Benjamin Hollander: September 20, 2001

The Poetry Center presents Benjamin Hollander reading his poem "Levinas and the Police," later to be published in his book Vigilance (Beyond Baroque Books, 2005). The close of the poem incorporates a recording of William Alwyn's soundtrack music for Carol Reed's 1947 film noir, Odd Man Out. Sarah Menefee also read her work on the same program.

Unitarian Center, San Francisco
Total Run Time
Originally Recorded By
Steve Dickison

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I found the poem very cacophonous. It was difficult for me to really hold a thought. It was as though I was being pushed away. I detected a lot of suffering in this work, which goes with the conflict that was piercing my ears. When I think of Hamlet, which is the depressed Prince of Denmark, I think of a struggle of this very kind, which makes sense with the tone of the poem. There was also some type of criminal or illegal act with the references to the police. All of the conflicts which I detected went well with the meter and how it was read, but I would just say that I was constantly being pushed away. It was as though it was painful to listen to. I got the feeling like the writer was telling us not to talk. There was a feeling, if not a hint, of some type of violent act. The main idea I got from this poem was destruction!

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