Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Beautiful, cool, sunny weather all week so far in Ithaca—it's like late October only with the leaves coming back into bud instead of falling off the trees. Bogie is in heaven as he goes snuffling up the South Hill Recreation Way near our house. And the other Boston Terrier in the neighborhood, a puppy named Trevor, is now full grown and we sometimes see him scampering eagerly along, barely restrained by the leash. Time passes.

I've now had feedback from all three of my dissertation committee members on the first chapter, and it's almost uniformly positive and enthusiastic. Which means I now have to get back to work in earnest on the Pound chapter. But I still haven't had a chance to so much as go through the books I acquired at AWP! And I have reviews to write, and dogs to walk, and so on. Trying to decide if I need to write four more chapters or if I could get away with three. As it stands, the TOC would look something like this:

I - Introduction: Toward a Theory of Avant-Garde Pastoral
II - The Re-education of Ezra Pound's Desire in the Pisan Cantos
III - Physis Music in Louis Zukofsky and Ronald Johnson
IV - James Schuyler's Pastoral of Looking
V - (Nothing But) Flowers: Contemporary Pastorals of Negation

I'd love to do something on Schuyler, who seems to have received scant critical attention, but if I had to jettison a chapter that would be it. It would also be fun to do a chapter on Stevens, which might interestingly confuse the lineage this TOC represents (and be more accurate to my own perceived poetic inheritance). Somehow I've got to do all this inside of a year; should be doable if I can resist the urge to armor plate my arguments by reading every single damn piece of secondary literature out there. Keeping up with the primary texts is hard enough in the cases of Pound and Zukofsky.

Fifteen days to Fourier Series!

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