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Asia . In wave after wave, peoples flooded out from the disturbd heartland of Asia .

Asia . In wave after wave, peoples flooded out from the heartland of Asia .

Asia . In wave after wave, peoples flooded out from the heart of Asia , Asia . In wave after wave, peoples flooded out from the heartland of Asia .

Asia . In wave after wave, peoples flooded out from the disturbd heartland of Asia .

In the pre-literate world the sea of languages was protean, an unreformed elemental source.

In the pre-literate world the sea of languages was protean, an unreformed source elemental.

in the pre-literate world the sea of languages was protean, an unreformed elemental source.

In the pre-literate world the sea of languages was protean, an unreformed elemental source.

In the pre-literate world the sea of languages was protean, an unreformed elemental source.

The legendary Gate of Alexander stands like a door upon the chaos of the potential, of all that has not been recorded.

Alexander's Gate is an image that Duncan drew from a book he read as a child: The Travels of Marco Polo. In the typescript for this prose poem, he includes a lengthy quote - eventually cut from the published version - which elucidates the image. "This is the province into which, when Alexander the Great attempted to advance northwards, he was unable to penetrate, by reason of the narrowness and difficulty of a certain pass, which on one side is washed by the sea, and is confined on the other by high mountains and woods, for the length of four miles; so that a very few men were capable of defending it against the whole world.Disappointed in this attempt, Alexander caused a great wall to be constructed at the entrance of the pass, and fortified it with towers, in order to restrain those who dwelt beyond it from giving him molestation. From its uncommon strength the pass obtained the name of the Gate of Iron...
Alexander's Gate stands like a door upon the chaos of the potential, of all that has not been recorded; Alexander's Gate is an image that Duncan drew from a book he read as a child: The Travels of Marco Polo. In the typescript for this prose poem, he includes a lengthy quote - eventually cut from the published version - which elucidates the image. "This is the province into which, when Alexander the Great attempted to advance northwards, he was unable to penetrate, by reason of the narrowness and difficulty of a certain pass, which on one side is washed by the sea, and is confined on the other by high mountains and woods, for the length of four miles; so that a very few men were capable of defending it against the whole world.Disappointed in this attempt, Alexander caused a great wall to be constructed at the entrance of the pass, and fortified it with towers, in order to restrain those who dwelt beyond it from giving him molestation. From its uncommon strength the pass obtained the name of the Gate of Iron... Alexander's Gate stands like a door upon the chaos of the potential, of all that has not been recorded.

Alexander's Gate is an image that Duncan drew from a book he read as a child: The Travels of Marco Polo. In the typescript for this prose poem, he includes a lengthy quote - eventually cut from the published version - which elucidates the image. "This is the province into which, when Alexander the Great attempted to advance northwards, he was unable to penetrate, by reason of the narrowness and difficulty of a certain pass, which on one side is washed by the sea, and is confined on the other by high mountains and woods, for the length of four miles; so that a very few men were capable of defending it against the whole world.Disappointed in this attempt, Alexander caused a great wall to be constructed at the entrance of the pass, and fortified it with towers, in order to restrain those who dwelt beyond it from giving him molestation. From its uncommon strength the pass obtained the name of the Gate of Iron...
Alexander's Gate stands like a door upon the chaos of the potential, of all that has not been recorded; Alexander's Gate is an image that Duncan drew from a book he read as a child: The Travels of Marco Polo. In the typescript for this prose poem, he includes a lengthy quote - eventually cut from the published version - which elucidates the image. "This is the province into which, when Alexander the Great attempted to advance northwards, he was unable to penetrate, by reason of the narrowness and difficulty of a certain pass, which on one side is washed by the sea, and is confined on the other by high mountains and woods, for the length of four miles; so that a very few men were capable of defending it against the whole world.Disappointed in this attempt, Alexander caused a great wall to be constructed at the entrance of the pass, and fortified it with towers, in order to restrain those who dwelt beyond it from giving him molestation. From its uncommon strength the pass obtained the name of the Gate of Iron... The legendary Gate of Alexander stands like a door upon the chaos of the potential, of all that has not been recorded.

Alexander's Gate is an image that Duncan drew from a book he read as a child: The Travels of Marco Polo. In the typescript for this prose poem, he includes a lengthy quote - eventually cut from the published version - which elucidates the image. "This is the province into which, when Alexander the Great attempted to advance northwards, he was unable to penetrate, by reason of the narrowness and difficulty of a certain pass, which on one side is washed by the sea, and is confined on the other by high mountains and woods, for the length of four miles; so that a very few men were capable of defending it against the whole world.Disappointed in this attempt, Alexander caused a great wall to be constructed at the entrance of the pass, and fortified it with towers, in order to restrain those who dwelt beyond it from giving him molestation. From its uncommon strength the pass obtained the name of the Gate of Iron...
Just where the hero on the verge of his given godhead would invade and conquer the source - there, not only the orgies of megalomaniac splendour and the new wisdom of naked masters of a Yoga that would enter into and change now the course of Greek civilization, but also the fortress - a household - and, beyond, the desolation of a continent swept by spectral storms in which the sound of perishing armies rang.

just where the hero on the verge of his given godhead would invade and conquer the source - there, not only orgies of splendour and the new wisdom of naked masters of Yoga but also a desolation in which the sound of perishing armies rang.

just where the hero on the verge of his given godhead would invade and conquer the source not only the orgies of splendour and the controversy of Greek philosophers and the naked masters of Yoga but also a desolation in which the sound of armies rang.

