Chard deNiord | Tiferet Talk with Melissa Studdard

Broadcast in Writing

Call in to speak with the host

(347) 857-3009

h:120847
s:6634735
archived
tiferetjournal

tiferetjournal

×  

Follow This Show

If you liked this show, you should follow tiferetjournal.

Please join Melissa Studdard and Tiferet Journal on 07/10/14 at 7PM EST for a conversation with fabulous poet, essayist and creative writing professor Chard deNiord.

DeNiord’s poetry collections include Asleep in the Fire, Sharp Golden Thorn, Night Mowing, and The Double Truth, as well as a collaborative project, Speaking in Turn. DeNiord was the founder and director of the Spirit and Letter Workshop with Jacqueline Gens in Patzquaro, Mexico and the founder and director of the New England College MFA Program in Poetry. He currently teaches English and Creative Writing at Providence College. In addition to teaching writing, deNiord has also taught comparative religions and philosophy and holds a Master of Divinity from Yale. As well, deNiord has conducted many interviews with senior American poets. Many of these interviews are collected in the book Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs, which also includes essays.

To learn more about Chard deNiord please visit: http://charddeniord.com/. And to purchase his books: http://tinyurl.com/qe2xtcv

Tiferet Journal is pleased to also offer to you our multiple award-winning The Tiferet Talk Interviews book. This book includes 12 exceptional interviews from Julia Cameron, Edward Hirsch, Jude Rittenhouse, Marc Allen, Arielle Ford, Robert Pinsky, Dr. Bernie Siegel, Robin Rice, Jeffrey Davis, Floyd Skloot, Anthony Lawlor, and Lois P. Jones. It can be purchased in both print and Kindle formats at this link on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/bu8m2zs

 

Transcript

0:15 Melissa Studdard

Hello and welcome. I am Melissa Studdard and the new host for tonight's episode of Tiferet Talk, the Blog Talk Radio Show for Tiferet, a journal of spiritual literature, where we publish writings and engage in dialogue to promote peace in the individual and in the world. We are thrilled that you are with us right now and we would love for you to also join our global online community at Tiferet website. There in addition to interacting with other members reading their writings and posting their own, you can subscribe to the journal and enjoy beautiful spiritually and intellectually compelling poetry, prose and arts. This evening's guest is the fabulous coach essayist and creative writing professor, Chard DeNiord. DeNiord's poetry recollections include Asleep in the Fire, Sharp Golden Thorn, Night Mowing, and The Double Truth, as well as a collaborative project, Speaking in Turn. DeNiord was the co-founder and director of the Spirit and Letter Workshop in Patzquaro, Mexico and the founder and director of the New England College MFA Program in Poetry. He currently teaches English and Creative Writing at Providence College. And in addition to teaching writing, DeNiord has also taught comparative religions and philosophy and holds a Master of Divinity from Yale. As well, DeNiord has conducted celebrated interviews with senior American poets. Many of these interviews are collected in the book Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs, which also includes essays of The Double Truth. Peter Compion says "Very few can compare poets render as uniquely as Chard DeNiord does. The sheer wonder of being our world shines up from his lines and sentences with all its original plunder and strangeness in DeNiord's spectacular days all the binaries as reality and dreams, bitterness and love, joke and revelations views into a beautiful hope. DeNiord is a visionary and The Double Truth is a vital book. Hi Chard, how are you doing tonight?

2:44 Chard DeNiord

Hello, Melissa thank you very much for having me on the show here.

2:46 Melissa Studdard

Oh, it's wonderful to be able to speak with you and I'm excited to interview another interviewer. Yeah, that's a special honor. Thank you.

2:56 Chard DeNiord

Oh, yes, more than welcoming you're wonderful as that as well.

