Jerome Rothenberg


[In Wonder at the Webb Space Telescope
& a New Image of the Deeper Universe]:

men grow old
& cry out “shit”
like children

dropping to the bottom of a well,
trained to fish for eels

to come up breathless
on the other side
where mothers reach out arms to hold them

“holy days” the simple man proclaims,
the shapeless wanderer
not simple only, he is open

this allows the world to look
into his eyes, to see
a depth there, like a hole in space

the farthest probe of all they call
“deep image,” galaxies condensing
in the perfect poem

* “deep image”: a technical term in astronomy for photographs of the outer limits of the visible universe.

Jerome Rothenberg has published over 70 books in a career spanning as many years. Seminal titles include Seneca Journal and Poland/1931 in which he explores the roots of culture and poetry. Known for his pioneering practice of the deep image and ethnopoetics, he has helped revise, activate, and diversify the canon. Kenneth Rexroth called him a “true autochthon.”