শুক্রবার, ২৭ মার্চ, ২০২০

SYNAPSE ESSAY THE NINTH: The Enigma of / Henri-Martin Barzun / by karl kempton

  The Enigma of / Henri-Martin Barzun

is that he is and remains an enigma. An enigma inhabiting, as a shadowy figure, if at all, visual text history. Despite his acknowledged status in avant-garde Paris, despite being written about in English and American poetry magazines before WWI. His works appeared in journals and anthologies after WWI into the 1950s — he's everywhere I look and yet he is somehow without trace. He exists as he exits — called upon by name, but rarely meaningfully discussed.

What we witness from Barzun is a scale of visual poetry composed by typewriter (or typographic) neither reached for nor achieved by anyone I know of, to date. His epic LOrhéide is a visual kinetic work full of, “choruses, dialog, songs and unisons; also soliloquies, fragments of prose, pure sounds and even noises (from his son, discussed later, who typed it).” Nor is there another original visual poetry /lyrical narrative epic of comparable scale. Large scale works exist but either with “found” elements illuminated by the subtractive treated-text process, such as Tom Phillips’ a Humument and his beautiful rendering of Dante’s Inferno. These are altered works, not Simultanisme scores. Barzun’s approach can be considered a lyrical visual poetry found decades later in the works of Americans Kenneth Patchen, d. a. levy,(1) Karl Young,(2) and a few others around the globe. The imagist Pound equated in one review the questing narrative with rhetoric. His two reviews, mentioned below, self-contradict. Perhaps when he wrote “rhetorical,” he was referring to the prose, forgetting in that moment the lyricism remembered in the other review. Ezra Pound initially disliked Walt Whitman until he finally came to terms with his poetry, but remained positioned that it was too raw. Contrarily, Barzun early in his poetic life inhaled from Whitman to free himself of the symbolists. Only Patchen’s poetic novels of the 1940s approach the scale of Barzun’s achievements but Patchen’s novels, two of which have to be read as poetic novels containing its hosts of varied prosaic and poetic and visual features, were not a sustained simultaneous visual score. Similar-but-different is the massive outpouring of 1000 paintings by Hilma af Klint, that subdivide into individual series, not a single work of separate panels.

Barzun’s many individual pages, demonstrated by the small sampling here (impromptu photographs by Michael Winkler) were more complex than ideogrammes and calligrammes produced by Apollinaire and others. Not limiting or tying himself to the ideogramme, calligramme or the imagist poetic, he extended visual poetry possibilities by combining multi-voiced lyricism, other prosody and prosing with many visual elements. In fact he rejected ideogrammes, calligrammes, and the old mythological story following instead an archetypal epic format with its quest participants and leader forming a new myth for the new age. Thus, my choice to introduce this essay with the dawning sun page, voices dawning the sun into a new millennium. Using a web translator there is descending from the top “consciousness       justice       light,” followed by “finite passion / human in the / new order.” With the obvious referenced luminosity of the page, consider Barzun first at his notebook drafting this page and then sitting and typing one horizontal line at a time descending to its final strike of the key at the margin on the right. In a sense, consciously or not, he was descending from pure light above the page into a manifested typed reality following the outline of cosmologies making up the collective of perennial philosophy. Descending from the One, the Unknowable, consciousness flows as Beauty, then Truth, then into the Nous, the One’s Intellect with its golden ideal forms and entities at first only essences; then they descend into energies; and finally descending as grosser material substances of our perceived reality. Descending is again found in figure 2 beginning at the top of the page with “soul / life of flame peaks."  

Fig 2

A Mixed Blessing from Mr Pound

The Pisan Cantos by Ezra Pound were written during incarceration in 1945 for activities supporting fascist Italy during WWII. The book was published in 1948 by New Directions and awarded the Bollingen Prize for poetry by the Library of Congress in 1949. These Cantos contain this now-obscure reference to the Simultaneism work of Barzun. (Barzun’s Simultaneism and Ezra Pound are discussed below. )

here are in fact several coarse expressions used in the
army and Monsieur Barzun had, indubitably. an idea, about amo

domini 1910 but I do not know what he has done with it

Pound’s question was answered by his publisher, Jame Laughlin, in the 1946 New Directions Annual #6. It contained a long exposition by Jacques Barzun, Henri-Martin Barzun’s son, a few pages from L’ Orphéide, and the longest of the anthology’s notes on its contributors. Here is a segment: 

. . . the Orphéide is an epic of death and resurrection. Its theme is man’s effort, typified by the flight of an airship. First its creation, then its journey, then its destruction ending in death and a re-beginning. Placing philosophic consciousness in the flying ship enables the poet to re-create a world and convey its comprehension to the beholder as Mallarmé desired. Not only the earth and the myriad activities of its inhabitants, but the skies — the screen on which man’s knowledge is projected — and the myth and histories of people and places pass in review, ordered in accordance with a vision which is, in a sense, instantaneous as well as simultaneous, from the first page to the 300th.
Jacques Barzun(3)

The imprint of this coverage of Barzun unfortunately seems to have had a short half life. Barzun’s numerous self published hardbacks on Orphism are now collector items. We see a Barzun-Patchen intersection in this publication with a selection from Kenneth Patchen’s Sleepers Awake. Though none of the pages contained the visual poetics found in the book, two disappeared visual poets from concrete and visual poetry histories were published together, 1946. 

William Blake is the English-speakers’ primary visual text artist within Romanticism, the rebellion against Neo-Classicism's rationality. Earlier shaped poems by George Herbert are also well known. There is the work by 1865, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s ( Lewis Carroll’s), mouse-tail poem, in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Out of the Symbolists, a rebellion against Romanticism and Impressionism, came its spacial-typographical revolutionary, Stéphen Mallarmé, who wrote / composed the voice scored long poem, Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard (A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance) now considered by many the forerunner of modern and post modern concrete and visual poetries.(4) (See most recently the remarkable Eric Zboya Translation of Mallarmé, 2019.) Each movement a “revolt” against its predecessor. While there was not a specific visual text art movement within Modern Art, the rebellion against Symbolism, visual poetry and painted word works were no longer uncommon; out of many of its isms came visual poems and painted word works. Within some national areas visual poetries and painted word arts developed not only with their own specific theories and approaches, but competing factions fought over definitions of terms and approaches. Poetically the Imagists, founded in 1912, can be put forward as the poetic rebellion against Symbolism dwelling no longer on symbols but words forming concrete images. With a return to a more objective descriptive concrete reality, their poetic was informed by Ezra Pound's misunderstanding that Asian ideogrammes were not phonetic but pictorial. After WWI, another rebellion occurred, this one against the Imagists calling for a return to the word and humankind’s deep rooted mythologies in the collective unconscious and their associated symbols all to be vibrated by new energetics of rhythm, chant and syntax of, by and for the word. Its name, Vertical poetry, wore many embellishments that evolved over a decade, including a nod to Orphism.

Reviewing this history, concrete and some visual poetic literati chose a zigzag pathway between selected individuals and approaches to justify their own school as unique. They bulldozed a narrow path into concrete poetics, taken for granted today by those not exposed to other possibilities. Ignoring these alternatives some individuals have formed a narrowed visual poetic.

The following is a look at one significant pioneer with extraordinarily wide vision, Henri-Martin Barzun. Perhaps, as the evidence piles up, there’s an argument to say he was deliberately “disappeared.” Adding to his importance is found in his ideas that remain in use but disguised through redefinition. My overview on Barzun is followed by an afterword on Kenneth Patchen. 

Despite Barzun coining two primary avant-garde terms, one of which informs theory and composition for visual and sound poetics to this moment from his announcement of it in 1906.(5) Despite publishing books rich with Simultaneism / Simultané and Orphism, 1906-1962, and a well known journal that in part was dedicated to Simultaneism, 1912-1914. Despite completing a visual epic work of seven volumes, 1907-1913 (with sections published in book form and its completed effort to be published in 1914 but for WWI). Despite copies of its manuscript in several well known hands in 1913. Despite parts published in journals and anthologies, 1913-1950s. Despite commentary by the English expert on avant-garde French poetics, F. S. Flint, 1913. Despite reviews and commentary by Ezra Pound, 1913, and pointing to his visual and choral poetics in Pisan Cantos. The enigma of Barzun will remain until a thorough investigation of his archived works at Columbia University brings his visual work and contributions back into aesthetics in visual text and other arts.(6) 

Consider this a digital scan. The thorough investigative project report must be full, analog. Too distant for my reach from where I sit at this moment 2550 miles as the crow flies west of the archives. I will not widen my carbon footprint. Requirements: need to be able to read French and English and a passion for historical accuracy in visual and sound poetics. Among many missing facts are the journals and anthologies where work was published and specific dates of published books. The few existing web sources on publication dates disagree. Dates jump, especially the epic’s. His own dates we have access to I honor.(7) Invaluable too for the history of visual and sound poetry aesthetics sits in his boxes of “Correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, notebooks, and publications.”(8) 



  Simultanisme / Simultaneism

Fig 3

That the treble concurrence of a newly-born century under the favorable and symbolic XXth number, with the promise of an Age of unlimited material progress illustrated by the Fair (1900 World’s Fair, Paris), and the advent of a new generation to witness both, acted as a tremendous spiritual stimulus on the minds of that generation, is beyond question.

