to discard the limitations of conventional form: if both were more free,
more individual, than their contemporaries, this was
the expression of their Americanism, which may perhaps be defined
as a spiritual independence and love of adventure inherited from the pioneers.
Foreign artists are usually the first to recognize this new tang;
one detects the influence of the great dead poet and dead painter
in all modern art which looks forward instead of back;
and their countrymen, our own contemporary poets and painters,
often express indirectly, through French influences,
a reaction which they are reluctant to confess directly.
A lighter phase of this foreign enthusiasm for the American tang
is confessed by Signor Marinetti, the Italian "futurist",
when in his article on `Futurism and the Theatre', in `The Mask',
he urges the revolutionary value of "American eccentrics",
citing the fundamental primitive quality in their vaudeville art.
This may be another statement of Mr. Lindsay's plea for a closer relation
between the poet and his audience, for a return to the healthier
open-air conditions, and immediate personal contacts, in the art of the Greeks
and of primitive nations. Such conditions and contacts may still be found,
if the world only knew it, in the wonderful song-dances of the Hopis
and others of our aboriginal tribes. They may be found, also, in a measure,
in the quick response between artist and audience in modern vaudeville.
They are destined to a wider and higher influence; in fact,
the development of that influence, the return to primitive sympathies
between artist and audience, which may make possible once more
the assertion of primitive creative power, is recognized as
the immediate movement in modern art. It is a movement strong enough
to persist in spite of extravagances and absurdities; strong enough,
it may be hoped, to fulfil its purpose and revitalize the world.
It is because Mr. Lindsay's poetry seems to be definitely in that movement
that it is, I think, important.
Table of Contents
Introduction. By Harriet Monroe
Poems intended to be read aloud, or chanted.
The Santa Fe Trail
The Firemen's Ball
The Master of the Dance
The Mysterious Cat
A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten
The Black Hawk War of the Artists
The Jingo and the Minstrel
I Heard Immanuel Singing
A Rhyme about an Electrical Advertising Sign
In Memory of a Child
Galahad, Knight Who Perished
An Indian Summer Day on the Prairie
The Hearth Eternal
The Soul of the City Receives the Gift of the Holy Spirit
By the Spring, at Sunset
I Went down into the DesertDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>