McKayla Baxley-HaydenCarruth

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Biography
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HAYDEN CARRUTH
McKayla Baxley 2010-2011
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THE CRAZY AND RIDICULOUS LIFE OF
HAYDEN CARRUTH
"A poem is not an expression, nor is it an object. Yet it somewhat partakes of
both. What a poem is never to be known, for which I have learned to be grateful."
This quote was said by Hayden Carruth on his thoughts about poems (Carruth).
Hayden Carruth was born on August 3, 1921 in Waterbury, Connecticut. He was born to
the loving parents of Gorton Veeder, a newspaper editor, and Margery Barrow-Carruth.
Carruth resided in Munnsville, New York with his fourth spouse Joe-Anne McLaughlin
Carruth. Carruth attended and studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and the University of Chicago, where he recieved his master’s degree. Carruth was an active
soldier for two years during the World War II. He was a staff sergeant in the Army Air
Corps. Then, at the age of 33, Carruth fell into a seemingly controlled environment. He
became an alcoholic. Carruth became mentally unstable and had an ‘alcoholic breakdown’.
He was then admitted to the White Plains section of the New York Hospital, which was
previously named the Bloomingdale Asylum. He was in treatment for 15 months and was
still not recovered. It seemed as though nothing could help him get through this tough time,
not even writing. Over time, medications helped him recover. As well as his love of women,
music, work, and a psychiatrist that understood him which helped him recover as well.
Shortly after, he had to have open heart surgery due to multiple strokes.
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BIOGRAPHY CONT.
While resting and recovering, his wife, who is 30 years younger than he, took care
of him and worked around the house and also wrote poems. He was greatly known for his
sense of criticism. He wrote several books containing reviews and selected poems. Some of
the books include; Selected Essays and Reviews along with Sitting In: Selected Writings on Jazz
(Copper Canyon Press). Hayden Carruth passed away on September 29, 2008, after a long
battle with alcoholism and multiple strokes (Academy of American Poets) (Mertens).
Hayden Carruth’s career started when he took a job at Bucknell University in
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and at the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Syracuse
University. Then he began to write poems and stories. His first collection of poems was
called The Crow and The Heart which was published in 1959 (Academy of American Poets). Since
his first book, he has published more than thirty books. For one of the books he received a
National Book Award. Many of his poems seemed to be written describing people and
places in Vermont as well as poverty and hardship. Carruth has received many awards for
his writing. Some of them are the Lenore Marshall Award, Patterson Poetry Prize, Vermont
Governor’s Medal, Carl Sandburg Award, Writing Award, Ruth Lilly Prize, the Pulitzer Prize
as well as many more (Academy of American Poets).
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BIOGRAPHY CONT
The main idea behind Carruth’s writing style is the people and places
of Vermont. Occasionally he would write about poverty and hardship, which
was understandable because of the time period he lived in (Academy of
American Poets). Hayden Carruth has made a lasting impact on the people of
poetry because of the way he lived his life (Mertens). Not only did he write
great poems, but he also led a crazy life. Galway Kinnell said this about
Carruth, "This is not a man who sits down to 'write a poem'; rather, some
burden of understanding and feeling, some need to know, forces his poems
into being. Thoreau said, 'Be it life or death, what we crave is reality.' So it is
with Carruth. And even in hell, knowledge itself bestows a halo around the
consciousness with, at moments, attains it (Academy of American Poets)."
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COLLECTED WORKS
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Appendix A, 1963: a novel about adultery.
The Voice That is Great Within Us, 1970: an influential anthology of American poetry.
The Mythology of Dark & Light, 1982: a long poem published as a limited edition chapbook,
later republished in Collected Longer Poems
Mother, 1985: a long poem published as a limited edition chapbook, later republished in Tell Me
Again How the White Heron Rises and Flies Across the Nacreous River at Twilight Toward the
Distant Islands (1989) and subsequently gathered in Collected Longer Poems
The Sleeping Beauty, (Copper Canyon Press, 1990)
Collected Shorter Poems: 1946-1991, (Copper Canyon Press, 1992)
Suicides and Jazzers, 1992
Collected Longer Poems, (Copper Canyon Press, 1994)
Selected Essays & Reviews, 1996
Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey, (Copper Canyon Press, 1997)
Reluctantly: Autobiographical Essays, 1998
Beside the Shadblow Tree: A Memoir of James Laughlin, (Copper Canyon Press, 1999)
Hayden Carruth: A Listener's Guide, (audio CD) 2000
Doctor Jazz, (Copper Canyon Press, 2001)
Letters to Jane, (Copper Canyon Press, 2004)
Toward the Distant Islands: New and Selected Poems, (Copper Canyon Press, 2006)
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ONONDAGA, EARLY WINTER BY HAYDEN CARRUTH
Onondaga, Early Winter by Hayden Carruth
Lights in the twilight,
Lights of Solvay over the expanse of frozen snow-covered
Lake,
Orange lights of the refineries,
Yellow and green and red lights of the neon along the
Strip,
Lights as if undersea, the argon just coming to exist,
All lights in the cold moisture of the grounded wind
Staggering across the lake at twilight
Are blurred, are meaningless, they call, together,
With a sound unintelligible and of no interest;
But in the slate sky above the imagined horizon
Like an old lantern left long ago on top of a heap of slag
The evening star alone is bright and clear
And alone responds to this knowledge of death too soon
that comes in the loneliness of twilight and dying wind,
The loneliness of decayed and useless and ragged fear
And the soundless cry for a thing that has no name. . . .