3:01 Melissa Studdard

Oh! Thank you. Well, I think I'll go ahead and turn over the question about interviewing. I read the 2012 interview with Poetry International and when you were asked about the difference between interviewing senior poets and younger poets you mentioned that the senior poets did not attend the MFA program with the exception of Robert Bly, who later regretted it, with about a funny mention (laughs) and you said that the senior poets were simply candid, concise and __03:31__ speaking out of their poetry rather than a palette whereas the younger poets were more _3:35_ appearing in expanding their poetry and you also talked about the practicable link between writing and living and I just reviewed their such important observations and I would love it if you could tell us more about what you mean by speaking out of the poetry and if you could elaborate on the process of the link between the writing and living.

4:01 Chard DeNiord

Alright! That's a great question. I found them enormously humbling and humble it at the same time by poetry. In fact, Galway Kinnell said that he was very reluctant even to call himself a poet. "Too wonderful a thing", he said to be a poet and to call oneself a poet at the same time. Ruth Stone was also remarkably humble about writing and her life as a poet. She swore that she didn't write her own poems, that it was the muse that wrote the poems and she could here them coming across the universe like a freight train and all she had to do was run inside the house wherever she was and write them down. So, there was this really kind of wonderful, sort of spontaneous and lively attitude that they all had about writing and living at the same time. Ruth Stone was raising three daughters at the same time she was trying to create a career as a poet. Lucille Clifton pretty much the same thing. So, there wasn't, except maybe in the case of a few, the sense of self-conscious professionalism about their work. They just, they were very aware of being poets and often very competitive with each other but not overly self-conscious about it. They were just concerned about living their lives as they were about writing.

5:47 Melissa Studdard

Well (laughs) you're just humbling (laughs). I wanted to actually ask you a little bit about Ruth Stone. I know you've done a lot of work with her. You're working at her estate, right now correct?

6:00 Chard DeNiord

Right! I'm one of the executors of her estate with two of her granddaughters, Norris Wang and Bianca Stone was also a poet.

6:11 Melissa Studdard

Uh-um. Well, I loved in your Resistance and Independence in Contemporary American Poetry essay and the Cortland Review... Chard DeNiord (6:20): Yeah.

6:21 Melissa Studdard

How you explored that conundrum about how Ruth Stone is an atheist and in her poem, it bridges the spiritual and scientific in relation to _6:30_as an example _6:33___ and I wonder if you could just explain what the fugitive causes are for anyone who doesn't know and also elaborate on how the poem decide the current state of _6:44_ and I like how you describe with us continuing to homogenize, commodify institutionalize, professionalize, the historicized and theorized poetry into a literally industry of low expectation (laughs).

6:55 Chard DeNiord

Oh! Dear. I do, I found a little cranky there...

7:05 Melissa Studdard

(Laughs).

7:06 Chard DeNiord

But, that's just what sort of happened in this essay. Well, it's -- the idea of the fugitive causes which was really an idea of Coleridges. This romantic notion I'm just trying to find the spot exactly in the essay where I mentioned that. It's very close to what Mark also said about duende.

7:44 Melissa Studdard

Uh-um.

7:45 Chard DeNiord

I say here in this essay, if I could just read just a little bit of it "The Coleridge called this raw oneiric subjects, oneiric meaning dream like fugitive causes, a phrase inspired by his upper school teacher, James Boyer who instilled in the young poet the muses and mercurial nature. Coleridge learned from Boyer "that poetry even that of the loftiest and seemingly that of the wildest odes had a logic of its own, as severe as that of science and more difficult, because more subtle, more complex and dependent on more and more fugitive causes." And so, I'd like to think of fugitive causes is that place that a poet goes bushwhacking in his or her imagination and finding language. You know leaving theory, leaving self-consciousness but really delving into the unconscious which is what is something that Robert Bly always talked about in his essays, as well as in his poetry. But finding that kind of dream language if you will, that methodological language, they also make sense in our actual lives. You know I was reading the Song of Songs the other day. I keep looking for examples of these, could leave these fugitive causes and this is a wonderful passage where the beloved, the Queen of Sheba or the gazelle, says to Solomon, "My beloved put his hand by the hole of the door and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to open to my beloved and my hands dropped with myrrh and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh upon the handles of the lock.

