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Robert Duncan

Guest Post!: Andy Weaver on Robert Duncan

Hi all. Sorry for the most recent radio silence. I recently took over a course directorship and it’s been taking up all my time for the last little while. Seems that this is the perfect opportunity to share with you all the first guest post proper on [generic pronoun], my ever-brilliant former supervisor Andy Weaver‘s […]

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Robert Duncan

Active Readership and the Duncan/Levertov Correspondence

I would do a disservice to Duncan’s work if I didn’t end this section by talking about the well-publicized rift that occurred between him and his fellow Black Mountain poet, Denise Levertov, whose work I will discuss in the next group of plateaus. To be sure, the conflict between these poets, documented most thoroughly in […]

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Robert Duncan

The Self in Postanarchist Poetry: Passages of the Self in Robert Duncan

Two weeks ago, when I spoke about Duncan’s refusal of integration, I focused primarily on an integrated or cohesive text, and the ways in which Duncan works against these issues. But, in doing so, I gave short shrift to Duncan’s own views on the subject. As I quoted in that post as well, Duncan explained […]

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Robert Duncan

“Do you know the old language?”: Passages as Anarchist Intervention

In 2008, when Andy Weaver published his article “Promoting ‘a community of thoughtful men and women’: Anarchism in Robert Duncan’s Ground Work Volumes” in ESC: English Studies in Canada, he noted that “when it comes to Duncan’s poetry, [the] underlying political anarchism often goes unnoticed” (75). Weaver points to Duncan scholars Norman Finkelstein and Nathaniel […]

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Robert Duncan

“O weaver, weaver”: Disapperance and (Un)Integration in the Passages

When I write about Duncan’s assertion, in “Notes on Notation,” that the poems in the Passages series “are but passages of a poem beyond that calls itself Passages” and that they ultimately “belong to the unfolding revelation of a Sentence beyond the work” (5), I do not mean to suggest that these poems, while dispersed […]

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Robert Duncan

“When the words he wrote / were his”: Robert Duncan and Communal Language

                                                   Robert Duncan told me his poetry was picked up from other people.     The only time he felt, he said, like using quotation marks was when the words he wrote were his. (John Cage, “Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only    Make Matters Worse) Continued 1968 (Revised)”13) Robert Duncan’s Passages seems, to me, […]

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Robert Duncan

Can’t Buy Me Love: Robert Duncan and the Poetics of Communal Love

I’ve titled this section after the famous Beatles song, not because there is an intertext between Robert Duncan and the Beatles (if there is, I haven’t found it), but because it is a major feature of Duncan’s Passages series of poems, a series that punctuates his well-known collection, Bending the Bow and his final work, […]