Thursday, September 23, 2010

Arabic words in English

Leonard Schwartz spent the day with us at the Writers House. We recorded an episode of PoemTalk at 3:30 and then later gathered in the Arts Cafe for a reading. The first set of poems he read - relatively new work - went under the series title "Apples Anyone?" Here (in the YouTube video above) he reads "Apples Anyone? #6." This and the other poems in the series of made almost entirely of English words derived from the Arabic. This was his constraint, and when he felt that the constraint was leading him to too much unbalanced didacticism about the importance of cross-cultural poetics, he layered in phrases and diction from "conservative" Shakespeare. This poem, like the others, ends with a list of English words from the Arabic.