By Robin Blaser 1925–2009 Robin Blaser
the poets have always preceded,
as Mallarmé preceded Cézanne,
neck and neck    that was no
privilege, sweet and forgotten

seated in chairs, the afternoon
marches along with the shadows
which are not bougainvillaea but
northern    I have always loved

shadows as long as they were northern
and moved gently west    like the
crack-up of books, their spines
tingling with notes and stuffing

most people remember the gardens
with cement flowers and the
house going straight up like
solidified swimming-pools or lilies

when you get to the top which
they once called widow’s walk,
you wait in nothing but your garden
hat, beautifully otherwise naked

for the wind-swept sea and the dying
sweetness or womb, declaring the completion
of philosophy    or the completion of
the human-being in some/a history

awash among silver trees, aspens,
pounded, whispering ‘my foos won’t
moos’ or some other difficult
disappearance of words which were
preliminary notions, laundry of that lovely
absurd summer we wanted so
desperately    the moss was 6 inches
deep    and if you put a cigarette
out in it, the fire would be
6 inches deep in minutes,
when the fire spreads, the trees
totter and their statues wait
in your thought, exactly numerous

Robin Blaser, “O.” from The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser. Copyright © 2006 by Robin Blaser.  Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser (University of California Press, 2006)

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Poet Robin Blaser 1925–2009


Subjects Nature, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Painting & Sculpture

 Robin  Blaser


Born in Denver and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho, poet, editor, and essayist Robin Blaser was educated at the University of California-Berkeley. With poets Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer, he helped spark the Berkeley Poetry Renaissance in the 1940s that preceded the San Francisco poetry renaissance of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1965, Blaser met Robert Creeley and Charles Olson, with whom he later worked closely. Miriam Nichols, editor . . .

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SUBJECT Nature, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Painting & Sculpture


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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