Robert Duncan in an interview with Ekbert Faas (Towards A new American Poetics: Essays and Interviews) is talking about his teaching at Black Mountain College and relates this little tale In response to the question “What do you mean by law?”
Well, that was exactly the question they were to address. And that poem, The Law I Love Is Major Mover, came because Jon [sic] [Joe] Dunn, who had that project felt that the law was just the law, you know, cops and robbers. I remember one day going into the library at the school there and he was pouring [sic] [poring] over everything trying to get it into his head. And nothing could have been more garbled than the account he finally gave. And when he finished I said to him: Well, Joe, when you write a sentence beginning with the word “the,” aren’t you already under the law of “the”? No matter what you do from here on, you are under its law. And I think that’s part of what a law is. In other words, lawful action to me is total responsibility to what is present. So I began to realize that at the time.
In the poem referenced above, Duncan writes: “Responsibility is to keep / the ability to respond.” ** It’s Joe Dunn. According to memoir by Martha King in Jacket Magazine “Three Months in 1955: A Memoir of Black Mountain College” which reproduces a class list, on which appear the names “Joe Dunn — with wife Caroline” which I understand is spelt “Carolyn“.
And so for day 1443