9:42 Chard DeNiord

Its just (laughs) it's just so evocative and lyrical and fugitive that the poet isn't aware of writing it or really isn't aware of writing such language at the time they're writing it and yet something, wonderfully magical and fugitive happens. The same thing happens in the James Wright Poem to the Muse where is a talking about his beloved Jenny coming back from the dead and the three doctors in Wheeling, West, Virginia hang her body up in their office and really he has found the way to describe the pain he is feeling more than his -- more than his beloved who has died as at the bottom of the power_10:27_pit. So, it's that kind of slight and power and originality that occurs whether it's in the song of Solomon or James Wright to this or Coleridge that's wonderfully fugitive and powerful and in my essay, Resistance and Independence, the kind of language that Ruth Stone and Louise Gluck also do a little interpretation of her poem analysis Mock Orange that it is just wonderfully wild and I think poets wanna where the heck do that come from you know and how does that make sense did not make any sense almost at the same time with its concedes and just its imaginative slight into the unconscious.

11:17 Melissa Studdard

Well, that's a great answer and thank you so much for, especially for providing this specific example (laughs) because it's really instructive.

11:26 Chard DeNiord

Oh! I thought you might ask (laughs) to answer what fugitive, it's, you know, it's a couple of hundred year old term now but still very well known.

11:37 Melissa Studdard

Uh-um, that absolutely is. So, and the title poem from your coaching The Double Truth you think about the stones in your mouth that you've learned to talk around and kind of related this too in your Poetry International Interview. You talked about how it's important to get the unseeable between the lines and way that it still speaks somehow. So...I just wanted to ask how you think of the poet, do you distinguish among the unseeable that must be present. The unseeable that may not be present than that which meant you said.

12:15 Chard DeNiord

Right. Poetry is always on the edge of the ineffable. Poet always feels that he or she has to write the next poem because the last poem didn't find the right language or didn't enter the silence in quite the right way. So, this is the curse really of being a poet and also the blessing of not ever being able to find the perfect form to translate the muses' language in a way that poet feels "That's it I don't have to write another" (laughs) after that.

13:05 Melissa Studdard

(Laughs).

13:06 Chard DeNiord

And so, I think, so it the muses merciless in this way and the poet just need really to accept the fact that poetry has to learn or the poet has to learn to live with that silence in the end which is the unseeable. So, in this short little poem I just, I simply write "I still taste you from the time you painted my tongue with your scarlet finger it should my heart of innocent that single dose and I've tasted it the double truth ever since the bitter sweet in the words I cannot speak but stick in my mouth like stone I've learned to talk around." So the double truth which is the title poem of the book, there is a truth that you can speak because we have to speak the truth as poets but also the truth that we can't speak and acknowledge that we can't speak.

14:05 Melissa Studdard

Uh-um, wonderful.

14:06 Chard DeNiord

And so, those stones in the mouth are simply a metaphor for that the inability to speak the perfect truth I guess like the better phrase.

14:17 Melissa Studdard

Hum, great it just great poem. Well, I know you have a new collection coming out Interstate is the correct title?

14:27 Chard DeNiord

That's correct. That's correct yeah.

14:29 Melissa Studdard

__14:29__ I thought maybe you had changed this simply (laughs) _14:32_. So, it's coming out in 2015 from the University of Pittsburgh Press would you like to share a couple of poems from the collection as well.

14:46 Chard DeNiord

Well, thank you for asking I will, I'll read maybe one, one or two that would be okay nothing too long. I could read the -- the title poem perhaps that, the title is taken from a poem titled "The Star of Interstate" and...

15:13 Melissa Studdard

Uh-um.

15:14 Chard DeNiord

And it's really again it's like a kind of song of songs poem, I tend to write, you know poets they can't, they write with they can and it's not (laughs) always what they think they wanna write in the end...

15:30 Melissa Studdard

(Laughs).

15:32 Chard DeNiord

But let me just find this poem. So, why I write, some of this I still, I have no idea. So, I read The Star of Interstate (crosstalk) here it is yeah what's that. You can certainly... (Crosstalk) you make a request because you know I prefer that.

15:58 Melissa Studdard

Okay, because I would love too. There are a couple of songs that I would really love to hear also.

