The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedParis Leary
Title QuotedControversy of Poets: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poets
Date (Year/Month/Day)1965/07/11
Imprint[S.l.] : Doubleday. 1965
QuotationYesterday the new anthology by Paris Leary and Robert Kelly arrived. Controversy of Poets. Ambiguous title, good anthology, in fact it strikes me as one of the best and I am certainly glad to be in it. [n: Seven poems by Merton appeared in this volume] Found a lot of new people I had never heard of but like. Especially a fine long poem by Galway Kinnell about the Lower East Side. A good one on Kennedy's funeral by Georgia Lee McElhaney. (How would you pronounce it?) I like the abstract dances of Jackson Mac Low, and Jack Spicer's poem on the death of Billy the Kid. Diane Wakoski, O.K. Gary Snyder I had heard of but not read. Like his poems, they are more substantial because of Zen, not just poured out. Reading [Allen] Ginsberg's long ether-sniffing poem from Lima, have concluded for Ginsberg, it is a good poem and one must take Ginsberg on his own terms. I defy the cowards who bully Ginsberg. Jonathan Williams I knew before. Liked "Blues for Lonnie Johnson" and great atomic stuff in the Blake-like poem ["In England's Green and (A Garland and a Clyster)"]. Maybe Jonathan Williams best in the book. I'll get to know later. Denise Levertov always good. And [Lawrence] Ferlinghetti also. I liked the underwear poem and the Castro ["One Thousand Fearful Words for Fidel Castro"] I saw before.
JournalDancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1997, p. 267-68
Link to Merton's Copy