By William C. Clarke
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Additional info for A Momentary Stay
Not another goddamn poem come to take me over, the occupying impulse demanding attention like a slighted wife and receiving it any hour, day, night as thoughts and words kindle in my mind until as Ashbery writes they erupt in lightning a steely glitter chasing shadows, which then (one begs for this blessing) gradually form prickly engraved letters on a page — this by means of endless emendation, a long love affair, not an evening’s fling. A Momentary Stay 27 One Evening at a Party Forth into cooling dark back into glowing snugness recurrently the party flows from sheltered chatter to a sky of galaxies withdrawing.
He has since published occasional works in various journals, with A Momentary Stay being his first collection of poems. While a Fellow at the Institute of Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, he edited collections of poetry written by Pacific Islanders and helped facilitate their publication. Although agreeing with Auden that, generally speaking, poetry ‘makes nothing happen’, he has written papers on poetry as commentary on contemporary social and economic issues in the Pacific Islands.
24 A Momentary Stay On a Hill Beside the Sea I never heard skylarks until on a hill beside the sea they flushed from tufts of brown-gold grass chirruping their flight song clear, trilling higher and higher becoming the voices of mermaids singing ringing from the sea falling suddenly into silence. Where land and sea converge surf advances and recedes, water sings a hissing song sliding down the sand. A Momentary Stay 25 ‘The Real Work’ — Gary Snyder, Turtle Island, 1974 Ruminant us reflections dark held on waking into thought How it continues so the same succumbing sliding back The flow still not attended to 26 A Momentary Stay Poem Oh spare me!
A Momentary Stay by William C. Clarke