Below are reports of magnificent classes taught by Eli Siegel.
The lecture Eli Siegel gave July 22, 1970, was titled “The Rhythms: They are There,” which had in it a new approach to the subject of rhythm. Mr. Siegel explained he was going to be casual in his approach and present what rhythm is in as many ways as possible, using as his text a single issue of a 1920 journal, The Dial, a literary magazine concerned with the arts. Read more
In this section of the lecture, Mr. Siegel read and commented on a short story by the Irish writer, James Stephens, an essay about Shakespeare by the French author, Romain Rolland, and an art chronicle by Henry McBride, who discusses in particular the work of artist Charles Burchfield, whom Mr. Siegel described as “The Terror of Ohio.” He said that in Burchfield’s paintings there is an ethical drama of good and evil given true form.
In a great class titled “Look, the World is Poetic!” given June 13, 1971, Mr. Siegel showed the world is poetic through how the opposites of stop and flow, stillness and moving, are in reality itself, and in poetry, including Chinese, American, Arabian, French, Sanskrit, and Persian. “I am beginning with the fact,” Mr. Siegel stated, “that there is poetry in the world and it shows itself in many ways and they each say something about the other….The world is poetic in two ways: its structure is poetic, and there’s poetry in it.” Read more
What Mr. Siegel said as he compared the slowness of motion in Poe’s lines to the swiftness of motion in When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed by Walt Whitman is new to literary criticism….
♦ Read a Report by Lynette Abel of a profoundly moving play about World War I, “A Miracle at Verdun” by Herman Chlumberg discussed in an Aesthetic Realism class by Eli Siegel.
And here are some poems I care for by Eli Siegel—each musical, each surprising, showing the world as it is—poetically: