Saturday, April 1, 2017

National Poetry Month: Philip Lamantia

"I Have Given Fair Warning"
(Philip Lamantia)

I have given fair warning
Chicago New York Los Angeles have gone down
I have gone to Swan City with the ghost of Maldoror may still roam
The South is very civilized
I have eaten rhinoceros tail
It is the last night among crocodiles
Albion opens his fist in a palm grove
I shall watch speckled jewel grow on the back of warspilt horses
Exultation rides by
A poppy the size of the sun in my skull
I have given fair warning
at the time of corpses and clouds I can make love here as

"I Have Given Fair Warning" by Philip Lamantia was published in Selected Poems 1943-1966. At age sixteen, after being introduced to surrealism by the Miro and Dali retrospectives at the San Francisco Museum of Art, he began to write surrealist poetry, realizing that "the purely revolutionary nature" of surrealism "even before my knowledge of Surrealist theory, was part of my own individual temperament." Lamantia's poems were first published in 1943 by Andre Breton. His first book, Erotic Poems, was published in Berkeley in 1946, and his next book, Ekstasis, appeared after the Six Poets at the Six Gallery reading. City Lights published his Selected Poems 1943-1966. The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia was published in 2013.

1 comment:

Alan - Robert Alan Black said...

thank you Mark for posting this the first poet of the month of poems you are posting.

My knowledge and experience with poetry has been minimal compared to

art: painting, sculpture, photograph, graphics, architecture, industrial design.