[Local events] Robin Blaser, 1925-2009

David Abel passages at rdrop.com
Tue May 12 06:32:56 PDT 2009


On Thursday May 7, Robin Blaser died in Vancouver, BC. One of the great 
voices of our time, an uncompromising poet of conscience, impervious to 
fashion yet with an ear attuned to the current; a great intellect, and 
even greater heart.


The Globe & Mail obituary was clearly written by someone close to Robin: 
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/Deaths.20090509.93195062/BDAStory/BDA/deaths


Of the many tributes already online (several of which are listed in the 
post on the Poetry Foundation's Harriet blog: 
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2009/05/robin-blaser-1925-2009),

this article by Blaser's dear friend and student Stan Persky is 
particularly moving, and illuminates Robin's clear-eyed and courageous 
commitment to poetry:
http://dooneyscafe.com/archives/1593


Pierre Joris, on his blog (http://pierrejoris.com/blog/?p=1296), quotes 
Robin from a recent talk:

"...that was the beginning of my life in poetry --- to find out that 
poetry had the most extraordinary intelligence, and that it would just 
wander and and wander and wonder. And so, I love it to this very day. 
Poetry is the language that one really must finally know --- you know, 
before you get the hell out of here be sure that you got some poetry 
because you gonna need it on the other side." (from "Berkeley 
Renaissance" talk, November 5, 2008).


And in the notes at the end of his book Syntax, Robin quotes Coleridge 
(from the Notebooks, I assume):

Intensity & Extensity combinable only by blessed
Spirits --- Hence that Lovers in their finite state
incapable of fathoming the intensity of their
feelings /help/ the thought /out/ by extension & thus
think the passion as wide in /time/ as it is deep
in essence. Hence --- auf ewig dein [thine
forever]!


Surely Robin is now a blessed Spirit.
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