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Saturday, February 2, 2019

So many possibilities

“Stories are different every time you tell them - they allow so many possible narratives.” – David Antin

Born in New York City in February 1932, Antin grew up wanting to be either a scientist or inventor and then spent the first 10 years of his career as a translator of scientific texts and fiction.   His first poem was published in the Kenyon Review in 1959.  By the mid-1960s he had changed careers to poetry and art criticism – fields in which he had a long, distinguished career until his death in 2016.
Antin was celebrated internationally for his performative “talk poems” developed in the early 1970s.   He also was a founding faculty member in the visual arts department at the University of California, San Diego, where he taught for 27 years. He authored 13 books of poetry, earning a Longview Award for Poetry; fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities; and the PEN Los Angeles Award for Poetry.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is No. 15 from Antin’s,

the second hundred: for sid luft

have you noticed how psychological states are all nouns Happiness Sorrow Rage Fear and Shame are never named participially say like Smiling-Preceding-the-Storm or Lining-the-Depths-of-an-Outer-Darkening or Something-Preferred-to-Nothing? its almost worth becoming a professor and obtaining a right to prophesy erecting a science of naming and calling it Pyschology finding a net in our hands meaning that there is something we pursue

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