Neither a Cloister nor a Tower of Gloom, our Abbaye was a youthful and enthusiastic Fraternity of French “Brook Farmers”,”Larkists” and “Pre-Raphaelites” all at once, whose aim was to adjust to give the new Century a Literature and a Culture commensurate with its momentous destinies. It was a great spiritual adventure and worthy example of devotion to Art.
Henri-Martin Barzun

Poet Henri-Martin Barzun (1881-1973) co-founded with artist Albert Gleizes and others the utopian artistic and literary community, L‘Abbaye de Créteil (1906-1908). It was a venture against ongoing commercialism of the arts. Though not wealthy, he paid for the first six months of rent and purchased its printing press, the foundation of the dream for their financial security. A couple of years or so before, the founder of Italian Futurism, Marinetti, visited the utopians. Many times apparently. He was not the only arrival from afar. Word had spread; visitors from neighboring Paris and distant countries were common. Before Marinetti’s arrival, Barzun already had coined two terms, Simultaneism(10) and Orphism, influenced by many factors. One was discussions and writings on four dimensional geometry. Others were the philosophical writings of Henri Bergson, a Platonist. Because of his musings on the intuitive and spirituality, Bergson has been dumped into the “Neoplatonist” pejorative bin by philosophers not living a search-for-Truth life but earning coin in exchange for opined, supposedly rational, grandstanding. The Platonic golden realm remains held at a distance as mythical, a realm also acknowledged by Ch’an masters and others associated with perennial philosophy. 
Another meaningful influence was the Unanimism / Unanimisme conceived and developed by novelist, dramatist and poet Jules Romains (Louis-Henri-Jean Farigoule). His form of Unanimism held in its newly born hand the universality of humanity, its group consciousness, and emotion; this the poet should enter into and merge with the higher transcendent level. Not a member of the Abbaye, Romains nevertheless was a frequent visitor and participant in its discussions. The Abbaye press published his La Vie Unanime in 1908. Another influence on Barzun, according to Christopher Townsend, was the writings on the Symbolists and Neoimpressionists by Paul Adam / Daniel Robbins. Townsend suggests Barzun’s large scale epic was prompted by these ideas.(11) The first book published by the Abbaye press was Paul Adam’s L'Art et la Nation.

Discussing Barzun by cutting his Simultaneism away from his Orphism is a later historical disservice as followers split into factions, some of which were contentious. One faction was allied with Apollinaire; the other with Marinetti. Obviously Barzun’s tight-woven complex cosmological and philosophical braids were at odds with many post WWI ideas. But not all. There were journals publishing portions of his epic and a theater that produced it.

Barzun’s Simultaneism (allied with Romains’) rejected the single-voiced poem as a form being unable to adequately capture modern, hectic urban life with all its voices and noise. The single voice implied a limited awareness and experience (kin perhaps to the coming rejection of the single point-of-view painting with its triangular vanishing-point perspective), no matter how large or deep, against the backdrop of the new dynamics of the young twentieth century. Only with simultaneous, multiple voices through choral chanting, he proposed, was it plausible to express the multi-pointed reality, reality experienced through each individual in the same moment, of the new burgeoning and bustling city energies.

Barzun and those allied with his idea of Simultaneism sought harmony, a balance between the individual and the group, finding patterns in what at first seemed chaos contrary to those, among them Italian Futurists, choosing a morphed Simultaneism poetic of the individual bombarded by a chaos experienced through the new lens of modernism. Barzun’s Simultaneism lead into his long project of choral poetics that embraced Orphism as a revolutionary ideal new art. This of course suggests his choral work being rooted into Greek theater and deeper into all the ramifications of Orpheus’ story as poet, religious reformer, and associated symbols. Though choral performance is group expression, it is a collective of individual rhythmic patterns in a harmony, the ideal balance of individual and group. His Simultaneism differed with Romains’ Unanimisme wherein the individual is subsumed into the collective, disappearing. Definitely not a transcendent philosophy but one it seems responding to Hegelian, Marxian and /or anarchist communalism. Barzun’s groundwork for his epic began in 1907. This suggests of course much pondering and drafts beforehand. His diaries(1904-1916, box 51) may hold the key for dates. Given the early dates of his Simultaneism, the popularity of the Abbaye for the avant-garde, and the numerous well attended discussions, I wonder how much, if any, of his ideas migrated into cubism’s conceptual pre-birth womb either directly or indirectly through Apollinaire to Picasso, friends since 1905. Known for certain are his relationship with cubists Albert Gleizes, Robert Delaunay and others related to Abbaye. In Hymne des Forces, 1912, many voices are telling voices of perennial philosophical archetypes: hero, athlete, magus, poet, prophet and philosopher.

From probings and initial experiments, his poems evolved becoming visual poem scores for choral performance. We will not know the details of his process until the diaries are studied and translated. The earliest example in book form, published by the Abbaye press, was The Terrestrial Tragedy / La Terrestre Tragédie, 1907. It was reprinted the next year by another publisher and a version in 1910 for a choral performance. Forty three pages of Orphic Panharmonie / Panharmonie Orphique appeared in 1907 and were republished in 1909. Also in 1908 The Mountain, Voices and Choruses of the Earth: Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer, Harvest Festival, Autumn / La Montagne, Voix et Choeurs de la Terre: Automne, Hiver, Printemps,Eté, Féte des Moissons, Automne was published. In 1912 his book, The Anthem of the Forces, dramatic poem / L’Hymne des Forces, poème dramatique was published.(12)

His 1907-1913 epic, L’Orphéide, of 750 pages began partial publication in 1907, was used in lectures and exhibited, and from 1913 into 1950s sections appeared in a variety of journals. According to Townsend Barzun exhibited in Paris some of the original of Orphéide, the sixth part of La Terrestre Tragedie, in 1913.(13) The full list to be made from his archive.(14) Manuscript copies of the completed work were in the hands of various individuals in Europe; it was to be published in 1914. One of these individuals it must be assumed was Apollinaire. The chasm that split them apart had yet to fully open. It seemed at that moment there was not even a crack; apparently he was close and learning much from Barzun. WWI blocked publication.

L’Orphéide is truly an epic, a transmission that originates from long-gone Greece, with Orpheus and 49 other voices. But Orpheus’ quest here is not as a member of the Argo vessel seeking the Golden Fleece but the leader on the airship Atlas. The airplane at the time of the poem’s inception was rare and an exciting image for all. Return to his son’s comments quoted above.

Should it be mentioned Mallarmé’s Coup de Dé at that moment was not well known? Jacques Barzun suggests his father’s epic created enough of a controversy about orchestral poetry to have caused its reprinting.(15) If so, the missing link between Mallarmé and Apollinaire’s calligrammes was indeed well known and not forgotten but ignored or worse — deliberately disappeared among concrete and visual poetry “commentators” as Barzun was at his zenith, often mentioned in sound poetry histories and credited with creating Simultaneism. However, those crediting him referred to its presentation in his magazine in 1912 (some 1913), apparently neglecting its initial appearance during his Abbaye days. That is, according to the Transition contributor notes, he began Simultanisme musings in 1900, twelve years earlier. Using the later date of course disappears Marinetti’s visits to the Abbaye and being taught Simultaneism as well as Apollinaire’s much earlier exposure.

After the utopian effort collapsed in 1908, the Barzun family moved to Paris. They offered the world a salon. Its regular attendees included Gleizes, Apollinaire, Archipenko, Cocteau, Duchamp, Léger, Metzinger and others. Nearly a hundred or so individuals were constant or occasional attendees. Gleizes painted Madame Barzun’s cubist portrait 1911.(16) This was the home in which their son, Jacques Barzun, born at Abbaye in 1907, was raised. The richness of his cultural education meant that as a child he thought almost everyone a poet, writer or artist. In 1911, Apollinaire wrote the preface for Catalogue of 8th Salon annuel du Cercle d'art Les Indépendants, Musée moderne de Bruxelles, 10 June – 3 July 1911, for the first cubist exhibition outside Paris. The following year, 1912, Gleizes and Metzinger published Du Cubisme, the first book on Cubism.)17) Their book was followed in 1913 by Apollinaire’s book, Les Peintres Cubistes, Méditations Esthétiques / The Cubist Painters, Aesthetic Meditations, influenced by their theories and practices. His ideas were closely associated with the epic views found in the art, writings, and theories of L'Abbaye de Créteil members.(18)

So, Barzun maintained his influence in French avant-garde activities after the attempt at Abbaye collapsed through toWWI, the event that shattered an expanding cultural movement from New York City to Moscow. In 1917 he came to the States as member of the French diplomate team for the war effort. Setting up a new home in America in New York,  1919, his activities continued. Before the move he was known secondhand by Stieglitz, a supporter of Apollinaire’s work through his associate Marius de Zayas. Marius de Zayas met Apollinaire through Picasso while in Paris representing Stieglitz’s gallery. Zayas does not  mention Barzun, Simultaneism, or Orphism in his book.(19) He did, however, publish an article in issue 1, page 2, March 1915, of 291 on Simultaneism in which on page 5 appeared Apollinaire’s ideogramme, “Voyage.”(20) Apollinaire earlier had published in his own journal a number of Zaya’s works I consider the first American visual poems. This chapter of Barzun’s encounters and associations with America’s avant-garde for me is unreachable. Its richness was suggested by Robert Crunden’s comments that includes Barzun and the mixing of salon participants in Paris and New York. Again, the full story no doubt is boxed in his archive. 
Fig 4

While there are a few highlights worth mentioning in the 1930s and 1940s, first there is commentary on him by Pound. Before WWI Ezra Pound wrote twice on Barzun. Ezra Pound aficionados may be familiar with Barzun from comments in Poetry, Vol. 3, 1913 and New Age, Vol 8, No. 25, 1913. 

Henri-Martin Barzun stands apart from the rest and preaches "Simultaneity," which is to say, he wishes us to write our poems for a dozen voices at once as they write an orchestral score. M. Jammes has done something like this in Le Triomphe de la Vie. M. Barzun's ideas, as expressed in L'Ere du Drame, are interesting, and L'Hymne des Forces moved me by its content and underlying force rather than by its execution. The proletariat would seem to be getting something like a coherent speech. This seems to me significant.
Ezra Pound(22)

Barzun’s “Hymne des Forces” moved me, although I thought it rhetorical. It seemed to me significant that the voice of the mass should have come SO near to being coherent. M. Barzun is nowhere near being content with the book above-mentioned. The polyphonic method will be justified when a great work is presented through it. In the meantime there is no use blinding oneself to the fact that the next great work may be written in this manner. It is not an impossibility, and M. Barzun is not altogether an imbecile.
Ezra Pound(23)

Apparent in Pound’s quote: he had not seen, and perhaps never did, the epic’s manuscript and its visual scoring. Had he, would he not have commented on it? Of his critique of the performance above, I can only point to contradiction: 1) “moved me by its content and underlying force rather than by its execution:” and 2) “I thought it rhetorical. It seemed to me significant that the voice of the mass should have come SO near to being coherent.” Both reviews were written the same year on the same performance. I will comment on this later. Barzun was widely published; his aesthetic ideas and vision were widely influential in art and literature. One point of this essay is his place in visual poetry, what he composed visually, and the fact he was disappeared, consciously it seems as evidence builds. More follows about the significance of his visual poetry once I complete the context of his disappearance.

