Wednesday, October 02, 2013

A bleg: poetry for a vanishing America

I try to keep blegs to a minimum but your help would be much appreciated on this. I'm hoping to help a photographer friend that is pulling together some photos of Native American ruins, rustic barns, etc. in a 'vanishing America' type of album. She would love to pair poems, or parts of poems, or quotes from novels (if appropriate), that tie in nicely with the photos. (Now that I'm looking, I even find a book that has a similar approach solely on barns).

Poetry is definitely not my strength but I'm finding a few here and there. Stephen Pentz's wonderful blog First Known When Lost has been helpful (even though he doesn't realize it!). While I search for more examples, I would appreciate any pointers toward poems, poets, or excerpts that capture the "vanishing America" feel. And trust me, blindingly obvious (to you) examples, like say Whitman, may not be blindingly obvious to me. All help is greatly appreciated!


George said...

Well, for barns one thinks immediately of Robert Frost's "Need of Being Versed in Country Things", and "In a Disused Graveyard." You would probably find quite a few poems in Frost that could be used.

A couple of the poems in the sequence "To What Strangers, What Welcome" in J.V. Cunningham's collected poems might be useful, or a bit of "Montana Fifty Years Ago."

Trumbull Stickney's "Mnemosyne" is probably a bit overwhelming in its vanishing. Still, your friend might like that.

It seems to me that the American George Oppen and the Englishman Charles Tomlinson have poems that could be turned to the purpose; I'm a bit tired to hunt them up tonight.

Dwight said...

George, don't worry...I'm happy to do the legwork. A couple of these I had in mind but most I didn't. Thanks so much!

Fred said...

I would recommend looking into the poetry of Simon J. Ortiz, a Pueblo Native American.

Dwight said...

Very much appreciated Fred.