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Sunday, 26 December 2010

Anselm Hollo: Somewhere



House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), Male, Lost Dutchman State Park, Apache Junction, Arizona: photo by Alan D. Wilson, 2007

between the cat and the tree
must be our country

and the finch
singing above us

to the world
that suffers

and yearns


House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), Male, Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Ladner, British Columbia
: photo by Elaine R. Wilson, 2006

File:Cat dancing in the snow-Tscherno.jpg

Cat dancing in snow
: photo by Matthias Zirngibl, 2006

Somewhere: Anselm Hollo, from a holiday e-card, 2010


tpw said...

Anselm: Nice poem. That cat is enjoying life. Happy Boxing Day.

Anonymous said...

And what beautiful finch pictures. Just amazing, so detailed.




Yes, thanks -- Anselm ("finch/ singing") --


pink cloud in pale blue sky above black
trees, song sparrow calling from branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

volume, not that it becomes
therefore linear form

or point, in space distance
from each, two bodies

grey-white clouds reflected in channel,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

John B-R said...

Tom, it's nice to read this the day after that strangest day of the year.

A few years ago, when Anselm Hollo experienced some heart problems, I sent him the following letter:

Yesterday, while visiting Tom Raworth’s web site, I saw that you have suffered a health crisis. It seems possible you might stand some cheering up, and that a gushy fan letter might do the trick.

In the late 60s I was still in my teens. A sequence of events too tedious to rehearse here brought me to what Anne Waldman has called a vow to poetry (little did I know how completely great and crazy would be the consequences …). I showed my early poems to Jack Shoemaker, who at the time worked at Serendipity Books (my father was a book collector; that was my in). Jack’s words: you haven’t read much, have you? Here’s some Pound, here’s some Olson … I walked out of the shop with your The Coherences.

That was the beginning of a lifelong Hollo-habit. Its latest manifestation: just last week we were in San Francisco. While in the poetry room at City Lights, I came across your translation of Saarikoski’s Trilogy, which of course I had to have. In addition, while I was deciding whether to pick up some Andrew Schelling (whose name I’ve known but whose work I haven’t read) I saw a quote from you on the back of his Old Growth, which swayed me towards purchase.

O, you have much for which to answer …

It’s undoubtedly true that I have internalized aspects of your poetics (as I’ve under- and misunderstood and twisted them) and brought them over into my own work. But every so often my debt rises to the surface where I’m conscious of it. I will take advantage of your current state to force one poem upon you, where the debt (and homage) is explicit:

[Dear reader of this review, I will not take advantage of your “present state” to force the poem on you … that would be really tacky, methinks … as it was probably tacky to force it on Hollo … but what’s done is done … ah, well …]

Thank you for everything, and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.


John B-R said...

Sorry for leaving the in the bit about "this review", but I cutnpasted from a review of two of AH's books I wrote a couple years ago.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Beautiful, beautiful ... such a fine poem. I should say poems, loved the holiday card also. (and photos, too)

You've sent me scurrying to my too dusty copy of Sojourner Microcosms:

black elk speaks

black elk speaks & speaks



walk away

black elk goes on speaking

--- Anselm Hollo

TC said...

Don, I can still hear their mighty cosmic footsteps, getting fainter and fainter.

Artur, I thought of you in picking those two finches out of my final "shortlist" of twenty-three finches.

Madame Beyond, in the charming (chilly, that is) hours before dawn, shot down the other twenty-one finches, one by one, with helpful running commentary on the insane obsessiveness of my nocturnal photosearches. She is the Nimrod of finches. (But of course she is also, almost always, right... and I'm terrible at defending my finches.)

At any rate... Alan and Elaine Wilson are perhaps my favourite bird photographers, though at the same time time I would not wish to take anything away from, for example, Noodle snacks, who photographed the birds in Born-Again Christmas (two posts down).

Ed Baker said...

"I needed that!"

my first 'taste' of (anything Hollo via a Microbook
(American Mirrors) included in ATHANOR 5 , Winter, 1973

here we are yet with Anselm Hollo Winter, 2010!

a finch/a poet


ain't no computer ever gonna be able to
so do ...... ever.

TC said...

The song sparrow finds its finch, as the grove finds its altar.

For a year or so there were cynical doubts in my mind as to the spontaneity of the cat photo; I feared set-up, staging, dangled treats.

Then a wave of innocence (or shall one say naïveté) swept through.

I am currently convinced that the cat is leaping to catch the uncatchable all over treat factory of the snow (oh happy day).

Mariana Soffer said...

I wanted to wish you a merry Xmas and a wonderful new year, dont think I do not come here to read your blog, I enjoy it a lot, I became just too lazy to write.

Be well my friend

Curtis Faville said...

Don't hear much from Anselm anymore.

Does he blog?

Ed Baker said...


he most likely yet
writes letters or sends post cards

or picks up his rotary Ameche!

I expect a call ...
any moment

I have as he so does

nothing to say
will get back to him
& y'all

when I have even less to say

come visit when you have
less time

TC said...

All one can say on this subject is that if, as appears to be the case, blogging is any part of the fuel that keeps up Ed's energy levels, then the medium certainly ought to be recommended to anyone, and, in particular, anyone who would wish to put off dying yet awhile.