Wednesday, April 03, 2013

shameless self-promotion

Okay, the latest issue of Lou Rowan's excellent Golden Handcuffs Review hasn't got its picture online quite, but if you go to the website & PayPal'd them some money they'll send it your way pronto. (Better yet, subscribe!) It's got new poetry, prose, & reviews from a whole bunch of cool people: David Antin, Louis Armand, Andrea Augé, John Baldessari, Kenneth Bernard, Amanda Berenguer, Joshua Cohen, Rikki Ducornet, Kristin Dykstra, Ken Edwards, Andrew Ervin, Paul Griffiths, Hank Lazer, Stacey Levine, Brian Marley, David Miller, Paul Naylor, Paul Perry, Joe Ashby Porter, Peter Quartermain, Marthine Satris, Kyle Schlesinger, Maurice Scully, Keith Waldrop, & Rosmarie Waldrop.

And I have a piece too, on the anagram in Ronald Johnson. It begins like this:
1] The anagram – a “name or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another” – although a feat of undeniable ingenuity, has gotten little respect over the history of English poetry. In The Arte of English Poesie (1589), George Puttenham dismissed the anagram as “a thing if it be done for pastime and exercise of the wit without superstition commendable inough and mete study for Ladies, neither bringing them any great gayne nor any great losse unlesse it be of idle time…” The anagram’s “pleasure” lies in the “grateful newes or matter” that can be wrung from the transposition of the letters of one phrase into another: Pilate’s question "Quid est veritas?" (What is truth?) can be answered "Est vir qui adest" (It is the man who is here); Puttenham’s own happy anagrammatizing finds in “Elissabet Anglorum Regina” “Multa regnabis ense gloria” (By thy sword shalt thou raigne in great renowne) and “Multa regnabis sene gloria” (Aged and in much glorie shall ye raigne). “[B]icause there is much difficulty in it, and altogether standeth upon hap hazard,” Puttenham concedes, the anagram “is compted for a courtly conceit no lesse than” the emblem. A “courtly conceit,” but something less than true poetry: Puttenham’s discussions of both the emblem and the anagram were cancelled from most copies of The Arte of English Poesie.
It goes on, thru Dryden's Mac Flecknoe and Addison on true & false wit, and ends up in Johnson's interstellar spaces. Check it out.