Just where the hero on the verge of his given godhead would invade and conquer the source - there, not only the orgies of megalomaniac splendour and the new wisdom of naked masters of a Yoga but also the desolation of spectral storm in which sweeping the vacant plains the sound of perishing armies rang.

The rage of Love appeard to me to be a convulsion of the sea, diven by storm winds or shaken by upheavals of the under earth, itself an ocean of molten rock and fire.

The rage of Love appeard to me to be a convulsion of the sea, driven by storm winds or shaken by upheavals of the under earth, itself an ocean of rock and fire.

The rage of passionate Love appeard to me and appears to me still to be a convulsion of the sea driven by storm-winds or shaken by disturbances of the earth itself - in turn an ocean of rock and fire.

The rage of passionate Love appeard to me to be a convulsion of the sea driven by storm winds or shaken by upheavals of the earth - itself an ocean of rock and fire.

The rage of Love appeard to me to be a convulsion of the sea, driven by storm winds or shaken by upheavals of the under earth, itself an ocean of rock and fire.

War, love, and the poem, shaped history as expressions of the deepst forces and cleavings (adherences and divisions) of Man''s hidden nature

War, love, and the poem - showings forth of the deepst forces and cleavings of Man's inner nature.

War, love, and the poem - showings forth of the deepst forces and cleavings of Man's inner nature.

War, love, and the poem - showings forth of the deepst forces and cleavings of Man's inner nature

War, love, and the poem shaped history as expressions of the deepst forces and cleavings (adherences in their being divided) of Man's inner nature. Hidden.

In 1950 , America had become possesst by a demonic necessity, the hidden content of her victory in the Second World War , that now appeard in the phantasm of a blinding fear of communism, of the primal peoples of the world, and of the depths of Asia .

In 1950 America had become possesst by a demonic dream - it was a nightmare - the phantasm of a blinding fear of communism and of the depths of Asia .

In 1950 it was clear that America had become possesst with the demonic dream - it was a nightmare - of overcoming the ancient emprire of the Mongols that appeard in the inspired poetry of Mao Tse-tung .

In 1950 , America had become possesst by a demonic necessity, the hidden content of her victory in the Second World War - it was a nightmare: the phantasm of a blinding fear of communism and of the depths of Asia .

And from China , in the inspired poetry of Mao Tse-tung , there were signs of the ancient empire of the Mongols reawakening.

And from China , in the inspired poetry of Mao Tse-tung , there were signs of the ancient empire of Kublai Khan reawakening.

And from China , in the inspired poetry of Mao Tse-tung , there were sings of the ancient empire of the Mongol's reawakening

Working in sections from an essay by Robert Payne on Mao's poetry which had appeard in Horizon and quoting from his translations of Mao , in counterpoint to the ritualistic consultation of a fifth of Cutty Sark , in An Imaginary War Elegy , I began to compose in terms of this obsessional war that today, sixteen years later, has taken over the soul and spirit of America .

Working with sections from an essay on Mao's poetry by Robert Payne which had appeard in Horizon , and with quotes from Payne's translations from Mao , and consulting a fifth of Cutty Sark , in An Imaginary War Elegy I began to compose

Working with sections (in italics) from an article on Mao's poetry by Robert Payne which appeard in Horizon , and with quotes from Mao's poetry translated by Payne and consulting a bottle [fifth] of Cutty Sark , in An Imaginary War Elegy began to compose in terms of this obsessional war that today, sixteen years later, the more certainly has ravaged the sould and spirit of America

Working in sections from an essay by Robert Payne on Mao's poetry which had appeard in Horizon and with quotes from his translations of Mao and consulting a fifth of Cutty Sark , in An Imaginary War Elegy I began to compose in terms of this obsessional war that today, sixteen years later, had taken over the soul and spirit of America .

Haveing no philosophers, mindless, fighting not in the name of glory and power but for the dominance of a corporate capitalism, not searching out the wisdom of the East but seeking to destroy communist ideals - there will be no Hellenistic culture but only the desolation of spirit.

But this phantom empire of Asia was for me the extension of being, held, as it came to me in 1960 with Apprehensions , "so that there is a continent of feeling beyond our feeling."

But this phantom Empire of Asia was for me the ambitious extension of a personal identity held in"so that there is a continent of feeling beyond our feeling" as it came to me in Apprehensions .

