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Louis Zukofsky

PoemTalk Episode #22, Discussing Louis Zukofsky's "It's hard to see but think of a sea", from Anew, feat. Bob Perelman, Wystan Curnow, and Charles Bernstein

Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.


Reading and discussion with Hugh Kenner, recorded at Johns Hopkins University, December 13, 1975

  1. "A"-11 (4:35): MP3
  2. From "A"-15 (opening through Book of Job passage) (3:11): MP3
  3. "A"-20 (3:16): MP3
  4. "A"-21, Rudens (Act IV.7, Voice off) (4:30): MP3
  5. Song 5 (It's a gay li-ife) (0:32): MP3
  6. A Foin Lass Bodders (6:20): MP3
  7. 80 Flowers (Epigraph through #22 Bayberry) (36:20): MP3

Complete reading (58:45): MP3

Reading at Franconia College May 9, 1974

  1. Introduction (00:30): MP3
  2. "A"-22 (beginning through line 129) (06:33): MP3
  3. "A"-22 (end section, part 1) (03:33): MP3
  4. "A"-22 (end section, part 2) (02:17): MP3
  5. "A"-23 (beginning section, part 1) (01:38): MP3
  6. "A"-23 (beginning section, part 2) (04:29): MP3

Complete reading (18:51): MP3

Reading at the Poetry Center YM-YWHA, NYC, October 15, 1973

  1. From "A"-22 (32:12): MP3
  2. Catullus 8 (2:20): MP3
  3. Catullus 70 (0:33): MP3
  4. Catullus 73 (0:55): MP3
  5. Catullus 11 (1:39): MP3
  6. Catullus 45 (2:06): MP3
  7. Catullus 51 (1:04): MP3
  8. Song 13 ("in that this happening") (1:12): MP3
  9. A Song for the Year's End 1 (0:27): MP3
  10. Anew 29 ("Glad they were there") (0:30): MP3
  11. So that Even a Lover 1 ("Little Wrists") (0:36): MP3
  12. "As to How Much" (0:44): MP3
  13. Old (0:35): MP3
  14. Anew 22 (Catullus viii) (2:12): MP3

Complete reading (51:29): MP3

Reading at Bard College, November 2, 1972

  1. Introduction (1:02): MP3
  2. Opening Remarks (4:12): MP3
  3. From Autobiography

  4. Song 22 ("To my wash-stand") (2:44): MP3
  5. Song 21 ("Snows' Fight's winds on the window rattling") (0:52): MP3
  6. Song 13 ("in that this happening") (0:56): MP3
  7. A Song for the Year's End 1 (1:10): MP3
  8. Anew 29 ("Glad they were there") (0:45): MP3
  9. Old (0:55): MP3

  10. From Little, Chapter 11 (8:17): MP3
  11. From "A"-24 (Explanatory commentary, Dedication, CZ's Preface, from Act I scene 1 (Thought and Drama voices) and from Act II scene 4 (from Thought and Poetry voices)) (32:48): MP3
  12. Catullus 8 (2 versions) and 70 (6:35): MP3

Complete reading (1:00:16): MP3

Reading at Glassboro State College, October 17, 1972

Complete reading (21:29): MP3

Reading includes: Song 22 ("To my wash-stand"); Song 21 ("Snows' night's winds on the window rattling"); Song 13 ("in that this happening"); A Song for the Year's End; Anew 29 ("Glad they were there"); Old; from Little, Chapter 11; from "A"-24 (Explanatory commentary-tape breaks off).

Reading at Temple University, October 16, 1972

  1. Introduction (1:51): MP3
  2. From Autobiography

  3. Song 22 ("To my wash-stand") (3:36): MP3
  4. Song 21 ("Snows' night's winds on the window rattling") (0:56): MP3
  5. Song 13 ("in that this happening") (0:41): MP3
  6. A Song for the Year's End 1 (0:33): MP3
  7. Anew 29 ("Glad they were there") (0:43): MP3
  8. Old (0:47): MP3

  9. Chapter 4 from Little: for Careenagers (6:51): MP3
  10. "A"-24 (Explanatory commentary, Dedication, CZ's Preface and Act I, scene 1, Cousin, Lesson) (21:00): MP3
  11. "A"-24 (Act II, scene 4 (from Thought voice)) (6:09): MP3
  12. "A"-24, Act II, scene 4 (from Poem voice, includes "A"-7) (10:10): MP3
  13. "A"-24, Act II, scene 4 (from Poem voice cont., includes "A"-20) (3:17): MP3
  14. Catullus 70 (0:46): MP3
  15. Catullus 87 (0:47): MP3
  16. Catullus 11 and 45 (4:21): MP3
  17. Sequence 1944-6 (2:56): MP3
Complete reading (1:10:00): MP3

