Wednesday, February 8, 2012

it's fact & no harm done


"The Brontës had their moors, I have my marshes," Lorine Niedecker famously wrote to Louis Zukofsky.*  Is it any wonder, then, that Niedecker and Charlie B. share a biographer?  In a recent review in TLS, Marjorie Perloff contextualizes Margot Peters' Lorine Niedecker: A Poet's Life within the concerns that always surround the poet: the influence of Zukofsky/Objectivism; Niedecker's status as a poetic cult figure; the poetics of place; issues of class/employment; & romantic history.  Niedecker lived a life that certainly makes for good reading, but what does it mean to romanticize such a decidedly unromantic/Romantic figure?  How might we or must we imagine the poets we love?

*For context, see Jenny Penberthy's Niedecker and the Correspondence with Zukofsky 1931-1970 and/or the Collected Works (also ed. Jenny Penberthy).