Analysis of
Onondaga, Early
Winter
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ANALYSIS OF ONONDAGA, EARLY WINTER
In Hayden Carruth’s poem, “Onondaga, Early December”, Carruth uses a
great amount of imagery. In lines 7,8 and 9, he writes ‘lights as if under sea, the argon
just coming to exist/ all lights in the cold moisture of the grounded wind/ staggering
across the lake at twilight’. Carruth presents an ample of what he is trying to get the
reader to picture. “Onondaga, Early December” represents a Native American tribe of
Iroquoian Indians, located in New York, and the Onondaga Lake they reside on. The
sights that the Iroquoians see every day are portrayed in the poem so that the reader
has a clear understanding of the beautiful appearance. The poem continues to use an
endless sense of imagery when Carruth writes “but in the slate sky above the imagined
horizon/ like an old lantern left long ago on top of a heap of slag/ the evening star
alone is bright and clear”. In these lines, the image of nightfall begins to ascend in the
reader’s imagination. Carruth may have used imagery to write this poem because he felt
it was necessary that the reader be able to enjoy the poem as well as picture a
reservation and the people who may live on it. Overall, “Onondaga, Early December”
is a prodigious poem that represents a great culture.
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INTRODUCTION POEM (I, I, I)
I chose the poem “I, I, I” because it shows the curiosity of someone when looking at one
self through multiple mirrors. After reading this poem, many questions may be running through your
head. Such as, “How many people are looking at me without me noticing?”, “How many people am I
looking at who are watching other people?. The lines “For if I know/ The self that watches, another
watching self/ Must see the watcher, then another watching that/ Another and another, and where does
it end?”, give examples of what we may be thinking while we are ‘people watching’.
Hayden Carruth
I, I, I
First, the self. Then, the observing self.
The self that acts and the self that watches. This
The starting point, the place where the mind begins,
Whether the mind of an individual or
The mind of a species. When I was a boy
I struggled to understand. For if I know
The self that watches, another watching self
Must see the watcher, then another watching that,
Another and another, and where does it end?
So my mother sent me to the barber shop,
My first time, to get my hair "cut for a part"
(Instead of the dutch boy she'd always given me),
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INTRODUCTION POEM CONTINUED (I, I, I)
As I was instructed to tell the barber. She
Dispatched me on my own because the shop,
Which had a pool table in the back, in that
Small town was the men's club, and no woman
Would venture there. Was it my first excursion
On my own into the world? Perhaps. I sat
In the big chair. The wall behind me held
A huge mirror, and so did the one in front,
So that I saw my own small strange blond head
With its oriental eyes and turned up nose
repeated In ever diminishing images, one behind
Another behind another, and I tried
To peer farther and farther into the succession
To see the farthest one, diminutive in
The shadows. I could not. I sat rigid
And said no word. The fat barber snipped
My hair and blew his brusque breath on my nape
And finally whisked away his sheet, and I
climbed down. I ran from that cave of mirrors
A mile and a half to home, to my own room
Up under the eaves, which was another cave.
It had no mirrors. I no longer needed mirrors.
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INTRODUCTION POEM (SOMETHING FOR THE TRADE)
I chose “Something For The
Trade” by Hayden Carruth because I think we
can all relate to what he is talking about in the
poem. At least once in our lifetime, we get so
angry at the person on the other line that we
slam the phone down in hopes they got the
message that the conversation was clearly over
and that you won the argument. Only now do
we realize that they can’t hear the ‘slam’. They
only hear a simple ‘click’.
Something For The Trade
by Hayden Carruth
Please note well, all you writers, editors,
directors
out there: when a phone call is terminated
by the other person you do not, NOT, hear
the buzz of a dial tone. You hear a faint click
and then silence, absolute silence, the Great
Silence, more eloquent than any electronic
buzz could ever be. In fact the dial tone
cannot be heard until you yourself hang up
and then lift the receiver again. Further
note this: you cannot tell from the click
if the other person has hung up reluctantly
or desperately, softly or violently. It is only
the sound of a disconnected circuit. I've read
this error in a thousand books, I've seen it
in a thousand movies, and how so many
of you can be so unobservant, you who
call yourselves artists, is beyond me.
Ah, my friends, you are becoming my
enemies, and I'm appalled by your irreverence
for the simple truth that should sustain us all.
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INSPIRED POEM (ORIGINAL)
Graves
Hayden Carruth
Both of us had been close
to Joel, and at Joel's death
my friend had gone to the wake
and the memorial service
and more recently he had
visited Joel's grave, there
at the back of the grassy
cemetery among the trees,
"a quiet, gentle place," he said,
"befitting Joel." And I said,
"What's the point of going to look at graves?”