16:05 Chard DeNiord

Okay, great. This one just simply called The Star of Interstate it's about a guy can't get to drive home to get home. It's a little bit like that movie in owl you know the incident at Owl Creek where the soldier is trying to get home and count at the end. The Star of Interstate "The clouds were curtains that parted onto the show of sky above the star of 89. Oh, the big blue spring of human days and score that featured mainly strings. Oh, the epic something then nothing that opened as a matinee but played into the night on a single wheel inside of the room that has the machine. I drove with one eye open and the other closed. I couldn't tell is the thing I was seeing broken line, blinking light, leaping deer or lives or frozen frames. Were on the road or in my mind into which I have also driven at a dangerous speed. I was bearing down in the passing lane inside the theater of my Chevrolet. I was seeing myself through the lens of a windshield in the opposite lane. I could smell the sky with the window closed. I could hear her voice from every cloud come home my love, come home. I believe they were still away despite my fame is the man you fires to return this myself someday and give her the keys.

17:40 Melissa Studdard

Wow! I feel like it's home to the mews (laughs).

17:42 Chard DeNiord

Well, I guess (crosstalk) yeah.

17:48 Melissa Studdard

Yeah, wonderful. Thank you...

17:50 Chard DeNiord

Thank you.

17:52 Melissa Studdard

That's for dangerous feeling you know.

17:55 Chard DeNiord

Yeah. (Crosstalk) rising it actually.

18:00 Melissa Studdard

Yeah for the end of that way (laughs).

18:02 Chard DeNiord

Well good. You know I live in Putney Vermont and commute to providence _18:08_ every week where I teach so I back and forth 2-1/2 hours each way and some nights it gets pretty dark and lonely on the interstate.

18:18 Melissa Studdard

Oh, I just kind imagine that's quite of commute (laughs).

18:21 Chard DeNiord

Yeah.

18:24 Melissa Studdard

Would you read also to the end?

18:27 Chard DeNiord

Oh sure! To the end, this is a poem about my father who died about three years ago now and I tried you know writing a poem about visiting him for the last time _18:48_ journal do this I feel compelled I think to do this and to trying to capture that last meeting with the parent. So, you know I'd written a lot of River Styx poems you know trying well seeing him waving goodbyes. He was crossing the river in his hospital room. He was in a nursing home just before he died, but I just and feel like was capturing him or what it'd happened. He was a very -- he was a feisty, very feisty fellow with surgeon terrible patient, terrible patient even though...

18:28 Melissa Studdard

(Laughs) (crosstalk).

19:31 Chard DeNiord

And had you know he had several strokes and had also dementia at the end but just such a fighter to the very last moment. So, this is a poem trying to capture that last meeting as he (crosstalk)...

19:47 Melissa Studdard

Do you mind if I add how long ago it was?

19:51 Chard DeNiord

No, not at all. It was 2011, so...

19:56 Melissa Studdard

Okay.

19:58 Chard DeNiord

Well actually was in April of 2010.

20:01 Melissa Studdard

Okay.

20:03 Chard DeNiord

The book came out that I wanted them to see but it was 2010 in April yeah.

20:09 Melissa Studdard

Okay. Thank you. So, condolences (crosstalk) at all.

20:13 Chard DeNiord

Thank you. Thank you. So, it took me, what three years to really convince myself I needed to write the poem in this way.

20:27 Melissa Studdard

Well, in my view that's (laughs)

20:28 Chard DeNiord

Well, yeah that is I guess. But here it is to the end "So angry in the first light of day as he lay in his hospital bed with the metal guards up raised stuck on his _20:43_for good demented but aware of the time in set on fighting to the end. Old marine that he was who'd never been to war but head in his head destroying his enemies one by one except this one without any form, a cough, some stars, a twinge. No more good morning to the team of men in their uniforms of scrubs and gloves. Just God damn it again and again, so much beam still left in him as I strip in bare in his bed and pinned him down while begging him to please stop fighting and strapped him to a human crane and raised him up like a missing piece and rolled him into the shinny bath where they washed him clean as he hang in the air and dressed him then in olive green and brought him back into his room, that was not his room but they lowered him down to a special chair in which he chuckled with a grin as if had won again and was ready now to greet his son who traveled such a long, long way to say goodbye."

