Anne Waldman performs “An Ode, Written October, 1819, Before the Spaniards Had Recovered Their Liberty” (Accompanied by an excerpt from Haydn’s “String Quartet in G Major”)
In this installment, Anne Waldman performs “An Ode, Written October, 1819, Before the Spaniards Had Recovered Their Liberty” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Waldman, poet, editor, performer, professor, curator, cultural activist carries in her genetics the lineages of the New American Poetry, and is a considered an inheritor of the Beat (Allen Ginsberg called her his “spiritual wife”) and the New York School (Frank O’Hara told her to “work for inspiration, not money”) mantles. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts award, the Shelley prize for poetry, and has had residences at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, The Atlantic Center for the Arts and at the Christian Woman’s University in Tokyo. Directing the Poetry Project at St Mark’s Poetry Project over a decade, she co-founded the Jack Keroauc School of Disembodied Poetics with Allen Ginsberg at the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University in 1974. She currently is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of Naropa’s celebrated Summer Writing Program and is working with the Study Abroad on the Bowery project in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Author and editor of over 40 books and small press editions of poetry, she has been working for over 25 years on the epic Iovis project (two volumes published by Coffee House Press, 1993, 1997) and has published most recently Marriage: A Sentence, Coffee House Press 2000; In the Room of Never Grieve: New & Selected Poems with CD collaboration with Ambrose Bye, Coffee House Press 2003; Dark Arcana: Afterimage or Glow, with photographs by Patti Smith, Heavenbone Press 2003; and Structure of the World Compared to a Bubble, a long Buddhist poem, Penguin Poets 2004. She makes her home in New York City and Boulder, Colorado. She was awarded a residency at the Rockefeller’s Bellagio center in April of 2006.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “An Ode, Written October, 1819, Before the Spaniards Had Recovered Their Liberty”
Arise, arise, arise!
There is blood on the earth that denies ye bread;
Be your wounds like eyes
To weep for the dead, the dead, the dead.
What other grief were it just to pay?
Your sons, your wives, your brethren, were they;
Who said they were slain on the battle day?
Awaken, awaken, awaken!
The slave and the tyrant are twin-born foes;
Be the cold chains shaken
To the dust where your kindred repose, repose:
Their bones in the grave will start and move,
When they hear the voices of those they love,
Most loud in the holy combat above.
Wave, wave high the banner!
When Freedom is riding to conquest by:
Though the slaves that fan her
Be Famine and Toil, giving sigh for sigh.
And ye who attend her imperial car,
Lift not your hands in the banded war,
But in her defence whose children ye are.
Glory, glory, glory,
To those who have greatly suffered and done!
Never name in story
Was greater than that which ye shall have won.
Conquerors have conquered their foes alone,
Whose revenge, pride, and power they have overthrown
Ride ye, more victorious, over your own.
Bind, bind every brow
With crownals of violet, ivy, and pine:
Hide the blood-stains now
With hues which sweet Nature has made divine:
Green strength, azure hope, and eternity:
But let not the pansy among them be;
Ye were injured, and that means memory.