Lecture on Wallace Stevens at the University of Connecticut April 29, 1971

  1. Introduction (10:04): MP3
  2. On his experience reading Stevens and the feelings of friendship and duration that emerge when one poet reads another (48:26): MP3
  3. Giving out prizes (1:59): MP3
  4. Reading Wallace Stevens' "From the Misery of Don Joost" (1:42): MP3
  5. Reading Wallace Stevens' "Extraordinary References" (1:22): MP3
  6. Reading Wallace Stevens' "The Planet on the Table" (1:11): MP3
  7. Reading Wallace Stevens' "Puella Parvula" (1:40): MP3
  8. Reading Wallace Stevens' "Song of Fixed Accord" (1:03): MP3
  9. Reading from "A"-15 (through Book of Job passage) (3:22): MP3
  10. Reading Catullus 31 (1:19): MP3
  11. Reading from "A"-21, Rudens (Act III.6, Voice off) (2:53): MP3
  12. Reading from "Bottom: on Shakespeare" (from "Continents") (2:54): MP3
  13. Reading from "A"-22 (beginning section) (4:40): MP3
  14. Reading from "Little," from Chapter 22 (1:20): MP3
  15. Reading from Wallace Stevens' speech "On Receiving the Gold Medal from the Poetry Society of America" (3:59): MP3

Complete lecture (1:29:36): MP3

Reading at Lincoln Center in New York March 31, 1971

Autobiography (46:30): MP3

Zukofsky reads all the poems included in Autobiography followed by a performance of the poems with Celia Zukofsky's musical scores sung by professional singers and Zukofsky reading the autobiographical prose interludes.

The poems read and performed in this recording are as follows: Song 11 (55 Poems), Song 8 (55 Poems), Anew 5, Song 22 (55 Poems), Light 10 (Some Time), Song 21 (55 Poems), Song 16 (55 Poems), Song 13 (55 Poems), Anew 36, A Song for the Year’s End 1 (Some Time), Anew 29, Que j’ay dit devant 1 (Some Time), So that even a lover 1 (Some Time), Xenophanes (Some Time), “As to How Much” (Some Time), To My Valentines (Some Time), and Old (Some Time). The singing performance includes Motet (Some Time).

Spoken Words, WNYC New York, September 15, 1970

Broadcast November 9, 1970 and rebroadcast March 3, 1971; also broadcast by Pacifica Radio Network, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

  1. Spoken Words Radio Program Introduction (Felix Leon) (1:02): MP3
  2. Little: for Careenagers (Zukofsky's introduction) (0:39): MP3
  3. Chapter 4 (3:53): MP3
  4. Chapter 8 (11:39): MP3
  5. Chapter 13 (11:12): MP3
  6. Chapter 18 (16:56): MP3
  7. Spoken Words Outro (0:24): MP3

Complete reading (45:47): MP3

Reading at the Albright-Knox Gallery at the Buffalo Festival of the Arts March 4, 1968

  1. Introduction by Robert Creeley (2:04): MP3
  2. From "A" -12 (from "To begin a song...) (5:28): MP3
  3. Catallus 63 (10:05): MP3
  4. Song 5 (It's a gay li-ife) (0:54): MP3
  5. Song 24 (This Fall, 1933) (0:58): MP3
  6. Song 15 (No One Inn) (1:42): MP3
  7. Song 27 (3/4 Time) (1:54): MP3
  8. "A"-11 (3:05): MP3
  9. "A"-19 (19:34): MP3
  10. "A"-9 (second half) (5:02): MP3

Complete reading (50:51): MP3

USA: Poetry, NETV Film series produced by Richard Moore, March 16, 1966

Richard Moore USA: Poetry Documentary, 1966

  1. Poem beginning "The", 1st Movement (2:50): MP3
  2. Divination by a Daffodil by Robert Herrick (included in A Test of Poetry) and So that Even a Lover 1 ("Little Wrists") (0:52): MP3
  3. "A"-9, (the first strophe of both halves) (1:48): MP3
  4. Catullus 70 (1:43): MP3
  5. Anew 30 and 31 (0:53): MP3
  6. "Bottom: A Weaver" and from Bottom: on Shakespeare (Come Shadow, Come from "Julia's Wild") (7:34): MP3
  7. Songs of Degrees 1 & 2 and "Barely and widely" (2:13): MP3
    Featured excerpt (from the complete recording below):
  • Come, Shadow Come ("Julia's Wild" from Bottom: on Shakespeare) (1:07): MP3

Complete reading (30:35): MP3

A & R Recording Co., NYC August 28, 1962

Taped for Stan Phillips.

