaluable to contemporary poetry because it sharpens our perspective about possible alternatives to prevailing ‘deep structure’ and confessional modes.”[xviii] This last comment could apply to the Activists generally.
As these disparate examples suggest, there was no shared Activist prosody. Lines in this body of work are short or long, varied in length or similar, rhymed or not, discernibly metrical or not. Except in some of his very first classes, Hart did not make the sound of poetry his starting point; he found that each writer developed, without prompting, a distinctive, successful “voice.” (Hart always used this word for its auditory sense, not as a synonym for “style.”) Discerning a particular bent, like Moore’s increasingly broken, pizzicato lines or Ostrander’s long and heavily laden ones, he would remark on it and encourage it.
He was personally fascinated with the mechanics of voice, however, and readily offered assignments in response to student interest. As always, his analysis began with the selection and questioning of examples: why is one metrical line impressive verse, another doggerel? Why do some sound-combinations strike our ears as bland, others as pleasantly challenging, still others as just clumsy? He pored over a forgotten work by Henry Lanz of Stanford called The Physical Basis of Rime,[xix] which also was one of his sources for the analysis of discord and accord. Late in life he seemed to be groping for a theory of meter that emphasized quantity, the perceived time taken to speak syllables or lines, as much as accent or ictus.
Hart’s suggestions to students usually involved the imitation of specific metric patterns. He also called attention to the way in which the natural stress patterns of specific words can reinforce or cut across the formal rhythm of the line. He might suggest building a short poem almost entirely out of iambic two-syllable words, for example; or going in the opposite direction and using a preponderance of trochaic words within an iambic meter. A frequent assignment was to pile up stressed syllables, as in sprung rhythm. One result was this poem by Judith George:
He with the dog’s lip
in a rag’s rage
to the earth’s end
on pecked seas pulled by birds . . .
What fish harp-high
sought out and hanged?
What pale trees roped and swung?
How tall men shine,
their mad hearts sleep,
beat not and beat.
Call them not, and weep.[xx]
One of Hart’s more diabolical class exercises was what he called the Two Minute Sonnet. Supplying the rhymes for a Shakespearian sonnet, he would demand its composition in one hundred and forty seconds, counting syllables loudly all the way: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, RHYME. This method, one of several he adapted from Surrealist practice, served its purpose in short-circuiting self-conscious censorship and eliciting very original lines. More surprisingly, it even produced the first drafts of a few creditable sonnets.
And what about Hart’s own poetry? Following is the only mature piece that was ever published—not, assuredly, the product of two minutes:
I have made idols of all shapes wherethrough
Those brilliant fingers transiently pressed
Of what it is that does not move nor rest.
And thence has struck a desperate venom to
The mind held, or the veins held, or the two.
Each sight compels my love, but yet the best
And noblest forms wound swifter than the least—
O eidolon of love, so do not you.
Well it was so I wrote when I was young,
Grasping to grasp what served the form and used it
Not looking in my own sense for the cause,
The name to teach or blight the naming tongue.
Till having grasped the fooled-at mind and fused it,
Finger by finger that fell hand withdraws.[xxi]
As Hart himself remarked, this is not at all the sort of thing he urged his students to write; yet it has, in an older idiom, the density of expression he always insisted on. It makes one think of the Metaphysicals, or the difficult Frenchman Maurice Scève (a rediscovery of the Modernists), or of Petrarch himself: of any poet, for that matter, in the durable Neoplatonist line. As in all such poetry, the vision of a more real, ideal world, interpenetrating ours, is evoked. But here there is a bitter twist. The apparition of the Ideal is either an illusion or a mockery: “Finger by finger that fell hand withdraws.”
Is there more of Lawrence Hart’s poetry somewhere? His papers have so far yielded only one more sonnet and some scattered lines. Although more material may be hidden in those voluminous files, it does appear that Lawrence Hart the poet disappeared into, and animated, Lawrence Hart the teacher.
When Allen Ginsberg died, David Remnick spoke in the New Yorker of “the great (and long over) debate between the raw and the cooked in American poetry.”[xxii] If Ginsberg was an exponent of the victorious Raw, the Activists, who deplored his influence, were certainly exponents of the Cooked—or, as they would prefer to say, of the Transformed: language rediscovered, made “active,” made new.
Not everyone will accept Remnick’s dichotomy. But it certainly does seem to have been the case, in the later years of the century, that we wanted our poetry to be not too aggressive in its difference from prose. Some have even asked whether the poetry/prose divide now has any essential meaning.
For those who are interested in the still-open possibilities of words taken to the limit—pushed, estranged, displaced from the familiar as far as they can profitably go (even at the risk of going a little too far)—the Activist experiment is an important reference point.
[ii]. Poetry 78, no 2 (May 1951); Poetry 93, no 1 (November 1958).
[iii]. Rosalie Moore, “Dedication,” in The Grasshopper’s Man and Other Poems (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1949), 5.
[iv]. Jeanne McGahey, “Warning by Daylight,” in Homecoming with Reflections (Princeton: Quarterly Review of Literature, 1989), 62.
[v]. Paul Reverdy, “L’Image,” Nord-Sud 14 (April 1918).
[vi]. Hart Crane, “A Letter to Harriet Monroe,” in The Complete Poems and Selected Letters and Prose (Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, Anchor Books, 1966), 234-40. Both halves of the exchange appear in Poetry 29 (October 1926), 35-41.
[vii]. George Bradley states: “Hart believed in the poetry of intensity, to be achieved through formidable diction, and his model was Hart Crane.” George Bradley, ed., The Yale Younger Poets Anthology (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), lxii. The general characterization is correct, but Hart attached no unique importance to Crane.
[viii]. Moore, “Shipwreck,” in The Grasshopper’s Man and Other Poems, 23.
[ix]. Jeanne McGahey, “The Shadow Meanings,” The Poetry Letter (San Rafael, Ca.) 13 (January/February 1985).
[x]. Lois Moyles, “Untitled,” 1959 or 1960, Lawrence Hart and Jeanne McGahey Papers, home of John Hart, San Rafael, California.
[xi]. Lawrence Hart et al., Ideas of Order in Experimental Poetry (Berkeley: George Leite, 1945).
[xii]. John Crowe Ransom to Lawrence Hart, date illegible, Lawrence Hart and Jeanne McGahey Papers, home of John Hart, San Rafael, California.
[xiii]. Robert Horan, “Antiphonal Song,” in A Beginning (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948), 71.
[xiv]. Robert Barlow, “For Rosalie,” in Barlow et al., Accent on Barlow (San Rafael, Ca.: Lawrence Hart, 1962), 26.
[xv]. Barlow, ”The Gods in the Patio,” Accent on Barlow, 15.
[xvi]. Fred Ostrander, “The Deluge,” Barnabe Mountain Review (Lagunitas, Ca.) 4 (1999), 241.
[xvii]. Fred Ostrander, The Hunchback and the Swan (Andes, N.Y.: Woolmer/Brotherson, 1976).
[xviii]. Eva Burch, “Diamond, Black Sun, Black Swan, Drifting,” Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Spring/Summer 1979, 284-85.
[xix]. Henry Lanz, The Physical Basis of Rime: An Essay on the Aesthetics of Sound (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1931).
[xx]. Judith George, “Ahab,” Marin Review (San Rafael Ca.) Winter 1987, 10.
[xxi]. Lawrence Hart, “Sonnet,” The Poetry Letter 7 (October/November 1983), 12.
[xxii]. David Remnick, “Kaddish,” The New Yorker, April 21, 1997, 78.