William Carlos Williams: an extremely important American poet for Duncan and his contemporaries. Williams's epic, Paterson, defined the scope and breadth of the American long poem in the 20th Century. In many ways, poets such as Duncan saw themselves in the Whitmanian tradition that Williams extended. There was this one crucial difference between Whitman and Williams however, America for Williams had become nothing more than a ruined democratic dream, emptied of the potential that Whitman saw in the Nineteenth Century.

Jamie de Angulo: a poet who moved to America from Paris in 1905 and who mentored Duncan in topics as broad as Native American myth and sorcery. Angulo has been lauded by poets such as William Carlos Williams and, even, Ezra Pound. His death in 1950 left Duncan at an early stage without a significant mentor.

After the inspiration of William Carlos William's Paterson in 1946 , 1948 , 1949 , had opend the way with its great thematic images of the roaring waters, the divorce, the geologic strata of a history, and the consuming and welding flames, in which extensions of content were generated, I tried in An Essay at War to incorporate the gains I saw in his work towards a poetry that would be Heraclitean form , a form in process, to draw from and in the same act set into motion the elements of my own life-experience -- the death of Jamie de Angulo from cancer in 1950 and the rock crystal pitcher seen in the Hapsburg collection which tourd America that year, and the household kept (the work of art as hearth of feeling) in the midst of catastrophe.

William Carlos Williams: an extremely important American poet for Duncan and his contemporaries. Williams's epic, Paterson, defined the scope and breadth of the American long poem in the 20th Century. In many ways, poets such as Duncan saw themselves in the Whitmanian tradition that Williams extended. There was this one crucial difference between Whitman and Williams however, America for Williams had become nothing more than a ruined democratic dream, emptied of the potential that Whitman saw in the Nineteenth Century.

Jamie de Angulo: a poet who moved to America from Paris in 1905 and who mentored Duncan in topics as broad as Native American myth and sorcery. Angulo has been lauded by poets such as William Carlos Williams and, even, Ezra Pound. His death in 1950 left Duncan at an early stage without a significant mentor.

After William Carlso William's Paterson had prepared the way with its great images of the roaring waters, the divorce, the geologic stratas of history, and the welding flames, I tried in An Essay at War to draw the elements of my concern - the agony of the War, the ecstasy of the work of art, the things experienced in loss and the things eternally kept in the work - into one complex and so to work that material that new orders (impulses toward form and meaning) might be thrown up or set free in the process.

William Carlos Williams: an extremely important American poet for Duncan and his contemporaries. Williams's epic, Paterson, defined the scope and breadth of the American long poem in the 20th Century. In many ways, poets such as Duncan saw themselves in the Whitmanian tradition that Williams extended. There was this one crucial difference between Whitman and Williams however, America for Williams had become nothing more than a ruined democratic dream, emptied of the potential that Whitman saw in the Nineteenth Century.

Jamie de Angulo: a poet who moved to America from Paris in 1905 and who mentored Duncan in topics as broad as Native American myth and sorcery. Angulo has been lauded by poets such as William Carlos Williams and, even, Ezra Pound. His death in 1950 left Duncan at an early stage without a significant mentor.

After the inspiration of William Carlos Williams's Paterson in 1946 , 1948 , 1949 , had opend the way with its great images of the roaring waters, the divorce, the geologic strata of a history, and the consuming and welding flames, in which extensions of meaning were generated, I tried in An Essay at War to draw from and set into motion the elements of my own life-experience - the death of Jamie de Angulo in 1950 and a rock crystal pitcher seen in the Hapsburg exhibition of 1951 , the form of elements in commotion, clouds, fire, smoke, the sea, and the house hold kept (the work of art) in the midst of catastrophe.

Jess: Robert Duncan's life partner, with whom he lived from 1951 through to his death in 1984

Alfred North Whitehead: Whitehead is a crucial metaphysical thinker in the history of 20th Century thought. The work which Duncan alludes to here, Process and Reality, is his magnum opus, a cosmology that attempts to establish a system of all things. Whitehead's influence on 20th Century American poets cannot be understated. He was read by poets as diverse as Williams, Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Hart Crane, Wallace Stevens, George Oppen, and, even, W.B. Yeats.

Charles Olson: one of Duncan's best friends and a marvelous poet in his own right, author of the influential essay Projective Verse, which appeared in 1950 and greatly influenced the field of 20th Century American poetics by arguing for a renewed attention to physicality in composition. Also author of the epic Maximus Poems, which translates Whitehead's cosmology into a form for poetry.

Thru 1951 , my first year with Jess , I workt on the Essay at War , at a loss always - for I had turned from the idea of a form as an object and embarkt upon the adventure as a form as a process. Would I have understood Whitehead's Process and Reality then? As it was I did not understand Olson's essay Projective Verse in which this concept of form as happening and not as completion had had its first statement. But I was beginning to see meaning in terms of what was happening in the movement of the poem