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Jacket 21 — February 2003   |   # 21  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |

Edwin Denby reads his poems in MP3 format

Originally recorded by GPS in New York on December 11th, 1974. Denby reads:

  • ‘The Shoulder’
  • ‘The Subway’
  • ‘City Without Smoke’
  • ‘Disorder, mental, strikes me; I’
  • ‘Suppose there’s a cranky woman inside me who’

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Edwin Denby rarely read his poems in public, but as Ron Padgett notes, when he did, ‘his reading manner was natural and conversational, his tone serious but agile. His reading made it remarkably easy to follow the contours of the poetry’.
      ‘The Shoulder’, ‘The Subway’ and ‘City Without Smoke’ are from his first collection In Public, In Private, published in 1948.
      ‘Disorder, mental, strikes me; I’ is one of the later, compacted sonnets, composed around the late fifties, and first published in Ted Berrigan’s C magazine in 1963.
      ‘Suppose there’s a cranky woman inside me who’ is the thirteenth sonnet from ‘A Sonnet Sequence: Dishonor’ again, published in In Public, In Private, though probably written in the late ‘thirties.
      The printed poems can be found in Edwin Denby, The Complete Poems, edited by Ron Padgett, New York: Random House, 1986.
      The sound file comes originally from, an internet sound archive collection that makes available rare poetry readings on mp3, including readings by New York School poets.

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