22:02 Melissa Studdard

Wow, so powerful. Thank you! (Laughs) you know when I looked at the poem on the page I don't know whether -- I don't think this would conveys to the readers, you know, to the listeners from hearing it aloud but the whole poem is only two sentences and it's amazing for me that you can convey so much and there is so much to one day in this poem and such a __22:22__ shift in tone and it's all in two sentences, it's amazing.

22:31 Chard DeNiord

Yeah, I was trying to capture the fight, the struggle is one long ordeal. I really wanted to be one sentence but I found I have to make, just for grammatical reasons in the two. But yeah, thanks for noticing that yeah (crosstalk. It's a struggle to write. Oh yes!

22:57 Melissa Studdard

Oh, I can imagine the shift from the beginning to the end. It's just startling transition and it's wonderful really (crosstalk).

23:16 Chard DeNiord

That really captured his whole life that smile of even though he had lost to the end here, the feeling or the, really the confidence that he had despite being picked up by, I don't know if you know that what they have in this nursing home, these machines have actually picked up patients, the miniature cranes for patients who are self-combative and they, so he really had this wonderful sense of victory...

23:53 Melissa Studdard

Uh-um.

23:54 Chard DeNiord

Every morning (laugh) the orderlies would come in, "Oh gosh, here we go again you know"...

24:02 Melissa Studdard

(Laughs).

24:03 Chard DeNiord

It can last, last too long.

24:07 Melissa Studdard

Yeah. (Crosstalk)

24:09 Chard DeNiord

I just feel like I really had to write this brutally honest.

24:13 Melissa Studdard

Well, it is brutally honest to feel about it. So, I think you were entirely successful in conveying that and just the details. I mean should this feeling of him being more powerful even in that, you know than...

24:30 Chard DeNiord

Yeah, exactly.

24:35 Melissa Studdard

And the strong presence.

24:37 Chard DeNiord

Yes.

24:39 Melissa Studdard

Would you read Chains also?

24:43 Chard DeNiord

Sure! This is the last poem in the new manuscript. We cut down several trees here a few years ago because of the windstorm that comes really in, not giant white and pines and red pines down and we had this huge brush piles that I burned when I have to stay up all night watching to make sure that they didn't spread. Our neighbors were pretty concerned about it. So, this poem grew out watching those fires chains "I took the chains down to the hardware store to have them sharpened on the grinding wheel. It was the day before the day of rest, so I worked some more when I returned gathering branches into a pile starting a fire tending the flames until they disappeared at dawn and I went inside to lie with her, the queen of trees who had waited for me throughout the night, breathing her lullaby now beneath the quilt. Our meeting the sweet, eternal scent of the future against my stench leading me with her beauty alone into the dark where I dreamed of the trees, I felt still falling in that flow intractable way, they fall at first then faster in a swifter scent that takes forever it seems, despite their speed since in the time between the second tree begins to fall, and the moment it hits the ground a man has time to write his epitaph on the stone inside his head and lay some flowers as well on the mound that rises up before him like a wave wherever he stands."

26:39 Melissa Studdard

Wow so beautiful. It kind of breaks my heart a little bit (laughs).

26:45 Chard DeNiord

(Laughs).

26:47 Melissa Studdard

From the man on the trees.

26:49 Chard DeNiord

Yeah. There was a lot of grieve that coming down some of those trees. Yes.

26:55 Melissa Studdard

Oh, I can imagine, we've had a drought in Texas last summer and we lost so many trees. That was really heartbreaking.

27:05 Chard DeNiord

It is.

27:06 Melissa Studdard

And you when I first read the poem. I didn't realize the context of it and I saw that maybe the trees were being used for like fireworks or something like that and it reminded me of a couple of different things. It kind of made me think of the statement _27:26_made about eating, about how part of growing up and losing our innocence, is really a thing that other things must die so we can live, so I kind of...