Fig 6

Fig 7


Back to 1906 and Abbaye. While Barzun worked out his Simultaneism, he with Gleizes and others of the group tried to create a new integrated art embracing all the arts. He called it Orphism. It followed that Orphism would be fully integrated with a new form of society. In their eyes Orphism required a group effort to form its theory given the vastness and complexity of the project, which was to create a new art for a new social program for the future, a Futurism before the Futurists and close to what their Russian peers were to gravitate towards, as opposed to the forthcoming Italian model. As a part of this arc, Gleizes and others, part of or associated with Abbaye or the following Barzun salon, developed his cubism with a larger vision in mind, large-scale scenes in contrast to the still-life forms of Picasso, Braque, and Gris (their study of form), again generally closer to the Russian interests. Robert Delaunay’s entry into the 1913 New York Armory show was rejected not because of subject or appearance but size, too large.

Recall that Apollinaire at one time was a close friend of Barzun. Before the chasm split, Bohn suggests Apollinaire was in a self imposed discipleship.(24) Such a relationship then further implies Apollinaire absorbing Barzun’s Simultanisme with its dramatic framework infused with Orphism. Apollinaire published Le Bestiaire ou Cortège d’Orphée /The Bestiary or Procession of Orpheus, 1911. Among the writings mentioning Orphism I did not find any probes into the huge project of Orphism by Barzun. Nor into the implications of Orpheus associated with Orphism. It seems the commentators on Orphism accepted whatever a reader’s understanding or lack of Orpheus. This is not the place to address such a complexity. My thoughts and commentary on Orpheus are found in the last section of my book on the history of visual text art.(25)

Orphism spread to England through “Richard Aldington, F. S. Flint, Arthur Ransome, Harold Munro, John Mansfield and others. They changed the name of their magazine, The New Poetry, to Poetry and Drama in honor of (Barzun’s) Poèm et Drame.”(26) In its inaugural 1913 issue Flint writes on Barzun with the knowledge of his universal Orpheus poem in seven parts even referring to it as a “score.” Seems he may have been one who had access to or was given a copy of the manuscript.(27)Poèm et Drame published Cocteau, Marinetti, Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Joachim Gasquet, Carlos Larronde, Georges Polti, Fernand Divoire, Gleizes, Metzinger and others.(28) Perhaps here it should be mentioned Cocteau’s long interest in Orpheus including three films, the last remains a classic. A car radio presents itself as a muse to Orpheus from which Orpheus writes a new form and hypnotized so deeply it becomes the cause of Orpheus’ distraction allowing Death to take his wife.

Then there are the above Ezra Pound comments on Barzun. WWI ended both magazines. Out of the initial efforts evolved Barzun’s life long work on Orphism. The Italian futurist model led to the embrace of fascism. General commentaries on post WWI are mute on the consequences of the Eurocentric cultures’ loss of its young and forthcoming visionary writers, artists, poets, and philosophers: the Light of an idealism eclipsed by the celebration of darkness found in post WWI dystopic envisioned cosmologies and scatterological work pretending Simultanisme / Simultaneism. Born into a smoggy environment one generally assumes its “naturalness.” The individual indeed struggling against chaos with no hope of finding harmony unless under the thumb of a strong man. A possible resurrection of an Orphic potential, a consciously formed and channeled artistic and poetic reformation denied by societal forces disallowing, once again, the meek, the poor in spirit, (egoless) to inherit the earth. Barzun persisted throughout his life as a champion of Orphism born before or within his days at the utopian Abbaye.

The chasm and its consequences

A glance at the epic.

The reality and the varied awareness of its parts are rendered through an orchestration of voices, each of which reveals its meaning and origin without outside explanation or ascription. To the four levels of epic doing—the physical journey, the intellectual discovery, the moral meaning, and the religious vision. there is an added fifth overtone: from the recurring hint that the flying ship is the earth itself, we are led to infer that the tragic fate of the voyagers is inescapable, in both senses: not to e warded off and not to be shirked. Our end is out beginning.(29)

Placing the philosophic consciousness in the flying ship enables the poet to re-create the world and convey its comprehension to the beholder Mallarmé desired.

The substance of the mass is very diverse. There are choruses, dialog, songs and unisons; also soliloquies, fragments of prose, pure sounds and even noises. Freed from set form by the whole tradition of French poetry from the romantics to the Symbolists and encouraged by Whitman’s example, the poet could mould rhythm and speech upon the contours of the dramatic construction.(30)

It would be rather tedious to recount the number of imitations and approximations which the joint effect of the Orphéide and the Coup de Dé—both antedating the last war—have brought forth since. Apollinaire’s Calligrammes is perhaps the best known, being also the most amusing.(31)
Jacques Barzun

Begun in 1908, Barzun completed LOrhéide in 1913. Orpheus’ quest here is not as a member of theArgo sea going vessel seeking the Golden Fleece as a participating crew member on-call for specific tasks but the leader on the airship Atlas. From the web I translated and adjusted but excluding line and space breaks,“for the great conquest heroes will carry the assault of mankind into the sky delivering in our name the supreme battle embroidered on our flags the victory of the air O geniuses unite the Earth to the Universe.” Except Orpheus, none of the crew members are traditional European archetypal heroes, rather an ideal democratic crew, a collection of outstanding individuals in their fields — scientists, poets, navigators, artisans, engineers, electricians, astronomers, artists, and workers — in flight as air-born-pioneers in the quest to conquer the sky. Barzun’s epic is one reflection or meditation or conclusion after considerable pondering by many of the pre-WWI avant-garde working towards an ideal world populated by a humankind reaching for higher consciousness. As mentioned the outline is archetypal, ascent, descent, death, and resurrection. Its unfolding deep not only in Christian Europe but deeper into the Keltic and Greek mythologies and cosmologies and symbols underlying the forced upon Roman and Christian. That Orpheus leads the quest moves us directly into the cosmology of not only Orphean Greek Ways but their later evolution into Platonic and global perennial philosophy. Barzun not only worked with Whitman’s implications of a poetic but also the underlying democratic philosophy and coming together of Platonic and South Asian philosophies: the universality of humankind and the individual soul as part of the One. An American model for the founding of L’Abbaye was the utopian Transcendentalist Brook Farm. Its demise was not the failure of its income model, though income was always uncertain with no deep financial backing. They were dependent on selling farming goods, handmade items, fees paid by visitors, and their school. They invested in a building a large structure; not insured when it burned down, the failure was being uninsured.

Until proven otherwise, which means another individual of his or her stature remains hidden, Barzun’s visual score was breakthrough visual poetry, a unique visual poetry by typewriter. It was unique too to typographical visual poetry to this moment. The entire unprecedented epic was also a visual poetry score unlike ideogrammes or calligrammes in at least two instances. First, some individual pages contained first-of-their type; many are more complex than the ideogrammes and calligrammes. And second, it can be seen in a single unit as a long sonic kinetic work. Mallarmé’s Un Coup de Dés is a spatial paged-score in which the lyrical word phrases sped up or slowed down dependent on the spacing; loudness and softness were rendered by type size and capital-letter boldness. Some believe his Un Coup de Dés the forerunner of modern visual poetry. Obviously Barzun was influenced by it. Nevertheless, it was essentially a single voiced-viewed poem. Its look and read followed by a look and read (if you know French well enough) of the provided Barzun pages and the two web-linked journals for me clearly shows Barzun as Mallarmé’s heir as stated by his son. The provided sample pages photographed by Michael Winkler and recently processed by me for this essay came from Volume VII of LOrhéide, 1908-1914; the others are from the final retyped epic pasted into the folio format it seems in 1922 by his son. The other difference between the two manuscripts was coloring some of the folio pages. The retyping seems to have exactly followed the manuscript for the expected publication of the epic in 1914, except the added color. 1908 predates the first known words or iconographic markings appearing on canvas by the avant-garde painters, cubists or Russian Neo-primitives. Not to exclude the exquisite 1000 word and iconographics paintings and hundreds of notebooks begun in 1906 by Hilma af Klint, but they were hidden at her request until the 1960s and then unavailable for public viewing until the 1980s.

Barzun inscribed his epic on graph paper to insure exact spacing, a similar approach I used for 21 years composing by typewriter. Individual pages found in the 1908-1914 manuscript are identical to those pasted on pages in the folio. His archives contain the hand written manuscript and I assume earlier drafts. Though the folio pages were retyped in 1922 and then pasted onto larger pages for the final folio volumes, the original type pages were completed in final typed form by 1913 for the 1914 publication. Delving into the archives will provide how early some of his firsts in modern visual poetry were composed.

I chose a few pages with circles as samples. His intent was not to render a Futurist obsession with the speed of an airplane pulled by a rotating propeller as in a Futurist collage by Carlos Carrá, 1914, that has been proposed as the spark for a Apollinaire work discussed below.(32) Barzun’s work predates Carrá’s and Apollinaire’s use of the circle. Barzun rendered the forthcoming light radiated by an idealism. The circle has a host of symbolic meanings associated with idealism, wholeness, and perfection. Perfection here for Barzun would have been one of the purposes of the quest.

From the folio pages below, figure 10, seems the first three dimensional visual poem, typewriter or typographical, and also the first optical visual poem, typewriter or typographical, 1908-1914, until Patchen’s series, 1945, discussed below. A question to be answered is the year it was composed. The archive holds the answer, perhaps. This three dimensional / optical visual poem by itself makes him a candidate for membership as a visual poetry outrider returning with a new born type of visual poem. From the web translator, “annunciation / heroes standing one must go and defeat / the clock has struck here is the time you have to go and defeat / heroes standing up the clock rang you have to leave and defeat / the time has come / you have to leave.” Obviously the choral page is a chant raising another question. How did he queue his choral to resonate such that layers and their echoes suggested a page’s visual image? This applies to all other forms and types of the complex visual poem pages. Other works may be firsts with typewriter circles found in many figures. How did the choral’s sound create the ascending and descending arrows in figure 4? Note also three dimensional perspectives on various pages, again new. He composed other three dimensional aspects; space limits the number of samples. Again, were these also resonating to reflect the visual in a kinetic moment in the journey of the epic that itself, kinetically, was instantaneous?

It is unfortunate none of these pages from this score appeared in journals covered below. It is also unfortunate that two major typewriter art anthology editors were unaware of this rich body of work for their historical sections and nods. Obviously their stature exceeds by far the samples chosen for that time.

