Archive for the ‘Peter Dale Scott’ Tag

Help Peter Dale Scott with publishing two new, important books

Freeman Ng has organized a Fundraiser to help cover costs in producing two new books by Peter Dale Scott.

Peter Dale Scott is a poet, political researcher and former Canadian diplomat whose books include The Road to 9/11, The American Deep State, and Seculum, a trilogy of book-length poems — Coming To Jakarta, Listening To The Candle, and Minding The Darkness — that poet and critic John Peck called “one of the essential long poems of the past half century.”

At 93 years of age, Scott is finalizing two new books, to be published through Rowman & Littlefield, that he considers to be the most important he’s yet written. However, he’s facing licensing fees and indexing costs he’s unable to meet on his limited pension. (On top of unexpected medical bills for three recent hospitalizations due to COVID and pneumonia.)

Please help him meet these costs.

The two books are:

  • Ecstatic Pessimist: Czeslaw Milosz, Poet of Catastrophe and Hope, which would be the first recent general analysis of the Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz intended for English readers, and which Robert Hass, a former U.S. Poet Laureate and Milosz’s principle translator, called “a brilliant and illuminating book on the complex and essential poet.”
  • Enmindment — A History: A Post-Secular Poem in Prose, a book on the role of poetry in cultural evolution.

You can access the GoFundMe site, here.

You can read an appreciation of Scott’s poetry, the first post on this website, here.

A Timely Re-release: Peter Dale Scott reading from Minding the Darkness

Twenty years ago I got wind that Peter Dale Scott would be reading in the McGill University Library’s Rare Books Room. I had only recently discovered his work, in an excerpt from Minding the Darkness in Conjunctions, a poetry whose engagement with history and politics by means of an unabashedly citational poetics harmonized with my concerns and practice at the time, so I went.

When Scott solicited questions after his reading, I asked something like: “You have three books: the first [Coming to Jakarta] that begins by invoking three desks, at one Virgil’s Nekyia, an Inferno; then Listening to the Candle, a Purgatorio; now an old man’s Paradiso: all weaving historical, luminous details, personages modern and historical, autobiography, taking up the Tradition, all written in tercets: is there a Dantescan intertext?” to which he answered, “You, don’t go anywhere!”, an invitation to speak once all the other questions had been asked and answered. That was a fateful meeting, as Scott, the man and his work, have maintained an important place in my life and work, happily, since.

John Bertucci has now done us all the favour of uploading a video of Scott reading from that ultimate volume of his Seculum trilogy only a year after the one I attended. You can recapture an experience of Scott reading in the wake of the release of Minding the Darkness, here:

“…voices / …heard / …as revelations”

Interested parties can read a talk I gave at the Spirituality in Contemporary Canadian IMG_0693and Québécois Literature Panel at the annual meeting of the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures, Regina, Saskatchewan, 27 May 2018.

“…voices / …heard / …as revelations”:  Peter Dale Scott’s Contribution to the Discourse of the Postsecular in his Seculum Trilogy and Mosaic Orpheus


Coming (back) to Jakarta

This week, files concerning US involvement in the massacres following the anti-communist coup in Indonesia led by General Mohammed Suharto in 1965 were declassified. Their reception illuminates both that dark time and continuing efforts of the US establishment to mitigate that involvement.

A by turns harrowing and clear-eyed poetic probing of this time is Peter Dale Scott‘s Coming_To_Jakarta_300_444Coming to Jakarta, the first volume in his monumental Seculum trilogy ( which includes Listening to the Candle and Minding the Darkness). If poetry can be “news that stays news”, then maybe a rereading of that first volume, if not the trilogy, is in order.

Happily, Freeman Ng has recorded Scott reading the entirety of Coming to Jakarta, supplemented by Ng’s interviewing Scott after each part concerning that part’s genesis and details.

My appreciation of Scott’s Seculum can be read here.


Multiversic takes on 9/11

Despite its being the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks Sunday, I had decided to, here, pass over the event in silence. Then, The Griffin Trust website posted Fanny Howe’s “9/11”.

I was struck—as I often am—by the commentary accompanying the poem:

Is it virtually impossible to write about certain events that are too immense, too devastating, too charged on so many levels? To go into the specifics, one risks being maudlin, self-absorbed, short-sighted, too emotional. To try to broaden the discussion and perhaps recklessly try to scale something to the universal, one risks being too political, polarizing or simply missing the mark.

Howe’s poem, of course, avoids being too “self-absorbed” and “too political”—by “suggesting the heart of the event’s impact, is how it affects who and what we love.” I wonder what the commentator thinks of Shelley’s The Mask of Anarchy or Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony or Holocaust.

By way of contrast and to broaden and concretize the discussion, let me offer these two poetic texts that both fail to escape the commentator’s extremes: “The Tao of 9/11”  by Peter Dale Scott (that both goes “into specifics” and is “too political”) and one of my own, excerpted from a longer work, that, too, is “too specific,” composed, as it was, in real time.

Writing a poetry including history is no easy matter, and the question how far the “heart of the matter” escapes history’s particulars and the machinations of power no less demanding.


On Translation: an Interview with Peter Dale Scott in the latest Paideuma

IMG_2743Just received my contributor’s copies of Paideuma 42 containing, among many things, an interview with Peter Dale Scott concerning his many translations—of Milosz, Vergil, Aldhelm, Bede, Alcuin, Petrarch, Dante, Baudelaire, Hoelderlin, Stefan George, Mayakovsky, Mandelstam, Li Bai, Wang Wei, Du Fu, and Su Dongpo!—conducted by James Edward Reid. I suggested we pursue the topic, supplied a number of the questions, and contributed editorially to the final version. Much thanks to Peter Dale Scott for indulging our investigation into this dimension of his poetical work, and to James Edward Reid for doing the heavy lifting!

Peter Dale Scott: Three poems

The Journal for Poetics Research has just put up three new poems from Peter Dale Scott.

10897776_10152958516978794_8032701146716979759_nThe poet shares these with these words:

As a rule I don’t bother these days about publishing my poetry in periodicals, even e-journals.But these three poems are important to me: the third, about Mario Savio and the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley, tries to capture in verse what I think was, and could again be, a more successful strategy of political protest than those we have seen recently in America.

Read them, here.

The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House

Peter Dale Scott is a poet of singular accomplishment, engaging the political poetically in, among other works, his magisterial Seculum trilogy. He is, as well, a tireless scholar and perspicacious political and social thinker of the American Left, who as good as coined the terms “deep state” and “deep politics” for the Western mind. Now, in advance of a forthcoming book on politics and poetics, appears his latest investigative analysis of the Kennedy assassination Dallas ’63:  The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House. Click on the cover for more information!


Freeman Ng interviews Peter Dale Scott on his latest work The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy

Peter Dale Scott, poet and political thinker and researcher has just published his latest work The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. DemocracyHere, Freeman Ng explores Scott’s latest work with the author.

“The Tao of 9/11”

“The Tao of 9/11”

I’ve noticed a few folks posting 9/11 poems, which prompts me to post this one by Peter Dale Scott, that dares to come to grips with the dark roots of the matter.