“Everson has been accused of self-dramatization. Justly. All of his poetry…is concerned with the drama of his own self..Everything is larger than life with a terrible beauty and pain. Life isn’t like that to some people and to them these poems will seem too strong a wine. But of course life is like that.”
I love those lines, which come from the introduction to poet William Everson’s 1948 volume, “The Residual Years.” They were written by his friend and fellow poet Kenneth Rexroth, who came up for discussion here a few posts ago, and who served as a kind of mentor to Everson and other younger poets who had gathered around him in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1950s.
Rexroth’s droll insistence that “of course life is like that” points to the fact that even when we try to numb ourselves with various inebriates (including electronics and overwork) or present ourselves externally as even-tempered and...Read More