Poetry News

A Tribute to Louis Zukofsky's "A" at Coldfront

By Harriet Staff


Coldfront was thrilled (and they're not alone!) over the New Directions reisusse of Louis Zukofksy's "A", and they've paid tribute to the book with some contemporary responses. Check out poems and musings from Louis Asekoff, Marina Blitshteyn, Adam Day, Ted Dodson, Seth Graves, Michael McDonough, David James Miller, and Erika Moya. Ken Walker introduces the feature:

Barry Ahearn points out that Zukofsky preferred “to read American handicrafts as relics of labor processes best understood according to Marxist economic analysis,” but, also believed that such vestiges “reflect the lives and loving care of the individuals who made them.” One less ambiguous example of this happens when Zukofsky, in “A-10,” writes: “Credo I believe//Shame//Ashamed of all people put to shame/And all planets emit light/and indeed all bodies do.”

Zukofsky long claimed that A is “of a life,” one trying to revive the century with a panoply of collected objects. It’s clearly a misnomer that readers feel they cannot penetrate A; all one is obligated to do with this poem is spend time with it, to enter into the same simple dialectical process that one enters into upon birth—the process of one letter becoming the use of language which is the same process of one object becoming the ability to use and be used. I’m excited to present this project with dedication pieces from many talented poets. This is a tribute, no doubt.


Originally Published: January 5th, 2012