  1. "A"-13, partita i (12:24): MP3
  2. "A"-13, partita ii (30:56): MP3
  3. "A"-13, partita iv (3:10): MP3
  4. "A"-5 (3:13): MP3
  5. "A"-11 (3:38): MP3
  6. From After I's

  7. Atque in Perpetuum A. W. (1:47): MP3
  8. Pretty (0:41): MP3
  9. The Ways (0:47): MP3
  10. The (0:26): MP3
  11. From Catullus

  12. Catullus 7 (1:30): MP3
  13. Catullus 8 (1:47): MP3
  14. Catullus 14 (1:59): MP3
  15. Catullus 31 (1:28): MP3
  16. Catullus 32 (0:54): MP3
  17. Catullus 37 (1:47): MP3
  18. Catullus 46 and 14a (1:34): MP3
  19. Catullus 51 (1:00): MP3
  20. Catullus 51a (0:44): MP3
  21. From Some Time

  22. "Some time has gone" (0:29): MP3
  23. Sequence 1944-6 (2:18): MP3
  24. So That Even a Lover (0:44): MP3
  25. Non Ti Fidar (1:02): MP3
  26. Reading and Talking (2:16): MP3
  27. "As to How Much" (0:53): MP3
  28. Claims (1:39): MP3
  29. From Barely and widely

  30. Poem 2 ("You who were made for this music") (1:20): MP3
  31. Poem 4 (A Valentine) (1:01): MP3
  32. Poem 5 (The Heights) (1:12): MP3
  33. Poem 8 ("This year") (1:05): MP3
  34. From Anew

  35. Anew 2 ("One lutenist played look; your thought was drink") (0:44): MP3
  36. Anew 4 ("So sounds grass, and if it is sun or no sun" (1:05): MP3
  37. Anew 7 ("When the crickets") (0:30): MP3
  38. Anew 13 ("A last cigarette') (0:48): MP3
  39. Anew 16 ("I walk in the old street") (0:29): MP3
  40. Anew 25 (for Zadkine) (1:44): MP3
  41. Anew 29 ("Glad they were there") (0:28): MP3
  42. Anew 33 ("Drive, fast kisses") (0:33): MP3
  43. Anew 35 (Or a valentine) (0:23): MP3
  44. Anew 41 (After Charles Sedley) (1:14): MP3
  45. (Tape breaks: missing poems 13 and 25 from 55 Poems)

    From 55 Poems

  46. Poem 26 ("Ask of the sun") (0:40): MP3
  47. Poem 27 ("Blue light is the night harbor-slip") (1:17): MP3
  48. Song 18 ("The mirror oval sabers playing") (0:44): MP3
  49. "Further than --" (1:28): MP3
  50. Poem 13 ("We are crossing the bridge now") (0:27): MP3

Complete reading (1:52:19): MP3

Zukofsky's Homemade Tape Reading Catullus 1-46, November 11, 1961

  1. Preface and Catullus 1 (0:58): MP3
  2. Catullus 2 and 2a (0:54): MP3
  3. Catullus 3 (1:14): MP3
  4. Catullus 4 (1:49): MP3
  5. Catullus 5 (1:00): MP3
  6. Catullus 6 (1:05): MP3
  7. Catullus 7 (0:51): MP3
  8. Catullus 8 (1:20): MP3
  9. Catullus 9 (0:44): MP3
  10. Catullus 10 (1:54): MP3
  11. Catullus 11 (1:24): MP3
  12. Catullus 12 (1:01): MP3
  13. Catullus 13 (0:57): MP3
  14. Catullus 14 (1:30): MP3
  15. Catullus 14a (0:19): MP3
  16. Catullus 15 (1:19): MP3
  17. Catullus 16 (0:57): MP3
  18. Catullus 17 (first half) (Tape break at end) (1:15): MP3
  19. Catullus 17 (second half) (Tape break at opening) (1:07): MP3
  20. Catullus 21 (0:57): MP3
  21. Catullus 22 (1:42): MP3
  22. Catullus 23 (1:46): MP3
  23. Catullus 24 (0:53): MP3
  24. Catullus 25 (1:08): MP3
  25. Catullus 26 (0:32): MP3
  26. Catullus 27 (0:33): MP3
  27. Catullus 28 (1:14): MP3
  28. Catullus 29 (Short tape break at opening) (1:54): MP3
  29. Catullus 30 (1:16): MP3
  30. Catullus 31 (1:19): MP3
  31. Catullus 32 (0:52): MP3
  32. Catullus 33 (0:33): MP3
  33. Catullus 34 (1:11): MP3
  34. Catullus 35 (1:14): MP3
  35. Catullus 36 (1:16): MP3
  36. Catullus 37 (1:30): MP3
  37. Catullus 38 (0:40): MP3
  38. Catullus 39 (1:38): MP3
  39. Catullus 40 (0:36): MP3
  40. Catullus 41 (0:42): MP3
  41. Catullus 42 (1:32): MP3
  42. Catullus 43 (0:39): MP3
  43. Catullus 44 (1:39): MP3
  44. Catullus 45 (2:02): MP3
  45. Catullus 46 (0:58): MP3