The fallings out

Barzun had a falling out with Apollinaire and the Delaunays over Simultaneism and Orphism in 1912. But, though a falling out, the chasm at first a large crack. Barzun and Apollinaire each founded their own magazine that year to represent their views. Barzun established Poème et Drame, and Apollinaire Les Soirées de Paris. He included Apollinaire in his issues. In Poème et Drame, Barzun again called for a poetry exhibiting the essence of an Orphic lyricism with multiple simultaneous voices in orchestration. Here we find the obvious inseparable complexity of his vision of Simultaneism united with his Orphism within the journal’s call for a new era, an era of drama.

It is well-known that Apollinaire was an early and relentless supporter of avant-garde expressions and a strong voice for Cubism. He is credited for the development of Simultanisme and Orphism and then applied the former’s theories to the ideogramme that became the calligramme. Broad-brushed summations of the accepted and repeated versions of his self-proclaimed movements and the terms assigned to him neglect his redefinitions of the original intents and the actual originator of the terms, Henri-MartinBarzun. Looking beyond footnotes and gloss-overs shows another version. This does not necessarily reduce his stature and accomplishments but rather brings to light overlooked concepts and works in need of their true place. Such spotlighting illustrates another pathway in visual poetics currently hidden by the shadow of the mountain of misinformation.

Apollinaire’s first affront was calling the collaboration between Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay-Terk, La prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France (Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of Little Jehanne of France) "Simultaneism".(33) Note the brilliance of the coloring. Sonia Delaunay sourced from her rich and color-filled Ukrainian background. Tagging the work Simultaneist in the context of the vast epic project by Barzun that Apollinaire was fully aware of turned the beginning of a crack into a wider rift. While a long poem, a poster poem, it is not a choral or simultaneous, instantaneous poem; it is an object that can be seen when fully opened all at once and perhaps entered at various points. Not an epic either but a long train ride poem. This is the first scaling down of Barzun’s vision by calling this a Simultaneist poem. The downsizing continued and became accepted and injected into an atmosphere of rising contentious isms as the avant-garde expanded in numbers and then the years when their work began to move into the wider resistant culture whose members remained unaware of this history.

The second affront and down-scaling can be seen as more egregious, calling Robert Delaunay’s bright cubism "Orphism". (How double-dare he!) Delaunay’s vivid-hued and honed cubism is an obvious result of his wife’s collaboration with Cendrars mentioned above. Robert Delaunay’s initial cubist paintings followed theories first proposed by Barzun and Gleizes rather than those guiding Picasso and company. By painting within this field of ideas, Gleizes and Delaunay made the step into abstraction.(34) Delaunay’s City of Paris was too large for the New York City 1913 Armory Show. Roberts points out the painting contained ideas from Gleizes and a Barzun poem which Delaunay sourced.(35) I am not critical of Delaunay’s and Apollinaire’s inspiration sourced from the L'Abbaye de Créteil founders, but am critical of their claiming Simultaneism and Orphism their own, while at the same time sourcing work from those they discredited.

Apollinaire’s Simultanisme-Librettism, a poem to be read /seen simultaneously, appeared with his “Lettre-Océan”/ “Ocean Letter,” 1914, in his counter journal, Les Soirrées de Paris, in the ongoing confrontations with Barzun. Much has been said about this poem and I defer to Willard Bohn,(36) except for a later observation. Bohn elsewhere discusses the closeness of the pair and their eventual irreconcilable break over Simultanisme. He does not discuss the conflicting differences over Simultanisme and Orphism between the two. He ignores the complexities of Barzun’s Simultanisme. Nevertheless, before the wide chasm opened (never to close) between the two, Bohn suggests Apollinaire was in a self-imposed discipleship relationship with Barzun, with the subsequent need to revolt.(37) Such a relationship then further implies Apollinaire absorbing Barzun’s Simultanisme with its dramatic framework and Orphism.

The third affront, perhaps the most unforgivable of the three, resides in the area of greatest influence in concrete poetry, the calligrammes by Apollinaire. In the eyes of the concrete poets and the concrete poetic lineage he is the heir apparent of Mallarmé. Apollinaire’s “L'Antitradition Futuriste, Manifeste=Synthese,” June, 1913, was a critique of Italian Futurism which he had attacked the previous year. It may be his first published ideogramme.(38) Perhaps his second ideogramme,“Lettre-Ocean,” mentioned above, appeared a year later in 1914.(39) The record thus shows his use of the term ideogramme between 1913-1915.

Apollinaire met Marius de Zayas in the spring of 1914 during the second of his excursions to Europe as a representative of Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery. They became immediate friends and colleagues. Marius de Zayas had made friends with other avant-garde artists during his earlier 1910-1911 European visit. Picasso was among them. He influenced de Zayas’s new visual text art form, psychotypes, with his Cubist ideas. The psychotypes impressed Apollinaire, who published a few. Until meeting Zayas, Apollinaire’s knowledge of ideogrammes was limited to Chinese and Japanese forms. Born and raised in Mexico, Zayas showed him the Mayan and Aztec writing systems.

The Chinese ideogram seduced its way into the avant-garde through the Italian Futurists, the Imagist English-language poetic movement, individuals associated with Apollinaire in Paris experimenting on a new visual poetry, and others to become an archetype by morphing into the calligramme (calli = beauty; gram = graph). The interest geographically seems to have been Italy, Spain, France, England, and North and South America. At that time it was assumed by those using this form as a template that Chinese ideograms were individual units of a pictorial, not phonetic, writing system. That Chinese was a tonal language apparently was overlooked or ignored. Despite the mistake, numerous visual poems were created with this blueprint from 1912 through the early 1920s, being picked up again by those following the concrete poetry ways from 1953 to the present.

The Apollinaire works from 1914 onward were reproduced by the newly invented photograme providing today’s readers and viewers his carefully composed hand-scripted ideogrammes / calligrammes — words freed from the bondage of typesetting requirements.(40) He died in the devastating influenza outbreak of 1918. His collection, Calligrammes, was published in 1919.(41) It must be pointed out Apollinaire lifted the term calligramme, first used in 1911, if not earlier, by Vincente Huidobro.(42) Apollinaire and he were friends. Again, a friend coins a term. Apollinaire the thief gets the credit.
Apollinaire’s ideogrammes / calligrammes became and remain a vital energetic influence in visual poetry and have become, as a form, either a rallying point as an example for use of pictograph-like approaches or an example to be purged in a contemporary mustering call for purity of typography without a visual image. As such, others rarely enter the discussion despite their strength and beauty.

A friend of Apollinaire, Pierre Albert-Birot, edited Sic,(43) 1916-1919, a magazine supporting Futurism and Cubism. Apollinaire’s famous “Il Pleut” (It’s raining) appeared in the December 1916 issue. Albert-Birot composed calligrammes, landscape, sign poems, and other types of visual poems.(44) His work was later praised by Lettriste Robert Sabatier, saying he was fifty years ahead of the Lettristes.

Within discussions surrounding the Apollinaire ideogrammes and calligrammes, nowhere have I come across the most probable influence on his ideogrammes and calligrammes. His ideogrammes and calligrammes are not only a self proclaimed reductionist Simultaneist poetic, but a poetic kindred to the imagists; they and he were keen on the ideogramme, a model for inspiration. He also may have lifted ideas directly from Barzun’s epic which may have been the line crossed about which Barzun could not remain calm. He openly complained about Apollinaire’s thievery. “Lettre-Ocean,” is Apollinaire’s longest ideogramme, a letter telegraphed across the ocean, not a poetic quest other than his desire to form its visual aspects. It included his sniping at Barzun and here it may be seen also as a slap against Simultanisme’s integrated epic sized horizons and heavens. It contained the line, “Damn for Mr. Zun,” and in its draft form, “shut your mouth Bar.”(45) I read a response by a guilty thief piling on his victim. Within his detailed examination of this ideogramme (Bohn says a calligramme despite its being called an ideogramme(46)) suggests the Futurist Carlo Carrà’s Festa patriottica college as the inspiration.(47) But, there is another possibility. Apollinaire had access to, if not a copy of, the epic’s manuscript mentioned previously waiting publication in 1914. Copies had been passed out in 1913. Consider also that Apollinaire when close to Barzun would have witnessed its developments and participated perhaps in one-on-one discussions with Barzun. Whatever the excuses, no one belonging to the Apollinaire fan club seems to have made the effort to study the Barzun works, theories, and actualized poetry, all from which we know Apollinaire openly sourced, perhaps even the visual poetry. Thefts mentioned and acknowledged. Judgement withheld. Victims ignored. Epic known to be a visual score. Apollinaire’s scores? Petite if at all. Barzun was / is Stéphane Mallarmé’s closest blood, his long-disappeared heir.

As previously stated, the epic was waiting publication in 1914. Manuscript copies were in circulation. Comments by Flint, who had a copy of the manuscript, included score. The photographed folio pages illuminating this essay are from the final typed manuscript apparently by his son in 1922, later on displayed for its complete performance at Theater of Art et Action.(48) So, the original manuscript in the archive holds the proof of how much, if any, material or ideas were lifted by Apollinaire.

Apollinaire joins the army because of WWI to gain French citizenship. Wounded. War ends. In 1918 he dies in the influenza epidemic, next year Barzun makes his final move to the States. During this span of time Apollinaire composed what has come down to us as the collection, Calligrammes, the foundation upon which concrete poetics built. Meanwhile, the actual heir of the poem as a score and visual poem first composed by Mallarmé, who expanded the scored-poem into epic proportions, has been denied his rightful place by those charmed by Apollinaire and his antics. Bohn, for example, devotes over twenty pages to Apollinaire’s “plastic imagination.”(49)

Nowhere did Bohn mention in The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry: 1914-1928 the Barzun epic. It is not possible to weave a story about road or roads not taken in visual poetry’s development had Barzun’s epic received its place in the avant-garde’s visual text repertory. He offered through his Orphism a deeper psychological, mythological and implied spiritual alternative to the works created during and after the shattering consequences of WWI. It was a timeless work compared to the moments calligrammes captured, however interesting and meaningful or for some amusing. His epic and harmonics also offered alternatives to the dada anti-art of anarchism, sarcasm, nihilism and superficiality. The epic’s aesthetic was clarity instead of chaos. I have found no strike over muddiness. His epic as mentioned was published in journals and anthologies, some well known and influential for avant-garde, into the 1950s. I can but assume one of the main reasons for its disappearance was its subject matter, the quest for societal higher awareness led by the archetype of the poet clothed as Orpheus instead of others and all that that implies regarding ascendant consciousness. 


