Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Hello folks, especially Mid-west friends. News of an intimate event in Minneapolis post Men's conference.It will be lovely to see some non - bearded Minnesota friends (i.e. women as well as the wonderful growlers that come to the conference)Over to Tim Young and Dalyce Elliott......


Timothy Young and Dalyce Elliott present a Special Holtby House Concert

Storyteller and Mythologist
Martin Shaw
Tuesday September 21 at 7:30 pm
129 Melbourne Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Recommended free will donation $10-$15
Seating is limited so reserve your seat at
or call AFTER September 4th 612-331-4519

Martin Shaw, an award winning Rites-of-Passage teacher, mythologist and storyteller, is internationally recognized as one of the most exciting new teachers of the mythic imagination. For a decade Martin has facilitated wilderness initiatory process for at-risk youth through to company directors. He spent four years living under
canvas studying tribal lore, folk-tale and ceremony.
Author and Director of the Westcountry School of Myth and Story, he is also visiting lecturer on the Desmond Tutu Leadership progam at Oxford University. Widely traveled, Shaw teaches in the United States and Europe as well as the UK. His awards include the Summerfield award from the British School in Rome, and the Price, Bretherton, Elgood award for outstanding achievement in the Arts.

He is the author of A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth
and the Grace in Wildness. Robert Bly says, "A true master. One of the greatest storytellers i have ever heard. Shaw offers a hundred visits to the moon"


Talking of the Minnesota champion, here is a snippet of an interview with Robert, conducted by our very own Fran Quinn i believe.

Interviewer: What was the mood of poetry in the late Fifties?
Robert Bly: I started a poem the other day that goes this way:
There was a moment in '58
In which we thought–
And we were right–that poetry
Our poetry–would bless everyone

It's hard to explain. Something fresh could be felt all over the country. Don't believe what you read that the Fifties was a dull time; it wasn't, certainly not in literature. Robert Creeley was publishing the poems later collected in For Love, amazing things! Roethke was laying out his high-spirited poems, and Gary Snyder was publishing the poems later collected in Rip Rap. Robert Payne had brought out his great anthology, The White Pony. Li Po said:
If you ask me why I dwell among green mountains,
I should laugh silently; my soul is serene.
The peach blossom follows the moving water.
There is another heaven and earth beyond the world of men.
Hong's book of Tu Fu poems was out–that beautiful green book I still have with me. Some kind of longing was in the air. James Wright felt it:
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body, I would break
Into blossom.
The Chinese poems and James Wright's lines are linguistic expressions of the longing that there is "another heaven and earth beyond the world of men." All over the country young poets went expectantly to the mailbox, to find some wild thing like Kayak, or some little essay by a Buddhist meditator. There wasn't a flood of mail–just one or two delicious pieces, or nothing.

I don't know why that mood of longing appeared in the late Fifties. Perhaps it came because we had won the war. Thousands and thousands of men my age had died. There was a lot of gratitude for that enormous sacrifice. Awe and gratitude was in the air. Maybe we felt–as Creeley suggested–that despite the disintegration, it would be possible for us to put culture back together again. During the war, for example, Poetry had about six subscribers. Everything was starting over again.

Or perhaps that wasn't it at all. Maybe the simple delight people felt in air, wind and poems when there was no war was normal. Perhaps everyone felt that way before television held people indoors and fed them bad psychic food. For a few years, we felt, like Yeats in his poem, that
For twenty minutes, more or less,
It seemed so great my happiness
That I was blessed and could bless.
In 1956, I had received a Fulbright Fellowship to do the job of translating some old and new Norwegian poetry into English. Writers my age were aware of good poetry in English, but not the powerful poetry of Chile, Peru, Sweden, Germany, Italy. In the Oslo library I found Pablo Neruda. The moment is still clear to me. The lines were,
Young girls with their hands on their hearts,
Dreaming of pirates.

It has an exaggeration there that's so beautiful. It's alive in the heart and flamboyant–so different from T. S. Eliot. I had spent three years at Harvard without ever hearing the name Neruda. One problem with the New Critics–whom I otherwise admire greatly–is that they were blind to material outside the English language.
A new kind of image had appeared, which was the engine, or the angel, or the body of a wholly fresh poetry. Cesar Vallejo said,
I will die in Paris, on a rainy day . . .
It will be a Thursday, because, Thursday, setting down
These lines, I have put my upper armbones on
Wrong . . .
He didn't say, "I have put my suit on wrong." No, I have put my upper armbones on wrong!
And never so much as today have I found myself
With all the road ahead of me, alone.
And there was Neruda's great poem on death:
There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound . . .
And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones
like a barking where there are no dogs. . . .
Astounding! "A barking where there are no dogs."

I had a relatively good literary education, and I felt astonished by these poems, so I thought that other poets my age would be moved also. In 1958, when I got back, Bill Duffy and I started a magazine called The Fifties. On the inside front cover, we announced that "Most of the poetry published in America today is too old fashioned." We developed various ways to infuriate people who had submitted old-fashioned poems.

One was a card that read:This entitles you to buy the new book of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as soon as it is published. In each issue we awarded the Order of the Blue Toad to an obnoxious literary personage of the day; and we made up a "Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum." In it were lines of John Crowe Ransom, or Allen Ginsberg, and Longfellow, and so on. The whole thing was a little adolescent, but it had some spirit...(end of interview segment)

Right, i need to pack for this weekends Storytelling festival, just up the road near Exeter. Camel bags,coffee,one bottle of Lagavulin, complete works of William Blake, three roasted chickens glazed in honey, four bars of green and blacks 'Maya Gold' chocolate, my grandfathers sword, one bearskin, six Persian rugs, gospel of Thomas and the first Ramones album. Sorted. See you there!

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