27:34 Chard DeNiord

Yeah.

27:35 Melissa Studdard

You know, I'm noticing the trees being used in the time, like native American __27:43__ has a little bit about, feel about it.

27:45 Chard DeNiord

Oh, good. I'm glad that we actually, I sent many of them away for lumber and pulp and that sort of a thing but still you know, there are no longer trees anymore obviously and...

27:59 Melissa Studdard

Boy, oh..

28:00 Chard DeNiord

Yeah. We live in a dense wood in Vermont here and there are trees up everywhere like enormous oaks, maples, red pines. We just actually built the tree house 20 feet up in between three maples and we sleep there every night now. So, whenever you cut a tree a down it's, for me anyway it's a very, a moving ordeal.

28:29 Melissa Studdard

Hey, things been. I'm sure most people feel that way too. I wanted to ask you also about, you talk a little bit in the Poetry International Interview about the public view of American poets who felt like exiles in their own country and I thought it's kind of assassinating, can you say more about that?

28:55 Chard DeNiord

Sure, sure. I think poets have always felt like exiles in their own county as writers who are writing as prophets in a way, finding new language, finding originalities. The strange thing is that about poetry is that, it's essential language, it's language that we remember, I hope we remember if it's powerful enough and original enough and truthful enough but it's often shocking. It's open surprisingly new. It's offensive even. And so poets aren't accepted very easily at first often. I mean some are who are making false assurances or simply beating a familiar drum, but poets who are telling the truth in an original language doesn't have to be political if at all. Take Emily Dickinson for instance. No one understood her for a hundred years really...

30:15 Melissa Studdard

(Laughs).

30:16 Chard DeNiord

And a few people did, right? But after people finally started reading her closely and understanding her, I realized that she was one of the most powerful famous poets who ever lived and she was telling the truth that no one wanted to hear for a long, long time. So, "I'm a nobody who are you" she says. She certainly felt like an exile and if you read Democratic Vistas by Whitman, even though he said -- you know, this United States are the greatest poem. He ended up feeling very exiled after the war. Not literally but certainly poetically and even politically. So, you know we see a lot of poets leaving actually, leaving the country in a tradition of or in the history of American literature Eliot and Pound and even for us going to Europe for long periods of time. So, you know it's just not easy being a citizen and a poet at the same time. The best citizens are often poets because the truth that they see, but again they have to learn to live with the possibility and the likelihood that they are not gonna be heard at first and that they have -- they may even die without knowing whether or not their poetry has been read closely. And with so much poetry being written today and published, I think it's more of a kind of crisis for poets than ever. Will I ever, will anybody spend five minutes with me. Interviewing Galway Kinnel and Ruth Stone and Robert Bly and Lucille Clifton and Maxine Kumin in this book that I did recently, I realized that the one thing that they wanted all in their 80s and 90s was simply to be read and to be appreciated. They feared being forgotten and you know, all of them in a way felt like exiles for the kind of truth that they wrote in a memorable way.

32:29 Melissa Studdard

Yeah. And you talked also and I heard so many different things of yours of how hard time keeping it straight right now but I think it was also in Resistance and Independence in Contemporary American Poetry. You talked about over saturation and you talked about the, how there are more poets than readers right now and I just, I have a lot of questions about that, but just to start with I mean it is the best mile that people say it is, we don't know who had been wrong, and who is to blame for poets, while we foresee poetry as an effectiveness today, you know it's a credit.

33:06 Chard DeNiord

You know, our sort of hi-tech society were to some, but _33:09_of poetry, there is, something else that's taken over in many people's minds, newer and more exciting which is technology, which are the sciences which certainly need to be stressed but without the essential language, the new essential language of poetry and finding that language in our very confused post-modern populated world, I think we're gonna be, and feeling very hungry for new definitions of who we are. In my last paragraph in that essay, I write how may poet teachers are emphasizing the redemptive efficacy of the poets' paradoxical past of stripping herself of knowing, while simultaneously resisting repelling the past. How many MFA mentors are encouraging their apprentices to attain the Shamanistic wisdom of, the growth, mystical and nude fear or to risk placing their full intellectual weight on the plank have reason to break it purposely than Emily Dickinson did in her poem. I felt the funeral in my brain. Then, fall through worlds until they finish knowing them. Allen Ginsberg refers to Whitman as the courage teacher in his poem The Supermarket in California for poets to escape Paul Bissett's perfumed rooms, term from _34:40_...