Complete reading (51:49): MP3

Interview and Reading with Robert Creeley for The Single Voice, October 22, 1961

  1. Interview with Robert Creeley (9:23): MP3
  2. Catullus 45, 43, Preface, 42, 29 and 34 (14:42): MP3
  3. "A"-11 and extract from "A"-12 (beginning "In peace / 200-year spruce at least...") (7:20): MP3

Complete recording (29:45): MP3

WBAI FM Recording of Zukofsky Reading at Les Deux Megots, NYC, August 6, 1961

  1. "A"-6 (from "a miniature, steeples not steeples" to end) (2:33): MP3
  2. "A"-7 (5:59): MP3
  3. The second half of "A"-9 (5:21): MP3
  4. "A"-11 (begins 1:28 in) (4:15): MP3
  5. 4 Other Countries (from Barely and widely) (16:19): MP3
  6. From Catullus 22 (2:08): MP3
  7. From Catullus 29 (2:23): MP3

Complete reading (38:57): MP3

Note: Tape breaks between tracks.

Zukofsky's Homemade Tape for the Library of Congress, November 3, 1960

    From 55 Poems

  1. Poem 13 ("We are crossing the bridge now") (0:29): MP3
  2. Poem 22 ("Cactus rose-mauve and gray, twin overturned") (1:02): MP3
  3. Poem 27 ("Blue light is the night harbor-slip") (1:26): MP3
  4. Poem beginning "The" (16:25): MP3
  5. Song 3 (Prop. LXI (The Strength of The Emotions-Ethica ordine geometrico demonstrata: IV)) (1:02): MP3
  6. Song 8 ("Happier, happier, now") (1:00): MP3
  7. Song 13 ("in that this happening") (0:27): MP3
  8. Song 18 ("The mirror oval sabers playing") (0:35): MP3
  9. Song 22 ("To my wash-stand") (2:04): MP3
  10. From Anew

  11. Anew 12 ("It's hard to see but think of a sea") (2:12): MP3
  12. Anew 26 (1892-1941) (2:08): MP3
  13. Anew 29 ("Glad they were there") (0:24): MP3
  14. Anew 37 ("The world autumn") (0:30): MP3
  15. Anew 41 (After Charles Sedley) (0:55): MP3

  16. Anew 12 ("It's hard to see but think of a sea") is also featured on PoemTalk Episode 22.

    From Some Time

  17. Sequence 1944-6 (2:09): MP3
  18. So That Even a Lover (0:44): MP3
  19. Xenophanes (0:57): MP3
  20. "As to How Much" (0:41): MP3
  21. Air (1:10): MP3
  22. The Judge and the Bird (1:31): MP3
  23. With a Valentine, the 12th of February (from "Songs of Degrees") (0:15): MP3
  24. With a Valentine, the 14th of February (from "Songs of Degrees") (0:37): MP3
  25. The Guest (1:00): MP3
  26. Shang Cup (0:40): MP3
  27. The Record (0:55): MP3
  28. From Catullus

  29. Introductory remarks followed by Catullus 1-3 (3:26): MP3
  30. Catullus 4-7, plus the 1939 (Anew) version of 8 (Anew 22) (5:30): MP3
  31. 1960 version of Catullus 8 (1:25): MP3
  32. From Barely and widely

  33. Poem 7 Stratford-on-Avon (1957) (3:07): MP3
  34. Poem 1 ("This is after all vacation. All that") (1:45): MP3
  35. Dedication from Barely and widely (0:37): MP3
  36. Poem 2 ("You who were made for this music") (0:47): MP3
  37. Poem 3 ("The green leaf that will outlast the winter") (0:27): MP3
  38. Poem 4 (A Valentine) (0:25): MP3
  39. Poem 5 (The Heights) (0:46): MP3
  40. Poem 8 ("This year") (0:47): MP3
  41. Poem 9 (Ashtray) (0:16): MP3
  42. Poem 10 (Another Ashtray) (0:14): MP3
  43. Poem 12 (4 Other Countries ) (17:55): MP3