1916 - 1950s Performances and publications

Barzun and his Simultaneism were not hidden or shadowy quick mentions in sound poetry history commentaries. Its extension from France and influence in England has been mentioned. Wider influence began at the Cabaret Voltaire’s debut performances including Tristan Tzara ’s Dada synthesis of his form of “simultaneist verse.” These, his first 1916 performances, included work by Barzun despite smitten by Apollinaire’s works. Work from Klang (1912) by Kandinsky was also read that evening. In Paris at Theater of Art et Action his epic, Panharmonie Orphiqe, was performed in 1922 or 1928. Dates of its full performance vary and await finalization from his archive. Again, then, the curiosity of his being known among sound poets, many of whom are visual poets, and the lack of acknowledgement for his visual score epic continues.

Fig 8


Nihilism is fighting its last stand. On the flat plane of consciousness, man tried, in the past few decades, to see life with dreamless eyes, the stars were hidden behind the smoke of his machine-mind, his senses moved in the dull rotation of blind forces. But in the face of the collapse of mechanistic utopias, man is beginning to revolt against the dogma of evolution, and turns again to the eternal elements of his being. Man is beginning to think in cosmic terms again. The Vertigral (my insert: joining vertical with grail thereby underscoring the vertical quest to unite the unconscious with the superconscious.) Age brings with it a recognition of the a-historic man, the religious man, the man who seeks a mystic union with the Logos. The Vertigral Age sees modern philosophy turning deliberately to metaphysics after a long interregnum. The Vertigral Age hails the cognition of a non-mechanical reality on the part of astronomy and physics. The Vertigral Age believe that we stand in direct line with the primeval strata of life. The Vertigral Age is re-discovering the mantic forces of pre -historic man. The Vertigral Age wants to discover the supernatural reality through the dreams that lead to the transfiguration of life. The Vertigral Age wants to give voice to the ineffable silence of the heart. The Vertigral Age wants to create a primitive grammar, the stammering that approaches the language of god.
From “An International Workshop for Orphic Creation,”
Eugene Jolas(50)

The founders and publishers and co-editors of Transition were Maria McDonald and Eugene Jolas. Each issue had a run of 4,000. Jolas, a trilingual speaker pulled in a wide spectrum of avant-garde works from Dada, Surrealism and German Expressionism. One of the intentions of the journal was bridging the Atlantic fermenting a revolt against what he considered a neo-classism, Imagism. Rather than image he wrote countless essays and manifestoes in support of the word, a sliver of which is quoted above. The word not the image was the transporter towards an ascended moment through an investigation into the unconscious with new psychological insights found not by Freudian but Jungian pathways into the mind and its dreamscape. The list of contributing writers, artists and poets, now part of the who’s who of the avant-garde between the world wars, proves the journal’s significance. Even an abridged list of important figures is too long for listing given the high quality of selected artists and writers.
The Transition “project” also had in mind uniting all humankind and bringing forth through art and the word a new, higher harmony to all continents. It envisioned diving vertically into the unconscious and “archaic” ways to bring about their force from the unconscious to the conscious in order to fuel the ascent into the supermind. This embrace included modern word constructs reflecting the ancient shaman and “archaic” ritual chants and rhythms found, for example, in his misnomer of archaic Hindu chants. His European models were the mystics such as Boheme and Saint John of the Cross with his dark night of the soul upon which Jolas formed his “Language of the Night.”

Kenneth Rexroth rejected this project with a flick, a self-evident quip as if ridding a pesky insect. Jolas, as far as I know, did not mention Rexroth among his many American poet peers he reviewed and supported such as Patchen. Nor was he mentioned in the McMillian coverage of Transition.(51) One of the reasons for me the project never reached its designated fullest idealized potential is illustrated by the fact that while thinking in a global literary spectrum he did not, for example, attend to South Asian writing prose and poets in English, those he linked to archaic Hinduism which to his and our moment remain steeped in a living, evolving Tantric cosmology of sound far more sophisticated than even the Islamic Science of Letters. A seer poet who fit his Orphic vertical ideal was alive and writing within this cosmology, writing in exquisite English he hoped as a model to make English the new Sanskrit. Sri Aurobindo, poet, philosopher and master yogi, wrote an epic, Savitri, far exceeding Jolas’s project of detailing descent into the subconscious and ascending to superconsciousness. It also goes higher in consciousness awareness than Barzun.

The tenth anniversary issue of Transition, 1938, contained a few pages of L’Orphéide. The previously unpublished choices, though less complex than those sampled for this essay, suggested a visual scoring more sophisticated than Mallarmé’s. The editors were aware that the issue was their last statement. Barzun’s presence provides strong evidence his visual poetry score was known and remembered by the avant-garde participants providing the unaware audience of Transition a vertical poetry from before WWI. Given Transition’s place in vanguard literary and art history the question of the why of his disappearance continues.(52)


Our man in Paris completes LOrhéide, a forward-looking epic for the new age. In Zurich by November Carl Jung was headed on his own quest triggered by a major psychotic collapse falling into his dark night of the soul out of which came first the Black Books, notebooks from which Red Book, illuminated with visual text art and calligraphy. It rendered details of his descent into his deep and dark subconscious nooks and crannies and then the ascent into a higher psychological awareness. He kept the book secret for most of his life privy only to those he trusted. Eventually he provided the first attempt to unify Eurocentric psychological subconscious forces by probing deeply their symbols and myths and developed his form of dream analysis. The first of his few psychologically based literary and art criticism published essays appeared in the same Transition issue of Jolas’ latest essay or manifesto on the word, “An International Workshop for Orphic Creation.” He soon stopped this errand stating too many works of modern art and literature paralleled written and painted works by his psychologically ill patients. The only difference was skilled presentation. This then presents a challenging question regarding the poet and art taste-makers whether or not their inner disharmonies matched by works of art and literature are those embraced and promoted against the rejected opposing works moving towards harmony and spiritual upliftment explaining, perhaps, their being ignored or unconsciously feared.

Across the Channel the Waite Tarot Cards (at last correctly known as the Smith-Waite Tarot Cards), illuminated by former Stieglitz Circle member Pamela Coleman Smith in 1910, was rooting into sections of the Euro-centric population eventually to become the standard Tarot Deck; its iconographic images became themselves standard references of the archetypes. It remains a best seller. This deck and the religious mythologies and their symbols, alchemical stories and their symbols, and other outlaying icongraphics and myths studied by Jung all were backward looking. So too Jung’s Red Book with its calligraphy and iconographics, though beauty filled, appear anchored into the Middle Ages. The medieval mind for the most part was caught in the grip of dark-minded Catholic iconographics feeding on and promoting the fear instilled by the Book of Revelations, its darkest anti-Jesus teachings book. Just look at the iconographics covering cathedrals. Out of this Catholicism would come Dante’s Divine Comedy and succeeding obvious and hidden rewrites having little to do with the the ideals of Jesus.

Barzun’s epic seems to reject this dark past as source material and looked forward sighting a brighter future, as did most of his avant-garde friends and peers. He rejected too the positive archetype of the wider archetypes in the tarot despite those with kinship to a more universal influence. Given his Simultaneism and that the epic’s variety of liner time moments are simultaneous, one can only speculate whether or not he had an actual experiential unitarian spiritual moment as the source of this intent, not an intellectual alignment with Platonic higher realms from his readings by Bergson and others.
Savitri is Sri Aurobindo’s summation of his life’s long work forming Integral Yoga, a yoga not of renouncing society but attaining divine consciousness to inform and lift society. Integral Yoga was formed by uniting the fundamentals of all yogas into a threefold focused practice uniting mind (Raja Yoga), will (Karma Yoga) and heart (Bhakti Yoga) using Shakti (Mother / Nature) to pull down into oneself divine consciousness. Here we have a coming together of all the yogas of the Vedas and Upanishads summed up in the Bhagavad Gita found among the followers of Vishnu and the application of the followers of Shiva through Tantra practices. Though the tantra Sri Aurobindo applies begins not with raising the internal Kundalini energy living at the base of the spine but pulling Shakti’s consciousness from above. Many times SriAurobindo rewrote Savitri after reaching a higher level of consciousness, the epic Jolas missed that would have proved his seer-poet project possible, not theoretical. In it, its heroine descends into Death’s chambers with her husband to free him from Death’s neck-noose. It is she who teaches Death his actual identity. It is a spellbinding read. We remain in the tight masculine power-hungry, lizard-mind grip, the demand to remain horizontal in thinking and behavior, the Eurocentric fear of actual ascension then descending fully awake. Its mystics in general shunned or killed.

Fig 9

New Directions Annual #6, 1946

In the pre-dawning years of concrete poetry’s kin, concrete art and music, are four reproduced pages prefaced in a detailed overview by his son, Jacques Barzun, the well-known cultural historian of Columbia University, in the New Directions 1946 Annual #9.(53) New Directions filled the void left by the demise of Transition. Given New Directions’ status among the established and hopeful vanguard, such can not but be conscious erasure for the later American membership requirements among the concrete promoters. This issue included a translated Greek play by Kenneth Rexroth, poems by William Carlos Williams and Philip Lamantia, three fables by Kafka and prose by the radical and pacifist Paul Goodman. Important to this discussion was an excerpt from Kennth Patchen’s Sleepers Awake. Patchen’s awareness of Barzun could have been sooner. Working with his wife, Miriam, for James Laughlin between 1939 and 1941 he most probably read the 1938 anniversary anthology of Transition in his library. And other issues. If not, here in 1946 we have their intersection, two visual poets whose works can be tagged as proto-concrete removed from concrete commentary, including New Directions, ironically, which published the concrete anthology, Once Again, edited by Jean-Francios Bory. Laughlin’s reply to my question regarding the disappearance of Patchen in Bory’s collection shifted the blame onto the shoulders of Bory. Bory, being French, may have had some squeaky excuse disappearing Patchen but not mentioning Barzun again raises more suspicions on the narrow pathway of the self-selected guardians of the history of concrete poetry.