34:42 Melissa Studdard

(Laughs)

34:43 Chard DeNiord

They must trust in Ginsberg's saying courage teacher enough to suffer anonimity and even ignominy for their daring. Just as Whitman and Dickinson did, just as Ginsberg and Bly did, just as James Wright and Sylvia Plath did. In this regard they must become prophets as well as poets in identifying the illusiory gift in their midst as a wooden centrifuge and then write against it in a strange new way that is also immediately familiar and redemptive. So, you know I found a little religious there in nostalgics, maybe in a way but the point I make earlier in the essay is that strong American poetry has always emerged out of resistance. You know Whitman and Dickinson rebelling against English prosody, the modernist writing against nihilism. Contemporary poets like the ones I interviewed writing against their fathers, their great mother and his father out of the shadow and trying to escape the shadow of the great mother. But now we seem to be in a very slack age where there isn't that resistance as much anymore. What are we resisting? And even though a lot of wonderful stuff is being written, there is a kind of _36:05_ that lacks resistance and I'm just -- I mean we can't, how do you create, you don't wanna create resistance for the sake of just creating it, but there needs to be a kind of vision encouraged as Ginsberg called it, that finds a voice to, that is enduring, memorable and original in its resistance to what is killing the soul of the country and it's always something new, the soul of the country.

36:37 Melissa Studdard

One part (laughs) I thought it was interesting, you indicated that what might need to be resistance now is actually the progress itself (laughs).

36:48 Chard DeNiord

Yes. They have...well.

36:50 Melissa Studdard

That's was so brilliant.

36:53 Chard DeNiord

Yes. I think _36:56_ has gotten into bed with the right forces that are sapping its strength. It's become a big business you know. It's become a really big business to the point where poets are thinking so much about writing a poem might _37.11_ anymore. You know or biting the hands that's feeding them.

37:20 Melissa Studdard

Uh-um.

37:21 Chard DeNiord

So, who is gonna listen to that now.

37:23 Melissa Studdard

(Laughs).

37:24 Chard DeNiord

So those are all the questions that I have.

37:25 Melissa Studdard

Well, do you see anything else that you feel is fair to be resisted, I wanna know your mind because we do in the culture, outside of the coaches, that was I'm asking.

37:40 Chard DeNiord

Yeah, I think what happens to us every day, my grandson just visited for a week. He is a brilliant kid who lives in San Francisco right in the heart of hi-tech industry there and he plays video games all of the time and is very good at it and has a wonderful vocabulary but he never goes outside. He never experiences the world in a way that, I, on one side, like what I did growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains and what that. I don't need to be self-referential here at all to comment on this side, I don't think. But I just really worry about generation or generations that are divorced from the world and the earth that they're, that they're part of, I don't seem to realize. And so that's..

38:40 Melissa Studdard

That's a wonderful...I forget for...

38:44 Chard DeNiord

No that's it.

38:46 Melissa Studdard

Oh, I was just gonna say there was a wonderful essay that came out a few years ago about, I think it was called the nature deficiency (laughs)...

38:56 Chard DeNiord

Yeah.

38:57 Melissa Studdard

How they experience nowadays, the natural deficiency of, you know exposure to nature, what you're talking about. (crosstalk)

39:04 Chard DeNiord

I agree with you and I mean I don't know how can you, you can probably teach it to someone after they have grown up and I think that same deficiency is, I don't know, I just -- I write it. I write a lot about the world outside my door here in Vermont. And I feel that writing about the natural subjects that I do often and also in genders, compassion in my writing and a kind of transpersonal self that crosses over for me to the other -- I hope that's what's happening. And without that, I don't know where literature is going or would go without that kind of transpersonal sensibility.

