backyard poetry

August 6, Saturday afternoon. A thunder storm in Brooklyn after days of heat and humidity. I lie on my bed enjoying it, noticing the rain running down the bark of the tree outside my window. Charles [Reznikoff] would have enjoyed that. Backyard poetry, he wrote a lot of it. Backyard but not sentimental: the trees, the bark, the oblong light in the darkness scrupulously observed. That is what the Objectivists had in common. (Though Charles once told me that all they had in common when they first met was the state of being unpublished and an admiration for the dos and don’ts that Ezra Pound was publishing in Poetry magazine.)

—Harvey Shapiro, “Remembering Charles Reznikoff,” Charles Reznikoff: Man and Poet (National Poetry Foundation, 1984) edited by Milton Hindus

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