Summer 1980 • Vol. II No. 3 Poetry |

Or Consider Prometheus

In 1859 petroleum was discovered in Pennsylvania. Kerosene, petroleum and paraffin began rapidly to replace whale oil, sperm oil and spermaceti wax. . . . Consider whaling as FRONTIER, and INDUSTRY. A product wanted, men got it: big business. The Pacific as sweatshop . . . the whaleship as factory, as precision instrument. . . . CHARLES OLSON Call Me Ishmael 1 Would Prometheus, cursing on his rock as he considered fire, the smuggled gem inside the weed stem, and the excesses since his protracted punishment began, have cursed the ocean's copious antidote, its lapping, cold, incessant undulance plowed to shards by wheeling porpoises, hydrogen-cum-oxygen fanned up in mimicries of hard carbon, diamond of purest water, the unforbidden element crosscut by fire, its breakup the absolving smile of rainbows? Or, considering leviathan, whose blameless progenitors turned from the shore, from its seducing orchards, renouncing the prehensile dangle of a brain all eyes an

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In 1983, at the age of sixty-three, Amy Clampitt published her first full-length collection, The Kingfisher (Alfred A. Knopf). In the decade that followed, Clampitt published five books of poetry, including What the Light Was Like (Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), Archaic Figure (Alfred A. Knopf, 1987), and Westward (Alfred A. Knopf, 1990). Her last book, A Silence Opens (Alfred A. Knopf), appeared in 1994. The recipient in 1982 of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1984 of an Academy Fellowship, she was made a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1992.

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Rain at Bellagio

By Amy Clampitt

In 1859 petroleum was discovered in Pennsylvania. Kerosene, petroleum and paraffin began rapidly to replace whale oil, sperm oil and spermaceti wax. . . . Consider whaling as FRONTIER, and […]

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