This first rough draft I've written happens to be finished on Barzun’s birthday. I did not realise until I looked it up today, September 28, 1881. After writing, I have continued to ponder Barzun’s reluctance to pursue the epic’s publication. His son mentioned a continued tinkering and a poet without much ego as a couple of reasons. Another thought. Given his Orphic idealism, he is so out of place that he still remains invisible even though he's in plain sight. And those whom he believed ideal models for the new age’s archetypes failed over the decades since 1913 to raise even themselves to a higher awareness, let alone the world. Worse, lacking wisdom and foresight, they added to the destructive societal behavior leading to WW2, global poverty, social strife, the cold war... The American classic anti-quest novel, Moby Dick warns against chasing the dream of material advancement through industrialization and though widely-read, it remains ignored. The all-consuming whiteness, of the white whale, of the white page, eats us and leaves no trace of Henri-Martin Barzun. 

Karl Kempton
Oceano, Ca
Barzun’s birthday, 2019      

Ringing the Monocle Lens the Sleuth Completes the Circle,

Sleepers Awake could be considered Kenneth Patchen's most important novel. As always, he fully explores his ability to express rage, humor, and compassion, his profound pacifist commitments, and his Anarchist base. In this instance, the novel's fantasies, praises, curses, prophesies, and aspirations unfold in great variety and splendor, without losing their sharp edge or focus. I think of the visual poetry in this book as visual arias, passages where the narrative breaks into a sort of visual song. In addition, this is one of the instances where he used the limitations of the branch of visual poetry that gets called concrete more fully than virtually all of its anthologized proponents -- but in 1945, a decade in advance of the movement. Several types of visual aria appear in the book: the most frequent come in boxes in a type face that looks something like gill sans. These square arias work their way at intervals through the text. The more extended arias run continuously, and it's sometimes difficult to tell exactly where they begin. The one presented here has a definite beginning and conclusion.
Karl Young(54)

I end where I began, Kenneth Patchen’s disappearance from the histories of concrete and visual poetry anthologies, practitioners and supporters. It is a coda to Barzun, repeating many themes and making a little counterpoint. This coda also ends my sleuthing into the disappeared visual text poets, writers, and painters. I hereby hand over to unknown others. Many seem interested in these art and literary crimes captivated by the audacity.
Revisiting his typographical visual poetry published between 1939 and 1946 and wider, the positive support and harsh criticisms of his poetry and misunderstood, controversial novels that were more than novels, was prompted by the simultaneous appearance of Kenneth Patchen and Henri-Martin Barzun in the New Directions’ Annual #6, 1946. While Kenneth and Miriam Patchen were employed by New Directions in a span of months from 1939 into 1940, Patchen, the voracious inhaler of literature, undoubtedly read from Laughlin’s extensive library. Perhaps the entire set of Transition was available. Details of what and when he read remain illusive. He rarely talked about his influences. When he did it was general, except for constant reading of William Blake. He knew Apollinaire’s calligrammes, dada, surrealism and perhaps the Italian Futurists, though his flavor seems more Russian Futurist suggests he knew of their work. Many European avant-garde individuals had migrated to New York. The only direct contact I have found with a fellow visual poet was his eventual life long friendship with E. E.Cummings. In an interview he claimed to have had no influences. According to Miriam he did not talk much about what he wrote. His seamlessness of writing, the exhale, and the inhale, included working in his dreams. Much of his work was competed in first draft. I will mention here but not in detail that Patchen suffered, sometimes overwhelmingly so, from a misdiagnosed back injury, later botched surgeries eventually sentencing him to bed. Despite this, the works of beauty found in his picture poems and lyrical poetic riffs and lines have yet to be matched.

First Will and Testament

Kenneth Patchen’s first two published visual poems, “POEM IN SIX DIMENSIONS OR TOMMY TOMMY’S MONOCHORD” and “A DAY IN THE LIFEOF A GREAT ARTIST, HURRIED,” appeared in 1939 in First Will and Testament, found on page 102 of the 1948 Padell republication edition and page 23 of The Argument of Innocence, a rare look at his visual poetry, from typographical to picture poems. A nod to Lewis Carroll’s “The Mouse Tale” poem can be found in “A DAY . . .”(55) Whether or not it’s deliberately referenced, it is nevertheless suggestive. Both poems contain E. E. Cummings-esque syntax breaks. Having sent the completed manuscript to Laughlin in mid 1938 allows one to assume with confidence they were composed in 1938 or maybe earlier in 1937. Not until later after moving to New York would the Patchens and Cummings develop a close, lasting friendship.

The Journal of Albion Moonlight, 1941,
can be and has been described as smashing the novel’s literary boxes. Most commentary point to dada and surrealism influences. Most commentary also set Patchen in a traditional novelist seat, not a visionary poet advancing into new territories, one of which was writing a simultanisme novel: “I Propose to make the future and the present and the past happen all at once”(p 146). Conceivably Patchen came across Barzun’s Simultanisme. When? Maybe Transition’s tenth anniversary issue. The Patchens had moved on from their New Directions employment, 1939-1940 into the center of American avant-garde, the East Village in New York City. Laughlin had given him an advance on a novel. When the manuscript arrived he was uncertain and sent copies out requesting guidance. Some, like Henry Miller, loved the groundbreaking manuscript and seriously campaigned for its publication by New Directions. Laughlin quickly came under pressure from American quarters of the politically liberal to progressive literati who were actual conservatives, especially the academics, when it came to form and held a hefty sway among “liberal” readers. At the same time he confessed confusion regarding the book’s approach in correspondence with Patchen. He did not understand the manuscript, withdrew from publishing its first edition calling it a mess among other descriptions and advice. He admitted later with regret his error. Patchen self published it. It was republished by New Directions in 1961 becoming one of his celebrated masterworks among the 1960s and 1970s literary outsiders, political progressives, and radicals. Part of the reprint success was its stanch anti-war, pacifist stand written during the summer of 1940. Patchen remained throughout his life a pacifist.

The reaction to Journal foreshadows Patchen’s relationship with American academic and liberal literati throughout his life. They were already kicking at his poetry. After reading Kenneth Patchen and American Mysticism, I have been pondering the dilemmas facing American poets caught in the grasp of our material, utilitarian horizontal culture. Those desiring to express the horrors caused by the contradictions of commercialization of the American Dream and the professed religiosity of its participants, and the desire to illuminate their own inner experiences with a quest for a vertical, an ascendant inward poetic, all come to the crossroads of choice. These choices are of open or suggested or hidden layered expression. Knowing that most academics and others in control of poet-tasting would bring forth their own steamrollers to flatten them back onto the horizontal plains in order to be “successful” makes and made too many too cautious. Not and never Patchen. While alive he paid a heavy price. Now he stands upright against the foul breathed-winds blown at him by those who were lesser and are either forgotten or remembered as defenders of the status quo. I accepted upon my first readings in the early 1970s Patchen’s stance, truth at all costs. Will Inman, whom I often published before Kaldron became an international visual poetry journal, had the same attitude and perhaps same source, the archetype of the Biblical Old Testament prophet. Unfortunately, this archetype fuels unbridled anger that the New Testament informed its listeners and readers to rid oneself of.

This strong will he carried into his writing breaking new ground as an outrider into unexplored American novel expansion, visual poetry and text frontiers. In The Journal of Albion Moonlight the strides made placed his work beyond, as mentioned, the abilities of many of his peers and elders to understand. Albion’s visual texts, poems and its poetic vignettes embedded in the text or running down the margin mimicking Bible margin notes seem tame at this moment. Patchen then wanted nothing to do with the usual sequential narrative novel form and thus wrote a radical poet’s novel containing among other types: inserted Marllamé-esque large bold font of a separate running voice (first of which, pp 96-99, followed by pp 114-118). Earlier, two short poems appeared. Longer poems begin on page124 to page 138. Content and prose already tested the reader, especially the critic, before Patchen introduced these box-breakers before the page 146 simultaneousness sentence, “buried” in the standard font found throughout. A handwritten prose poem, page 159, perhaps a homage to either or both Apollinaire and the Russian Futurist books. Soon the margin contains playful small and short bold font phrases which are short and minimalist poems, types he mastered here and continued with unquestionable skill and insights into his later flourish of visual poems and then the later masterful picture poems. One finds too the column poem, the list poem, the repetitive single word block forecasting its likes among the “founders of concrete” more than a decade away. The long list poem on the word word perhaps is his extension by far of Jolas’ manifestos on the vertical word. All typographical except the handwritten piece until the startling, now often referenced, “This is the rope” visual poem (page 245). He ends the book:
“There is no way to end this book
No way to begin.”

The Dark Kingdom
a book I do not have access to has selections in the Collected Poems, two of which contain visual work. One page 180 of the Collected Poems one reads a simultaneous poem composed of five large bold font words integrated with a varying margined seven stanza poem, all framed by a list of single nouns and verbs.

Cloth of the Tempest
was published in 1943. The year before he worked with John Cage on an experimental sound drama aired in Chicago. How much of Cage and their interaction flowed into this and following books with various visual poetics is unknown to me but has to be considered given his expansion of visual poem ideas in the book compared with the earlier Albion. Its visuals were early picture poems, simultanisme picture poem, (concrete like repeating text blocks, a stunning spatial narrative concrete poem), a simultanisme poem and a narrative pictogram.(56)

Sleepers Awake
On The Precipice is the full title. At its writing Japan had been smashed into surrender by two apocalyptic atomic bombs. Annihilation was back on the sermon podium for left, right and lovers of The Book of Revelations that eclipses the god of unconditional love. A book rejected by the Church of the East, the Nestorians known to China for hundreds of years as the religion of Light. To this 2019 moment our citizenry remains infected with Dark Age and Medieval imagery adorning churches, illuminated scriptures, sacred artworks, poetry and literature. The constant recycling of Dante’s Divine Comedy in its various direct and indirect renderings is one example crossing not only Christian religious variations but non-sectarian schools of thought. The dark watered spring of this infestation began 2500 years ago in Persia and flooded Europe with the conquest of Christianized Rome. At the root of American religiosity rages the god of destruction, vengeance and retribution whose flames the clergies’ constant bellowing refrains maintain temperatures to such extremes the young are kept from the “sermons.” Though through their subconscious children absorbed from their parents’ unconsciousness and conscious behaviors. Thus a wide swath of the nation remains unknowingly psychically wounded and damaged by ministers yelling, at times high-pitch screaming, hell, fire, and brimstone. The Puritan quest to build a shining city on a hill turned into a nightmare, the American Dream, the industrialization of America and its empire Patchen was under the thumb of as a child in a steel town, blue collar Catholic family. The sensitive-innocent Patchen, the outraged self-appointed voice of a truth-at -all-cost poetic, responded throughout his life to the betrayal of the dream and its religion. Patchen’s use of satire (modeled at least on readings from Rabelais, Voltaire, Cervantes, and Swift) was missed by many of his critiques believing it didactic rant, not a mirror. Thus, the serious non-satirized moments describing brutal reality some criticized him for failed to grasp his wider horizons and vertical reach. If recognizing the mystic in the vertical, then there was the academic or non-sectarian liberal or progressive oft-handed pejorative dismissal. In Sleepers Awake, as in Albion and The Shy Pornographer, the questing hero travels a maze full of stark contrasts of dark and moments of finding light (aria moments).

