Ronald Johnson's Modernist Collage Poetry (Modern and by R. Hair

By R. Hair

Ronald Johnson’s Modernist college Poetry is the 1st monograph to handle the legacy of the yankee poet, Ronald Johnson (1935-1998). Drawing upon by no means earlier than noticeable archival fabric, this publication units out to appreciate Johnson’s poetry within the context of the “New American” university culture, stretching from Ezra Pound to Louis Zukofsky and past. also, Ross Hair assesses Johnson’s paintings on the subject of wider questions relating literary chronologies, in particular the discontinuities typically obvious to exist among nineteenth-century Romantic and twentieth-century modernist literary types.

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I spent years reading in the two huge volumes of the Dover Edition of Thoreau’s Journal to sharpen my eye and how it intersects with text. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromso - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-13 CHAPTER 1 ● Ronald Johnson’s Modernist Collage Poetry Stevens’s Romanticism and Pound’s Modernist classicism. ’ ”5 In Johnson’s assessment of Thoreau, there is attention and awareness for both: a Poundian concern for what lies on the surface and a Stevensian or Romantic speculation about what exists beyond or within it.

Thus, when I found my métier was rust, not paint, I finally became a visual artist. (U 114) Johnson’s salvages show a resourceful, pragmatic sensibility that is also applied to his poetry. And like his poetry, these assemblages are as much a response to folk and outsider art as to the avant-garde art world. As Rasula has noted, Johnson has a long-standing interest in the visionary and vernacular outsider art of “naïf” self-taught artists such as Rodia and Hampton. ”63 The self-taught visionary, innocent of rules, is evident in ARK ’s bricolage poetics, which favor vernacular and naïf forms of collage over Pound’s high modernist model.

In the early 1980s, Johnson with sound technician Roger Gans made a sound recording for KQED in San Francisco. 55 “I used records,” Johnson tells O’Leary, “and stitched together a music with a sound technician to make a real music from six little bird songs” (RJ 582). The music recalls the “musique concréte” pioneered by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry on recordings such as Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul (1950), where audio collages of pre-recorded sounds are sped up, slowed down, played backwards, altered in pitch and intensity, or subjected to reverb.

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