Custom «Beat Poet Michael McClure» Essay Paper Sample

Beat Poet Michael McClure

The poetry of Michael McClure identically to the creations of Bitniks is extravagant and excessive. His texts contain allusions to reconciliation and transmutation, defining humankind in extreme measure. McClure’s coherence of transcendence and atavism, humankind and mysticism, order and destruction decodes his personal concept of harmony. The paper contains the analysis of Michael McClure’s works and its obvious relevance to modernity due to the basic concerns of the Beats, namely, denial of constant values, determination of human identity through natural retain, and American neglected resources.

Beats created the entire epoch that divided generations and, what is more important, left nobody indifferent – everybody in a positive or negative way were discussing the new mainstream. There are three basic issues in the poetry of Beats: 1) the pathos of abandoning moral principles prevalent in American society; 2) the nature of humans and their self-dividedness; 3) American loss of innocence through overuse of its natural and human resources. To understand his maturity and mental crisis, there is a necessity to his autobiographical novel The Mad Cub. Gregory Stephenson supports the opinion by his statement that the book contains McClure’s “crucial passage through a prolonged and acute mental-physical and metaphysical crisis to a state of self-renewal and the affirmation of a secular faith, a faith in life” (Stephenson 122).

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Modern America still has denial of social rules and obligations by the youth. It is interesting to know that McClure more than other Bitniks was impressed by wild beasts, both real and imagined. His illustrated books The Boobus and the Bunnyduck as well as For the Death of 100 Whales remind a kind of funeral dirge similar to those he read at the historic Six Gallery poetry jamboree. In 2013 McClure has republished the book of 1864 Ghost Tantras. It contains 99 poems. The book has a rambunctious beginning and a tranquil ending, but the language has no pathos – vice versa, it is conversational. It is written in typical McClure’s style: the guttural beast language is used in the poems. Along with that, the book contains introduction that opens the picture behind the scenes and confession of improvisation as well as mention of unexpected inspiration that made his poems alive.

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Obviously, the Ghost Tantras was the most desired book for republishing among all McClure’s works. This work depicts author’s personal experience during the 1950’s and early 1960’s that manages his life and activities today – this is exactly what a reader is seeking. Truly, the published book discovered new opportunities to the writer, such as collaboration with Ray Manzarek of the Doors, Jay Lane and Rob Wisserman from the Sweetwater. It also provided the cooperation with the Magic Theatre. In Ghost Tantras McClure specifically plays with visional perception. Gregory Stephenson distinguished the images of “radiant chorus”, “satins of sounds”, “the ear’s vista”, and “eyed feet” (121).

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Only after fifty years since McClure first published his linguistic experiments by himself, did Americans understand the author as a mental performer of the beast word. Such transferences of sensual acceptation refresh our knowledge of what we knew, forgot and lost. The book does not cover only the image of the author himself, but also points on the important challenges that has not changed since 1950s and 60s.

The stage of human identity, according to McClure, contains the feeling of misbalance, complications, and sufferings. Simultaneously, the lyrical hero has the will to stand against the limits of life and achieve liberation, self-perfection, and health. The first two published poems by McClure are villanelles “2 For Theodore Roethke”. Comparing to his later poems, the villanelles are less radical in experimenting with intricate, elaborate form, as noted by researchers.

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McClure’s The New Book is full of allusions to hell which bear the meaning of personal fragmentation and lack of singularity (Stephenson 120). The dominant senses described fit with the dark and negative emotions such as deadness, anguish, pain, and spiritual agony. The poems by including the passages of expletives and sacral texts remind the struggles between desperate cries, determination, and spiritual agony. In his poems called the “Rant Block”, “Mad Sonnet” and “For Artaud”, the author highlighted the dilemma between vision and sufferings, playing with the concept of war. The image of combat that does not surrender is noble and precious for McClure. However, the resolution of the war in the work is uncertain.

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In the poem “End-Fragment of a Hymn”, McClure depicts the main heroes Prometheus and Ferris Wolf, the messiahs bounded by their gods. They image the Beast-Redeemer as the power of instincts framed by the leading gods. One day the heroes destroyed those restraining rules and freed themselves. This is a straight motive of the human identity which proclaims personal victory and liberation.

In fact, the spirituality of the poems above and the image of human identity are relevant to the American realities nowadays. People think and feel in the same tone and mood. The gap between generations is very similar: the youth still has eternal will to liberation. For further evidence of relevance, there is the necessity to analyze some other works by this author.

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Michael McClure's plays also represent the concepts of Beats within the issue of American loss of innocent love to its people. It is important that the author underlined this problem through his sexual works, making obvious the contrast. The play Blossom exposes self-dividedness of a human between a good person and a good citizen. In fact, this is what Beats were standing for: personal freedom of the instincts despite the rules dictated by someone desiring to have power over people. In the play Blossom, the characters are true: they are combatants during the Lincoln County War of New Mexico. In those main heroes (who are depicted in the eternal world in the play), McClure embodies various mental and psyche sides, visions and behaviors. Tunstall and Alexander McSween are the two opposites: the first one represents the bravery of a noble man, while the second is a romantic ideal, taking refuge in religious canons.

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