40:07 Melissa Studdard

Yeah. Yeah. I have a question related to what we we're talking about earlier with the lack of readership and...

40:15 Chard DeNiord

Yeah.

40:16 Melissa Studdard

And, I just wanted to ask you, if you have the opportunity right now to sort of speak to your people who don't read poetry and tell them why they should (crosstalk) I mean, what would you say? Yeah, if you could just tell them why they should read poetry.

40:42 Chard DeNiord

Yeah. You know I will go back to a quote by Whitman. "The proof of the poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he absorbed it." He also said that a country's poetry is only as good as the audience that reads it. So, if we lose a smart thoughtful passionate leadership for poetry or literature in general, then we lose the vital part of our national soul. We don't know who we are. We may be able to know how to make things like the new, the next new iPhone. But if we don't read and if we don't understand or carry on the legacy of great literature and poetry and the news that stays news, then, this is a frightening thing and this can happen in a kind of dehumanizing culture. We lose who we are. We lose our sense of ourselves. We lose how we're connected to each other. And that's, I don't know how to say it.

41:45 Melissa Studdard

No, no, no. That's great. Thank you! Yeah, very, very true. Thank you! We are actually kind of running out of time here (laughs).

41:58 Chard DeNiord

Yeah. Thank you for all your wonderful questions.

42:02 Melissa Studdard

Well, thank you it's been so great to talk you, and in closing we know about your book that's coming out in our state I'm very excited about that. Is there anything else that you would like to announce either from the _42:14_?

42:15 Chard DeNiord

Well, that's coming out in the fall as you say of 2015 and I guess the only other thing I would mention I'll be doing just a few readings around here in New England, but I will be at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival from January 19 to 24, 2015 which is -- just a wonderful festival and I would encourage everybody listening to think about applying or taking a look at it at least. There is wonderful faculty there including this year, Brenda Shaughnessy will be there, Linda Gregerson, Morris Manning. I will be interviewing Dana Gioia who used to be the head of the NEA in the 90s and wrote, speaking of the death of poetry, wrote his Poetry Matter, his famous book back in the early 90s.

43:07 Melissa Studdard

(Laughs).

43:10 Chard DeNiord

So, that's a wonderful event. Tom Lux will be there as well. So, that's next big thing I'll be doing.

43:17 Melissa Studdard

Wonderful, and your website do you keep the list of a pretty bunch of people (crosstalk).

43:25 Chard DeNiord

I need to update it probably more and more frequently but as just BD it is just www.charddeniord.com very simple.

43:33 Melissa Studdard

Okay, great. And I also wanna mention we ran out of time, but you have some wonderful column to your website too that people wanna go and obviously these books of yours is a wonderful things to do but there are also a few columns on that I love, what animals teach us, somebody asked you to read that too.

43:47 Chard DeNiord

Oh! People wanna read it, thank you!

43:55 Melissa Studdard

Yeah. Yeah. It's just fabulous thank you so, so much.

43:59 Chard DeNiord

Thank you Melissa for your questions and your hard work on this. I appreciate it so much.

44:05 Melissa Studdard

Of course and thank you, and have a wonderful evening.

44:08 Chard DeNiord

Thank you Melissa! Bye!

44:12 Melissa Studdard

Before we close, I'd like to thank producer and associate editor RJ Jeffrey, contributing editor and assistant producer, Udo Hintze and publisher, Donna Baier Stein for their work every month in helping the show to run smoothly. I'd like to also remind our listeners that at our website you can subscribe, donate or purchase single issues of Tiferet Journal and find out about upcoming events. While you are at the site, be sure to also check out the Tiferet Talk Book. It's a collection of our best interviews from the first year of Tiferet Talk Radio and is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other bookstores as well as at the website where we offer a free copy monthly for our giveaway. We hope you will join Tiferet Talk again on the 28th for an interview with host Donna Baier Stein and guest Elizabeth Cox and Michael Curtis. In the meantime, we wish you peace, love, happiness and fulfilling work.

Comments

 comments