I went
into one of my celebrated
tirades. "People go to look
at the grave of Keats or Hart
Crane, they go traveling just to
do it, and what a waste of time.
What do they find there? Hell,
I wouldn't go look at the grave
of Shakespeare if it was just
down the street. I wouldn't
look at--" And I stopped. I
was about to say the grave of God
until I realized I'm looking at it
all the time. . . .
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INSPIRED POEM (GRAVESTONE)
Gravestone
McKayla Baxley
Great Grandma Rosella
An angel above
Eighty one years here
Six months gone
Crazy isn’t it?
One can spend eighty one years here
Be gone in an instant
The days slowly tick by
As one other questions “when will my time be up?”
They will never know
What will be on my gravestone?
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INSPIRED POEM (ORIGINAL)
The Curtain
Hayden Carruth
Just over the horizon a great machine of death is roaring
and
rearing.
One can hear it always. Earthquake, starvation, the everrenewing field of corpse-flesh.
In this valley the snow falls silently all day and out our
window
We see the curtain of it shifting and folding, hiding us away
in
our little house,
We see earth smoothened and beautified, made like a
fantasy, the
snow-clad trees
So graceful in a dream of peace. In our new bed, which is
big
enough to seem like the north pasture almost
With our two cats, Cooker and Smudgins, lying undisturbed
in
the southeastern and southwestern corners,
We lie loving and warm, looking out from time to time.
"Snowbound," we say. We speak of the poet
Who lived with his young housekeeper long ago In
the
mountains of the western province, the kingdom
Of complete cruelty, where heads fell like wilted
flowers and
snow fell for many months across the mouth
Of the pass and drifted deep in the vale. In our
kitchen the
maple-fire murmurs
In our stove. We eat cheese and new-made bread
and jumbo
Spanish olives
That have been steeped in our special brine of
jalapeños and
garlic and dill and thyme.
We have a nip or two from the small inexpensive
cognac that
makes us smile and sigh.
For a while we close the immense index of images
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INSPIRED POEM (ORIGINAL CONT)
which is
Our lives--for instance, the child on the Mescalero
reservation
in New Mexico in 1966
Sitting naked in the dirt outside his family's hut of
tin and
cardboard,
Covered with sores, unable to speak. But of course
the child is
here with us now,
We cannot close the index. How will we survive? We
don't and
cannot know.
Beyond the horizon a great unceasing noise is
undeniable. The
machine
May break through and come lurching into our
valley at any
moment, at any moment.
Cheers, baby. Here's to us. See how the curtain of
snow wavers
and falls back.
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INSPIRED POEM (THE CURTAIN)
The Curtain
McKayla Baxley
Life is like a curtain
You never know what may be behind it
It may be the scenery of a beautiful day
Or perhaps, a fork in the road
Whatever it may be, it’s always a surprise
We never fully understand why life isn’t
consistent
But the time comes when we realize why
But not until the curtain closes
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ORIGINAL POEM (R.E.M)
R.E.M
McKayla Baxley
Nightmares
Night terrors
The thrashing
The kicking
The punching
The fighting
The screaming
The running
The falling
The sweating
Heart pounding
Jolt awake
Sigh of relief
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ORIGINAL POEM (BEAUTIFUL DAY)
Beautiful Day
McKayla Baxley
A gentle breeze immersed from the cliffs
Spilling the scent of the mountains contents
The butterfly frolics quietly in her birthing glory
A bumblebee soars alone in its silent but mystical roar, wearing an eternal smile
Fruit flies buzzing wildly near the velvet lilac
Robins viewing from a nearby evergreen
The exhausted fish and beastly bear declare their evening war, the fish, withered
forever
Fragile children play colorful paint
On this beautiful day
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/onondaga-early-december/
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/graves-2/
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-curtain/
http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0504/features/carruth.shtml
http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/232
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayden_Carruth
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/i-i-i/
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/something-for-the-trade/
http://www.x929.ca/shows/newsboy/wp-content/uploads/angry_phone.jpg
http://www.happynews.com/living/livingimages/rem-sleep.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2386/2141348817_b5eb3a5a4f.jpg
http://i.ehow.com/images/a04/lo/rg/saved-through-believing-jesus-christ-800X800.jpg
http://www.travelbrook.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/cliffs-of-moher.jpg
http://poetrydispatch.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/carruth_hayden.jpg
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.grandforksherald.com/media/story/jpg/2010/12/04/R
Gust1204.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/185701/&usg=__mGW8rNO
Y8ll1fNXGNEzuGPQj4gM=&h=198&w=142&sz=19&hl=en&start=1&zoom=1&tbnid=PHCXeMEdWxsw
DM:&tbnh=104&tbnw=75&ei=vR3ETcHoMtCXtwedpfCkBA&prev=/search%3Fq%3DRosella%2BGust%2
6um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IESearchBox%26biw%3D1259%26bih%3D839%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1

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