By writing “visual arias” I assume Karl Young was referencing a letter by Patchen to his friend and fellow institutional and cultural combative, Henry Miller. Dated January 21, 1946 in which he opens:

I think that if I ever near get an an assured income I’d write books along the order of great canvases including everything in them like maybe three or four great symphonies that would handle poetry and prose as they presented themselves from day to day and from one aspect of my life and interests to another.(57)

Sleepers Awake On The Precipice references Bach, “the title derived from Bach’s rousing spiritual cantata”(58) (chorus’ opening line: “"Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” / “Awake, calls the voice to us” [BWV 140 - "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”]).(59) That music rings central conceptually in his writing at this time brings to mind a large array of impressions, major to minor. A few, for there are too many to fully address. First, the conceptual reach for his novels, beginning with Albion, shattered the novel’s usual expectations and mold as mentioned. Some referred to it and other novels as anti literature missing Patchen’s drive to expand literature into unknown frontiers. There and elsewhere that his sweep was symphonic (if not operatic) takes us back to the heights of music above all the arts by the symbolists and Mallarmé whose visual score can be seen echoing directly or indirectly influencing Patchen’s more textually spartan visuals. For example, there is the use of framed minimal large bold and small non-bold fonts. I prefer suggesting the jazz riff to arias and the symphonic expanded and shaped within his contemporary context of Henry Cowell through to his inventive, avant-garde student, John Cage.(60) Living in New York 1940 to 1947 he and Miriam often attended cutting edge jazz clubs. This set in motion later in the 1950s his unique performances reading poetry to jazz rehearsed for a fully integrated performance, not a poem read over or behind but within. The first integrated poetry and jazz ensemble performances. Again, Patchen pioneering.

Unlike Albion, the visual jazz riffs / arias begin as the opening full title, in the large font block down the right margin emphasizes seee. The number of types as suggested by Young are numerous and too many to list. A few: Cummings-esque narrow column poems, one associated within a pictogram; many simultanisme samples; minimalist poems; use of period and o fonts in various point sizes creating optical dances on the page before op art was coined; 


a series of Piet Mondrian like art-boxes within which straight lines and large period(s) each different; number poems; full page poem of repetitive letter blocks forming both optical art and descending poetic line; and diagram poems. Of special note, no one else seems having noted, the visual poems of optical dancing periods and o’s and the art boxes with horizontal and vertical lines and migrating period(s) are both wordless poems and kinetic series before the wordless poem type and the kinetic poem type were cast years later. These wordless, conceptual, and minimalist poems should be compared with those of the Brazilians Wlademir Dias-Pino and Andrade Almandrade who “pioneered” parallel works in the mid 1950s. Earlier pioneers of the worldless poem are Christian Morgenstern’s “Fisches Nachtgesang” in1906,  Vasilisk Gnedov’s The Death of Art contained “poem of the end” — except for the title, the page was blank in 1913, and Josep Maria Junoy’s “Art Poetica,”in 1916. Two wordless word paintings within this time span are Natalia Goncharova’s,“The Four Evangelists,” 1910, and Max Weber, “Slide Lecture at the Metropolitan Museum,” 1916.

A profoundly irritating comment on the back cover of the 1969 New Directions republication of the original 1946 Padell edition still leaves me unsettled. From Laughlin’s approved back cover notes on Sleepers Awake, “ . . .Patchen mingled narrative with dream vision, surrealism with satire, poetry with statements of principle, and explored the then almost uncharted territory of visual word structures twenty years before “Concrete Poetry” became a popular international movement.” Laughlin’s response to my question why Patchen did not appear in Bory’s anthology, to paraphrase, “It was his anthology and choices,” remains a disappointment for me and certainly a backhanded sharp slap, again, at Patchen. Or maybe indifference . . . Bory never responded.

Withdrawn statement on the trial of Ezra Pound, 1946
Patchen wrote a statement for Circle magazine during the trial of Ezra Pound for treason. It was withdrawn after Pound was sent, sentenced, to St. Vincent Mental Hospital. I include this for two reasons. The first illustrates fully Patchen’s moral position not only for this instance but explains his entire poetic, especially my italicized phrases. The second applies to this 2019 moment as internal infernal forces in many nations are being manipulated internally and externally by fascistic forces fragmenting global cooperation at a time cooperation is mandatory given global warming and the sleeping openeyed slide into another major war.

Ezra Pound chose one authority and most of you chose another. The authority he chose turned Europe into a hell of concentration camps and human misery; the authority chosen by most of you has left Europe and the whole world in a hell of concentration camps and human misery.
Not to mince words, Pound chose one head of that grisly blood smeared serpent called war, and most of you chose another; both were evil, both preyed on the warm, living bodies of human beings—both were fascist — as people with even the remotest knowledge of the teachings of Christ and every other great soul whoever lived, you should know what I am talking about. (my italics)
Pound was anti-Semitic; I suppose he was pleased when they herded the Jews into camps—(and who are, for all intents and purposes, still in camps) . . . you were told (officially) to hate “those dirty little subhuman yellow bastards:” I suppose you were pleaded (typo) in the same way when they tore up the Constitution of the United States and proceeded to herd Japanese-American citizens into concentration camps.

I condemn Pound for having chosen an evil authority; here he is guilty—and so are the rest of you.

Let us not confuse issues. I am writing in defense of poetry and in defense of that high view of human beings which is poetry's; I am defending the poet Pound against that other Pound who defiled and rejected the things of spirit—even as most of you have defiled and rejected the things of spirit (my italics).(61)

As Patchen stands cloaked with the teachings of Jesus and other great souls, one can empathize with him and his life long moral embrace. Some agree. Obviously for many his stance causes grief having lost entire families to the evils of genocidal maniacs and the overall global decimation caused by fascism and WW2 they launched. The pacifist’s stance while laudable for some for others deceitful and cowardly. I side with Sri Aurobindo who urged male members of his ashram and following to join the British in the war effort. His written justification was that despite the immoral colonization of India by the British, a fascist victory would set humankind’s evolution back 500 years. Another disagreement I have with Patchen here was cleaving Pound in half, political man and poet man, a schizophrenic critique still a common approach separating creator from creation. Pound modeling from China, for example, picked conservative, hierarchical Confucianism over Ch’an Buddhism. Pound did support Italy and its ideas being inclined towards hierarchy. Contradictory too was Patchen the pacifist verses Patchen’s harsh non-pacifist attacks on his critics and the enemies of social justice and progress. Again, the problem of unconsciously or consciously welding the bruising staff of the self righteous prophet.(62)

Panels for the Walls of Heaven
was published in 1946 by Bern Porter. He misled me during his visit in 1980 that Patchen was at his side at the printing press working on the plates just before their inking. It was a long distant venture with harsh letters from Patchen in New York to Porter in Berkeley. Smith described their contents then adding, “Nevertheless, a striking book emerged containing experiments with prose, concrete poems, paintings, drawing-poems, and some of Patchen’s earliest with the painted poem form.”(63) The book was reprinted in 1971 in In Quest of Candelighters. The work added to his accomplished repertoire of visual poetry showcased in Sleepers Awake where he moved into a master’s use of lyrical line with open and typographically filled space. In this final collection of typographic visual poems we read another Cumminingsesque poem. The book is dark, not light, suggesting the triumph of death; apparently he remained caught or hypnotized by the atomic beast’s shadow. Out of the darkness he would stride into his beautiful picture poems with their singing lines until his death in 1972.

Books containing 1939-1946 visual poetry
Patchen, Kenneth. First Will and Testament. New York: Padell, 1948
_____. First Will and Testament. New York: New Directions, 1961
_____. The Journal of Albion Moonlight. New York: New Directions, 1961
_____. Hallelujah Anyway. New York: New Directions, 1966.
_____. But Even So. New York: New Directions, 1968.
_____. Sleepers Awake. New York: New Directions, 1969.
_____. Collected Poems. New York: New Directions, 1970.
_____. Wandering. New York: New Directions, 1971.
_____. In Quest of Candlelighters. New York: New Directions, 1972

About and More
Clodd, Alan. Editor. Tribute to Kenneth Patchen. London: Enitharmon, 1977.
Crane, Michael, curator. AMERICAN RENEGADES: Kenneth Patchen , D. A. Levy , D. R. Wagner. Boulder: CU Art Galleries, University Colorado at Boulder, 1992
Morgan, Richard G. Kenneth Patchen: A Collection of Essays. New York: AMS Press, 1977.
Nelson, Raymond. Kenneth Patchen and American Mysticism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.
Patchen, Kenneth, What Shall We Do Without Us?: The Voice and Vision of Kenneth Patchen. Afterword, James Laughlin, San Francisco: Yolla Bolly Press Book, Sierra Club Books, 2012
_____. Selected Correspondence of Kenneth Patchen; editor Larry Smith. Huron: Bottom Dog Press, 2012,
Smith, Larry. Kenneth Patchen, Rebel Poet in America. Huron: Bottom Dog Press, 2000
Veres, Peter The Argument of Innocence: A Selection from the Arts of Kenneth Patchen. Forword Miriam Patchen. Oakland: The Scrimshaw Press, 1976.

karl kempton
October 9, 2019
Oceano, Ca


This essay answers Philip Davenport’s ask - to collate my writings on Henri-Martin Barzun. This meant a full revisit, rethinking, and seeking additional new material on the web. So, a special thanks to Philip Davenport for suggesting this revisit during which many positive and informative surprises appeared and also for his invaluable editing skills. Thanks too for Márton Koppány’s invaluable comments and suggestions which added depth to this essay despite reservations concerning a few points of understanding that depart from his. One of his urgings was despite my lack of understanding French to nevertheless attempt a deeper probe into Barzun’s epic. A thanks to the Columbia Special Collections Library for allowing Michael Winkler to photograph Barzun’s works. Due to this generosity Barzun sampled works illuminate the essay, some from section 7 of L’Universel, the single typed, now oxidized, pages of La Terrestre Tragédie, 1908-1914, others from the completed folio manuscript often shown stacked on a shelf, perhaps typed by his son in 1922. The photographed pages for the essay were an answer to my request to Michael who graciously took time out of his busy schedule a few years ago while I was writing “B. C.: Before Concrete.”(64) Not until a detailed analysis of the archive will we understand the evolution of this major epic’s visual poetry and scoring. I hope the essay sparks others to do the due diligence Henri-Martin Barzun deserves.

