Thursday, 21 April 2011
Poetry Month: Antony Di Nardo - Soul on Standby
Antony Di Nardo is the author of Alien, Correspondent (Brick Books) and Soul on Standby (Exile Editions). His poetry and non-fiction have appeared in anthologies and in journals across Canada, most recently in Prism, The Capilano Review and The New Quarterly. He divides his time between Oshawa, Ontario and Sutton, Quebec.
TTQ - What role do you see poetry playing in an increasingly digital world, and do you feel the e-book will ultimately take the place of the printed page?
Antony Di Nardo - Poetry, like language and its supporting technologies will continue to evolve and adapt. For storytellers and orators of long ago, quill and ink and its “painted speech” posed a terrible threat to spoken language. Yet, despite those ancient naysayers, it’s obvious language has flourished. I don’t think the e-book or the digital page is any more of a threat to “printed speech,” the hardcopy or the G-book (G for Gutenberg). Some writers, I suppose, have always suffered from a form of “page fright,” a fear of flying, whether resisting the shift from quill to fountain pen or from the typewriter to word processing. The e-book will no doubt re-tool the art of language for other creative and different arenas of discourse. And much like the fountain pen and word processor, the G-book and the e-book will co-exist.
Poetry, in both form and content, has undergone some remarkable changes in the last hundred years. The technologies at our disposal for writing poetry are partially responsible for that. “Make it new,” said Ezra Pound. The e-book and digital page, once we get the broken line and ragged right margin right, will go a long way in moving poets further into their art. Can we expect a fusion of spoken word and visual poetry, animated concrete poetry, the sonnet in QuickTime, the I-Phone haiku? Why not? I’m looking forward to composing my next poem on an I-Pad.
Something in the Sixties
Hell, no, we won’t go!
Hell, no, we won’t go!
barely, hardly, scarcely sums it up,
with all we had to live up
to after the flower girls turned wily
off on a whirl from limb to limb
like the little lambs ate ivy
and the sugar plum fairies limped
or lisped, whispered sweet nothings
in our ears in a foolishness or fashion
long lost to childhood yearn-
ings of the Hooded Fang and sturm
und drang, the utter weariness
of ollie ollie um sum free
and we won’t go looking for you ‘less
there’s something in it for me
was the latest test of said unselflessness,
honestly it didn’t do it either for me
what it did for the drag of history
all aboard the track of happiness.
Two rights and eight of us cooped
up in a co-op didn’t make a wrong
to wring our hands over à la
Lady Macbeth, but we were gaga
for the world to end,
to come marching to a dead end,
tying up all the loose ends
to make a proper ending of an end
in sight. That was some past, the sparkle
of homegrown divinity, the edge of marvel,
all those lonely people from that song,
really, where do they all belong?