Complete reading (1:19:53): MP3

Reading at the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, July 2, 1958

  1. Introduction (4:19): MP3
  2. The Guest (1:19): MP3
  3. Sequence 1944-6 (2:39): MP3
  4. "As to how much" (0:48): MP3
  5. Non Ti Fidar (1:09): MP3
  6. Spooks' Sabbath, Five Bowings (3:22): MP3
  7. Songs of Degrees: 2 and 3 (2:36): MP3
  8. An Incident (0:22): MP3
  9. The Record (0:33): MP3
  10. 55 Poems: Poem 27 ("Blue light is the night harbor-slip") (2:25): MP3
  11. 55 Poems: Song 22 ("To my wash-stand") (2:02): MP3
  12. 55 Poems: Song 28 ("'Specifically, a writer of music'") (8:21): MP3
  13. 55 Poems: "Further than --" (1:29): MP3
  14. "Mantis" (3:04): MP3
  15. Anew 6 ("Anew, sun, to fire summer") (1:02): MP3
  16. Anew 16 ("I walk in the old street") (0:26): MP3
  17. Anew 19 ("And so till we have died") (0:25): MP3
  18. Anew 29 ("Glad they were there") (0:28): MP3
  19. Anew 37 ("The world's autumn") (0:38): MP3
  20. Anew 41 (After Charles Sedley) (0:50): MP3
  21. From "A"-4 (1:31): MP3
  22. From "A"-12 (beginning "The best man learns of himself...") (3:56): MP3
  • Complete reading (45:20): MP3

Reading on KPFA Radio, Berkeley, August 6, 1954

  1. The Judge and the Bird (1:32): MP3
  2. Spooks' Sabbath, Five Bowings (3:11): MP3
  3. So That Even a Lover 1 ("Little wrists") (0:24): MP3
  4. Reading and Talking (2:09): MP3
  5. George Washington (0:49): MP3
  6. Anew 37 ("The world autumn" -- short tape break) (0:39): MP3
  7. Anew 16 ("I walk in the old street") (0:50): MP3
  8. Anew 22 (Catullus viii) (1:11): MP3
  9. Anew 25 (for Zadkine) (1:36): MP3
  10. Anew 29 ("Glad they were there") (0:32): MP3
  11. Anew 17 (Guillaume de Machault (1300-1377) Ballade: Plourès, dames) (0:46): MP3
  12. "A"-11 (3:01): MP3
  13. The second half of "A"-9 (4:38): MP3
  14. On Valentine's Day to Friends (0:42): MP3

Complete recording (22:27): MP3

Readings & Performances of Zukofsky's Work by Other Poets

  • Charles Bernstein reading Zukofsky's "A Foin Lass Bodders Me" during the McGann Session (6:04): MP3
  • Guy Davenport reads "Catullus" (in the original Latin, plus LZ's versions, as well as one of Shakespeare's sonnets in Elizabethan pronunciation) (21:26): MP3
  • Two Performances of "A"-24 by an ensemble of Bay Area poets including: Steve Benson, Carla Harryman, Lyn Hejinian, Kit Robinson and Barrett Watten with Bob Perelman on piano.
    1. At the University of California Davis, November 16, 1978 (1:13:43): MP3
    2. At the Grand Piano in San Francisco, June 30, 1978 (1:17:07): MP3
  • "Poem 7 (During the Passaic Strike of 1926)", read in Mandarin translation by Liu Pu Shan (Lew Poo-shan), November 13, 1967 (4:19): MP3
  • Basil Bunting reading Louis Zukofsky

Also on PennSound:

Louis Zukofsky on PennSound Daily


This PennSound resource edited by Danny Snelson. Special thanks to Jeff Twitchell-Waas, whose grand and comprehensive Zukofsky site has proved indispensible in annotating this material. Thanks also to Mollie Braverman, Kareem Estefan, Jenny Lesser, and Richard Sieburth for their assistance on this page.

These recordings were made available through the generosity of Paul Zukofsky and are for noncommercial and educational use only. Distributed by PennSound. All Louis Zukofsky materials © Musical Observations, Inc. Used by permission. For inquiries concerning permissions, please visit the Musical Observations, Inc.