3. Barzun, Jacques. “SomeNotes on Créteil and French Poetry.” New Directions 1946 Annual #9. Norfolk, New Directions,,pp 397-398 https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.166033/page/n419 For an overview seen Jacques Barzun’s on pages 392 to 399.
5. Date of first thoughts remain unknown at this moment. Perhaps his archived diary provides an insight.
7. Barzun, Henri-Martin. Orpheus: Modern Culture and the 1913 Renaissance; A Panoramic Survey. New York: Henri Martin Barzun, 1960, p 23. 
8. “Correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, notebooks, and publications. The many manuscripts reflect Barzun's interest in poetry, literature and political affairs. The collection also contains materials for the journal, Art et Action which Barzun helped to found; lecture notes, 1933-1952; and a few items pertaining to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and the Futurists. There are some Barzun family papers, as well. The correspondents are primarily French and American authors including Andrʹe Breton, Katherine Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, Georges Duhamel, ALbert Gleizes, Ivan Goll, Harriet Monroe, Ezra Pound, Pierre Reverdy, Edgar Varèse, Gabriel d'Annunzio, and Felippo Tommaso Marinetti.” https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/4078426 
9. Poème de L’Adolescence, 1904. https://archive.org/details/lredudrameessa00barz/page/142 
10. According to the Transition 27 contributor notes his interest in Simultaneism began in 1900.
11. Townsend, Christopher. “Henri-Martin Barzun’s ‘Simultaneism between the Abbaye de Créteil and Futurism: The Individual and the Crowd in Late-Symbolist Art” https://www.academia.edu/20803741/Henri-Martin_Barzuns_Simultaneism_between_the_Abbaye_de_Cr%C3%A9teil_and_Futurism_The_Individual_and_the_Crowd_in_Late-Symbolist_Art p 318.
13. Townsend, “Henri-Martin Barzun’s ‘Simultaneism’ between the Abbaye de Créteil and Futurism:The Individual and the Crowd in Late-Symbolist Art” p 330
14. Barzun, Henri-Martin. Orpheus: Modern Culture and the 1913 Renaissance; A Panoramic Survey. New York: Henri Martin Barzun, 1960, p 23. 
15. Barzun, Jacques. “SomeNotes on Créteil and French Poetry.” New Directions 1946 Annual #9. Norfolk, New Directions,,pp 397 https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.166033/page/n419 
18. Roberts. Albert Gleizes, 1881-1953: A Retrospective Exhibition. 1964 pdf http://www.archive.org/details/albertgleizes1881robb p16 November, 2018.
19. Zayas, Marius de. Marius de Zayas: How, When And Why Modern Art Came To New York. Naumann, Francis M., Editor. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996.
21. Crunden, Robert M. American Salons: Encounters with European Modernism, 1885-1917. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, p 380.
23. The New Age, Volume 13, No.25, Oct 16, 1913 pdf http://modjourn.org/render.php?view=mjp_object&id=116533289678125 p 728 November, 2018.
24. Bohn, Willard. Apollinaire and the International Avant-Garde. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997, p 84.
26. Carter, Boyd G. “Henri Martin Barzun and the Abbaye de Créteil.” Books Abroad, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Spring, 1949), pp. 119-123. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40086787?seq=5#metadata_info_tab_contents 
28. Barzun, Jacques. “SomeNotes on Créteil and French Poetry.” New Directions 1946 Annual #9. Norfolk, New Directions,,pp 394 https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.166033/page/n419 
29. New Directions 1946 Annual #9. Norfolk, New Directions,,pp 394 https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.166033/page/n419, p ix
30. Ibid. p, 398
31. Ibid, p 397
34. Ibid., pp 16-17.
35. Roberts. p 30; painting http://www.wikiart.org/en/robert-delaunay/the-city-of-paris November, 2018.
36. Bohn, Willard. The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry: 1914-1928. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986. pp 17-24.
37. Bohn, Willard. Apollinaire and the International Avant-Garde. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997, p 84.
38. “L'Antitradition Futuriste, Manifeste=Synthese.”http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2009/futurism/ November, 2018.
39. Apollinaire, “lettre-ocean” http://www.pinterest.com/pin/339740365610021503/
Official site, http://www.wiu.edu/Apollinaire/ November, 2018.
Guillaume. Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War (1913-1916). Greet, Ann Hyde, Translator, 1980.
Adema and Decaudin, APOLLINAIRE: Oeuvres poetiques, 1965.
Bohn, The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry: 1914-1928, 1986.
40. Dencker, Text-Bilder: Visuelle Poesie International, 1972.
45. Bohn, The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry: 1914-1928, p22.
46. Mathews, Timothy . Reading Apollinaire: Theories of Poetic Language. Manchester Manchester University Press, 1988, p 96. First lyrical ideogramme. 

48. Dates vary 1922 or 1928.
49. Bohn, The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry: 1914-1928, pp 46-68.
51. Jolas, Eugene. Eugene Jolas: Critical Writings, 1924-1951; Klaus H. Kiefer and Rainer Rumold, editors. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2009.
McMillan, Dougald. Transition: The History of a Literary Era, 1927-1938. New York: George Braziller,Inc., 1975.
52. Transition: Tenth Anniversary Issue, 1938, pp 17-32 https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k63617343/f20.image
Barzun (Dr. Henri M. Barzun) is the founder of simultaneisme, a movement which has played1 a considerable role in the evolution of creative letters during the past twenty-five years. After having participated before the war in the experiment of L'Abbaye (withRené Arcos, Charles Vitldrac, George Duhamel, Jules Romains),from which stemmed unanimisme, Barzun went to America, where he has lived ever since as an educator, animateur and epic poet.
He started his experiments in the simuiltaneist orchestration of poetry as far back as 1900. He based his work on the recognition of rhythm as the basic human and creative link. In 1907 he began a vast poem called L'Universel Poème of which the present text is the latest fragment unpublished heretofore. "Si le poète'., hestates, "cessant de s'interposer entre la nature et sa vision, rentraitdans I'ombre;s'il rentonçait à être le personnage essentiel, uniquede son livre, de sa poésie; si ce poète restait seulement aux écoutesdie la nature, de l'univers et de la vie frénétrque, et se taisait ?Peut-être au lieu de n'enteivdTe, au premier pllan, que sa voixmonocoidle, entendrait-il chantertoutes les voix, toutes les passions,touies les présences, toutes les forces de cette vie et de cet uni.vers” (If the poet '., hesitates, “ceasing to interpose between nature and her vision, was returning in the shadow, if he profited to be the essential character, unique his book, his poetry; if this poet was only listening nature, the universe, and the frenetic life, and was silent? Perhaps instead of nothing, in the first plane, only his voice monocoidle, would he sing all the voices, all the passions, all the presences, all the forces of this life and this unity. towards”)
Barzun's influence has been a profound one. Many poets and dramatistsin Europe have followed in his footsteps (Fernand Divoire, Nkiolas Beaudoin, Richard Aldington, Marinetti etc). Zurich Dada took over the results of his experiments, and I notice in HugoBall's Dada Diary"Die Fllucht aus der Zeit" (1916) the following passage: TristanTzara and Marcel Janco appeared at the Cafe Voltaire with a Poeme Simultane modelled on the work of Barzun”. p337.
53. Barzun, Jacques. “SomeNotes on Créteil and French Poetry.” New Directions 1946 Annual #9. Norfolk, New Directions,,pp 392- 403 https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.166033/page/n419 also see page ix for the contributor note on Barzun.
57 Patchen,Kenneth, Selected Correspondence of Kenneth Patchen; editor Larry Smith. Huron: Bottom Dog Press, 2012,p 144.
58. Smith, Larry. Kenneth Patchen, Rebel Poet in America. Huron: Bottom Dog Press, 2000 ,p 192.
60. Henry Cowell for a time lived in the Theosophical Community of Halcyon long before I became one of its adjacent neighbors. Several of us planned the 1995 Dune Spirit event celebrating the Dunites with performances of Cowell’s music.
61. Patchen,Kenneth, Selected Correspondence of Kenneth Patchen. p136. Noteworthy are the censored, removed words of this portion of the letter found on the web site http://www.manasjournal.org/pdf_library/VolumeXXI_1968/XXI-47.pdf. Missing are those central to Patchen’s argument which then lends support to my argument of the forces forcing a horizontal philosophy . . .
62. Too large a subject for detailed commentary but hidden in full view, the separation of a work of art or poem from its maker or pass-through vessel, is beauty and good works unified in the Greek word kallos. This is the root for calligraphy, beautiful writing. Kallos translated in English was and remains incomplete disappearing its integrated partnership with good and understood by the Greeks and that remains fully translated and understood within the wider Islamic and narrower but inclusive Sufi traditions, and the Islamic Science of Letters. Further east good works and beautiful poetry are found unified among the Bhakti Yoga poets. Though not fully a Bhakti poet, Sri Aurobindo lived such a unified life. Further east into Chinese poetry and calligraphy one finds similar understanding and application. Among Sufis and others ugliness is considered an expression created at a distance from Beauty and its source. I intend to address this topic in my book in progress, The way of the Poet.
63. Smith, Larry. Kenneth Patchen, Rebel Poet in America. p 191.

কোন মন্তব্য নেই:

একটি মন্তব্য পোস্ট করুন